There are just over 26 weeks until our family sets off for our 10 night trip to Disneyland! To say we are excited is an understatement. In our house Disneyland is everything. It is always in the back of our minds. The carrot dangling in front of our noses, that helps just that bit when one of us has had a bad day. We have been planning our trip since the start of last year and finally in January of this year we booked it! We are definitely, 100 percent going to Disneyland! Did we have to put ourselves into hock for this once in a lifetime experience? Well… maybe, yes… but will it be worth it, without a doubt!
Okay, okay, my husband and I have actually been to Disneyland before, together as a couple twice and my husband as a teenager once. The last time we were there we made a promise to bring our future children back one day, to experience our favourite place through the eyes of a child. And we cannot wait for the magic to begin!
So how are we getting to Disneyland? Who are we flying with, and where are we flying from? Our family is from Australia, and we will be departing from Melbourne, Victoria. We have chosen to fly with Air New Zealand as we managed to get the most amazingly low priced airline tickets to Los Angeles. As in we ended up paying $3,095 (AUD) for all four of us! I know, amazing!
At first we were looking to fly with Qantas, as they have a direct flight and the right seating configuration for us (we strangely would like to sit in the middle of the plane, so our family of four can be seated next to each other, without one of us being left out). Virgin also have direct flights but their seating configuration only has three seats in the middle, instead of four. And Air New Zealand has the right seating configuration, but is not a direct flight.
So when these amazingly low priced tickets showed up I was kind of hesitant, because flying with Air New Zealand would mean a stop over in New Zealand. Which means getting grumpy, bored and tired children off one plane after a longer flight than they have ever experienced before, to have a few hours break and then get on another much, much longer flight. Aahhh!!! I’m already scared… But it also means we have saved a fair amount of money.
I have been watching airfares ever since we made the decision to go to Disneyland, and this was by far the cheapest airfare I have found in that space of time. Oh and I found the flights through an advertisement for an Air New Zealand USA sale and then because we had decided to book our holiday through Helloworld Travel, I then checked their website to make sure they were offering the same deal and it was even cheaper! So we went in the very next morning to book our holiday!
Why have we decided to book with a travel agent? We thought about this for quite a while and even tried Google for the answer. But in the end we decided to go with a travel agent for the piece of mind that comes with it. Our first holiday to America we booked with a travel agent, and everything went pretty smoothly. Our second trip we booked ourselves and then found ourselves at the airport trying to get a VISA waiver at the last minute that we hadn’t realised we needed. And this time we have children to consider, so we want to get it right from the start. Now if something does go wrong we know who to contact and they will hopefully help clear up the situation for us.
Why did we choose Helloworld travel? Well, it was kind of pot luck… My daughter Zoë and I were at the local shopping centre and walked past the travel agent and thought we would grab a brochure on Disneyland. We have never used this particular travel agent before, but have been very happy with the service so far and it did help that we could also book 10 day passes to Disneyland for only $34 more than the normal 5 day passes (The 10 day passes are only available to Australian and New Zealand residents), another huge saving! So that is how we are getting to Disneyland, or to LAX to be more precise. The travel agent also booked us a shuttle to take us to our hotel.
So where have we decided to stay? This decision cost me the most amount of stress. The hotel we stayed at on our last two trips to Disneyland is now owned by a different company and most of the reviews are horrible, so we decided to try somewhere new. Our dream was of course to stay on property, but unfortunately our budget didn’t agree. So we decided that as we are staying for 10 nights that we would need to find a hotel room with a little more space, we would also need a bath for Zoë who doesn’t like showers, a nice pool and either walking distance or shuttle to Disneyland. And in the end the hotel we felt ticked the most boxes for us was the Hyatt Regency Orange County.
We will be staying in the kids suite, which has two separate bedrooms, so we can all get a bit of space from each other and bunk beds for the kids, so they also get their own little area and will hopefully sleep better too. Yes, it is a little further away from Disneyland than most other hotels, but it has its own shuttle bus, and is close to a huge Target, in case we need any supplies. It is also close to our previous hotel, so it will feel slightly familiar for us.
So there you have it, those are our Disneyland plans so far. We are all booked and ready to go. Now we just have 26 more weeks to wait…