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Old 01-21-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
izzie-wizzie
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West Coast Trip – with added Mickey Sprinkles! April 2013 PTR

Hello and welcome to my Pre-Trip Report for my trip to the West Coast of America!!

Im so excited for this trip and it really cannot come quickly enough. So, lucky for me I only have to wait another 75 days!

Introductions

My name is Izzie, Im 24 years old and have a passion for Disney and going on trips to Disney. I love everything about Disney World and Disneyland Paris from the rides, shops, restaurants and all the tiny details. I am a child at heart and wouldnt have it any other way. I have been to Disneyland Paris four times, and Walt Disney World twice.

Im a planner and spend most of my free time planning my next holiday and more recently planning my wedding! Which is in March 2014! I am soooooo excited about this!! Im sure there will be some wedding related references throughout this report!



My fiancé (and travelling partner!) is Scott. He is always more than happy to sit and watch Disney movies and plan a lifetime of Disney trips with me. Im a very lucky girl!!



Together, we have two little pets. Our dog is called Sweep - and she is a cross between a Scottie and a Yorkie. We also have an African Pygmy Hedgehog - called Mr Pricklepants (after the hedgehog in Toy Story 3).





This will be my third Trip Report my first trip report was my first trip to WDW for my 21st in 2009. This was with Scott and his sister and her husband. Here is a picutre of the four of us from that trip:



http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2353848

My second trip report was my second trip to WDW and was even more magical than the first trip. The main reason being that this is where Scott proposed to me. He proposed on the balcony outside California Grill whilst we were watching Wishes it really could not have been more perfect and our little bubble of being newly-engaged in Disney was indescribably perfect in every way. Here is a picture of us the evening we got engaged!



http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2788886

And moving on to now for this trip!!

Originally, this trip was going to be for me, Scott and his sister and her husband, Leanne and Roy who joined us on our WDW trip in 2009. So much so that we had all booked our flights at the same time.

However back in December, we got some very exciting news that they are expecting a baby next year!! Baby is due in June and obviously for this reason they are no longer able to join us. As much as we were excited to spend the holiday with them, we could not be more happy for them and for being Auntie and Uncle!

So it will just be me and Scott for this trip which will be lovely to be in our own little bubble for two weeks. I cant wait. Scott works offshore so he is away from home more than half the year, so the thought of two weeks just me and him is very exciting.

Plan

This will be our first trip to the West Coast of America I have only ever been to Florida in America!

I have wanted to go on this trip for a couple of years now. Originally we were looking at the Adventures by Disney Trip in Hollywood but realistically this was way out of our budget! The main thing that we will miss out on is the tour of Walt Disney Studios and the Jim Henson Studios. However we plan to drive/walk past these places even if we arent going in, just to still see them.

We did also consider spending time in San Francisco, Yosemite and Napa Wineries however would have felt the trip would be far too rushed in two weeks to do this (similarly we were not in a position to increase this to a three week trip). So we will save the northern part of California for a future trip!

I am very excited to be going to Disneyland Cars Land!! Woop!

Our very basic plan is as follows:

Saturday 6 April 2013
Fly from Aberdeen Heathrow Las Vegas.
Saturday 6 April - Wednesday 10 April 2013 - Las Vegas
Wednesday 10 April - Monday 15 April 2013 - Hollywood
Monday 15 April - Saturday 21 April 2013 - Disneyland
Saturday 21 April 2013 - Fly Home, LAX Heathrow Aberdeen

And so, I think that is probably quite enough for my first post!! I will add more updates real soon with much more elaboration of the above plan!

Any tips and tricks you might have for visiting the west coast is greatly appreciated!

Izzie.x
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Last edited by izzie-wizzie; 01-21-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:56 AM   #2
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Yay! I can't wait to hear more... I want to do a West coast trip, but have no idea where to start!

Steffi xx
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:58 AM   #3
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Sounds like you have a great trip planned! I cant wait to visit the west coast and Vegas but will have to wait until kids are older (youngest is 15weeks).

Look forward to hearing the rest of your plans
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkerbell1989 View Post
Yay! I can't wait to hear more... I want to do a West coast trip, but have no idea where to start!

Steffi xx
I also had no idea where to even begin - goodness knows how many hours I've spent researching!!

We've booked everything individually, rather than through a tour operator also which has been more work but I really like having the freedom. Reading various trip reports about how people have done it has been invaluable and made the whole trip seem a lot more doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurafoster View Post
Sounds like you have a great trip planned! I cant wait to visit the west coast and Vegas but will have to wait until kids are older (youngest is 15weeks).

Look forward to hearing the rest of your plans
Thank You! I'm hoping to do an update about our plans for the Vegas part of our trip real soon
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:18 AM   #5
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Sounds like you have a great trip planned. We are going to Vegas for the first time in March and I'm so excited but it's really hard to plan when we are so used to Florida (I can almost do WDW blindfolded now).

Looking forward to seeing how your plans come along
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:29 AM   #6
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Trip sounds fab! We are also doing our first west coast trip this summer, so looking forward to hearing more
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:30 PM   #7
Linda67
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You're going to love the West Coast!

We've been to Vegas a few times now and I was lucky enough to take my first trip to Disneyland last October and absolutely fell in love with the place

In Vegas, If you enjoy Cirque shows be sure to check out 'O' at the Bellagio, it's amazing!

Oh and the Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan Hotel is out of this world

A big tip from me is don't underestimate the traffic in Vegas and LA and how long it will take you to get around!
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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Looking forward to hearing more
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:07 PM   #9
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We are going to California for the first time in July - good luck with your planning - looking forward to reading your updates
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Sounds like you have a great trip planned. We are going to Vegas for the first time in March and I'm so excited but it's really hard to plan when we are so used to Florida (I can almost do WDW blindfolded now).

Looking forward to seeing how your plans come along
I know - it's been so different planning this now I'm getting quite used at planning WDW. Will you be doing a TR for your Vegas trip?

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Originally Posted by PJB71 View Post
Looking forward to hearing more
Thank You - just about to upload our Vegas plans!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisDTC View Post
We are going to California for the first time in July - good luck with your planning - looking forward to reading your updates
Thanks - I hope my TR might be helpful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
You're going to love the West Coast!

We've been to Vegas a few times now and I was lucky enough to take my first trip to Disneyland last October and absolutely fell in love with the place

In Vegas, If you enjoy Cirque shows be sure to check out 'O' at the Bellagio, it's amazing!

Oh and the Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan Hotel is out of this world

A big tip from me is don't underestimate the traffic in Vegas and LA and how long it will take you to get around!
Wicked Spoon is definately on our list - I saw a few pics from there and was sold!! Always good to hear more positive reviews!!

That's good to know about the traffic, will definaltey be leaving all the driving to Scott

Quote:
Originally Posted by gemmybear83 View Post
Tri sounds fab! We are also doing our first west coast trip this summer, so looking forward to hearing more
West Coast seems to be popular this year!! Disneyland especially has really had so much added to it recently - sooo excited for Cars Land!!!
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:35 AM   #11
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Sooooo without further adieu – I’m very excited to share our plans for the first section of our holiday in Las Vegas.

Saturday 6 April 2013 – I expect to be ... just a litttllle bit excited this morning! Our flight from Aberdeen to London is actually at a very civilised time of 11am (usually we find ourselves on the red eye flights!). We fly into Terminal 5 and have a few hours wait before we board our flight to Las Vegas. Our flights are all with British Airways.

We expect to arrive at Las Vegas about 7.00pm, and by the time that we go through customs, and get a cab to our hotel we aren’t expecting to do much this evening.

We are checking in to the Planet Hollywood Hotel.



Seriously, I couldn’t even tell you how long I went back-and-forth between choosing a hotel. I really was over-thinking it. Had money been absolutely no object I would have loved to have stayed the Cosmopolitan Hotel – it just looks fab! We were also very close to booking the Treasure Island as there are a few things there that we are excited to do! But in the end it was the central location of Planet Hollywood that won it for me ..... it was also featured in the Ashton Kutcher film “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas”

Or it might be the little fact that there is an Earl of Sandwich there too!



The only real plan I have for the evening is to have a wonder in our hotel, and if we are hungry at all (which depends on flight food) we will have an Earl of Sandwich dinner... in fairness I always have room for an Earl of Sandwich though. Mmmm!! The Hawaiin BBQ sandwich is without a doubt my favourite sandwich ever!



Then it’s an early night – as we have an early start to our first full day!!

Sunday 7 April 2013
It’s an early wake up call as we are getting picked up for a day trip a little bit out of Vegas. We are going to the Hoover Dam first for a tour around there and then we are doing the Flightlines Zip Line at Red Rock Canyon!



After a busy day sightseeing, we will head back to the room for a bit of a relax (depending on the time we get back, we might spend this time by the pool).

The evening we plan to have dinner at Mon Abi Gabi in the Paris Hotel (which is very handy as it is next door to Planet Hollywood). I’ve heard really good things about here and it seems very reasonable in price. Although if there is any other restaurants that are highly recommended then this is the restaurant we would probably drop first.

We will then spend the evening having some cocktails and looking around some of the nearby hotels. Some places I would really like to visit is the Cocktail Bar at the Sugar Factory for one of their candy themed drinks and the Chandelier Cocktail Bar at Cosmopolitan – who do a s’mores cocktail which looks amazing! Any other suggestions of good cocktails in Vegas are very, very welcomed! I’m sure we will visit some of the casinos also.

Monday 8 April 2013

Expecting a later start to the day (especially considering our previous evening). We will probably just grab a little breakfast from Starbucks or similar.

We would like to spend the afternoon exploring Paris, Bellagio, Venetian and Caesers Palace. Having a late lunch at the Sugar Factory – which looks amazing! I’m sure we will get quite a big dessert.

After freshening up, we plan to go see a show this evening. We are currently torn between going to see Terry Fator at the Mirage or a Cirque de Soleil at Treasure Island. No idea!

After the show we will have dinner and drinks at Kahunaville and then to Senior Frogs for another fun evening. We will be sure to watch the Volanoes @ Mirage and Sirens of TI show this evening also.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Already, this will be our last full day in Vegas – it’s crazy how quickly the time will pass. Again, expecting a slower start!

We will be having a tasty brunch this day at Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan. I have heard many good things!!

After this we will explore the South Side of the strip – Welcome to Vegas Sign / NYNY Roller Coaster / Luxor / M&M Shop / Coke Shop.

Then in the evening we are going to go for dinner at ‘Mix’ in the Mandalay Bay Resort. We will probably just enjoy our dinner and a few drinks with a lovely view over the strip – which I think will be a nice chilled out way to round up our time in Las Vegas.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

So we leave Las Vegas this day, and have to pick up our car hire and check out first.

We will then drive to the Gun Store to visit their shooting range. This was something Scott was very keen on doing in Las Vegas, and I got him a voucher to do so for his birthday. Our final activity in Las Vegas will be a late breakfast at Hash House A Go-Go – which was featured on Man V Food. I imagine our visit here will leave us suitably full for most of our big drive to Hollywood!

I will continue with our drive/time in Hollywood next but that is a sum up of all of our plans in Las Vegas!
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:54 PM   #12
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Your plans for Vegas sound fab!

You won't have any difficulty finding good cocktails in Vegas but one place worth checking out for a great view of the strip is the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental - it's expensive (but that's Vegas for ya!) but you can reserve a table in advance and request a window seat - check out the sunset times for your dates and try and book a table around that time and you can watch the neon spring to life!

We had breakfast at the Sugar Factory and it was fab - there are some nice patio tables overlooking the strip if its not too hot
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:29 PM   #13
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Oooh we are staying at the Elara which is part of planet hollywood, I have noted down your restaurant tips. I also fancy the Gordon Ramsey burger place at planet hollywood it gets great reviews
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:17 PM   #14
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We did our 4th West Coast trip last January and I too have always wanted to do the Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic tour, however after we booked the flights I found out I was pregnant so didn't want to blow all our spare cash of it! We did however do a one day Adventures by Disney tour called Light Camera Magic, it included a Hollywood/LA tour and half a day in the Walt Disney Studios it was around $199 per person, but it was definitely a day to never forget, with lots of Disney magic thrown in!

It's something you could see if they are offering while you are there if you are interested in the backstage magic tour.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
Your plans for Vegas sound fab!

You won't have any difficulty finding good cocktails in Vegas but one place worth checking out for a great view of the strip is the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental - it's expensive (but that's Vegas for ya!) but you can reserve a table in advance and request a window seat - check out the sunset times for your dates and try and book a table around that time and you can watch the neon spring to life!

We had breakfast at the Sugar Factory and it was fab - there are some nice patio tables overlooking the strip if its not too hot
Oooh I really like that idea!! Sounds like a great start to an evening!!

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Oooh we are staying at the Elara which is part of planet hollywood, I have noted down your restaurant tips. I also fancy the Gordon Ramsey burger place at planet hollywood it gets great reviews
I just had a look at the Elara online - it looks stunning!!!

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We did our 4th West Coast trip last January and I too have always wanted to do the Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic tour, however after we booked the flights I found out I was pregnant so didn't want to blow all our spare cash of it! We did however do a one day Adventures by Disney tour called Light Camera Magic, it included a Hollywood/LA tour and half a day in the Walt Disney Studios it was around $199 per person, but it was definitely a day to never forget, with lots of Disney magic thrown in!

It's something you could see if they are offering while you are there if you are interested in the backstage magic tour.
I did have a look at doing this tour, it looks fab! But unfortunately they are discontinuing it in February!!
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