Getting excited and keen to share my plans

WanderlustNZ

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 2012
Thanks for the report and pics!
Ha- I agree re FOP vs Everest! I think I read SO much about how great it was that I was expecting to be blown out of the water..and I wasnt. Still love Everest the most, and this trip we rode it at night which was SO fun! At HS I though TOT was better than SDD- altho slinky was better at night than during the day. I liked 7DMT (best ride in MK IMO) but its very short. Pandora as a land was very impressive, though.
Wow staying at WL at xmas would have been beautiful- we enjoyed it when we resort hopped.
Out of all the resorts we stayed at (AKL, OKW, GF, BWV) we by far preferred the GF- it was a bucket list resort for me , so elegant and loved being on the monorail as found the buses very annoying.
The price of food was completely ridiculous - we also thought the portion sizes were smaller than we expected (we shared every meal). In 2013 it was similar to perth prices, now its way more.
We definitely enjoyed staying on property- due to the crowds we couldnt cope with more than a few hours in the morning and evening, and escaping back to the resort was a must.
Food wise we did Boma which was good but soo $$$$$ that we cancelled our other TS. >$150 for 2 of us. CS I really liked Sa'tuli (in fact all bar 2 of our meals were good). We found the CMs at the resort to be really fantastic and super friendly, but the ones at the park were not great. I felt sorry for them having to deal with such HUGE numbers of people everyday.
We also loved Diagon Alley, and having the EP at universal was great and very relaxing. Theming wise, apart from Potter not upto disney IMO, the non screen rides were great (loved the Hulk, rode it 4x in a row) but way too many screens.
We wont be back anytime soon either. Not under 10 years, I suspect. As you say the world is a big place...
Yeah, my husband would agree with you completely that there are far too many screens at Universal. They made him sick and a wee bit grumpy, which couldn’t help but have a bit of an effect on my enjoyment also. I think the 2 1/2 days we had there was about right and anymore time (as originally planned) might have been too much. I must admit though - I was too chicken to try Hulk. :rolleyes1 The Mummy was probably our shared family favourite due to no screens.

It was awesome that you got to try so many resorts and I can see why you liked the GF. I love the live music they have in there during the day.
 

KEK1

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 23, 2017
Yeah, my husband would agree with you completely that there are far too many screens at Universal. They made him sick and a wee bit grumpy, which couldn’t help but have a bit of an effect on my enjoyment also. I think the 2 1/2 days we had there was about right and anymore time (as originally planned) might have been too much. I must admit though - I was too chicken to try Hulk. :rolleyes1 The Mummy was probably our shared family favourite due to no screens.

It was awesome that you got to try so many resorts and I can see why you liked the GF. I love the live music they have in there during the day.
Ha- my husband also got sick and grumpy! Men.. :p
 

KaitaiaFire

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Making my very first post on the DIS forums on this post - I'm also from NZ (Wellington), and hadn't even realised that there was an Australia subforum! North Otago is my most favourite part of the country, and my aunt and uncle even lived in Kelvin Heights for a couple of years (we did a family road trip down there when my girl was a toddler and had a brilliant time, the SI is spectacular).

@WanderlustNZ what an incredible itinerary you had. A cruise, 2 theme parks, and Costa Rica? Amazing! It's a bit of a bummer to read through the entire thread and see how somewhat disillusioned you became with Disney. Nothing is going to be booked for me for a while yet, but I'm going to have to keep my expectations in check.

I've just read this thread from start to finish and it has been very interesting to read the thoughts of other Kiwis/Aussies re WDW. I'm in the very early planning stages for a Dec/Jan 2021 trip (me, husband, 13 year old) and am honestly horrified at the price of...everything. Surely if I can fly to Europe from Wellington for 2k I can fly to Orlando for that much?! Early research says HELL NO! Surely 1,000NZD per week for food is sufficient, right? HAHA *emphatic* HELL NO. Clutching my pearls so very hard. I'd initially thought that we could do a 2 week WDW/Universal holiday for NZD15k for the 3 of us, including flights, food, souvenirs. Oh sweet summer child. I'm tempted to throw in the towel and just plan a California holiday, but the Orlando parks (especially Harry Potter) are on my bucket list so I'm hoping that I can make this work.
 
  • WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    Making my very first post on the DIS forums on this post - I'm also from NZ (Wellington), and hadn't even realised that there was an Australia subforum! North Otago is my most favourite part of the country, and my aunt and uncle even lived in Kelvin Heights for a couple of years (we did a family road trip down there when my girl was a toddler and had a brilliant time, the SI is spectacular).

    @WanderlustNZ what an incredible itinerary you had. A cruise, 2 theme parks, and Costa Rica? Amazing! It's a bit of a bummer to read through the entire thread and see how somewhat disillusioned you became with Disney. Nothing is going to be booked for me for a while yet, but I'm going to have to keep my expectations in check.

    I've just read this thread from start to finish and it has been very interesting to read the thoughts of other Kiwis/Aussies re WDW. I'm in the very early planning stages for a Dec/Jan 2021 trip (me, husband, 13 year old) and am honestly horrified at the price of...everything. Surely if I can fly to Europe from Wellington for 2k I can fly to Orlando for that much?! Early research says HELL NO! Surely 1,000NZD per week for food is sufficient, right? HAHA *emphatic* HELL NO. Clutching my pearls so very hard. I'd initially thought that we could do a 2 week WDW/Universal holiday for NZD15k for the 3 of us, including flights, food, souvenirs. Oh sweet summer child. I'm tempted to throw in the towel and just plan a California holiday, but the Orlando parks (especially Harry Potter) are on my bucket list so I'm hoping that I can make this work.
    Firstly, a big welcome to the DIS. :wave2: While this ANZAC section of the forums has become fairly quiet in recent years, you will still find a group of lovely people here happy to help you with your planning.

    About 5 years ago, you definitely would have been able to do that trip for about 15k, but a combination of radically increased prices and a weakened dollar, mean that it’s now much harder. Probably still possible, but you would need to look for ways to cut back. For example, staying offsite, self-catering a lot, looking for discounts etc.

    Apologies if any of my posts came across a big negative when it came to describing my theme park enjoyment. Don’t get me wrong - we had an amazing time in Orlando and enjoyed every minute of Disney and Universal. It’s definitely worth pursuing your dream to get there at least once.

    For me personally, it’s just that the type of Orlando holiday we like to do has increased so much in price, that any thinking about returning has become more analytical than emotive. Essentially, I have started questioning my dollar to enjoyment ratio, especially when the likes of Costa Rica cost half as much per day, but all 3 of us enjoyed our time there more.

    That’s just me though. Disney is busier than it’s ever been, so there’s a good chance my thinking is not the norm.:upsidedow
     

    KaitaiaFire

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 31, 2019
    Thanks for the welcome :) I'm not going to have anything to contribute for a long time, and my myriad questions can definitely wait until I'm closer to booking, but it's great to know that there's this little sub-forum full of antipodeans who can answer my region-specific questions :)

    Essentially, I have started questioning my dollar to enjoyment ratio
    This definitely occurred to me when I realised how much I'd actually need to budget. We could have a pretty good theme park holiday on the Gold Coast for a fraction of the cost, but for our first family trip overseas I figured "go big or go home". It's a massive expenditure for a small, middle income family, and it feels almost indecent to even contemplate spending that kind of cash on a holiday :crazy2: In the meantime I'll just hope that the USD weakens...a lot :D
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    Thanks for the welcome :) I'm not going to have anything to contribute for a long time, and my myriad questions can definitely wait until I'm closer to booking, but it's great to know that there's this little sub-forum full of antipodeans who can answer my region-specific questions :)



    This definitely occurred to me when I realised how much I'd actually need to budget. We could have a pretty good theme park holiday on the Gold Coast for a fraction of the cost, but for our first family trip overseas I figured "go big or go home". It's a massive expenditure for a small, middle income family, and it feels almost indecent to even contemplate spending that kind of cash on a holiday :crazy2: In the meantime I'll just hope that the USD weakens...a lot :D
    Welcome from me too (long time lurker, post occasionally).
    Totally agree with WanderlustNZ. We had a good time, but the crowds and the cost of everything were both hard to swallow. When we go back (guessing in 10 years), we will probably look at just doing the after hours events. They felt like the parks used to be 6 years ago.
    Check out renting DVC points if you havent already- we stayed at lovely delux resorts much more affordably through that, and I probably enjoyed the resorts more than the parks.
    The cost of food is really ridiculous. We canned all our TS meals after the 1st one cost $150 for 2 of us.
     

    KaitaiaFire

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 31, 2019
    Hi @KEK1. I've looked into renting DVC points, but the worrier in me can't stand the uncertainty - I'd want to buy the additional insurance, and then if something goes tits up 72 hours out you're SOL. That's what travel insurance is for I guess, but it makes me nervous. But the prices are amazing, it would put a Savanna View at AKL within our budget...lots to think about!

    The TS restaurant prices are just mad. So expensive, and so many of the reviews are mediocre. I can't believe I'm contemplating spending NZD4k for 2 weeks of predominantly meh food. Hopefully with some good planning I can ensure that we eat at nice places, but we would probably only do 1 or 2 TS restaurants and do QS for the rest.
     
  • WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    Hi @KEK1. I've looked into renting DVC points, but the worrier in me can't stand the uncertainty - I'd want to buy the additional insurance, and then if something goes tits up 72 hours out you're SOL. That's what travel insurance is for I guess, but it makes me nervous. But the prices are amazing, it would put a Savanna View at AKL within our budget...lots to think about!

    The TS restaurant prices are just mad. So expensive, and so many of the reviews are mediocre. I can't believe I'm contemplating spending NZD4k for 2 weeks of predominantly meh food. Hopefully with some good planning I can ensure that we eat at nice places, but we would probably only do 1 or 2 TS restaurants and do QS for the rest.
    For what it’s worth, I have rented points 4 times now (twice with David’s and twice with the other main broker) and never had a single issue. The biggest downside is that you can end up out of pocket if your plans change. But on the flip side, it is a great way to enjoy the nice hotels that us average-wage folks otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.

    I couldn’t get over just how much food has increased in price since our last visit. I am yet to eat a meal at Disney that completely wowed me, but the theming of the restaurants is pretty cool. I would recommend picking some of the cheaper well-themed places (eg 50’s Primetime) and save the gastronomical budget for elsewhere. We did really enjoy some of the Universal restaurants though and thought the prices there were much more reasonable. Antojitos was a particular highlight.

    Lastly, KEK, I really like your idea of just doing the After Hours events. I think that’s what I would do also if I was ever back in the area. We loved the morning event at Toy Story Land, but the after hours events look even better and come with the benefit of not needing a day ticket.
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    On a side note, I have started planning the next holiday - much to my husbands horror.

    We agreed we wouldn’t go anywhere for a few years, which quite frankly was making me depressed just thinking about it. I need something to plan, otherwise I feel a bit lost.

    Anyway, DH indicated that he might be keen to do a cheaper holiday if some good family friends were keen to go with us. Turns out they are (I might have subtly asked them :rolleyes1), so I am now busy planning an Aussie or Islands vacation for next spring or summer.

    Thinking either a cruise, a trip to Fiji, or possibly a road trip in Queensland somewhere. If anyone has any good ideas, I’d be happy to hear them.
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    We have rented points twice before, and also not had any problems. This time we stayed 10 nigjts on points at a whole bunch of resorts. Also through Davids. I wouldnt worry.
    I also thought the food was reasonable, although Mum wasnt impressed. The other thing we noticed was the portion sizes seem to have decreased- we shared pretty much every meal and had to get dessert (I know, the hardships) to make it enough.
    Haha Wanderlust, I am looking too!! Husband doesnt want to hear about it..currently reasing the "other tours" threads which am pretty sure would not be classified as any sort of a cheap holiday..
    Cruising sounds nice, and relaxing, we havent tried one before. You liked your last one, didnt you? I am so tempted by those tours of national parks in the US.. we LOVED Yosemite when we went last time..
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    currently reasing the "other tours" threads which am pretty sure would not be classified as any sort of a cheap holiday..
    Cruising sounds nice, and relaxing, we havent tried one before. You liked your last one, didnt you? I am so tempted by those tours of national parks in the US.. we LOVED Yosemite when we went last time..
    I know! Adventures by Disney are SO expensive, but so are many of the other tour companies that people discuss as an alternative (Tauck Bridges, Abercrombie and Kent etc.) At under half the cost, we have found Gate 1 to be really good. We have done 2 tours with them now - Costa Rica and China - and both were excellent.

    Regarding National Parks, have you been to Yellowstone NP before? We did a self-drive tour of Yellowstone and Grand Teton about 4 years back and LOVED the area so much it was one of the best holidays we’ve ever done. Plus it was a really cheap vacation spot to visit as far as US holidays go - again proving to me that I don’t need to spend heaps to have an amazing time. I think somewhere deep within the DIS is a trip report I did of that holiday, which I can dig up if you are at all interested.

    As for cruises, we really love them. We’ve done 6 cruise now (one was a river cruise down the Yangtze) and loved them all. There is something pretty awesome about going to bed and waking up in a whole new location. Plus it’s such as easy (and often affordable) way to travel.
    If you do look into cruises, I would recommend prioritising the ports over the ship for a first cruise. The newer ships are lovely, but I do think that until you know for sure that the onboard experience of cruising is something you will enjoy, you should pick ports that you’re pretty confident will interest you. That way you will see value in the holiday regardless.
     
  • KaitaiaFire

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 31, 2019
    Thanks for the feedback re renting points - it's always good to read of positive experiences! I'm still wary of 3rd party bookings but I'm definitely open to it.
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    I know! Adventures by Disney are SO expensive, but so are many of the other tour companies that people discuss as an alternative (Tauck Bridges, Abercrombie and Kent etc.) At under half the cost, we have found Gate 1 to be really good. We have done 2 tours with them now - Costa Rica and China - and both were excellent.

    We definitely can't afford ABD, or DCL. I was trying to remember who your tours were with, good to hear you don'thave to pay $$$$$ to have a good experience.

    Regarding National Parks, have you been to Yellowstone NP before? We did a self-drive tour of Yellowstone and Grand Teton about 4 years back and LOVED the area so much it was one of the best holidays we’ve ever done. Plus it was a really cheap vacation spot to visit as far as US holidays go - again proving to me that I don’t need to spend heaps to have an amazing time. I think somewhere deep within the DIS is a trip report I did of that holiday, which I can dig up if you are at all interested.

    I would LOVE to read your TR, thanks! Nope havent done yellowstone yet. It looks gorgeous . We will need to stay closer to home for the next coupleof years since we have some house expenses (like the whole hardwood floors needing to be replaced..oh yeahand that thing called the mortage), but it is definitely on the list. My husband has never been to Europe, either, so will have to do that too..those river cruises look really nice!

    As for cruises, we really love them. We’ve done 6 cruise now (one was a river cruise down the Yangtze) and loved them all. There is something pretty awesome about going to bed and waking up in a whole new location. Plus it’s such as easy (and often affordable) way to travel.
    If you do look into cruises, I would recommend prioritising the ports over the ship for a first cruise. The newer ships are lovely, but I do think that until you know for sure that the onboard experience of cruising is something you will enjoy, you should pick ports that you’re pretty confident will interest you. That way you will see value in the holiday regardless.
    Good points, thanks! They soundreally relaxing, and I too like the thought of not wasting daylight time travelling.. was thinking if I could find say Freemantle to Hong Kong that wouldbe pretty cool as could then spend a coupleof days in HKDL... (haha - what price husbands 'no more Disney! ')
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    Good points, thanks! They soundreally relaxing, and I too like the thought of not wasting daylight time travelling.. was thinking if I could find say Freemantle to Hong Kong that wouldbe pretty cool as could then spend a coupleof days in HKDL... (haha - what price husbands 'no more Disney! ')
    :thumbsup2 That sounds great. I’d love to cruise round Sth East Asia.
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    Not sure what the boards did to the rest of my reply to your post above, put it mixed in with yours somehow..
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    Not sure what the boards did to the rest of my reply to your post above, put it mixed in with yours somehow..
    Sorry, I’ve been a bit absent from the DIS lately, and never acknowledged this. It looks like though this whole section of the DIS has been pretty quiet.

    Life has been crazy busy! In the last week alone, I worked over 50 hours, booked a Sth Pacific cruise, began the process of applying for a new job, and we signed a Sales and Purchase Agreement on a new piece of land.
    Sitting outside is 75 hedge plants which DH and I need to plant this weekend to start getting our place ready for sale. My CV needs finishing this weekend so I can send off this job application before it closes, and we need to go check out some specifics on our land purchase before the offer goes unconditional.

    It’s all so overwhelming, that I’m lying in bed right now procrastinating and pretty much refusing to get up. :rolleyes1 :faint: :laughing:
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    Sorry, I’ve been a bit absent from the DIS lately, and never acknowledged this. It looks like though this whole section of the DIS has been pretty quiet.

    Life has been crazy busy! In the last week alone, I worked over 50 hours, booked a Sth Pacific cruise, began the process of applying for a new job, and we signed a Sales and Purchase Agreement on a new piece of land.
    Sitting outside is 75 hedge plants which DH and I need to plant this weekend to start getting our place ready for sale. My CV needs finishing this weekend so I can send off this job application before it closes, and we need to go check out some specifics on our land purchase before the offer goes unconditional.

    It’s all so overwhelming, that I’m lying in bed right now procrastinating and pretty much refusing to get up. :rolleyes1 :faint: :laughing:

    Wow, that sounds incredibly busy!! Not surprised there has been no DIS time :)
    Where/when is the cruise? I am thinking Dec 2020 for ours to see HKDL at Christmas time..
    New job and land sound so exciting (and building, I assume ?) That is a LOT all together ..!
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    Wow, that sounds incredibly busy!! Not surprised there has been no DIS time :)
    Where/when is the cruise? I am thinking Dec 2020 for ours to see HKDL at Christmas time..
    New job and land sound so exciting (and building, I assume ?) That is a LOT all together ..!
    Yes, building. We need a bigger place and where we live, building is the cheapest place to achieve this. Although it will still be some months before we even think of starting starting, thank goodness.

    The cruise is Carnival to New Caledonia for New Years. It would be much cheaper if we could travel at a quieter time, but due to our jobs, we kind of need to take advantage of the National holidays.
    I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve never cruised Carnival before, but the onboard activities for all ages look fun and the price was cheaper than most of the competition (except P&0). Plus it leaves from Sydney (which is a great city to cruise in and out of), so I thought we’d pair it with a few days at the Blue Mountains.

    Right now we’re trying to convince some mates to come with us, but we’re not having much luck as everyone has other financial commitments and other holidays booked. But crossing my fingers we can make it work somehow as a cruise with friends would be a blast.

    Your Hong Kong Disney one sounds great. Do you already have a ship in mind?
     

    KEK1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2017
    Whereabouts in NZ do you live? Its such a beautiful country..hopefully we will live back there someday. Hard with work, though. Cruise sounds great as do Blue Mountains..and it wont be long before it is the end of the year given its already practically march! :/
    Friends going too would be fab, I too said we should try and do that . No one interested yet.
    Well, I started looking and now I want to go to Borneo to see the wildlife..not sure how that will work with HKDL! I saw some great tours that climb up Mt Kinabalu and see wildlife that look really tempting on 'Adventure Life' https://www.adventure-life.com/borneo/tours/11152/borneo-hiking-wildlife-adventure ..
     

    WanderlustNZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2012
    Whereabouts in NZ do you live? Its such a beautiful country..hopefully we will live back there someday. Hard with work, though. Cruise sounds great as do Blue Mountains..and it wont be long before it is the end of the year given its already practically march! :/
    Friends going too would be fab, I too said we should try and do that . No one interested yet.
    Well, I started looking and now I want to go to Borneo to see the wildlife..not sure how that will work with HKDL! I saw some great tours that climb up Mt Kinabalu and see wildlife that look really tempting on 'Adventure Life' https://www.adventure-life.com/borneo/tours/11152/borneo-hiking-wildlife-adventure ..
    That jungle part of that tour looks AMAZING. I ended up researching that jungle lodge and it is now firmly on the bucket list when I finally travel back to Sth East Asia. :thumbsup2

    I live within the Queenstown-Lakes District - a slice of the world I love. But the demand for housing is so high, building is a popular option.
     


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