Team #runDisney Blog Topics: Favorite Disney Resort

One of my favorite things about facebook these days is the feeling of community in the groups I am involved in, especially Team #runDisney. These online forums become more than just places to share information about upcoming events and training updates, but excellent venues for creating new connections as well.

A fun new feature that a member proposed recently was a link-up of blog posts about a variety of Disney-related topics. I missed the first link-up postings, but I am jumping in now with the most recent blog prompt today…


This was definitely a challenging prompt for me! As Disney Vacation Club members, hubs and I have the unique opportunity to choose from a variety of world-class Disney vacation destinations: from Walt Disney World, to Disneyland, Aulani and beyond! Our contract “home” resides at The Villas of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, which is a lovely destination all on its own, but if I had to choose just one resort as my absolute favorite, it would have to be The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

The amazing lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian.

While the Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World is fancy and fabulous (we stayed there on our wedding night!) its West Coast counterpart is certainly a sight that has to be experienced to be believed! In the image above, look to the left and compare the scale of the people to the gigantic boulders that form the great fireplace! AMAZING! The resort draws its inspiration from National Park lodges from the early 1900s and features the timeless arts and crafts look into each and every detail, from the outside facade to the lobby, common areas and guest rooms.

I really love this resort and could quite possibly go on about it for days and days – but in the interest of space, here are my top 3 reasons why TVDGC is my favorite place to stay and play:

3. The feeling of comfort and luxury all wrapped into one.

The details – wallpaper in the bathroom!

Like all DVC resorts, TVDGC feature well-appointed rooms with plenty of space for extra family members, luggage and souvenirs – but the incredible attention to detail definitely kick that concept up more than a few notches! With the latest kitchen appliances and high end interior decorating features, staying here feels like home…but even better! When I stayed here with my mom and sister back in 2010, I think each of us remarked, “I wish I could live here!”

2. The incredible convenience.

Although finding accommodations at the Disneyland resort close in proximity is not a challenging task, TVDGC does what no other resort does in California OR Florida: it offers its own special entrance to a park! Guests may enter and exit Disney California Adventure through a separate turnstile near the parks Grizzly Peak section!

1. Staying in the heart of the magic.


With world-class restaurants, character dining experiences, rooms with prime viewing of firework shows and nighttime spectaculars, TVDGC amps up the Disneyland experience in a way I cannot put into words! After two stays here and an upcoming one planned for Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend, I cannot recommend this resort enough for anyone!

What is your favorite Disney Resort?

Check out my recap of another DVC fave: Aulani: Part I and Part II.


  1. I hope we have the opportunity to visit Disneyland someday. The Grand Californian is on our wish list of places to stay. As for Disney World, I would have to say my favorite resort is The Beach Club. I love the proximity to Epcot and Boardwalk area. Wilderness Lodge hosts my favorite pool though. And while I LOVE The Polynesian, I wish they had standard rooms with king-size beds. Why don’t they? Hmmmm 😉

    • I am so excited that you said Beach Club is your favorite! That is where we’ll be for the first part of WDW Marathon weekend 🙂 I have never stayed there and am so excited – staying at Boardwalk was really awesome for Princess Half weekend, so I look forward to it a lot!!

      I actually have never been to the pool at WL – and have never stayed at the Poly! One day…. 🙂

      Good question about the beds. I wonder if I can use a lil detective work to find out why!

  2. My parents became DVC members when I was in high school, and our “home” resort was the Boardwalk. So every year since high school, we would visit WDW over the holidays and stay at the Boardwalk. It has a special place in my heart because of all of our family memories over so many years. I would have never dreamed in a million years that I would actually end up living in Orlando!

    We enjoyed the Boardwalk so much because we loved just walking around the boardwalk in the evening, or walking into Epcot’s International Showcase, or taking the boat to MGM Studios (sorry, I think it will also be MGM in my mind!).

    I am really hoping to visit Disneyland soon. I just need to figure out when is a good time to go for the Coast to Coast medal! 🙂

    • Aww, thanks for sharing your memories here, Jeannie! 🙂 That definitely must have been a wonderful thing to think about – and I agree, the Boardwalk area really is magical.

      After I run Tink, I will let you know how I think it compares to the DL Half, which as I have posted about many times (too many, lol?!?) is my favorite race EVER 🙂 Either way, the two DL chances for Coast to Coast are pretty darn magical!!

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  3. I’ve never stayed at the Grand Californian, but I walked through it when I was in California for the DL Half this year and it looked AMAZING! Thanks for contributing to the group blog topic (so quickly!), I’ll be writing mine tonight or tomorrow, still debating which resort is my favorite… : )

    • Sure thing! I was working on a group assignment for one of my classes and waiting for some information so it seemed like a perfect opportunity! I am really interested to see what everyone comes up with 🙂 Thanks for starting this 😀

      • No problem, I think it will be fun to all blog on the same topics occasionally! I’ll post another one in a week or two…

  4. I love the Wilderness Lodge! In fact, it seems very similar in vibe to the Grand Californian–which I now want to visit after reading your description of it! We are also fans of the Beach Club and Boardwalk because of the convenience to Epcot. Most of our favorite restaurants are in Epcot, so it’s great to stay so close to them.

    • OMG I love the Wilderness Lodge too! I have never stayed there, but have hung out there and eaten there many times, LOL! Artist Point is high on my list for places to eat 😀

      Beach Club and Boardwalk…agree! Love walking to Epcot or DHS 😀

  5. A (small) reason of why I want to buy into DVC is so I can use points to stay at the Grand Californian!! I’ve only walked through the lobby but I was so impressed! (Off topic – Tinker Bell was awesome! I really hoped I could go again this year but after they changed the date it wasn’t meant to be. Oh well – gives me an excuse for the DL Half to get my Coast to Coast! 🙂 ) Hm…I think Port Orleans is probably my favorite WDW resort.

    • You will LOVE LOVE LOVE the Disneyland Half….wonder if I can convince my hubs that I NEED to do it again… 😉

  6. I’ve stayed at all 3 in California and I LOVE Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian! I prefer GC if it’s just the bf and I, but this fall I did DH w my sister’s family and the kids loved it in a way they wouldn’t appreciate the GC. As for Florida, I’ve stayed at Swan & Dolphin, Caribbean Beach and Pop Century. Though not very Disney, Swan and Dolphin were nice and comfy! CB and PC were nice, loved all the theming. As you may have seen on the group page, I’m staying at Boardwalk and Port Orleans French Quarter. Super excited for both!!

    • I will stay at DL Hotel one day…lol!! For Tink, i’ll be staying one night at GC, two at Paradise Pier for convenience to the Tink start 😀

      You cannot beat the convenience of Swan and Dolphin, I agree, and great restaurants there, too 🙂

  7. i loved the grand californian, but i think i may love aulani a little bit more. of course they are both gorgeous and i may be a little partial to the location of aulani but i just fell in love with it when we stepped in. i love the open concept lobby and the outdoor spaces. when we were walking around before checking in, i felt like there was so much to discover outside. and i really loved the fire pit and story telling at night. what a neat concept! can’t wait to discover more disney resorts in my future and i know if i stick with you i’ll be sure to do that. 🙂

  8. I loved Port Orleans, Riverside when we stayed there a couple years ago. Next time I stay on property, I want to stay at Animal Kingdom.

  9. Reading this makes me want to go back there right now. My wife and I stayed the for part of our honeymoonon our first trip to Disneylad and it was such an amazing experience. Its location to the parks alone is so unique, but the extremely high quality of this resort totally sets it on a new level. Great pick!

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