Which DVC Resort Should You Pick at Disneyland Resort?

Eventually, all Disney fans inevitably make a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth. Disneyland Resort is the place that created the entire theme park industry, and a visit here often feels like a homecoming for DVC members. 

For many years, we only had one option when we wanted to visit Disneyland. Thankfully, the situation has changed. So, let’s say that you’re visiting Disneyland. Which DVC resort should you pick?

Why You Should Pick the Grand Californian

All DVC resorts offer the kind of opulence that embodies the Disney brand. Still, some fall on the higher end of the luxury scale. The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is definitely one of them. 

You’ll recognize you’re somewhere special the instant you enter the hotel lobby, which is somehow more jaw-dropping than the one at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The rustic setting embraces the best parts of the Golden State, reminding you of the state’s legendary national parks.

That’s only a small part of why you’ll adore the Grand Californian, though. The amenities here are topnotch, but it’s the logistics that differentiate this resort from any other in the DVC catalog. 

When you exit the Grand Californian, you can be at the entrance to Disneyland Park in five minutes. Remarkably, that’s the longest distance you’ll walk to either Disney theme park or Downtown Disney. 

In fact, when you leave the Grand Californian, you’ll be right by some Downtown Disney stores. Then, you’ll turn once and discover a private entrance to Disney California Adventure. There’s nothing like it anywhere else.

So, a reservation at the Grand Californian will provide you with luxury, high-profile amenities, and the ultimate in convenience. You don’t often say you’re having a relaxing theme park vacation, but it’s somehow possible at the Grand Californian

Why You Might Not Pick the Grand Californian

Let’s be realistic about the real “problem” with the Grand Californian. It’s availability. Any DVC member who has ever tried to book here knows the deal. Scarcity issues determine your odds of snagging a reservation.

In most instances, the Grand Californian lacks any availability for its Studios and One-Bedroom Villas. You might get lucky on Two-Bedroom Villas or Grand Villas, but even those have grown rare. 

The competition for the Grand Californian is fierce, which leads to many motivated Disney fans buying here. No DVC resort provides more value for an ownership interest in terms of booking advantage. That 11-month window at the Grand Californian matters

Since you’re debating which DVC resort you should pick, you probably don’t own here. If you bought a Grand Californian contract, you’re going to use it. So, you might not pick the Grand Californian because you can’t. The rooms simply aren’t available. 

Why You Should Pick The Villas at Disneyland Hotel

We all love trying the hot new thing. With DVC, that’s a moving target. Over the past few years, we’ve gotten new inventory at Disney’s Riviera Resort and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Meanwhile, the expansion tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge are right around the corner. 

Still, for the moment, The Villas at Disneyland Hotel are the latest and greatest Disney hotel rooms. On the West Coast, they’ll remain that way for the foreseeable future. I’ll go ahead and tell you that the DisneylandForward project includes legal authorization for more DVC inventory, but it’s not happening soon. Until then, the hot new thing is the Disneyland Hotel expansion tower.

Not coincidentally, everything here feels fresh and original. The murals, sitting areas, and pool lounge are all brimming with vibrant colors. This place feels decidedly Disney to the point that you’ll wonder whether animators created the place out of thin air. It’s a magical place to stay. 

Also, not to put too fine a point on the reality here, you can more easily book a room here. The Villas at Disneyland Hotel have proven exceptionally popular, but you can find availability when the seven-month window opens. That’s the crux of this discussion.

Why You Might Not Pick The Villas at Disneyland Hotel 

As far as new DVC properties go, The Villas at Disneyland Hotel (TVaDH) is a bit of an oddity. There’s not even a conventional hotel restaurant here. 

Yes, there are several at Disneyland Hotel, and you’re right down the street from Downtown Disney. Still, for a supposedly standalone property, that’s an odd choice to add only a pool bar, the Palm Breeze Bar.

Then, we have the logistics. By most DVC standards, they’re excellent. You can be anywhere on the Disneyland campus in about 15-20 minutes, which you can’t say about any Walt Disney World resort except maybe the Polynesian. But the Grand Californian is objectively much better than TVaDH. Since we’re comparing the two, that gap is noticeable. 

Similarly, the Grand Californian offers some of those same amenities TVaDH is lacking. The new property, while exquisite, cannot match the grandeur of the original. 

So, in a perfect world, I’d still recommend the Grand Californian. You may need to give in to your Add-On-Itis® and buy a new contract here. 

Access all available Disney Vacation Club resale listings, or learn more about buying and selling with DVC Resale Market.


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