Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Our Minnie Moon

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I’d like to start this post off with a HUGE thank you to my amazing in-laws who booked our stay at the hotel as a wedding gift. We had the absolute best time and the hotel is STUNNING (to say the least).

We checked in around 3 pm on Sunday, November 3, the day after our wedding. We knew we didn’t want to go on a huge honeymoon right away, for two reasons; one, the holidays are quickly approaching so we didn’t want to feel rushed after the wedding to go somewhere and then make it back in time to celebrate with our families and two, and probably the biggest influencer in our decision, was that I didn’t want to plan two big events at the same time. As I’ve said before, Joey and I had a lot of fun planning our wedding and it was very detail oriented which took a lot of effort, so while we were in the midst of that adventure, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by also planning our honeymoon at the same time. SO now that our wedding has passed (still not over it though), we’re starting to plan our grand honeymoon and I’m so excited about it! So in leiu of that, a “mini” moon was just what we needed and what better place than to have an actual and literal Minnie-Moon?!?! Of course, it also doesn’t hurt when you’re celebrating your Minnie-Moon at your favorite place ever.

We were SO tired after our wedding (and rightfully so), we knew we wanted to spend the day relaxing and taking advantage of everything the hotel had to offer. So after checking in, we took our bags up to the room, showered, and literally jumped in bed for a mid-afternoon nap. Let me tell you, it was THE BEST! It was so nice to just lay around and be cozy together as husband and wife 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, I gave up my Disneyland Annual Passport when it expired to save money for our wedding. SO as a wedding gift, Joey decided to get me my pass back. WOO-HOOO!! So when it was getting close to dinner time, we threw some sweats on and headed down to the ticket booth to get my pass. It was so much fun and I was so excited.  When I had to sign the contract for my pass, I got to sign my new last name for the first time! After getting my pass, we ordered take out from our favorite Italian Restaurant located in the heart of Downtown Disney. It’s called Naples and it’s hands down our favorite Italian restaurant!  They make the BEST pizza and all their ingredients are imported straight from Italy, and trust me- you can tell.

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Whenever we go to eat there, I always pair my pizza with a Vanilla Italian Creme Soda- it’s absolutely delicious!  We had some Sprinkles cupcakes and Krispy Kreme donuts left over from the wedding, so we took our pizza and drinks to-go and jumped back in bed to munch while we watched Disney movies on tv. It was such an amazing, relaxing night and just what we wanted to kick off our little Minnie-Moon.

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The next day- it was time to reintroduce myself to my FAVORITE PLACE! It’d been about 7 months since I’d been through those gates and I’m not kidding, I cried as we entered. AND WE GOT TO ENTER AN HOUR BEFORE ANYONE ELSE SINCE WE WERE HOTEL GUESTS! That was the best part and so fun to have the place to ourselves for the first hour!

To tell you the truth, we didn’t get on every ride, we even skipped most of the big ones. We spent the day between parks just relaxing and snacking, taking our time and just being together. We didn’t rush at all to jump between rides, it was so nice and I don’t think we’d ever gone through Disneyland like that before. We’re usually such planners and have a timeline for what we’re going to do and when. But we just kinda floated through the day, stopping for snacks or desserts when we felt like it. We actually sat down like an hour before the parade and stayed there till the parade was over (we’ve never not been running around, so it was a nice change of pace to just sit and enjoy the overall feel and magic of Disneyland without worrying about when our next Fastpass was up).

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It was such a fun, care-free day and we were just in absolute bliss. I think it’ll forever be my favorite Disney date we’ve ever had! We even went back to the hotel towards the end of the night to catch the World of Color water show, if you stay at the hotel, they have a rooftop area set up specifically for guests to watch the show from up above, and let me tell you-the view was AMAZING!

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I absolutely loved our little Minnie-Moon and wish we could replay that entire weekend over and over and over.

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While we didn’t really do anything but relax inside our hotel room that first day (which I highly recommend you do!), the hotel also has a variety of special events and entertainment special to hotel guests only. I was handed a packet full of this information when we checked in, so I thought it might be nice to share with you guys 🙂

Recreational Activities only for Hotel Guests

– Special movie nights at select locations around all of the Disneyland Hotels. Disneyland hosts movie nights, some outdoor and some indoor, where you can bring your own snacks and drinks, and curl up to watch some Disney classics! Ironically, on the night we checked in, they were showing The Little Mermaid (my favorite Disney princess movie) out on the lawn of our hotel. You just have to go to the front desk of any of the hotels, and ask what movie they’re showing and where they’ll be showing it and you’ll be good to go!

Arts and Craft Tour. You can take a tour of The Grand Californian Hotel and learn about the architectural movement that inspired the design of the hotel and the Arts and Craft movement throughout California. Ask Guest Services for tour times!

– Sign up and go for a morning walk. Special to hotel guests only, you can sign up to go on a power walking tour through California Adventures before the park opens. Only bummer is, it’s only held at 6:00 am, so you’ll be up pretty early!

-Pick up Trivia Question quizzes from Guest Services to take with you through the parks!  They have different quizzes for different rides, so you can do them all or only ask for a few! We did the Pirates of the Caribbean quiz and the Jungle Cruise trivia challenge. They’re a super fun way to learn more about the rides!

Fitness Center. The hotel does have a pretty remarkable fitness center if you want to get a workout in before heading to the parks!

Pools. Of course no hotel would be complete without a pool and spa. The Grand Californian has 3 different pools, both fairly large and have cabanas you can reserve!

Private viewing space for the World of Color water show at California Adventures. With your hotel key, you can head up to the roof for a special viewing space and watch the show from up above. It was really cool and unique to be up there! We really enjoyed that amenity.

Free coffee and hot chocolate 24 hours a day at the local coffee bar in the hotel. We grabbed some before heading out for the day!

The hotel was so much fun and our Minnie Moon could not have been more perfect!!!

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Hope you enjoyed reading!

 

xoxo,

Amanda

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