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

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

  1. LuvLuvLuv

    LuvLuvLuv DIS Veteran

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    The hours are starting to come up!!! We'll have a plan by week's end!! We added on 2 days so we'll be at PP-CL Jan 29-31, then moving to GCV Jan 31-Feb 4!

    3 Dis members that week at GCV!!
     
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  3. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    :yay: Yay for DVC members! Looks like we're in good company! You guys will have to jump in here on the planning!

    The park hours are finally up through January 4th! I have been watching day by day. Last week I was guessing the park hours and show/parade times based on the previous weeks. I'm glad to see WOC is everyday. It looks like the week before it is not.

    Now I just need some time on this holiday weekend to work on our plans! I'm nervous that we haven't made any dining reservations. I know it's not like WDW, but still. In fact I think it's funny that we have ADRs for our April WDW trip but not for 6 weeks from now at DL! :rotfl:

    Merry Christmas everybody! :santa:
     
  4. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

    Today we are finally getting a chance to play with our toys! We bought the kids an XBOX 360 with Kinect...especailly because of the Disneyland Adventures game! It is awesome! We're still getting the hang of the system, but so far I'm impressed with the game and it is making me VERY excited for our upcoming trip!

    My goal today is to finalize our dining plans and make some reservations! Let's see if I can pull myself away from the XBOX long enough! :rolleyes1
     
  5. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Okay. I finally made dining reservations for DL! :woohoo: It is SO much easier than WDW! I made one call. The CM whipped right through my requests giving me the exact times I asked for or within 30 minutes of my request. No Confirmation numbers, just reserved under our name. Easy. I updated the itinerary post on page 1.

    Now...just as I think I have a handle on things...is the extra magic hour just for DL or also for DCA? I got to wondering because I was wondering when the best night to see WOC will be. I want to grab a FP some morning. If DCA has an early hour too, that may be the best time. Right now my plan assumes we'll be hitting DL those mornings.

    Oh, and I signed up for Ridemax today. I'm disappointed I couldn't start the ride plans for my exact days yet, but I kinda figured that would be the case since the hours just came out. I signed up for the 1 yr usage for Ridemax since we plan another trip in October 2012. I know we don't need Ridemax these times of the year, but I am an OCD planner. I don't want to lose my reputation! :rotfl:
     
  6. ProudMommyof2

    ProudMommyof2 DIS Veteran

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    Looks yummy! Nice to know you can get good ADRs so close to your trip at DL. That is a big difference from WDW!
     
  7. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I know, right? HUGE difference! To be able to get into Goofy's Kitchen, Ariel's Grotto, and Blue Bayou so easily is amazing--compared to WDW!!! Can you imagine finding any ADR for Chef Mickey's or Cinderella's Royal Table about 30 days out at WDW...let alone peak times?! :laughing:

    I'm getting sooo excited about this trip! We added the Anaheim and Hawaii weather to our kitchen weather station (Sony Dash.) The weather is in the 70's in Anaheim and of course a perfect 80 degrees in Hawaii--like always! Wishing for some of that 70 degree/no rain weather when we're in Anaheim!
     
  8. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Oh yeah, I got a new camera for the trip too! :yay:
    We've both been hating our current camera. :sad2: The funny thing is on Christmas eve, I tried out my sister's camera which is awesome! I decided then and there that we definately had to have a new camera for our trip! That night, I opened up DH's present to me and it was a new camera...a cool underwater one. It would be neat to take pictures at the beach and while snorkeling...but after reading the reviews I could tell it still wasn't going to make me happy for normal use. Luckily, DH had no problem telling me to exchange it for the one I really wanted. The one I wanted was cheaper anyway! Now we'll use our old camera to take to the beach and we have an underwater case we can use the old camera in to take underwater pictures. Yay! I'm excite to get the new camera...with 16x zoom and great speed and quality in a wide range of lighting...and get use to it before the trip! Afterall, I did promise LOTS of pictures, right?! ;)
     
  9. ProudMommyof2

    ProudMommyof2 DIS Veteran

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    I have family in Orange County and I remember going to Disneyland in January when I was 16 (a lot of years ago!). There is a great picture of my sister and I in spring jackets and all my cousins in heavy parkas with hats and gloves, LOL! I think it was about 50 degrees! I have also been in the summer. It always cools down at night, no matter the time of year, so dress in layers and you will be fine. I hope for 70s though!
     
  10. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Alright, we've finally got our car rentals for Maui and Oahu. I PLAN to make some headway on "finalizing" our itinerary today and hopefully using Ridemax to make some park plans.

    The kids and even DH are begging me to make family t-shirts for Disneyland. I've gone all out with this for several trips we've made to Disney World (see my link to the WDW trip in my signature to see some of the shirts. You won't believe how well they turn out.)
    IF I do it (and I don't know where I will find the time), I'll just do one shirt for each of us with a matching family design...instead of a personalized/matching shirt for each day of our trip. It's fun to wear them, but so much work and I just don't have time for it! It's nice yhat the kids want to do it though and I probably should take advantage of it while they are still willing! :laughing: DH actually still wears one of the T-shirts I made him for a trip 3+ years ago, so at least they're not wasted.
     
  11. Happy 2 B Me

    Happy 2 B Me I have ears --just not Disney Ears.

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    We have been going to Oahu --Waikiki for 23 of 25 years. ( I am on list for a kidney transplant should I get the call I probably could not get home fast enough--I have been waiting near 5 years for the gift of a kidney). We love Hawaii so much we bought a condo 12 years ago just 2 blocks from Waikiki Beach. The hotel rents it out for us when we are not there. :( . ( if you visit Waikiki beach area we own in the tallest building in beach area -- it has a blue A-line roof --can't miss it.) Well the real reason I am posting to your thread ********** YOU ARE GOING AT THE BEST TIME OF YEAR**********. When there we live on the south side of Island and Feb weather was "always" wonderful. Skip the 70 degree weather you should have 80's with a warm gentle breeze.
    Should you plan a vist to the Arizona Memorial remember to bring a lei --it is custom to toss a lei over the water above the sunken Arizona. I will be following your trip report. With much ALOHA --have a wonderful trip.


    Patty

     
  12. VallCopen

    VallCopen VGC Lover

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    Subscribing!!! Wow what a trip.:thumbsup2

    We stayed 19 days in a 2 bedroom villa (GCV) last June, even got a Paradise Pier View from the 5th floor, and it was amazing....We can't wait to try Aulani but at this point we are in a big borrow state, after the 19 day trip.:confused3 I guess I will just have to live it through your report for now.popcorn::

    We are going to Disneyland this month for a quick 5 day trip but we will not get to stay in our villas this time, instead we will stay at the Pier but we are excited to just be going again, although hubby and little daughter do not know yet. We will however be back to the villas this June for 9 days.:lovestruc

    I wanted to let you know that if you go to www.patinagroup.com and click at the bottom of the page (join mailing list) they will email you a coupon (either $30 or $50 depending on the state you are from), for your birthday. The coupon is good for 30 days and can be used at Naples, Catal or Tortilla Joe's. We did this last November and used it at Tortilla Joe's and it worked great. Both my husband and I signed up so that we could each receive the coupon.

    Have an amazing trip!!!
     
  13. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:

    Wow! Great info!!! And since my birthday is in 2 days, it's perfect timing! I signed up and the website said I would get a $50 coupon. What's the catch? This sure seems like something for nothing. Is it too good to be true? I hope I get it in time.
    And :welcome: Patty too! Thanks for joining in. I'll have some good stuff for you all soon!
     
  14. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Oh bummer, I got my free restaurant coupon today...but it was for their New York restaurants. I live near Chicago, did they send me NY because it's the closest? I really wish I contact someone and ask for California instead. I just don't have a clue how to do that. :confused: I was sooo excited too! :rotfl:

    Edit:
    I did go to their website and found a "contact us" link. I never thought I'd hear back from them, but I received another email within 30 minutes with a birthday certificate for West Coast restaurants. :woohoo:
    So I'll use my $30 off at Tortilla Jo's or Naples. :yay:
     
  15. Lisa29

    Lisa29 Mouseketeer

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    Yay, I read your other trip report and can't wait to read this. 19 days is amazing, I would love to go for that long. Your kids are gorgeous.

    Excited to read more. :)
     
  16. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!

    I finally got my Disneyland Itinerary planned out. I was hoping to have time to update more here. We are packed and almost ready to go!!! :eek::yay::eek: One more long day of work tomorrow and we're off! :woohoo:

    I'll try to update the itinerary I listed at the beginning of this thread at least! And I don't want to forget to mention my best strategy for ride planning at DL and DCA. I originally bought Ridemax. I've used it before (a couple of years ago) and I still found it clunky and lacking. Finally I used the web based version and it's better and I found the tips which helped a lot. It's just not as intuative as I would like. It's okay now that I figured it out.

    Yesterday I subscribed to TouringPlans. It was a deal at around $5.50 for a years subscription (using a mousesavers code.) It is very refined and I love it. It is a great place to start planning. I love the maps which pinpoint the daily plans by number too. It's probably enough for most people.

    But I'm super analytical and found my best strategy was to start with one of TouringPlans pre-made plans; then tweak what rides I wanted to skip or add; enter them into ridemax several times (because it can give slightly different plans each time); then make a personalized plan using the best order on Touring Plans. :headache: I'm quite happy with the end result. Whew! No wonder I haven't had any time to update this thread!
     
  17. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    The Disneyland portion of our trip is over but it was fantastic! I wanted to do some live reporting but the Internet at the resort was weird. It would just shut down my Kindle Fire.:confused3
    Our one bedroom villa at the Grand Californian was wonderful! I think the nicest of the DVC rooms we've had (excluding grand villas.) It was the perfect size for us until the baby needs her own bed. I'll elaborate more and post pictures when I return. I do want to thank you all on the disboards though for the I.fl on which rooms to request. We got a great view of WOC and enjoyed watching it ffrom our balcony almost every night. :goodvibes
    Currently we're in Maui and have an incredible ocean and mountain view from our 2 bedroom villa at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club on Kaanapali beach. Will have much to share with you.
    I anticipate Internet problems at Aulani too so I'll update when I can and start uploading picture the week of February 20 when we're home.
     
  18. Lisa29

    Lisa29 Mouseketeer

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    I hope you are having a great time. My brother is going to Oahu at the end of the month for part of his honeymoon (sandwiched between Santa Monica and Vegas) and I know he is so excited.

    Can't wait to read more.
     
  19. SueTGGR

    SueTGGR Disney visits as often as money will allow-donatio

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    I have been watching this report and I wanted to Thank You for this, VallCopen. Not sure when we will get to DLR but my b-day isn't until August & the Tortilla Joe's Express is our favorite. Quick, easy & to order. Hopefully they aren't excluded. If not the bar area is a good place too.
    Now back to wait for news on Maui (going there in 2 weeks) and Aulani (going in August):surfweb: Already knew the Grand CA is THE BEST! Hopefully you found out how to get into CA Adventure early to get fast passes for WOC & get into TSM with little or no wait. I love the side entrance for Resort guests.:wizard:
    Later,
    Sue
     
  20. VallCopen

    VallCopen VGC Lover

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    SueTGGR your very welcome.;)

    Excited to here about your trip...popcorn:: We are planning Alunai for summer 2013 and are excited to here all about it and what you thought of the views, we can only book at 7 months since VGC is our home resort but I am keeping the fingers crossed that we can get in for June, 2013. Hope your trip was awesome.
     
  21. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    A quick check in... we're at Aulani now and the Internet works! Our one bedroom villa seems much smaller than at VGC. It's beautiful though! For those going to Aulani I highly suggest requesting a room near the end (closer to the ocean) if you actually want to see the ocean. I'm quite disappointed with the "ocean view" of our room. Technically you can see the ocean but it is very far away. We are closest to the elevators on the seventh floor. Would also recommend requesting a higher floor for ocean view.
    I will have lots of good things to report when I get back but I wanted to mention the view problem to help out those who leave soon.
    More when I get home next week.
     

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