I just don't know what to expect! Vegas, LA and Disneyland TR - UPDATED 8 AUGUST 2013

izzie-wizzie

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2009

Hi there and welcome to my trip report!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Izzie, I’m 24 and I am a liiitttlee bit of an obsessive planner. :rolleyes: I’m an events organiser by day, Disney trip planner by night…although this trip was not exclusively Disney… but much, much more on the trip coming up!!



Joining me on this amazing trip, is my amazing fiancé, Scott. He is awesome in every way and always makes me smile. We have been together for 6 fantastic years. We are getting married in March and I. AM. SO. EXCITED!!! YAY for Wedding Planning!!



I love all things Disney related, as I am sitting typing this trip report, I think it would be difficult to find a space in my flat that doesn’t have at least one reference to Disney – I clearly like to be surrounded by my Disney! If something’s Mickey shaped – consider me sold!!

This is my third trip report – however my first trip report outwith Disney World. In April 2013 Scott and I embarked on an adventure to West Coast America – visiting Las Vegas, Hollywood and Disneyland!

We had been talking about taking this trip for so long – but it just seemed a bit daunting for a variety of different reasons, but after lots of hours planning and pulling things together – it all seemed a bit more doable and we booked our flights in September 2012.

Every day of this trip was so different and new – which kind of brings me to explain the title of the report – it turned into a running joke through the whole holiday that me and Scott would say to each other “I just don’t know what to expect!!!” at the start of each day or before we went somewhere.

I’ve never been on a trip before where each day was so different from the last – which was tiring but I’m so glad we got to see so much different things and make the most of our time over there!

Without further ado I will start with the report.......
 

izzie-wizzie

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2009

Contents

Saturday 6 April 2013 Getting to Las Vegas - part one part two
Sunday 7 April 2013 Las Vegas part one part two
Monday 8 April 2013 Las Vegas - part one part two
Tuesday 9 April 2013 Las Vegas part one part two
Wednesday 10 April 2013 Vegas to Hollywood part one part two
Thursday 11 April 2013 - Hollywood - part one part two
Friday 12 April 2013 - Hollywood - part one
Saturday 13 April 2013 - Hollywood
Sunday 14 April 2013 Hollywood to Disneyland
Monday 15 April 2013 - Disneyland
Tuesday 16 April 2013 The Big Bang Theory
Wednesday 17 April 2013 - Disneyland
Thursday 18 April 2013 - Disneyland
Friday 19 April 2013 - Disneyland
Saturday 20 April 2013 Journey Home :(
 

izzie-wizzie

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2009
Day 1 - Getting to Las Vegas

EEEEEEE!! Just thinking about that excited feeling when you wake up the day you go on holiday makes me smile!

However, as if going on holiday that day wasn’t exciting enough – I was meeting my mum before she drove us to the airport to pay the deposit on my wedding dress!! I had found ‘the dress’ the weekend before the trip after two weekends of dress shopping. The dress was in a bridal shop within a 5 minute walk of my flat too which was very handy.

So Scott and I woke up about 8.00am and had a big mug of tasty tea – out of Disney mugs of course (only back home in the UK can you get a tasty cup of tea!) and some bacon and eggs before getting ready and putting the last couple of things in the suitcase.

My mum came round at about 9.00am and Scott loaded up the car with our suitcases as my mum and I went to the bridal shop. We were only there about 10 minutes whilst they took my measurements and I let them know some of the preferences about the dress – I had already made up my mind about the dress so I didn’t need to try it on again.

Sidenote – my dress should arrive in the shop in August – can’t wait to try it on when it’s in my size etc!!

So after an already exciting morning, we jumped in the car and headed to Aberdeen Airport, which is about a 15 minute drive on a Saturday morning when there is hardly any traffic.

After some hugs goodbye, Scott and I mosied on into the airport, checked in our luggage (which would go all the way to Vegas) and went through security all within 10 minutes – the joy of Aberdeen Airport being so small!

We sat in the bar, and Scott ordered a pint of beer but I didn’t have anything as I was simply to excited – we started taking some holiday snaps here too!



I logged on to the free wi-fi and whilst we waited for our flight we made some bets for the Grand National that was taking place that afternoon





We then had time for one more picture before we boarded our first flight, which was from Aberdeen to London Heathrow.



The journey itself was uneventful – all on time and we were in the air just over an hour. I had a cup of tea and a cookie and scott had a vodka and coke and a packet of crisps.

We then landed in Heathrow T5 and I dragged Scott around a few shops - we started in Ted Baker where I found quite a few lovely things I was tempted by, but I resisted. We then went to Boots to pick up a couple of bits and bobs and WH Smith to pick up some magazines.

We then entered the main cosmetics / fragrance duty free shop as I wanted to pick up a new foundation and eye make up as the one I use day-to-day would have been quite heavy for being on holiday. I went to Bobbi Brown and got a compact foundation and some cream eye shadow – I was tempted by the black gel eyeliner as I have never tried a gel eyeliner before but actually really liked it. I went back to boots to pick up the Maybelline gel eyeliner as it was a bit more affordable!

I was done shopping by this point, and Scott wanted to go and look at some of the alcohol offerings and to see if we could sample some as there were quite a lot of sample booths out that day. Sure enough, we were able to sample quite a lot of different things – our joint favourite being the Jack Daniels Honey – we were tempted to buy a bottle but decided against it as we didn’t want the hassle of carrying it around with us and said that we would look for it when we were in America.

Suitably warmed up, we were ready for a proper drink and some lunch – after some consideration we decided to go to Hoxtons…bad move!!

I tried to order a kir royale (it was on their menu) but they couldn’t do it, I then tried a bellini (again, on their menu) – but they couldn’t do that either. I opted just for plain prosecco which they could do – and of course it was tasty. Scott opted for a Guiness.



We then ordered our lunch – prawn sandwich for me and beef sandwich for Scott. They brought out our sandwiches but brought the wrong sandwich for Scott, and took them about 10 minutes to bring his right one out. My sandwich was really not that good – there was barely any prawns in my sandwich and is was really dry. Scotts sandwich was better, but again needed more beef and something to make it a bit less dry (he added ketchup which was a good shout!).





After asking three times for our bill we were out of there – it wasn’t cheap either and I really wouldn’t recommend it – luckily it was one of the only bad dining experiences of the trip and were in such high sprits anyway that it didn’t dampen our mood – we just laughed it off.

It was soon time to get the little train across to our gate and then soon enough we were boarding our plane!!

We settled down for our journey and before we knew it were up in the sky en route to Vegas!!

They came around with drinks first, and I had a gin and tonic and then our meal was a pasta salad, chicken curry and chocolate and caramel mousse. The mousse was amazing!! I had a white wine with the meal.



I then settled to watch the in-flight entertainment – an episode of modern family that was shot in Disneyland (which was hilarious), an episode of Miranda which is something I hadn’t seen before and I settled down and watched Les Miserables. I enjoyed the movie – although since I have gotten home I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack and I am now desperate to see it in theatre in London!!

I watched about the first 20 minutes of Silver Linings Playbook but couldn’t get into it.

Other than that I napped on-and-off and read some magazines and every now and then I opened the window to look outside – and WOW! Some of the sights were incredible!! We flew over Greenland and the snow scenery was amazing – I tried to take photos but it doesn’t even do it a little bit of justice. I was in awe!



Before I knew it they were round offering us afternoon tea – a sandwich and a scone which was lovely! I do love a scone :) and after this was all cleared up we started our decent for landing in Las Vegas!!!
 
  • tink too

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2005
    :wave2: Hiya - gotta love Aberdeen airport - it's about a 45 minute drive for us.

    Great start to your TR. Congratulations on finding your perfect dress, too.
     

    Chilly

    RIP Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2006
    Boo to rubbish airport food but yeah to free alcohol samples. Looking forward to hearing more.
     
  • izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    :wave2: Hiya - gotta love Aberdeen airport - it's about a 45 minute drive for us.

    Great start to your TR. Congratulations on finding your perfect dress, too.
    Thank You - the hustle and bustle of Aberdeen Airport, whats not to love :lmao:

    Loving your report! :goodvibes

    Can't wait to read more :thumbsup2
    Thank you :goodvibes

    Hey I was hoping you'd do a TR! Looking forward to reading more :-)
    Steffi xx
    Can't wait to write more, I have been meaning to start the TR since I got back, but had that crazy busy time at work the past couple of weeks which makes you wonder if it was worth taking time off in the first place!!
     

    gemmybear83

    <font color=royalblue>I would blame it all on Bob<
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2007
    Yeahy glad you have started!

    Mental note to myself to not go to Hoxtons when were in terminal 5!
     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009

    Day One - Part Two

    As we were landing in Las Vegas – we could really appreciate what people are talking about when they said that you can see the strip from the airport - it all looks so close! It was good to have seen that perspective as I think for us, we had to see it to appreciate it.

    We kept pointing out all the hotels that we recognised which was good fun and we found it quite amazing how compact / close together everything looked – you could see the whole strip from some angles (Mandalay Bay right up to Stratosphere) – it’s a bit of an optical illusion though as it’s a good few miles from one end of the strip to the other… we really should have remembered this on day four of our trip – more on that joy later!

    We left the plane, and I had really wished at that point I had taken flight socks as my feet were really swollen with the long journey. I’d never had that issue before – but definitely on long journeys in the future I will look super fashionable and flight-sock-it-up and probably wear flip flops too. Although my feet weren’t sore, it did feel a bit odd and I’d rather not have that issue again.

    Anyway – we had about a 15-20 minute wait at security and were straight through to bag collection where we found our cases really quickly. Another little wait through customs and we were in the arrivals part of Las Vegas airport… which was just a normal airport – didn’t spot any slot machines just yet! We jumped in a taxi straight away and it was about a ten minute drive to our hotel – the drive was quite uneventful, I was kind of hoping to drive up the strip but we only crossed over the strip to get to the hotel – no worries as we would be driving on the strip plenty in the next few days. I think it was about $25 for a taxi – which wasn’t too bad, and was really convenient rather than worry about booking / finding a shuttle bus after a long journey.

    We arrived at our hotel – the Planet Hollywood Hotel at about 8/9pm on Saturday evening. What an amazing hotel! If I were to go back to Vegas I would happily book this hotel again.

    The hotel highlights from our experience were:

    - Reasonably Priced
    - VERY central
    - Our view in the second room
    - The huge bathroom
    - Comfy Beds
    - Lots of TV channels
    - No issues with housekeeping
    - One of our favourite casinos
    - The elevators
    - Earl of Sandwich on location (!)

    As we got out of our taxi and went into the hotel, there was music playing and such a hive of activity – which was such a great ‘Vegas’ vibe and unlike any other hotel I have been to before, where reception is usually a chilled out zone. We checked in and unfortunately there was not a king bed room available, which is what we had reserved – just a 2 x queen bed room. However, they had said if we go talk to them the next day they would switch us (which they did – and we ended up getting a strip view, so no complaints from us!).

    Check – In complete, we went in search of our room and had our first experience with the elevators which blasted music, it was like a mini party in an elevator!!

    As we left our elevator-party, we went into our room. I headed in first to scope it out, the room was still pretty dark, and…no kidding… I screamed and ran back towards the door!! One of the ‘quirks’ of the Planet Hollywood Hotel is that in each room there is some movie memorabilia. Well the memorabilia for this room was a costume from a movie – that was on a massive life-sized figure, in a lit up glass case. It scared the life out of me!! Luckily we found an off switch for the light, and also I was quite glad we were only in that room one night as it freaked me out!! Scott found the whole thing hilarious! :rotfl:







    We chilled out for about 20 minutes and freshened up – Big Bang Theory was on TV and by complete coincidence it was the episode where Leonard, Howard and Raj go to Vegas!

    We then got organised and went for a walk around the hotel – in search of our first Earl of Sandwich!! My Hawaiin BBQ Earl was calling!

    Having not been in Vegas before we didn’t realise that shops and restaurants are located either in the casino or you have to walk through the casino to get there – so you end up being ‘forced’ to walk through casinos all of the time rather than just deciding to visit the casino. There is no escaping it (not that it was a bad thing - I loved the atmosphere!)

    So as we got back to the reception we saw the escalator that said “to the casino” and we were a bit nervous as to whether we should go that way to find Mr Earl of Sandwich – but we went ahead and were blown away by it! The casino was huge… I know that’s an obvious thing to say about Vegas but it was just mind-bogglingly big - it was very easy to get lost – and we did get lost … several times!!



    After a little wonder around the casino and the miracle mile mall, we found Earl of Sandwich *angels singing* !!



    As it was getting late, and neither of us were too hungry, we split our favourite – Hawaain BBQ and it did not disappoint – Earl never disappoints. We also picked up a brownie to take back to the room, which ended up being our healthy breakfast the next day!





    After a bit more of a wonder, we called it a night – even although we were buzzing on adrenaline having arrived on holiday and thinking about the hive of activity just downstairs (although the rooms were all really quiet). However, it had been a long day and we wanted to try and get a decent sleep as we had an early start the following day…
     
  • Chilly

    RIP Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2006
    We stayed there in 2011 and liked it for the same reasons although we didn't get a good view.
     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    We stayed there in 2011 and liked it for the same reasons although we didn't get a good view.
    We were so lucky to get the strip view - and whilst it was cool, I would grudge paying the premium considering you don't spend that much time in your room.
     

    Tinkerbell1989

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 17, 2010
    Definately jealous! Considering we only got engaged 4 days ago, we are already considering a west coast trip for our honeymoon! You are making it more and more likely!!

    Xx
     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Definately jealous! Considering we only got engaged 4 days ago, we are already considering a west coast trip for our honeymoon! You are making it more and more likely!!

    Xx
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! That is lovely news! :thumbsup2

    I would totally recommend a West Coast honeymoon!!
     

    Tinkerbell1989

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 17, 2010
    izzie-wizzie said:
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! That is lovely news! :thumbsup2

    I would totally recommend a West Coast honeymoon!!
    Thankyou hun, thats so kind :-)
    I will be subbing to find out more!
     

    izzie-wizzie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009

    Day Two – Part One

    Frustratingly, neither Scott or I had a good sleep at all the first night, our bodies took their time adjusting to the time difference. At about 3.30am we were both wide awake and had given up trying to sleep so watched some television – there was a channel similar to “Staceys Must Do’s” (but obviously nowhere near as awesome!!) that had highlights of Vegas etc which was fun to watch knowing it was all just outside of our hotel!

    We managed to get about an hour of sleep again before our alarm went off. We were up bright and early as I had pre-booked us a day trip to go zip-lining at Bootleg Canyon, followed by a visit to Hoover Dam. I pre-booked the tour online with “Grand Canyon Tour and Travel”.

    As we got ready, we shared the Earl of Sandwich Brownie (it was sooo sweet) – we also went in by the Starbucks in the hotel and Scott grabbed a chilled coffee and we got a Cheese Danish to split on the coach.

    We weren’t quite sure where our coach was picking us up - the valet told us to stand in this really quiet spot, and after a while – the coach had still not turned up. We eventually realised that if we walked up a bit further from where we were waiting, the tour company actually had a reception desk!

    Fortunately, the coach was running late anyway so we hadn’t missed it.

    Here’s a pic of Scott waiting:



    The minibus was really nice – we were the last pick-up and there were maybe about 16 people already on board. On every chair there was a little bag with a book about the Hoover Dam, a cheap little coin purse and some snacks which was a nice touch.

    We were the only two on the bus who were going to the zip-line and were dropped off at the zip-line centre first and the rest of the passengers were to go straight to the Hoover Dam to do the Power Plant Tour.

    The coach driver checked us in with the zip-line centre and took our orders for lunch (sandwiches and drinks). We only had to wait at the centre for about 15 minutes before we were ready to go – during which time we filled out our waiver forms. We were joining a family of four on the zip-line tour.

    Soon enough, we went through to the next room for our safety lesson and got all kitted out in our harness and shown how to hold on / what to do and not to do / and how to slow down. I had never zip-lined before and I didn’t realise we would be responsible for our own breaking – that seemed like a lot of responsibility and pressure!!!!

    We then went into another little bus for about a 10 minute drive up the canyon which was quite steep at times! Not one for the faint-hearted and scared of heights...although zip-lining off a canyon if your scared of heights is probably not the best thing either! Once out of the bus, we had about a 15 minute hike even higher up the canyon – although I’m not a fan of hiking, it was quite nice to be out stretching my legs and in the sun, especially after being all cooped up in an airplane the previous day.

    Me and Scott all ready to go:





    The views:





    It was finally time for us to go on our first zipline!! There were four zip-line runs in total. The first run has the biggest drop – plunging 450 ft in the first 15 seconds!

    I was totally not nervous at all, and felt very secure and safe the whole time as the two guys who were out with us seemed to really know what they were doing.

    Although I wasn’t nervous – about half way down the first zip-line… I got nervous! I was not prepared for how fast it would be going down – I imagined it would be quite serene and peaceful (a bit like parasailing) – but it was sooo fast and such a thrill! I loved it!

    A picture of the first ‘run’



    We went down the next zipline which seemed an even bigger drop below!! And the third run is just shy of half a mile in length – we were on it for ages! The final run was the shortest but the fastest.

    In total – the zip-lining experienced lasted about two and a half hours, it was such a fun, adrenaline filled morning! The scenery was amazing too – I mean look at the red rocks!



    A picture taken at the end to prove we survived!! Check out the helmets!



    When we got back to the main zip-lining centre, we picked up our bag which was kept in a locker and the minibus was already waiting for us to drive us over to the Hoover Dam.

    As we boarded the minibus, the driver gave us our turkey sandwiches – which came with a really tasty potato salad, crisps and a freezing cold can of diet coke – NUMMMM! I tried to take a picture but we were on a bus….!



    We wolfed this down as we were both very hungry after our action packed morning.

    We soon arrived at Hoover Dam and were dropped off at the car park where the bypass bridge is and were given about 30 minutes there before the minibus would pick us back up.

    We went along and saw the Hoover Dam. It was really cool to see – after all it featured in The Transformers Movie haha! Obviously it was amazing how big it was too and I’m glad that we have seen such an iconic landmark. Although, for us the 30 minutes was plenty of time, and I think any longer that that I would have been bored – although I know for some people they could easily spend hours here walking all the way around.





    Touristy time done, we boarded the minibus for our journey back to Las Vegas.

    On the way back to our hotel, the minibus stopped at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign for us to get our pics there – this wasn’t actually advertised in the tour but im so so glad they did that as I completely underestimated just how far south the sign is, even from the Mandalay Bay – so I’m glad we got the opportunity to get our pictures here without any stress of how to get there!





    Overall – I’m really glad we booked the tour, it made everything very easy for us.

    Back in the hotel, we spoke with reception about getting our room switched and we were given a king bed room with a strip view!! The new room had a big deep window-sill so we were able to sit and look outside. You could see all of the south strip and it faced directly on to the Cosmopolitan. You could see the Bellagio but there was a building that meant you couldn’t watch the fountain show.





    All happy with our room, we decided we had time to go out for a well deserved drink before we got ready for the evening…
     

    Chilly

    RIP Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2006
    Been to Vegas twice but never made it to the Welcome sign.

    Great view although shame you couldn't see the fountains.
     

    tink too

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2005
    Great updates - glad you enjoyed ziplining, we tried it in Mexico a few years ago and loved it! My DH really wants to zipline on our summer trip too, and we thought about just doing the one on Fremont Street, but looks like Bootleg Canyon may be a nice option as well.

    Glad you got to move to the room type you really wanted, too. :thumbsup2
     

    Linda67

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2009
    Sorry I am late!

    Just popping in to say hello and now I am going to go back and read

    Looking forward to it :banana:
     


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