’Tis the season this week when trees will be decorated, lights will be strung, wreaths will be hung, hand made candy canes will be crafted, and “snow” will appear at the Happiest Place on Earth (Disneyland Parks). Christmas will make its appearance on November 8th. This also means that the Grand Californian foyer will be decked with an extravaganza of Christmas decor that is a perfect photo opportunity for the amateur photographer.
Last year we had the opportunity to do a once in a lifetime (for us anyway) stay at the Grand Californian in Disneyland Anaheim. We chose to stay at the Grand Californian specifically during Christmas because Disney goes all out for the holidays inside this hotel. The foyer is full of holiday magic from trees, to lights, to wreaths and a holiday goodie cart.
Since the Grand Californian is a very popular hotel, the best time to get photographs is late at night, or very early in the morning depending on your take on 2:30AM! This time of night means the foyer and seating area, and the fireplace cove, will be empty except for a few cast members such as the cleaning crew and security guard.
I made sure to set my alarm, and at 2:30AM my amazing husband joined me downstairs in the foyer. He watched Prep and Landing (they have a TV area for children) and snuggled in a chair while I took pictures to my heart’s delight with my phone camera. (My regular camera lens didn’t do so well in the low light.)
Standing in the center of the foyer is a Christmas tree that reaches to rafters.
The tree is strung with lights, bulbs, and Christmas lanterns.
At the base of the tree is Santa’s chair, where fans of all ages can visit Santa throughout the season.
While waiting for a chance to visit with Santa, one can catch a snooze in the fireplace cove.
A cozy corner to rest your feet. Comfort and rest from a long, fun day at the park. The fireplace cove at Disney’s Grand Californian is popular place for adults and children to rest up after a fun day at the park or just to get their second wind before heading back out.
Even on a hot day this little area is packed with Disney guests. They keep it going all through the day and night. So, if you really want to experience the cozy fireplace cove, but there isn’t a chair available during the day, plan a midnight rendezvous with your loved ones. It was perfect for us at 2:30AM!
Especially with the scent of gingerbread in the air!
Every year for Christmas the pastry chefs at Disneyland create a stunning Gingerbread house that is displayed in the Grand Californian foyer.
It is crafted of real gingerbread, icing, and candy. The gingerbread house fills the air with the scent of homemade goodies and Christmas.
If you look closely at the detail you will find hidden Mickeys in the design.
Each year there is a new design, so Disney fans await the “unveiling” each Christmas. They build it in stages, so if you can get to the park frequently, you get to see it being crafted.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is an incredible experience. The grand lodge appearance takes your breath away. Christmas time is magical with the extra care put into the decorations. They leave no bough or balcony untouched.
Disney makes sure that every guest experience at the Grand Californian for Christmas comes with ribbons and tags and packages, boxes and bags, even if they are display only.
Staying at Disney’s Grand Californian makes you want Christmas all year round.