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Old 08-05-2012, 06:59 AM   #1
Aust
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14 hour flight with a 3 year old - I hope Carsland is worth it! PTR

Well hi to those of you reading (I hope there are some!) I've been planning this trip for 10 months now, and now we are down to under 7 weeks to go it is PTR time.

Introductions:

Me - almost 38 year old Disneyland addict, from Sydney Australia, which makes it kind of hard and expensive to fuel the addiction - but I do my best.

This will be my 3rd DL trip - the first was in Sept 2007 with my husband and 2 daughters (then aged 3 and 6), and the second was in Jan 2011 with my sister and 9 year old niece.

Husband - 42, not nearly as into DL as myself, but he is being taken along for the ride. I think he is excited about seeing Carsland and he's also really looking forward to Knotts Berry Farm as he loves thrill rides. His 2nd DL trip.

Daughter 1 - 11 years old. She loves DL almost as much as me even with only 1 trip under her belt. 1st trip she was all about princesses, this trip she can't wait to go on some of the rides she wasn't big enough for last time, like California Screamin and TOT. And she really surprised me the other day by saying she still loves princesses and wants to go to Ariel's Grotto again - so maybe my little girl is still in there somewhere underneath the pre-adolescent attitude.

Daughter 2 - 8 years old. She was only 3 for her first trip and doesn't remember much, so it's almost like another first trip for her. She is being brave and saying she will go on Space and Splash and Screaming - but she's not very adventourous so I have my doubts!

And the little boy for whom I named the trip report - my 3 year old son - he's my excuse for this trip (not that I really needed one) - it's not fair that his sisters have been to DL and he hasn't! and he loves Cars! He seems to be excited about going to 'La La Land' as he calls it and is familiar with many of the characters. He is quite the thrill seeker and loves rides so I think he will love DL. He has JUST hit 40 inches, I am so hoping he is tall enough for RSR and Splash (even if he's tall enough I don't think I'll put him on Space yet - TOT maybe).

As all 3 year old boys are he is very active and not so good at sitting still, so I am really dreading the 14 hour flight from Sydney to LAX (more than normal, I hate flying at the best of times). I am really really hoping he sleeps a few hours (his sister did on the same flight at 3 years old) and that the inflight entertainment keeps him occupied.

Next up - our plans.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:02 AM   #2
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Subbing, can't wait to read about your trip plans
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:34 AM   #3
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
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I'm here and reading along
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:48 AM   #5
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Yay, I have readers!!

So - the plans:

We will be leaving Sydney on Thursday 20th September (leaving at 1.40pm, arriving at 10.30am) and leaving LAX on Wednesday 3rd Oct and arriving home Friday 5th Oct.

We're flying Virgin Australia for the first time internationally, have always flown to the US with Qantas before but wasn't very impressed last time so are giving Virgin a shot for their good reviews and better price.

Accomodation: Paradise Pier Hotel, theme park view room with concierge. I've stayed at Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian in the past - would LOVE to stay at GC again, but given we're staying for 2 weeks and I want the convenience of concierge it was too expensive. So PPH with concierge will be a good compromise. Husband is a bit pouty he won't be able to use the DLH monorail waterslide, but he'll get over it.

And, husband and myself have got AP's (have worked out with the discounts we should save approx. $1,000), so last week I called and got the new 20 to 30% AP rate applied to all but 3 nights of our trip - bonus!

So we have 2 weeks, to allow ourselves some relaxing time as well as go-go-go park time. We'll also do a couple of day trips and a quick overnight trip to Las Vegas.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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Sounds like a great time in SoCal to be had!
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:42 AM   #7
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Subbing in! We are doing our 1st ever DL/SoCal trip next year and I can't wait! Eager to hear your plans!
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:28 AM   #8
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I'm here too!!!

So pleased there are other Aussies out there with and addiction to Disney!!! I am really looking forward to hearing about what you think of V Australia as like yourself, we flew Qantas last time too.

They have just announced a major re furb for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for the fall going right through to mid 2013. You might be lucky to get there just in time but we will definitely miss out.

Jealous much of your on site stay. Have never stayed onsite before ever and it is something I always have wanted to do. But I got the Ho Jo AP rate of $59 per night, so more spending money! I am however going to check on any specials they may have on for the last couple of nights we are there, you know, just in case
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:50 AM   #9
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I am spoilt now after always having stayed onsite - blame my husband who convinced me we should stay at DLH the first time (he gets the 'spend money' gene from his mum, where I am the opposite and usually a scrooge!)

Average price per night with concierge is $335/night (with discount and including tax). The last 3 nights are only the standard AP 10% off. I think the concierge component is about $125/night? With 5 of us this is pretty good value for the food/drinks but we're doing it mostly the convenience.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:57 AM   #10
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Now on to the details!

Day 1: Flying, flying, flying, not sleeping, trying to keep the 3 year old entertained.

We arrive into LAX around 10.30am. Will be taking the Disneyland Resort Express to the hotel.

The plan then is to stay awake until going to bed early, we learnt the first time what hasppens when kids sleep on the plane and then have a nap in the afternoon - they are wide awake at midnight!

We'll check in, exchange tickets, get our Photo Pass +, and go on a few rides. The kids want to go to Rainforest Cafe for dinner. Then off to bed for a well deserved sleep.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:57 PM   #11
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Subbing too! Cant wait to read about your trip! Looking forward to hearing about virgin australia too, am about to book another disneyland trip from auckland and v aus are coming up cheaper than direct with air nz so will be good to hear your feedback! Have fun planning!
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneydreamsdancer
Subbing too! Cant wait to read about your trip! Looking forward to hearing about virgin australia too, am about to book another disneyland trip from auckland and v aus are coming up cheaper than direct with air nz so will be good to hear your feedback! Have fun planning!
Will be looking forward to hearing about your experience with v Australia too! We r from Sydney and looking to go for our second DL trip at Halloween. Have booked Hojo, but did PP last time, it was great! Looking at flights has been interesting, we flew with delta two years ago to DL, great trip there, terrible trip home, so we booked united to go to WDW last year, and was not impressed by the lack of seat tvs!! My kids were 5,3 & 1 at the time, so the plane trip was a nightmare! Thank god for phenergan! My gp suggested we use it for the flights as DD 3 gets motion sickness, then he said to give it to the others too for sleeping purposes. (1/2 dose for the 1.5yr old, he's a big boy!) I'd say to grab a bottle of that, get them up pretty early on flight morning, an after a few hours on the plane give them some phenergan, then when you land hopefully you will all be rested!
I have read that many of the v Australia planes don't have seat tvs, so I don't know whether to book with them or not..... If I book with delta, they don't give kid discounts on the seats, so I would have to book a code share flight with v Australia to get the seat discount and the tv seats.

Oh and I love the excuse of carsland! I used that one too! Hope you have a great time! Have subscribed so I can hear all about it! : )
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:49 AM   #13
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I feel a milestone has been reached - our first day is now on the official Park Hours calendar..and so far so good on closures, Casey Jr and Storybook Land Canal Boats are down, plus Sailing Ship Columbia, but I can cope with that.

And it's 6 weeks today until we leave, woo hoo!

Plans for Day 2:

Wake up when we are ready, I'm not going to insist on rope drop after the long trip. Start off at DL, in Tomorrowland, then we'll head over to New Orleans Square, Critter Country and Toontown. Back to the hotel for a rest and swim, then Plaza Inn for dinner and watch the fireworks.

Day 3:

Up early for EMH in DCA, ready for our first experience of Carsland! Lunch at Flo's and lots of other DCA rides. Goofy's Kitchen for dinner and probably an early night after that.

Day 4:

EMH in DL, we'll do Fantasyland first, then head over to Frontierland and back to Tomorrowland. We'll have a rest in the afternoon then back to DL for Fantasmic (with the dessert seating).

Day 5:

DCA again, Big Thunder Ranch BBQ for dinner.

Day 6:

A break from DLR, we'll be off to Knotts Berry Farm. Husband can't wait to try out all the extreme rides, I'm not sure if he'll go on them all but will be ready with the video camera to capture his face after the rides if he does. I'm looking forward to some of the less extreme rides, and the chicken dinner (for lunch). I've already bought our tickets online at a discount and we plan to take the ART.

Day 7:

Dl again - doing all the bits and pieces such a hidden Mickey hunt, Pixie Hollow, re-doing our favourite rides, shopping, etc.

Day 8:

DCA again, including lunch at Ariel's Grotto. And WOC at night.

Day 9:

Another non-Disney day (except for breakfast at Surf's Up with Mickey) - we are hiring a car for 2 days to do a bit of shopping and exploring - we want to check out some Halloween costume shops and husband is keen to look for car parts. And my eldest daughter is desperate to go to Walmart!! This night is the first Halloween party so we're going to avoid the parks and go to Gardenwalk for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

Day 10:

LA day trip - I have convinced husband to drive! Our first trip we took a tour to LA and weren't really happy with not being able to spend the time we wanted at various places. We plan on first going to the Farmer's Market and The Grove (and American Girl for my younger daughter), La Brea Tar Pits, maybe Hollywood, and a drive around Beverly Hills etc.

Day 11:

Off to Las Vegas for a quick one night trip! At first when planning the trip I was thinking about spending 3 or so days in LV, but then decided it wouldn't be the bext destination for the kids - but I really want to see it at least once - so we are just going for one night. We are taking the LuxBus from Anaheim to LV, should arrive about 1pm. We are staying at Paris, I think the girls will love the 'Eiffel tower'. Our plan is basically to walk up and down the Strip checking out the hotels! I'm not a gambler, but hudband may have a bit of a flutter after the kids are in bed.

Day 12:

More LV, should be back in Anaheim by about 8pm.

Day 13:

Nothing planned during the day. We will have dinner at Carnation Cafe, then Halloween Party for our last night!

Day 14:

Whatever we feel like until we head to the airport at about 6pm for our 10pm flight home.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:58 AM   #14
Aust
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I didn't realise I'd let so much time go by between updates! which is good really in a way, the time until our trip is passing quickly. Except this past week has gone soooo slloowww...but tomorrow - only 1 week to go!

I have changed some bits of our plans. Won't put down all the details, but Disney caught me out by opening the parks at 8am on the weekends, and with early entry every day, that would be 7am for us - I really cannot see us being able to get all the kids up and ready and at the gate by 7am, especially on the first weekend when we're still recovering from the long flight - so we'll sacrifice early entry on the weekends for some sleeping in, and will do some of the less popular attractions those days. Then hit early entry hard every weekday (9am much more manageable than 7).

Also my husband has decided he doesn't want to drive into LA, which means we won't be going to American Girl, La Brea Tar Pits, Beverly Hills etc. The girls are disappointed (me too), but I've just ordered an American Girl doll and outfit to be delivered to the hotel. And maybe I can convince him to drive after all - we will see.

And he has also developed a burning desire to go to Huntington Beach, so we'll drive there the second Friday.

Besides that - everything else that can be arranged, has been arranged. Packing has begun, kids are getting more and more excited, and I'm getting more anxious (as I will be until we're actually landed and there). And only 4 more days of work to go until I'm on leave, I think I'm more excited about that than anything else at the moment!! I have next Wednesday off to get all the last minute details organised - then Thursday off we go!!
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:16 AM   #15
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Enjoy the last minute rush and countdown.
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