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Reimagining Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort

Michael Ramirez

by , Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Today, I am pleased to share details surrounding the exciting renovation currently underway at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort! The most extensive refurbishment since its opening, Walt Disney Imagineering has developed an impressive plan that not only elevates the premium hotel experience, but also brings a modern approach to the Arts & Crafts design style. The hotel-wide refresh will include reimagining all guest rooms, pool areas and the concierge-level Craftsman Club as well as new furniture for the lobby.

Recently named a AAA Four Diamond hotel by the Automobile Club of Southern California for the sixteenth year in a row, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa opened in 2001 as a deluxe retreat capturing the romantic spirit of California’s Arts & Crafts movement in the early 20th century.

Reimagining Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort

For our first sneak peek, here’s a closer look at the enhancements to the guest rooms:

Guest rooms will be completely redesigned to create a fresh sense of luxury. Every single element will be new—from the floors and walls to the furnishings, beddings and linens as well as upgraded bathrooms. Upon entry, you’ll notice hardwood flooring transition into soft, bright-toned carpeting. The room decor is a contemporary take on the Arts & Crafts style featuring all-new furniture made of natural oak, specially designed for each room, as well as California-inspired artwork created by artists and Imagineers, including beautiful headboard walls with wood inlay designs featuring orange trees and Chip ‘n Dale! Guests with a sharp eye will catch other uniquely Disney details throughout these newly refreshed rooms.

Refurbishments are well underway at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and guests will begin enjoying the first phase of refreshed guest rooms soon. The multi-phase roll-out is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Stay tuned for more updates and progress on the other hotel elements on the Disney Parks Blog!

Comments

  • We are staying here for the first time in April. This was a stretch for our budget but really wanted the full Disneyland experience. I’m trying not to be disappointed about lack of pool at GC. Everyone is pretty tight lipped on pool finish date. Hoping and praying it’s soon! So much $$investment in this vacation! Certainly anticipating pool time in California sunshine. Please please please!

  • I’ve never been a fan of all white sterile looking room. It sounds and looks like the hotel rooms at the Grand Californian rooms are going to loose their rustic charm. I sincerely pray that the management and design team of this truly “Grand” hotel aren’t planning on drastically changing the naturally beautiful lobby. The dark hardwood floors, comfortable seating areas, and especially the dramatic (steel/iron mid-evil castle like) drawbridge that adorns the gateway to the story telling area and the fireplace (other than the rooms), the magnificent lobby is one the main attractions and selling points that draws customers to the hotel.

  • As an interior designer and avid Disney fan I am always skeptical of the upgrades/updates with the park and hotels. I love the nostalgia and continue to return to live in the magical Disney Land that Walt created and the imagineers have continued to grow. I was skeptical of the complete remodel of the California Adventure entrance. However, I was beyond excited to see the incredible update and how it made California Adventure more magical and captured Walt Disney even better. I stay at The Grand Californian every chance I can get. I love the Arts and Crafts decor and majestic ambience. Christmas isn’t the same without a visit to The Grand Californian. I am reserving judgement, but once again I am skeptical with the photos shared…kinda ordinary.

  • I judge a hotel room based on 1) if there is some sort of shelf in the shower for my stuff 2) if
    there are lamps and tables on both sides of the bed, and 3, is there somewhere near the bed to plug in my electric blanket. The Disneyland hotel was very good on most of my requirements. Cannot tell on this remodel of the Grand..

  • Sad… I got married here less than two weeks ago and loved everything about the rooms. They didn’t feel outdated at all! I actually commented several times on how I loved the unique and comfortable feel and the fact that everything isn’t white and modern-looking like so many other standard hotels. It was luxurious in a Disney and natural way. If I wanted plain white and glass, I’d pay half as much to stay at one of the other hotels down the street. We would love to buy a couple of those Bambi shower curtains that won’t be needed anymore!

  • Love this new decor. We stayed there a couple months ago and this is a big upgrade! Also, I think its a much better job of mixing rustic with modern than what they did wit the Copper Creek studios and one bedrooms.

  • I wouldn’t panic about the bathtubs. Some of the accessible rooms don’t have them, but I doubt that they’d convert everything to showers.

    I just hope they keep the feel of the lobby. Oh, and if they’re selling any of the old L&G Stickley furniture, I’d like to know about it!

  • I’m loving the changes! We’ve been staying there for the past 10 yrs and the rooms definitely are in need of a refresh. Hoping the in-room coffee doesn’t go away (for what we pay it better not) and while families with small children may miss the tubs, my 6’2″ son will appreciate finally having a shower that he can stand under!

  • I know change is hard for people but these pictures are so beautiful. However I’m staying there in November and I am very sensitive to new paint etc. When are the rooms supposed to be completed?

  • Are any major changes being made to the Arcadia Suite? It is a favorite in our family, we were planning on staying there in the near future.

  • I was wondering when the rooms were going to be renovated. They were in need of a face lift. Pictures look great. I am a fan of the no bath tubs (I really don’t understand why people ever want to take a bath in a hotel bathtub).

  • Am I reading correctly, there will be no bathtubs? If so, we will not stay here again.

  • After comparing the guest room concept pictures above to the pictures at the Disneyland website of how the rooms currently look, I have to say really like the new look that’s being proposed. The rooms at the Grand Californian are on the small side, and the current dark furniture and decorative treatments make them look even smaller. The lighter colors in the wood and other furnishings in the concept photos help the room look larger and more inviting, while still preserving the Arts and Crafts theme, if a bit more subtly than before. Looking forward to seeing them in real life…just as long as the lobby is left alone aside from the new furniture, LOL! 🙂

  • First impression is I find the changes disappointing. I really loved the hotel the way it was. The lobby was spectacular and always a welcome, inviting place to walk into. I felt “at home” when I entered the hotel lobby and its grand beauty was ever inspiring to gaze upon from every angle. The rooms we had were gorgeous and soul-pleasing. Looking at the picture of the room above does not touch my inner sense of elegant ambience. The shower, from what I can see is a plus over the standard-like showers from before. The beds look like they may be quite comfortable, and I hope that is the case, as that would also be a plus. But, overall, my heart plummeted when I read the article and look upon the pictures here.

  • It probably seems like such a strange thing on which to fixate, but I really hope the “new furniture for the lobby” is as comfortable as the old furniture. The lobby — in its existing version — is and always has been so welcoming and relaxing. The chairs are what I call “deceptively comfy,” as they don’t look like they will be particularly different from any other chairs… but when I sit in them I don’t want to move. I have to convince myself to get up and soldier on. After hours on my feet in the hot sun, those comfy, inviting chairs are like a soothing salve.

  • Glad we got to stay twice before this “improvement,” as I am not seeing anything to warrant a return now.

    Fingers crossed for the look of the lobby to maintain some of that Greene and Greene style.

  • Do the rooms have bathtubs or only showers? Will 2/3 bedroom suites still be a room option?

  • Is there a date yet as to when the pools will be back open? Is there a re-design of the pool area? We will be staying there the last week of April and are hoping to get a to enjoy the pool!

  • I’m skeptical, but what are you gonna do?
    I feel thankful I got to stay here in it’s original story design and intention.
    We took the Grand Hotel Tour as well, and so much love was put into this Hotel; every single detail.
    I hope it turns out well, as long as they don’t mess up that lobby…it’s a stunning sight.

  • I have to say I’m not digging the no bath. My kids along with most kids don’t like showers. Also the bunk beds were the tie breaker between us staying there and DLH. My kids are still talking about them from Dec 2015. We may be rethinking our accommodation now.

  • Will the update include finally providing K cup style coffeepots like everybody else already has so we can bring our own drinkable coffee?

  • I love the new look! The lighting looks so neat, I’m hoping it makes the room feel bigger, brighter. Dark tones were nice but I’m up for a change.

    And there is definitely some misinformation in these comments, fwiw this hotel has queen beds and has never had a fireworks headboard (Disneyland hotel has that)…

  • Ummm, no bathtubs??? For a resort that attracts mostly families with small children, that makes zero sense!

  • Prefer pretty much everything the way it is now. This new design looks so sterile. Not a fan. Not looking forward to seeing the lobby changes if it is going this direction. What a shame.

  • Bummer. 🙁 Although the rooms needed a refresh badly, this feels far too minimalistic and loses the charm as others have mentioned.

  • Were disappointed to this changing to look like all other hotels.

  • Will the fireworks headboards still be there? I love the look of the arts & crafts style at the hotel. I hope it doesn’t lose the character.

    • The light-up headboards can actually be found in rooms at the Disneyland Hotel!

  • The bunk beds are going away permanently with the renovation.

  • Sad to see the beautiful Arts and Craftsman design disappear. I am a huge fan of A&C and the Grand Californian was such a beautiful example. Now it will be like so many other hotels.

  • Please say they’re replacing those full-size beds with queen-size ones!

  • “…but also brings a modern approach to the Arts & Crafts design style.”

    Remind me again how you’re supposed to modernize a design style from a specific time period?

  • I love it! I only stayed there once for my birthday, and now I can’t wait for the renovations to be done so I can stay there again.

  • I second the bunk beds question! My girls loved them too! The room looks beautiful!

  • Will the bunk beds be staying? My boys love those 🙂

    • No, bunk beds will no longer be available. We will have a variety of room configurations perfect for families, including an option with two queens and a day bed.

  • The design is very bland and lacks most of the Craftsman elements that made staying there such a treat. Disappointing.

  • When will the rooms be complete? What about the pool area?

  • Will all the DVC rooms be renovated as well? I’d love to see what the 1 Bedroom Villas will look like. The color palette is definitely lighter than what it used to be. I love that the beds have storage for underneath now.

    • Yes! The refurbishment includes DVC Villas.

  • It looks beautiful. I always felt the rooms to be a little dark and heavy, so I’m liking the new design with the balance of the lighter natural elements and that of the rich design from the Arts & Crafts style.

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