Mickey Celebrates D100; castle; fireworks; night
  • On Feb 23, 2024
    Bonnie from CA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My family (husband w/anxiety & 18yr old son) and I are going for the first time in 15 years! I know a lot has changed. We will be staying at the Disney Grand California also. What are the top recommendations? I am very overwhelmed.

    Hi ya, Bonnie!

    Welcome to planDisney! I'm so sorry that your trip preparations are feeling more stressful than magical. I know how that feels! I'd be happy to share some tips and ideas to help you enjoy your time in the parks. Deep breath, happy thoughts, and away we go!

    My first recommendation is that you watch this amazing podcast featuring some of my fellow panelists. They talk about ALL things Disneyland Resort and I think it will help you a lot! Tishra and Al do a great job outlining the basics of Disneyland Park, and they also share some of their favorite things to do, eat, and watch when they visit. It's an awesome resource!

    Our next stop will be to check the Entertainment Schedule on the Disneyland website. This is the best place to see park operating hours (I highly recommend arriving at least 30 minutes before opening time), the entertainment planned for the day, and any attractions that might be closed for refurbishment. Keep a special eye out for Early Entry offered at one park each day since you're staying at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and remember that your hotel has a special entrance into Disney California Adventure Park! 

    Have you made any dining reservations for your visit? If not, I still see a few things available online! There are also tons of great quick service dining options, including the unique booths offered during the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival that you'll be arriving just in time for!

    The best tool you can have in your pocket for a park visit is the Disneyland Mobile App. Download it before your visit so you can explore all the features! Here are just a few helpful things you can do in the app:

    I would suggest that you and your family members each pick a couple of attractions or shows (and snacks!) that you don't want to miss, and have a plan for accomplishing those things. After that, just enjoy the atmosphere and do what sounds good! Since your hotel is so close you might like to go take a break in the afternoon, then come back for evening entertainment and to see the parks with the lights on.

    Bonnie, I know these are pretty general tips. If you'd like to send me a note with some ideas of what your family is most interested in then I'd be glad to give you some more specific advice! Just remember to enjoy the time with your family, grab some fresh popcorn, and do what works best for your crew.

    Keep moving forward!

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Meet the Panelist: Amanda, Utah

Hi! I'm Amanda—a pixie-sized wife, mom, engineer, content strategist, and Disneyland Resort specialist! I fell in love with science as a kid at Disneyland Park, learning about physics while I waited to ride Space Mountain. I love how Disney combines art, words, science, and music to create incredible experiences. Solving challenging problems is one of my favorite things, I'm so excited to help you design the perfect strategy for a magical day! Learn More About Amanda

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