Disney’s Grand Californian Resort

Background: About a year ago, I got a great idea for a road trip. I’d take my kids, fly from my hometown of Houston TX , to San Diego CA, and then drive from San Diego to Oakland. We’d stop and see all the sights along the way, and then fly home from Oakland. Then I asked my friend Gina, who lives in California, if she’d like to come along. With her kids. She agreed, and Death Match 2014 was born: Two ladies, seven kids, and a 15-day road trip up the California Coast.

Day 9 – We checked into the Grand Californian Resort late last night, so we didn’t really see much of the hotel. This morning, we grabbed some quick-service breakfast and then got the swimsuits and headed out for some pool time!

Pool Area at Disney's Grand Californian Resort

There are three pools at the hotel, plus a hot tub. We stayed at the one with the water slide, which was just right for our 6-12 year olds. The water was heated. Refreshingly cool, but not cold. There were plenty of families at the pool, but there were ample tables, umbrellas, and lounge chairs, too. The hotel has lots of free life jackets in assorted sizes for kids to use.

Free Life Jackets at Grand Californian

We ordered lunch from a waitress in the pool area. They bring the items from White Water Snacks, the quick-service restaurant at the Grand Californian, and it was good quality food. I especially enjoyed the fruit platter.

After lunch, the kids had some much-needed downtime, just playing games on ipods and watching TV in the room, while I availed myself of the laundry facilities here. I don’t have a lot of experience with hotel laundry rooms, since I don’t usually vacation for longer than a week, but I was totally impressed with the laundry room I visited here. It was clean and bright, and well-ventilated, and air-conditioned. It also had chairs, a coffee table, and a television with remote, so you can entertain yourself while folding clothes. I thought that was a nice touch!

Laundry Room at Disney's Grand Californian

In the evening, the three youngest of the kids went to spend time in Pinocchio’s Workshop, the children’s activity center here at the Grand Californian. They stayed for two hours, and ate dinner there, and they were all sad when we picked them up — they really wanted to stay longer! (There is a two-hour minimum when you check your kids in here, and some paperwork to fill out. There is an additional $6.00 charge for them to eat dinner.)

Pinocchio's Workshop at Grand Californian

While the youngest kids were at Pinocchio’s Workshop, the rest of us ate at Storyteller’s Cafe, one of the Table Service restaurants on the premises. We had the buffet, which was very good. It included salads, chicken, salmon, assorted veggies, garlic mashed potatoes, and a large selection of desserts. Everything I tried was very tasty!

Then it was time to get everyone into bed for a busy theme park day!

My name is Brenda Arnold-Richard, and I’m a travel planner with Travel with the Magic. Like the Travel with the Magic page on Facebook, and follow me on Pinterest to see more of our trip.

It’ll either be fabulous or awful, but it’s bound to be interesting!