Surviving Disney in Style – Is that even possible?  We don’t enjoy traveling to tourist traps anywhere we go but when our Disney-deprived Waldorf kids had a chance to go to Disneyland, we decided it would be a fun, if hectic, opportunity to figure out how to experience The Happiest Place on Earth in a civilized way.

After researching all the hotels it was pretty obvious the best place to stay is the Grand California Resort and Spa.  It’s located right inside of the California Adventure park so you can walk right out to rides or you can stroll through a shop walk that takes you directly to the Disneyland Monorail.  Perfect.

It also has the most “chic” architecture of all of them.  It’s all relative — it IS Disneyland — but at least they tried to replicate something not hideous.

They went for a look reminiscent of Craftsman, but done on a huge scale.  Massive fake boulders are piled together to create fireplace hearths and enormously high ceilings dangle copper chandeliers. And of course there’s a miniature screening room for kids to get hooked on Goofy, Minnie and friends.

We were a crew of 9, including 4 children.  There were a few pool options, hot tubs, and several fine dining restaurants.  Food-wise, Disneyland is our personal nightmare.  Fast food, processed food, sugar, sodas, candy, and gluten-filled foods are not in our diet so the choices are slim!  A meal at the nearby Steakhouse 55 was surprisingly good — mashed potatoes, spinach, and my favorite Wedge Salad with blue cheese and bacon was delicious.  They also had a surprisingly good wine cellar and served us the Pinot Noir from Flowers Winery, another favorite of mine..

The next morning we ordered decent room service (little Mickey Mouse waffles for the kids were cute) and then walked over to the park and enjoyed a day of rides, lines, and walking.

TIP:  there are no Fast Passes at Disneyland but you can get Fast Passes on a per ride basis for some of the biggies like Space Mountain.

The highlight of the day was reliving the magic of It’s a Small World next to my little girl.  She was totally enchanted and it brought me back to such a sweet, simple time of life.


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