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Old 05-03-2012, 07:40 PM   #1
alicia1506
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for the love of mickey - a PTR

today, i start my PTR... we have exactly 29 weeks before our plane departs BNE for the start of our super-awesome-and-magical vacation, and i am stressed to the max.

our trip this time is just the 2 of us -- a nice, relaxing trip full of special moments for us to spend as much time together as possible. our very first vacation together as a couple (and we've been together 5 years now) and our second trip including disney.

the cast:

me: Alicia - the wacky DISer and disney-a-holic, OCD planner and the one who stresses over all the little decisions so that the trip goes off without a hitch.

Carlo - the one who puts up with me and shares my love of disney -- in fact, he loves disney more than i do... he will frequently just start singing a random disney tv show theme song, or themesongs from the soundtracks while he's doing everyday things. love of my life & all around great man.

the trip - a disney fiesta!!

day 1 - bne - lax - mco - sleep!!!
day 2 - board the disney fantasy - western caribbean cruise
day 9 - debark the disney fantasy, mco - lax
day 10 - 17 - anaheim to visit disneyland, san diego zoo & tour LA.
day 18- 20 - upgrade to Disneyland Hotel, character breakfast, holidays @ disneyland tour
day 20 - lax - bne - home - sleep!!!

so far we have the deposit on our disneyland hotel, 3/4 of our cruise, our disneyland park hopper & AP.

we have still to pay for our flights (international and domestic), the remainder of the cruise, our shuttle to anaheim, our anaheim accomodation for 9 nights, the remainder of our disneyland hotel stay, our insurance & ESTA & save for spending money, food money & drink money....

just went online today to book our anaheim accomodation. we had planned to stay at the desert inn & suites just across the road -- we were there in nov last year & loved the closeness of the parks to the entry to the hotel etc, and best of all rooms were big, clean and cheap. yesterday, our 8 night stay was going to run us $851.92 including tax. bargain!!! this morning, the same dates, same room etc is going to run us $1201.00 including tax. that's a price hike of $400!!! overnight.

eek

$400 in the greater scheme of a $$$$ trip isn't that much, but ... any ideas/suggestions for other places close by to disneyland that others have used that may have some decent room rates??
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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Yay Alicia!! A new PTR started.

The plan looks good and I'm interested in hearing how good the Western Carrbbean cruise is. (I am thinking of booking this one for early November 2013) Make sure you detail any excursions you do!

What are the dates for your trip?

I have no idea about accommodation near Disneyland. We rented a condo but it was dearer than the hotel you had booked as it slept more people. I know there are lots of hotel/motels close by within walking distance at good prices so someone here will surely be able to help!
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
alicia1506
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omg. so silly of me.

we leave on nov 23. travel from 10am brisbane time + 14 hours = 6am LAX time, sit around for 4.5 hours, leave 10.30 LAX time, arrive 6.30pm MCO.

i don't imagine we'll sleep much on that flight/trip from hell/timezone hopscotch. but it'll be an experience.

our cruise departs 24 nov and returns back to port canaveral on 1 dec.

then we're at disneyland/southern california etc from 1 - 11 dec, then arrive home by 13 dec. just over 3 weeks for this trip, as again, that was all that work would give me
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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Have you checked out Expedia.com.au they are showing quite a few hotels at reasonable rates for your dates even if you don't book with them it gives you a guide to a lot of hotels at once.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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Ooh - and Aussie PTR!! Great!! I admire you going right through to MCO in one go - I have never done that - I usually overnight in LAX before the cross country flight!!
I am staying at HoJo's in Anaheim this time - I've never stayed there before, but it does get good write ups. Might be worth investigating? And it is apparently only 8 minutes walk to DL.
And you've got to love a man who can break into Disney song at any time!!
OK - will be along for your ride - and be about a month ahead of you in leaving!!
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:37 PM   #6
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I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your PTR, Alicia

On our first trip we stayed at the Best Western Park Place Inn. It is the closest hotel to the gates, directly across the road at the crossing. Keeping in mind that it's 7 years ago but we were perfectly happy with it. We mainly picked it for the location as our kids were younger then. We liked their mini-suites which gave us a bit more room to move. No views from the room to speak of.

The pool was very ordinary but we were there in January so swimming wasn't an issue for us - I guess you might feel the same in December?

The breakfast (free) was served in the restaurant next door and was a typical American continental hotel breakfast, perfectly adequate.

On our last Anaheim stay we tried the Ramada Maingate. We were then in HOT weather and we enjoyed their much nicer pool area . Took a little longer to walk to the park, maybe 5-7 minutes? We stayed in one of their larger, renovated rooms at the back of the hotel. We could see the fireworks from the (shared) balcony.

There was no dedicated breakfast eating room, the food was served in a small room by the pool and you could eat it in the chairs/tables around the pool. That was nice when we were there but may be a bit too cool in December?

The hotel had a little mini-market onsite which was handy. It was a shortish walk down to the Anaheim Garden Walk mall - we went down there one night to have dinner at Bubba Gumps . Yumm!

My recollection was that these were both reasonably priced - the Ramada was probably a bit cheaper? The only negative I remember was that we thought the aircon in the Ramada was noisy, but you wouldn't need that in December.

Good luck, I hope you can find a hotel that you're happy with.

Andona
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:45 AM   #7
alicia1506
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andona View Post
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your PTR, Alicia

On our first trip we stayed at the Best Western Park Place Inn. It is the closest hotel to the gates, directly across the road at the crossing. Keeping in mind that it's 7 years ago but we were perfectly happy with it. We mainly picked it for the location as our kids were younger then. We liked their mini-suites which gave us a bit more room to move. No views from the room to speak of.

The pool was very ordinary but we were there in January so swimming wasn't an issue for us - I guess you might feel the same in December?

The breakfast (free) was served in the restaurant next door and was a typical American continental hotel breakfast, perfectly adequate.

On our last Anaheim stay we tried the Ramada Maingate. We were then in HOT weather and we enjoyed their much nicer pool area . Took a little longer to walk to the park, maybe 5-7 minutes? We stayed in one of their larger, renovated rooms at the back of the hotel. We could see the fireworks from the (shared) balcony.

There was no dedicated breakfast eating room, the food was served in a small room by the pool and you could eat it in the chairs/tables around the pool. That was nice when we were there but may be a bit too cool in December?

The hotel had a little mini-market onsite which was handy. It was a shortish walk down to the Anaheim Garden Walk mall - we went down there one night to have dinner at Bubba Gumps . Yumm!

My recollection was that these were both reasonably priced - the Ramada was probably a bit cheaper? The only negative I remember was that we thought the aircon in the Ramada was noisy, but you wouldn't need that in December.

Good luck, I hope you can find a hotel that you're happy with.

Andona
i also intend to eat at bubba gumps at Gardenwalk as i missed eating there in orlando and love me some seafood knowing that this hotel is decently close is a big tick in it's favour... will have to go do some more research thanks for the info on the other hotels. we were also looking at best western as i know how close it is and to be honest.. we're not that picky when it comes to hotels as long as they are clean and well maintained and safe

Quote:
Originally Posted by hjd0411 View Post
Ooh - and Aussie PTR!! Great!! I admire you going right through to MCO in one go - I have never done that - I usually overnight in LAX before the cross country flight!!
I am staying at HoJo's in Anaheim this time - I've never stayed there before, but it does get good write ups. Might be worth investigating? And it is apparently only 8 minutes walk to DL.
And you've got to love a man who can break into Disney song at any time!!
OK - will be along for your ride - and be about a month ahead of you in leaving!!
the idea of overnighting in LA didn't even occur to me i assume that even if we get no flight on the bne - lax leg like last time, the sheer exhaustion of waiting 4 hours in lax and then getting on another cross country flight will have us fast asleep in our beds once we hit mco so that we can get up nice and early and get on our cruise.

i intend to have a travel alarm clock, a digital alarm clock and our alarm on the phone all set... there is no way i'm missing that boat due to jet lag

Quote:
Originally Posted by WAMUMOF4 View Post
Have you checked out Expedia.com.au they are showing quite a few hotels at reasonable rates for your dates even if you don't book with them it gives you a guide to a lot of hotels at once.
that is a great tip... thank you... i will go check them out.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:47 AM   #8
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Looks like a wonderful trip in the making.

I haven't stayed here but a quick search on Expedia shows Desert Palms ( ranked 13th on Trip Advisor for Anaheim hotels) for 8 nights in 01Dec with a rate of AU$893.06 including buffet breakfast daily
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:47 AM   #9
alicia1506
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ok, so i just contacted Desert Inn & suites and got a decent rate, so booked it in.

so now... accomodation booked & paid for.



making progress
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:16 AM   #10
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Loving your plans, we're doing the same cruise as you, so exciting
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:11 PM   #11
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ahhhhh to be young and able to do the flights in one hit.....I must be getting old..we are grabbing a hotel for 12 hrs between flights this time...hopefully DH will get at least 6 hrs sleep....I'll be in the pool

the way i combat jet lag is to eat a greasy hamburger and chips that night I get there before bed...my tummy is so upset that I'm up at sunrise
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hjd0411 View Post
Ooh - and Aussie PTR!! Great!! I admire you going right through to MCO in one go - I have never done that - I usually overnight in LAX before the cross country flight!!
I am staying at HoJo's in Anaheim this time - I've never stayed there before, but it does get good write ups. Might be worth investigating? And it is apparently only 8 minutes walk to DL.
And you've got to love a man who can break into Disney song at any time!!
OK - will be along for your ride - and be about a month ahead of you in leaving!!
We are also going straight through to Orlando from Brisbane with a 5 year old. Wish us luck!

We stayed at HoJo's in 2010 - it was excellent. Much bigger rooms than some of the other hotels I have stayed at Anaheim. It would only be a maximum of an 8 min walk. My nephew was 3 at the time and he could walk it easily...
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:52 PM   #13
alicia1506
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Originally Posted by australiankaren View Post
ahhhhh to be young and able to do the flights in one hit.....I must be getting old..we are grabbing a hotel for 12 hrs between flights this time...hopefully DH will get at least 6 hrs sleep....I'll be in the pool

the way i combat jet lag is to eat a greasy hamburger and chips that night I get there before bed...my tummy is so upset that I'm up at sunrise
lol. that sounds like a plan. last time we got off the plane, went straight to disneyland, spent the day just sort of putzing around in a fog of jetlag, went back to the hotel and ate greasy chinese food and then woke up refreshed... admittedly we were supposed to be up at 6 and we didn't stumble out of bed til 9... slept through the alarm!!

that's why i'm taking 2 x alarm clocks with me this time, the travel one and the one on my phone, to ensure that we don't miss our cruise ship

aww karen you're not getting old.. we are just planning to ignore the signals our bodies send us to say 'SLEEP NOW' and then pay for it later
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:48 AM   #14
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thank you sweetie, I'm just feeling my age at the moment
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:19 AM   #15
alicia1506
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so we have now purchased the video camera for the trip (inspired by tara2004's recent video series) and i just purchased my new digital camera .. this means that this trip we can take the new camera & my little panasonic lumix fz27 which was such a great little camera that we took with us on the last trip and scored some truly beautiful shots from our previous trip. it's low light performance was better than anything i'd owned up until that point, and hopefully the new camera will do even better in low light for the nighttime parades/main street & castle shots as well as indoors on the cruise.

we have also narrowed down the ring choices to just 2 now... so it's up to carlo to pick them out and buy at some point.

researched our domestic USA flights today & it looks like in terms of timing and stopovers and fees and everything, southwest gets our vote, so as soon as they release our dates, we'll be booking that too

now all i have to do is keep saving -- and book the bne-lax flights, prepay our cruise gratuities, book our san diego zoo tour, book the holidays at disneyland tour, book our port adventures and remy dinner and palo brunch and pay for the rest of the cruise/disneyland accomodation... so.. not much to do at all.

also, just checked our cruise meet board.. our group is now around 40 families strong for FE gifts, so i might have to revise my budget there a little as i don't want to have to pay excess luggage fees just for the FE gifts...
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