1 month and counting - From Down Under

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by DizOz, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Is there such a thing as too much Disney? Well we are about to test that theory with our upcoming 30 day trip from Melbourne Australia to the USA.
    DL, WDW and Disney Cruise all in one trip?

    The Cast

    Me 43 CFO who loves Disney (Sometimes more than the kids). I manage to source out the local Disney park whenever I can when travelling.

    DW 40 Teacher who is a late bloomer to all things Disney. Convinced her to take 2 DD to DL and WDW in 2007 and since then she has been bitten by the Disney bug.

    DD 10 who is very quite and conservative and scared of most of the Disney rides. She even cried as we sent to the Haunted Mansion last time until she got on the ride and saw there was nothing to be scared of. Hated BTM but then again so did DW.

    DD 6 who is exact opposite of her sister. Was not pleased when she missed a number of rides in 2007 due to height limits. This time she has measured herself and is ready to ride them all.

    Supporting Cast

    DW best friend’s husband has a conference at WDW and heard we were going back and asked if we wanted to wait and go with them. We were going to go Christmas 2009 but will now wait till September 2010 to go with them.

    DH is 40 Finance Manager at a private school in Melbourne and is excited as I am to be going and has been planning for months.

    DW is 39 Librarian who is more laid back but is excited all the same.

    They have 2 DD around the same age as our 2 DD who go to the same school and in the case of the youngest are in the same class.

    The Itinerary

    Fly out of Melbourne on Sunday 12 September 2010 at 10.30am and arrive LAX Sunday 12 September 2010 at 8.30am. I love how we arrive before we leave.

    12 Sept 2010 to 18 Sept 2010 Grand Californian
    18 Sept 2010 to 21 Sept 2010 New York (Not sure where we are staying yet. Any suggestions?)
    21 Sept 2010 to 3 Oct 2010 Wilderness Lodge
    3 Oct 2010 to 7 Oct 2010 Disney Cruise
    7 Oct 2010 to 12 Oct 2010 Grand Floridian

    Fly out of Orland on 12 Oct 2010 to LAX and that night to Melbourne arrive in the am on 14 Oct 2010. (loose a day flying home)

    Gees I am getting tired just looking at the itinerary. But we are all excited.

    Now all I have to do is to start booking it all and pay for it. Thank god the Aussie dollar is so strong it will save us thousands.

    I will update shortly as we make our bookings and ADR decisions.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Having a good old fashion BBQ this weekend with our Disney companions to compare itineraries. I know thye have to be in WDW at the end of Septemebr for a conference and are keen on the cruise.

    They were considering flying into San Francisco instead of LA and we would meet up with them in Orlando.

    I hope the weather clears up a little bit it has been raining here for the past few weeks as we get our spring rains. Considering we have been in a drought for over a decade and our water storage was below 30% I shouldn't complain too much about the rain.

    Our 2 DD's are excited about getting together and planning the trip with their friends. This will be our friends first trip to WDW so they are super exicted.

    :banana::banana::banana::banana:

    Hopefully I can start booking our accomodation next week and the flights soon after. Unfortunately can only book 330 in advance for flights in Australia (not sure if it is the same elsewhere)???
     
  4. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    The weather was superb over the weekend and had a lovely BBQ. Way too much food, our Disney Travel Buddies will be eating leftovers for a few days.

    After many hours of discussions with the website handy along with calendars we have all finally settled on out itineraries.


    Ours has changed slightly at the backend:

    12 Sept 2010 to 18 Sept 2010 Grand Californian
    18 Sept 2010 to 21 Sept 2010 New York (Not sure where we are staying yet. Any suggestions?)
    21 Sept 2010 to 3 Oct 2010 Wilderness Lodge
    3 Oct 2010 to 7 Oct 2010 Disney Cruise
    7 Oct 2010 to 13 Oct 2010 Portofino

    The reasoning is simple whilst we are at WDW we can spend all our time there and after our cruise we can do all the non-disney things such as Universal, Sea World and a trip out to Kennedy Space Centre.

    Also thinking about going straight to the Space Centre after we get off the cruise before heading to the Portofino.

    The supporting acst are travelling from Melbourne to San Francisco a few days after we arrive in LA. We will meet up in NY and travel to WDW together and then the cruise and stay a few days at Universal Studios with us before heading back.

    Now that is all finalised I started booking everything. In the end used Dreams Unlimited and a lady called Dagny, who has been great.

    Booked so far:
    Standard Room at Grand Californian with a 5 day park hopper pass
    Courtyard/Pool View at Wilderness Lodge 10 day park hopper pass with water parks etc and disney dining
    A Category 3 suite on the DCL
    Dr Seuss children's suite at Portofino

    Thinking by this time we may want a bit of space.

    Just need to book New York and our flights and transfers. DW cousin is a TA just moved back to Australia from London and he is booking the flights with his discounts for us, hopefully that will save us some money.



    :hippie::hippie::hippie:
     
  5. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    2,263
    I 'll reply! We have similar plans but for Dec 2010/Jan 2011. Will write more when I get home tonight. Very interested in your itinerary!
     
  6. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    2,263
    OK, I'm back. The kids are in bed. I can now concentrate.

    That is alot of Disney! :woohoo: We're a travelling group of 4 families all with young children. Initially doing WDW just before our Panama Canal cruise until we saw the crowd calendar. So now heading straight for Orlando first, going to New York for christmas, with a short stint in Washington DC before heading back down to Orlando to catch the Wonder to LA. Unfortunately, we won't have time to do Disneyland as well before heading home.

    Would be really keen to hear about your dining choices at WDW and accommodation at NY.

    Nice to see someone else planning so early as well! And as I've said multiple times before...GO THE AUSSIE DOLLAR!!! :yay:
     
  7. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674

    Thanks for the reply Shushh :cool1::cool1::cool1:.

    Here here on the AUSSIE DOLLAR.

    We are thinking about locking the rate in by buying som US$ on an ANZ travel card. Only costs $11 and you can lock in a rate when you think it has maxed out.

    If the dollar is higher when you go simply use you main credit card when you travel and cash out the US$ when the rate comes back down.
     
  8. Jenvenza

    Jenvenza <font color=green>Ratted out her husband's lack of

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    3,243
    This sounds like it is going to be a great trip! I cannot wait to hear more!
     
  9. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Thanks for teh reply Jenvenza.

    Well our travel buddies are really keen at the moment. The other night the DH rang me 4 times in half an hour to disucss their bookings.

    The next day he rang at work to discuss prices.

    When we were comparing TA prices with that with WDW direct we go totally confused. First we were $2K cheaper then $1K dearer. Finally got it worked out soemtiems when you change one of the options other options can also change.

    After e few nervous moments I allayed both our fears and confirmed the TA prices were exactly the same as we could get with WDW. Phew!!!

    Spoke to my wife's cousin this week to book our tickets from Melbourne to LAX. For some reason they can only book 330 days out but Qantas will sell earlier direct to the public. Anyway a few weeks and I can get the corporate rate with him and apply for an upgrade using our points.

    Also thinking this week of upgrading to the delux dining package considering the restaurants I think we will want to go to. No rush I can sleep on that one.
     
  10. 4forWDW

    4forWDW Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    340
    That sounds like a terrific vacation:thumbsup2
    I was curious. Is it typical to get that much vacation time or does it depend on your position with the company?
    I have noticed that visitors from overseas tend to spend more vacation time but was not sure if that was because of staying longer due to the expense of getting to the states and "making the most" of your money.
    TIA
    Amy
     
  11. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Hi 4forWDW,

    Here is Australia you generally get by law 4 weeks paid leave each year. If you do not use it during the year it can accrue until you need it. A company can force you to take leave to stop a build up but not unusual for somoen to build up months of leave. So it is not unsually for people to build up months worth of paid leave.

    Also we get something called long service leave which is again is paid leave up to 13 weeks after a qualifying period of 10-15 years at the one company.

    We are pretty well looked after I think.

    You're right we do tend to say if we are going all that way we might as well stay a bit extra and cram a few more thing into the trip. Also given the stregth of the Aussie Dollar at the moment it make's the trip a little cheaper.
     
  12. Dommiekazommie

    Dommiekazommie Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    This sounds like a completley amazing trip! 30days of disney!!! I'm
    also from melb and going back in feb for my dbfs first overseas holiday and hitting up Vegas too. So go the Aussie dollar! How does the anz travel card work. Can you get one at any branch or is it a business only thing. Sounds like a great idea and I'm sure it will save you and your fam tonnes. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your plans! And flights! :cool1:
     
  13. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Dommiekazommie

    Sorry for taking so long to reply but I have been away for work in the USA. Got back a week ago but have been in bed sick with a ansty virus I picked up.

    ANZ Travel card works just like a debit card. You place money on the card and it is converted to the currency you want int he case US$. You convert on the day you please the money on the card so you rate is locked in.

    If you are worried about the rate falling you can place funds on the card and if the rate continues to go up and is higher when you travel don't use that card but your ordinary credit card. When you get back and the rate falls then cash the card in.

    See this link on DIS Boards for more information
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2171941

    I have booked the flights and will update on how our plans are going soon.
     
  14. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Tickets are all booked and paid for, finally.

    We are confirmed on Qantas Flight Melb to LAX on the 12 Sept 10 which is a direct flight. Departs Melbourne at 10.15am on the 12th and arrived 7.30am in LA on the 12th. Wow just gained almost 3 hours.

    We then are on a Qantas flight to NY on the 18 Sept leaving LAX at 9.15am and arrives at JFK at 5.30pm. So much for gaining 3 hours.

    Then from NY to Orlando flying American Airlines on the 21 Sept leaving at 3.10pm and arriving at 6.15pm.

    Then we are on a cruise for 4 nights starting the 3rd October.

    Then flying back to LA from Orlando on American Airlines on the 12th October before getting on a Qantas flight back to Melbourne leaving at 11.30pm that night and arrive back in Melbourne 8.55am on the 14th Oct.

    All those flights have cost us just over AU$11K which is approx US$10K.

    The reason we chose those airlines is to use the lounges. Pretty handy when you are waiting for flights especially with young children.

    :dance3::dance3::dance3:
     
  15. DWGal210

    DWGal210 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,284
    Your travel plans look absolutely amazing!!! :thumbsup2 How much fun are you going to have?! Excellent! :goodvibes

    Can't wait to hear more about your plans. It sounds like you'll have a great time!!
     
  16. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674

    Thanks DWGal the whole family is so excited.

    Last weekend we started look at restaurants both at DL and WDW for our ADR's. The whole family was crammed into my home office as we looked at the menu's of just about every restaurant. As we are spending 6 days at DL and the choices are more limited we were able to complete our choices pretty quickly but we barely scratched the surace when it comes to DL.

    I still have to book a hotel in New York. Hopefully get to that over the Christmas break. But the rest of the accomodation is confirmed. I have made some minor changes since first posting.

    12 Sept 2010 to 18 Sept 2010 Grand Californian (Park View room)
    21 Sept 2010 to 3 Oct 2010 Wilderness Lodge (Pool view)
    3 Oct 2010 to 7 Oct 2010 Disney Cruise (Category 3 suite)
    7 Oct 2010 to 12 Oct 2010 We changed to the Portofino and booked a Dr Seuss Suite.

    When we were looking on the net my 2 DD loved the idea of the Dr Seuss theme. So I booked it as a surpirse.

    We are thinking that whilst at WL we will pretty much do 100% dusney and then at the Portofino we can do Universal and Sea World. After docking after the cruise we are planning on driving our to KSC and spending the day before heading back to Orlando and the Portofino.

    We are also meeting up with friends in NY who we will then travel with to WDW and the cruise. So it will be great for the grils to have their friends with them for part of the trip.

    Anyway its Christmas eve morning here in Australia and I am about to start work so Merry Christmas to all DISer's and a happy and safe New year.

    Best Wishes from Down Under

    :santa: :santa: :santa: :santa: :santa:
     
  17. Tink1964

    Tink1964 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Hi
    Just found your thread.
    We are from Melbourne as well.
    We are off to DW on 25th Jan ... not long now :cool1:
    We are staying at VWL & BCV.
    Happy Christmas Eve.
     
  18. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    I am so jealous we still hav e 9 nine months to wait. You must be counting the days.

    :santa: :santa: :santa:
     
  19. dollarmite

    dollarmite Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    289
    Hi, your trip sounds like a lot of fun! :thumbsup2

    My DH, and 2 boys (12 and 8) and I have just returned from 6 weeks in the US, most of which was spent at Disney.

    We left Brisbane (with Qantas) and flew straight through to New York (4 hours stopover at LAX). We spent about a week there, before going by bus to Washington DC. We chose the bus as (a) we wanted to see some of the countryside and (b) didn't want the hassles involved with flying.

    After 4 days in DC (which was about 3 1/2 days too long IMO) we flew to Orlando for 2 weeks at WDW. It was our first visit there and within hours I was planning a return trip in my mind, lol. (Hopefully Dec 2010, but we'll see).

    We only did one non Disney day and that was to Kennedy Space Centre, which was/is a great place to visit. Next time I'd like to spend 3 weeks in Florida - 2 weeks at WDW and one week elsewhere to visit Universal, Miami, etc.

    From there we went back to NY for 2 days before picking up our connecting Qantas flight to LAX. We spent 1 night in LA before moving to Anaheim.

    In Anaheim we spent 5 nights at Disney's Paradise Pier, 6 night at Desert Palms, and 4 nights at the Disneyland Hotel. The only one of those hotels I'd stay at again is the Desert Palms. It was fabulous - great staff, location, room (suite) and price. Without a doubt, the Disneyland Hotel is one of the worst hotels I've ever stayed in, anywhere in the world (dirty, noisy, shabby, overpriced, and the overall "feel" was a complete contrast to what we had experienced at WDW). :sad2:

    The dining plan at WDW is fabulous and I had a great time looking through the menus and planning where to eat. (We were so lucky in that we scored free dining!! We had already paid for it but it was refunded before I even had a chance to ask about it. That saved us about AUD2000! :cool1:).

    We did about 10 character meals at WDW, but only 1 at DL (Lilo and Stitch), plus the birthday party thing (DS turned 9) at the Plaza Inn with Minnie and Mickey, which was nice.

    I think planning is half the fun and I hope you enjoy finalising your trip over the coming months. :)
     
  20. Tink1964

    Tink1964 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Yes the countdown is on the computer 28 days to go.

    DH & DS are very excited. I am just confused as to what clothes to take as we have always gone during summer over there.But I'm looking forward to the shorter wait time on rides.

    We are thinking of going to Universal. the boys are planning to see the shuttle launch in the beginning of FEB, fingers crossed there are no more delays. :worship:

    We had a look at the new Hawaii resort on utube - someone had just posted new footage of the new buildings. Its looking like its going up quickly.
    It's going to be so much closer to us for a little bit of Disney Magic.
     
  21. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Dollarmite your trip sounds fantastic. Sad to hear that DLH is so bad but I may be wrong but it is being refurbshed from top to bottom. May be a little overdue???

    We are also hoping for free dining to apply when we go in Sept/Oct. It seems to be a regular occurence each year around that time so we have our fingers crossed.

    We were thinking about stopping off in Washington for a few days. I was there a few years ago and loved it. In the end we just found it too hard to fit it in especially when we are meeting friends at WDW.

    I must agree I think planning the trip is half the fun. Especially when the whole family is involved. We often sit around the computer as a family whilst we planned out our hotels and ADR's. Our 2 DD's main concern with hotels was the pool. Didn't matter if the room was the size of a postage stamp as long as the pool had a great slide.




    Tink are the days going by any slower as you get closer to your departure date??

    Good luck on the shuttle launch. I am a big space nut and this time we are heading out to the KSC. I would die to see a shuttle launch, I would settle for seeing the shuttle sitting on the launch pad.

    What is the new Hawaii resort??? I have not heard about it. I did hear a few new resorts being uilt at WDW but thought they were non disney resorts?

    :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:
     

Share This Page