There is a new poolside bar at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and naturally it’s called the Craftsman Bar.
We shared our first look at the new pool bar a few days ago, and today we checked out the new Craftsman Bar during a soft opening. We couldn’t wait to share it with you! So put on your swim trunks, and let’s dive in together!
The Craftsman Bar was designed to incorporate a custom mural, natural boulder stonework, and trellis for shade.
There is an obvious nod to Craftsman-style architecture, as befits the Grand Californian Hotel. The area reminds us of the Geyser Point pool bar located at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge with its pillar and beam construction — which we really love!
The bar is filled with large wooden tables, and the padded chairs are nice and comfortable.
Lots of Craftsman-style lanterns hang from the ceiling, which creates a lovely setting in the evening.
There are multiple options when it comes to seating with tables, bars, and couches. And it’s built for comfort, with cushioned seating in every configuration.
The area feels laid back and relaxed, and it’s a comfortable place to lounge with a view of the pool.
This menu includes Appetizers, Artisanal Pizzas, Kids’ Meals, and Desserts.
Appetizers include the Double-Baked Beef Nachos ($21) which are a great size and would easily suffice as a meal if you’re not too famished (or you’re gonna be jumping in that pool soon after dining!). These are made with tortilla chips, melted cheese, bacon lardons, black beans, scallions, slivered jalapeño pepper, cilantro, queso fresco, guacamole, and crema. There was nothing too spectacular about these; they’re standard nachos that you could get at most dining locations, though they’re lovelier to look at than most nachos.
The Cali Sliders ($21) appetizer comes with three baby burgers. These are comprised of an American wagyu patty, tomato, spicy swiss cheese, and artichoke aioli.
Though these WERE super juicy and delicious and had a good balance of flavors between the meat and the spicy cheese sauce, we didn’t feel like they were worth the high price.
Maine Lobster Quesadillas ($23) are flour tortillas with Monterey Jack cheese, bits of lobster, queso fresco, and caramelized onions with spicy mayo drizzled on top. The lobster tasted fresh, and even with the other ingredients, we could taste the shellfish. We’re giving these a 12/10. Yup, they’re that AMAZING!!
After the appetizers, we sank our teeth into some Artisanal Pizzas! The Charcuterie Pizza ($26) is topped with pepperoni, prosciutto, salami, sausage, arugula, tomatoes, and aged provolone. Honestly, this is a meat-lovers dream as it was seriously COVERED with meat. Though we loved the pizza, we felt that $26 was pricey for the portion size. On the other hand, it was covered in meat, so it might be worth the cost for you!
We also tried the Classic Pepperoni Pizza ($25). It’s topped with pepperoni, Grana Padano (comparable to parmesan), and aged provolone. The sauce carried a pure tomato flavor, and while there wasn’t a lot of pepperoni on the pizza, it was still flavorful. Again, though, it was a basic pizza at an artisanal price.
We ended the meal with two desserts, each with its own merits and appeal.
You’ll want to wear your stretchy pants if you choose to dive into the Waffle-Churro Sundae ($12). This is made with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, chantilly cream, and chocolate pearls. Sadly the churros were a bit hard, and we weren’t overly fond of the waffles. We did really enjoy the vanilla ice cream and the caramel sauce, but for $12, you want the entire dish to shine.
The Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Fingers ($11) are served with strawberry marmalade and hazelnut dip. We LOVED the hazelnut sauce!! The cookie fingers ate like biscotti, which is to say they were a little harder than we wanted them to be. It’s possible that a long soak in the sauce could soften them up, but otherwise, they weren’t enjoyable to eat.
Of course, when at a pool bar, drink like you’re at a pool bar. So we explored a few of the Craftsman Bar’s drink options!
There are quite a few beverage options unique to this location, which makes Craftsman Bar a little more special.
The natural, craftsman spirit even made it into some of the drinks’ names, and the menu features beautiful watercolor-esque artwork as well.
The Banana Daiquiri ($14) is made with Flor de Cana Extra Seco 4-Year Aged Rum, Giffard Banana Du Bresil Liqueur, and lime juice.
We were expecting a lot from this drink based on the quality ingredients, but as is often the case with banana in cocktails, it just didn’t come through. We weren’t super blown away when it came to the flavor.
The Passion Fruit Mojito ($14.5) (pictured on the left, below) is made with Flor de Cana Extra Seco 4-Year Aged Rum, Creme de Fruits de la Passion Liqueur, passion fruit syrup, lime, juice, and club soda. The flavors definitely came through on this one, and we absolutely recommend it if you like a tropical but not overly fruity drink. Very refreshing.
We’ve been super excited for this new outdoor dining and lounge option to open, and while we think some of the food items are overpriced, the space did not disappoint as a whole. If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind at Disneyland Resort, Craftsman Bar has that energy in spades.
The menu does have a good range of options, and we enjoyed most of what we ate (save for the prices…). If you’re looking for a full-blown meal, though, you will likely want to opt for a couple of appetizers or an app and a pizza so you leave satisfied. And skip the desserts, we say, because there are much better options elsewhere on property.
Still, Craftsman Bar, for its relaxed vibe, warm decor, and good menu, is a terrific addition to the Grand Californian dining story.