2020: Time to see the West Coast (but still find time to go to Orlando too)! RL update 7/22

lvcourtneyy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Welcome one and all to another year of trip planning! Alternatively known as a game of how many trips can I fit into a year while staying in budget and not getting fired.

It's a fun game. I'm sure many of you can relate.

Some introductions may be nice here.

My name is Courtney.

CCEA9C51-7097-4A32-A427-4CC3F9F33892.JPG

I'm an Emergency Room nurse overnight and currently in denial about turning 30 in a little over a week. My favorites include the Little Mermaid, Animal Kingdom, Halloween, roller coasters, Harry Potter and collecting popcorn buckets in all forms. I'm the planner (mastermind) of all of our trips and spend a lot of time convincing Mike that we can take another one.

That brings us to Mike.

IMG-9885.JPG
(I can't get this picture to appear the other way for the life of me)

He's a grocery store manager by day, cooks/sleeps/listens to me complain by night. His favorites include Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween, Donald Duck, sweet tea and Yak and Yeti lo mein. His contributions to trip planning primarily consist of telling me "whatever you want to do" and then asking me at the last minute when I can't change anything why we aren't doing certain things. He has taken a bit more active role in planning for this year's trips which has been both good and bad lol.

IMG-1199.JPG

So what do this year's trip plans consist of?

The last few years, our "big" trip of the year was to go to Orlando for 2 weeks and enjoy the Halloween-Christmas crossover at WDW. This year, we are sad to skip that trip but excited because we'll be spending two weeks in California in September! This, of course, includes both of us visiting Disneyland for the first time! I've never been to the west coast at all and Mike only has when he was stationed in the military so it's a whole new ballpark for both of us.

With this trip planned as our major trip for the year, we decided to let our WDW APs lapse for the first time since 2015. I've been struggling with this but the price increase last year was insane and ultimately, it was the smartest decision. As a result, when it was time to plan somewhere to go in March, we had trouble deciding where to go. We were almost set on a Royal Caribbean cruise but it took us both too long to get the time approved off and the price skyrocketed. We found cheap flights to Denver, Colorado so decided to spend that week enjoying Colorado, the Rocky Mountains and Mount Rushmore.

With those plans made, I found myself in severe WDW withdrawal. I'm excited for our other trips and to see other parts of the country but it's hard to resist the pull to get back to WDW. We will be making a short Fall trip for MNSSHP and HHN. The dates for this haven't been decided yet because I'm hoping to take my brother and need to see what his college schedule will be.

That's far too long to stay away so the wheels started turning. We didn't get a chance to go to Flower and Garden last year and it's my favorite of the Epcot festivals. I started looking at things for May and found decent resort prices so I suggested the idea to Mike :scared: :scared: . He gave me the tentative go ahead pending official approval of his boss! :dogdance::dogdance:

So now, I'm in full-on trip planning mode for May 14-20! Our UOAPs are still active so I'm planning on 2 days in Universal and 5 in WDW!


And with that our trips for 2020 are set (until I change them 9000 times)! I hope you'll join me for another year of fun!
 
Last edited:


missangelalexis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
I'm so excited for you to go to Disneyland! You are going to love it!

And yay for getting back for F&G! I'm glad you have at least one (and hopefully 2) WDW trip on the horizon!
 
  • DLo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2006
    So jealous DL . Still on my bucket list. Following along and looking forward to reading more
     

    NJlauren

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2014
    I am here!!!

    Welcome one and all to another year of trip planning! Alternatively known as a game of how many trips can I fit into a year while staying in budget and not getting fired.
    This is my life!

    The last few years, our "big" trip of the year was to go to Orlando for 2 weeks and enjoy the Halloween-Christmas crossover at WDW. This year, we are sad to skip that trip but excited because we'll be spending two weeks in California in September! This, of course, includes both of us visiting Disneyland for the first time! I've never been to the west coast at all and Mike only has when he was stationed in the military so it's a whole new ballpark for both of us.
    You are going to love Disneyland! We are trying to go back soon, but it keeps getting pushed for other trips!

    So now, I'm in full-on trip planning mode for May 14-20! Our UOAPs are still active so I'm planning on 2 days in Universal and 5 in WDW!
    Still manged to fit WDW in there! thats my girl!
     
  • lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    I'm so excited for you to go to Disneyland! You are going to love it!
    I'm excited too! I've been waiting so many years to go that it's time to just do it already!

    And yay for getting back for F&G! I'm glad you have at least one (and hopefully 2) WDW trip on the horizon!
    Yes! I was remembering how sad I was last year seeing F&G pictures and not getting to go that I really want to make it happen!
     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    So jealous DL . Still on my bucket list. Following along and looking forward to reading more
    It's been on my bucket list for a few years now and we just keep pushing it back because it's easier and cheaper to keep going to WDW but I decided this is the year we're finally doing it!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: DLo

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    I am here!!!
    Thanks for being here!

    This is my life!
    :rotfl: :rotfl: This is why we're friends!

    You are going to love Disneyland! We are trying to go back soon, but it keeps getting pushed for other trips!
    I'm so excited! That's what kept happening to us- it was easier and cheaper to keep going back to WDW lol.

    Still manged to fit WDW in there! thats my girl!
    Yess! I was going through withdrawals thinking of waiting til October to go back lol
     
  • Cloe Colton

    Registered
    Joined
    Mar 6, 2018
    Lol your ptr sounds like me last year! I had the same WDW panic when we were just doing Disneyland 🤣 sounds like a great year you have in store though! Let me know if you have any questions about Disneyland! You guys will love it!
     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Lol your ptr sounds like me last year! I had the same WDW panic when we were just doing Disneyland 🤣 sounds like a great year you have in store though! Let me know if you have any questions about Disneyland! You guys will love it!
    I'm not gonna lie- I thought of you as I was scheming to fit in a trip to WDW :rotfl: :rotfl:

    I have like nothing planned for our trip to Colorado in March and I keep bugging Mike about make sure we can go to WDW in May. He keeps telling me to focus on the trip we actually have planned lol.

    I feel like I'm going to have ALL the Disneyland questions haha. I think the fact that I can't really plan much yet is making me stress more. I know everyone says it's so much easier to plan that world but it's making me so anxious lol.
     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    California Trip Basics

    So let's start with our biggest trip for the year- and the one that's the furthest away but stressing me out the most lol.



    When we first decided we were going to California this year, I planned a crazy complicated trip that had us flying to Arizona, driving to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Francisco and all through California to end in Disneyland.



    Well, I didn't really think that- Mike thought it for me. Also, I started plotting out the days and it would be like a 4 week long trip. I get 5 weeks of vacation a year but I don't think my boss would approve me to take 4 of them at once nor do I want to- hello there's lots of other trips to plan!

    So, I cut down the plan and resigned myself to the fact that some things would have to wait for another trip.



    Anyway, I'm still working on the day to day details of the plan but here's how it currently stands.

    On September 6, we'll fly into San Diego (on some flight that will be booked at some point :rolleyes1 ).

    We'll spend the 6-9 in San Diego. On the 9th, we'll rent a car and drive to Los Angeles where we'll stay until the 11th.

    Some time on the 11th, we'll drive to Sequoia National park and we'll spend the 12-14 exploring Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Park.

    The night of the 14th, we'll drive back to Anaheim and check in to the hotel we'll spend the rest of our time at.

    Even though I would love to stay in one of the onsite hotels at Disneyland, the prices are crazy and don't seem worth it to me. I'm currently looking at the hotels near Disneyland and trying to pick one. I think my top contenders are the Candy Cane Inn or the Best Western Plus that advertises being closest to the parks- although I'm 100% open to suggestions! I'm not that picky- I'm just looking for something clean and close to Disneyland lol. The shorter the walk, the better in my opinion.

    My original plan was to do 3 day park hoppers and 1 night at the Oogie Boogie Bash but as I started reading, it discovered that the fireworks and Fantasmic would probably only happen on Friday and Saturday nights so I added the 4th day on Saturday. The website I'm looking at to buy tickets from has 4 day park hoppers for the same day as 5 days so it only makes sense to buy 5 days lol.

    Sunday the 20th we'll fly home but since the flight isn't booked yet, I don't know what time but I'm thinking an afternoon flight would be nice so we can have breakfast in the morning before leaving but still get home at a decent hour!
     

    pmcpmc

    DIS Veteran
    DVC Premium
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Aug 15, 2003
    Welcome one and all to another year of trip planning! Alternatively known as a game of how many trips can I fit into a year while staying in budget and not getting fired.

    It's a fun game. I'm sure many of you can relate.

    Some introductions may be nice here.

    My name is Courtney.

    View attachment 468847

    I'm an Emergency Room nurse by night, travel agent specializing in Disney by day and currently in denial about turning 30 in a little over a week. My favorites include the Little Mermaid, Animal Kingdom, Halloween, roller coasters, Harry Potter and collecting popcorn buckets in all forms. I'm the planner (mastermind) of all of our trips and spend a lot of time convincing Mike that we can take another one.

    That brings us to Mike.

    View attachment 468848
    (I can't get this picture to appear the other way for the life of me)

    He's a grocery store manager by day, cooks/sleeps/listens to me complain by night. His favorites include Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween, Donald Duck, sweet tea and Yak and Yeti lo mein. His contributions to trip planning primarily consist of telling me "whatever you want to do" and then asking me at the last minute when I can't change anything why we aren't doing certain things. He has taken a bit more active role in planning for this year's trips which has been both good and bad lol.

    View attachment 468849

    So what do this year's trip plans consist of?

    The last few years, our "big" trip of the year was to go to Orlando for 2 weeks and enjoy the Halloween-Christmas crossover at WDW. This year, we are sad to skip that trip but excited because we'll be spending two weeks in California in September! This, of course, includes both of us visiting Disneyland for the first time! I've never been to the west coast at all and Mike only has when he was stationed in the military so it's a whole new ballpark for both of us.

    With this trip planned as our major trip for the year, we decided to let our WDW APs lapse for the first time since 2015. I've been struggling with this but the price increase last year was insane and ultimately, it was the smartest decision. As a result, when it was time to plan somewhere to go in March, we had trouble deciding where to go. We were almost set on a Royal Caribbean cruise but it took us both too long to get the time approved off and the price skyrocketed. We found cheap flights to Denver, Colorado so decided to spend that week enjoying Colorado, the Rocky Mountains and Mount Rushmore.

    With those plans made, I found myself in severe WDW withdrawal. I'm excited for our other trips and to see other parts of the country but it's hard to resist the pull to get back to WDW. We will be making a short Fall trip for MNSSHP and HHN. The dates for this haven't been decided yet because I'm hoping to take my brother and need to see what his college schedule will be.

    That's far too long to stay away so the wheels started turning. We didn't get a chance to go to Flower and Garden last year and it's my favorite of the Epcot festivals. I started looking at things for May and found decent resort prices so I suggested the idea to Mike :scared: :scared: . He gave me the tentative go ahead pending official approval of his boss! :dogdance::dogdance:

    So now, I'm in full-on trip planning mode for May 14-20! Our UOAPs are still active so I'm planning on 2 days in Universal and 5 in WDW!


    And with that our trips for 2020 are set (until I change them 9000 times)! I hope you'll join me for another year of fun!
    Courtney you will love it smaller Park but so much too see and do in LA non Disney.
    I am a fanatic budget planner and have for you a true budgeters story.
    About five years ago was planning strip to Disneyland in LA and was looking for flights on a website that searches multiple sites.as it progressed at 98% up popped this flight for $13 .I could not believe what I was seeing and jumped on it straight away and paid $39 for three flights from Dublin to La return with my credit card.
    Knowing the implications of internet law I immediately rang the travel agent. I asked the call handler to make the supervisor aware that they are selling fares for $13 and asked the agent to have the supervisor call me back.
    Half a hour later the supervisor rand back and said there had been an error on the site.
    The supervisor said they would refund the money back onto my card .The supervisor advised me the new price would be $3000.
    I replied clearly you know know internet law,that once I paid for the fares by pressing the button it was now a legally binding contract.The supervisor said the money was going to be refunded to my card anyway.
    I replied don’t so that as I would not be returning it.
    I thought the story was so funny I rang the local TV station who agreed and aired it on the 6.00pm news.
    It was picked up by a local radio station who arranged a four way call a few days later. I told the story,head of consumer affairs N.Ireland agreed it was the law and the Manging director of the travel company said the company would honour the contact .Three weeks the supervisor rang and asked to put the $39 on my card .I refused as I had already paid for the flights I did not ask for to be returned .
    WHAT A RESULT $3000 OF FLIGHTS FOR FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

    NJlauren

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2014
    :rotfl: :rotfl: This is why we're friends!
    You know it!!

    I'm so excited! That's what kept happening to us- it was easier and cheaper to keep going back to WDW lol.
    So funny how that happens sometimes! But i think you are going to love Cali!


    When we first decided we were going to California this year, I planned a crazy complicated trip that had us flying to Arizona, driving to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Francisco and all through California to end in Disneyland.
    haha!
    jennifer lawrence lol GIF
    Good one girl!

    On September 6, we'll fly into San Diego (on some flight that will be booked at some point :rolleyes1 ).

    We'll spend the 6-9 in San Diego. On the 9th, we'll rent a car and drive to Los Angeles where we'll stay until the 11th.

    Some time on the 11th, we'll drive to Sequoia National park and we'll spend the 12-14 exploring Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Park.

    The night of the 14th, we'll drive back to Anaheim and check in to the hotel we'll spend the rest of our time at.
    This sounds perfect! I am jealous of the national parks, haven't done them and its totally something i would love to do! ! But i do love San Diego!!

    Even though I would love to stay in one of the onsite hotels at Disneyland, the prices are crazy and don't seem worth it to me. I'm currently looking at the hotels near Disneyland and trying to pick one. I think my top contenders are the Candy Cane Inn or the Best Western Plus that advertises being closest to the parks- although I'm 100% open to suggestions! I'm not that picky- I'm just looking for something clean and close to Disneyland lol. The shorter the walk, the better in my opinion.

    My original plan was to do 3 day park hoppers and 1 night at the Oogie Boogie Bash but as I started reading, it discovered that the fireworks and Fantasmic would probably only happen on Friday and Saturday nights so I added the 4th day on Saturday. The website I'm looking at to buy tickets from has 4 day park hoppers for the same day as 5 days so it only makes sense to buy 5 days lol.
    I will say that's the one thing i don't love about Disneyland, the night time shows aren't every night. I get it, but as a visitor and not a local it can be a bit annoying!

    Other wise we loved everything about our trip!
     

    missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    What an epic California Adventure (no pun intended ;) ) you are going to have!

    A lot of the hotels on that strip across from DL are walking distance. The Best Western Plus was one I considered for my trip and seems to get great reviews! I ended up going with the Anaheim Desert Inn & Suites which I loved- but that was like 5 years ago!
     

    Raeven

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 15, 2015
    His contributions to trip planning primarily consist of telling me "whatever you want to do" and then asking me at the last minute when I can't change anything why we aren't doing certain things.
    That's Josh's contribution too :rotfl:

    I've been struggling with this but the price increase last year was insane and ultimately, it was the smartest decision.
    I just looked, and since we had AP's last the price has gone up by $400 :scared1: (It's only been like a year since ours expired...)

    With those plans made, I found myself in severe WDW withdrawal. I'm excited for our other trips and to see other parts of the country but it's hard to resist the pull to get back to WDW.
    Same here!

    We will be making a short Fall trip for MNSSHP and HHN.
    Ooo if you go the first week of HHN we'll be there!

    When we first decided we were going to California this year, I planned a crazy complicated trip that had us flying to Arizona, driving to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Francisco and all through California to end in Disneyland.
    I also tried to plan a trip with everywhere in California and near it we wanted to do, and then I realized it would be weeks long too :rotfl2:

    It's Ernie! (His name just came to me when I saw the gif :lmao:)

    I'm currently looking at the hotels near Disneyland and trying to pick one. I think my top contenders are the Candy Cane Inn or the Best Western Plus that advertises being closest to the parks- although I'm 100% open to suggestions!
    Ooo here's something I have experience in. (I mean we've only stayed at one, but I have read reviews for all of Anaheim). We stayed at the Ayres Orange which is about 4 miles away. It has a shuttle, but we found it easier to just Lyft there and back. It's clean, the rooms are suites, and the reviews are the best of any I'd seen. We also picked it because the price was better than the other hotels and I couldn't justify paying triple to be walking distance. Other closer hotels with good reviews I've heard/read: Courtyard Marriott Maingate (I think this is the closest one), Springhill Suites (The Dis did a good review on this one), and the Howard Johnson. Some of these I would've stayed at but the prices for our time of year weren't great or there was no availability.
     





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