West Coast Trip – with added Mickey Sprinkles! April 2013 PTR

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by izzie-wizzie, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. izzie-wizzie

    izzie-wizzie DIS Veteran

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    Hello and welcome to my Pre-Trip Report for my trip to the West Coast of America!!

    Im so excited for this trip and it really cannot come quickly enough. So, lucky for me I only have to wait another 75 days!

    Introductions

    My name is Izzie, Im 24 years old and have a passion for Disney and going on trips to Disney. I love everything about Disney World and Disneyland Paris from the rides, shops, restaurants and all the tiny details. I am a child at heart and wouldnt have it any other way. I have been to Disneyland Paris four times, and Walt Disney World twice.

    Im a planner and spend most of my free time planning my next holiday and more recently planning my wedding! Which is in March 2014! I am soooooo excited about this!! Im sure there will be some wedding related references throughout this report!

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    My fiancé (and travelling partner!) is Scott. He is always more than happy to sit and watch Disney movies and plan a lifetime of Disney trips with me. Im a very lucky girl!!

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    Together, we have two little pets. Our dog is called Sweep - and she is a cross between a Scottie and a Yorkie. We also have an African Pygmy Hedgehog - called Mr Pricklepants (after the hedgehog in Toy Story 3).

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    This will be my third Trip Report my first trip report was my first trip to WDW for my 21st in 2009. This was with Scott and his sister and her husband. Here is a picutre of the four of us from that trip:

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    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2353848

    My second trip report was my second trip to WDW and was even more magical than the first trip. The main reason being that this is where Scott proposed to me. He proposed on the balcony outside California Grill whilst we were watching Wishes it really could not have been more perfect and our little bubble of being newly-engaged in Disney was indescribably perfect in every way. Here is a picture of us the evening we got engaged!

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    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2788886

    And moving on to now for this trip!!

    Originally, this trip was going to be for me, Scott and his sister and her husband, Leanne and Roy who joined us on our WDW trip in 2009. So much so that we had all booked our flights at the same time.

    However back in December, we got some very exciting news that they are expecting a baby next year!! Baby is due in June and obviously for this reason they are no longer able to join us. As much as we were excited to spend the holiday with them, we could not be more happy for them and for being Auntie and Uncle!

    So it will just be me and Scott for this trip which will be lovely to be in our own little bubble for two weeks. I cant wait. Scott works offshore so he is away from home more than half the year, so the thought of two weeks just me and him is very exciting.

    Plan

    This will be our first trip to the West Coast of America I have only ever been to Florida in America!

    I have wanted to go on this trip for a couple of years now. Originally we were looking at the Adventures by Disney Trip in Hollywood but realistically this was way out of our budget! The main thing that we will miss out on is the tour of Walt Disney Studios and the Jim Henson Studios. However we plan to drive/walk past these places even if we arent going in, just to still see them.

    We did also consider spending time in San Francisco, Yosemite and Napa Wineries however would have felt the trip would be far too rushed in two weeks to do this (similarly we were not in a position to increase this to a three week trip). So we will save the northern part of California for a future trip!

    I am very excited to be going to Disneyland Cars Land!! Woop!

    Our very basic plan is as follows:

    Saturday 6 April 2013
    Fly from Aberdeen Heathrow Las Vegas.
    Saturday 6 April - Wednesday 10 April 2013 - Las Vegas
    Wednesday 10 April - Monday 15 April 2013 - Hollywood
    Monday 15 April - Saturday 21 April 2013 - Disneyland
    Saturday 21 April 2013 - Fly Home, LAX Heathrow Aberdeen

    And so, I think that is probably quite enough for my first post!! I will add more updates real soon with much more elaboration of the above plan!

    Any tips and tricks you might have for visiting the west coast is greatly appreciated!

    Izzie.x
     
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  3. Tinkerbell1989

    Tinkerbell1989 DIS Veteran

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    Yay! I can't wait to hear more... I want to do a West coast trip, but have no idea where to start!

    Steffi xx
     
  4. Laurafoster

    Laurafoster DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like you have a great trip planned! I cant wait to visit the west coast and Vegas but will have to wait until kids are older (youngest is 15weeks).

    Look forward to hearing the rest of your plans :)
     
  5. izzie-wizzie

    izzie-wizzie DIS Veteran

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    :goodvibes
    I also had no idea where to even begin - goodness knows how many hours I've spent researching!!

    We've booked everything individually, rather than through a tour operator also which has been more work but I really like having the freedom. Reading various trip reports about how people have done it has been invaluable and made the whole trip seem a lot more doable.

    Thank You! I'm hoping to do an update about our plans for the Vegas part of our trip real soon :goodvibes
     
  6. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    Sounds like you have a great trip planned. We are going to Vegas for the first time in March and I'm so excited but it's really hard to plan when we are so used to Florida (I can almost do WDW blindfolded now).

    Looking forward to seeing how your plans come along :)
     
  7. gemmybear83

    gemmybear83 <font color=royalblue>I would blame it all on Bob<

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    Trip sounds fab! We are also doing our first west coast trip this summer, so looking forward to hearing more :goodvibes
     
  8. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    You're going to love the West Coast!

    We've been to Vegas a few times now and I was lucky enough to take my first trip to Disneyland last October and absolutely fell in love with the place :)

    In Vegas, If you enjoy Cirque shows be sure to check out 'O' at the Bellagio, it's amazing!

    Oh and the Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan Hotel is out of this world

    A big tip from me is don't underestimate the traffic in Vegas and LA and how long it will take you to get around!
     
  9. PJB71

    PJB71 DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to hearing more :surfweb:
     
  10. DisDTC

    DisDTC Earning My Ears

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    We are going to California for the first time in July - good luck with your planning - looking forward to reading your updates :)
     
  11. izzie-wizzie

    izzie-wizzie DIS Veteran

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    I know - it's been so different planning this now I'm getting quite used at planning WDW. Will you be doing a TR for your Vegas trip? :)

    Thank You - just about to upload our Vegas plans!!

    Thanks - I hope my TR might be helpful :)

    Wicked Spoon is definately on our list - I saw a few pics from there and was sold!! Always good to hear more positive reviews!!

    That's good to know about the traffic, will definaltey be leaving all the driving to Scott :drive:

    West Coast seems to be popular this year!! Disneyland especially has really had so much added to it recently - sooo excited for Cars Land!!!
     
  12. izzie-wizzie

    izzie-wizzie DIS Veteran

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    Sooooo without further adieu – I’m very excited to share our plans for the first section of our holiday in Las Vegas.

    Saturday 6 April 2013 – I expect to be ... just a litttllle bit excited this morning! :hyper: Our flight from Aberdeen to London is actually at a very civilised time of 11am (usually we find ourselves on the red eye flights!). We fly into Terminal 5 and have a few hours wait before we board our flight to Las Vegas. Our flights are all with British Airways.

    We expect to arrive at Las Vegas about 7.00pm, and by the time that we go through customs, and get a cab to our hotel we aren’t expecting to do much this evening.

    We are checking in to the Planet Hollywood Hotel.

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    Seriously, I couldn’t even tell you how long I went back-and-forth between choosing a hotel. I really was over-thinking it. Had money been absolutely no object I would have loved to have stayed the Cosmopolitan Hotel – it just looks fab! We were also very close to booking the Treasure Island as there are a few things there that we are excited to do! But in the end it was the central location of Planet Hollywood that won it for me ..... it was also featured in the Ashton Kutcher film “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas”

    Or it might be the little fact that there is an Earl of Sandwich there too!

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    The only real plan I have for the evening is to have a wonder in our hotel, and if we are hungry at all (which depends on flight food) we will have an Earl of Sandwich dinner... in fairness I always have room for an Earl of Sandwich though. Mmmm!! The Hawaiin BBQ sandwich is without a doubt my favourite sandwich ever!

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    Then it’s an early night – as we have an early start to our first full day!!

    Sunday 7 April 2013
    It’s an early wake up call as we are getting picked up for a day trip a little bit out of Vegas. We are going to the Hoover Dam first for a tour around there and then we are doing the Flightlines Zip Line at Red Rock Canyon!

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    After a busy day sightseeing, we will head back to the room for a bit of a relax (depending on the time we get back, we might spend this time by the pool).

    The evening we plan to have dinner at Mon Abi Gabi in the Paris Hotel (which is very handy as it is next door to Planet Hollywood). I’ve heard really good things about here and it seems very reasonable in price. Although if there is any other restaurants that are highly recommended then this is the restaurant we would probably drop first.

    We will then spend the evening having some cocktails and looking around some of the nearby hotels. Some places I would really like to visit is the Cocktail Bar at the Sugar Factory for one of their candy themed drinks and the Chandelier Cocktail Bar at Cosmopolitan – who do a s’mores cocktail which looks amazing! Any other suggestions of good cocktails in Vegas are very, very welcomed! I’m sure we will visit some of the casinos also.

    Monday 8 April 2013

    Expecting a later start to the day (especially considering our previous evening). We will probably just grab a little breakfast from Starbucks or similar.

    We would like to spend the afternoon exploring Paris, Bellagio, Venetian and Caesers Palace. Having a late lunch at the Sugar Factory – which looks amazing! I’m sure we will get quite a big dessert.

    After freshening up, we plan to go see a show this evening. We are currently torn between going to see Terry Fator at the Mirage or a Cirque de Soleil at Treasure Island. No idea!

    After the show we will have dinner and drinks at Kahunaville and then to Senior Frogs for another fun evening. We will be sure to watch the Volanoes @ Mirage and Sirens of TI show this evening also.

    Tuesday 9 April 2013

    Already, this will be our last full day in Vegas – it’s crazy how quickly the time will pass. Again, expecting a slower start!

    We will be having a tasty brunch this day at Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan. I have heard many good things!!

    After this we will explore the South Side of the strip – Welcome to Vegas Sign / NYNY Roller Coaster / Luxor / M&M Shop / Coke Shop.

    Then in the evening we are going to go for dinner at ‘Mix’ in the Mandalay Bay Resort. We will probably just enjoy our dinner and a few drinks with a lovely view over the strip – which I think will be a nice chilled out way to round up our time in Las Vegas.

    Wednesday 10 April 2013

    So we leave Las Vegas this day, and have to pick up our car hire and check out first.

    We will then drive to the Gun Store to visit their shooting range. This was something Scott was very keen on doing in Las Vegas, and I got him a voucher to do so for his birthday. Our final activity in Las Vegas will be a late breakfast at Hash House A Go-Go – which was featured on Man V Food. I imagine our visit here will leave us suitably full for most of our big drive to Hollywood!

    I will continue with our drive/time in Hollywood next but that is a sum up of all of our plans in Las Vegas!
     
  13. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Your plans for Vegas sound fab!

    You won't have any difficulty finding good cocktails in Vegas but one place worth checking out for a great view of the strip is the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental - it's expensive (but that's Vegas for ya!) but you can reserve a table in advance and request a window seat - check out the sunset times for your dates and try and book a table around that time and you can watch the neon spring to life!

    We had breakfast at the Sugar Factory and it was fab - there are some nice patio tables overlooking the strip if its not too hot :)
     
  14. gemmybear83

    gemmybear83 <font color=royalblue>I would blame it all on Bob<

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    Oooh we are staying at the Elara which is part of planet hollywood, I have noted down your restaurant tips. I also fancy the Gordon Ramsey burger place at planet hollywood it gets great reviews :thumbsup2
     
  15. poppyberry

    poppyberry Married at Disney April 29 2010

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    We did our 4th West Coast trip last January and I too have always wanted to do the Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic tour, however after we booked the flights I found out I was pregnant so didn't want to blow all our spare cash of it! We did however do a one day Adventures by Disney tour called Light Camera Magic, it included a Hollywood/LA tour and half a day in the Walt Disney Studios it was around $199 per person, but it was definitely a day to never forget, with lots of Disney magic thrown in!

    It's something you could see if they are offering while you are there if you are interested in the backstage magic tour.
     
  16. izzie-wizzie

    izzie-wizzie DIS Veteran

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    Oooh I really like that idea!! Sounds like a great start to an evening!!

    I just had a look at the Elara online - it looks stunning!!!

    I did have a look at doing this tour, it looks fab! But unfortunately they are discontinuing it in February!! :sad:
     
  17. izzie-wizzie

    izzie-wizzie DIS Veteran

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    Bag Update!

    Not quite an update as such - but I'm so excited I had to share!!

    My bag for our trip is... *drumroll pleaaaaase*

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    I'm so excited - my first Dooney and Bourke!! I have wanted this bag since our trip in WDW in 2011 - I really should have bought it then but I hesitated and went back-and-forth to try and justify it. Then in our trip last year to Disneyland Paris I was going to buy the Paris version but did the very same thing!!

    I got this one from Ebay - so it was a bit cheaper than it would have been getting it in the parks. It was still brand new though with all the protective covers etc. I'm so happy - I love the design also (I was able to see the design of the bag I was buying before I bought it).

    This will be a perfect size for the airport and then for taking out during the day (for camera / water / tickets / money / sunscreen). I will bring a clutch bag for evenings though.
     
  18. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    I have that same bag, I love it :thumbsup2
     
  19. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    Your plans sound great. We stayed at PH in Vegas last year and thought it was a great hotel and location.

    I good Vegas cocktail tip is that you can order any cocktail even if its not on the menu and they'll make it for you. I suggest Lemon Drop Martini's they are lush.
     
  20. izzie-wizzie

    izzie-wizzie DIS Veteran

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    Sooo to continue our plans for the trip!!

    Wednesday 10 April 2013

    As I said previously - in Vegas we will do the Gun Store in the morning and then have some breakfast at Hash House a Go Go. We then hit the road for Hollywood!

    We think the journey will take quite a while and therefore aren't really planning to do much else for the day. Well, apart from stopping for an In-n-Out burger for dinner in Barstows before we hit LA traffic.

    We then check in to the Loews Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. Depending on the time we get into the hotel we might pick up our LA Go cards which I have pre-ordered to save us doing this the next day.

    Thursday 11 April 2013

    Our first full day in Hollywood! Plan to get up quite early to explore Hollywood Boulevard around the hotel - the stars on the ground, the hand prints, maybe go for a tour at the Dolby/Kodak Theatre. Also we could visit Madame Tussauds and / or Hollywood Museum as this is included in our LA Go Cards (depending on how long the above takes).

    Something else that I realllly want to go see is the front of the Jim Hensons / Muppets Studios. WOW - so excited, even if we can't go inside just to see it will be awesomes :goodvibes

    We will then have lunch at Disney Soda Fountain - that will be fun and our first taste of Disney! Woop Woop!!!

    In the afternoon we will drive to the Warner Brothers Studio to do the studio tour - where we will see Central Perk from Friends and HOPEFULLY something from Big Bang Theory - woop woop!

    On our drive we will probably drive past Walt Disney Studios as well - just so see it from the outside!

    The evening will just be quite low-key and chilled before the next day...

    Friday 12 April 2013

    This day we will be going to Universal Hollywood - yayyyy!!

    So that plan will be to head there and just go through the rides during the day.

    The evening we will spend at City Walk! Perhaps ending the evening at the Duelling Piano Bar!

    I'm really looking forward to this day - and going on The Simpsons and Transformers rides in particular.

    Saturday 14 April 2013

    This day we will have a bit of a sleep in as I imagine we will be tired from being at Universal.

    We are then going to drive to the Ronald Raegan museum to see the D23 Disney Exhibit. Sooo many cool things to see there and will also be more Disney which is never a bad thing! It will also be quite cool to see there version of the Oval Room and Air Force One.

    We will then find a Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and plan on going to see a movie at El Capitan at night. They will be showing Oz Great and Powerful.

    Sunday 15 April 2013

    Our last day in Hollywood before going to Disneyland!

    We will head to the beach in the morning for a walk and some breakfast. We will try see Santa Monica Pier and maybe Venice Beach.

    We will then head to LA Zoo to wonder about there in the afternoon.

    The evening we will get dressed up and go for a nice meal at Yamashiros followed by cocktails somewhere nice - maybe the Roosevelt Hotel?

    And that is our plans - however they may change! We are considering whether or not to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain or Knotts Berry Farm with our 3rd day of the LA Go Card. If we decide to do this we would not visit LA Zoo (We would therefore spend Sunday Afternoon at the Grove / Farmers Market).

    If we did Six Flags this would likely be on the Saturday either instead of or after the Ronald Raegan Museum.

    If we did Knotts Berry Farm we would do this on the Monday as we will be heading to Anaheim that day anyway and would just travel earlier than planned.

    Can't quite decide what to do - and luckily we don't really need to decide until we are there! If anyone has any input or suggestions on what we do that would be appreciated :)
     
  21. izzie-wizzie

    izzie-wizzie DIS Veteran

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    It is such a cool bag, I am soo excited to use it on our trip!! :)

    Thank You! It's great to hear positive feedback about PH :thumbsup2

    Lemon Drop Martini's sound amazing - I've never had one of them before! Nummm!
     

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