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Old 01-11-2011, 09:10 AM   #1
Chilly
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Chilly's Golden Triangle Roadtrip (with not a lot of road) Pre Trip Report

WHEN AND WHERE

California, Disneyland & Vegas 26th March to 9th April

CAST

ME - LOVES Disney, planning, shopping and cocktails
DH - LOVES me



Special Guest Star - Dizzy Bear



BACKGROUND

DH and I went to California and Vegas back in 2005 the year before we went to WDW together for the first time. We spent 6 nights in LA/Disneyland, 3 nights in Vegas, and 5 nights in San Francisco. The plan had been to drive between them all but we found it would actually be cheaper and quicker to fly between them plus at that time DH was under 25 and had never driven abroad before. We had a great holiday and said we would def go back again but that next time we would make it a roadtrip.

Fastforward to last year when our friends announced they would be getting married in Las Vegas on Tuesday 29th March and the date for our return was decided. If we had been going back just the 2 of us I think we'd have given Vegas a miss 2nd time around but I am looking forward to going with a bunch of our friends. We decided the best thing would be to fly to Vegas on the Saturday before the wedding and to spend 4 nights there, leaving the day after the wedding. I think most of the wedding guests our on the same Virgin flight as us including our friends although not the bride and groom who fly in the day before.

One of the places we had wanted to visit last time was Yosemite National Park but we couldn't fit it in so we decided to head there from Vegas spending a night on the road and then 2 nights in the park. We would then head to San Fran for 3 nights, and then drive down the coast road (something we really wanted to do), spending one night on route, ending in Disneyland (gotta get my fix) for 3 nights before flying home from LAX, making it a 2 week trip. We had wanted to make it longer fitting in San Diego and Lake Powell but given the money situation decided we couldn't.

As we had a WDW holiday before this holiday we didn't do much planning or booking of hotels until I suddenly realised this holiday wasn't that far off. I went to book the Yosemite hotel to find it was fully booked, eek. So we talked it over and decided we should skip Yosemite, it isn't really the best time to go and the trip consisted of tons of driving for DH and this would cut quite a lot of that out and not make everything else so rushed. We would just have to go back again to do that and make that the focus. We now had 3 extra nights to play with so decided to add one to San Fran, one to the coast road and one to Disneyland. We also decided it made more sense to fly from Vegas to San Fran as it was cheaper and quicker.

This meant our Road Trip only now consisted of 3 days on the road - whoops!

More details coming soon...

Last edited by Chilly; 04-26-2011 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:39 AM   #2
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Sounds great Claire. Looking forward to more!
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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Even though you won't be on the road much, you will be on some of the most dramatic parts

You must do 17 Mile Drive near Carmel

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Old 01-11-2011, 07:00 PM   #4
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Awesome sauce!!
Can't wait to hear more about this
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:21 AM   #5
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Sounds like a great trip. Bet you can't wait
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire L View Post
Even though you won't be on the road much, you will be on some of the most dramatic parts

You must do 17 Mile Drive near Carmel

Claire
I've been to 17 Mile but will def do it again, if I could live anywhere in the world it would be there.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:32 AM   #7
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The Plan So Far

I've taken the Friday before we fly off work but because of DH's work situation we don't know yet what time we can leave but we'll be getting the train to Gatwick and staying the night at the Hilton which I booked when it was on offer, its our Christmas present to each other. Our friends our coming from Essex but I think they'll just arrive on Saturday morning.

We are on the 11:20am Virgin flight to Las Vegas landing at 3:05pm. As there was 7 of us I thought it would be fun and cost effective to get a limo from the airport to our hotel but the others didn't seem keen.

Our home for the next 4 nights is the Planet Hollywood Hotel which is opposite the Bellagio where the wedding is. I was tempted to book a Fountain View room as I love them but decided we'd hardly be in the room so its not worth it.





I picked this hotel mainly because of its location but I also got a deal on the price and was excited to see it has an EoS in the hotel.

So far we don't really have any plans, the first night we will probably just have a quiet one. On the 2nd night we'll all be going out on the town. Night 3 we plan to see Cirque du Soliel at the Bellagio, need to sort tickets for this. Then night 4 is the wedding. So far we have no plans in the day. We've already been to the Grand Canyon so won't be doing that. I hope to just use this time to relax.

The day after the wedding we are catching a Southwestern flight at 1:05pm to San Francisco. So far we have no hotel booked and i'm researching that at the moment. After our 4 nights in SF we'll hire a car to drive down the coast, we are going to treat ourselves to a convertible.



We'll stop for 2 nights on route, again these aren't booked yet and i'm looking at options at the moment. Then we'll arrive in Disneyland for 4 nights where we'll probably stay at the HOJO.



I've not booked this yet but I have gotten an Entertainment Card off eBay so I can get a discount, I don't want to book this until we confirm the other parts of our trip. I wanted to stay at the GC but I couldn't justify spending that much at the moment even if we'd rented DVC points. We then fly home from LAX at 8:55pm on the Saturday, landing on the Sunday at 3:35pm at Heathrow where we'll catch the coach home.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:22 AM   #8
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It sounds fabulous Claire. We are thinking of doing something similar next year if finances allow. Tony desperately want to see Las Vegas and I want to see LA and San Francisco.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:37 AM   #9
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Your roadtrip sounds amazing Claire. I can't wait to hear about your adventures and see some pics, have a fab time
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:36 PM   #10
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Unhappy Fantasmic

Just realised Fantasmic is not scheduled while we are in Disneyland
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:02 PM   #11
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San Francisco

I've been researching the holiday each day in my lunch break and have pretty much decided on the Hotel Carlton for our stay in San Francisco. Its near Union Square, gets good reviews and is currently on sale.





No plans as yet to what we'll do while we are there. Last time we did all the major tourist things so any suggestions welcome.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:08 PM   #12
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Coast Road/Disneyland

I must be crazy but i've decided to give up a day at Disney to spend an extra night on the coast road. So for our first night we'll stay in Monterey, our second night will be in Cambria, and our third night will be in Santa Barbara. I've had lots of hotel suggestions for down the coast but if anyone has anymore let me have them.

Lots of plans for this part of the trip, Cannery Row, 17 Mile Drive, Carmel, Big Sur, Bixby Bridge, Hearst Castle, Mcway Falls, to name some, if anyone knows any other good places let me know.

The HOJO has just realsed some more discounted dates, one of which falls when we are there so I'll probably book that at the weekend.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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Just found time to properly catch up - we're planning on staying at the Planet Hollywood in Vegas too in 2012 - I've got the Fountain View on the budget spreadsheet at the moment!
Not made decisions on any other hotels yet though.

I'd be interested to hear who you book all your different elements through, flights, hotels etc. If we stay on target with our savings it'll be June before we can book flights anyway, and we're already getting distracted by discussing Christmas in New York and if there's any decent offers for WDW Free Dining - we need to stay focused!!

Looking forward to hearing more!
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:36 AM   #14
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your plans sound great, looking forward to reading all about it
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:31 AM   #15
Chilly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meryll83 View Post
Just found time to properly catch up - we're planning on staying at the Planet Hollywood in Vegas too in 2012 - I've got the Fountain View on the budget spreadsheet at the moment!
Not made decisions on any other hotels yet though.

I'd be interested to hear who you book all your different elements through, flights, hotels etc. If we stay on target with our savings it'll be June before we can book flights anyway, and we're already getting distracted by discussing Christmas in New York and if there's any decent offers for WDW Free Dining - we need to stay focused!!

Looking forward to hearing more!
Well staying focused i've not had to worry about as i'm going for a wedding.

I booked PH direct with them when they had an offer on via FB.

Flights direct with Virgin. BA were more expensive.

Hotel Carlton is through Expedia.

HOJO is direct with them so I can use my entertainment card to get a discount.

Coast hotels - i'll let you know.
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