323 days until my first trip!

Discussion in 'Australia' started by masterpabu, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. masterpabu

    masterpabu Earning My Ears

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    Finally!!
    My first trip to Disney World, Disneyland Anaheim and just the US (although we won't really be spending much time anywhere else :laughing:)

    A few years ago I was sitting here planning my first trip, but life happens and plans change. I had another disboards account too but might as well start fresh!
    So now I'm excited to share my excitement with other people and it feels so great feeling this excited again!

    Currently, I am planning 4 days in Disneyland, my partner INSISTS on it, because he has been lucky enough to have traveled there with his family 4 times and wants me to love it (which I will. I already feel lucky to have a partner who loves Disney too!)
    And then 11 nights in Disney World, with a day or 2 in Universal, yet to decide really
    I already have 5 nights booked at AKL from December 3rd, and am really hoping to get the other 6 nights booked soon at the Polynesian.

    From there, I honestly have no clue what else to do! I have a 3 week time allowance so maybe a few days in Hawaii on the way home? :goodvibes
     
  2. crazy Cat Lady

    crazy Cat Lady Counting Down The Days The Next Trip.

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    You'll love it! What time of year are you going? If it's in late October to early November it's usually Food & Wine festival at Epcot which is a stack of fun.

    If it's just the two of you 2 days in Universal is probably enough, we got it all done using front of line passes easily in two days. Just back from a my first visit to US Hollywood, I'm not sure I'd go there again after experiencing US Orlando, it's pretty awesome.

    Could you do a side trip to Vegas? I'm not a big LA fan but I guess you have to do it once LOL.

    Make sure you ride Rockin' Roller Coaster for me please! ;-)
     
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  4. masterpabu

    masterpabu Earning My Ears

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    I'm going in the first 2 weeks of December! So I'll definitely love it because Christmas time is my favourite time of the year ever!
    Yea I was thinking 2 days is enough, we're not too fussed and I thought I might as well go to HPW at least once :P

    LOL I have heard LA isn't much to see but my SO says we have to do Hollywood once :laughing:

    I'm not a roller coaster person at all but I'll be doing most rides once so I will enjoy it a little for you!
     
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  5. crazy Cat Lady

    crazy Cat Lady Counting Down The Days The Next Trip.

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    It's a really good one, I promise! ;-) Tip, the camera for photos is just as you take off.

    Oh, and after you've finished riding it for me (LOL) take the friendship boat from HS to epcot instead of walking or busing. That way you'll see the Swan and other boardwalk properties before hitting the "back gate" (International gateway I think it's actually called) at epcot - lower lines to get in and you have a nice relaxing float along and there is often a photo pass photographer on the little bridge nearby.

    If you are looking for good shots of the Hollywood sign, go to the Griffith Observatory (look to the hills on your right as you walk up the hill to the observatory if you park at the bottom), you can also get nice shots of LA from the roof if it's a clear day.

    We could see it from some points on Mulholland Drive turn outs but parking was hit and miss for these - it was us in our car and about 20 tourist buses all looking for parks in very small turn outs. Worth it if you can snag a park for photos though - again, if it's a clear day.

    If you stay in Hollywood try and stay close to the Red line (click a station in google maps and the line should light up and show you where it runs) and get yourself a metro card (TAP card, buy at the station, top up as you go and keep the card for next trip!), the system was really easy to use, clean and cheap. The red line will get you from US Hollywood, through Hollywood blvd, right downtown. You can change trains and get to Santa Monica really easily. We also jumped off at other stations and used the metro bus system (covered by your TAP - "metro" buses only, there are two buses at each stop, but it's clear from the stop and the bus which is which) and go to la brea and The Grove no problems at all.
     
  6. carnivalkid

    carnivalkid Earning My Ears

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    Sounds like a fun trip. I would suggest either vegas or LA for the last days... or both. What about staying in Santa Monica which is just lovely than easy to get into Hollywood and surrounding areas. Check out Paradise Cove in Malibu if you are thinking of a beach day.
     
  7. WanderlustNZ

    WanderlustNZ DIS Veteran

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    I’m biased as I LOVE Universal Orlando, but my suggestion is that you do dedicate at least 2 days there and stay onsite at Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, or the Italian one (name escapes me).
    The express pass perk that comes with staying at these hotels is brilliant. Plus the shopping/dining complex is great for strolling around in the evenings.

    We only have 5 theme park days for our next trip and we’re dedicating 3 to Universal and 2 to Disney. I love both, but HP world keeps calling my name. :wizard:
     
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  8. masterpabu

    masterpabu Earning My Ears

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    Thought I'd share a quick planning update!

    So 11 nights in WDW confirmed, for our split stay we got 6 nights at the Poly :yay: In my early planning stages I didn't even think I would get to stay there but here we are! So definitely looking forward to that
    Still haven't booked the hotel for our 4 days in DLR but looking to hopefully get that sorted soon.
    Park tickets have been sorted, got my WDW tickets from Undercover Tourist the other week (purchased before the price rise) and I was hopping with excitement!
    Also managed to get DLR 4 day park hopper tickets for a good deal with Flight Centre (it sounds weird to say!), saving almost $100 compared to other sites.

    The return flights for Syd-LAX are booked, using up a great portion of my flyer points but I suppose they were going to get used eventually, and at least that saves us lots of money to go towards spending instead! :rotfl:

    And we have decided for the last 5 days of the trip we will be going toooo... New York!
    I was so keen to relax in Hawaii, but it did look to be much more expensive so New York it is! I'm honestly not a big fan of big cities, everywhere else I've traveled to have been remote, faraway scenic beauties, so this will be new to me :laughing:
    All I know is that I'd want to go to Central Park and Rockefella Centre and that's it lol! So I'm open to any suggestions on what to do/see there!

    Just a little over 8 months left to go!
     
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  9. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    I'm jealous that you get to do both WDW and DLR :) We are doing 4 days over News Years in DLR as well as 4 days in Hollywood this time so I'm also interested to hear what others have to say about things to do in LA. One thing I have been considering is a day trip by train to Santa Barbara. For our Disneyland visit we stay at the Anaheim Camelot Inn which is just across the road from the parks and really great value.

    Might I suggest with 11 nights in WDW you really should try and get out to Kennedy Space Center. We spent 11 nights in WDW back in 2012 so have a look at my TR link in my signature. it's a little ancient though :) Harry Potter World is a must but 2 days total in Universal is enough.

    We always do Hawaii on the way home. You'll love New York though :cool1:
     
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  10. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    As to NY (and love the rest of your plans) despite being a big city it has a unique vibe that makes it different and stand apart from many "big cities". Def visit Central Park and you also might like the High Line (renovated, turned into a park/strolling boulevard above ground on the old freight train railway line-google it). The 911 memorial was being built when we were there but everyone I know who has visited said it is very moving and special. It's a cliche but walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is cool (we did the opposite to many and caught the subway over to the other side, explored Brooklyn which was leafy and nice brownstones then walked back). Go up either Top of the Rock or the Empire State Bdg - Empire State Bdg 'cos it's iconic or from Top of the Rock (at the Rockefeller) you can see central park better and take pics with the Empire State Bdg in it. The Staten Isd ferry past the State of Liberty is a nice trip. NY has so many parks everywhere it breaks up the big city feel and you can tell the differences between the different neighbourhoods. We really liked Greenwich, Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen but others like the upper east or west sides (either side of Central Park). I would spend at least one half day in one of the many museums/galleries - whichever appeals to you the most be it classical art, ancient history like Egyptian mummies etc, contemporary or modern art, or museum-style exhibitions (e.g. dioramas with stuffed animals, interactive stuff, dinosaurs and science info) and pick one that suits you both best-whether its the Met, the American Museum of Natural History, MoMA, Guggenheim or a 1000 others. Of course some of the outdoor activities might depend on whether its snowing or not when you are there. Have fun researching and planning!
     
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  11. crazy Cat Lady

    crazy Cat Lady Counting Down The Days The Next Trip.

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    NYC is amazing. Second all of Aussie Wendy's recommendations. Take the Subway to get around, it's easy to use and very efficient.

    I'd also add that if you do the High Line that you visit the Chelsea Markets & Meat Packing District. SOHO/Chinatown/Little Italy are all short walks from the Canal St subway station (go through Chinatown to access the Manhattan Bridge, walk over to Brooklyn, then back across the Brooklyn Bridge and then on to Century 21 and the WTC/Financial District - It'll take a few hours, but well worth the walk IMO).

    Check which day the museums are closed so you dont miss out (rookie mistake made by moi the first trip!).

    Eataly is great for food if you are taking a stroll along Broadway. I'm so jealous right now, you'll have a fabulous time!
     
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  12. masterpabu

    masterpabu Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for the suggestions! I enjoy museums so that'll definitely have to be one of the stops to make, a market or two would also be nice! Has anyone been to any nice christmas markets in NY during December?
    After about 13-14 days in theme parks I just wanted to relax and do less walking (in Hawaii!) but I will push on with New York :laughing:

    I finally have all accommodation booked, Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Anaheim, and the Park Central in New York.
    We have gone slightly over budget in terms of accommodation, still sticking to our initial overall budget, but I just tell myself I won't be making a trip like this for a long time afterwards so might as well make the most of it haha!

    Last big thing left to book would be the domestic US flights, keeping a close watch on prices for that!

    Countdown now at 194 days!
     
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  13. crazy Cat Lady

    crazy Cat Lady Counting Down The Days The Next Trip.

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    There is always a winter fair/market in Bryant Park in NYC (watch for the fake Monk who'll hit you up for a "donation" at one of the entry points) that is quite cute and it has an ice skating rink as well - http://bryantpark.org/ Bryant Park also has free wifi and isn't far from Lord & Taylor on 5th Ave which is a very cool old school department store.

    If you are a dumpling fan, Momufuku is great if you find yourself in the East village.

    If you are early for rope drop at DL, breakfast at Earl of Sandwich is great value (mmm, bacon, egg and cheddar roll)... it's inside the security gates and opens at 7 am if you are looking for a jump on the crowds.

    Give this a try as well for discount - https://www.visitmacysusa.com/voucher/savings-international-visitors.

    HTH
     
  14. masterpabu

    masterpabu Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for sharing that discount! :teeth: I really think I'll be bringing an empty suitcase with me to fill with shopping while I'm there! VA is giving us 2 checked in bags which would probably be silly to waste! :rotfl:
    Bryant Park is added to the to-do list, this will be as close to a European Christmas market/village as it'll get for me

    I'll definitely have one early morning at DL for rope drop (even if I have to drag my partner there myself!) and I hear good things about Earl of Sandwich so I'll give it a go!

    Thank you for all the advice! I keep trying to remind myself to sit down and plan things but I get too overwhelmed by all the things to see/do.
    I didn't even get around to putting a countdown on my phone until my partner's mum showed me her countdown for our trip! :rotfl:
     
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  15. LivingforDisney

    LivingforDisney DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great trip. We did DL , NY, then WDW.
    You might want to check as you will probably have to pay for 2nd checked suitcase flying domestic whilst in US, if you don't have one ticket for all flights.
    We flew Virgin/ Delta on one ticket and could check 2 bags each for all sectors.
    You will do a lot of walking in NY
     
  16. masterpabu

    masterpabu Earning My Ears

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    Thanks LivingforDisney!
    Yea that's the thing that will the deciding factor whether to bring an extra suitcase or not. Especially since we've yet to book our flights for each leg, it'd be great to get an okay-good deal and book it all on one ticket!
     
  17. crazy Cat Lady

    crazy Cat Lady Counting Down The Days The Next Trip.

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    I second Living With Disney's comment. We once flew Qantas and the agent told us that it was fine, we could book our internal US domestic flights separately and as long as they were booked via Qantas we'd be fine with the International baggage allowance.... ah, no, we were not as we found out at the crack of stupid trying to fly from NYC to Vegas... book them all on the one ticket!
     

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