Sleeping Beauty Castle
  • On Apr 20, 2022
    Azim from ON Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Dear Kamini - Am visiting for the 1st time & staying at Disney's Grand Calif Hotel & Spa for 4 nights. I am visiting with my 6yr daughter. As a single dad, this must be the BEST dad/daughter trip. Where do i start with planning?

    Dear Azim, welcome to planDisney! I am so excited for your father daughter trip to the Happiest Place on Earth! My husband is a “Girl Dad” of three beautiful, Disney-loving daughters.

    Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is gorgeous - great choice! It’s easy to pop into the hotel for breaks and it will help you recharge for the evenings. 

    Ok, let's start planning! 

    ~ Tickets and reservations: This is the most important step as you must have reservations to enter. Also, if you have Park Hopper tickets, it is a short two-minute walk from park to park - very easy!

    ~ Dining reservations: They open 60 days in advance, typically starting at 3:00 a.m. Pacific. Particularly for popular venues, reservations will go quickly. Download the Disneyland mobile app as you’ll be using it a lot! Restaurants have walk-up lists though too, so no worries if you can't secure exactly what you want right away.

    ~ Character dining: We adore Goofy’s Kitchen – lots of characters dancing and mingling around the restaurant, plus a huge buffet selection with even the pickiest eaters in mind. Try to book this exactly 60 days in advance. Also, try for Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures at your hotel 60 days in advance (this is harder to get, so if you can’t find availability, call the hotel to see if there might be additional reservations for hotel Guests upon check-in.)

    ~ Nighttime Spectaculars: The viewing areas get crowded, so consider booking the Plaza Inn Dining Lunch Package with Reserved Viewing for the Main Street Electrical Parade. With your lunch you’ll be given a credential for a reserved viewing area for the parade at night. Book this 60 days in advance. Also, check out the World of Color Dessert Party with reserved viewing.

    ~ Disney Genie+: A MUST for first time visitors! See tips I offered to another Guest about how to maximize the use of this. 

    ~ Disney PhotoPass: Complimentary with Genie+, a super bonus perk! You’ll see photographers all over the parks, and this covers photos taken at attractions too. You’ll have access to unlimited digital downloads. (Ask the photographer about taking a Magic Shot – they can add characters and special effects.)

    ~ First Visit button: Pick up these complimentary buttons when you check in at the hotel or at any Disney gift shop!

    My most important tip – pause and soak it all in. You won’t be able to do everything in one trip so don’t hesitate to slow down, enjoy a Disney snack, listen to music, appreciate the sights. For your daughter, everything will be new and exciting. The looks of wonder you’ll see on her face throughout your days will fill your heart with a lifetime of magical memories. 

    Guess what, we just released our planDisney Podcast episode all about Disneyland Resort! Watch or listen for more tips.

    Azim, please come back with more questions as you plan, you’ve got a friend in me!

    See ya real soon,

thumbnail image for Kamini

Meet the Panelist: Kamini, California

Greetings from the Golden State! Like Elastigirl, I am a committed wife and mom, resourceful, passionate, and will stretch to any length for my loved ones! Two of my favorite places to spend time with my family are Disneyland Resort, and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. Being there is a treat for all the senses - the amazing sights, sounds, aromas, and flavors make us smile from ear to ear. I have decades of magical Disney moments woven into my heart, and I can't wait to share the magic with you! Learn More About Kamini

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