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The Villas at Disneyland Hotel vs. The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian

May 15, 2023
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With sales of contracts at the new Villas at Disneyland Hotel underway and bookings beginning on May 16, DVC point rentals at the Disneyland Hotel may still be a little ways off in the future.  However, for those planning in advance, it is helpful to understand what sets The Villas at Disneyland Hotel apart from the Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.  


Location

The Grand Californian has its own entrance to Disney California Adventure. (Photo Credit: Disney Tourist Blog)

The Villas at Disneyland Hotel is the fourth tower of the Disneyland Hotel.  It sits closest to Downtown Disney, so there’s plenty of shopping and dining to enjoy.

By contrast, the Grand Californian is closest to Disney California Adventure.  In fact, guests there can use its exclusive entrance to the park!  This also means that some villas have beautiful views of the theme park.  

Villa Types and Capacities

Artist Rendering of Duo Studio at The Villas at Disneyland Hotel (Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog)

Both resorts have a wide range of villas, including everything from Deluxe Studios to Three Bedroom Grand Villas.  The room capacities are the same at both resorts for these accommodations:

  • Deluxe Studio – 4 guests
  • One Bedroom Villa – 5 guests
  • Two Bedroom Villa – 9 guests
  • Three Bedroom Grand Villa – 12 guests

The Disneyland Hotel also has Duo Studios that can accommodate up to 2 guests.  These rooms are similar to the Tower Studios at Riviera.  Unlike the Grand Californian, the Disneyland Hotel has 3 different booking categories: Standard View (garden, street, or parking view), Preferred View (pool view), and Garden View (in a separate building from the main tower with rooms that have private balconies or patios).  

Theming

Artist rendering of Tiana-themed kitchen at The Villas at Disneyland Hotel (Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog)

The Disneyland Hotel celebrates Disney animation.  The villas have different themes depending on their size.  Duo Studios have “The Jungle Book” while Deluxe Studios have “Sleeping Beauty” or “The Princess and The Frog.”  One Bedroom and Two Bedroom Villas have “Fantasia” or “The Princess and The Frog.”  Then the Three Bedroom Grand Villas have a mix of characters blended into the design, including those from “Bambi,” “Frozen,” and “Moana.”  

Similar to Wilderness Lodge, the Grand Californian is inspired by the rustic style of national park lodges.  In fact, Wilderness Lodge and the Grand Californian were designed by the same architect, Peter Dominick.  However, the Grand Californian features Craftsman style architecture and celebrates the beauty of California.

Amenities

Napa Rose at the Grand Californian (Photo Credit: Disney Tourist Blog)

The Disneyland Hotel has plenty of dining options, such as Goofy’s Kitchen, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill, and The Coffee House.  The villas also have their own pool that is themed after Disney animation, a poolside bar, and cabanas.   

At the Grand Californian, there are three pools: the Fountain, Redwood, and Mariposa.  You’ll find cabanas at the Mariposa and Fountain Pools.  For dining, there’s Napa Rose, Storytellers Cafe, Hearthstone Lounge, GCH Craftsman Grill, and GCH Craftsman Bar.  The Grand Californian is also home to Tenaya Stone Spa.

Points Charts 

Points chart for the Villas at Disneyland Hotel (Photo Credit: Disney Vacation Club)

DVC recently released the points charts for the Disneyland Hotel.  They range from 13 points per night for the Duo Studios during the lowest point season to 200 points per night for the Three Bedroom Grand Villas during peak season.  By contrast, the Grand Californian points charts range from 17 points per night for a Deluxe Studio during the lowest point season to 224 points per night for the Three Bedroom Grand Villas during peak season.  On the whole, the Disneyland Hotel points charts are fairly similar to those of Grand Californian.  

Resale Point Restrictions

Disneyland Hotel resale contract points can only be used at the Disneyland Hotel.  Resale contract points from any other DVC resort cannot be used at the Disneyland Hotel unless the points were purchased prior to January 2019 and grandfathered under the previous rules.  

Grand Californian resale contract points can be used at any of the 14 original DVC resorts (those established before Riviera).  Resale contract points from any of the 14 original DVC resorts can be used at the Grand Californian.

Availability

There are only 2 Three Bedroom Grand Villas at The Villas at Disneyland Hotel. (Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

The Grand Californian is notorious for being one of the most (if not the most) difficult DVC resorts to book if you do not own points there since only 50 villas are available.  Deluxe Studios are especially hard to book because they cost the least amount of points.  

While there is clearly no historical info to refer to for availability at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, it is important to know that there are mostly Deluxe Studios at the resort.  In fact, there are 253 Deluxe Studios, 38 Duo Studios, 19 One Bedroom Villas, 20 Two Bedroom Villas, and 2 Three Bedroom Grand Villas.  This means that it will be more difficult to book anything other than a Deluxe Studio at the Villas at Disneyland Hotel.  

Transient Occupancy Taxes

Both resorts have transient occupancy taxes based on the laws in Anaheim, California.  However, while they are included in the dues at Grand Californian, guests staying on points at the Disneyland Hotel will have to pay the taxes as a part of their stay.  The cost upon checkout is $2.73 per point.  This is similar to the way that stays at Aulani work.  


It is exciting to finally have another DVC option at Disneyland soon!  If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, check for confirmed reservations at the Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian.  If you’re interested in the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, stay tuned for future rental opportunities!

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