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Old 03-02-2014, 07:41 PM   #1
DenaRox
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Smile That's a lot of FIRSTS for this Disneyland noob! *Oct 2014 PTR*





A trip of firsts....
---> 1st PTR
---> 1st time using Air Miles for flights
---> 1st Disneyland trip
---> 1st mother/daughter trip
---> 1st Disney Halloween trip
---> 1st Disney Tour

Being as this is my first ever Pre-Trip plan I have no idea what I am doing or what kind of stuff people actually care to see/want to follow along. The fact that I love to talk, babble, type away is either going to be a blessing or a curse lol. My main desire for starting this PTR is to have a place to keep all my DL stuff in one place and hopefully gain trip expertise from all of you who are much better at this than me Please feel free to share your wisdom and please bear with me as I am sure this will be a hot mess of confusing, panicked, borderline manic yet totally entertaining posts.


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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)

Last edited by DenaRox; 04-14-2014 at 07:11 PM. Reason: New home, new title
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:42 PM   #2
DenaRox
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Thumbs up Index!!!

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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)

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Old 03-02-2014, 11:27 PM   #3
DenaRox
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Early planning - Sssshhhhh!!! it's a surprise!!!

years ago, before my DD had been to Disney she mentioned how she would love to be surprised with a trip. She told me all about how wonderful it would be to be sitting at school and suddenly I was there whisking her away to the airport making her the happiest girl in the world. I have never forgot that conversation. I wanted so badly to pull it off for her first Disney trip but sadly it was not possible being as we went over christmas holidays. I couldn't even keep the trip a surprise because my dear mother let it slip when we initially made the reservations I am going to do my very best to keep this trip a secret and pull off her dream surprise. I have already told dear mother and she is all hush hush. I am not sure if I can pull off an 8 month secret but I will give it a go. Thankfully my daughter knows how Disney crazy I am and that it is not uncommon for the littlest things to give me Disney fever and off to the computer I will go to satisfy my desire by planning trips with no intention of booking ( is that odd?? I really do it quite often lol). That will be a life saver for those times I get busted on the computer planning away so keep your fingers crossed for me please and thanks!

Trip ideas - travel October 2014, sometime in the last two weeks to take part in the Halloween festivities - stay at BWPPI ( was thinking HOJO but DD wouldn't be head over heels for the water area and I prefer the BW location being just us two gals) - purchase the happiest haunts tour/ultimate experience - hopefully find a way to visit a beach/ocean - do a bit of touring about. Maybe the zoo or sightseeing

So excited. I really love planning vacations and this one is so much more exciting because it is a SURPRISE!
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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)

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Old 03-08-2014, 10:02 PM   #4
DenaRox
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Step one: Park tickets...CHECK

The option I was positive was my best option.

orbitz has 4day PK hopper for price of 3 day = $520
Use 5050 airmiles plus $455 for flight taxes
For a total of $975 plus whatever hotel we decide on.

I was all ready to book my airmiles flights and purchase the orbitz deal when it hit me. I am doing it all backwards. Flights through airmiles is a good idea during more expensive flight periods but flights during October are about as cheap as they ever get. So I did some more researching and came up with a new and much improved plan

Use 4700 airmiles for 5 day park hopper tickets
Flights = $787 ( cheaper possibly through or orbitz, I just used expedia for a price reference)

So I have used LESS airmiles to purchase longer park tickets and will book flights ASAP. Then just need to make up my mind 100% on hotel

Yay me. Good day. Step one complete.
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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:45 PM   #5
DenaRox
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Thumbs up Step Two... Flights CHECK

OMG!!! I have done it! I just bit the bullet and booked our flights! No backing out now, We ARE going to
DISNEYLAND!!!

I have been getting daily flight price checks for about the last 12 months or so. The current prices are as low as they have ever been, even lower than this time last year so i figured with the shady Canadian dollar and fears of it dropping in value even more, now would be a most excellent time to just do it. (just in case you were curious, the most expensive they have been was $716/person CAD on Sept 2013, cheapest was $383/person CAD on march 8 2014).

Because I wasn't tied down to any particular date other than October, i did some price comparisons and booked the cheapest combo. We are officially booked for October 22 - 29th 2014

How am I supposed to keep this wonderful news to myself?? I sooo want to tell my DD so we can jump and dance and plan together.... only 7 months, 1 week and 5 days to go lol!!

Thoughts:
  • pick a hotel
  • look into Cali tours
  • research MHP and the HH tour/Ultimate experience
  • research any dining we will want to book
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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:01 AM   #6
DenaRox
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Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground (HOJO)..
  • has really cool water/splash park but from the looks of the photo's it is more suitable for the 5 & under crowd. I think my then 12 year old will feel "too cool" for that kind of pool.
  • Has suites and all that jazz but it's just the two of us so we really only need a basic room.
  • Has a keurig.. ♥♥

Best Western Park Place Inn (BWPPI)
  • Location!!!!

These are the two i have considered. Will research and add more options as i find them. Brag up your Disneyland off site fav's please
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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)

Last edited by DenaRox; 03-12-2014 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:09 PM   #7
kimchey12
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Just wanted to say a quick hello. I'm from Saskatoon. Love hearing about your trip so far. What lucky girl you have. So exciting to plan a wonderful surprise. My son and I were on the Disney Fantasy in January so I'm needing a Disney fix so I'm going to live vicariously thur you lol. Good luck. Keep the secret.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:45 AM   #8
DenaRox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchey12 View Post
Just wanted to say a quick hello. I'm from Saskatoon. Love hearing about your trip so far. What lucky girl you have. So exciting to plan a wonderful surprise. My son and I were on the Disney Fantasy in January so I'm needing a Disney fix so I'm going to live vicariously thur you lol. Good luck. Keep the secret.
Hi!!!!

So happy to have you following along I will do my best to help with those Disney withdrawals and not bore anyone to sleep.
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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:12 AM   #9
DenaRox
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Change in flights

Received an email stating there were changes to our flights to Cali. The plane will now be leaving earlier. That is bad because it totally messes up my plan to surprise mini me at school and whisk her away just like she has always dreamed because now we will have to be at the airport before school even starts.

I was really bummed about it for a little bit but looking at the bright side, we will not have as much time sitting in connecting airport and therefore will arrive a lot earlier!! That is a definite yay!!! I can still keep the trip itself a surprise but will just tell her by waking her up bright and early. It will still be a video worth moment and a memory I do not want to miss.

Has anyone pulled off a surprise, we are leaving in an hour to Disney kind of thing?? So much to think about and decide a plan of action. Do I wake her, surprise her and tell her to pack and get ready we are leaving in an hour kind of thing or do I try and somehow sneak her clothing and what not into her bag. After she has gone to bed?? This is a spot where I would love input. Thoughts, personal experiences. What worked and what failed. Share your wisdom people

Off to try and get some sleep. Maybe I will dream the perfect solution lol
__________________

Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:36 PM   #10
DenaRox
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A new home...

So I recently realized that this pre-trip report was posted under the Disney world section of the forum. Oops. No wonder I wasn't getting any advice or help or even comments. I just thought I was extremely boring and lame. Makes much more sense to post it here, in the Disneyland section lol. So here it is, in its new home

Hopefully someone here will have some advise and words of been there, done that, wisdom to share with this Disneyland noob!! Please say I am not boring and lame like I thought lol
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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:12 AM   #11
DenaRox
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Thumbs up Step Three.. Hotel Booked... Check

I have been driving myself bonkers trying to pick out a hotel for our trip. Researching until i couldnt see straight but could not make a 100% pick. Like I mentioned before, the two main contenders were the HOJO and the BWPPI but believe me, there were many others that popped into 1st place momentarily. As much as I loved the look of HOJO, it's whole atmosphere screams holiday fun, I just could not get past the location of BWPPI. I know HOJO is not FAR, but this will be the 1st time I have ever travelled with my DD, just the 2 of us so the closer and quicker to our rooms the better.


We officially have our room booked at the Best Western Park Place Inn. Yay for officially having all major components of this trip booked!!

Who has stayed at BWPPI? Any room request advice or hotel tips in general??
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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:59 AM   #12
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Following along!! If it were me I would definitely try to pack her stuff up after she goes to sleep or after she goes to sleep several days prior than try to have her do it in a rush so hopefully nothing important gets forgot!! And then wake her up bright and early and say get dressed were going to Disneyland We are staying pretty close to where you are for our July trip we are staying at Park Vue Inn and I am sooo excited because it is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!! And it has free parking free wifi(not so important to me) and free apparently good breakfast!! My kiddo's know we are going this year to Disneyland but I am going to try to surprise them the day we leave also I have it planned out...sort of...I am going to send them to my mom's the morning we leave(we are driving from Missouri) get everything packed up wait for their dad to get home and get ready then go pick them up and let them know we are hitting the road. I will try to help you as much as I can (we have only been once) and look forward to your report....you can check out my first PTR also(it is in my signature)
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Pre Trip Report July 2014http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3237298
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Christmas 2012-1st Disneyland trip-hopefully many more to come

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Old 04-12-2014, 01:42 PM   #13
DenaRox
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Starting to think about dining reservations. Early I know lol. The only one I am 110% on is the surfs up breakfast. My daughter is the worlds biggest stitch fan. He is by far her favourite Disney character so to not dine with him would be crazy. We did the LILO and stitch breakfast at the Polynesian resort in WDW and it was amazing. Hoping for the same for this dining experience. Other than that I'm not sure of any other dining to book. Not sure we would want another character. DL is so different compared to WDW when it comes to dining because we don't drive. There was no options for dining outside of the parks/Disney busses so we were fully immersed and loved it. Not sure what DL dining will be like for us though with so many non Disney establishments so close by. So much to think about. Going to research restaurants.
Quote:
Originally Posted by luulu1999 View Post
Following along!! If it were me I would definitely try to pack her stuff up after she goes to sleep or after she goes to sleep several days prior than try to have her do it in a rush so hopefully nothing important gets forgot!! And then wake her up bright and early and say get dressed were going to Disneyland We are staying pretty close to where you are for our July trip we are staying at Park Vue Inn and I am sooo excited because it is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!! And it has free parking free wifi(not so important to me) and free apparently good breakfast!! My kiddo's know we are going this year to Disneyland but I am going to try to surprise them the day we leave also I have it planned out...sort of...I am going to send them to my mom's the morning we leave(we are driving from Missouri) get everything packed up wait for their dad to get home and get ready then go pick them up and let them know we are hitting the road. I will try to help you as much as I can (we have only been once) and look forward to your report....you can check out my first PTR also(it is in my signature)
Thank you for following along. Means a lot. This is awesome that you go in July, you will have loads of experience to share I am sure. I looked into the Park Vue as well but seeing as the prices were the same I went with BWPPI simply because it is a tiny bit closer but mostly because of best western points. I am still trying to figure the packing/surprise aspect. I really want to be able to do like you said, "wake up...we're going to Disney" just have to do it without arising ANY suspicions lol
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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:14 PM   #14
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Following along!

I just ordered 5 day PHs from Air Miles too. I agree that it's the best way to use miles because if you use miles for flights you still have to pay the fees and taxes. We'll be upgrading our free parkhoppers to APs since it's like a BOGO type of deal if you go twice in one year.
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Pretrip report and budgeting strategies Aug 2014 http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3193168
Trip Report from July 2013 http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3160807

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Old 04-12-2014, 04:11 PM   #15
DenaRox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubygoose View Post
Following along!

I just ordered 5 day PHs from Air Miles too. I agree that it's the best way to use miles because if you use miles for flights you still have to pay the fees and taxes. We'll be upgrading our free parkhoppers to APs since it's like a BOGO type of deal if you go twice in one year.
Exactly!! So glad I thought it through and got the passes instead. Saved money and used less AM so now i have more for other purchases, maybe WDW passes for 2015??? hahaha (starts calculating needed AM and costs...)

I would love to be able to do Disney more often but its a challenge keeping up with this once a year thing i have apparently started. I am going to go check out your PTR looks like i could use some tips Thanks bunches for following, means a lot
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Disney Trips:
DLR: In the process of booking, aiming for Oct 2014!
WDW: 01/2013 AllStar Music, 04/1994 Off-site,
Tokyo Disney Resort: aiming for may 2016
Me(Dena) DBF(Greg) DD11(Kierra) (Jack aka Jack-OLantern)
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