Kid-Friendly Touches at Disney's Grand Californian

Out of the 3 hotels of the Disneyland Resort, the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa is considered the luxury property, and it's easy to see why.  Just enter the lobby, and it will take your breath away.  Throughout the hotel,  the luxurious Arts & Crafts-inspired fittings and furniture really make you feel like a pampered guest.

The Grand Californian reminds me of the stately Ahwahnee in Yosemite Park, where I always feel like kids have to tiptoe around in fear of disturbing some grand old dame -- but as you'd expect from Disney, kids are more than welcome here.  Here are some of the kid-friendly touches around the Grand Californian:

* There's a kid-sized lounging area in the lobby, where kids can wait while their parents check in at the hotel.  Kid-sized armchairs and rocking chairs surround a giant tv screen playing Disney cartoons, so there's little worry they'll be wandering off.

* Kid-friendly dining options are available right in the hotel.  The Storyteller's Cafe features a daily Character Breakfast hosted by Chip 'n Dale, and kids' menus for lunch and dinner.  The White Water Snacks eatery has a kids' menu and lots of family favorites.  Even the swanky Napa Rose Cafe has a truffled mac & cheese dish , as well as ice creams and sorbets for dinner.

* Need some time away from the kids? Pinocchio's Workshop is located provides group child care seven days a week from 5 p.m. to midnight. The center accepts children ages 5 to 12 and the hours of this special babysitting service are also 5:00pm to 12:00 Midnight.   My friend Beth left her 9 year-old twins there while she attended the Cars Land opening with the other bloggers, and she said they had a blast.

* Family rooms have a queen bed plus twin bunk beds, with an extra trundle bed, so up to three kids can sleep in the room with mom and dad!

* You get Chip 'n  Dale chocolate coins on  your pillow every night, one for each registered hotel guest.

* The pool area has 3 huge pools and 2 hot tubs, so families with kids don't have to disturb couples or adults looking for some kid-free time.

* The kids really enjoyed the pool slide, and a few game adults (including Alfie) took a turn on the slide as well.

On the afternoon that Cars Land opened (Friday, June 15), cast members hosted a Cars-themed poolside party, with a DJ, conga line dancing, hula hoops, coloring activities and goodie bags filled with candy.  It was so much fun!  I'm not sure if this was a one-off event to celebrate the Cars Land opening, or whether they do this every weekend, but we certainly made the most of it.

Thanks to the Disney magic, everyone -- kids and grand old dames included -- can have a great time!

Disclosure: The Disneyland Resort provided accommodations for me and my family for part of our stay.  Additional days stay were incurred at my expense. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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