Hi and welcome to the boards!
We've stayed once at the Disneyland Hotel and twice at the Grand Californian and have loved all our stays. The Grand Californian is easily our favourite Disneyland property. It's just like stepping into the Wilderness Lodge and has some wonderful theming, along with its own private entrance into the California Adventure, which is a very nice perk.
There are two parks - the Disneyland Park is their version of the Magic Kingdom, but with lots of different things to see and do - the Matterhorn, Alice in Wonderland, Indiana Jones, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the Nemo submarines and Pinocchio off the top of my head, although I know there are more. Also, a lot of the ride classics, like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion are very different so are still worth doing.
Then there's the California Adventure, literally just across a walkway between the two parks. That's packed with lots of things you won't find at WDW, like the Grizzly River Run, the new Little Mermaid ride (coming to WDW as part of the Fantasyland expansion), the Aladdin show (do NOT miss this!
), Monsters Inc. and the absolutely stunning World of Color at night.
Don't worry, there's plenty for you to do if you're not a big thrill rider - I would say avoid the Matterhorn. We're not huge on thrill rides and did it and really didn't enjoy it, as it was too much for us.
Hope that helps.