Meet Santa @ DL turn right @ Aulani and fly on..Single Digit Dance

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by areweindisneyyet, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    This is my first pre trip report. I have been lurking and posting on the Christmas thread in anticipation of our family Christmas celebration in Disneyland this year. I am an avid planner and this will be the first time my family have all been together for Christmas in five years.

    Cast of Characters:
    Me planner: This will be by fourth trip to DL. Stayed twice off site and this trip will be second on site.
    DH Disney convert : Second trip
    DD1 (12) and DD2(9): Second trip - DD2 is now tall enough for California Screamin:banana:
    GM & GP Grandma and Grandpa: Fourth trip, and cant imagine any of us going to DL without us. Should have been Mousekeeters.
    BB Baby Brother: Third visit but first since California Adventure built. Has also done Hong Kong Disney
    BBG Baby Brothers Girlfriend: Disney first timer.

    The Plan:
    We are booked into a suite at the Grand Californian from the 21st to the 27th of December.

    We will all do some additional travel either before or after the trip.

    Aim:
    In 2007 GM, GP, DH, DD's and I spent the week after Thanksgiving at DL at the DLH. It planted the seed of a family Christmas in the parks. We know it will be busy but the aim is to be together and enjoy the time of the year in a place that we all love. GM & GP grew up watching Disney and dreaming of going to DL. As children this love of the parks was passed on to us as we have passed it along to our children. As my parents near retirement this will truly be for them a magical trip with us all together. We live on opposite sides of the country to them so don't see them as often as we would like so we are all very excited about this time together.

    GP insists on going back to Goofy's Kitchen for a breakfast, he loved it last time and wanted to have Breakfast there every morning.

    DD2 wants to FINALLY ride Californian Screamin.

    We also want to enjoy some of the smaller things - we have never been on the Rivers of America except for the canoes and the raft to Tom Sawyer Island.


    We plan to eat at Rainforest Cafe, Blue Bayou, Goofy's, the Plaza Inn Breakfast with Mini and Storytellers for Christmas Day Lunch.

    We are also planning on booking Fantasmic dining and a Holiday Tour however if rumours of a Christmas Party come true we will do that also.

    That's the basics. I will add our plans as they firm up, and when I have thoughts. Suggestions are more than welcome.

    So let the planning begin.
     
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  3. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    10 months to go. We made another payment on the holiday today:banana: I love ringing wdtc and having them wish me a happy disney day.

    We have been discussing plans for travel either the week before or week after our trip. Toying with the idea of Hawaii or SF, napa and Yosemite or las Vegas/grand canyon :confused3. Half of us have done this before and the other half none. Relaxing at the beach versus taking the girls to the snow for the first time. Decisions are the worst. Would fly and hire car me thinks.

    A lot will depend on airfares, it isn't as simple as it used to be to stopover in Hawaii to and from Australia.

    Mia
     
  4. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    For what it is worth - you can come home to Australia and go to the beach. And with stopovers non-existent in Hawaii, you're better off planning a separate vacation and going to Hawaii and doing all the islands in the one vacay.

    Going to the snow for the girl's first trip? You're already on the mainland...why not do that?
     
  5. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    Woo hoo! I'm subscribed!!:cool1::cool1: The DLR holiday season seems so far away, doesn't it?

    In any case, I'm sure the photos you will take on this trip will be wonderful, based on the ones from your previous trip which you've shared with us in the Christmas thread!! I can't wait to see them - and to have some new additions from you in the Christmas Superthread!

    GP sounds like me - wants to eat at Goofy's every mornng!:rotfl2::rotfl2: Although...I always just end up eating there one day out of the trip. But when I do and I enjoy it so much, I always think, "I wish this were not so expensive or I would be eating here every day.)

    How wonderful that you'll be in a GCH suite right during the Christmas season. Even though I fully enjoy the GCH lobby and tree and all that without staying there, when I actually did stay at the GCH in December a few years back, it was lovely to be able to just sit and enjoy the carolers, then when we got tired we just went straight up to the room without a long trek to a different hotel. And in the morning, it was nice to just come downstairs and see the tree in all its glory.
     
  6. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    Thanks princess in oz. Read your last trip report last night. Solvang looked beautiful. I have been from SF to Monterey but no further. You have got the brain ticking over. We are trying to have a northern christmas after all:rotfl:
     
  7. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    Hi Sherry

    I shouldn't take credit for all the photos. DH is pretty handy on the camera and deserves most of the credit. I am bringing him along as a great accessory to ensure that the memories made on this trip are captured magnificently.

    GP reminds us every time we talk that we owe him breakfast at Goofy's. That will be our first stop on our first morning. It is really starting a tradition.

    We are excited about the GCH, every now and then I think about how much we are spending but I remember the real reason for our trip is to soak up the Christmas season at Disney and be right in the middle of it. As my DH says (and it was his idea, I was happy with DLH) we are doing it properly. We stayed at DLH last time and we really enjoyed the total immersion of being onsite. We are also used to really hot summer days, so we are looking forward to a northern winter Christmas. We know DL won't be the whole deal but hopefully we can see the snow on the hills in the distance again like last trip.

    We know that it will be crowded, but we have lots of days and we plan on coming back most afternoons to the hotel to relax and unwind and then go back out in the evening. Despite this being my fourth trip I have never been on the Jungle Cruise or Big Thunder at night. DD1 wants to ride California Screamin at night. She has always been the adventurous type.

    We figure if we make quite a few dining reservations we can all split up and enjoy what we love most about DL between meals and go on rides that we are in the mood for.
     
  8. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    We had a trip planning meeting last weekend since most of us were together for a change:cool1:

    GP's eyes rolled backwards when GM mentioned Hawaii so with thoughts of Princess in Oz's TR dancing in my head I have formulated a little more of a plan for our post Disney travel.

    For us part of the fun of coming to North America is to have a white Christmas. Half of us have travelled around California and half have only been to Disneyland. So the trick is to find a few new places and yet introduce the newbies to some of the beautiful places we love.

    So here is the plan, at Disney I also want to add the Christmas Tour (or a party), Fantasmic and World of Colour and depending on the schedule an ice hockey game. My brother is a HUGE Lakers fan, and it would be awesome if I could find a game for him otherwise we will find him at the ESPN bar a lott:rotfl::

    Wed 21 Dec: Arrive at LAX and head straight to the GCH, hope for a little:wizard: and a room ready early, and hit the parks, California Screamin here we come. A side trip to Target or similar to get a little Christmas tree.

    Wed 22 Dec: Breakfast with Goofy, and then hit the parks.

    Thu 23 Dec: Parks

    Fri 24 Dec: Parks, Dinner at Blue Bayou and close the parks. Get ready for Santa to visit

    Sat 25 Dec: YEAH CHRISTMAS IN DISNEYLAND - Breakfast at Storytellers, hit the parks early and a late lunch early dinner again at Storytellers for Christmas Feast

    Sun 26 Dec: Final day in parks:sad2:

    Mon 27 Dec: Check out, pick up hire car and head north towards Solvang and Pismo Overnight

    Tue 28 Dec: Drive to Monterey. Overnight

    Wed 29 Dec: Drive to Yosemite and check into Yosemite Lodge.

    Thu 30 Dec: Yosemite - Badger Pass for DD's first trip to the snow, tubing or perhaps ski lessons.

    Fri 31 Dec: Yosemite, New Years Eve

    Sat 1 Jan: Drive to San Francisco and drop of Hire Car

    Sun 2 Jan: San Fran

    Mon 3 Jan: San Fran

    Tue 4 Jan: San Fran - Day trip to Napa

    Wed 5 Jan: Fly Home on late flight.

    I think we have it, the only difference maybe that we start with the car hire and do the coast, Yosemite and San Fran first and finish with Disney, just waiting for the work schedules to settle down and whether it is better to get away a couple of weeks before Christmas or over New Years.

    Ran it past GP and he is very excited about taking the DGD's to the snow in Yosemite. We can add a day or two to the trip if we feel we are rushing.

    Have left out Vegas, Grand Canyon and Hawaii as just too hard this trip.
     
  9. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Your itinerary looks great. I used this website to help me work out potential side trips along the Central Coast.


    Just be aware that your travel period of just before Christmas to New Year is peak holiday and shopping time in the US. Make sure that you line up your accommodation way ahead of time. The post Christmas sales are GREAT and you might want to make sure that you allocate enough time if you are all shopaholics.
     
  10. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    We have decided to add an extra two days to the beginning of our stay at Disneyland hoping that we can get some more time in the park before it really gets busy.

    It now looks like we might be DB and DBGF short on this trip. If they come now it will be at short notice.

    Our post trip travels are still not locked in. We have been returning to the Hawaii option and stopping there on our way over to relax and unwind and check out the Hawaii Aulani resort. Then I think of New York and think go there first to get into the spirit of Christmas and then head back to Disneyland or maybe Vegas and the Grand Canyon or stick to the above or then again just do Disneyland. :headache:

    This may be the most unorganised, last minute trip I ever put together. Unless some amazing fares come out that just make me book something on the spot I just cannot settle on an option.


    But the Disneyland part is all set. I am so excited to see the holiday dates have been released. Whilst I always knew that I would be there during holiday season the fact that they have been released means that it is creeping closer. I remember when they were released last year I thought when that happens next year it will be so exciting. Just six months to go.

    I have a box in my wardrobe that I have starting putting things into while I think of them. I found our Christmas stockings and earlier this month the replica bricks that I have had purchased for my parents and our family arrived. I am going to have them under the tree on Christmas morning as a special gift from Santa and we can go and find our little piece of Disneyland on Christmas Day.

    The magic box means that I can just drop things in as I think of them, like the US Travel Adaptors that fell out of the cupboard onto my toe this morning. :laughing:

    Mia
     
  11. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Sounds like a plan coming together.....at some stage. It will be interesting to see if you make it to Aulani. I've been thinking of that as an alternative 'short trip' in the short/medium term. Hope you get a good airfare deal. They all seem pretty expensive at this time.

    Bummer about your DB and his girlfriend; but sometimes a smaller travelling party is easier to coordinate.

    Good idea about a magic box.
     
  12. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    The airfares are awful compared with this time last year and are perhaps adding to my indecision. I was really hoping to spend around 2K originally but I think that it will be closer to 3k:scared1: DD1 will be and adult for the first time on this trip so I am trying to get the four of us for as close to 10K as I can. Originally we were going to do the europe trip and this one altogether but decided to split it last year as the fares for two separate trips all added up to be the same as a round the world ticket.

    It is a bummer about db and his girlfriend but it is for a good but sad reason and we will just have to wait and see.

    I am leaning towards new York after all the chat of winter trips on the oz boards as this was in our original round the world plans and trying aulani just seems like too much fun. I shall sit on it for a few more weeks then get organized. The main thing is that our Christmas in Disneyland is all organized and ready to go:banana:
     
  13. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    I rang Disney this morning and paid for this part of the trip in full.:cool1:

    I am (un)patiently waiting for DH to get confirmation of his holiday dates, just a couple more days URGHHH.

    The plan is now to spend 10 days in Hawaii on way to Anaheim and then 8 days at Disneyland over Christmas.

    We will spend the first week in Waikiki and then move on to Aulani for 3 nights. Very excited. We will then fly over to the mainland. We have decided to head back to the Disneyland Hotel. We really love it there and the thought of trying out the newly renovated rooms just couldn't be passed up.

    We decided that the things that we were staying at the GCH for were really the activities in the lobby which we can still enjoy without being a guest ... and then I get to go to Aulani.

    A very special Christmas indeed. So we are booked in a 2 bedroom suite at DLH, 6 day park hoppers and have bought the four day dining package. We did this last time and it is a great way to lock in some of our food costs at the current exchange rate. We know it won't save us money and we did this last time and used our vouchers wisely.

    So we leave in just under 19 weeks which is very exciting... We began counting down this trip at 600 days which seemed forever away.
     
  14. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Sounds like a great holiday. Nice long stays at two locations! Hawaii is nice in December.
     
  15. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    Plane tickets purchased, Disneyland paid in full, Aulani booked and deposit paid...

    129 days til we leave, aaaah, I love a holiday in the making.

    It feels so very real now.
     
  16. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    My countdown calculations have got a little out of whack and through my own miscalculation I am now leaving a week earlier than my mind thought, not a week earlier by the plane tickets. :banana: that week went fast. :lmao:

    Off to go get the girls passports renewed today. They are now old enough to sign their passports. We were looking at photos of our last trip in 2007 and DH and I cannot believe how little they were. They will expire just before we go so that is the last of the big things to organize. When I get those I can organize entry permits for the US.

    My box of things to take is growing. I have ordered a memorial brick for my mum and dad and for our family before the offer closed in February. Our bricks will be next to each other near the Disneyland entrance. I have the replicas all wrapped and ready to place under the tree from Santa on Christmas morning. DD9 is quite worried that he won't find us. I have told her she will be fine. We plan to do our Christmas shopping in Hawaii on our way over. For once DH is actually encouraging me. He is mellowing in his old age, the man I married does not do shopping but apparently we will go on our own and leave the chicklins with Grandma and Grandpa:love:.

    So as off today we leave home in a little under 16 weeks and I will be in DL in 17 weeks. OMG.


    Mia
     
  17. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    OMG! I have one week less than I thought for Christmas shopping. :laughing:



    That 4 months is going to fly by real quick Mia. By the time the Sep/Oct Aussie travellers come home and we're in the midst of reading TRs, it'll be your turn to go.

    And I'm hoping that you're going to take lots of pictures of Aulani. I wanna see before I try.
     
  18. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    The girls passports have arrived :cool1: so we are all set. Organized our esta visas.

    On my to do list today is to book our airport transfers in LA.

    I know that these weeks will fly by. They are some of the busiest work weeks I have. I am trying to get as many little things done now as I know I will be running around like a headless chook until I put my bottom on the plane.

    I have marked my diary with dining reservation dates. Love that I can already book dining at Aulani. Thinking a spa visit may also be needed.

    It is definitely just going to be the six of us on this trip now which is a little sad but we are still really looking forward to going. It just meaner arrowy the track we will have to do it all again with everyone.:lmao:

    It has been quite a horrible 2011 for us all (except for our other little holiday this year) and we are all emotionally tired. This is going to be a great way to end the year and to cone home ready for a fantastic 2012 .
     
  19. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    Shall take lots of photos and road test lots of things, on behalf of my disboards friends of course. Some Hawaiian food porn may be involved to:rolleyes1
     
  20. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Sorry that you've had a bad year so far. Maybe this end of year trip will make up for it.

    Yes.....Hawaiian Luau food porn will be greatly appreciated...especially as the roast comes out of the pit, being split open with all the goodies inside!
     
  21. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    LA Airport Transfers booked and paid for.

    An email sent to the hotel with random questions about our booking. Concierge Level, when will the laundry reopen, making sure those room requests are on my reservation.

    DD2 has completed her countdown calendar and written a letter to Santa to tell him where we will be. She is very worried he won't visit although with her list I wonder if he hires out his sleigh for deliveries after Christmas in the down time. Surely their is an elf or two who would like a bonus for their post Christmas holidays. :rotfl:

    I have also been reading reviews and menus of sit down restaurants in DL. We often grab counter service in the park and eat in Downtown Disney for our main meal. I want to try River Belle Terrace, Blue Bayou and Cafe Orleans. I remember eating at Carnation Cafe a long long time ago, I think a refresher is required.

    This trip will be about catching the little things rather than fighting the crowds. The parks should be open from 8am to 12 midnight based on last years hours so we have lots of time. It is fun to stop and smell the roses (or poinsettia's)
     

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