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Old 08-09-2014, 08:04 PM   #1
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A Tale of Two Trips: Disneyland and Hawaii July 2014 More Magic Morning p.24 12/15


What do you get when you add 13 nights, 6+ flights, 4 resorts, 3 islands, 2 teens?


Coincidentally, that is anniversary Mark and I were celebrating on this trip of a lifetime.

Just in case I have some new readers who don't know us-

I am Dee, mostly stay-at-home mother, part-time museum educator at a 300 year old farm, active school volunteer and manager of the Beach & Yacht Club FAQ here on the DIS Resort Board.

I married my high school sweetheart, Mark, 28 years ago. He is the manager of a software development team.

We have two sons, Nate (age 16) and Ben (age 13)

Our family loves to travel. We have shared (many) trips to Disneyworld, of course. We enjoy Universal/Islands of Adventure. We love the tropics (Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Bahamas).

Here are a few blasts from the past!




But we had never been to Hawaii.

Although there were several reasons we chose to plan this trip at this point in our lives, one of the primary ones was the realization that the clock is ticking on the number of family vacations that we will be able to take together. Nate will be going to college in 2 years, Ben is a few years behind that, and with summer jobs and other activities, I don’t know when we would be able to find another chunk of time to do this.

We considered a few options for our summer vacation. We have never been out west, so touring the National Parks was definitely a contender. A standalone trip to Disneyland was also considered, maybe mixing it up with some other activities in California, but when we looked at prices for DL/CA compared to what a trip to Florida would be, it didn’t make sense.

The thing that has always scared us from booking a trip to Hawaii is the amount of time it takes to get there from the east coast. Once we decided to add a few days in Disneyland to break up the travel time and to help adjust with jet lag, we were ready to tackle this!

We had a few different iterations of our schedule as we were planning this trip, mainly due to the reality that I really didn’t know anything about the different Hawaiian Islands and what they have to offer. The boys- they wanted volcanoes! This almost didn’t happen because of my inexperience with just how BIG The Big Island is, but in the end, we found a perfect solution.

This is how our final itinerary looked:

Saturday July 12- 6 am (EST) to 9:30 am (PST) flight from Boston to Los Angeles

Saturday July 12-Wednesday July 16- Disneyland, Grand Californian resort

Wednesday July 16- 9:00 am (PST) to 11:40 am (HST) flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu Oahu

Wednesday July 16- Sunday July 20- Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki Oahu
(Pearl Harbor, Hike Diamond Head, Snorkel Hanauma Bay)

Sunday July 20- 12:05 pm to 12:44pm flight from Oahu to Maui

Sunday July 20-Thursday July 24 Honua Kai, Maui
(Lahaina, surfing, Trilogy Snorkel Excursions to Molokini Crater, more snorkeling, sunsets)

Thursday July 24- 2:40 pm to 3:12 pm flight from Maui to Big Island

Thursday July 24-Friday July 25- Hilton Waikoloa Village
(Volcanoes by Land & Air Tour with Paradise Helicopters and Hawaii Forest & Trail)

Friday July 25- 11:15 pm (HST) to 7:00 am (PST) flight from Big Island to San Francisco

Saturday July 26- 8:30 am (PST) to 5:15 (EST) flight from San Francisco to Boston

In my Hijinks trip report, I posted preview pictures of our fabulous trip.

Grand Californian
California Adventure
Maui, Activities
Big Island
Volcanoes by Land and Air

I introduced my family, but I forgot to also introduce my other traveling companions, the ones who are with me even when I am solo:

My cameras!

On this trip, 1 had 3 point & shoot cameras (a Panasonic Lumix and two Fuji XPs) that can be used underwater and 1 big girl camera, a Canon EoS Rebel DSLR. One of the cameras ended up on life support. And I am sad to report that even though I dragged the Canon across the country, to Disneyland and 3 Hawaiian Islands, I took it out exactly once. In Maui, when Ben and I went out to the beach to watch the sunset. Once again, I didn’t have the motivation to haul it around on long days, and it certainly wasn’t the camera I wanted to have on the beach.

Oh, and I will also admit to a little jealousy! Ben will occasionally take pictures with one of my cameras, especially when we are snorkeling and a lot at Pearl Harbor and the Army Museum, but he wasn't into it as much as he has been in the past. Mark and Nate rarely take pictures, but when they do they use their phones and their pictures are incredible!

I hope you will follow along with our adventures. I promise you MANY more pictures, some helpful travel info and a few interesting stories.

First up: California Here We Come!

Last edited by natebenma; 12-15-2014 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:23 PM   #2
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Table of Contents- Link to Chapter Updates

Here is a preview of coming attractions


Day 1: Saturday July 12 Travel, arrival at Disneyland
California, Here We Come!

Welcome to the Hotel California
Grand Californian Hotel
Entrances/Exits to Downtown Disney and California Adventure
Whitewater Snacks
Room 4427
The View!

To All That Come To This Happy Place, Welcome!"
Awkward! (Blue Bayou)

Getting to Know You: More DL Fun, Part 1
Getting to Know You: More DL Fun, Part 2
Getting to Know You: More DL Fun, Part 3
Getting to Know You: More DL Fun, Part 4

Checking Out California Adventure
Pool break, Breakfast Prep and Adventure! Part 1
Adventure! Part 2

Day 2: Sunday July 13 California Adventure/Disneyland/California Adventure/Disneyland

California Adventure
RSR and Birth of (Another) Coaster Junkie
Mama Did That!
Mickey's Fun Wheel (of Death) and RSRx3
Go with the Flo's
More California Adventures in Carsland, Part 1
More California Adventures in Carsland: The Ride (Continued)

Resort break(See following post)

More Disneyland
Magical Meeting Months in the Making

Back to California Adventure
California Adventure After Dark/Wait, What Did We Forget?

Day 3: Monday July 14, California Adventure/Disneyland

Early Morning at CA, Part 1
Early Morning at CA, Part 2

Morning at DL, Part 1
Morning at DL, Part 2
Morning at DL, Part 3

Corner! World of Color Lunch at Carthay Circle
"Solo" on a Raft

We NEVER Do This on Vacation!
T-shirt choice

Disneyland- That was Quick!

Dee’s Solo California Adventure: Animation and Aladdin
In the Dark, Nobody Hears You Screamin' and World of Color
Video: Mickey's Pretty Fun Wheel of Death After Dark

Day 4: Tuesday July 15, Disneyland/California Adventure
This Magic Morning, Part 1
This Magic Morning, Part 2
More Magic Morning, Part 1
More Magic Morning, Part 2 (Pixie Afternoon)

String Bag Theory

Less than Magical Evening
At Least We Saw Fireworks

************************************************** ******
Wednesday July 16, Los Angeles/Oahu
Flight from Los Angeles – Are you the Sequoias?
Not the view we expected on the 2nd Floor: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach
First Dip in the Pacific

Thursday July 17, Oahu
Pearl Harbor
Is That Your Final Answer?

Friday July 18, Oahu
A Profitable Hike
Taxi Driver
Walking Waikiki
Military Museum (Mom is AWOL)

Saturday July 19- Happy Anniversary!, Oahu
Hanuama Bay
No Drinks at Dukes
You Went WHERE for Your Anniversary Dinner in Hawaiii?

Sunday July 20, Flight from Oahu to Maui
Are We There Yet? Yes!
That’s Gonna Hertz
You Need an Engineering Degree to Stay in this room (and Sometimes That Doesn’t Even Help): Honua Kai Resort
Dukes Re-do
Times to Go Grocery Shopping

Monday July 21, Maui
Shave Ice in Lahaina
Dukes again!
Snorkel again!

Tuesday July 22, Maui
Snorkeling is Greater at Molokini Crater
Maui Ocean Center
We must be in the EAC, dude!

Wednesday July 23, Maui
Surf’s Up!
A refund?
What Do You Say, Ray?
Why Planes Crash

Thursday July 24, Maui to Big Island
How We Almost Lost Ben at the Airport
"Welcome Home!" (and Look Both Ways): Hilton Waikoloa

Friday July 25, Big Island
Lava Me Now, or Lava Me Not?
Volcano National Park (Can you spare a few minutes to learn about the Hawaiian God Pele?)
Mind the Gap
Helicopter Mom
The Last Supper: Mediocre Meal, Awful Service

Friday July 25-Saturday July 26
The Long Way Home

Last edited by natebenma; 12-15-2014 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:22 PM   #4
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I'm in! I can't wait to hear about it all!
Missy Franklin (Pixel Dust) | Facebook: World of Yesterday, Tomorrow & Fantasy | Current TR: 8/14 Past TR: 5/14, 10/13, 1/13, 5/13, 10/12, 3/12 , 10/11, 10/10
'86, '90, '94, '98, '09, '10 -- Off site, 10/11 -- CR, 3/12 -- Windsor Hills, 10/12 -- BCV/AKV-Jambo, 01/13 -- BWV, 5/13 -- BLT, 10/13 -- YC CL, 5/14 -- BWV, 08/14 -- VGF/BLT, 12/14 -- BWV, 4/15 -- BLT, 10/15 -- BWV

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Old 08-09-2014, 10:23 PM   #5
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Following along
1997:Travelodge-DTD| 2005:ASMu| 2007:POP| 2009:CSR| 2010:AKL| 2011:BC CL| 2012:BC CL| 2013:BC CL| Oct. 2013:BC|Aug. 2014:GF| Oct. 2014: CR CL &YC CL| Dec. 2014: CSR| Jan 2015: CSR|Aug 2015: CR CL & Poly CL

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Old 08-09-2014, 10:36 PM   #6
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I'm so in!

2008 Ben is too cute, and 2010 Nate looks like he is almost smiling.

Trip Report - Dining with Disers 2014
Trip Report - March Break 2012 at the YC http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post44422655
Trip Report - March Break 2010 at CR – with stops at Poly, GF, WL, BW, BC, YC, MK, Epcot, HS, DD, and TL http://www.disboards.com/showthread....4#post35923604
Trip Report - Solo trip - A brief stay at CSR with a stop at AKL (with pics!) http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post36750372

FW - 1972 (I think, I was little then!); WL - 2004; WL CL - 2007; CR CL - 2010; CSR - 2010; YC CL - 2012; BC - 2014

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Old 08-09-2014, 10:45 PM   #7
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I'm in
* First Disney Vacation - BC January 2001; many trips in between at BC, YC, AKL, Poly, GF, WL, POFQ; Most recent Disney Vacation - BC CL December 2014 Anniversary Celebration *
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:53 PM   #8
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you started, Dee. I am so anxious to read all about it and seeing more pictures.

I love the intros.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:15 PM   #9
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That is quite the trip, wow! Can't wait to read how it all went.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:37 PM   #10
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I just logged onto Facebook and saw the bat signal. Looking forward to seeing and hearing all about your trip.

2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!

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Old 08-10-2014, 05:33 AM   #11
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I'm here
Cant wait to hear all about it.

I swear as your kids are getting older you are getting younger in those photos How'd you do that
Brilliant start
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:55 AM   #12
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I'm definitely in! Can't wait to read all about this trip!
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:48 AM   #13
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Hurray! Can't wait to read all about it!!
Me(Pam) DH DS15 DD13

1986 Disneyland, 1988 Disneyland, August 1991- WDW Offsite, May 1997- WDW Offsite, May 2007- Wilderness Lodge, May 2009- BCV & AKV, August 2011- Poly & AKV, April 2013- WBC- Universal & WDW, July 2013 Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort, April 2014- Yacht Club, July 2014 Disney's HHI Resort

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Old 08-10-2014, 08:20 AM   #14
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I'm here too! Looks great.
Over at our place, we're sure of just one thing: everybody in the world was once a child.

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Old 08-10-2014, 08:21 AM   #15
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Here Dee, and well done on the math. That is impressive.

Hehe, you gotta love the logic of using a Disneyland visit to help with a long travel. Of course it works for me.

You are just so darn organized with Days and titles already done. Looking forward to all the stories to go along with the wonderful photos.
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