Longest Vacation Ever! VGC, Aulani, & More!--Complete!!!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by dr&momto2boys, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Let's get this thing started! I've got lots to do before our longest vacation ever! Planning is my favorite part and essential for my group of 6! Let's start with the intros...


    Me (Kyrie): Self-employed loving mother. OCD planner and Disney FANatic!

    DH (Marc): Stay-at-home awesome dad! Enables and even encourages my OCD planning and super long vacations!

    [​IMG]Jacob (7): Has visited WDW 6 times, DL once, and 2 DCL cruises. Jacob is looking forward to going on the Matterhorn again! Jacob will try any ride (once.)

    [​IMG]Max (5): Has been to WDW 5 times, DL once, and 2 DCL cruises. Max loves Goofy's rollercoaster at WDW and is looking forward to any coasters he can ride at DL.

    [​IMG]Ella (3): This will be her first trip to DL! She's been to WDW 4 times and on 2 DCL cruises. Ella loves It's a Small World at WDW and I'm sure we'll be riding it many times here too!

    [​IMG]Zoe (9 months at the time of this trip, 6 months in the picture): This will be her 1st Disney experience of any kind! :yay: I'm sure she'll love it! She loves everything! :lovestruc

    All my children are seasoned travels. The oldest have been to at least 16 different states and several countries. Even the baby has already been to 7 states (will be in 9 before she turns one!) We homeschool. Traveling is a great learning experience!

    This trip will begin on January 31st, 2012. We will spend 5 nights in California. We're staying in a one bedroom villa at the Grand Californian. We plan to spend the entire time at Disneyland and California Adventure. Then we fly to Maui. We'll be in a two bedroom villa at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club on Kaanapali Beach for 7 nights. Finally, we fly to Oahu and spend 6 nights at Aulani in a one bedroom villa. Aulani is Disney Vacation Club's newest resort.

    Here's what you should expect from my trip report...
    Lots of pictures! I took 2400 pictures on a ten day trip to WDW. My guess will be 4000 for this trip. I promise to post lots, but not all!
    A day by day account of what we do. And we always do a lot!
    Pictures of food. I like planning where we eat and usually take pictures of our food to share here.
    If this is for you, then please join in and comment! It makes it much more motivating to keep posting knowing people are reading along and enjoying!

    If you'd like to get to know us, check out my May 2010 TR for WDW. We did some pretty cool stuff on that trip and you'll get to know what to expect out of us on this trip!
     
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  3. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    We're back! And here is our actual itinerary:
    I'll add links as I've added all the details and pictures to our blog. (Since DH kept a little blog while we gone, I just added to it. There are plenty of pictures, but don't read ahead! I haven't done all the updates yet! I'm just starting! Link through this post (anything that is underlined!) to be sure you're reading a page that is "done!")

    The Trip has Begun!
    Day 1 Disneyland
    1/31 Fly to California
    Check into Villas at the Grand Californian
    Disney's California Adventure
    Dinner at Pacific Wharf Cafe
    Day 2 Disneyland
    2/1 Breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen
    Disneyland
    Lunch at Bengel's BBQ
    Dinner at Naples
    Day 3 Disneyland
    2/2 Breakfast at Jamba Juice and La Brea Bakery cart
    Extra Magic Hour at Disneyland
    Lunch at Blue Bayou
    Schmoozies
    Dinner at ToonTown and Rancho del Zocalo
    Day 4 Disneyland
    2/3 Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen
    California Adventure
    Lunch at Corndog Castle
    Disneyland
    Dinner at Big Thunder Ranch BBQ
    Day 5 Disneyland
    2/4 Extra Magic Hour at Disneyland
    Jolly Holiday Bakery
    Princess Lunch at Ariel's Grotto
    Day 6 Maui
    2/5 Fly from LA to Maui
    Check into Marriot Maui Ocean Club
    Day 7 Maui
    2/6 Pool and Beach Day
    Lunch at Marriott's Marketplace
    Dinner at Leilani's on the Beach
    Day 8 Maui (Part 1)
    2/7 Exploring West Maui
    "Best Banana Bread on the Planet"
    Day 8 Maui (Part 2)
    Lunch at Porto
    Dinner "in" & Movie Night
    Day 9 and 10 Maui
    2/8 Dinner at Bubba Gumps
    2/9 Dinner at Longboards
    7pm Seminar
    Day 11 Maui
    2/10 Seminar 9-5
    Maui Ocean Center (Aquarium)
    Iao Valley
    Banyon Tree Park
    Dinner at Hyatt Regency's Umalu
    Day 12 Maui
    2/11 Seminar until noon
    Dinner at Hula Grill
    Day 13 Oahu
    2/12 Fly to Oahu
    Check into Aulani
    Dinner at Makahiki
    Day 14 Oahu
    2/13 Lunch at One Paddle,Two Paddle
    Dinner at Off the Hook
    Starlit Hui
    Day 15 Oahu
    2/14 Valentine's Day :love:
    Dinner at 'Ama 'Ama
    Day 16 Oahu
    2/15 Character Breakfast at Makahiki
    Aloha Stadium Swap Meet
    Leonard's Malasadas
    Dinner at Makahiki
    Day 17 Oahu
    2/16 Lunch at 'Ama 'Ama
    Dinner poolside at the JW Marriott
    Day 18 Oahu
    2/17 Dinner at Longboards at the Ko 'Olina Marriott timeshare
    Day 19 Going Home!
    2/18 Fly home

    I plan to add dining reviews and resort reviews after I'm done with the general day reports.
    I will update and add more links as soon as I can! Please leave comments to keep me motivated if you're enjoying the trip report! Thanks! :goodvibes
     
  4. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Our favorite pass time is reading all things Disney and planning our next vacations. For instance, here are the trips we have planned currently...

    2012
    February Disneyland, Maui, and Oahu(this trip)
    April Orlando (probably Universal) and Oasis of the Seas cruise
    August Roadtrip to Western United States
    October Disneyland again

    2013
    January possible return to DL (depends on conference location)
    May WDW with extended family
    September Disney Dream cruise and WDW
     
  5. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Mouseketeer

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    Hi - i can't wait to hear more about your trip, and read your report! :thumbsup2

    I went and read your Disney World report and it was amazing - so many photos and great detail, a true example of a fantastic report! :banana::banana::banana:
     
  6. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: and thanks! :goodvibes
     
  7. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I'm definately not finding as much time as I'd like to plan! We did hear that our waitlist for for our last night at the Villas at the Grand Californian came through, so I changed my itinerary a little. Originally there was no availability on Feb 4th, so we planned to check in to a hotel in Hollywood and spend a day there. We'll just stay in the DL area the entire time now. We will probably spend some time in Hollywood on our Fall 2012 trip then. It's funny, the thing I want to do most is go to the Disney Soda Fountain after watching a movie at the nearby theater. The kids will like seeing the stars on the sidewalk too. I'm happy to put it off until the Fall though. I need a good long dose of DL this time!

    I finally added the kids' pictures to the original post. Today I want to do some research on where we want to dine at DLR while we're there. Feel free to jump in and make recommendations! I would love that!
    I wish the park hours were posted for our trip. I'm used to WDW planning and I feel way behind! I know that's not necessary for DL, but it just feels strange!
     
  8. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Here's the full list of places we're considering eating...

    DL
    Blue Bayou
    Cafe Orleans
    Carnation Cafe (I think I read it will closed?)
    Celebration Round Up and BBQ
    Bengal BBQ (Tiger Tails)
    Hungry Bear Restaurant
    Plaza Inn (Character breakfast)
    Rancho del Zocalo
    Riverbelle Terrace (Mickey Pancakes)
    Blue Ribbon Bakery
    Little Red Wagon (Corn Dogs)
    Tiki Juice Bar (Dole Whip float)

    DCA
    Ariel's Grotto (Character meal)
    Wine Country Trattoria
    Cocina Cucomongo Mexican Grill
    Pacific Wharf Cafe
    Corn Dog Castle

    Resorts/DTD
    Goofy's Kitchen (Character buffet)
    Storyteller's Cafe
    PCH Grill (Character meal)


    I bolded the choices I'm pretty sure of. If there are snacks or other things I should NOT miss, at any of these places...or any others...please tell me! ;)

    We love dole whip floats, so we won't miss that. We've never tries tiger tails, so we're headed to Bengel's if only for those. We'll also search out the tigger tails at the candy place by the Pooh ride, right? I'm not a marshmallow fan usually, but after reading so much about them we'll have to at least give them a try!
     
  9. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I didn't get any further with my DLR plans, BUT we did book our April Orlando hotel. We just realized we're only 6 months away from that!
    We booked a 1 bedroom villa at Old Key West Resort Tuesday, April 10th to Saturday, April 14th. I have to be at a conference Thursday morning and Friday morning. We decided to stay onsite at Disney even though we're not going to the parks. We booked the dining plan and made 3 dinner reservations. In case you're interested, here's the itinerary for that trip...

    Tuesday 10th Fly to Orlando
    Dinner at Chef Mickey's
    Wednesday 11th Legoland
    Thursday 12th Dinner at Sanaa
    Friday 13th Lunch at Beaches & Cream
    Dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe
    Saturday 14th Embark on Western Caribbean cruise...Oasis of the Seas
    Saturday 21st Drive to Universal Orlando (Hard Rock Hotel?)
    Sunday 22nd Islands of Adventure
    Monday 23rd Universal Studios
    Tuesday 24th Fly Home

    It's funny that we have this trip more planned out than the DL/Hawaii trip in January! I better get cracking! It would be helpful if the park hours were listed for that time of year! :rolleyes:
     
  10. LuvLuvLuv

    LuvLuvLuv DIS Veteran

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    We're there the same time as you--we're DL first timers!!! I could only get GCV Jan 31-Feb 4... and we're thinking about staying at DLH or PP the night of Feb 4 since there was no availability with DVC... glad you got it!!! :yay:

    Looking forward to reading more plans!!
     
  11. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    Subscribing!!
     
  12. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:
    That's awesome! You'll love Disneyland! (Who wouldn't?) It's just surprising how close together everything is and how narrow the walkways are compared to WDW. Nothing beats walking out your back door literally into DCA!
    Did you get on a waitlist for the 4th? Ours came through pretty quickly, but they didn't send us a notice. We just found out from checking the website.
     
  13. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:
    Thanks for joining in!
     
  14. LuvLuvLuv

    LuvLuvLuv DIS Veteran

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    Hi again :wave:

    I rented points from a DVC owner for those nights and didn't do a wait list. I think we decided to check out PP-CL for the last night!! We either normally either stay in a 1-BR villa or Club Level... and I'm super curious about their CL. Only studios were available when I rented so I took it (plus it saved lots of $$). Since we've never been there, I don't think we'll hang in the room as much as we do in WDW--we'll be exploring! I'm sure we'll see you around!!
     
  15. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, you can't miss us! :laughing:

    CL would certainly make the move more tolerable!
     
  16. ProudMommyof2

    ProudMommyof2 DIS Veteran

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    Wow! Sounds amazing!
     
  17. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: ProudMommy!

    I am working slowly but surely on our daily plans, but think they may change so much when I actualy see the park hours, that I'm not in a rush to post anything for now. But this thread will be hoppin' in January! :laughing:
     
  18. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Waiting not-so-patiently here for the Disneyland park hours for my trip to appear on the website.

    Meanwhile, we dragged out our 8yr old Maui and Oahu travel guide books to see what we might do there...
    We are definately renting a car in Maui so we plan to go to Lahaina a few times to explore, shop, and eat. We also plan to spend one day exploring the natural wonders. I'll fill in the details soon.
    We are leaning toward not renting a car in Oahu. If we do, we will go to the Dole Plantation and probably the flea market while we are there. We have to investigate the cost of a car rental and parking versus transportation to and from Aulani. We definately want to spend lots of time enjoying the resort. We contemplated going to the Polynesian Cultural Center but decided against it because it's on the other side of the island. We just don't want to spend that much time in the car for what we perceive it to be.

    We did make reservations at some of the Aulani restaurants. Surprisingly it was difficult to get some of the times we were looking for. I wonder if they hold back some of the availibility. I'll fill in our reservations in our itinerary above.

    Another miscellaneous thing we did in preparation for our trip was join the Landry's Select Club. Landry's owns restaurants like Bubba Gump's, Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex, Claim Jumper's and more. It cost $25 to join, but you get $25 on your card right away as a "welcome gift." They also give you $25 on your birthday and mine is in January. We plan to go to Bubba Gump's in Lahaina so it will be worth it. We also bought a $50 gift certificate online that comes with a $10 bonus to be used by Feb 9th, 2012. Perfect timing for us! So for a $75 investment--we'll have $110 to use there. I don't think we'll use it all at once, but considering there are 6 of us and prices are high in Hawaii--maybe we will. I'm sure we will spend more than $75. We can always use the rest later in the year or splurge on a couple cocktails. We usually go to Bubba Gumps when we visit Universal in Orlando too. And we like Claim Jumper's semi-near our home.
     
  19. MotoWifey185

    MotoWifey185 .:dirt bikes to doom buggies:.

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    I have been reading so many trip reports since I joined (probably an embarassing amount to people unlike us :laughing:) and this one will definitely be added to my list!! I look forward to it. :goodvibes Happy planning and hope you have an amazing time when the day finally comes!
     
  20. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: and thank you!
     
  21. Lucille1963

    Lucille1963 DIS Veteran

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    We will be at DL Jan 25 - Feb 4 staying at the Dvc Villas! I can't wait. This will be my 4 year old son's second trip to Disneyland. We can't wait. I look forward to reading more.
     

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