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Old 02-08-2010, 04:02 AM   #1
Catch you at the other end
PrincessInOz's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 91,867

TR May 2010-An Aussie's Journey - California Here we Come


California Here We Come

Departure city: Melbourne, Australia (not Florida)
Departure date: early May 2010 (OMG under 90 days to go)
Travelling companions: DH, 9 y.o. DS = immediate party (Update #3). DParents, DBrother, DBGirlFriend, 11 y.o. DBTwins = extended party.
[NOTE: Previously travelled with extended party to DL and SoCal Theme Parks; so we know the good, the bad, the ins and the outs....all cool]

Quick Links

An Aussie in Near Panic #2
A little bit about myself #3
Finally making it to the US #4
Dining plans Report #5
Dining plans Report #5.1
Road trip Miami to Orlando #6
World beating plans? #7
To bag or not to bag #8
Melbourne to Orlando via Miami (and Melbourne) #9
World Beating Plans? Part 2 #10
Thinking of Disney Cheating with Harry #11
I've done ToT for real, now for WDW version #12
7 weeks to go before I'm on a plane and all paid up #13
It's about the camera, not the photographer! #14
Countdown to May! It's time to get fit#15
Countdown to May! 39 days to go
Countdown to May! 38 days to go
Countdown to May! 36 days to go
Countdown to May! 34 days to go
Wishes Dessert Party vs getting fit #16
Countdown to May! 27 days to go
Countdown to May! The slide at SAB is what?? #17
Countdown to May! 19 days to go
Countdown to May! 18 days and weight loss!
Countdown to May! 14 days to go!
Countdown to May! 13 days and packing??
Countdown to May! 12 days: Freezer clear out time
Countdown to May! 11 days - lost more WEIGHT
Countdown to May! 10 days to go
Countdown to May! 9 days to go and a great FOREX rate
Countdown to May! 8 days & DH, DS R ready 2 go?!
Countdown to May! 7 days = 1 week....1 WEEK
Countdown to May! 6 days & time to start culling
Countdown to May! 5 days & free disney photo
Countdown to May! 4 days and a sea of clothes!
Countdown to May! 3 days to go.....!
Countdown to May! 2 sleeps left!
Teleport & backup Stargate not working. Flying to World!

1. Passports! Just realised DH and DS passports expire B4 May 2010. Yikes! Have organised renewals for them. Hmmm...what about myself? 3 years to go on my passport, so I don't need one myself; but DH and DS will have the newest microchip technology in their passports. They can fast track through customs whilst I stand in line for manual processing. Solution? Organise new passport for myself. I only need to convince the passport processing officer why I'm getting a new passport despite having a perfectly good and valid one already.....I'll get back to you on this one. (Update #2)

2. Long haul tickets. DH has traded in Qantas airline points for the most direct flights from Melbourne AUSTRALIA to Los Angeles. It's only a 15 hour flight. Turns out that this is the most expensive flight for DS and myself to get on . "Minor" technicality....do I cough up the $$ or should I book DS and myself on another flight (cheaper and potentially with a different airline)? I'll have to get back on this one too....still thinking. Extended party are travelling on a different airline and flight. (Update #4)

3. Internal flight. LAX to somewhere in Florida. After much deliberation, I've bitten the bullet and have booked LAX to Miami. Yes, I know this is somewhat south of the World...but I've always wanted to see the Everglades. You Floridians might consider this to be nothing but a mosquito infested swamp...but it is considered one of the great ecosystems of the world. DH, DS and I have been in this neck of the woods in 2005 and drove down to Key West (missed out on the keys) and yes - the mossies are huge. We missed out on the Everglades the last time and I'm not travelling down to Florida twice without seeing the Everglades! Any input and advise on things to do at the "swamp" will be gratefully received.
Hmmmm...do I book the red eye (after flying potentially 17 hours from Melbourne AUSTRALIA to LAX) or do I stay one night in Los Angeles?? Decisions, decisions. I'll have to get back to you on this one. Extended party have booked the red eye.
(Update #6 and 9)

4. Road trip from Miami to the World. DH, DS and I have done this trip B4. The last time, we bought our park hopper tickets in YeeHaw junction. They price matched Undercover Tourist prices. Not sure if I'll buy tickets from them this time (see below point 6 for why). I think we're going to have to go to Melbourne FLORIDA on the way up. For those Melbournians reading this (anyone??), please tell me where to go for the best photo opportunity shots. My Melbourne AUSTRALIAN friends would never believe me otherwise.
(Update #6 and 9)

5. Accommodation ONSITE! DH and I have decided to "go for it" this time. Our first (and only other) visit was in 2005 and we stayed off site. With the general WDW discounts, the accommodation is much more affordable even with a 92 (nope), 90 (nope), 88 (nope), possibly 85 cent exchange rate. I used a TA to make my booking for me (yes I know I could have done this myself but I couldn't face staying up to 1 am Melbourne Australia time to call Orlando) and we're doing a split stay at a moderate and a deluxe. Note to self - keep watching that exchange rate and hope that the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) don't kill the global financial markets this time. Prepay, prepay, prepay! Extended party will be looking for Offsite accommodation within their budget.

6. FOOD glorious FOOD. Thinking about change the 5 night moderate stay to a package, with the QSDP. Hmmm...this will mean that I'll have to pay full price for the park hopper tickets...and yes, I am aware that most people think that the QSDP is breakeven at best and that doing counter service food is "limiting"...but table service really isn't our thing with a 9 year old. I'm also not planning on purchasing a one day park ticket so that we can get the dining plan added on when we're at the deluxe; so will be able to test out QSDP vs OOP and post the results. I'm sure I can convince DH that this will be a good American community service opportunity for us .
I've gotten TA to book DH, DS and myself in to a Character Breakfast in the deluxe component of our trip (another 1 a.m. call I haven't had to stay up for). Extended party like to sleep-in (we're early risers) so it's all good. (Update #5 and #5.1)

7. What are we celebrating? I'll be celebrating a birthday during the deluxe part of our stay (and no, I'm not telling you how many times I've celebrated my 21st birthday...and no prizes for guessing either). I'd appreciate any thoughts on how to make this an extra special Disney day (aside from the buttons)....I'll wait till you get back to me on this one. (Update #10)

Disneyland - Dec 1986, May 1990, Dec 1997, Aug 2003, Jun 2005, Jul 2007 TR, Nov 2008, The Mad Dash (Jan 2011, Nov 2012) Oct 14 PTR
Walt Disney World - Jun 2005, May 2010 (POR, BCV) PTR || TR, Oct 2010 (CSR) PTR || TR, Oct 2013 Anyone Game? PTR || TR in progress
Hong Kong Disneyland - Mar/Apr 2012 TR

Last edited by PrincessInOz; 05-20-2010 at 06:12 AM. Reason: TRIP Report
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