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Old 01-01-2012, 07:12 AM   #1
chrisbris
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Aussie Aussie Aussie - An Aussie take on a first time WDW visit

G'Day All!

So I have been lurking here on the Board for a while now reading all the wonderful information, questions & answers, reviews and other pearls of wisdoms. The Dis Unplugged podcast has become a must listen to and I'm slowly working my way through the back catalogue. So may gems! A big thank you to everyone who contributes to make this such a wonderful online community.

In 2011 we visited Disneyland Paris as part of our trip from London to Paris then down through Northern Italy ending in Venice and we both fell in Love with Disneyland. Disneyland Paris was amazing like nothing we have ever visited before. We live in Brisbane Queensland Australia so only about 50 minutes from Australia’s main them parks - Movieworld, Seaworld, Wet’n’Wild and Dreamworld but none of our park had anything on the amazing theming of Disneyland Paris.

So when we got home we started planning our 2012 Holiday. We go away most Septembers/Octobers as this is when my partners university holidays are and the quietest time at work for me.

At first I was afraid to suggest it to my BF not sure if he would want to go as much as I did as I had already been on here researching WDW but he jumped at the suggestion to goto Disneyworld as long as we also got to goto Harry Potter at Universal. So all systems were go to start planning the trip!

I guess a this point I had better introduce us:

The Travelers:
ME - I love to travel and have been to a lot of place around the world - probly the USA is where I have been least of all - the last few times I have to New York and we spent a week in Las Vagas but apart from that not seen much of the USA. I work in Music Festivals so go through really busy periods at work then not so busy so having the holiday to look forward to is a must.

And the BF, he is 26 from North Queensland who had his first visit to the USA last year when we visited Las Vegas. He has mainly travelled in Asia is currently studying hard so we will be going in his September break.

We have been together for 5 years in April and are so excited to be traveling again on another big trip!

I should say at this point I am the planner in the relationship! Dear BF is not a good planner and is happy to leave it to me. I guess I find it hard to walk the fine line that many do of going ahead and just making and planning decisions and trying to keep him involved and excited! On our big trip to Europe I found the best way to do it was rather then talking about everything and all the options was to make a decision and plan and then see how he reacted - if good then great! if bad then back to the drawing board....

The booking:
Firstly and foremost a big thanks to Jennifer at Dreams Unlimited Travel who has been excellent. Big shout out to Jennifer on doing such a great job getting us organized.

So the plan is we are leaving Brisbane on September 19 arriving into LAX on 19 September (due to crossing the date line) at 6:40 in the morning. Luckily we managed to pick up return flights Brisbane- Los Angeles and Los Angles – Brisbane on Qantas in Premium Economy on points. So happy for getting Premium Economy Seats as its such a looonnnnggg trip!

Here comes the first decision (of many) to be made - because we only got Brisbane-Los Angles - Brisbane on points all our internal flights we need to book and pay for. I am Oneworld Sapphire member and want to stick to American Airlines so we get the benefits but the direct flight LAX-MCO leaves at 8:25am or at 9:45pm which is to close to our 6:40am arrival. Also because they are not on the same ticket if we are late landing technically the airlines have no obligation to help us out. So we are no thinking about spending 24 hours in Los Angeles to just rest and relax after the long flight and to help adjust with the Jet Lag. Im really in two minds about what to do or push on and get to the world.

Now the Disneyworld booking - Originally we were staying at Port Orleans Riverside but some friends recommend we check out the Beach Club so after checking it out, reading all the great posts on here about it and falling in love with the location and style we changed our reservation to there with Jennifer. I must admit I was also kinda of excited about being so close to all the restaurants in World showcase

We are booked in 20 September to 28 September at the Beach Club then for the 29th and 30th at Hard Rock Universal.

Of course with all things trip related this may change - I have only recently started looking at Mickeys Not so Scary Halloween Party and then I found Universals Halloween Horror Nights. My BF is a horror film fanatic and I think would love the Halloween Horror Nights which fits in well with our plan to be at Universal on the 29th and 30th (if they follow the same dates as in the past).

Then Disney announced the Tower of Terror run and I am really thinking it would be a great 2012 goal to train to run in this race.

So many decisions!

My Birthday is on 1 October which I think I want to be in New York for (well my BF wants me to be) but half of me kinda wants to be at Disney :S

We then get to stay in New York until the 11th of October before flying back to LA and onto home.

DBF is already sick of hearing me talk about Disneyworld but there so much do and plan!

We dont need to make our ADR’s until March but I already want to start planning. We love dinning out enjoying good fine and wine so this should be great!

I'm hoping they end up running free dinnning for the time we are there!

Well I know an long first post but just so excited to share our trip with everyone on here!

Last edited by chrisbris; 01-01-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:30 PM   #2
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Well update number 1

Making some progress – We have decided to power though after landing in Los Angeles travelling onto Orlando the same day. So we are looking at the 12:30pm flight out of LAX via DFW arriving in Orlando at 9:45pm.

I think if we get through customs and everything quickly we can hopefully transfer to the 10:40am flight which gets to Orlando at 8:30pm

Could be a long wait at LAX but if we get through customs quickly and need to remain on the 12:30pm flight.

So we will need to book an extra night – I am thinking just a value for this first night – I see a lot of people here on the boards do and it makes $$ sense. Any recommendations for the Value that will give you the best night sleep? Love to hear what everyone thinks before I book the extra night!
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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Welcome to the U.S.A. Enjoy your trip to WDW.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome jpmandan!

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Old 01-10-2012, 04:29 AM   #5
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Subbing in too. I love Aussie PTR/TRs.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:54 AM   #6
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Another Aussie joining in (I'm a Gold Coaster).

Your trip sounds awesome. I have done the BNE-LAX LAX-MCO a few times now and have always made the flight (except once when it was cancelled ) but we have been on the one ticket, most of the time, but it is nerve wracking worrying about the connection.

The Beach Club is a great resort, we stayed there last trip (and at the Yacht Club, we did a split stay) and just loved the location, being so close to Epcot.

Looking forward to following along your journey
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:11 AM   #7
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Firstly welcome to the DIS and congrats on booking your first trip to WDW! Another Aussie subbing in.

I understand your line of work. My partner runs his own security business and we do a lot of music festivals. So we are smack bang in the busiest time of year for us. on fact I wanted to book a trip for Chrissy/NY and that was automatically vetoed due to work. also he has the same birthday as you, which happens to be the same day WDW opened in 1971!

As for your trip, Beach Club looks gorgeous so I'm sure you will love it. When we went to WDW last May we took a night in LA to recover before our final leg to MCO and I must say it worked out great, no jet lag in Orlando at all. Despite this we have booked straight through for our upcoming trip and I'm a bit worried how it will pan out, the main issue will be how tired we are and what I'm most worried about is making the connecting flights. We are scheduled to arrive at 7:20am and need to be on our next flight at 10:40am this will be dragging two little kids with us. I'll let you know how that goes.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your planning.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:23 AM   #8
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I'm tired just reading about your plans!! But, I'm in and I can't wait to hear all about it!
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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hey, i'm another brisbane girl who does all the planning for our trips, so happy to help out in any way i can... we stayed on-site at universal for wwohp, so happy to help out there if i can also.

can't wait to hear more about your plans...

we have a bne-lax flight arriving 6am, then a seperate flight lax -mco with delta which is due to depart at 10.30am.. that's 3.5 hrs to get through security/customs etc and check in at delta with an extra hour spare... good thing vaustralia and delta use the same terminal

when we were there in nov 2011, we cleared customs/immigration etc within 1 hr and were on the road within 1.5 hrs of landing, but i hear that's possibly the exception to the rule.. then again we did land at 5.45am, so it wasn't too busy
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
chrisbris
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Thanks for following along everyone!

UPDATE #3

Well I booked our first domestic flight today - American Airlines 10:40 flight via DFW arriving in Orlando at 8:30pm.

United had a direct flight at the same time but as we are Oneworld Sapphire we get free baggage and also we also seem to be able to change our flight on the same day for free using the "Same-Day Travel Changes" so - if I understand the program correctly - if we are late leaving or delayed I could get my Dad to call and change our flight to the later one.

So landing at 6:40 we have 4 hours which should be fine - worst case scenario:-
- 30 mins pulling up at the gate and getting off the plane
- 2 hours getting through customs (my worst experience at LAX was 90 mins landing on qf108 from Sydney but I once go through in 30 mins so it seems to be a bit of random luck)
- 15 mins to change terminals

So worst case 2 hours and 45 mins to be at AA check in leaving 1 hour and 15 mins before the flight. AA baggage cut off at LAX is 45 mins but hopefully our bags can be checked all the way through so we can just do bag drop after customs clearance.

Now to look at where to spend the night of the 20th....
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:55 AM   #11
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I'm a bit confused ... I've twice caught the Qantas flight brisbane-LAX-return - leaving brisbane in the morning and landing in LAX at the break of dawn. usually out of the terminal by 90 mins - and then onto an AA direct flight to MCO at about 10:30am and landing at MCO at about 4:30pm - in MK by 6pm.

So have they cancelled the direct flight? what is causing you transit in DFW? it's adding hours to your journey.

Also I found that Qantas were happy to check bags all the way through when flying on AA but AA wouldn't do it on the return!
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:57 AM   #12
chrisbris
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Hi Sugarglider

There must have been some changes as the only direct flights on American Airlines are available on the 19th Sept are
AA244 Dept Lax 8:25am Arrive in Orlando at 4:10pm and
AA204 Dept Lax 9:45pm Arrive in Orlando at 5:30am

The 8:25am is cutting it to short to be a suitable connection so hence the need to transfer through DFW or MIA with the DFW connections being shorter.

Delta and United both have direct flights at about 10:30am so good for those traveling on Virgin Australia/United across the pacific but a pain for those of us on Qantas.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:45 PM   #13
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hey chrisbris...welcome to sept in wdw....aussie style...

you are going to love premium economy, fantastic.....

value resorts in wdw are great for 1 or 2 nights, we like POP, ask for 70s building, is the quietest....see if you can purchase your tickets attached to the accom, and it may include free dining ...

we always invest in an airline lounge pass when doing the straight thru...life savers..the showers alone are worth the $$$$$, so make sure you pack clean undies, t shirt and swimmers for when you arrive at the resort...

tip: take your luggage with you at Orlando, dont leave it to magical express, it then takes hours for it to be delivered..

re MNSSHP...do it, freaks and geeks spotting, great parades and lollies by the kilo......

looking forward to reading you pre trip report and stealing your ideas
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:36 PM   #14
chrisbris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by australiankaren View Post
tip: take your luggage with you at Orlando, dont leave it to magical express, it then takes hours for it to be delivered..

re MNSSHP...do it, freaks and geeks spotting, great parades and lollies by the kilo......

looking forward to reading you pre trip report and stealing your ideas
Thanks for the tips australiankaren - after travelling all the way there I think we will just want showers and our bags so great tip to keep the bags with us. Of course we will make sure we have essential in our carry-on just incase our bags decide to go someone where different!

MNSSHP party pod definitely in the mix - just got to decide if we do MNSSHP or Universal Halloween Horror Nights - or maybe both!
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbris View Post
Thanks for the tips australiankaren - after travelling all the way there I think we will just want showers and our bags so great tip to keep the bags with us. Of course we will make sure we have essential in our carry-on just incase our bags decide to go someone where different!

MNSSHP party pod definitely in the mix - just got to decide if we do MNSSHP or Universal Halloween Horror Nights - or maybe both!
After heading all that way......definitely BOTH!
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