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Beee 10-04-2012 08:10 PM

PTR: December 2012 - Disneyland, LA & Hawaii
Hi Everyone
I thought it was time for a PTR given we are almost at the 2 months to go mark and I have the day off work today so have a bit of time to get the plan down.

So, this is our first trip to the States - DD12, me & the Mr. Previously, we've always holidayed in Australia because the rest of my family live there so this is by far our biggest trip ever, we're all totally excited especially to finally make it to Disneyland! :cool1:

We arrive in LA on the 9th of December and head straight to Disneyland where we are staying at the DLH until the 14th. Then a few days in LA until we fly out to Honolulu on the 17th. On the 18th my entire family arrives from Australia to spend pre-xmas together and then head home on the 24th arriving home on the 26th.

At this stage I don't have an itinerary set in stone but here's what I/we are thinking so far:

Sunday 9th - arrive at LAX at 10.30am, DL express to DLH, lunch in DTD/sorting out passes, maybe a quick trip to Target or similar for snacks, back to the hotel for a break. Then into Disneyland for a bit of a look around, dinner and Fantasmic! (at this stage F! seems to only be on that night)

Monday 10th - EMH at DCA, lunch at Flo's, DL in the afternoon and dinner at BTR BBQ (the Mr wants BBQ!)

Tuesday 11th - EMH at DL, lunch at Carthay Circle (for WOC seating) , afternoon in DCA & WOC in the evening.

Wednesday 12th - EMH at DCA, afternoon & evening DL

Thursday 13th - EMH at DL, getting through everything missed or wanting to do again in either park, Dinner at Ariel's Grotto (DD's Choice)

Friday 14th - Breakfast at either Goofy's Kitchen or Surf's Up, Check out of DLH, DTD, travel to Hollywood (the Mr is not sure whether he wants to drive so either rent a car or taxi/train - still working this out), Check into Orchid Suites, afternoon spent looking around Hollywood.

Saturday 15th - Hollywood/Rodeo Dr, maybe Olvera St etc etc (haven't figured this out exactly yet)

Sunday 16th - Universal Studios

Monday 17th - up and out of the hotel at an ungodly hour to beat traffic to LAX, flight to Honolulu, arrive 1.30pm. Taxi to hotel, afternoon spent looking around beachwalk shops, swim at the beach, probably early night.

Tuesday 18th - everyone arrives 7am, check out of hotel and move to embassy suites for the rest of the Holiday

Nothing else planned beyond this - shopping, swimming, trip to north shore to perve on surfers :blush:. I am pretty sure by this point I will be exhausted so relaxing as much as possible and spending time with family will be the aim of the game.

Beee 10-04-2012 08:20 PM

so many lists
I am going through phases of feeling really organised and on track and then moments of blind panic thinking of how much still needs to be done. So here is my current to do list:
  • passport for me
  • passport for Mr
  • transport - LAX-DLH
  • transport - DL-Hollywood
  • transport - Hollywood-LAX
  • order my GF meal on plane
  • ESTAs
  • take dog for orientation visit to pet hotel - November
  • buy universal studios tickets
  • book disney restaurants

I am sure there are more things to add but that's all I can think of at the moment.

We already have DL tickets, DLH booked, Hollywood accommodation booked, Hawaii accommodation booked and paid for, money changed, applied for and received credit card, cat and dog up to date with vaccinations, photopass plus ordered and of course flights booked & paid for.`

BecBennett 10-04-2012 09:14 PM

OK, 2 things
  1. You don't have a passport?!?
  2. You're going to miss Christmas because you'll be on a plane?!?


OK, so the first one is a bit of an over reaction, you've probably got plenty of time to get it sorted, it's just that it took my DH and my DMum and DDad *ages* to get their passports sorted...

The 2nd point though, bleh! There's no way I'd miss Christmas by spending it on a plane!! :lmao:

Other then that though, your trip looks awesome!!

alicia1506 10-04-2012 09:25 PM

Wow sounds like a great trip. I am sure you will love it.

Passports can take a while so it is good they are at the top of your to do list. We did our estas the same night our passports arrived just to be safe. When i put in our passports mine took a week and a half longer than carlo's to arrive even though they were submitted at the same place at the same time.. Frustrating!!

We used disneyland resort express ti get from lax to the hotel... It was 30 pp return or 18 (?) pp one way. We really enjoyed them...

Good luck with your trip planning! Cant wait to hear all about it

zanzibar138 10-04-2012 09:58 PM

What an awesome trip!

I would definitely get onto your passports ASAP. I kept putting mine off and ended up paying extra to get it fast-tracked, but not sure if you can do that in NZ.

I would so miss Christmas Day for that holiday :thumbsup2 It will be like a whole 2 weeks of Christmas :goodvibes Just tell the pilot not to run over Santa :rotfl:

We used Super Shuttle. It was so easy we just wandered out of the airport down to the stand for them and they called a shuttle for Anaheim. By the time the shuttle arrived there was a small group of us all wanting to go to Anaheim (which you'd usually find after a flight arrives), so we left straight away and were there in no time! I forget how much it was now, but you can look up the prices online. If you're staying onsite though it might be just as easy to get the proper Disney shuttle :goodvibes

Beee 10-04-2012 10:10 PM


Originally Posted by BecBennett (Post 46352908)
You don't have a passport?!?

I know, i know I have been putting off getting the dreaded passport photo. But I am going to get that over and done with tomorrow and send off the renewal form on Monday. Passports here take 7-10 days so plenty of time :)

I love christmas so am a bit bummed at completely missing the day but I think the holiday will make up for it, unfortunately we had a pretty limited window of opportunity to go so it was either miss christmas or miss disneyland. Interestingly I'm feeling ok about missing christmas now that I've realised I also miss the rushing around buying every man and their dog presents and feeding a small army at bbqs every weekend in the lead up to xmas - its quite liberating at the moment but I will probably feel a bit down once its all over!

thanks Zanzibar, haven't had much chance to look into transport yet so I will check out super shuttle

Melbourne5 10-04-2012 10:11 PM

Wow what a combo!

You are going to have a great time.

The atmosphere at flo's is great. The food really underwhelming. We ended up getting hot dogs to fill the kids up after the meal they got. Have a look at the menu first!

BTR is our favourite! More corn bread and ribs please....!

Travel Mum 10-05-2012 12:15 AM

Yep our passport service is pretty quick compared to the Aussie one by the sounds of things. Although they are closer to the 10 working day mark than the 7 working day mark these days. Still pretty good really :thumbsup2

Travel Mum 10-05-2012 12:18 AM

Oh and forgot to say that I am very excited for you Beee. :cheer2: Of course about DL but also about Hawaii. We will be there just a few days after you leave, for 16 nights, and for the last 9 nights we will be in a Penthouse apartment in The Imperial Resort which is also on Beachwalk. This is a new area since I was last in Waikiki (years ago) so will be interesting to stay there :cool1:

Caroline NZ 10-05-2012 12:50 AM

You have a great trip planned :thumbsup2
Passports are always a pain to do. In reality it is a pretty simple process, but for some reason I always dread doing it.:confused3

Travel Mum 10-05-2012 02:07 AM


Originally Posted by Caroline NZ (Post 46354319)
You have a great trip planned :thumbsup2
Passports are always a pain to do. In reality it is a pretty simple process, but for some reason I always dread doing it.:confused3

It's the darn photo rules now that really complicate the process :crazy2:

alicia1506 10-05-2012 02:47 AM


Originally Posted by Travel Mum (Post 46354480)
It's the darn photo rules now that really complicate the process :crazy2:

it's also the quality of the photos and the way that they pose you that i really hated/dreaded and hence delayed getting my passport until a few months before we left :(

in real life, in a regular picture, i'm a regular person with averagely nice features. in good lighting or with the right expression, i can come off as downright acceptable even.

in a passport photo i look like i have a lazy eye and my face looks like a pancake was smooshed over a rock and they cut some holes out of it for eyes and a mouth...

i cannot stress how much i HATE my passport photo :furious:

when using smartgate to get back into bne airport, the auto scanner seemed to think that i looked like my passport photo though... not sure if i should have been grateful not to have to line up again in the customs line for the visual inspection or insulted that i look enough like my passport photo for it to let me through :(

Beee 10-05-2012 03:26 AM


Originally Posted by Travel Mum (Post 46354480)
It's the darn photo rules now that really complicate the process :crazy2:

Absolutely, have had a nightmare before with photo rules - a month before we were due to fly out to Aus I discovered my passport was water damaged. Thought ok no drama still a month to go so sent in my application but it was declined due to the photo not meeting some stupid little rule but instead of emailing or phoning me they declined it via post which was delayed due to public holidays etc so there I am a little over a week before flying still needing to organise a passport and thanks to wellington anniversary falling in that week I ended up having to pay for an urgent passport which arrived the day before I flew out :scared1: talk about stressful! and that damned passport cost more than my return flight :faint:

So needless to say, I will not be wearing my glasses this time, I will just stand there hopefully looking in the right direction not being able to see a thing instead :rotfl:

Beee 10-05-2012 03:29 AM


Originally Posted by alicia1506 (Post 46354566)
in a passport photo i look like i have a lazy eye and my face looks like a pancake was smooshed over a rock and they cut some holes out of it for eyes and a mouth...

haha, unfortunately I do have a lazy eye! It is not at all noticeable in real life unless I am super tired but in a photo it is glaringly obvious - hence my reluctance to get the photo :lmao:

Wish you could get your passport photo in profile, I am far more photogenic side on lol

PrincessInOz 10-05-2012 05:15 AM

Sounds like a great trip!


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