Our round the world magical trip! TR UPDATED 03/01 WALT DISNEY STUDIOS!!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Disneydreamsdancer, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Welcome to my ptr for our January trip to the land of the mouse! This is our 2nd attempt at this trip, we originally planned to visit in October but due to the Rugby world cup flights in and out of NZ are sky high so with slight sadness we delayed., now let me introdue the small cast!

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    Me - keelie 25 and training to be an elementary school teacher, i'm also a dancer and dance teacher, currently working on the Rugby World cup opening ceremony :goodvibes

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    My mom, in my opinion the best mom in the world, she's been my rock my whole life, and introduced me to disneyland when I was just 6.
    We both love Disney and can't wait to get back to the parks!

    The plan so far....
    We're flying from Auckland, NZ back home to London for 2 weeks then flying on to LA, landing friday January 20th, we'll be spending the saturday at seaworld but we have yet to book that, have been to the one in Australia and we loved it, hoping the san diego one is as good if not better!! :goodvibes Then we'll be hitting Disneyland Sun - Wed with the uesday being my birthday!

    All flights are booked, am looking at hotels at the moment, can't decide between carousel inn, fairfield inn or somewhere else? I've read so many reviews I can't make my mind up!

    I am so excited to be coming back to Disney, it can sometimes seem like an impossible dream when you live down under but now its booked im counting down the days! Hope some of you will stick around for the ride :)
     
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  3. KiwiMouseGirl

    KiwiMouseGirl Mouseketeer

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    YAY! Your trip sounds so exciting! Defs keep us posted :)
    We're finding it hard to choose hotels too :/ Ive known all along that accomodation around Disneyland is quite expensive, but when I told my nan some approximate quotes...her face looked like this :eek: Were currently deciding weather to choose somewhere cheaper like motel6 maingate and just brave the walk to the parks for the 4 days that we'll be there, or to stay somewhere nice and handy like the carousel. HoJo is my personal first choice!!. So many decisions!!!!! Hope you're having fun planning your awesome trip :)

    - Fellow Kiwi DISer
     
  4. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    For some reason I think I spoke to somone who went in Oz and it's quite different. If so that will be good.
     
  5. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for your reply! We loved the Aus seaworld but different is good, as I love visiting new places and parks, going to see if I can save enough to do one of the animal encounters, they look brill! :goodvibes
     
  6. ArdyG

    ArdyG Earning My Ears

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    Going to London and then being in Disneyland on your birthday sounds great. As for Seaworld, I've been to both Gold Coast and San Diego. The big difference is of course Shamu and Journey to Atlantis, and I have no doubt you'll love San Diego too. We went in the offseason so it was open 10am - 6pm but we went on a daytrip from Anaheim. This meant we were there from 11am - 5pm. I think if we'd had the extra 2 hours we would have seen everything we wanted to but as it was, we missed a couple of exhibits and the Sealions show which I hear is great. Admittedly we went on Journey to Atlantis at least 10 times but when we go back in January, I'll make sure we're there from 10am - 6pm.

    I really appreciated staying within walking distance of Disneyland and enjoyed Hojos in 2009. I confess though that after walking through the Parks all day, walking back to Hojos at night seemed to be really tiresome. Weird I know, if you've been walking all day what's another km, but there were definitely a few nights when I would look with envy at those staying at the Carousal Inn, Best Western and so on.

    I confess that a lot of the fun I had was in planning and reading the Disboards so I await with eager anticipation, your further plans.

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  7. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Thanks ardyG, I think I will definitely book a hotel close to the entrance, the 2 previous times we've been to Cali we've stayed down harbor near the convention center so had to use the ART and I must admit waiting for the bus and the extra journey was tiring after a full day at the parks! We still have yet to book, hopefully in the next month but I think Carousel will be my first choice!

    On a happy note, as my birthday falls during our Disney time, mom has said she will put us up in one of the onsite hotels for our last night as a birthday treat! :yay: I'm so excited as we've never been able to stay on property at this Disneyland, it'll be lovely to experience plus she's letting me chose which so i'm unsure between the Disneyland hotel and the Grand Californian, am completely stumped which will suit us better? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    My countdown is down to 133 days..yay! :goodvibes
     
  8. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    If you are concerned with being close, you probably will only want to consider the GCH. You also might enjoy the styling looking at where you stayed when at DLP.
     
  9. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the advice :) I really like to lok of the GCH but something in me says I should go with classic Disney and stay at the DLH, such a difficult choice! We're now looking at the Fairfield inn & suites for the rest of our stay, which is quite close, im so excited! :)
     
  10. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    Hmm, if you can, stay onsite over the weekend so you can use the MMs more often. But consider that with staying onsite to finish the trip on a high note.

    DLH isn't too close even though onsite, even a little further than the Fairfield. But with it's great rehab and rethemeing does compare well to the GCH and it is different than your other Disney stays. A viable option to consider.
     
  11. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Hi everyone I have an update to make...finally! :cool1:

    Tonight we booked in Fairfield inn marriott for the duration of our stay!!!:yay: I'm so happy to finally have a hotel booked, it seems to have been a long time coming!

    Life has been so busy since we booked the flights, New Zealand is hosting the Rugby World Cup at the moment and I was a dancer in the opening ceremony so we had so much going on I wasn't able to concentrate on making vaction plans, now I can relax a little :goodvibes We have never stayed at this particular marriott before but I looked on tripadvisor and the reviews seemed favorable and the price was good, anyone had experience staying here?

    Also good news on the Disney front, I have a good friend who is a cast member, he has gotten me hopper passes and promises to take me to the CompanyD store :banana: (I feel as excited as the dancing banana!) I love Disney shopping, just hope I can contain myself as we only get 20kgs baggage on Qantas!

    Have a great week!
     
  12. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Time for a quick update now we have almost all our plans set!

    Day 1 20/1

    Fly from London to Los Angeles landing at LAX at 1.30pm. Get the disneyland express to the Hotel, Marriott fiarfield inn & suites and check in. Meet my friend and go visit the companyD store, then hang out, early night.

    Day 2 21/1

    Day trip from Anaheim to Seaworld. Never been to this park before, have visitied seaworld in gold coast australia, hoping they are similar as we had lots of fun there! :)

    Day 3 22/1

    First day in the parks, hopping between Disneyland and DCA, making sure I ride IASW, columbia, GRR and soarin as these all close for refurb the next day. Also making sure I see fantasmic! as this is the only day its running during our visit. I am hoping to see it from the hungry bear restuarant this time for a onstage/backstage type view. Being a performer I love all the backstage stuff/tech details! I can geek out whilst having a hot cocoa! :goodvibes

    Day 4 23/1

    Day spent park hopping, hours 10-8pm.

    Day 5 24/1

    MY BIRTHDAY! :cool1: Day spent mostly in DL but moving to DCA in evening to watch WOC and possibly do the WOC dinner at Ariels.

    Day 6 25/1

    Last day, check out of hotel & store luggage, spend day in parks until approx 6pm. Travel back to LAX on the disneyland express to check in for our 11.25pm flight back to New Zealand

    13 hours 25mins later

    Friday January 27th - land back in New Zealand!! :rotfl: I love how we lose a whole day flying home!

    So just a few plans left to be finalised, where to eat on my birthday being the main one. I'm so excited I keep reading all your tips on here everyday, hoping to learn something new!
     
  13. KiwiMouseGirl

    KiwiMouseGirl Mouseketeer

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    Sounds exciting! I know what you mean with having the hotel booked, it definately gives a magical feeling knowing that your going for sure :) :O Im soo jealous! I would love to be able to go to the companyD store!!! :D loosing a day when flying home is going to be annoying -.- I dont want to have to justify taking a days annual leave because of time zones haha!! :p
     
  14. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Thank you kiwimousegirl! I'm super duper excited now! :goodvibes This will be probably the last plans update/change before we leave!

    We will be visiting the UK for nearly 2 weeks before hitting the USA to visit family so technically we leave in just 10days. There have been so many plans to finalise and things to book, unfortunately I've been bed-ridden for the last 2 weeks due to bad oral surgery. I had wisdom teeth out that got very infected and refused to clot, 2 lots of antibiotics and a trip to white cross later and i'm starting to be on the mend! :thumbsup2

    During our time back home in the UK we will be seeing Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera in London (musical theatre is my love) and spending a week in Wiltshire with family. Then....we fly on to Disney!

    Seaworld has been booked, very much looking forward to seeing that park, just maybe not the drive to San Diego :confused3

    I managed to score tickets to see the tapping of The Big Bang Theory at the Warner bros studios on the day of my birthday so we will be hitting Hollywood that day rather than the parks. I was hesitant to be anywhere other than Disneyland on my actual birthday but couldn't pass up the opportunity...i'm a big bang geek! :banana:

    Also receieved TTMMTT tickets from a wonderful disboard member so wil be checking that out on the 23/1!

    Have already typed up the itinerary and have started packing, having gotten half way through I came back to find my kitten stubornly asleep on my carry on...:rotfl: I will miss her when we're away!

    Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

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  15. Dizzy4DL

    Dizzy4DL Happiest when I have a countdown

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    Oh my gosh!! I am watching The Big Bang Theory on TBS right now! :happytv:
    Say hi to my favorite nerd (Sheldon) for me!
     
  16. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    Seeing a taping of it sounds like a lot of fun!
     
  17. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Back home! Landed back into New Zealand this morning, going to get all the photos uploaded, catch up on some sleep then will get going on this trip report! We had a great trip, so much to see and got a secret surprise trip to the Walt Disney studios :goodvibes
     
  18. Dizzy4DL

    Dizzy4DL Happiest when I have a countdown

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    Can't wait!:)
     
  19. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Ok it’s time to get going with this trip report! Please note this is the first report i’ve written so I hope i’m doing it right! Any pointers along the way, please feel free to let me know! Alrighty time to join us on this 32,000km magical journey!

    Day 1 – Monday January 9th
    I got up bright and early, despite wanting a lie in and double checked all the cases. I was too excited to stay in bed! My boyfriend drove us down to the airport and we got checked in on time with 3 hours to go before the departure of our flight to London. We flew Emirates, for the first time, and I was greatly impressed with them as an airline, the food was lovely, and the staff were great. The Airbus A380 however was rather uncomfortable and when flying for 27hours a comfortable seat is pretty important. We flew to Sydney, then to Dubai and finally landed into London on Tuesday morning.
    We stayed in London till the Firday then drove up to Longleat, which is where my family are from and stayed there for another week. I shall skirt over this section quickly as it isn’t Disney but if anyone wants to know more, just ask :goodvibes

    Being from London myself we tend not to do the usual tourist things when we go back, but I absolutely love musical theatre so we went to see my two favourite shows, Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera. I met my favourite actor Ramin Karimloo who starred in the recently released DVD version of Phantom, which made my day! :)

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    Here is the lake which froze in Longleat. The weather was beautiful and we had a great week. I do miss home so much living on the other side of the World. We also went to the Harry Potter shop in Harrods, which for any HP fans was well worth a trip!
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    So On to Disney!

    Friday January 20th
    We had a very early start checking in for our British Airways flight to Los Angeles at 7.10am. The flight was good, I was really excited because I recently danced in the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup and footage of the ceremony was on the on demand entertainment system on the flight so I got to watch myself! Sorry the photo isn’t good but I was so excited a snapped a shot!

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    We landed into LAX and caught the Disneyland express to our hotel the Fairfield Inn and suites by Marriott. We only had to wait 20mins for the bus and as always we were very impressed at how easy and friendly they were. We checked into the hotel and met up with my friend who is a castmember at the parks. He had some tickets for us and after a catch up we made plans to meet up later in our trip. Our room was on the third floor right next to the little pizza hut and minimart, which was really handy and a lot quieter than we thought it might be, being so close to the amenities. Here is our room,

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    And the view from the door, you can see Space Mountain!

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    That night we were so tired from the flight we went down to Downtown Disney for dinner, I ended up just getting a pretzel from Wetzel pretzels which was so lovely! It was hard seeing the parks and not going in but we were very jetlagged from the time difference and had an early start the next day. We were in bed by 9pm! Next up our day trip to Seaworld and then finally, the parks!!
     
  20. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Saturday January 21st
    The jetlag woke me up at 4.17am! Its funny it doesn’t matter what country i’m in, I always wake up at 4am! I managed to sleep till 6am but couldn’t last any longer so got up and had a light breakfast in the minimart of the hotel. I was really impressed with this place, it gave us everything we needed fro snacks and breakfast and at a great price! Sadly one look out the window and we saw this

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    Rain! At this point I was glad we were not hitting the parks today!

    We were picked up by Grayline at 8.25am out the front of the hotel on Harbor, they then took us to their depot where you board the specific bus that is going on your tour.

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    We boarded the bus for Seaworld and at 9.15am were off! We had a great tour guide who pointed out different stars homes and sights on the trip down the 5 to San Diego. I found this drive really interesting being from overseas! The rain unfortunately got worse till it was a whiteout on the road, this atleast meant we had clear traffic all the way down and got to seaworld in an hour and 15 minutes. We were given stickers which got us into the park and grabbed a map. The park was literally empty with the rain and we headed for the undercover aquarium, where we met this fellow

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    This fish was HUGE!!! I fell in love with him though, for some reason i’ve always loved the Ocean and the animals in it, they interested me a lot as a child so this place was brilliant for me. We then went to see the Shamu show. I’ve never seen an Orca and I thought this show was amazing! Seaworld really is about the shows, you have to see them all, they really make the day! We then went to the Oneworld dolphin show, which was full of action, divers, birds so much! Sorry no photos here, I was too busy filming with the camcorder and not enough hands to do both!

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    Next up was the sealions, these guys were such a laugh! They were real posers and made the most hilarious noises!

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    Finally we went on the skytower ride which offered the most gorgeous views, especially as the sun was setting.

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    We had a lovely day, the only criticism was that on such a quiet day 8 hours in the park was a little too much for what there was to do, we found ourselves sitting a lot to just fill the time, but at least got to see everything!

    Next up first day at Disneyland!
     
  21. Disneydreamsdancer

    Disneydreamsdancer Mouseketeer

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    Sunday January 22nd

    The morning started bright and early! We were up and off to the parks in time for rope drop. This hadn’t been the initial plan, we had hoped to lie in, having had a long day yesterday but the jetlag had other plans! Numbers had suggested this would be the busiest day during our stay, and we had a further two quieter days, so I had planned to spend today doing a few key rides, that would shut tomorrow for refurb and get some quality shopping done!

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    When we reached the turnstiles the lines were surprisingly short.

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    As I mentioned earlier we had tickets given to us by a cast member friend of mine. These were paper tickets which we exchanged each day at the turnstiles for a regular one day hopper, as a Disney geek I was quite pleased with the fact that all our tickets said ‘castmember’. It’s been my dream since I was tiny to work for Disney so this simple little detail put a huge smile on my face! :woohoo:
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    Once in the park I headed straight for City hall to get a birthday badge and the phone call from goofy! We made our way up mainstreet to the hub where the rope drop was.

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    We took off towards the adventureland entrance. Again I was surprised at the quietness of the park, we were close to the rope but there were very few people behind us.

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    A couple of minutes later the rope was dropped, the whole mass of people set off into adventureland, despite the low crowds some people still saw fit to run. :sad2:
    My mom pointed out the tiki room to me, it’s one of her favourite attractions, being a Walt original. There was no one waiting for the first show so I went up to the castmember and asked if they were open, she said they were and we went on through. She followed us and wished me a happy birthday and said ‘here’s a birthday treat for you’. She shut the tiki room door behind us so there was just me and my mom in the room! She said I could take flash photography as there was no one else there and to enjoy the show. I couldn’t believe it, we had the whole tiki room to ourselves! Disney magic at its best!

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    Here’s a panorama of the empty tiki room before the show started

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    We both enjoyed the show a lot and were pleased to start the day off so well. Once we exited this was the sight in front of us

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    Much more peaceful! We went straight to the Jungle cruise as the lines were non existant, it was a walk on. The castmember at the front of the line wished me a happy birthday and called me a princess! :goodvibes Made my day, especially as with each birthday i’m feeling terribly old! We had skipper Sarah who was hilarious and the ride was great!

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    By this time it was 9.45am and we decided to head over to California adventure to get a world of color fastpass.
    Next time, some screamin California style!
     

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