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Old 01-09-2013, 01:57 AM   #601
WanderlustNZ
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Originally Posted by sarefromoz
Hi an I join too?

We're leaving Melbourne on the 28th August for Vancouver. We have 9 days in Canada (going to Whistler and Victoria too) before flying to Vegas for 6 nights. we're then driving to the Grand Canyon (2 nights), driving to San Diego for 5 nights (with a stopover somewhere). Then we drive to Anaheim on the 22nd of Sept for 8 nights. It'll be me, dh, dd8 (who turns 9 while we are at Anaheim...she's so excited about a Disneyland birthday), dd6 and ds4.

We're almost all planned and booked. We booked our flights early Nov with Qantas. We got flights for $6500 for the 5 of us. We budgeted $7500, so when we saw that sale we went booked it straight away. We fly MEL-LAX-YVR and then LAX - MEL. We haven't looked into seat allocations yet though. I think that you have to pay for them with Qantas. I do know that we are flying to/from LA on the A380.

We went on a booking frenzy a few weeks ago and have booked all of our accommodation except for a night in Vancouver (we want to stay near the airport for an early flight to Las Vegas the next morning) and San Diego. Still got lots to organise, but I can't wait.
Welcome :-)

What a great trip you've got planned. It sounds like you're very organised and have all your bookings well under way.

I was itching to book something before, so done the slightly more practical thing and paid a bit more off my cruise. Not as exciting as getting an email with a new thing booked.

I just discovered that my ADR's open up over Easter. I already know how I'll be spending my long weeked.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:34 AM   #602
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It'll be me, dh, dd8 (who turns 9 while we are at Anaheim...she's so excited about a Disneyland birthday),
My son had his 8th birthday at Disneyland in 2011 and loved it.
The hotel gave him a gift bag, we did Minnie and Friends for breakfast and he loved everyone saying Happy Birthday all day due to his birthday badge.
What lucky kids to go to Disneyland, let alone spend a birthday there
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:33 AM   #603
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So now I'm thinking we might spend a night at LAX before driving to Vegas. Our flight gets in around 1pm and the original plan was to drive straight to Vegas. Now I'm thinking we should rest up before heading off on the drive. Several reasons...this might allow us to go shopping for a car seat or two for the hire car, we don't know how much sleep we will get on the flight and it will be Friday arvo/evening and I imagine the roads to Vegas might be busy. What do you think?
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:45 AM   #604
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Originally Posted by sarefromoz View Post
Hi an I join too?

We're leaving Melbourne on the 28th August for Vancouver. We have 9 days in Canada (going to Whistler and Victoria too) before flying to Vegas for 6 nights. we're then driving to the Grand Canyon (2 nights), driving to San Diego for 5 nights (with a stopover somewhere). Then we drive to Anaheim on the 22nd of Sept for 8 nights. It'll be me, dh, dd8 (who turns 9 while we are at Anaheim...she's so excited about a Disneyland birthday), dd6 and ds4.

We're almost all planned and booked. We booked our flights early Nov with Qantas. We got flights for $6500 for the 5 of us. We budgeted $7500, so when we saw that sale we went booked it straight away. We fly MEL-LAX-YVR and then LAX - MEL. We haven't looked into seat allocations yet though. I think that you have to pay for them with Qantas. I do know that we are flying to/from LA on the A380.

We went on a booking frenzy a few weeks ago and have booked all of our accommodation except for a night in Vancouver (we want to stay near the airport for an early flight to Las Vegas the next morning) and San Diego. Still got lots to organise, but I can't wait.

Welcome!

DS is also celebrating his birthday (7th) while we are in Disneyland, and celebrated his 5th when we were there in 2011. I'm sure your DD will have a blast and will feel very special!

You got good flight prices, for booking so early - well done!

By the way, do I know you? Your children's ages (and your username) sound very familiar


Today my travel agent told me that she has confirmed Hojos and The Signature in Las Vegas for us, so now the only hotel outstanding is in San Francisco. The best price she can get for the Courtyard by Marriott in San Fran downtown is over $250 more than what I can get it for directly through the hotel (this is only for 3 nights so is $85 more expensive per night!). I don't understand why?
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:50 AM   #605
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Originally Posted by aussie shaz View Post
My son had his 8th birthday at Disneyland in 2011 and loved it.
The hotel gave him a gift bag, we did Minnie and Friends for breakfast and he loved everyone saying Happy Birthday all day due to his birthday badge.
What lucky kids to go to Disneyland, let alone spend a birthday there
We did the Minnie and Friends breakfast for DS 5th birthday - he had so much fun! His favourite characters are now Chip and Dale because they were doing fart jokes with him (typical boy - this was his highlight which he still talks about to this day!) This time we are going to do the Surf's Up breakfast, and maybe Goofy's Kitchen for dinner (although my friend who we are travelling with, it's her birthday too, and she isn't so keen on these character meals!)
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:11 AM   #606
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Originally Posted by Kristin5


Today my travel agent told me that she has confirmed Hojos and The Signature in Las Vegas for us, so now the only hotel outstanding is in San Francisco. The best price she can get for the Courtyard by Marriott in San Fran downtown is over $250 more than what I can get it for directly through the hotel (this is only for 3 nights so is $85 more expensive per night!). I don't understand why?
Yay for the confirmations!

I just looked at prices for the Courtyard by Marriott at LAX and the cheapest price by $30+ dollars is the direct website. Weird!
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:27 AM   #607
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So now I'm thinking we might spend a night at LAX before driving to Vegas. Our flight gets in around 1pm and the original plan was to drive straight to Vegas. Now I'm thinking we should rest up before heading off on the drive. Several reasons...this might allow us to go shopping for a car seat or two for the hire car, we don't know how much sleep we will get on the flight and it will be Friday arvo/evening and I imagine the roads to Vegas might be busy. What do you think?
How are you usually after a long flight? Do you sleep on the plane?

I don't sleep on the plane but I am also fine after a flight, I just keep on going til bedtime (though do admit to usually sleeping in on the first morning ).

So, if it was me, I'd still do the drive to Vegas - means you get extra time in Vegas, rather than wasting time in LA, and it is a fairly straight, easy drive to Vegas (from memory). Also, where would you go to buy the car seats? I would find it worse trying to navigate around LA (looking for shops) after a big flight than heading out of LA on the freeway/highways to Vegas!

We have just booked the car seat with the car hire - much easier and cheaper, but then we only need it for that one day, so of course it makes sense for us.

But if you know you get affected by jet lag, it is probably safer to stay put at LAX and leave the following morning.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:55 AM   #608
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Originally Posted by 5ofus View Post
So now I'm thinking we might spend a night at LAX before driving to Vegas. Our flight gets in around 1pm and the original plan was to drive straight to Vegas. Now I'm thinking we should rest up before heading off on the drive. Several reasons...this might allow us to go shopping for a car seat or two for the hire car, we don't know how much sleep we will get on the flight and it will be Friday arvo/evening and I imagine the roads to Vegas might be busy. What do you think?
I think that if it takes awhile to get through customs you will be to tired to drive to Vegas and you have to get the car. You could book a hotel on the outskirts of
LA towards Vegas so you didn't have to contend with traffic in the morning. Otherwise I like the shopping for car seats then leaving in the morning we usually find for the first couple of mornings we are down to breakfast as soon as it is open and starting our day.


My eyes have just caught the Firday they reckon it's bumper to bumper it was bad enough driving back on Monday morning we stayed an extra night to avoid the traffic an it was still really heavy compared to the first time we went
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:56 AM   #609
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Originally Posted by 5ofus View Post
we don't know how much sleep we will get on the flight and it will be Friday arvo/evening and I imagine the roads to Vegas might be busy.
Apparently the worst time to drive to Vegas is Friday Arvo/night, and the worst time to drive back to LA is Sunday Arvo/night. Lots of people drive to Las Vegas for the weekend.

Don't know how to multi quote but Kristin we are looking to do Minnie again because we saw so many characters and our friends are coming for their first trip to Disneyland. I wanted to do another one too, but thought dinner would be more economical seeing we would have to buy dinner anyway. That only left Goofys. I'm really not sure about it though.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:15 AM   #610
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Don't know how to multi quote but Kristin we are looking to do Minnie again because we saw so many characters and our friends are coming for their first trip to Disneyland. I wanted to do another one too, but thought dinner would be more economical seeing we would have to buy dinner anyway. That only left Goofys. I'm really not sure about it though.
Lol, I don't know how to multi quote either! Hence I just do separate posts!

Minnie's was a great breakfast! DH enjoyed the food (which is unusual in itself! DS on the other hand was way too busy meeting all the characters, and dancing with Minnie, to eat much!), and there were heaps of characters.

Originally we were going to stay at PPH, which is why we chose the Surf's Up breakfast. But I figure that GCH (which is where we will be now) is just across the road, so we will still do that breakfast (reviews I have read are quite positive, and it'd be a bonus if Daisy was there - she is difficult to meet! Actually, a little story about Daisy...DS was disappointed that he didn't get to meet Daisy on our previous visit, and kept asking for her at the Minnie breakfast, which was at the end of our trip, so the CM at the breakfast told him she would take his autograph book to Daisy, who was away putting on her makeup apparently and see if she would sign it for him - DS was ecstatic when his autograph book came back with Daisy's signature!)

Goofy's kitchen gets good reviews too, I think? Maybe it is better for breakfast though, than for dinner? We have chosen to have dinner there for the same reason as you - we figure we have to eat a decent dinner meal anyway, so we might as well do that character meal for dinner (rather than 2 breakfasts), And i don't think the are many other, if any, character dinner options? I don't think it's as "character-filled" anyway, which I think my friend (and her teenage children) will appreciate!
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:35 AM   #611
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HoJos daily deal today is for 25% off all room bookings for 2013 that are longer than 4 nights. Code is SR6!
Jan '14 before MLK day is what we are looking for and they don't go that far
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:58 AM   #612
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Thanks for the warm welcome. Looking forward to sharing the planning excitement of the next few months with you all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie shaz View Post
My son had his 8th birthday at Disneyland in 2011 and loved it.
The hotel gave him a gift bag, we did Minnie and Friends for breakfast and he loved everyone saying Happy Birthday all day due to his birthday badge.
What lucky kids to go to Disneyland, let alone spend a birthday there
I am hoping to book dd in for the birthday party cake decorating thing that they have at the Plaza Inn. I agree though, the kids are so lucky that get to go to Disneyland. My 6yr old can't understand why her older sister gets to spend her birthday there and she doesn't (hers is only a few weeks after we arrive home).

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Originally Posted by 5ofus View Post
So now I'm thinking we might spend a night at LAX before driving to Vegas. Our flight gets in around 1pm and the original plan was to drive straight to Vegas. Now I'm thinking we should rest up before heading off on the drive. Several reasons...this might allow us to go shopping for a car seat or two for the hire car, we don't know how much sleep we will get on the flight and it will be Friday arvo/evening and I imagine the roads to Vegas might be busy. What do you think?
I personally would be inclined to do the stopover, just because I know how tired I was after our last US trip. I guess like the others say, it just depends how you pull up after a long flight.

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By the way, do I know you? Your children's ages (and your username) sound very familiar
I have a feeling that I do know you...from Bubhub if you're the person that I am thinking. What a small world if it is you!!!

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Originally Posted by Kristin5 View Post
We did the Minnie and Friends breakfast for DS 5th birthday - he had so much fun! His favourite characters are now Chip and Dale because they were doing fart jokes with him (typical boy - this was his highlight which he still talks about to this day!) This time we are going to do the Surf's Up breakfast, and maybe Goofy's Kitchen for dinner (although my friend who we are travelling with, it's her birthday too, and she isn't so keen on these character meals!)
I can't wait to organise the character meals. No idea which ones to do though. I have a feeling that my girls may desperately want to do a princess one, but ds wouldn't enjoy that at all. Decisions, decisions

I have spent tonight trying to find a hotel near vancouver airport that will allow the 5 of us stay in one room, just for the night before we fly to Vegas. No luck. Dh is going to call a few directly and see what he can arrange. Trying to organise accommodation for the 5 of us has been a pain!
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:13 AM   #613
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I have a feeling that I do know you...from Bubhub if you're the person that I am thinking. What a small world if it is you!!!

I can't wait to organise the character meals. No idea which ones to do though. I have a feeling that my girls may desperately want to do a princess one, but ds wouldn't enjoy that at all. Decisions, decisions
Ha! So funny! I noticed your post earlier today on the main board and was telling DH tonight that someone from Australia would be at Hojos at the same time as us. He asked where you were from? But I didn't know, I hadn't looked that closely other than to see your username said "from oz". I still didn't click in this thread either until someone called you Sare, and that made me pause, then re read your post, and realised that the ages of your kids all matched up! Nice coincidence! I assume all is going well with you guys?!

Maybe you could do a general character breakfast, such as Minnie's, but the girls could do the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique later? I think there is some pirate thing for boys too but haven't looked into it.

I don't know anything about accom in Vancouver unfortunately - and hadn't realised it was so hard to get a room to take 5. ETA, I just had a look and found this - a bit pricey but they have a 2br suite plus sofa bed http://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/e...tr/hoteldetail
I also found this list on Expedia (obviously I don't know your exact dates, but took a guess ) http://www.expedia.com.au/Hotel-Sear...=1357738178634
The first 1 I checked had 2 queens plus a rollaway, so I imagine most of them would be like that.

(Can you tell I am having trouble sleeping? Lol)
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:31 AM   #614
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It really is a small world. Too funny that it's even the same accomodation. We deliberated for ages about where to stay, we were going to say at the Doubletree Suites, but a friend from work said that she'd stayed at hojos and said that it was a great place for families and so close to disneyland, so that sealed the deal...oh and the fact that once the kids saw pictures of the water park, they didn't want to stay anywhere else.

All is good with us...kids are growing way too fast. E is just about to head into Grade 3 and L into Grade 1. Hope that all is well for you guys too.

We have a room in downtown vancouver for our 4 days at the start of the trip, but then we're catching the Rocky Mountaineer to Whistler, where we're staying for 3 days before catching the ferry to vancouver island for 3 days...we only want someone close to the airport for convenience, but if worst comes to worst, we could always stay downtown again.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:38 AM   #615
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I don't know anything about accom in Vancouver unfortunately - and hadn't realised it was so hard to get a room to take 5. ETA, I just had a look and found this - a bit pricey but they have a 2br suite plus sofa bed
The first 1 I checked had 2 queens plus a rollaway, so I imagine most of them would be like that.

(Can you tell I am having trouble sleeping? Lol)
Thanks for that. Funny I had a look at the Holiday Inn express place earlier and they came up with the standard your preferences exceed the room occupancy allowed. . I hope dh has more luck when he skypes a few that I have short listed for him

I wonder why I had so much trouble? I didn't check expedia (usually do) but I did use trip advisor.

I'm with you on the trouble sleeping...my body clock has totally shifted since school holidays started, I better get myself back into some routine before I have to go back to work at the end of Jan.

ETA... I just went to the website of one of the hotels listed (executive airport plaza) and it doesn't allow you to select 3 children as an option even though expedia showed it as an option. This will do my head in. Canada seems to be a lot more difficult to organise for a family of 5 than the US...thank goodness most of our trip will be spent in the US.

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