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Old 10-04-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
Beee
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Talking 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!

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 . 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.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:20 PM   #2
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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.`
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:14 PM   #3
BecBennett
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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!!

Other then that though, your trip looks awesome!!
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BecBennett View Post
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
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:48 AM   #5
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so a little update on my list:
  • passport for me - application sent, credit card charged so counting this as done. Will hopefully receive it sometime next week
  • passport for Mr - application sent, credit card charged so counting this as done. Will hopefully receive it sometime next week
  • transport - LAX-DLH - discount coupons printed for Disneyland Express, will pay cash on the day
  • transport - DL-Hollywood
  • transport - Hollywood-LAX - will book taxi through hotel
  • order my GF meal on plane
  • ESTAs
  • take dog for orientation visit to pet hotel - November
  • buy universal studios tickets - decided to do Warner Bros tour instead, tickets booked and paid for
  • book disney restaurants - BTR BBQ, Carthay Circle, Ariel's Grotto booked, thinking about booking Cafe Orleans and Goofy's Kitchen as well

and added to the list:
  • Book Fantasmic dessert package - 30 days out
  • figure out what we are doing for the Saturday in LA...
  • investigate some kind of pearl harbour tour
  • change DLH booking to AP rate - done, saved about $250

So, making progress but still feel like I'm missing something vital off the list and I will end up in a panic a week before we fly out
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:59 AM   #6
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Sounds like you're getting through the list.

Hopefully you've got nothing missing, which I'm sure you haven't....just that last minute "I think I missed something" feeling.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:42 PM   #7
Beee
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Yay! our passports arrived this morning so more to cross off the list
  • passport for me - done
  • passport for Mr - done
  • transport - LAX-DLH - discount coupons printed for Disneyland Express, will pay cash on the day
  • transport - DL-Hollywood
  • transport - Hollywood-LAX - will book taxi through hotel
  • order my GF meal on plane
  • ESTAs - done
  • take dog for orientation visit to pet hotel - November
  • buy universal studios tickets - decided to do Warner Bros tour instead, tickets booked and paid for
  • book disney restaurants - BTR BBQ, Carthay Circle, Ariel's Grotto booked, thinking about booking Cafe Orleans and Goofy's Kitchen as well
  • Book Fantasmic dessert package - 30 days out
  • figure out what we are doing for the Saturday in LA...
  • investigate some kind of pearl harbour tour
  • change DLH booking to AP rate - done, saved about $250
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
australiankaren
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beee View Post
Yay! our passports arrived this morning so more to cross off the list
  • passport for me - done
  • passport for Mr - done
  • transport - LAX-DLH - discount coupons printed for Disneyland Express, will pay cash on the day
  • transport - DL-Hollywood
  • transport - Hollywood-LAX - will book taxi through hotel
  • order my GF meal on plane
  • ESTAs - done
  • take dog for orientation visit to pet hotel - November
  • buy universal studios tickets - decided to do Warner Bros tour instead, tickets booked and paid for
  • book disney restaurants - BTR BBQ, Carthay Circle, Ariel's Grotto booked, thinking about booking Cafe Orleans and Goofy's Kitchen as well
  • Book Fantasmic dessert package - 30 days out
  • figure out what we are doing for the Saturday in LA...
  • investigate some kind of pearl harbour tour
  • change DLH booking to AP rate - done, saved about $250
hey, where did you get the DL express vouchers????
Also, dining bookings for DLR, is it only 30 days out???
I need to get onto my own DL planing.....
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by australiankaren

hey, where did you get the DL express vouchers????
Also, dining bookings for DLR, is it only 30 days out???
I need to get onto my own DL planing.....
I don't know if its changed- but the dl bus leaves every hour and you can pay at end if the drive at Anaheim
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:51 PM   #10
Beee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by australiankaren View Post
hey, where did you get the DL express vouchers????
Also, dining bookings for DLR, is it only 30 days out???
I need to get onto my own DL planing.....
here's the $5 off coupon, they have discount coupons on dining etc too so worth a nosy http://anaheimoc.org/content/disneyl...land-resort-ex

Dining at DL can be booked 2 months out so you can book on the 20th of Oct for dining on the 20th of Dec etc. But fantasmic and I think tours? can only be booked 30 days out.

By the way I showed the Mr the photo of all your bags after your WDW trip and he was terrified that will be us
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:56 PM   #11
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Apparently I am almost a month away, really? how did that happen? My bank account is not looking as healthy as I'd like it to be for so few pay days left to go....

So thought a list update was in order even though I feel like I haven't done much lately
  • passport for me - done
  • passport for Mr - done
  • transport - LAX-DLH - discount coupons printed for Disneyland Express, will pay cash on the day
  • transport - DL-Hollywood - have a quote from I think Zippy Shuttles for $90 which I think I will book, just need to decide on a time, there are very few options it seems for transfers from DL - Hollywood.
  • transport - Hollywood-LAX - will book taxi through hotel
  • order my GF meal on plane
  • ESTAs - done
  • take dog for orientation visit to pet hotel - November
  • buy universal studios tickets - decided to do Warner Bros tour instead, tickets booked and paid for
  • book disney restaurants - BTR BBQ, Carthay Circle, Ariel's Grotto, Cafe Orleans and Goofy's Kitchen are all booked
  • Book Fantasmic dessert package - 30 days out
  • figure out what we are doing for the Saturday in LA - have finally convinced/bullied the Mr into hiring a car for the Saturday & Sunday so we will do Griffith Park, a drive around beverly hills, maybe california science center so he can see the space shuttle and really will take things as they come (I'm not sure the control freak in me can bear nothing set in concrete but I will give it a shot).
  • investigate some kind of pearl harbour tour - I have outsourced this job to my mum
  • change DLH booking to AP rate - done, saved about $250
  • pay deposit for the pet hotel - sent that off yesterday

have also organised my toiletries, little travel sized first aid kit, bought a US adaptor so we can charge our phones, I have my amazon order all ready to go (just waiting for black friday before I order ) and I think that is about it....I feel like I am forgetting to organise something really vital, hate that feeling
On the work front I have a list going with everything I need to do and organise. For the first time ever I have got someone actually sitting in my chair doing my work for me while I'm away instead of dumping it all on the 1 other person I work with - this is actually feeling like way more effort than it is worth as I have been having to train this person for the last 2 months and must write copious amounts of notes to guide them through the 2 busiest weeks of the year....and I am mildly concerned about what state I will find everything in on my return, trying not to think about that .

So, that is where I am at, basically a big ball of stress at the moment which I am hoping will move to calm and collected at some point before we leave (maybe once we get on the plane? )
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:41 PM   #12
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Woohoo, 28 sleeps to go....So another list update:
  • passport for me - done
  • passport for Mr - done
  • transport - LAX-DLH - discount coupons printed for Disneyland Express, will pay cash on the day
  • transport - DL-Hollywood - rental car booked with Alamo - will pick up from DTD
  • transport - Hollywood-LAX - dropping rental car off at their LAX depot and will taxi to yet to be decided LAX hotel
  • Book LAX Hotel, and cancel 3rd night at Orchid Suites
  • ESTAs - done
  • take dog for orientation visit to pet hotel - will do this next Sunday when the Mr is back from his week and a half working out of town.
  • buy universal studios tickets - decided to do Warner Bros tour instead, tickets booked and paid for
  • book disney restaurants - BTR BBQ, Carthay Circle, Ariel's Grotto, Cafe Orleans and Goofy's Kitchen are all booked
  • Book Fantasmic dessert package - done, have the 9pm showing on the 9th December
  • figure out what we are doing for the Saturday in LA - vague plans of Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive, Griffith Park, maybe a sleep in - we'll just see where the day takes us
  • investigate some kind of pearl harbour tour - I have outsourced this job to my mum
  • change DLH booking to AP rate - done, saved about $250
  • pay deposit for the pet hotel - done

All looking pretty good, only thing left to do really is take the dog for her visit to the pet hotel and book the LAX hotel which I will do on Monday at work where I have access to a printer that works
So, all appears to be going to plan and I can focus on work stuff for the next couple of weeks and saving those last few dollars
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:25 PM   #13
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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
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:58 PM   #14
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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 It will be like a whole 2 weeks of Christmas Just tell the pilot not to run over Santa

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
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:11 PM   #15
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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....!
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