Back to Disney after 6 years...this time it will be DLR for New Years Eve 2018!

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by OziJo, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Hi :wave2:fellow DISer's. I'm adapting this post from something I posted in the Aussie Forum and I'm going to turn it into a PTR for my own benefit as well as for anyone else interested. I always found other PTR's and TR's really interesting to follow and I will be looking through posts on here for ideas and inspiration. Even though this trip will have a much shorter Disney component, I determined to make the most of it. So here goes...

    It's been 6 years since our last Disney trip - 11 wonderful nights at Disney's Fort Wilderness staying in a cabin as a family of 5. At that time I found the DIS boards a wonderful place for advice and encouragement; a great way to share plans and feed off the energy of those who appreciate a trip that includes a Disney visit. Back then I posted both a detailed PTR and a TR (still there in my sig.) and I love revisiting our trip from time to time.

    This time it's a completely different story with a smaller cast and shorter time frame, a prologue that includes a University exchange student (DD) and a Canadian White Christmas as well as a Hollywood interlude and Hawaiian happy ending.

    So here's how it goes:

    About 4 years ago we felt it was time for another family trip. This time it was to include a white Christmas as well as another visit to WDW or DLR for New Years. I began to plan, returning here for advice and looking forward to the excitement and challenges of planning a trip during Christmas and New Year. Unfortunately circumstances didn't allow much progression in the planning process and such a trip was set aside - but never completely forgotten.

    When DD3 started at the University of NSW 3 years ago immediately she began to plan a University Exchange trip where she would spend the Spring/Fall semester of her 3rd year studying at a University in either Canada or the States and we were to meet up with her around Christmas. The University exchange application process is quite exhaustive and the Universities and courses she was looking at required excellent academic credentials. So she studied hard and worked as a math and science tutor as well doing Christmas holiday jobs to save. About 6 months ago she decided on the University of Alberta in Edmonton and began the application process through UNSW's Exchange program...a process that is ongoing since as I write, official acceptance into The University of Alberta has yet to happen! It's really just a formality though as UNSW has already recommended her to UA, she has started the complex subject matching and approval process and she has achieved High Distinctions in all her subjects. Something unexpected would have to happen for her not to be accepted.

    But that hasn't stopped my planning and yesterday I booked flights and accommodation for 3 of us. Unfortunately DD1&2 will be unable to join us as their work commitments don't allow time off over Christmas. DD1 is a Store Manger and DD2 works at Luna Park.

    So even without official confirmation that DD will be attending UA in the Fall we are going ahead with our White Christmas in Canada and New Years Eve in Disneyland as well as a few days in Hollywood and Honolulu on the way home. The only change if DD doesn't make it to UA is that we will have to get her on our flight out of Sydney on the 17th of December. Otherwise all else can go as planned.

    I don't know how much I will write but I will have questions and hope others will have some advice, especially for New Years Eve in Disneyland. Next post I will outline our itinerary.

    Thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read:disrocks:
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  2. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    So who are we really? DH Mark, DD Hannah and me Jo.:earsboy::earsgirl::earsgirl: DH and I are in our 50's and this will be our fourth Disney visit together. Our first trip was before kids. Considering we have to travel all the way from Australia, that's shows a high degree of Disney dedication. DD3 will be 20 and this will be her fourth Disney visit also. She has been twice with us - once to DLR and once to WDW. She has also been to Disney Tokyo during a Japanese student exchange trip. She plans to one day tick off all the Disney Parks world wide. She's half way there :tink:

    So here's our Itinerary:

    17th December: Direct flight from Sydney to Vancouver then on to Edmonton. 5 nights staying at Campus Tower suites. Near UA.
    22nd December: Bus to Banff - Red arrow to Calgary (booked). Airport shuttle to Banff 5 nights in Banff Ptarmigan Inn for a White Christmas. Will spend a day in Lake Louise - probably Christmas Eve. Update: Have booked a tour to Lake Louise for Christmas Eve :santa:
    27th December: Shuttle to Calgary. Maybe do a city explorer tour then overnight in the Calgary Airport In-Terminal Hotel for a next day early morning flight.
    28th December: Flight Calgary to Anaheim 4 nights at the Anaheim Camelot Inn. 3 or 4 day Disney Park Hopper Tickets depending on what deals are on offer. Our TA is saying she might be able to get us 4 days for the price of two but I suspect that deal may not be on offer over the Christmas New Year period so I'm not holding my breath. (UPDATE: I was right that deals a no-go) Our Anaheim segment is 3 full days and 2 half days either side so I'm looking to make the most of it. Here's how I see it panning out at this point in the planning process - (UPDATED May 02) (UPDATE August 17th: 4 for the price of 2 days is on offer again with no black out days and I have booked 'em!)
    • Day 1 Dec 28th: Since we are now only going to have a 3 day pass this afternoon will be spent Downtown Disney.
    • Day 2 Dec 29th: After a light breakfast at our hotel we will head off to DP. With the fastpass app we will reserve Splash Mountain then head off to Space Mountain, traditionally our first port of call. Ending with a Fantasmic Dinner Package.
    • Day 3 Dec 30th: Park Hopping
    • Day 4 Dec 31st: New Years Eve in CAP.
    • Day 5 Jan 1st: New Years Day. Check out is 11am. Check in at Loews is 4pm. I think we will take a taxi or Uber. DH wont want to drive the freeway and we don't want to have to pay for parking at the hotel.
    That's the first two thirds of our trip. The final third is Hollywood and then on to Honolulu. I'll out line that in my next post but for now if anyone has any hints or suggestions for our DLR New Years Eve I would love to hear from you. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  4. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Hollywood and Hawaii...

    January 01- January 06: 5 nights Loews Hollywood Hotel.

    • Day 1 Tues Jan 01: The final third of our trip starts with us traveling up the freeway to Hollywood. Our plan is to leave in the afternoon/evening on New Years Day depending on how much time we want to spend in a park. I'm thinking of using Uber to transfer between Anaheim and Hollywood. We will probably just get dinner in the hotel or somewhere close by.
    • Day 2 Wed Jan 02: A day in Hollywood. Still to plan...
    • Day 3 Thurs Jan 03: A day at Universal Studios. We will probably catch the train there. Our main focus will be on The WWoHP but we wouldn't mind doing the back lot tour and a couple of the other rides. I'm thinking of Bubba Gumps for dinner and then maybe catching a Uber back depending on how late it is.
    • Day 4 Fri Jan 04: Santa Monica or Santa Barbara. Still thinking about this. Also maybe we can hire a car for 2 days this day to drive instead of train?
    • Day 5 Sat Jan 05: Santa Monica or Santa Barbara. Which ever one we don't do the day before...
    • Day 6 Sun Jan 06: Fly to Honolulu. Our flight leaves at 9.45am so we will have to be up nice and early.
    January 06 - January 11th: 5 nights Castle Waikiki Shore. 1 bedroom Ocean View Apartment We stayed here in 2012 in a 2 bedroom apartment with our family of 5. It's one of the few tourist condominium apartment complexes in Waikiki and the only one right on the beach. All apartments have a full kitchen, living space and a laundry and are cheaper than most of the beachfront resorts. It's not luxury but it's comfortable.

    We have been to Hawaii 3 times and love hanging out in Waikiki and driving around Oahu. So this part of the trip will be really relaxed and lots of fun. Some things we hope to do:
    • Cocktails on the beach,
    • Outrigger canoe rides (DH wants to do this. I always resist but maybe DD3 will go with him)
    • Early morning walks to photograph the sunrise over Diamond Head
    • A Sunset Catamaran cruise
    • A nights or two out to restaurants. This time I'm hoping to book into Morimoto's new restaurant at Alohilani Resort. When DH and I went for my 50th birthday they were renovating what was once The Pacific Beach Hotel and we stayed right on the water front looking over Waikiki Beach. Now the renovations have been completed and the Hotel is called Alohilani Resort. It's more expensive now and the rooms are quite small so we chose Waikiki Shore again for this trip with DD3 along for the ride. But we hope to stay there again for our 30th wedding anniversary in 2020 :) Anyway we can always visit and have a Mai Tai at the beautiful Oceanarium bar before dinner at Morimoto's.
    • Shopping at Ala Moana and Bubba Gumps if we don't go when we are in Universal.
    • Driving around the North Shore, stopping for garlic shrimp and hoping to see some big waves then doing the TV and Movies Sites tour at Kualoa Ranch.
    • Lunch at Moana Surfrider under the Banyan Tree
    • Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen are favourites as well
    • Shaved Ice, Poke, Dole Whip at the Dole Pineapple Plantation
    There's so much to do and we wont be there that long. This time we won't be there on a Friday to see the fireworks over The Hilton Hawaiian Village that we would be able to see from our balcony. In 2012 we spent 10 nights in Waikiki after our 11 night WDW trip. We did Pearl Harbour and had a lot more time to just chill on the beach. Last year we only spent 6 nights there. That was definitely not enough. This time it's really just a stop over after we have been everywhere else. But we still want to make the most of it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  5. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    My daughter is one step closer to having her University of Alberta stay made official. The other day they sent her a unique code to use in choosing her accommodation. This is great! It means that she is guaranteed on Campus accommodation. Her first choice is a place that has individual bedrooms and bathrooms but with common living and kitchen areas. She would like to be able to cook meals herself. Other accommodations have a meal plan that you have to pay extra for. Hopefully she will get her first choice but to be honest I'm just happy she will be on Campus :)

    As to the other arrangements. We have booked all our flights and accommodations through our travel agent. I don't usually use a travel agent but our flights were quite complicated and she was able to get all the flights for my DH and I on QANTAS and QANTAS Code share airlines on one fare a little cheaper than I was looking at trying to book separately. She was also able to get Hannah on all our flights from Calgary and onward. We are only waiting for official notice to book her flight to Canada. It looks like we will go with Air Canada for that one because QANTAS doesn't fly direct at that time of the year. Here are our flights:

    1. DD to Canada tbd
    2. Dec 17 - DDH and me from Sydney to Vancouver. Travel time 13hrs 50mins.
    3. Dec 17 - After a 3 hour transit, Vancouver to Edmonton. Travel time 1hr 29mins.
    4. Dec 28 - DDH, DD3 and me from Calgary to LA. Travel time 3hrs 11mins
    5. Jan 06 - LA to Honolulu. Travel time 6hrs 10mins
    6. Jan 12 - Honolulu to Sydney. Travel time 10hrs 30mins.
    So that's a total air travel time of about 35 hours!!!

    I was going to book our accommodations myself but the travel agent was able to get some a little cheaper and all up we are saving about $1500 dollars having booked both flights and accommodation through the travel agent. The only reservation I have, having gone through the TA is that she used 3rd party online booking sites. I usually deal directly with the Hotels and makes sure I contact them for confirmation as time draws closer. I now feel I am out of control of the situation. I've checked everything she has done though as she sent me direct links to the booking pages. There are no cancellation fees by the booking site and all the hotels can be cancelled up until a week before travel without penalty. That's important having booked so far out and especially around Christmas and New Years. The TA said she contacts Hotels directly when it's closer to arrival time to make sure that we exist on their system. That's her job and I have to trust her to do this. The control freak in me though is itching to contact the hotels myself. We have also booked our travel insurance so that's another thing off the list. And I have booked Christmas dinner in Banff (see below).

    So now I have to:
    • Do the ESTA for the USA and the ETA for Canada. I'm not rushing to do those yet because I want to make the most out of the 2 years they are valid for.
    • My next lot of bookings will probably be for the bus between Edmonton and Banff. I'm looking at Greyhound for that. Also will need to book the shuttle between Banff and and Calgary.
    • Park ticket of course 2,3 or 4 in Disneyland and 1 day for Universal.
    • Dinner plans for New Years Eve in Disneyland or California Adventure
    • We will have to decide about hiring a car in LA.
    • Definitely will hire a car in Honolulu
    • restaurant bookings in Honolulu that I can't leave to the last minute.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  6. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    I've decided I'm going to use this post to keep a record of all my restaurant bookings :).
    • Tuesday 25th December: Christmas Night- The Maple Leaf Restaurant in Banff for Christmas dinner! I wasn't really going to do that this early but I was looking around and saw a lot of recommendations for The Maple Leaf. I also saw that you should book early for Christmas so I tried the online booking system and it allowed me to do it. So Christmas dinner sorted.
    • Saturday 29th December: Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen DTD 6.30pm. We went here in 2009 and I have never forgotten the smell of candied pecans and the signature salad that used them as an ingredient. I considered this for New Years Eve but decided I wanted to stay in the park.
    • Sunday 30th December: Blue Bayou/Fantasmic Dining Package 5.50pm. Was considering Blue Bayou for New Years Eve but decided to do the package the day before instead.
    • Monday 31st December: New Years Eve - Lamplight Lounge DCA 7.05pm. Planning on enjoying the park in a relaxed manner as we would have already spent 2.5 days juggling fast passes and line rides. I like the sound of cocktails overlooking the pier and a less formal menu with some interesting food choices (anyone ever tried the Lobster nachos)
    • Thursday 10th January: Morimoto Asia Waikiki a 5.30pm reservation has us seated well and truly by sunset. That's all my desired dinner reservations done!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  7. viaggiamo

    viaggiamo Mouseketeer

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    I would definitely hire a car and drive to Santa Barbara. It's a beautiful place and we have been there twice. The food is yummy and there is a tiny taco place in a shed (I will find the name if you are interested) that sells the most delicious food!...especially for us Aussies whose Mexican food is dismal!

    Your trip sounds awesome and how exciting for your DD. It also gives you an excuse to revisit while she's there.
     
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  8. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    Sounds great plans. Yes like you, being a control freak, the TA booking through third parties would make me twitchy although I do it myself as well, but yes - you have to trust them and sounds like, given she has saved you $ and not made any errors in dates so far seems to be on the ball! Sounds like an amazing time though I give you full marks for that planned long NY Eve Day and Night - not sure if our stamina is up to that now - lol! I have no comment to make otherwise as others here are more experienced in what you are thinking - we always seem to give DL a bit of a short thrift. Santa Monica is nice to check out - did remind me a bit of the Gold Coast beaches but liked the wooden boardwalks set into the sand and there was a buzzy atmosphere back a few streets behind the beach in the town (late pm/eve we there).
     
  9. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    First up I'm excited to be able to say that Hannah has been officially accepted into UA for the Autumn Semester and she has now booked her ticket from Sydney to Edmonton via a Vancouver transit leaving on the 26th of August :cheer2:So exciting for her!

    I have now looked into the bus from Edmonton to banff and have decided on a Red Arrow bus to Calgary then a transfer to a Banff Airport shuttle. Red Arrow is a ittle more expensive than Greyhound but from all reports is much more comfortable and reliable. The Airport shuttle is a reasonably priced and if you book a return online you get a discount. The only trick will be to time the Red Arrow drop off at the Airport with the departure time of the shuttle. Could be a problem if there are any delays. The advantage is that the shuttle drops off and picks up right outside our Hotel!

    Thanks for dropping by :flower3: Yes I would like the name of that taco place. We do love Mexican and never have had it as good as we got it in LA. The closest was at La Hacienda San Angel in EPCOT.

    Thanks Wendy :flower: Some sound advice there. I've relaxed a bit about the TA doing our bookings. She does seem to be on the ball.

    The 4 for the price of 2 park tickets was, as I suspected, a limited off peak offer. So now we are trying to decide on 3 day with or without park hopper? Tickets are sooo much more expensive than I remember. Our last trip to Disney involved the complete package of accommodation and 6 day park hoppers for 5 plus Free Dining. So while it was pricey I didn't really think about ticket prices individually. Now I'm looking at ticket prices individually and a three day park hopper for 3 with maxipass comes to nearly AUD1500! Phew!!

    I have been thinking about Disneyland New Years and have nearly decided that CAP might suit us better. It appears to be more adult oriented and less crowded. I'm thinking that maybe we should book a Fantasmic Dining package on a different night. I'd love to try Blue Bayou. Sounds like a terrific experience over looking Pirates of the Caribbean. Anyone tried it?

    Since we will only have 3 park days, I will alter my itinerary to fit. I've done some research and the app fastpass system allows you to reserve fastpasses in either park no matter which park you currently are in. I like that idea. In that way we can make the most of the the Park Hopper ticket and split our time at our favourite rides in each park over 2 days while New Years Eve will be spent in the one park. Also a three day ticket offers a Magic Morning extra hour. That might come in handy on New Years Eve. I'm putting away cash every week and as soon as I have enough, I'm buying our Disney Tickets. I just hope the AUS-USD doesn't drop too much. It's sitting around 75c at the moment. When we went in 2009 it was closer to 65c. In 2012 the AUD was above parity so we felt sooo rich :) Looks like this time it will be somewhere in between.

    Now I will be spending my time helping Hannah prepare for her trip which is now only 3.5 months away! Disney planning will go on the back burner. For a little...
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  10. Minniemouse07

    Minniemouse07 DIS Veteran

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    My family and I are traveling from the east coast of the US and 2 of us will be there for the week after Christmas with the other 2 arriving a few days later. My daughter will be marching in the Tournament of Roses parade on the morning of January 1st. :-)

    We don't know her specific schedule yet, but do know that all the marching units from the parade will also perform at Disneyland. I think they will be there on the 29th or 30th (I could be wrong by a day or so).

    During a parent meeting a few weeks ago, it was repeated often just how many people descend on the area for the parade (it takes place in Pasadena)...and how horrific the traffic will be.

    I just wanted to make sure you had a heads up since this event may not be on your radar!
     
  11. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Oh wow thanks for the heads up! I mean I was prepared for the week before New Years Eve to be busy but was banking on New Years day being quieter. So what you are saying is that people will be heading up the freeway to Pasadena on the morning of New Years day. What time is the parade? We will have to time our departure right. Aiming to hit teh road during the parade while everyone else is otherwise occupied.

    Anyway I'll be looking out for the marching bands in Disneyland. I do love a good marching band. Mmm now I'm singing that song "Marching bands of Manhattan"...
     
  12. Minniemouse07

    Minniemouse07 DIS Veteran

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    Reports say that Pasedena gets about 1 million visitors the week of the parade. Crowds will line the entire 5.5 mile parade route and they even camp out overnight to claim their spots. The parade starts at 8am Pacific time and I would guess last until at least noon or so. I read somewhere that it takes over 2 hours for each group to travel the length of the parade.

    Here is the official parade guide if that helps at all.
     
  13. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Hi any fellow DISers out there! It's been awhile since I've updated this but today I bought our Disney tickets and I'm so excited! Australian and New Zealand Travel Agents have just re-offered the 4 days for the price of 2 Park Hopper deal that was available earlier this year but that we missed out on when we booked our accommodation. It turns out that there are no blackout days which was something I thought might be an issue so we are free to use our ticket on New years eve.

    It works out perfectly for us. We actually have 3 full days and one afternoon (our day of arrival) but I have been debating whether to just get a 3 day park-per-day to save money and not go to any park on our day of arrival. I really wanted to get Park Hopper tickets though so and was resigned to the fact that I would be paying a couple of hundred dollars extra for the flexibility and still not be able to go to the park on the day of our arrival. Now I save over $200 have an extra day and Park hopping!

    I will be adding the Max passes when we pick up our tickets at the gate and using the App so now the possibilities are endless (within the time limits of course ;))

    My thoughts for our park days:
    • Day 1: We arrive in Anaheim in the afternoon. We will settle into our Hotel rest up a little then head out to DLR for our first taste of Disney Magic. Maybe I should book a restaurant that night so we have a goal? It might be risky though if our flights are delayed too much. How long in advance do have to cancel without incurring a fee?
    • Day 2: We will probably start with CAP unless we didn't get much time in DP on day 1. I am determined to do Soarin' first thing. We missed it in Disney world in 2012 due to poor planning. I know there is a lot more to do at CAP then when we were last there in 2009 so looking forward to it. Then we will head to DP for the evening.
    • Day 3: Another day park hopping. Starting with DP and doing the Mountains Splash and Space, using the fast pass system then take it from there.
    • Day 4: Where to spend the day??? I'm still in 2 minds about this. It might be good to be able to decide when we are there and have weighed things up but I really want to be able to book dinner asap. I'm leaning towards CAP as it may be less crowded and you can have an alcoholic drink to bring in the new Year. On the other hand we are in Disneyland shouldn't we celebrate New Years in the OP??? We really need to decide on where we will spend New Years Eve 60 days before so I can book a restaurant or package.
    Where we decide to spend New Years Eve will settle our other park days as well. If we decide on CAP then I will want to book a Fantasmic package on another night. If we decide on DP then I will book a restaurant in CAP for another night.

    As to the rest of our trip. Hannah is leaving for Canada in just over a week. My baby is heading off to spend 3 and half months on her own! She flies with Air Canada direct to Vancouver then transits to Edmonton where the University has their own shuttle to transport students to their accommodation. Since she arrives on the Sunday and her move in day isn't until the Monday, she is spending one night at Campus Tower Suites (the same place we will be staying in December) It's right across the road and 300 meters from her on campus accommodation. She has a mid morning move in time so she will be able to check out of the hotel walk across the road and move into the little room that will be her home for 3 and half months.

    I have also booked our bus trip with Red Arrow from Edmonton to Calgary. There are regular shuttles from Calgary to Banff Hotels. I'm considering whether to pre-book or not but the timetables for those shuttles are not yet available. Other wise I haven't added any other reservations.

    I'm feeling the anxiety of having my baby traveling on her own. She is just feeling the excitement and wants the day she leaves to arrive sooner. I know though that before too long it will be December and we will be heading off to meet up with her for a White Christmas.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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  14. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Update: My baby has arrived safe and sound in Edmonton and she appears to be settling in nicely :)
     
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  15. luvpoohandcompany

    luvpoohandcompany DIS Veteran

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    Following along on your adventures and excited for you all. Glad your daughter has arrived safely. Can’t wait to hear all about Christmas and New Year at DL. :)
     
  16. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    :wave2::flower1: Thanks for following along. I'm going to start updating more often now as it's only

    3 months until we leave!

    Hannah is having a ball in Edmonton. I'm worried that she is not going to want to leave. But when I put it to her during one of our videos chats (oh the wonders of modern technology) the thought of our New Year in Disneyland left her in no doubt.

    I've now done our ETA (Canada) and ESTA (USA). We are keeping a close eye on the AUD to USD and it's not looking good. We really should have exchanged some money earlier but DDH thought it might become more favourable to us Aussies. The AUD to CAD is better.


     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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  17. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    81 Days until we leave :flower::yay::cheer2:


    Time for an Update! As I said previously, we managed to get a great deal on our Disneyland tickets and I'm so glad we took it then as the AUD to USD has really taken a dive to around USD70. We also paid for our US accommodation (mostly) when the rate was much better. It's always a gamble with the currency. You can pay in advance at one rate then find the currency rate gets better and therefore you could have paid less. In our case it got worse so we are a a bit better off. Of course it will affect us though because we have yet to exchange our spending money. Just hoping that the current nose dive will adjust up a little. The AUD to CAD has dropped quite a but as well but it's still around CAD90 so it's not too bad.

    We haven't yet bought Universal tickets. As we plan on only doing one day, I would be happy to pay extra for the Express Pass tickets. They are linked to a specific day though and I don't want to commit to a specific day in case the weather is bad. From my understanding, the Express Passes are limited in number for each day. Has anyone had any experience in buying Universal Express Passes the day before?

    Hannah's been having a wonderful time in Canada. She has been on weekend trips to Jasper and Banff, has volunteered for 3 days at Edmonton Expo and made ANZAC cookies for the Thanksgiving Feast (they had to bring something that was unique to their country of birth). She is cooking her own meals, doing her own laundry and has still manged to complete all her Uni work achieving excellent results including achieving the top mark in her Micro Economics course in the mid-term exam. The course has around 70 students and little Hannah from Australia got the highest mark! She amazed herself as she is doing nowhere near the amount of study she would normally do. She has a couple of day trips coming up as well.

    She has a week off in November and she wants to take a trip further a field. She is looking to fly to Toronto, take a tour to Niagara Falls and then go onto Montreal. She was hoping that she would have least one friend to accompany her but many of her fellow students are going skiing in Banff. Since she's not a skier and has already been to Banff, not to mention that that's where we are going for Christmas, that's not an option. Others are planning a trip to Mexico which to her seems to defeat the purpose of being in Canada. One of her friends, the girls she is closest too, is in two minds. She wants to do both. Regardless, Hannah will go to Toronto. She is really keen to do Niagara Falls.

    So still haven't decided on where to spend New Years Eve. This article has made me lean even further towards CAP: https://www.disneytouristblog.com/new-years-eve-disneyland-tips/

    I really want to book a restaurant so I feel we need to make up our minds 60 days before. That's coming up fast...
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  18. luvpoohandcompany

    luvpoohandcompany DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like your daughter is doing an amazing job of keeping on top of her studies while still touring about a bit. Niagara Falls are amazing and definitely a must-do while in Canada. The shops here are full of Christmas stuff - your trip will be here in no time :)
     
  19. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    41 days until we leave!:flower1::butterfly:sunny:

    Wow!! It's been 40 days since I last updated.

    After deciding on DCA for New Years Eve I then proceeded to make the following ADR's-

    • Saturday 29th December: Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen DTD 6.30pm. We went here in 2009 and I have never forgotten the smell of candied pecans and the signature salad that used them as an ingredient. I considered this for New Years eve but decided I wanted to stay in the park.
    • Sunday 30th December: Blue Bayou/Fantasmic Dining Package 5.50pm. Was considering Blue bayou for New Years Eve but decided to do the package the day before instead.
    • Monday 31st December: New years Eve. Lamplight Lounge DCA 7.05pm. Planning on enjoying the park in a relaxed manner as we would have already spent 2.5 days juggling fast passes and line rides. I like the sound of cocktails overlooking the pier and a less formal menu with some interesting food choices (anyone ever tried the Lobster nachos?)
    Since I last updated I have filled the transport gap in our Canada itinerary. I have booked the Banff Transporter for from Calgary airport and return. The bus from Edmonton drops us at the airport and is due in at 11.35 so I booked the Banff Transporter for 12.30. Giving us an hour in case of delays. The Banff transporter people also reassured me that if we were delayed (could happen due to weather) and missed the 12.30 we will be booked on the next shuttle. They leave every hour. We will leave Banff at 9.30 and arrive in Calgary before lunch. We are staying at the in-airport hotel because we have an early flight to LA the next morning. I'm hoping we can leave our luggage (check in is 3pm) and catch a bus into the city for lunch and a quick tour of the city weather permitting of course.

    I've also just booked Morimoto Asia For Thursday 10th January. A 5.30 reservation has us seated well and truly by sunset. That's all my desired dinner reservations done!

    There's still a couple of things to tick off our list. We have yet to get Universal tickets. I've decided to just go for a one day General Admission pass. They are half the price of the Universal Express tickets so we will just have to line up. Our main focus will be WWoHP.

    I've looked into the Disney Transport from LAX but it appears as though it would cost about the same as a taxi for 3 of us with the added inconvenience of drop offs at other hotels. So it looks like it's a taxi from LAX. I'm considering an Uber from Anaheim to Hollywood. Most people seem to say that Uber works well in LA.

    The other thing is to make final payments on our Canada accommodation. These things will be done this week. Then all we will have do is pack!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  20. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    470
    So looking forward to the Christmas shops!!! Thanks for dropping by :thanks:
     
    luvpoohandcompany likes this.
  21. petals

    petals Irish Princess because Cinderella said so!

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,986
    Joining in. Your trip sounds great. We went to California once and it was fab there. You can almost feel the history in that park
     

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