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Old 07-10-2013, 09:41 PM   #1
HootDad
Makes magical trips each year
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John & Kirk's epic trip out west - planning

Hi all,

I am planning a 12-day trip out west for early August with my old friend Kirk. I was interviewed on the DIS Unplugged podcast (check it out - it went out last Thursday the 4th) and you can listen to that or read my blog (link below) for some background on me and Kirk - I won't get into that here. The podcast team made some really good suggestions, and we've been figuring out what we want to incorporate into our trip. I decided it might also be fun to put it out there to the experts on this forum to get some other ideas, or have folks weigh in on our options.

Again you can get more details by listening to the podcast or looking at my blog (or better yet do both!), but for a quick breakdown of our demographic we are two "men of a certain age" and friends since childhood. I am married with 2 kids (20 & 16) and live in NY, Kirk is married with no kids and lives in FL.

I'll post a full TR after the trip to my blog.

Here is our itinerary and some of the options we're considering:

August 1: Las Vegas for 2 days. Staying at the Aria. While here we'll be visiting 2 of my brothers who live here. We'll still have some time to kill. The podcast team suggested Cirque du Soleil. Obviously "Ka" is out (when we recorded non of us had yet heard about the tragic accident), but if we can get tickets to a good show without paying an arm and a leg it'd be a possibility. "Love" is out as I've seen it and I have no desire to see the MJ show (no discount tix I imagine anyway). Suggestions? Nancy also mentioned a zipline thing which sounded awesome but sadly has closed.

August 3: San Diego for 2 days. Staying neat the Padres stadium. Tony said that this is actually a very nice area. We're going to the Padres game Saturday (go Yanks!), and we'll have most of Sunday to kill in SD. No interest in Sea World. Tony also mentioned Belmont Park - another good option. Also the Midway - that might be fun. I'd love to drive through the desert - not sure if we'll have the time and also not sure if Kirk would be interested. Thoughts/suggestions welcome.

That's where we ended with the podcast - the next episode we do we'll cover the rest of the trip.

August 5-8: Disneyland! Staying at the Best Western Park Place for 2 nights (unless my waitlist at the Grand Californian comes through), then we'll move to the Hilton Anaheim. We will have a 3-day pass and for the 4th day we had been thinking of doing a "Walk in Walt's Footsteps" tour much like Nancy had done on the podcast, but now we're re-thinking that maybe we'll do Knott's. We had also been talking about doing a movie at El Capitan but that is looking doubtful. Any other suggestions?

August 9-11: D23 expo! So jazzed! I am thrilled to hear about the emphasis on Imagineering - that is something Kirk and I are really interested in. As well as Disney history. Any suggestions on how to navigate the expo appreciated. And what about food? Where are good places to eat while at the expo?

Again any and all feedback appreciated. Also, I am planning to live tweet and do Facebook updates during the trip so if you're interested follow me on twitter (http://www.twitter.com/hootdad) or friend me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/hootdad). I'll also be posting on twitter using #K&Lgowest.
__________________
John T - "HootDad"
Read http://www.thompsonfamilyweb.com - My blog with Disney reports and other stuff dating back to 1997!
including the August 2013 D23 Expo
Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/hootdad
I was on the podcast! Part 1: http://www.disunplugged.com/2013/07/...sneyland-show/
Part 2: http://www.disunplugged.com/2013/08/...sneyland-show/
Part 3: http://www.disunplugged.com/2013/08/...sneyland-show/

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Old 07-10-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
OhioStateBuckeye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HootDad View Post

August 1: Las Vegas for 2 days. Staying at the Aria. While here we'll be visiting 2 of my brothers who live here. We'll still have some time to kill. The podcast team suggested Cirque du Soleil. Obviously "Ka" is out (when we recorded non of us had yet heard about the tragic accident), but if we can get tickets to a good show without paying an arm and a leg it'd be a possibility. "Love" is out as I've seen it and I have no desire to see the MJ show (no discount tix I imagine anyway). Suggestions? Nancy also mentioned a zipline thing which sounded awesome but sadly has closed.

August 3: San Diego for 2 days. Staying neat the Padres stadium. Tony said that this is actually a very nice area. We're going to the Padres game Saturday (go Yanks!), and we'll have most of Sunday to kill in SD. No interest in Sea World. Tony also mentioned Belmont Park - another good option. Also the Midway - that might be fun. I'd love to drive through the desert - not sure if we'll have the time and also not sure if Kirk would be interested. Thoughts/suggestions welcome.

That's where we ended with the podcast - the next episode we do we'll cover the rest of the trip.

August 5-8: Disneyland! Staying at the Best Western Park Place for 2 nights (unless my waitlist at the Grand Californian comes through), then we'll move to the Hilton Anaheim. We will have a 3-day pass and for the 4th day we had been thinking of doing a "Walk in Walt's Footsteps" tour much like Nancy had done on the podcast, but now we're re-thinking that maybe we'll do Knott's. We had also been talking about doing a movie at El Capitan but that is looking doubtful. Any other suggestions?

August 9-11: D23 expo! So jazzed! I am thrilled to hear about the emphasis on Imagineering - that is something Kirk and I are really interested in. As well as Disney history. Any suggestions on how to navigate the expo appreciated. And what about food? Where are good places to eat while at the expo?

Again any and all feedback appreciated. Also, I am planning to live tweet and do Facebook updates during the trip so if you're interested follow me on twitter (http://www.twitter.com/hootdad) or friend me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/hootdad). I'll also be posting on twitter using #K&Lgowest.
I love Cirque du Soleil. Unfortunately we have not been to any of the Vegas shows, but O sounds real cool, the whole thing is performed over a big tank of water and a lot of the stunts and tricks involve the water.

You also might want to drive out to the Hoover Dam, we are planning a trip similar to yours and we are going to the Dam and to Arches National park (that would be a good desert area for you and isn't supposed to be far from Vegas).

San Diego: try olde town. It has some awesome Mexican restaurants and old buildings and stuff like blacksmith shops.

Also try the gaslamp district for nightlife. I recommend the Prohibition Bar.

For the extra DL day I suggest seeing if any tv tapings are going on:

http://www.tvtickets.com/

If not, most of the late shows should be filming.

We saw a taping of Conan O'Brien and the Big Bang Theory and really enjoyed both the experiences.

You could always walk down the main street of Hollywood and check out the handprints and Grauman's and the El Capitain and all the weirdos that are out and about.

Or you could take a studio tour, like the WB studios or Paramount studios, that were super fun as well.

Another super unique experience is to stay a night at the Magic Castle hotel, which grants you access to the Magic Castle. It is kind of like a magician night club. They have several different magic shows inside, like 10 different bars and the whole place has all these secret rooms and things to discover. It is a really one of a kind experience. You either have to be a magician member, a guest, or a hotel guest to get in. A lot of celebrities hang out there, I think Johnny Depp is some sort of president and we saw Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively the night we went.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
HootDad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
I love Cirque du Soleil. Unfortunately we have not been to any of the Vegas shows, but O sounds real cool, the whole thing is performed over a big tank of water and a lot of the stunts and tricks involve the water.
If we can find reasonable tickets "O" would be high on my list. Haven't brought that up with Kirk yet though...
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post

You also might want to drive out to the Hoover Dam, we are planning a trip similar to yours and we are going to the Dam and to Arches National park (that would be a good desert area for you and isn't supposed to be far from Vegas).
Driving out into the dessert or to the dam is a possibility depending on how much time we have between visiting with folks. Knowing us we'll just hang by the pool
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
San Diego: try olde town. It has some awesome Mexican restaurants and old buildings and stuff like blacksmith shops.
A good thought - definitely a possibility!
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
Also try the gaslamp district for nightlife. I recommend the Prohibition Bar.
According to Tony, our hotel is in the gaslamp distric so we'll likely do this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
For the extra DL day I suggest seeing if any tv tapings are going on:

http://www.tvtickets.com/
Another great suggestion but honestly not something I think we'd want to spend the time doing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
If not, most of the late shows should be filming.

We saw a taping of Conan O'Brien and the Big Bang Theory and really enjoyed both the experiences.

You could always walk down the main street of Hollywood and check out the handprints and Grauman's and the El Capitain and all the weirdos that are out and about.
Definitely a possibility if we don't go to Knott's
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
Or you could take a studio tour, like the WB studios or Paramount studios, that were super fun as well.

Another super unique experience is to stay a night at the Magic Castle hotel, which grants you access to the Magic Castle. It is kind of like a magician night club. They have several different magic shows inside, like 10 different bars and the whole place has all these secret rooms and things to discover. It is a really one of a kind experience. You either have to be a magician member, a guest, or a hotel guest to get in. A lot of celebrities hang out there, I think Johnny Depp is some sort of president and we saw Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively the night we went.
I love this idea! But we're all booked for hotels. Maybe the next time I go out west with my family...

Thanks for the great suggestions!
__________________
John T - "HootDad"
Read http://www.thompsonfamilyweb.com - My blog with Disney reports and other stuff dating back to 1997!
including the August 2013 D23 Expo
Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/hootdad
I was on the podcast! Part 1: http://www.disunplugged.com/2013/07/...sneyland-show/
Part 2: http://www.disunplugged.com/2013/08/...sneyland-show/
Part 3: http://www.disunplugged.com/2013/08/...sneyland-show/

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