Dinner at GCH Craftsman Bar and Exploring Downtown Disney


A Grand Mai Tai at the GCH Craftsman Bar. 

After a quick two hour flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, we took a shuttle to pick up our rental car. Then we sat in traffic for almost two hours to get to our hotel in Anaheim. I would not recommend flying into LAX if you're going to the Disneyland Resort. Instead, fly into John Wayne airport which is just a quick fifteen minutes away. I flew into LAX because it was cheaper, but driving all the way to Anaheim in rush hour traffic is no joke and not a fun start to your trip. For this trip I wanted to have a car to drive to Universal Studios and hang out in LA. 

I had made a dining reservation for 6:45 pm at Grand Californian Hotel Craftsman Bar. In order to get this reservation, I had to get up at 6 am, sixty days in advance. When you visit Disney, everything is done on their app. Mobile food orders in the park, dining reservations, Genie Plus, and more is all done on your phone. 

By the time we got settled in our room and walked to Downtown Disney where the Grand Californian Hotel is, we were about ten minutes late. Our table still wasn't ready, and we had to wait about thirty minutes. The reservation I made was for a poolside table in their lounge outside. It had just stopped raining and they needed to get a table dried off and ready for us. Kids can dine at the poolside tables here, just not at the bar. They also have a quick-serve area inside with the same menu, just not the cocktails. Here they have some really cute Mickey treats, which I bought and ate as an appetizer. I found a white chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, chocolate ears, and a white chocolate Mickey face. 

While we waited, we also walked through the GCH lobby, which took our breath away. This is one massive lobby with very high ceilings. They also sell Mickey treats here. Disneyland is currently celebrating 100 Years of Wonder. There were some neat displays to check out. 

By then I received a text that our table was ready, and we were seated by the pool. Luckily for us the rain had stopped and our table was covered. My husband and I shared a Grand Mai Tai. We also ordered a Margherita Pizza. It was good quality pizza and had a wood-fired crust. It definitely hit the spot after a travel day. My sons each ordered the Parmesan-Crusted Grilled Cheese. 

Then we did some shopping in Downtown Disney. From the restaurant you walk back through the GCH lobby, and you'll enter the retail and dining district. You don't need a park pass to check out Downtown Disney. There's a lot of fun shops and restaurants here. We saw a lot of this area because we walked through it to get to the parks on both of our Disney days. 

We looked around Marceline's Confectionary. At this bright and whimsical candy store, they handmake  Mickey desserts like the colorful candy apples. This shop is named after the Missouri town Walt lived as a kid. Then we shopped at the very large Lego Store. My son got a small car Lego set here. I loved the larger-than-life Lego Genie from Aladin. I also really liked the Toy Story Lego display in front of the store and the Beauty and Beast one, too! The Disney100 Celebration displays were also fun to look at in Downtown Disney. 

Then it was back to our hotel, about a twenty-minute walk. We went to bed and got ready for our Disneyland day the next morning. 

We loved this colorful and fun display of Mickey and friends. This was actually made out of sugar and gingerbread! 

The lobby at the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. 

Super cute cookies sold inside the lobby.

My yummy Mickey cupcake from the GCH Craftsman quick-serve dining area. 

The pool-side dining area at Craftsman Bar. 

Having a refreshing cocktail on our first night! 

Our tasty Margherita Pizza! 

GCH Craftsman Bar at Grand Californian Hotel 

1600 Disneyland Dr.

Anaheim, CA

Downtown Disney District 

1580 Disneyland Dr.

Anaheim, CA 


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