PTR - Finishing in December 2017 What We Started in October 2015

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Canadian Harmony, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Wheeee! Just made our FIRST reservation for our holiday - WOC Dessert Party on the 23rd at 8:15.

    Tomorrow I make our Storyteller's reservation, Wednesday it's our Christmas dinner... leaning toward PPH Grill as there'll be something for everyone there and it should be fun. I'll book our Plaza Inn breakfast on Sunday.
     
  2. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Well we're all booked in!

    Saturday - WOC Dessert party
    Sunday - Breakfast at Storyteller's
    Monday - Dinner at PCH Grill
    Thursday - Breakfast at Plaza Inn
    Friday - Christmas Tea at SH55

    Tuesday's schedule is USH for the day, but not HPW. We'll eat at the Hard Rock Café that night at Citywalk. Wednesday we'll finish USH with all things Harry Potter and then go to the Autry Museum for DH and the Observatory before dropping the car back on Katella. We'll probably eat at Garden Walk on the way back to the hotel.

    I managed to get all the gift cards we need for food and merch, so that's all taken care of.

    So. Excited!
     
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  4. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    We have friends who are going to be in DLR from the 17th to the 24th, so we're going to meet up with them for a late dinner when we arrive on the 22nd. I've booked us in to the Rainforest Café. Seems like a lot of fun there.

    I've printed out the menus for the Festival of Food - there looks like some super yummy things to eat there!

    I keep seeing all these awesome things I want - mugs from Trader Sam's, a dress from the new shop, a purse as I've been holding off on buying a new one til I get there.

    The girls want Coco stuff - I'm sure they'll want a mug - and of course they want to buy stuff for their friends too.

    I have planned suggestions for meals so we can try new things throughout the parks. I have a list of rides we missed last time for us to try this time around. I bought some matching scrapbooks for me and the kids. Theirs are smaller, but the same cover. I'm going to give them each a point & shoot camera to take photos with and then their photos will go into their scrapbooks once we're home and ready to re-live our trip.

    Just saw that USH has "Grinchmas" while we're there! That's going to be so fun!

    We're so looking forward to this trip.
     
  5. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Whoo hoo! I just redeemed Air Miles for our third ticket because they now have the Canadian Resident offer online, saving me 594 Air Miles in the process. AND then I bought our last ticket through Disney directly, and it saved the exchange for me, even through the credit card. I was amazed that they linked it to my Disney app within 5 minutes!

    We're 35 days out and we're all so excited now!

    All our important meals are booked:

    22nd - Dinner with friends at the Rainforest Café
    23rd - WOC Dessert Party
    24th - Breakfast at Storytellers
    25th - Dinner with Mickey at PCH Grill
    26th - Dinner at HRC at USH
    27th - Most likely Johnny Rocket's
    28th - Breakfast with Minnie
    29th - Christmas Tea at SH55

    I've made notes of the menus for the Festival of Food and Navidad! so we'll see how that works out.

    The family doesn't like to be overscheduled, so I've made only one reservation for stuff per day. Plus, I've told them that if they want to do something specific, they need to let me know. ie: DD13 wants to see at least one parade, so I had to let them know we need to stake out a spot at a certain time at least once. DH actually said that we should get photos at landmark places and use it as a collage Christmas Card sent out AFTER the holidays. Challenge accepted! So far, I've thought of:

    1 - the tree at DLR
    2 - Santa at CC and RFT
    3 - Carsland Entryway
    4 - in front of the castle daytime
    5 - in front of the castle nighttime if possible
    6 - under the hat outside the DLH

    Can you suggest anywhere else?

    My planning list has nearly been completed and I'm pretty excited about it:

    • * Passports safe - check!
    • * Meals planned - check!
    • * Tickets purchased - check!
    • * Gift Cards - check!
    • * Basic itinerary - check!
    • * Shuttle booked to and from the airport at home and in USA - check!
    • * spending money - exchanged mid-December!
    • * money on the credit card - done by mid-December!
    • * USH tix - purchase mid-December!
    • * Max Pass bought & linked - after MM on our first day as I'm going to upgrade to AP Sig+ afterward!

    So I have a few things left to do, but that's next month and so I'm not worried.

    We have decided to bring our Elf, Elfred (he's more of a stuffie than a typical Elf on the Shelf) along for a day in the Parks, and we're bringing our stockings to have in the hotel room. I'll have a few things to stuff them with I'll bring with us, but I'll keep my eyes open for things while we're in the Parks too.

    The girls want me to make Snickerdoodles and bring some for our housekeepers for their Christmas present. I make a party mix, affectionately known as "Christmas Crack", so I'll probably bring some of that too and give little bags of those to the staff. One batch makes 4 large foil roasting pans worth, so we'll have plenty to give away, even after giving some out as presents before we go! That shouldn't be disallowed in our checked baggage at the airport...? I'll have to double check on that.

    I don't even want to decorate our home! DH said he'd take care of it. That worries me.

    What I find funny is when I mention to people (like my doctor or a casual acquaintance) that we're going away to Disney for Christmas, they say, "Oh we went there 3 years ago for a day or two. It was great! Did you know they have a big light show thingy? (F! btw) It's really neat...." and they tell me about stuff they did. So I nod and smile and say, "WOW" and "I'll keep that in mind", all the while giggling inside at their innocence.
     
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  6. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    The day is getting close! So excited I can't even!

    I'm hoping for a slightly better exchange rate, so I'm going to exchange our cash at the airport before we go. My ODD has had a babysitting job, so she's got another $20 to add to her stash. I was hoping for some back pay to come in this week, but no such luck.

    Our itinerary has changed slightly - we're going to try to get everything done in one day at Universal! That will help us save some money and give the family a bit more down-time as they've been asking for at least one sleep-in day. I have made it perfectly clear that I will be getting up early for the parks, especially on our first morning for MM, and if they don't want to come along, that's their choice. The girls have said they will come early with me on the Saturday and Sunday - for MM and then again for candy canes - so we'll see how they feel on Christmas Day on getting up early.

    I want to bring some Canadian chocolate bars and candy for some ex-pat friends we're meeting up with. That shouldn't be a problem in our checked luggage? And I need to get a hold of Delta confirming prices for checked bags, because with WestJet, DH and I get our bags for free as he's serving military and I'm a veteran. I'm not sure if Delta will do the same for us or not.

    I have brought a couple things out for decorating. Our NBC wreath is still up, of course, and a couple nutcrackers, but that's about it.

    I'm so looking forward to double-digit temperatures again!
     
  7. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Thanks to CRA, we owe an unplanned for $2500, and that means a payment plan. Which starts AFTER our trip! Thank goodness my budget is fluid. I was lucky enough to get a bit of surprise cash, 1/2 of which has been put onto the credit card. The exchange rate is around 1.31 give or take, so that's what I'm basing my budget on. This means we'll be short on all our food gift cards as they were bought when a 1.25 exchange rate was pretty steady.

    I worked it out for our food, based on menu prices and what everyone likes. Near as I can figure it out (math is not my strong suit AT ALL), if I upgrade to an AP, we'll be short $375 on our food for the week. If I don't, we'll break even. It's the extra cost for Christmas Dinner at the PCH grill that's causing us a bit of grief, but I know it'll be worth it!

    I'm not too torn up as I usually have enough AirMiles collected once a year to get me to DLR and a 5DPH for my birthday every October. I was just hoping for an AP for the cool AP Holder stuff, but I won't be heartbroken if I don't get it.

    BUT, on the plus side, we're going to add in a Medieval Times dinner on the 27th. Well, early dinner I guess - the 2:30 sitting. I can get a great deal on tickets from the local Marine Base, giving us the $20pp upgrade for free and still saving us over the 'holiday rate' that's posted online! I think it'll be a great surprise for the kids on our 'down' day. We were just going to the Autry in the morning, then the Griffith Observatory after anyway, so may as well have a bit of fun before we return the car that afternoon.

    I'll call the Base next Wednesday as it will only take 2 days (MAX) for our vouchers to arrive at the hotel. I have a few final things to get done - money exchange is going to wait til last day, just in case. I will have to decide between our credit union and the exchange kiosk at the airport soon, seeing as how there could be up to a $40 difference in cash received between the two.

    My note book is covered in sticky notes and scribbles! I'll need a fresh copy to take with us.
     
  8. RedHotMama

    RedHotMama Mouseketeer

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    I just read your PTR. What a whirlwind of changes you were put through!
    So exciting that your trip is coming soon!
     
  9. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! We're in single digits and very excited! Who knows what will change between now and then?!
     
  10. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Final (?) update before we leave on Friday morning.

    The exchange rate is killing us. To that end, I've canceled our Holiday Tea at SH55 :sad:, and we're going to have ice cream at Ghiradelli's to ease the disappointment. Then dinner at Smokejumpers Grill to round off our week before heading home the next morning.

    I've got our Medieval Times tickets - but not through the Base as I had planned. Turns out they can't take Canadian credit cards in their billing system - SO DUMB! I could go to Long Beach on the Tuesday to buy the tickets in cash for the next day, and had I known that, I would have had that money in cash, but instead, I put it on my credit card... so I bought through the website, with a 30PANA code for 30% off courtesy of Anaheim tourism (www.visitanaheim.org). It didn't save us a bunch and it doesn't include the upgrade, but whatever. We'll still have fun without more kitch to bring home.

    Turns out my credit card exchange rate is better than the credit union's exchange rate! Which I hope is slightly better tomorrow than it is today as I have to get some USD tomorrow, no more delaying on my part! The exchange place at the airport is quite a lot higher than the bank, so I'll take the hit.

    Our area got hit with a heavy snowfall yesterday (20cm or about 8 inches), and we're expecting more tomorrow and over into Friday morning. Of course we are. :headache: The house sitter arrives at 8pm tomorrow at the airport, and it's quite a lot of gas for the truck (I won't take the car until all the roads are plowed), so we need to figure out how much gas we can afford as our booked driver won't be able to get us to the airport. Ugh, these last minute hiccups drive me crazy. But hubby took one look at my face yesterday and said, "There's no way we're missing the flight to Disney." I'm so glad he understands me. :love:

    Anyway, I'm sure it'll work out in the end, as long as we get to the airport by 10am.
     
  11. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Hahha, nope, one more update!

    I am stuck at work all afternoon, so I've given DH a list of errands to run - exchanging money, digging out our stockings for the trip, laundry, overseeing the kid's packing... and hopefully he's doing these things because I haven't received a single text from him about anything other than taking our DD11 to the orthodontist this morning.

    Aaaaanyway, Patty, I've managed to figure out our daily agenda, determine what we're spending day by day, and now it's just packing tonight with my list by my side!

    The snow is falling again, and I took the car into work today, so with luck I'll be able to get home with it after the house sitter arrives. I'm watching the traffic cams like a hawk! Our home is more north and a higher elevation than Victoria, so we get colder temps and more precip & snow. Often when it's raining in town, we're getting snow.

    My procrastination has paid off slightly for our exchange rate though! It was between 1.3 and 1.342 all day yesterday, but today it's down to 1.2985. Not a HUGE deal, but not bad all things considered.

    DH cooked an early turkey dinner last night and it was yummy! He said he wanted something traditional before we left, and as he does the cooking, I was okay with that!

    I'm getting so excited about our trip! As long as we're at the airport tomorrow by 10, we'll be good to go!
     
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