Getting excited and keen to share my plans

WanderlustNZ

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 2012
Enjoying a lazy Sunday at home, I am busy researching my trip at the end of this year and wishing that I had someone to chat to about my plans. I am surrounded by many wonderful people in my 3D world, but none of them, including my husband and son, really understand my love/obsession with travel.

While this Australian section of the DIS is much quieter than it has been in prior years, I love that the people here are largely like-minded and happy to discuss decisions and small details that would likely bore others to death. For that reason, this post will be a PTR of sorts and a place to share and iron out my plans with anyone keen to listen.

A BIT ABOUT US

We are a family of 3 who live in the deep south of New Zealand. I am the keen travel planner in the family and DH and 10 year old DS are just happy to turn up on the day with their passports. They do love our trips, they just aren’t interested in the planning and logistics involved in getting there.

About 5 years ago we spent three weeks between WDW and Universal and had the most wonderful time as a family. While I’m not a 'Mouse loyalist' and my bucket list extends beyond theme park vacations, I have been very keen to get back to Orlando since the second we left.

DH’s favourite travel style is road trips. Top of his bucket list is either a trip along Route 66 or a return trip to Germany to do the Nurburgring. DS loves beaches, water parks and places where he can order whatever food he wants off the menu without looking at the prices. (Cruises tend to tick off many of these requirements). Finally, my adrenaline rush comes from spotting animals, including fish and birds, in their natural habitat. Ever since a near perfect trip to Yellowstone NP about 4 years ago, some great wildlife spotting experiences in Australia, and some amazing snorkelling in Fiji, I’ve become a bit obsessed with getting to the world’s top wildlife destinations. South Africa currently tops my bucket list.

DH and DS are the Star Wars fans in the family. I love Harry Potter.

TRIP DETAILS

This trip has taken 2 years to save for and required more planning than any other we’ve been on. Partly because at 5 ½ weeks it’s the longest trip we’ve been on, and partly because it is made up of 3 quite different parts which has felt a bit like planning 3 separate holidays. I will describe the details of each part in different posts, but as a quick rundown it consists of:

1 week in Orlando (3 nights at RPR and 3 nights at Wilderness Lodge)

2 weeks in Costa Rica

2 weeks on a Southern Caribbean Cruise and a few days in LA/Anaheim before heading home.

We will be travelling from 15th December – 22nd January
 

WanderlustNZ

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 2012
WEEK 1 – Universal and WDW


Sat 15th

The day will be a long one, beginning with a domestic flight from Queenstown to Auckland, followed by a red eye flight from Auckland to Houston. We had hoped to see a bit of Houston while we were there, but because the city proper is quite a long way from the airport, we are instead going straight to an airport hotel to relax and catch up on a bit of sleep so we can hit the ground running the next day.

Sun 16 – Tue 18th

A very early 6am flight to Orlando should have us checked into Royal Pacific Resort and enjoying the Universal parks by lunchtime. For the next 2 ½ days we just plan to enjoy everything Universal and take the days as they come (I love that Express Passes allow you to do that). Must dos include: All things Harry Potter including Butter Beer, an interactive wand, and the Castle projection show, the Macy’s Xmas Parade, and a few nice meals at Citiwalk.

I’ve prepaid a couple of days of the QS dining plan to cover our Butterbeer purchases and HP breakfasts, and presently I’m trying to shortlist our TS options.

Currently I’m thinking Mythos (as our lunch there last time was yum), Toothsomes (the desserts look delish), Antojitos (we love Mexican food), and Pat O’Briens (the live entertainment looks enjoyable and Louisiana style food is hard to find in NZ).

Wed 19th – Fri 21st

Even though WDW accounts for less than 10% of our holiday, it feels like it’s accounted for close to 50% of my indecision. We have only 3 park days and, to save money, we don’t have hoppers. That means we need to leave one park out. With MK being the only park we were certain about, deciding how to spend the other 2 days has been much harder than I expected. I THINK I’ve finally made up my mind to drop Animal Kingdom, but it wasn’t a decision I came to lightly. AK is a beautiful park with our favourite family ride (Everest). Plus we’re yet to visit Pandora or ride FOP. On the flipside, AK has the fewest Xmas decorations and I have conflicting feelings about zoos.

In the end, I decided that it’s highly likely we will get back to WDW sometime in the future after Star Wars land has been built, but there is no guarantee that we will ever visit again before Xmas. With that in mind, I have decided that Pandora can wait, but Xmas festivities can’t.

On the Wednesday we will transfer from RPR to Wilderness Lodge. Our plan is to enter HS no later than lunchtime, do some rides and enjoy a milkshake at the Primetime Tune In Lounge (fond memories of those from last time). For a late lunch/early dinner we are booked at Minnies Holiday Dine where I have planned our meal to finish around sunset so we can enjoy all the projection and fireworks shows in the evening. The show on the Tower of Terror with the fake snow looks fantastic. Also, I’m hoping like last year they show both the StarWars evening show and Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam.

On the Thursday we have a Whispering Canyon Breakfast booked before we head to MK to get there around opening time. We plan on spending most of the day at MK before leaving around 4:30ish when the party crowds start flooding into the park. I then want to do a loop of the monorail to see the gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian, and then head to Fort Wilderness resort where we have Trails End booked for dinner and a sleigh ride to see the guests’ decorations. I am a bit disappointed that we will only have about 7 hrs in MK and won’t get to see the night fireworks, but the fact that this is likely to be the lowest MK crowd day was a big decider.

The Friday is likely to have the largest crowds of the three due to people arriving for Xmas. So I have planned Epcot for this day since I think it’s the best park for absorbing crowds. Plus it has the least rides that appeal, so we will be spending most of our time in the World Showcase enjoying the festivities. We’ll probably need a hotel rest in the middle of the afternoon, but we’re planning to be there for both park opening as well as the Peace on Earth fireworks at the end. I haven’t booked any ADRs for this day and I’m hoping that’s not a mistake. The TS restaurants there are just so expensive and there are plenty of QS restaurants and Festival of the Holidays snacks that appeal instead. I’d like to get to some of the Xmas performances and would prefer not to be tied to a meal time. But at the same time, I’m aware that a TS meal can be a pleasant reprieve from a busy day on your feet, so perhaps I might book something just in case I change my mind.

Sat 22nd
We plan to get up, do some laundry and just enjoy the resort until the Magic Express picks us up at roughly 10am to take us to the airport for our flight to San Jose, Costa Rica.

I welcome any thoughts or suggestions. :goodvibes
 
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Franrose

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Checking in... sounds awesome! I just looked up our theme park days, and we kind of follow you to each a day later, lol. Because we arrive at WDW on the 15th, I've started us at MK on the 16th in the hopes that's the quieter end of our stay.

I think you've made the right choice with the three parks though... and I am also looking forward to "snacking" around the world at Epcot!
 
  • WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    I think you've made the right choice with the three parks though... and I am also looking forward to "snacking" around the world at Epcot!
    Thanks, I’m pleased you think so. I know it’s such a first world problem trying to decide what theme parks to visit, but it was a difficult decision none the less. :scratchin

    Have you been to Orlando at Xmas time before or is it a first for you also?
     

    Franrose

    DIS Veteran
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    Jul 2, 2011
    We have been at Christmas, but it was in 2013 and our kids were much younger and you approach everything so differently then. So can't wait to do it again :D
     

    Franrose

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    Jul 2, 2011
    Back then for eg, Santa was real, and the Elf on the Shelf was real and flew everywhere with us (hard work lol!).

    If my kids could pick, they would do Halloween again as they are SO enamoured by the idea of endless American candy. However as I'm currently paying $360/month for braces (and that will go on for a few years yet as #2 eventually gets them), I'm quite happy to avoid that particular time of year myself lol! Much easier to work within the longer Christmas holidays too.
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    If my kids could pick, they would do Halloween again as they are SO enamoured by the idea of endless American candy. However as I'm currently paying $360/month for braces (and that will go on for a few years yet as #2 eventually gets them), I'm quite happy to avoid that particular time of year myself lol! Much easier to work within the longer Christmas holidays too.
    As much as I hate Halloween here in NZ, I must admit, a Disney Halloween is a LOT of fun.
    In saying that, I’m quite looking forward to being in Orlando when it’s cooler and hopefully being able to hit the parks for longer without the heat sapping all my energy.

    Did I read in another thread that you are doing the Candlelit Processional? Have you done it before and what did you think?

    We’re not at all religious and I get a feeling DH and DS will find it boring. I’m going to drag them along to ‘Joyful’ as I love the upbeat nature of gospel music even though the spiritual message is lost on me. But I’m not sure about the CP.
    I’m thinking at this stage we’ll just stop to watch for a couple of minutes standing right at the back.
     
  • Brisbanemum

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 18, 2013
    Your plans look great for your family vacation :D We love WDW at Christmas time! The weather is normally wonderful and a nice respite from the heat over here, but with Florida, you can never rely on anything weather wise lol Some days we were in shorts, and others we were in jeans and heavy jackets!

    We have done the Candlelight Processional with Neil Patrick Harris as the narrator. We are also not very religious (Dh especially) but we still really enjoyed the experience and chalked it down to a new family memory which was a little 'out of the box' for us :) The choir was amazing and the conductor was outstanding! We would not have waited in the standby line for it, but it was worth it if you do the Candlelight Processional Dining Package. It does also take up a lot of your time though (even with the guaranteed spot due to the dining package we still had to get in line over an hour early so we could get a seat up the front), so if you only have the one day there, I would perhaps leave it for another year?? We would probably not go again but would definitely do the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party again. It gives you a fantastic view of Illuminations and the Fireworks and was an awesome way to end our day at Epcot. :D
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    Your plans look great for your family vacation :D We love WDW at Christmas time! The weather is normally wonderful and a nice respite from the heat over here, but with Florida, you can never rely on anything weather wise lol Some days we were in shorts, and others we were in jeans and heavy jackets!

    We have done the Candlelight Processional with Neil Patrick Harris as the narrator. We are also not very religious (Dh especially) but we still really enjoyed the experience and chalked it down to a new family memory which was a little 'out of the box' for us :) The choir was amazing and the conductor was outstanding! We would not have waited in the standby line for it, but it was worth it if you do the Candlelight Processional Dining Package. It does also take up a lot of your time though (even with the guaranteed spot due to the dining package we still had to get in line over an hour early so we could get a seat up the front), so if you only have the one day there, I would perhaps leave it for another year?? We would probably not go again but would definitely do the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party again. It gives you a fantastic view of Illuminations and the Fireworks and was an awesome way to end our day at Epcot. :D
    Thanks for the advice BrisbaneMum. :goodvibes

    I think the statement that it will ‘take up a lot of our time’ is all I needed to know to make up my mind. I’d love to pass by and listen in for a few minutes, but I think with our limited time, we’d be better focusing our energy elsewhere.

    Weather wise, I don’t mind if it ends up cold, I just wish it didn’t mean extra weight for the suitcase. We have to take hiking clothes and wet weather gear for Costa Rica, plenty of beach stuff, plus some formal dining wear for the cruise, and a mixture of hot and cold stuff for Orlando. Plus leave room for some shopping. I’m not looking forward to packing for this trip. :scratchin

    Re. the Frozen dessert party - I have admittedly looked at it a few times and thought that the designated seating for Illuminations looks great. I’ve also looked at the Star Wars and Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam dessert parties as the theming of these parties appeals much more than the Frozen one.
    Disney does such a good job of tempting you to spend a whole heap of money on top of already costly tickets, and as tempting as these parties seem, I’m just ever so conscious of spending too much money in just 3 days of our trip.
    Now if the theme of the Frozen party was different, I might be persuaded. Perhaps a ‘Holidays around the World’ Dessert party with little themed desserts and cocktails from each Epcot country, an Illuminations dining spot, and a fastpass for Soarin afterwards? Now there’s an idea - I need to share that with Disney :laughing:
     

    Brisbanemum

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 18, 2013
    Thanks for the advice BrisbaneMum. :goodvibes

    I think the statement that it will ‘take up a lot of our time’ is all I needed to know to make up my mind. I’d love to pass by and listen in for a few minutes, but I think with our limited time, we’d be better focusing our energy elsewhere.

    Weather wise, I don’t mind if it ends up cold, I just wish it didn’t mean extra weight for the suitcase. We have to take hiking clothes and wet weather gear for Costa Rica, plenty of beach stuff, plus some formal dining wear for the cruise, and a mixture of hot and cold stuff for Orlando. Plus leave room for some shopping. I’m not looking forward to packing for this trip. :scratchin

    Re. the Frozen dessert party - I have admittedly looked at it a few times and thought that the designated seating for Illuminations looks great. I’ve also looked at the Star Wars and Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam dessert parties as the theming of these parties appeals much more than the Frozen one.
    Disney does such a good job of tempting you to spend a whole heap of money on top of already costly tickets, and as tempting as these parties seem, I’m just ever so conscious of spending too much money in just 3 days of our trip.
    Now if the theme of the Frozen party was different, I might be persuaded. Perhaps a ‘Holidays around the World’ Dessert party with little themed desserts and cocktails from each Epcot country, an Illuminations dining spot, and a fastpass for Soarin afterwards? Now there’s an idea - I need to share that with Disney :laughing:
    Packing for this trips are a science unto themselves! lol We also had a cruise while we were there last time (7 night Eastern Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy) and ended up ditching the 'formal' wear as it was going to tip our luggage over the edge. We also participated in the Fish Extenders so had 1 and a half suitcases full of Aussie gifts for over 100 of our fellow passengers. Once they were distributed however, it meant that we had plenty of extra room to bring home souvenirs. (I cannot confirm nor deny that we still had 5 boxes of goodies shipped back from Disney as well :o )

    We have 2 boys who are 12 and 15 so Frozen is not their favourite theming either. They still really enjoyed the desserts though, especially the nitro-popcorn and hot chocolates. Funny you should mention doing Soarin afterwards instead!! When we had our party, they had shut down FEA early so we were all escorted to Soarin and got a private ride there instead! They also gave us a paper FP for FEA to use any other day of our stay. :D We were happy little campers lol

    Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam Dessert party was excellent! Star Wars Galactic Spectacular Dessert party was not :sad2: At JBJBDP you get to meet Santa Goofy and they had some delicious savoury snacks as well as the sweet stuff. We didn't feel rushed and everyone seemed quite relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere. At SWGSDP Stormtroopers came out for a super quick time and did not pose for any photos. We saw them across the room but they never came anywhere near our cluster of tables. It was very crowded in the Launch Bay and very noisy and the food was nothing special in our opinion. We were so disappointed as we are massive Star Wars fans (we got to go to Galactic Nights on our last trip which was so awesome!!) but it was the first time we really regretted spending the extra $$ on something like that at WDW.... we wished we had done another JBJBDP instead. :santa:

    I don't envy your task of trying to plan only 3 days at the Parks! :D
     

    Franrose

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2011
    Did I read in another thread that you are doing the Candlelit Processional? Have you done it before and what did you think?

    We’re not at all religious and I get a feeling DH and DS will find it boring. I’m going to drag them along to ‘Joyful’ as I love the upbeat nature of gospel music even though the spiritual message is lost on me. But I’m not sure about the CP.
    I’m thinking at this stage we’ll just stop to watch for a couple of minutes standing right at the back.
    We have me not really religious, DH bought up Christian and still identifies that way, DD1 who will tell you she's not Christian and DD2 who is on the fence either way. We did it in 2013 with Whoopie Goldberg and to be honest, I barely remember it. :lmao: So right now I'm thinking there's not much point taking a few hours out for something that's so easily forgotten, lol! I don't think DH or the kids care either.
     
  • Franrose

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2011
    For our Christmastime trip - we got hotter days in Florida than Brisbane were getting at the exact same time at home, despite the fact that Bris was in summer and Florida in winter. We were getting 35 most days. Funnily enough we didn't work this out in the beginning when we were tired & jetlagged and have pictures of ourselves rugged up in jeans and jumpers, while people all around us were in their tees and shorts, lol! We'll definitely be taking layers. Squishy-but-light jackets are a good option, we just visited Melbourne which was colder than home and those were easy to travel with.

    A few days after our 35s in Florida we moved up to NY where our highs were -3. Amazing the range in just one country! (Right now my youngest DD is in Canberra for the week, only a 10 degree difference there!)
     
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    AussieNSW

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 10, 2012
    In the past there has been PhotoPass photographers at the Grand Floridian during Christmas time. I have some lovely photos in front of the tree and the gingerbread house. We also got some PhotoPass photos at the Wilderness lodge.
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    Packing for this trips are a science unto themselves! lol We also had a cruise while we were there last time (7 night Eastern Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy) and ended up ditching the 'formal' wear as it was going to tip our luggage over the edge. We also participated in the Fish Extenders so had 1 and a half suitcases full of Aussie gifts for over 100 of our fellow passengers. Once they were distributed however, it meant that we had plenty of extra room to bring home souvenirs. (I cannot confirm nor deny that we still had 5 boxes of goodies shipped back from Disney as well :o )

    We have 2 boys who are 12 and 15 so Frozen is not their favourite theming either. They still really enjoyed the desserts though, especially the nitro-popcorn and hot chocolates. Funny you should mention doing Soarin afterwards instead!! When we had our party, they had shut down FEA early so we were all escorted to Soarin and got a private ride there instead! They also gave us a paper FP for FEA to use any other day of our stay. :D We were happy little campers lol

    Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam Dessert party was excellent! Star Wars Galactic Spectacular Dessert party was not :sad2: At JBJBDP you get to meet Santa Goofy and they had some delicious savoury snacks as well as the sweet stuff. We didn't feel rushed and everyone seemed quite relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere. At SWGSDP Stormtroopers came out for a super quick time and did not pose for any photos. We saw them across the room but they never came anywhere near our cluster of tables. It was very crowded in the Launch Bay and very noisy and the food was nothing special in our opinion. We were so disappointed as we are massive Star Wars fans (we got to go to Galactic Nights on our last trip which was so awesome!!) but it was the first time we really regretted spending the extra $$ on something like that at WDW.... we wished we had done another JBJBDP instead. :santa:

    I don't envy your task of trying to plan only 3 days at the Parks! :D
    Wow - 100 fish extender gifts! We didn’t do fish extenders on our Disney cruise, but I felt a bit regretful of that decision once we got on the ship and saw how much fun others were having. It must have been fun seeing little gifts each day outside your door.

    Good to hear about the Star Wars Dessert party. It certainly helps ease the FOMO :laughing:

    Yes, picking 3 parks hasn’t been easy. The original plan had been to just do a one week cruise (or a week in Mexico) and go back to WDW for a week before we headed home. However, the 2 week cruise itinerary was just so tempting that that plan went out the window. I don’t regret the decision to do a longer cruise, but I do feel gutted that our Disney time will be so short.
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    We have me not really religious, DH bought up Christian and still identifies that way, DD1 who will tell you she's not Christian and DD2 who is on the fence either way. We did it in 2013 with Whoopie Goldberg and to be honest, I barely remember it. :lmao: So right now I'm thinking there's not much point taking a few hours out for something that's so easily forgotten, lol! I don't think DH or the kids care either.
    Another response that makes my decision making much easier :thumbsup2
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    For our Christmastime trip - we got hotter days in Florida than Brisbane were getting at the exact same time at home, despite the fact that Bris was in summer and Florida in winter. We were getting 35 most days. Funnily enough we didn't work this out in the beginning when we were tired & jetlagged and have pictures of ourselves rugged up in jeans and jumpers, while people all around us were in their tees and shorts, lol! We'll definitely be taking layers. Squishy-but-light jackets are a good option, we just visited Melbourne which was colder than home and those were easy to travel with.

    A few days after our 35s in Florida we moved up to NY where our highs were -3. Amazing the range in just one country! (Right now my youngest DD is in Canberra for the week, only a 10 degree difference there!)
    Wow, 35! If we get those temperatures I’m going to regret not getting a pass for Volcano Bay.

    I live in a ski resort town so are pretty used to the cold. I spend the whole winter with a long-sleeved merino under my shirts and tops and they usually do the trick at keeping me warm. Since they take up very little room in the suitcase, I think I’ll bring a few of them incase it’s cold.
    If that doesn’t suffice, it’ll give us an excuse to buy Disney sweatshirts. :bitelip:
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    In the past there has been PhotoPass photographers at the Grand Floridian during Christmas time. I have some lovely photos in front of the tree and the gingerbread house. We also got some PhotoPass photos at the Wilderness lodge.
    Good to know.

    Whether or not to buy Memory Maker for just 3 nights has also been a topic of indecision, but I think I’m leaning towards ‘Yes’.

    We just bought a new camera this weekend because we wanted one that would help us better capture wildlife. It wasn’t cheap, so DH half already decided that it was more important we get the camera than Memory Maker. I of course agree with him, but now that the camera is purchased, maybe I can also slip in a photopass purchase as well. :rolleyes1
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
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    Oct 13, 2012
    COSTA RICA

    The first thing worth mentioning is that we are doing Costa Rica as part of a package tour with Gate 1. Our usual preference is for trips where DH can drive and we can explore locations on our own. However, when language differences or transport difficulties pose a big barrier, I do look at tour options.

    Prior to booking, I kept reading reports of driving in Costa Rica that made me anxious. These ranged from poorly formed roads with massive potholes to corrupt traffic officers. I’d also read multiple reports suggesting that you should never leave your belongings unattended in your car. That alone was enough to help me decide that we wouldn’t be renting a vehicle. If we can’t safely make sightseeing and meal stops without worrying about our suitcases, I figured that we might as well travel on a bus where we at least get the benefit of a guide.

    Gate 1 appealed because the itinerary isn’t too full, allowing us plenty of free time to do our own thing and book private and small group wildlife tours. Plus the discounted price I ended up paying was, IMO, really cheap. I crunched the numbers and worked out that it would have been very difficult for us to have done a similar tour on our own for cheaper. Also, I travelled with Gate 1 to China many years ago and felt the tour offered great value for money.


    The itinerary includes time in San Jose, Tortuguero, Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio.

    San Jose - we have 3 nights here. One when we arrive, one the night before we leave, and one night in transit after visiting Tortuguero. San Jose is not known for being particularly safe, so other than a short guided tour of some of the main tourist attractions, we will be predominantly using this time to relax and unwind in our hotel.

    Tortuguero - known as Costa Rica’s version on the Amazon, Tortuguero has a wealth of wildlife. Not accessible by road, the main way of getting to and around Tortuguero is by river boat. We are staying at Evergreen Lodge, where the cabins look charming if not somewhat rustic. I am actually looking forward to being woken on Xmas morning to the chorus of howler monkeys.

    Arenal - Volcano hikes, hanging bridge walks and an evening at a popular hot springs, I’m looking forward to our time in this popular tourist destination.

    Monteverde - Monteverde is known for it’s cloud forest ecosystem and is popular with birders. We have a wildlife tour booked for one morning with a birding specialist in the hope that he will find us a quetzal. We are also doing a tour of a chocolate and coffee plantation.

    Manuel Antonio - I am quite excited about our hotel here (Si Como No) as the views across the jungle to the ocean look great. We have 4 different wildlife tours booked here including a day and night mangrove tour, a morning tour of the National Park, and a night jungle walk to spot nocturnal reptiles and insects. This is where we will spend New Years.

    I can’t wait. :cool1:
     
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    Franrose

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2011
    I live in a ski resort town so are pretty used to the cold. I spend the whole winter with a long-sleeved merino under my shirts and tops and they usually do the trick at keeping me warm. Since they take up very little room in the suitcase, I think I’ll bring a few of them incase it’s cold.
    If that doesn’t suffice, it’ll give us an excuse to buy Disney sweatshirts. :bitelip:
    My brother is in Oamaru - they are getting used to the cold, lol. (We are all originally ex-Auckland.)

    Love the look of that itinerary! Our last cruise was two weeks - around the bottom of Australia, and then across to and around NZ. I loved it, I think 7 day cruises are going to be too short from now on, lol. And I would never have expected cruising around my 'home' to be so awesome - but it was the best way to show the girls some different places they'd not been!

    We are doing fish extenders, but I think the different groups (there are different types of FE being organised) are being split into smaller groups of 10 participants each. Manageable, hopefully. I haven't quite worked out what to do yet!!
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    My brother is in Oamaru - they are getting used to the cold, lol. (We are all originally ex-Auckland.)

    Love the look of that itinerary! Our last cruise was two weeks - around the bottom of Australia, and then across to and around NZ. I loved it, I think 7 day cruises are going to be too short from now on, lol. And I would never have expected cruising around my 'home' to be so awesome - but it was the best way to show the girls some different places they'd not been!

    We are doing fish extenders, but I think the different groups (there are different types of FE being organised) are being split into smaller groups of 10 participants each. Manageable, hopefully. I haven't quite worked out what to do yet!!
    Oamaru is gorgeous town. It’s one of just a handful of places DH and I would ever consider moving to if a great job opportunity presented itself.

    I am so looking forward to 2 weeks on a ship. The longest cruises we’ve done to date have been a week long and they never felt long enough. I can see though how it could spoil us for future shorter cruises.

    A cruise around the bottom of Australia would be great. We did a week long Tassie cruise (inc. Sydney and Melbourne) and really enjoyed it. I’d now love now to do one that goes up near the Great Barrier Reef.
     

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