|Disney's Grand Californian (DGC) is Disney's first resort hotel in the United States to be located inside a Disney theme park. In this case, DGC is located "in" Disney's California Adventure park, next door to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.
Besides the resort's location, DGC also offers a level of luxury and "themeing" previously unseen in any Disney hotel in California. Guests have been enjoying the "Disney Touch" at the Disneyland Hotel and, more recently, Disney's Pacifica Hotel (now Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel), but not with the attention to detail available at DGC.
DGC has often been compared to Disney's Wilderness Lodge (WL) in Walt Disney World, a comparison that, while understandable, does not give credit to the differences between the two resorts. Besides the use of exposed timbers (fiberglass though they may be), the design of the two hotels is really quite dissimilar. The Arts and Crafts style of DGC is quite a bit more refined than the rustic National Parks inspired design of WL. While the lobbies of both hotels are equally impressive, the lobby of WL is on such a grand scale that the visitor feels dwarfed by comparison. I have no idea what the proportions of the lobbies of these hotels are, but the DGC lobby feels - if not smaller - certainly more cozy. More in a human scale.
A really good illustration of this is the differences in the fireplaces. The WL fireplace, styled to resemble sediment rock, is several stories high and has a firebox you can practically stand upright in. In front of this fireplace are several rows of rocking chairs. By contrast, the DGC fireplace is only about the size you would find in a large home. It is stone carved in lines reminiscent of Art Deco design, and is tucked in a corner surrounded by a few rocking chairs and overstuffed armchairs.
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