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Old 10-13-2012, 06:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by WanderlustNZ View Post
Thank you everyone for your quick responses. It seems that everyone is in favour of maximising our Disney time and your arguements make sense. We like trying all types of holidays, so it's unlikely we'll get back to Florida in quite a long time, if ever. Whereas, we'll defintely go back to Fiji at some stage as we love it there and it's quick and easy to get to.
We really do want to be flexible and relaxed with our time. For example, if we've only been at a theme park for about 4 hours, but we're all feeling hot and bothered, we want to be able to go back to our hotel for a rest without worrying about how little time we have to do everything. For that reason alone, I guess Option A makes sense.

Just a slightly unrelated question. What day would people celebrate their child's birthday at Disney? The day of their birthday American time, the day of their birthday NZ time (i.e the day before), or would you use it as an excuse to have a double birthday?
I had my birthday at WDW in 2010. I celebrated 2 days....ANZAC time and American time.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:18 PM   #17
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Welcome to our ANZAC part of the boards from me too As with the others, for me it's a no-brainer to go with Option A too. You can get back to Fiji or Raro far more easily another time and Orlando so awesome so best maximise your time there as much as possible. We overnighted in LA on the way back to break our journey which worked well for us
Thank you as well. I'm truely blown away by how helpful everyone is on these threads. We plan on overnighting in LA on the way there due to Air NZ flight times. On the way back we thought we would book a morning flight from Orlando which would get us to LA around midday. The flights back to NZ don't leave LA until late evening so we thought we would get a dayroom at LAX to nap/swim/shower etc and just generally unwind while we wait the 8+ hours for our homebound flight. Does that sound like a plan? We won't be booking the domestic flights together with the international ones as it works out too expensive. So I want a huge layover to allow for delays.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:28 PM   #18
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We had our domestic and international on the same tickets and on the way up we went straight through (with a very short connection time) but I chose for us to overnight on the way back so that we did not arrive back in N.Z. quite so exhausted. We flew out of Orlando at 1pm which, due to the time change, got into L.A. late afternoon. We stayed at an L.A. airport hotel and had a late check out until 6pm the next night as our QF flight back to Auckland did not depart until late that night. On our last day, we went to the Culver City mall and did our last bit of shopping - actually spent up large using up the US$ already loaded on our travelcard! For us, it worked out well doing it that way. Having just a day there would be fine too I'm sure and you only need to get back to AKL whereas we also had a domestic flight to WLG.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:42 PM   #19
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I like option A too and my son celebrated his birthday for the whole 10 days we were there lol. The actual day though, I would choose to celebrate American time.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:14 PM   #20
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welcome!!! i think i too would go with option A - we are also planning a disneypalooza trip to the usa in sept 2013, going to disneyland, walt disney world, a disney cruise on the dream, and then stopping in at universal orlando.

i think allocating the extra days to wdw is a good idea, and to be honest, anything you were likely to do on your trip to the islands (lie in the sun on a beach, drink lovely drinks, sleep in, play miniature golf, go for a sail, eat lovely food etc) you can do all in wdw as well. if you have the extra few days, i say stay in one place (less hassle in terms of packing up and moving from point a to point b) and use those days as extra relaxing days at your resort, to ride the monorail, dine at other resort locations, rent a boat, go for a swim etc.

wdw really is a vacation destination all on its own, and there is great shopping nearby

i wish you all the best with your trip planning in the next 12 months!!

also, make sure that you put it on your reservation both on your cruise and at your stay at wdw that your son is celebrating his birthday during your trip. at wdw and on disney cruises, you don't have to even be having the birthday during your time there, it could just be a belated celebration -- you will still receive lots of pixie dust.

also, if this is your first visit, make sure you get 'first visit' buttons for each member of your family. these may also generate pixie dust moments.

a work colleague of mine saved up for ages to celebrate a milestone birthday in wdw. she couldn't get time off for her actual birthday, but still notified disney that the reason for her trip was for her birthday. she got lots of pixie dust, from a free pin from a CM, lots of random happy birthday comments, a free balloon, free cupcakes during ADRs, free dole whips etc. it made it all the more special for her, as these types of things, while small, do help to make the vacation more magical, and make you feel special.

for this reason, make sure you let them know it is your DS's birthday!! they usually like to sprinkle lots of pixie dust on kids
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:25 PM   #21
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Welcome to the boards I am also going to say option A if you want to relax on the way home could you do the cruise last instead, I realise you said you already have it booked. Our son has had his birthday the last 2 years in the USA and he celebrated in USA time we just went with what the calendar said it was easiest for us. Happy planning but if your anything like the rest of us on here one trip wont be enough and you will soon be plotting ways to get back and get your next fix
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #22
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... if you want to relax on the way home could you do the cruise last instead, I realise you said you already have it booked...
Hi there. Thanks for your response.
Doing the cruise on the 28th Sept was my initial plan as it seemed like a good way to relax near the end of our trip. However, being the obsessive planner that I am, I did lot's of research and decided that the cruise on the 21st would suit us a little bit better. 4 reasons. Firstly, it's an Easter Caribbean which appealed to me a tiny bit more than the Western. Secondly, we're big foodies and it means we'll be at WDW for the Food and Wine Festival, whereas, by going to WDW first, we wont. Thirdly (and it's probably wishful thinking) I'm ever hopeful that Orlando will be a tiny bit cooler the start of Oct as opposed to the end of Sept. And lastly, and probably most importantly, the type of ship cabin we really wanted was only still available on the earlier cruise.
On the flipside, I would prefer to do Universal at the end after the cruise instead of before it. By then my son will hopefully be a bit more used to theme park rides and will be brave enough to try some of Universal's slightly scarier ones. I don't want to put him on a scary Universal ride right at the start and then have him scared off rides for the whole holiday.
Am I right to assume you can't split your Disney package stays up with a cruise? i.e. 3 days Disney, cruise, 8 nights Disney? That way we could do Universal at the end.

Thanks again everyone for all your help and responses so far. To those who gave me advice on Disney birthdays, thanks heaps. I think that will be the edge that will sway us towards staying longer in Florida over Fiji.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by alicia1506 View Post
welcome!!! i think i too would go with option A - we are also planning a disneypalooza trip to the usa in sept 2013, going to disneyland, walt disney world, a disney cruise on the dream, and then stopping in at universal orlando.
Thanks for your help. That sounds like a great holiday and quite similar to ours except you're also going to Disneyland. My son is 'Cars' mad and Cars Land looks awesome (IMO much more exciting than the new WDW Fantasyland extension). Would love to get there too, but unfortunately it's just not possible this time around. Maybe next time....
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:32 PM   #24
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In 2011 our 5 turning 6 yo celebrated every day as the bookings had his birthday in. So every table service meal at wdw ( which was every night) he got a little cake and candle. He thought he was 'the man' . Out 13 turning 14 yo had his birthday over 2 days Aussie time at rainforest cafe, USA time at big thunder ranch at dlr. very cool!
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