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  • Jenny Espino

Our Magical Christmas Stay at the Grand Legacy at the Park

When we go to Disneyland, we know that the closer the hotel, the more your feet will LOVE you when you're walking back at the end of the day!

During our many walks to Disneyland on Harbor Blvd. in Anaheim, the Grand Legacy at the Park always caught my attention. It's extremely close to the Disneyland gate and looks like a really fun place to be - because there is always something fun going down on their rooftop restaurant and bar: The FIFTH!

The Drive

Our two-day Disneyland Christmas trip for 2022 started off on a great note! Our plan was to leave our house on our first park day, stay at the hotel that night, go to Disneyland on the next day, stay at the hotel again, then head out. On day one, we woke up super early (I woke up around 3:30am to get ready - YIKES!) then, the rest of the boys woke up around 5am and we were on the road by 5:30am. We were so excited - that we weren't tired at all! Hubby and I had coffee in hand and we started off on the highway. It usually takes us exactly 3 hours from our door to the Ball Rd. exit in Anaheim.

We did really well in travel time - until we got around Los Angeles. Then, things slowed up a lot. We watched the arrival time on our GPS grow and grow and I was like - NOOOOO! lol I hate when we lose valuable park time haha! Then, as we approached the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the inevitable happened... our 4-year-old had to potty. We tried to tell him, "You got this, not much longer!" But he wasn't having it and was crying because he had to go so badly. So, we had to get off, and navigate the city streets and traffic... and hopefully, find a place that had public bathrooms (eek!)

After what seemed like an eternity, we found a place to park and planned to see if a Starbucks or something would allow us to use their facilities. Luckily, parking next to us was a security guard. We asked him as we got out of the car if there was a bathroom that he knew of that we could use. Even more luckily, he told us that the building we parked in had a restroom! So, we made everyone go, and soon we were back on the road - this exit took about an hour... to use the restroom. OOF!

Arrival at the Grand Legacy at the Park

We finally got into Anaheim but decided to park at the hotel instead of the Disneyland structure - saving us time and money. Even though we couldn't check in until 3pm, they graciously allowed us to park there since we had a reservation for that day. Then, all we had to do was come back later and check in to receive our room. The boys all wore their pajamas for the road trip, so we got them all ready in the car - in the hotel parking lot. Then, we were on our way to Disneyland! I had to time our walk to see how close we truly were. From the entrance of the hotel to the entrance into the Disneyland property, was a grand total of 4 minutes and 23 seconds - with 2 of those minutes waiting at the crosswalk! Can't do much better than that - even with most of the on-property hotels!

Disney Day One

We had such an awesome first day! We got there a lot later than we were originally hoping due to the traffic, potty break, and getting ready at the hotel, but still walked through the turnstile at 10:30am - which was only 2.5 hours after the park opened. We started off at Disneyland and marveled at its grand Christmas tree and Hallmark Christmas movie-esq small-town decor that made Main Street dazzle. We immediately went on our first ride, Pirates of the Caribbean (a family tradition for us)! When we got off, we got to see newly reinstated Disney CEO, Bob Iger and Disney Parks Chairman, Josh D'Amaro! What an amazing and surprising treat! It was so cool because as they walked, everyone was cheering for them and telling Bob, "Thank you for saving Disney!"

The day continued pretty smoothly. With four boys, things can get interesting really fast, but for the most part, everyone was oddly level-headed and truly happy to be at the Happiest Place on Earth! We got to go on all of the rides we each wanted, got to meet characters that we were hoping to see, and even watched the Christmas Fantasy parade, the castle light up in all its Christmas glory while experiencing snow on Main Street, and watched fireworks surround us by It's a Small World! The boys just seemed to be in awe at all of the Christmas magic and my heart melted watching them. We spent such a full day at Disneyland, that we never made it to California Adventure as we had originally planned.

Back to the Hotel for the Night

Then, it was time to travel back to the hotel. My feet were already on fire from day one, so I was incredibly thankful that the hotel was so close. We've actually never even stayed so close to Disneyland before! Everyone was so exhausted... our littlest, Easton, didn't make the walk and fell asleep in his stroller on the way. As we approached the hotel, I could tell there was a big Christmas party on the rooftop restaurant and bar: The FIFTH. It made me super excited to be at such a fun place! As we walked into the lobby, we were greeted by beautiful Christmas decor and a thoughtful Toy Drive that they were putting on. We were super thankful that the Grand Legacy staff made our check-in quick and easy, they were extremely friendly (even for it being so late at night), and we were able to get up to our room and get settled fast. While we were in the elevator to our room, I could hear the booming party on the rooftop and was a bit worried that it would be too loud in our room, but when we got in, we could barely hear it, and what very little we could hear, we were too tired to care at all.

With a family of 6, it is sometimes hard to find a single hotel room that will fit all of us. We sometimes have to get an adjoining room or two separate rooms where I have to stay with a couple of kids and Anthony has to stay with a couple. But the Grand Legacy was able to accommodate us with a two-room suite that had two queen beds in a bedroom, and a hide-a-bed in a living room. AND, this room overlooked Harbor Blvd., which means we got a California Adventure view from our windows! So exciting! We were so completely exhausted from our day that we simply changed into our jammies and crashed right away - it was going to be another early morning for day two after all!

P.S. If you love to soak in the tub after a long Disney day, choose the Grand Legacy at the Park. The tub was AH-MAZING 😍.

Disney Day Two

On day two, we started off at California Adventure. We meant (again) to rope drop, but after so much travel, so much walking, and so much excitement on day one, we opted to sleep in just a little bit. We were totally comfy in our beds lol. We didn't make Rope Drop but only got there about 30 minutes late. The park was so nice and pretty empty (I was able to even get coffee with no line at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe)! Then, we immediately went to Avengers Campus to ride Web Slingers. After that, we were on our way to Cars Land to ride Radiator Springs Racers (RSR), however, the line was a tad long so we decided last minute to go on Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters since there was no line at all. But... uh oh... our 12-year-old is starting to have a difficult time.

Carter doesn't do well with exhaustion, and you could tell he was tired. He was being snarky with everyone and was super angry that he wasn't going on the ride he wanted to and that we were going on a "baby ride". After a long discussion with him, we were able to slightly brighten his attitude, and I snuck in a little Disney magic and purchased the Individual Lightning Lane for RSR. After that (and an ice cream Sundae), he made a complete 180 and the rest of our day was awesome! They got to do everything they wanted - even going on Grizzly River Run (not me - I stayed dry on that cold 60-degree day! haha).

We did Park Hop a couple of times on day two and ended it with walk-on rides right before midnight in Disneyland and some shopping for souvenirs, toys, and clothing that we saw and wanted throughout the trip. However, at this point, I could barely walk. We walked about 13 miles and my feet/legs/back were DONE! I never like leaving Disneyland (especially on the last day of a trip), but my body was telling me it was time.

Back to the Hotel for Night Two!

Even more tired than the night before, I was so grateful again to be so close to Disneyland. We walked to our room within minutes and were able to just crash so quickly. I literally can't even remember how fast we all fell asleep. We all needed that room - and bad lol.

Since it was our go-home day when we woke up, we took advantage of the late check-out time that the Grand Legacy at the Park offers (12pm!) and took it super easy in the room. We cleaned up our stuff leisurely, admired the view of California Adventure, and watched the new round of park-goers walking their way into the parks. Then, we walked to breakfast at IHOP. When we got back, we checked out, got our car, and spent the day at Downtown Disney before heading back home.

My Recommendation

I seriously LOVED our stay at the Grand Legacy! They accommodated us and our large family - better than any hotel we've ever stayed at. My absolute favorite part was the walking distance. I am not sure I could ever stay at a farther hotel ever again haha! It was nicely upgraded - not anything super fancy, but definitely nicer than some places I've stayed in the area. The beds were firm but comfortable - and let's be honest - after a long couple of days in the parks, any place to sleep was going to work for us. The staff was friendly and helpful too! Next time we stay here, we definitely want to take advantage of their amazing rooftop restaurant and bar The FIFTH, the deep soaker tub in the hotel room, as well as their pool! This trip was such a whirlwind that we didn't have time for those extra amenities.

I'm so glad we chose this hotel and it will definitely be in my Anaheim hotel rotation! If you would like more information or would like to book your own stay at the Grand Legacy at the Parks, Click Here!

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