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Old 01-01-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
KiwiMouseGirl
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We have a change of plan, Stan! *update*

Welcome everyone to the first update of the Scary and Merry planning adventures! Sit back, grab a snack , and brace yourselves for 10 whole months of Disneyland planning trials and tribulations! Before we get into the first chapter of our story, let me introduce the cast of travelers!


Myself, Cass! Will be 19 years young at the time of travel. Disney obsessor extraordinaire and overly excited trip planner! Has been to Disneyland once!




The best friend, Alicia Will also be 19 years young at the time of travel. Is willing to embrace all the magic that Disneyland can offer. This will be her first trip!





Alrighty, now on with the story!


This trip has been in the pipelines for a good Five or so months now. When we originally started planning, the purpose of the trip was to see Disneyland decked out in all of it's Halloween goodness. Our original travel dates were going to be from the last week of September till around about the Second week in October. We decided back then that we wanted to go for a reasonable amount of time so that we could enjoy this holiday and not feel rushed off our feet. It's now that I will mention that I do competitive dance, and after having a year off last year (Oh my Mickey it's 2013 already, yikes ) I hadn't particularly been planning on dancing this year for the specific reason that I had this trip planned. The National dancing competition is held on Labour day, so I wouldn't be able to have Three weeks off training before the big competition. And there wouldn't be enough time after the competition to enjoy the Halloween overlay at a slower pace. But alas, the dancing gods have spoken and I am currently planning on dancing at Nationals this year. Which brings me to....

Chapter Two! While I am excited to be dancing this year, it put a massive bendy kink in our travel plans! Especially when I realized that I had calculated Labour weekend to be on the 21st of October, when it's actually on the 28th!! Alicia and I sat down for our first serious trip meeting (At McDonalds ) to make some decisions on what we were going to do with our travel dates. It was decided then that we would be jetting out ON Labour day from Auckland airport. Coincidentally, Nationals is being held in Auckland this year. So while it will mean a big weekend for me, I took the fact that I would be right by the airport as a sign that this trip was meant to happen! There will just be LOTS of sleeping happening on the flight!

Chapter Three! It then came to my realization that while we will feel a tad rushed to enjoy the Halloween offerings, going on our trip later will mean that we can catch the beginning of the Christmas season at Disneyland! It has always been my dream to see Disneyland during both of the major overlays, so getting Halloween and Christmas in the one trip will be amazing! After a few emails back and forth with the travel agent, she suggested that we look at booking in February/March. Due to work and other engagements at the end of February we will be booking on my birthday (March 13) as I will have the day off work Which brings us to the present day! It is now January Second where I live. Which gives us 10 weeks to finish saving for our airfare and accommodation deposit.

Unfortunately Alicia works shift work, so can have some pretty unreliable hours to be saving for a trip. She's trying as hard as she can to save the money for the airfare but told me the other day she might not make it quite by March as she didn't realize our flights had to be payed in full 14 days after booking. If she hasn't made it by March, that's not a problem, we will just book in April. I told her from the beginning that I will be here to motivate her with her savings if she's ever finding it difficult. So I am taking it upon myself as Official Disneyland Trip Savings Cheerleader to come up with some savvy savings idea's and payment plans to keep Alicia feeling the magic during her saving I have drawn out a few different savings and payment plans (thanks to the help from my friends over on the Australia board ) The options are basically setting dates to pay for certain things like our accommodation and tickets. Or to have a savings plan and save a certain amount of money a week and pay for everything in one blow at the end. It doesn't affect me in any way, so the decision will be up to her. I think it will be best for her to pay things as we go to make sure that everything is payed for, but we will see what she chooses

I know that 10 months out seems pretty early to start a pre trip report. But all of you other OCD planners will agree with me that there is always something to research and organize! I hope that you all will join me on this pre trip report planning journey and offer your idea's and thoughts on our trip! We have a very rough itinerary drafted so will post that shortly!

- Cass
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:32 PM   #3
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Can I sub in now?


Looking forward to the next 10 months!


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Old 01-01-2013, 04:39 PM   #4
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Subscribed and looking forward to reading along.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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PrincessInOz and areweindisneyyet, thanks for subscribing and welcome aboard!

As mentioned previously, here is the rough itinerary. Keeping in mind we won't know Halloween party dates until the middle of the year, and we don't know yet weather or not Disneyland will have their Christmas entertainment in a Christmas party, which will affect our itinerary also I'm really excited to finalize our itinerary when the time comes, so any suggestions will be appreciated!

28th October: Depart Auckland airport, arrive LAX. Staying at the Paradise Pier Hotel. Pick up some stuff for breakfast in the room and some small snacks for the parks. Explore Downtown Disney. Dinner reservations at the Rainforest Cafe. Go back to the room and enjoy our custom delivered chocolate cake and watch the fireworks from the roof of the hotel. Maybe have a spa then turn in for our bid day ahead.

29th October: First day at Disneyland. Be at the park for rope drop. Get a first visit badge for Alicia. Steer the Mark Twain Lunch reservations at the Blue Bayou. Hopefully there is a MNSSHP on this night. In which case we would return to the hotel to change into our costumes, and enjoy a night of trick or treating! Seeing the parade and fireworks would be a priority!

30th October: First day at DCA. Avoid Carsland today and start with TOT. Princess lunch at Ariel's Grotto. WOC dinner at Wine Country Trattoria.

31st October: Universal Studios. Be there at opening to ride all of the rides with minimal wait. Do the Studio Tour in the middle of the day and catch some shows. Dinner at the City Walk. Return to Universal for Halloween Horror Night.

1st November: Relax today. Order room service breakfast. Catch a movie in Downtown Disney. Dinner reservations at ??????

2nd November: Disneyland. Late breakfast reservations at Minnie and Friends. Secure spots for Fantasmic! by the POTC bridge. Send a runner for dinner and dessert. Spend the rest of the evening around Adventureland/NOS/Critter Country.

3rd November: DCA. Hit Carsland in the morning. Fastpasses for RSR? Head over to Disneyland to secure spots for Fireworks. Again, send a runner for dinner and dessert. Take turns exploring Mainstreet!

4th November: Relax day. Half day shopping trip to The Outlets at Orange. Spend the rest of the day relaxing.

5th November: Sea World. Dolphin Interaction Program.

6th November: Empty day

7th November: San Diego Zoo. Backstage zoo tour.

8th November: Empty day

9th November: Park hopping. Do all of our favorite rides from earlier in our trip. Catch nighttime entertainment

10th November: Park hopping. Do all of our favorite rides from earlier in our trip. Catch nighttime entertainment

11th November: Relax day. Swimming?

12th November: Hollywood. Hollywood walk of fame. Madame Tussaud's.

13th November: Knott's berry farm

14th November: Empty day

15th November: Departure day

As you can see, lot's of empty days that will be filled up the closer that we get to our trip!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:01 PM   #6
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sounds like a great itinerary and a great trip.

hope you and alicia are able to save up lots for all of your trip expenses. sounds like you have a series of really nice experiences planned.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:39 PM   #7
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Well, not much has happened lately apart from saving saving saving! My group of friends went out to dinner on Thursday night to celebrate two peoples birthdays. One of those was Alicia's!! I wanted to give her something meaningful and trip related, so made her one of these! (this one is actually my one, her one is green and purple)



Inside I put a book of 'travel vouchers' I had made to help Alicia with the trip! The book had vouchers for $100 airline credit, 1 ticket to SeaWorld San Diego, 1 ticket to knots berry farm, 1 ticket to breakfast with Minnie and Friends, 1 ticket for the Happiest Haunts Tour at Disneyland and $25 Disney dollars. She was really happy with it and got super excited about our trip, which was the goal

So for now we will just keep saving hard and counting down until April when we book! ONLY 38 WEEKS, 2 DAYS TO GO!
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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Very nice gift....particularly with all those vouchers.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:35 PM   #9
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Change of plans, stan!

Well, as the title states we have had a change of plans! After multiple twists and turns an ups and downs, we have had to change the dates for our trip. We are now planning on travelling from the 27th of April till the 11th of May. Aanndd we have an addition! My younger brother Kyle! I remember on my last trip pretty much constantly thinking "Wow, Kyle would LOVE this" and made a spontaneous decision yesterday morning that I would bring him along too! I'm planning on surprising him ON THE DAY that we leave AT the airport! Hopefully he won't see it coming! So, without further adew, I will introduce the NEW case of characters!

Myself, Cassandra. Currently 19 will be 20 when we travel. Lover of all things Disney and official trip planner extraordinaire!



Alicia, the best friend! Currently 19 will be 20 when we travel. Eager to travel and see what Disney has to offer!



Kyle, the younger brother. Currently 16 will be 17 when we travel. Has absolutely NO clue that he is coming on this trip and I plan for it to stay that way!



Our list of places to visit consists of: Disneyland, DCA, Universal Studios, Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hollywood.

I am SUPER excited for this trip and cannot wait to bring you all along for the ride! Stay tuned for an updated itinerary.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:36 PM   #10
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Fantastic! I was wondering how your plans were going.

And how great to surprise your brother. Looking forward to seeing how that one plays out.

Apr/May is a nice time in California too.

Just once question....is that THIS year (If so, OMG that's in 3 weeks!!!); or next????
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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That is lovely that you are taking your brother along too
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:21 PM   #12
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Hi there Cass

I am so excited to see you have got your plans finalised for your trip. Now you will have more time to save and you will be able to concentrate on your dancing without having to worry about it affecting your trip.

You are going to be your brothers best friend forever! What a wonderful thing to do and to make it a surprise will make it even more special. You are a lovely sister

I will be looking forward to hearing all about the parks in April/May as I have wanted to visit at those times but just never got around to it!

Can't wait to hear more plans
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:06 PM   #13
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Well, i'm back again with yet ANOTHER change of plans. Go figure. If anything this is a step back to our previous plan. I have now decided to take my brother on a trip for his 18th birthday (2015) I figured with 18 being a big birthday it would make more sence to take him then. I am tossing up between Disneyland and Walt Disney World for that trip. I do love Disneyland, but both my brother and I are Harry Potter fanatics and I would love to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I'll have to do some more research into WDW and see if I can be swayed to visit there.

So we are back to having just me and Alicia on this trip. With easter being so late we have pushed our trip back a bit and will now be departing New Zealand in the first week of May. Hopefully we miss the spring break crowds and aren't too affected by Grad nights. Either way with dedicated rope drop attendance and a well thought out touring plan, I am sure we will be fine At this stage we have planned to spend 5 days at Disneyland, 2 focused on DL, 2 focused on DCA and 1 to do our favourites at both parks. Do you think this will be enough? While we are all for hard core touring, we are planning on riding every ride at least once, we would also like to be able to stop and smell the roses every now and again. We will be doing lots of shopping as well! I'm just worried that we won't get everything done!! I know that in New Zealand when purchaing through a travel agent we have the option of getting tickets with more days than is standardly available through Disney. I think the tickets are for 10 or 14 days? I am contemplating weather or not these would be a better option. I am starting to get prices from Travel Agents for our holiday as we will be booking in October, and while I have done a budget, I would like to see the prices for flights, accommodation and Disneyland tickets that Travel Agents can offer.

Well, that's all from me now. With everyday I'm, getting more and more excited for our trip. I wish we were leaving tomorrow, haha!
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:16 PM   #14
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Wow Cass! Your brother is going to love you forever! How good are you at keeping secrets?
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:26 PM   #15
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That is so exciting, your brother will be so surprised.
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