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New York Guide: Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge joins Manhattan to Brooklyn, spanning the East River. Since its completion in 1883, the bridge has become one of the city’s most famous icons. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best ways to explore the city’s neighbourhoods and experience breathtaking views along the way.

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

When to cross the Brooklyn Bridge
The bridge is open 24 hours a day and is safe to cross even late at night. It is however a major tourist attraction and by midday can be jam-packed with people. I suggest crossing the bridge early in the morning to avoid large crowds. It can get breezy on the bridge so bring an extra layer.

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge
The pedestrian promenade begins as indicated by the arrow on the map. if arriving by subway, catch the 4, 5, or 6 trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall or the J or Z trains to Chambers St. Other options are the 2 or 3 train to Park Place, the N or R train to City Hall, or the A or C train to Fulton Street

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway and Bicycle Lane start at the intersection of Tillary Street and Adams Street. The road is busy so keep a hold of small children when crossing. The closet subway stops are A, C or F to Jay Street/MetroTech Station, N, R to Court Street Station, 2/3 or 4/5 to Borough Hall Station. This entrance is completely accessible and suitable for strollers, wheelchairs and bikes.

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

There is another entrance closer to the foreshore which includes several stairs. To reach this entrance, catch the A or C to High Street. Walk across the large when exiting the station to reach the underpass. On the left side of the street are a set of stairs built into the bridge. They can be tricky to spot.

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Safety on the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge
Keep in the pedestrian lane and watch for bikes. The pedestrian lane is narrow and if there are people who have stopped you will have to walk around them by walking across the bike lane. Be careful as you do as cyclists go extremely fast.

Time and distance over the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is slightly over 1.1miles or 1.8 km long. It takes an average of 30 minutes to cross. 45-60 if you stop to admire the view or take lots of photos.

Enjoy seeing the sights in Brooklyn!

Jane's Carousel, Brooklyn: The Best of New York for Families via christineknight.me

When you reach Brooklyn, enjoy our favourite neighbourhood with this guide of our fave places in DUMBO.

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

 

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

American Girl Place New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place New York

American Girl Place is the flagship store for the iconic doll brand. The store stocks the full range of American Girl dolls, clothes and accessories, a cafe and salon where girls and their dolls can get their ears pierced and receive spa treatments.

American Girl Place, New York

The American Girl dolls were released in 1986 by Pleasant Company. Made to portray eight- to eleven-year-old girls of a variety of ethnicities, the dolls are wildly popular and one step inside American Girl Place will show you why.

American Girl Place, New York

Located in the heart of the Rockefeller Center, the American Girl Place is all things pink and girly. Dolls and their accessories line the walls and fill the floors.

American Girl Place, New York

Girls (and boys!) can wander around the multi-floor store and play with the dolls that are on display, or enjoy one of the hands-on stations set up around the store, designed to engage kids.

American Girl Place, New York

A really fun experience for kids at the store is the American Girl Salon. Girls and their dolls can get matching hairstyles, mini manicures and get their ears pierced.

The Grove, LA, USA

We’ve previously been to the salon at the LA store for a hairstyle and ear piercing (above) and it’s the sweetest experience – expensive, but really fun for a special occasion.

American Girl Place, New York

The cafe inside the store is open for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Bring your own doll or borrow a doll from the cafe to dine with.

American Girl Place, New York

Each doll is given their own special chair that attaches to the table and a special dining set with placemat, plate and cup. On the back of the placemat are conversation starters, such a cute idea. Diners are welcome to take home the doll dining set.

American Girl Place, New York

The napkins are tied with American Girl hair ties that are also a take-home gift.

When dining at the cafe, their lunch and dinner menu has the best selection for kids, with their “Truly Me” menu for kids aged 9 and under. The menu includes a choice of refillable beverage, entrée, and dessert plus a special souvenir, for $21 per child, plus tax. The entrees offer plenty of choice for fussy little eaters, with options such as chicken tenders with fruit, a cheese burger and mini hot dog, pasta (plain or marinara), mac and cheese and pizza.

American Girl Place, New York

When we dined, Cheese chose the Fancy Bow-Tie Pasta with butter and
grated Parmesan, plus a breadstick. The portion size was absolutely massive – big enough for us to share it.

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place New York
75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019
Phone: +1 877-247-5223
americangirl.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

Climb to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the One World Trade Center, in New York City. The One World Observatory is located on the 100-102 floors with breathtaking views, restaurants and exhibits on offer.

One World Observatory, New York

The One World Trade Center is located in Downtown Manhattan, near where the original Twin Towers in the World Trade Center complex used to stand. After the Twin Towers collapsed during the 2001 terrorist attack, the new One World Trade Center was build near to where the old towers used to stand. The footprints of the old Twin Towers have been turned into 9/11 Memorial Pool outside the new building.

I did visit New York a few months prior to the attack and went up the old Twin Towers to admire the view, so it was an emotional visit for me to return to the scene and head up the new building.

Entrance to the Observatory is on the West Plaza located alongside West Street at the Northwest corner of the World Trade Center complex.

There is usually a long queue to visit the One World Observatory so I highly suggest buying tickets online in advance. Tickets are timed, which can make it tricky to book ahead, but you can book tickets on your phone just before you’re thinking of heading up and chance that the time slot won’t be sold out. This is what we did and had no issues. We stood at the entrance, noticed the huge queue and then booked the tickets on my phone and walked straight in, past the queue, and through security.

After security, visitors walk through a really cool “bedrock” exhibition that consists of the rocks that form the base of the city.

The elevators are called “Skypods” and transport visitors 102 floors in 47 seconds. The elevator ride itself is incredible, with a video display on the walls and roof that shows the transformation of New York City from unsettled lands to today’s skyscrapers.

One World Observatory, New York

At the Observatory level, you’ll find special exhibits, the See Forever Theater, the obligatory green screen photo op, restaurants, bathrooms and shops.

One World Observatory, New York

Also at the Observatory level is the Sky Portal, which was hugely popular with Cheese. The Sky Portal is a 14-foot wide circular disco that shows high definition footage of the streets that lie 100 floor below. Not for those who are scared of heights, perhaps!

One World Observatory, New York

There is no outside area at the Observatory, however the floor to ceiling glass windows are absolutely massive (no other way to describe it!) and so large that they could almost not be there. Standing by the edge of the windows is quite the experience, peering 100 floors down.

One World Observatory, New York

We spent about 45mins-1 hour at the Observatory, which I’m told is the average visiting time.

One World Observatory, New York

If you’d like to purchase your souvenir photo, you can do so at the exit on the ground floor.

There are no binoculars at the Observatory which was a bit of a shame, as they are always a highlight particularly for kids.

One World Observatory, New York

Tips for visiting with kids

Kids under 6 are free

Strollers are allowed but you will be asked to remove your child and fold your stroller up for access to the elevators as well as the escalators within the Observatory.

Buy tickets in advance to avoid lining up.

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York
Hours: Daily, 9am-9pm
Phone: +1 844-696-1776
285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10006
oneworldobservatory.com

One World Observatory, New York

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Ellen’s Stardust Diner, New York

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner is an iconic 1950s-themed diner with singing servers and a massive menu filled with American classics. Located in the heart of Times Square, your server at Ellen’s may be the next star on Broadway!

Ellen's Stardust Diner

While Ellen’s may be considered a bit of a tourist trap, it’s incredibly fun and we have been several times. The food is overpriced but adequate – it’s really the great singing and lively atmosphere that are the draw card here.

Our server, after introducing herself, hopped up on the tables to belt out a Broadway classic that left us speechless. The staff here truly have extraordinary talent.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner serves up plenty of options with an absolutely massive menu. It’s an extremely popular spot, especially with tourists and tour groups, and there is usually a queue to get in that runs around the block. My advice is to come for breakfast since they open at 7am.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Not only is this a great time to visit and get a table immediately, it will also save you a few dollars on your meal. While there is an all-day breakfast menu, their dedicated breakfast menu is a different menu entirely and is served between served from 7am to 11am. It features cheaper food choices, making this a great time to go for both crowds and cost saving.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

We ordered the plain Jane classic three egg omelette with tater tots ($13.50) and Joseph & The Technicolor Bagel (Yes! It’s a Rainbow Bagel, served w/ rainbow sprinkle cream cheese and tater tots, $10.50). The omelette was really flat whereas we prefer fluffy omelettes and the tater tots packed a bit of spice, which meant while I liked them, Cheese didn’t. She did however love her rainbow bagel.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

I do have to mention how excellent the service is from the singing waitstaff. Not only are they amazingly talented, they are also really great at their jobs. About 30 seconds after being given a massive glass of OJ, Cheese accidentally knocked it over. Our server dashed over, cleaned it up and replaced it with another in a spill proof cup, without being asked. Really great service.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

You can read about our previous experience at Ellen’s Starburst Diner here.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Hours: Daily, 7am-12am
(212) 956-5151
1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
ellensstardustdiner.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

National Museum of Mathematics, New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

The National Museum of Mathematics or MoMath is the only hands-on science center in Manhattan. Dedicated to mathematics, the museum explores math through dynamic exhibits and fun activities. You’ll never look at math the same way again!

National Museum of Mathematics New York

MoMath does a wonderful job of showcasing how mathematics is all around us, shaping the world we live in. The two floors of hands-on exhibits show that math can be fun and exciting, particularly helpful in helping foster a love of mathematics in kids.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

The museum is spread over two floors. You could easily spend a whole day here working on each exhibit – many of them with levels of complexity that make them appealing to both kids and adults.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

The exhibits explore concepts such as patterns, formulas, statistics, geometry, velocity, acceleration, parabolas, mathematical rules, fractal patterns and number probability.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

Note: this is not just a museum for kids! Adults who love math will really enjoy it, too. In fact, the lower level has an area that features complex puzzles that are geared towards adults.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

There is no cafe in the museum, but there are plenty right outside, including Eatily, and the excellent Madison Square Park and playground.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York
Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm
MoMath closes early the first Wednesday of every month, at 2:30 pm.
11 E 26th St, New York, NY 10010
momath.org

National Museum of Mathematics New York

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock Observatory sits at the top of the Rockefeller Center in the heart of New York City. From this incredible location, the Observatory offers breathtaking views of the city including the Empire State Building and Central Park.

The main entrance to Top of the Rock is on 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. There is a red carpet out the front of the entrance – and usually a queue. If there is indeed a queue when you go, try the second entrance, located on the Concourse level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Entry to the Top of the Rock is timed. The best way to get in with minimal queuing is to buy your ticker online in advance and select the day and time of your choice. Unscheduled tickets are also available but you will have to line up to exchange these for timed tickets at the box office and you might not be able to get in for a period of time if it’s a busy day.

After buying a ticket, all visitors must pass through the security checkpoint so be prepared for the scanners. No food and beverages allowed, however my water bottle and snacks were not mentioned and we were able to take them with us inside.

Once through security the queue winds through the mezzanine level, which is filled with information about the Rockefeller Center, its founder, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and how the Top of the Rock began.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Next is a photo-op against a green-screen to recreate the famous photo of construction workers eating lunch on a steel beam high above the city that was taken at the Rockefeller Center.

Before entering the Sky Shuttle to the Top, all visitors are ushered into a theatre to watch a short video presentation about the history of NBC and Rockefeller Center. We found the video interesting, particularly the parts featuring the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

The Sky Shuttle to the Top takes less than a minute to travel up to 850 feet (260 meters) above street level to the 67th floor. Look up when you’re in the elevator – you’ll be glad you did!

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

The Sky Shuttle brings visitors to the first of three observation floors. The 67th floor is largely indoors with two outdoor areas protected by high glass panels.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

On this floor you’ll find the Radiance Room, which absolutely enchanted Cheese.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

The room has a wall made up of glass panels that was created by Swarovski and contains crystals, fiber-optic lighting and lots of blown glass. It’s sparkly and mesmerising.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Head up to the 69th floor next which is completely open with glass panels. On this floor you will find the Breezeway Room, an interactive colour experience.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

The final floor is the 70th, which has no glass or metal enclosures, so it’s the perfect spot for photos with no reflections.

On each of the 67th, 69th and 70th floors are binoculars that give a close-up view of various points of interest.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Tips for visiting with kids

Under 6 is free.

Arrive early! The Top of the Rock is quietest between 8am-10am.

Rug up on cold days: it can get extremely cold up there!

Buy tickets in advance to save lining up.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock
Hours: Daily, 8am-Midnight
Last elevator up at 11:00pm
30 Rockefeller Plaza,
New York, NY 10112
1-877-692-7625
topoftherocknyc.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Goofy’s Kitchen Disneyland Hotel

Goofy's Kitchen, Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland, California

Enjoy dining with your fave Disney pals over breakfast or dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen, inside the Disneyland Hotel.

You do not need to be a guest of the hotel or have a park ticket to attend the dining, which is open daily for breakfast from 7am-12pm and dinner 5pm-9pm.

No matter which time you dine, you will enjoy a buffet with a huge variety of food. It was the most impressive array of food we had seen at any of the character dining experiences.

Goofy's Kitchen

Start the experience with a photo at the entrance with Chef Mickey, then enjoy getting food at your leisure while characters drop by. Every half an hour or so the characters all march around the restaurant and diners twirl their napkins in the air.

Goofy's Kitchen

We found the characters to be excellent at Goofy’s, with several of them dropping by on multiple occasions and sneaking up on us to make us laugh.

Goofy's Kitchen

I also liked that you could meet Chip and Dale here at the same time.

Goofy's Kitchen

The buffet features five food stations. At breakfast the food includes choices such as made-to-order omelettes, cheese blintzes, Mickey Mouse waffles, pancakes, French toast, sausage, bacon, eggs Benedict, yoghurt, frittata, glazed ham, smoked salmon, pastries and fresh fruit, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and fresh vegetables.

Goofy's Kitchen

At dinner Goofy’s Kitchen serves up a carving station, pasta, salads, veggies, fruit, pizza, rice, hot dogs, Goofyroni and cheese, and more hot and cold dishes.

Goofy's Kitchen

At both breakfast and dinner the dessert station is open, featuring cookies, cakes and a soft-serve frozen yogurt sundae bar, as well as Goofy’s wacky pizza creations. Try Goofy’s special peanut butter and jelly pizza if you dare!

Cocktails can be ordered for an additional fee.

Diners at this character experience can expect to meet five or six characters. We met Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale, Goofy and Pluto.

Breakfast costs $39 for adults and $23 for kids. Dinner costs $43 for adults and $25 for kids.

Reservations for “Goofy’s Kitchen” are highly recommended and be may be made up to 60 days before your visit. A limited number of reservations may be available same-day, subject to availability.

Make your reservation online or call 0011 1 (714) 781-DINE or 0011 1 (714) 781-3463.

https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/au/disneyland/dining/goofys-kitchen/

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Start your Disneyland day the right way with Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

The Minnie & Friends breakfast is a favourite of ours due to the sheer number of characters that are available during the experience.

The Plaza In is located inside Disneyland, near the entrance to Tomorrowland. The restaurant opened in 1955 and was reportedly one of Walt Disney’s favourite places to dine inside the park.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Walt’s wife, designer Lillian Disney, Walt’s wife, chose many of the restaurant’s authentic 19th-century interior furnishings.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Minnie always greets guests at the entrance to the Plaza Inn for a photograph. The photographers will come around to your table later with a photo package to purchase, but if you have bought the Maxpass that day you can ask to add the digital photos to your Maxpass Photopass and it won’t cost anything extra.

There is inside and outside seating at the Plaza Inn. While the inside seating has a really cute atmosphere and is closer to the food, the tables are quite close together and if you’re seated in the back seating sections it can be hard to get out to meet the characters and get good photos. We prefer the outdoor seating for this reason.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

While you’re waiting to meet characters, head to the buffet for a hearty breakfast. Our fave is the made-to-order omelette station and Mickey waffles. This time they had Banana Foster sauce to add on top, which was so delicious. The buffet also featured food such as French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, breakfast potatoes, fresh-baked pastries and breads, fresh fruit, and hot and cold cereals.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

The characters have been the same the last three times we have dined at the Plaza Inn. Minnie Mouse, Chip, Dale, Rafiki, Tigger, Pooh, Eeyore, Pluto, Captain Hook, Fairy Godmother, Max and Perla, the mouse from Cinderella. Not all characters are available during each dining session however, so we’ve never met all of these characters in the one sitting.

We spent about 90 minutes at the Plaza Inn and didn’t feel rushed to finish up and leave, which is great because some of the characters take a long time to come around.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Reservations for “Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park” are highly recommended and be may be made up to 60 days before your visit. A limited number of reservations may be available same-day at the Plaza Inn, subject to availability

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Adult buffet meals are $34 and children are $19. Breakfast opens when the park opens and is open during Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour. I highly recommend this option if you don’t have access to the MM or EMH as it means the dining won’t take away from your park time in the morning. There is a separate entrance open for character dining, but valid tickets for Disneyland are required to enter and access the restaurant.

Make your reservation online or call 0011 1 (714) 781-DINE or 0011 1 (714) 781-3463.

https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disneyland/plaza-inn/

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Oh boy, it’s just not Disneyland without a character breakfast! The new Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Buffet is an incredibly fun dining experience at Storyteller’s Cafe inside the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

The character dining experience is offered as breakfast or brunch. We are early birds so breakfast suited us perfectly. You do not need to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy this character experience.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

A character dining experience lasts about 90 minutes and includes a full buffet and interactions with various characters. At Mickey’s Tales of Adventure the characters are Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Chip and Dale. We only met Dale as Chip was “foraging food from the buffer” according to Dale.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

The characters are all dressed in fantastic adventure outfits. Mickey looks like Indiana Jones, while Minnie has cute hiking boots and a butterfly on her hat.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Pluto has a compass around his neck but he told us (through gestures, of course), that he actually uses his nose to find out where to go, so I assume the compass is decorative, only!

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

After we were seated the characters rotated their way around the dining room and visited our table. I was highly impressed at the amount of time each character spent with us and how much of an effort they made to engage us and make us all laugh.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

The characters came past on multiple occasions as well, so I felt like the interactions we had made the whole experience extremely worth while.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Twice during our breakfast the whole cast of characters marched around the room, encouraging the kids to join them and handing them instruments to play. Even the older kids enjoyed being part of the march.

Generally the same characters are there all the time, however sometimes a character will take a break and will not be available for your dining period.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

We thought the food was excellent. Selections include made-to-order omelettes, the best scrambled eggs we have ever eaten, Mickey waffles, bagels and cream cheese, various cereals and milk, juices, bagels and lox already loaded up with cream cheese, salmon, red onions, and parsley, quiche, breakfast nachos, pastries, French toast, fresh fruit, sliced cheese, sliced meat, yoghurt parfaits and muffins.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

I thought the bags of cereal milk were adorable.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Brunch is held later in the day and includes breakfast items plus more lunch options. Breakfast is served from 7:00 AM – 11:25 AM and brunch 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM.

Make sure to collect one of the cute Mickey’s Tales of Adventure buttons on the way out.

When we dined the breakfast cost $15 per kid and $35 per adult.

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe, Disneyland’s Grand Californian

Advance reservations for Storytellers Cafe are highly recommended. You may check availability and make your reservations online, or call (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463 up to 60 days prior to your visit. Reservations can also be made in person on a limited basis, subject to availability.

disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/grand-californian-hotel/storytellers-cafe/

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Hotel Review: Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

This article really should be titled “How staying at the Grand Californian Hotel ruined us for all other hotels in Anaheim”, because that’s pretty much what happened when we stayed at this incredible hotel.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California is the best-positioned hotel for visiting the parks in Anaheim. An upscale, 6-story, lodge-style hotel, the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is a tribute to the  “Arts & Crafts” style that was popular in the early 1900s. If you’re interested in learning more about this era and the design of the hotel, ask concierge about the “Art of the Craft Tour” offered to guests.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

A stay at the Grand Californian is not just a regular hotel stay. It means being right inside the magic of Disneyland every minute of your stay. The design and detailing of the hotel is perfection. The location is incredible. The convenience alone is worth its weight in gold!

The Grand Californian is a vacation destination, not just a hotel to stay at when you’re visiting Disneyland. Staying at a hotel with such amazing amenities as well as being so conveniently positioned meant that our whole Disney trip was a different experience to any we had had before.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

We spent less hours at the parks trying to squeeze everything in, and enjoyed relaxing at the hotel in the pools. Thanks to the Early Magic Hour we were given as guests of the hotel (more on this below) we were able to get on so many rides early in the morning that we felt finished in terms of rides we wanted to do earlier in the day than we ever had before.

It was so easy to get into the parks that we could come back to the hotel for a rest and then go back again for dinner easier than going to a restaurant outside of the parks. The parks were empty when we entered them.

We were the first guests in the parks and it was eye opening to see the parks this way – don’t even start me on how amazing the photos are as a result of there being no one around to photobomb us! (See below!)

Disneyland

Because we were able to get on all the rides we wanted to in the first two hours every morning, we were able to then spend the rest of our time enjoying things we hadn’t done before like collecting pressed coins, and didn’t feel overwhelmed at trying to squeeze everything in. We had more energy, were less tired, and enjoyed the parks more. I think we have found the perfect way for our family to do Disneyland.

Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Accommodation

Grand Californian Hotel

The 948 guest rooms at the Grand Californian include 44 suites, 71 villas, two Presidential and two Vice-Presidential suites. Standard rooms are 356-380 sq. ft. and have either two queen beds, a king bed, or one queen bed with bunk beds/ pull-out sofa. Suites have an added living area and up to 3 bedrooms. Concierge-level rooms give access to a lounge serving free breakfast and snacks.

We had a deluxe pool view room with two queen beds.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Room amenities include iron/ironing board, mini-bars, in-room safes, hairdryers, Keurig coffeemaker, bathrobes, free WIFI and flat-screen TVs.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The rooms were renovated in 2017 and have a bright, elegant feeling to them, with touches of Disney in the small details.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The orange tree behind the beds reflects the history of Disneyland and features Chip ‘n Dale hiding in the branches.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Toiletries provided by the hotel are H2O+, packaged especially for Disney, and are extremely high quality. We loved that the soap had “Disney” stamped on it! We were very happy to ditch our own toiletries and use the hotel-provided ones.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The beds were some of the most comfortable we have ever slept in and at the end of each long day at the park we were so happy to return to our comfortable room for a perfect night of sleep.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Our room was located directly over the entrance to Disney California Adventure Park, making the early morning walk to the security gates extremely fast!

We bought groceries online from the local store Vons and had them delivered to the hotel. The hotel has a cold storage area so if your groceries are delivered while you are away from your room they will be kept cold for you until you are able to collect them.

Evening turndown service is a lovely added bonus. We loved being left little Disney Parks Ghirardelli chocolates and having fresh towels and the curtains drawn when we returned in the evening, helping us prepare for bed.

Access to parks

The Grand Californian Hotel as direct access to Disney California Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney District. You will need a valid park ticket to enter Disney California Adventure Park but can enter the Downtown Disney District whenever you choose.

Having access to both locations was even more convenient than I had thought it would be.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The entrance to Disney California Adventure Park is located inside Grizzly Peak (above), while the entrance to the Downtown Disney District is located near the restaurants and shops (below), only a short stroll from the Disneyland entrance.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Extra Magic Hour

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

This was a huge perk for us. Guests of the three Disneyland Resorts are eligible for an Extra Magic Hour (EMH) at both parks. EMH is available at Disneyland Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and at Disney California Adventure on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, up to one hour prior to regular park opening.

Entering the park early made the world of difference to our stay. We were able to explore the parks and particularly jump on a lot of rides with no queues, long before the parks opened to everyone else.

Amenities

Lobby

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The lobby is a particularly beautiful space to sit and relax, with beautiful stained glass doors, inviting sitting areas and a piano where live music (Disney tunes, of course) is frequently played.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

A fireplace with comfortable chairs invites those wanting a rest, while kids gather around a TV playing Disney shows all day.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The lobby is decorated seasonally – during our stay it featured an amazing Halloween display made entirely out of cake.

Grand Californian Hotel

Pools

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

There are three pools to choose from. The Redwood Pool features a a 27-metre-long waterslide that curves around the stump of a giant redwood tree and a Children’s Pool.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Our fave was the Fountain Pool as it was a good depth for our swimmer to practice all of her tricks.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The third pool, the Mariposa Pool, has a hot tub plus four private cabanas that are available for hire.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Towels are available by the pool, as is free sunscreen and water to drink.

Spa

The Mandara Spa is the spot to relax and unwind with treatments, massages and facials. State-of-the-art fitness equipment is available for hotel guests.

Dining

White Water Snacks

While White Water Snacks was closed for renovation when we were there, it offers simple, self-serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual setting.

Storyteller’s Cafe

The Storyteller’s Cafe is the place to enjoy Mickey’s Tales of Adventure character breakfast or brunch. At dinner time an American buffet is on offer, with selections including carved meats, salads, and filling sides, and kid-friendly selections for little ones.

We highly enjoyed the character breakfast, which featured an excellent buffet including an omelette station, Mickey waffles, fresh fruit, juices, cereals, and other hot and cold dishes.

Read more about our excellent experience dining at Mickey’s Tales of Adventure here.

Heathstone Lounge

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

A spacious lounge location inside the main building, Heathstone Lounge serves continental breakfast in the mornings and cocktails or coffee later on in the day. The lounge is lined in wood from a single redwood tree.

Napa Rose

Fine dining awaits at the award-winning Napa Rose Restaurant.

Disneyland purchases

When you buy merchandise at the parks you can have it sent back to the hotel to save you carrying it around all day! The items will appear at the concierge desk the following morning.

Guest Activities

A schedule of Guest Activities are available for guests of the Disneyland Resort hotels. All of the activities are free, unless otherwise noted on the schedule. When we stayed, the activities included:

Get Up & Go Power Walk – Walk while enjoying the sights and sounds of Disney California Adventure before opening.
Morning Stretch
Mat Pilates
Pin Trading
Movie Screenings
Art of the Craft Tour – A guided walking tour of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

Final Thoughts On Staying At The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Before we this trip we had only ever stayed at Good Neighbour hotels, thinking we would save the money “because we will be in the parks all day anyway”. This trip completely changed our minds and also the way in which we “do Disney”. The hotel was a refuge from the busy day and we wanted to return early to swim in the pools and unwind. We took more breaks from the days at the parks which gave us more energy on the following days.

Add in the entrance to Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney, combined with the Early Magic Hour and we are sold, sold, sold and plan to never stay in another hotel other than the Grand Californian when we visit Disneyland in the future.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
1600 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
Phone: 714-635-2300
Online: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/au/disneyland/hotels/grand-californian-hotel/

A huge thank you to Disney for hosting our stay. All opinions are my own.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland California

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!