I'm FINALLY going to DLR!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by zanzibar138, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    TR started!!!

    With just less than a week to go until we leave for the US, I NEED to share my exciting plans with someone, and my family and friends are all sick of hearing about it! BF doesn't mind hearing about it, but most of the time he has no idea what I'm going on about :rolleyes:

    Now I have never done a trip report or pre-trip report before and really have no idea what the 'rules' are, so please let me know if I do anything wrong!

    So in a nutshell, here's our plans thus far:

    Saturday 26th Feb
    Leave Melbourne airport at 1:15pm Sat 26th Feb, get into LAX 14 hours later at 8:45am Sat 26th Feb :lmao: Take a shuttle down to Anaheim and check in at HOJO. Spend the afternoon/evening finding our bearings and trying to combat jetlag. Neither of us have flown overseas before so not sure what we'll be dealing with! Watch the fireworks from our balcony that night.

    Sunday 27th Feb - Saturday 5th March
    Week in the DLR area, staying at Peacock Suites (will swap hotels before our brunch).
    Sunday - 11am brunch at House of Blues, watch Fantasmic!
    Monday - 9:40am brekky with Minnie & Friends, watch Magic, Memories & You
    Tuesday - MM, 11:30am lunch at Blue Bayou
    Wednesday - Universal Studios
    Thursday - free day
    Friday - 7:30pm WOC dining at Ariel's
    Saturday - nothing booked yet, watch fireworks

    Sunday 6th March - Wednesday 9th March
    Fly up to San Francisco from LAX (lunch time flight), staying at Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf. All we have planned so far is an Alcatraz night tour on Monday

    Wednesday 9th March
    Early morning flight to Vegas, pick up hire car and drive to the Grand Canyon. Probably stop at Hoover Dam on the way through. Staying at Bright Angel Lodge.

    Thursday 10th March - Friday 11th March
    Overnight mule ride.

    Saturday 12th March
    Drive back to Vegas, drop off hire car. Check into Paris Las Vegas. See The Lion King at 8pm (best seats ever!).

    Sunday 13th March
    Mid morning flight back to LA. Fill in some time until our flight back to Melbourne at 10:30pm. Arrive back in Melbourne at 8:30am Tuesday morning :scared1: Go back to work Wednesday... :sad2:

    It's going to be an action-packed 2 weeks lol!
     
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  3. TheColtonsMom

    TheColtonsMom DIS Veteran

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    I'm on board and eagerly await your trip. You Aussie's really know how to vacation!

    Since you don't have alot of plans while in San Fran you may want to check out the Walt Disney Family Museum I have never been but hear it is amazing. Here's a link if you are interested.
    http://disney.go.com/disneyatoz/familymuseum/#0
     
  4. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    I know for me it felt like since we were going all that way for a once in a lifetime trip we didn't want to skimp on experiences, even if it did put us slightly over budget... :rolleyes1: So jealous of everyone who gets to go to DLR every year!

    Thanks for the link to the Walt Disney Family Museum. Will check it out. It will probably depend on how 'disneyed out' BF is by the time we get to San Francisco :rotfl:
     
  5. AussieDisneyNut

    AussieDisneyNut Mouseketeer

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    Hope you have a great trip, look forward to reading all about it. :thumbsup2:thumbsup2 The best way to deal with jetlag is to try and stay awake once you get to the US and go to bed at a "normal" time. Good luck with it! :goodvibes
     
  6. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Have a great time Zanzibar. Looking forward to reading all about it when you get back.

    Enjoy your trip. It sounds fabulous.
     
  7. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    With just five more sleeps to go, we have just about everything organised, but there's still a few outstanding things left.

    * I ordered a soft sided XL dog carrier on ebay for the cats to share on the drive to SIL's (where they are staying) and while they're there. Hopefully it will arrive in time!
    * Worm and de-flea the cats and dog so they don't infest our friends and relatives!
    * Organise for the post office to hold our mail
    * Get a travel card for our money!
    * Organise international drivers licences
    * Finish packing
    * Find USB chargers and ensure batteries for cameras are charged and ready to go!
    * Pack 'overnight bags' for the cats and the dog
    * Get a few last minute things from the supermarket

    So we're nearly there, but (did I mention we only have 5 sleeps to go :rotfl:) with only work days left until our departure, I'm starting to feel a little disorganised!
     
  8. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Apologies. I jus' can't read that number. How many days do you have left in your countdown? Is it at that magical Blast-off countdown?
    :cool1:
     
  9. Minnie Sue Oz

    Minnie Sue Oz DIS Veteran

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    Hi! I bet you are sooooooooooooo excited about your trip!!!:cheer2:

    We Aussies certainly do like to do similar things! We were in the US for most of December last year and spent time in San Francisco, Las Vegas and of course Anaheim.

    I noticed a couple of your last minute things to do and just wanted to let you know you will not need an international drivers license. We drove from Vegas into Anaheim. We actually booked our holiday through a travel agency and she assured us we would not need to obtain in international licence and she was right!!!

    Also, just wanted to check you had at least one power adaptor plug. We took 2 as we had cameras and chargers, the laptop and the hair straightener so they sure did get a work out!!!

    You will just love the Grand Canyon. It truly is spectacular and is one of those places that you just have to see for "real" to really appreciate it.:thumbsup2

    And, the Lion King in Vegas was certainly one of the highlights of our trip! we had seats 4th row from the front, dead centre and they were just perfect!!!

    We also did the gospel brunch at the House of Blues ( amazing!!! ) and had breakfast with Minnie and Friends..................twice!!! ( she is my idol!!! ).::MinnieMo

    Feel free to ask anything you might need to know and I will do my best to help!

    I will look forward to hearing all about your trip too!:woohoo:

    Cheers
    Sue
     
  10. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Sure is! Only 4 more sleeps now! :banana::banana:

    Great minds think alike Sue :) I've subscribed to your trip report so hopefully I'll pick up some tips before we leave. I'm not impressed with our travel agent - he told us we would need international drivers licences, but he also told us we would need to pay extra to get into DLR at night for the fireworks etc :confused3 Good thing I'd already done about 5 years of research :lmao: I seemed to know a lot more about most things than he did!

    We got our adapter plug on the weekend - saw a double adapter and thought 'beauty'! We were a bit concerned that it didn't convert voltage, but the guy at the shop assured us it wouldn't be a problem for the things we're planning to use it for. The main thing will be my laptop, and most other things can charge from that on USB. But with the double adapter we'll at least have the extra space in case I can't find the USB chargers lol!

    Probably the thing I'm most concerned about is tipping :confused3 Did you get the hang of it pretty quick? How have other Aussies gone with tipping?
     
  11. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for your advice too :) I figure if we stay up until the fireworks and watch from our balcony (possibly in our pjs lol!) and go to bed after that, it should put us in good shape for the rest of our holiday. That was my reasoning for the splurge on the park view room anyway :rotfl:
     
  12. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Well finally the big day is nearly here! :banana::cool1::banana:

    Our bags are packed, the animals are set, and everything is booked and confirmed. I somehow managed to get away from work today... 1 1/2 hours late mind you :sad2:

    Here's some pre-trip piccies:

    Wednesday night I picked up the dog carrier. It's really great and the cats love it! Abbey has slept in it on more than one occasion. I'm looking forward to seeing if they travel any better in it.

    Oliver trying it out:

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    Abbey waking up from a nap:

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    Also took this pic of our cases (mine is the packed one lol!), and Oliver trying to stow away...

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    This morning we opened the last window on our countdown calendar (it's just an advent calendar left over from Christmas, but worked perfectly since we were leaving on the 26th - I work at Cadbury so got one cheap ;))

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    I just did my nails tonight. I very rarely paint my nails, so I was quite pleased with how they turned out. Having said that though, the Mickey ears on my right hand are a lot more smooshed together!

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    VERY EXCITED about heading off tomorrow! Will be a whole new experience for both of us and I CAN'T WAIT to finally see Disneyland! :woohoo:
     
  13. cloudconnected1039

    cloudconnected1039 Mouseketeer

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    I LOVE your nails!!! You've inspired me to do the same for my DL trip next weekend :banana: :thumbsup2
     
  14. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    1st day in Anaheim today! Arrived about lunchtime and wandered down to Downtown Disney after a nap. By the time we arrived at the hotel I had been awake for over 26 hours...

    Had lunch at Tortilla Joe's and did some window shopping.

    We're getting ready to watch the fireworks from the balcony of our top floor room at Hojo, with Baileys at the ready :)

    Can't wait for our first day in the parks tomorrow!
     
  15. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Aww. I missed the packing post. Cute nails!

    And your furbabies are gorgeous!

    Glad to see that you've arrived safely and are/have enjoyed the fireworks from your balcony. Hope your first day at the parks is all you dreamed it would be!

    Looking forward to hearing more.

    princess::upsidedow
     
  16. Minnie Sue Oz

    Minnie Sue Oz DIS Veteran

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    Ohhhhhh, I am super excited for you that you are actually there!!!

    I know you will have THE best time ever!!!

    Oh, and I just had to tell you about something we had in common apart from the love of Disney. We have 2 furbabies also and when I saw the picture of your kitty Oliver, I almost did a double take!!! Please meet Tabitha.......

    [​IMG]

    They could be twins!!!!

    So, have a fabulous time and I can't wait to hear all about it. Please think of me at least once when you board your "doom buggy" on the Haunted Mansion.................!!!!

    Stay safe

    Sue
     
  17. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Tabitha is so cute!

    Have been having such a great time over here, although both of us are starting to get pretty tired - we've been going hard!

    Tomorrow is our trip to Universal, then a day off theme parks before more Disney :-)
     
  18. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    We got home this morning, and I am so excited about our trip I just have to get started on the TR straight away :banana:

    We were up at 7am for our 1:15pm flight on V Australia. We live over an hour from the airport and had to go via the in-laws place to leave the car, then they drove us in to the airport. We also wanted to leave plenty of time in case things went wrong, since we've never flown overseas before.

    As it happened, it was a fairly uneventful process, once we found the V Australia counter. Once us and our bags were checked in, we went to have some morning tea to fill in some time. Then Nick and I went through security and where they check the passports, and walked all the way to the end of the terminal where our boarding lounge was...

    The flight was slightly late boarding, but must have had good tail-wind as the flight ended up being slightly less than 14 hours :woohoo: Our seats were in about the second last row, but at least we had a window. I managed to watch Toy Story 3 again, and a few other movies, play some games, and tried unsuccessfully to get some sleep. I was actually surprised at how quickly the flight went. Unfortunately we didn't have the greatest luck with food. Our flight attendent forgot to put the last few meals in the oven, so ours were late, and when they did come out, it was still a bit raw (and was chicken, so not good :scared1:). Had a decent brekky of pancakes though so that kind of made up for it.

    Coming into LA, we were surprised at how built-up the area was, right up to the airport! There was just block after block after block of houses, with no end in sight! A bit different to Australian airports where there's usually a bit of farmland around closer to the airport, and a bit of land between blocks of houses.

    When our flight landed (at about 9am), it took us about an hour to get through immigration, get our bags, and get through customs - it's a lllloooonnnngggg process! Made our way out to the roadside where there were shuttle buses lined up. It was a bit windy and pretty cold! Here's our first photo on American soil!

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    And here's our shuttle bus pulling in. It took us a while to get used to the different style of cars and buses over there!

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    The shuttle took us straight to the Hojo, which was great as I was really struggling to stay awake by that stage! Going along the freeway, it reminded me heaps of Perth! There were heaps of gum trees around, and the train line down the middle of the freeway just topped it off. Then we had our first taste of tipping. The driver seemed please, so we assumed we got it fairly right :thumbsup2

    After checking in we went straight to our room, right on the top floor, a few rooms up, with a Disney view. Here's some pics of the view:

    View of the pool area

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    View of Disneyland

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    View of DCA

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    We were planning to get straight into sight seeing when we arrived and try to get into the new time straight away, but I was just too exhausted not having slept at all on the plane. We allowed ourselves a 2 hour nap. Then we headed out to try to find some lunch.

    We thought there must be something at GardenWalk, which seemed to be just like a regular shopping centre... wrong! Was a nice walk though. We got to see a whole heap of the hotels (scoping it out for next time!) and the entrance to Disneyland. I was pretty impressed by these trees:

    [​IMG]

    We ended up walking back to Downtown Disney (which was my original plan anyway ;) ), and had some lunch at Tortilla Joe's.

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    We couldn't believe how good the service was! And it continued to amaze us throughout our trip. Anyway, when we arrived here we were immediately given a bowl of cornchips and some salsa to munch on while we waited for our meals. I couldn't believe the size of the Coke I ordered either!

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    After lunch (which was kind of an early dinner as well), we wandered around Downtown Disney. We never ended up getting to the Rainforest Cafe, but I still got a photo.

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    And the hotel I would have liked to stay at :rotfl:

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    We were pretty impressed by the Lego store. I took heaps of photos of their Lego creations! We wanted to stock up because Lego is so much more expensive over here, but couldn't really due to our luggage restrictions :sad2:

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    Then we wandered into the World of Disney store. Big mistake! We were there for ages, and still only got halfway! I didn't buy anything on the first night... I was so overwhelmed with everything that was available and couldn't choose! But I had a great time taking pictures :)

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    On the way back to the hotel we passed this sign promoting the new The Magic, The Memories and You show.

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    We got some drinks at the hotel gift shop on the way back - again, couldn't believe how cheap things were :scared1:

    Then sat on the balcony and watched the fireworks :love: We had an awesome, uninterrupted view.

    [​IMG]

    Then it was off to bed for a good night's sleep before the big day ahead!
     
  19. TheColtonsMom

    TheColtonsMom DIS Veteran

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    Too funny ...when we saw Oliver we said he was the lost twin to our Mary Jane then came Tabitha...wish I had a pic of MJ at the ready in Photobucket but I will have to dig one up...I guess they are actually triplets LOL
     
  20. TheColtonsMom

    TheColtonsMom DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great first afternoon in California! Hope it gets even better!
     
  21. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    It's funny, because when we got Oliver we'd never really seen a cat with his colouring and markings before, but since we got him, they're everywhere lol!

    He still has a pretty unique personality though :lmao: Never met a cat quite like him!

    Aww I miss the cats - Nick's going to pick them up tomorrow while I'm at work so I have to wait until tomorrow night to see them :sad2: At least we get Riley back tonight :woohoo: It's so quiet here with no animals!
     

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