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Old 07-19-2013, 06:28 AM   #1
Toy Story
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This Christmas, I want to see a real castle : Europe & DLP Dec 2013

Hi,

Well after popping in a few time earlier in the year to ponder a winter European adventure, I am ready to commit with a bit of PTR planning and discussion.

Our trip idea was planted a few years ago when my SIL was posted to Budapest for work. A white Christmas with family sounded like a grand idea, oh DD1 will be turning 21, in January - DLP for her birthday, was the icing on the cake.

So, our dates were set and trip planning put on the back burner as we travelled to the USA in 2012, and DD1 to Japan at the start of 2013. We had a rough idea of plans - fly into Italy and out of Rome, head to Budapest and London in between. I booked flights as soon as a decent price appeared fitting in end of year school commitments before the December price rise. I also booked the Budapest to London part of trip.

Then our plans changed. SIL was advised her position would be ending in August, and she would be in Australia for Christmas. Hmmm what to do. We flipped between Christmas in Venice and Christmas in Vienna. The girls both decided on real castles for Christmas - so we will be in Vienna.

So our plan looks like this:
Rome - Florence - Venice - Vienna - Budapest - London - DLP - Paris - home

We fly out Saturday December 14, and will be away for just over 5 weeks. Our oldest DD is staying Paris for an extra two weeks.

My TR will be on my blog - for consistency and the 2012 TR is still not finished...
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:30 AM   #2
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Nice looking itinerary!
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:13 AM   #3
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147 Days out

Thanks for stopping by PIO

So, we are currently sitting at 5 months (11 pays ) until we leave.

As I we had originally planned on staying with our SIL for about 10 nights, I had to go back to the budget drawing board to factor in the extra accommodation.

It has been interesting researching different cities - and planning. I have been trawling hotel sights and airbnb trying to find something that suits our needs and budget - without getting sucked into the romanticism of Europe.

This is our accommodation so far:
Rome: A View of Rome
Florence: Hotel Pendini
Venice: Hotel Da Bruno
Vienna: apartment near the Nachmarket through airbnb
Budapest: Marriott Apartments
London: apartment in Soho through airbnb
DLP: Disneyland Hotel
Paris: apartment in La Marais through airbnb

Booking for 4 is not always easy, so I have been mainly looking at apartments. The whole airbnb thins is new to me - I have emailed some people and not heard back

I still have to book DLP - there are only Jan offers out for the UK - and the exchange rate is killing me. The dining plan seems huge - nearly $1000 for 4 nights!! That is close to our monthly grocery bill.

Once I have the accommodation is locked in, I will start focussing on the fun things - like internal trains and places to visit.
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Last edited by Toy Story; 07-30-2013 at 08:02 AM. Reason: Vienna accommodation booked, Paris booked, DLP booked
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:22 AM   #4
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Looks like a wonderful trip!!! Looking forward to following along on your blog

Andona
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:39 AM   #5
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Sounds like an amazing Plan
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:39 PM   #6
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Your plans sound delightful. I often dream of going back to Europe for a winter Xmas. The Christmas markets in Europe are so special. If I close my eyes, I can almost smell the mulled wine and gingerbread.

I spent Xmas one year in Austria and it was fabulous.

Just a suggestion. I spent Xmas day in Vienna and was a bit disappointed. It was grey and dreary, everything was closed, and there was no snow. A few days later we drove onwards to Salzburg and Innsbruck and they were both winter wonderlands. I'm not complaining as the whole trip was amazing, but given the choice I would have preferred to have spent Xmas day in one of these 2 cities which, in my opinion, were much prettier than Vienna. Or even better one of the beautiful Villages such as Mondsee or one of my favourites just over the German border near Neuschwanstein Castle - Oberammergau.

Sorry to throw a spanner in the works, but I thought it might give you food for thought. I wrote an unpublished TR of that trip and have hundreds of photos. It's probably not that useful, but let me know if you want me to email any of them to you.

Last edited by WanderlustNZ; 07-19-2013 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:37 PM   #7
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coming along for the ride

although I will be warmer, but what an awesome itin......and did I mention I would be warmer????

just sayin

oh and take the dollar destroyer aka andona with you, then she can focus on the euro and not on the usa dollar.......as really her work here on the USA demise is done
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #8
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Your accommodation is amazing so far. Love your picks.

I will agree with WanderlustNZ about Vienna and prefer Salzburg and/or the countryside as well. Is there a particular reason you want to be in Vienna?

(But don't change your plans just because of a couple of us expressing personal views on a forum!!)
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:35 PM   #9
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Though it was many many years ago I visited Austria I also found Vienna less than my expectations in comparison to one of the smaller cities like Salzburg and Innsbruck and a friend who lived in France at the time used to target one of those cities (but I forget which) or a few places in Germany as her ideal Xmas destination.

I wouldn't do a dining plan at DLP - see lots of discussions on this on the DLP and UK boards. It really is for the convenience of having it pre-paid -it doesn't actually save you anything and there are alternative options in the Village or at Val d'Europe if you stay near there in an apartment. Val d'Europe apartments (one train stop away) get lots of thumbs up. We just stayed at Hotel Cheyenne, a budget property that has 2 bunks as well as double bed for families and package includes breakfast. That and being close to parks were the main perks as during EMH only a few rides are actually open. My TR is in my siggie.

Lucky you. Xmas in Europe is wonderful.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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It sounds like a lovely trip you have planned.

I would love to do Christmas in Europe one day, I'm dreaming of a little English village in a thatched cottage in the country...
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andona View Post
Looks like a wonderful trip!!! Looking forward to following along on your blog

Andona
Thanks - let me know when I should exchange my $

Quote:
Originally Posted by WAMUMOF4 View Post
Sounds like an amazing Plan
Thanks - Europe is so huge, it is hard to know where to start/finish. If I did not already have flights booked from Budapest to London the whole trip would look completly different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderlustNZ View Post
Just a suggestion. I spent Xmas day in Vienna and was a bit disappointed. It was grey and dreary, everything was closed, and there was no snow. A few days later we drove onwards to Salzburg and Innsbruck and they were both winter wonderlands.
Both the girls picked Vienna. I had suggested Innsbruck and Salzberg, after doing three Italian cites in eight days, I think we will be ready to stay put for a couple of days. I know they celebrate on Christmas Eve - so we will be prepared for this. I found a Christmas Market and that the zoo is open on the 25th.

Quote:
Originally Posted by australiankaren View Post
although I will be warmer, but what an awesome itin......and did I mention I would be warmer????

just sayin
:
ahh - but we will have DLP in winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Your accommodation is amazing so far. Love your picks.

I will agree with WanderlustNZ about Vienna and prefer Salzburg and/or the countryside as well. Is there a particular reason you want to be in Vienna?

(But don't change your plans just because of a couple of us expressing personal views on a forum!!)
A few friends said they had really liked Vienna - I have not booked accommodation yet (just a flight from Venice). I think the lure was the Christmas markets -I think I will review the areas we are thinking of staying - as maybe this will have an impact

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Wendy View Post
I wouldn't do a dining plan at DLP - see lots of discussions on this on the DLP and UK boards. It really is for the convenience of having it pre-paid -it doesn't actually save you anything and there are alternative options in the Village or at Val d'Europe if you stay near there in an apartment. Val d'Europe apartments (one train stop away) get lots of thumbs up. We just stayed at Hotel Cheyenne, a budget property that has 2 bunks as well as double bed for families and package includes breakfast. That and being close to parks were the main perks as during EMH only a few rides are actually open. My TR is in my siggie.

Lucky you. Xmas in Europe is wonderful.
Thanks - I have started to read your TR.

Thanks for the information on the dining plan - I will just factor in the $ in our travel card. It is the price of character dining that me.

We are looking at staying at the Disneyland Hotel - purely because it is for DD's 21st (the younger DD has had two WDW birthdays). I liked the idea of being able to just go to the hotel - and warm up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlea98 View Post
It sounds like a lovely trip you have planned.

I would love to do Christmas in Europe one day, I'm dreaming of a little English village in a thatched cottage in the country...
The English country side is one of the things not being factored in to this trip. I may have to start thinking about the two trips away....
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:34 PM   #12
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Just checked out your hotels, they look great
It was very interesting to read your plan as we are doing very similar next year. We fly NYC to Paris, then budapest, Croatia, Venice, Florence and Rome. So very similar itinerary except we are doing croatia instead of Vienna
Oh and I don't get to go to DLPBut I will be doing WDW before heading to NYC.
Look forward to following your plans
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:26 AM   #13
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144 Days to go

After spending a weekend scouring hotel websites, airbnb and cross-referencing with neighbourhood guides, google maps and Trip Advisor.

I have booked and paid for our accommodation in Vienna I was starting to stress about this as there seemed to be nothing left in the location we wanted to book in.
I was event more excited to learn we are right near the Saturday morning flea market - perfect location for a family of collectors.

When we return from the trip I will update the original posting about the airbnb bookings we made.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogo65 View Post
Just checked out your hotels, they look great
It was very interesting to read your plan as we are doing very similar next year. We fly NYC to Paris, then budapest, Croatia, Venice, Florence and Rome. So very similar itinerary except we are doing croatia instead of Vienna
Oh and I don't get to go to DLPBut I will be doing WDW before heading to NYC.
Look forward to following your plans
I wish we had NY in as part of this itinerary, but then we would also have to add in either WDW or DL and there would be less Europe. Have you found accommodation in Paris yet? That is next on my list.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:10 AM   #15
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Toy Story, I can't wait to read your TR as we are hoping to do UK/Europe next Christmas (2014/15) and I'd love to learn from your experiences!!
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