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Old 17 Aug 19, 09:07 PM  
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mossy51
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The 'That Escalated quickly' pre-trippie...will we do it for $100 a day?!

Hi everyone, so I've written a pre-trippie before but never actually gotten around to writing up a full trip report. As I have found reading other people's $100 food challenge posts really helpful I'm hopeful that I might get around to sharing mine too this time. I'm hoping that it will become part of 'Operation Stay Awake' when we get back! But first, the pre-trippie...

There's me (42), DH (43) and DD (15). We went on our FIRST Once in a Life Time holiday to Disneyworld Florida in 2015 and had the most amazing time ever! We're currently 370 days off our THIRD once in a lifetime trip ha ha. But first we decided to book a very impulsive trip to Disneyland California.



Let's rewind about six months, I'd spent all of the Easter holidays working, DH was frazzled and DD was preparing for her first round of mock GCSEs. We were watching Tim and Jenn in California and an idea suddenly began to form. DH took a look online and found some cheap flights to California. Before we knew it a spreadsheet had been created and we were trying to find ways to work out if we could fit in a cheeky little trip to Disneyland in October half term. We found some good prices with Virgin and after much chatting we managed to convince DD that it was a good idea to go (she's the sensible one).

Fast forward to now...as I mentioned a spreadsheet had been created; this is because DH likes to see things laid out and to look at our options, and secretly I like a good spreadsheet too. We were originally going to go to Florida in 2020 for 3 weeks. We figured if we could manage Disneyland 2019 for around £3.5k, we could cover the cost by changing our plans for WDW and making it a two week break instead... I'll spare you the full details but needless to say we'll be doing 1 week in California in October and 3 weeks in Orlando in August ha ha! Not sure how yet but that's a minor detail. I know it, he knows it, we all know that we'll be going for 3 weeks so we might as well just accept it now...suck it up bank manager!

So here is our plan so far:

Virgin flights - we booked the light tickets so just hand luggage although we did pay extra to book our seats in advance...I don't need that stress and wanted to make sure we were all sat together.

Car Hire - We decided to hire a car which we'll drive from LAX to Anaheim. We've booked a hotel within walking distance to Disneyland (more on that later) so this is purely for transport to and from the airport, a beach day and going to a couple of restaurants which are further than walking distance. We normally book through Alamo but I actually found it cheaper by booking via British Airways (more airmiles...thank you very much).

Hotel - We spent A LOT of time on this and I mean SOOOOOOO much time. We want somewhere cheap and cheerful but not too cheap as we want to feel comfortable and relaxed. Other factors included car parking charges, free breakfasts and most importantly whether it would be within walking distance. When we first impulsively started planning this holiday we looked at some prices and budgeted £500 for 7 nights. When it actually came time to book a hotel and after reading LOTS of reviews we realised that we might need to up it a bit. Personally I think we may have spoilt ourselves by staying in Deluxe hotels in Disneyworld. Anyway after more time than I care to recall we eventually decided to use some of our air miles to help subsidise the cost of a hotel. We booked Wyndham Garden Anaheim for £760, no free breakfast (do not worry I've worked out plenty of places to eat) but free parking and a 15 minute walk to the gates. Happy days!

Disney park tickets - So I know many people fit Disneyland into a road trip, this is something we'd like to do in the future and so part of this cheeky trip is a little recon to see what it's like. However, right now we all need some family time together. NO to work, NO to stress, NO to GCSE revision and exam worries and YES to magical family time with the mouse! We're having one beach day but other than we're planning on spending our time in the parks! I've budgeted for a 5 day park hopper ticket from Attraction tickets for £873. Currently I don't think (or at least I hope) we won't need to pay for the max pass as we should have time to do lots and we'll make the most of our jet lag to get in to the parks early...at least for the first couple of days. I'll be honest, I feel pretty clued up on anything Disneyworld related but feel a complete novice when it comes to Disneyland. I still haven't worked out how the PhotoPass system works and what it costs. I must put that on my to do list!

Food - Oh this is an important one. We are foodies, a huge part of our Disneyworld holidays is taking FULL advantage of the dining plan and eating fabulous food. As this is an impulsive, budget restrictive (for the sake of WDW) trip I've set myself a target of $100 a day on food. So this isn't going to be a holiday full of eating out at fancy restaurants and eating high quality food. Having said that I've included a few nice places including a special meal on site plus some of our favourites...mmm Chick-fil-a!

Other bits and pieces - I've budgeted a little bit of money for parking etc on our beach day and petrol but that's about it. As we are 'currently' restricted to hand luggage and also because we are on a budget (I must make this my mantra ha ha) we aren't going to be buying a lot as we won't have the space to bring it back. Obviously, we'll pick up something from Galaxy's Edge because...um surely it's the law and we'll make the obligatory trip to Target but that's it. I have a sealed change tin which will be our spending money so I'm hoping when I open this there will be around $60+ in there for a few treats.

Right, I think that's enough for now. I'll be back shortly to share our meal plans although I expect they will change a little. If you have any tips to share or you've bought your tickets from somewhere else please feel free to share!
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Disneyland Paris Sequoia Lodge - Nov 2008
WDW Saratoga Springs - Aug 2015 Best Family Holiday Ever!
WDW Saratoga Springs & Texas - Aug 2017 Once in a Lifetime Holiday the Sequel!
Disneyland California - Oct 2019 Well that escalated quickly yolo trip!
WDW BLT, AKL and Universal Surfside - Aug 2020 3rd times a charm holiday!

Edited at 03:39 PM.
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Old 17 Aug 19, 09:17 PM  
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How exciting! Love a bonus trip.

We'll be in Anaheim late October too - can't wait!

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Old 17 Aug 19, 09:22 PM  
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mossy51
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Eek slow.jo I'm so excited! Looks like you go out a few days before us! I'm owed a day at work so we're leaving on the Friday before half term which made the flights considerably cheaper!
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Disneyland Paris Sequoia Lodge - Nov 2008
WDW Saratoga Springs - Aug 2015 Best Family Holiday Ever!
WDW Saratoga Springs & Texas - Aug 2017 Once in a Lifetime Holiday the Sequel!
Disneyland California - Oct 2019 Well that escalated quickly yolo trip!
WDW BLT, AKL and Universal Surfside - Aug 2020 3rd times a charm holiday!
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Old 17 Aug 19, 10:17 PM  
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#foodgoals #onehundreddollars (you need to read that Austin Powers stylie).

So...food. I've often been the butt of some ridicule...and admiration...but mainly ridicule for my love of planning Disney holidays. *Whispers*...I have a folder for Florida trips. I enjoy planning our ADRs and Fast passes it's all part of the holiday fun for us. For this trip I thought I'd make a list of restaurants and places we could eat at and then play it by ear...if you know me you'd be thinking who is this and what has she done with Mossy!

However, when I spoke to DH about what he wanted to do he was totally up for planning where we were going to eat each day. So here's my very rough plan. It's hard to know quite what we'll do because we've never been there before but I figure it's good to have a plan'ish.

Firstly, I hate travelling to the airport on the day that we're flying so we tend to book a hotel for the night before. We'll be traveling up to Heathrow on Thursday a couple of hours after school. Originally we were all going together but when I looked at the diary I realised DH had some work in London booked in that evening. So we've decided that DH will carry on as normal and travel in to London on the train and DD and I will head up to the Holiday Inn Express grabbing a MacyDs on the way and get checked in to the hotel. Then we'll drive in to London to pick DH up at work when he finishes around 9pm. It's only half an hour from there to the hotel so we'll have plenty of time to get settled in and hopefully get a good nights sleep.

Friday:
Breakfast at the Airport (terminal 3), they're all much of a muchness and offer similar food so we'll either go for the American, English of French restaurant when we get there. DD is a nervous flier so probably won't eat much but we'll let her decide where to eat in the hope she might eat something. Lunch will be at Chick-fil-a (I've found several on the way from LAX to Anaheim).
Dinner is going to be dependent on LA traffic and how tired we feel. I've got several options in mind. If we have lots of energy then I'm thinking we might walk into Downtown Disney and pick something up. Alternatively, a trip to Target is on the cards to pick up some snacks and there is a Five Guys very close to it...nom nom nom. If however, we're just too tired then the Cheesecake Factory at the Gardenwalk has happy hour from 4-6pm so if we make it in time we might just get a selection of starters to share. This is definitely going to be a play it by ear kind of day but hopefully we can stay awake as long as possible.

Lunches will be made up of snacks in the parks. We have a list of things we want to eat! I'll share those later.

Saturday (starting off in Disneyland Park):
Breakfast - iHop $$. Dinner at In and Out burger $.

Sunday (starting at California Adventure):
Breakfast - Dennys $$. Dinner at Panda Express $.

Monday (Disneyland park):
Breakfast - Sabrosada $ (it's just around the corner from us on the way to the park and the breakfast burritos sound fab). Dinner - Cheesecake Factory $$+.

Tuesday (Beach day):
Breakfast - Dennys (maybe choosing from the value menu) $. Dinner - Old Crow Smokehouse $$+.

Wednesday (California Adventure):
Breakfast - Sabrosada (if we like it we might go here again, it's around $6 for a burrito so cheap and hopefully very cheerful) or we'll pick up something at Disney $. Dinner at Blue Bayou followed by ice cream from one of the ice cream parlours $$$.

The meal at Blue Bayou isn't part of my $100 day target. We had some American friends stay with us this month and they gave us a couple of hundred dollars as a thank you so we thought we'd treat ourselves and have a proper restaurant meal onsite. We've always wanted to go here so we're really looking forward to it.

Thursday (Disneyland Park):
Breakfast - Disneyland $, Lunch - Earl of Sandwich $, Dinner at the airport.

So, that's the plan. If you have any recommendations for restaurants that you absolutely loved then let me know and I'll check them out. I've listed restaurants as $ for cheap (around $20+ all in), $$ for mid priced meals (around $50 all in) and $$$ for budget busting meals...of which there is just Blue Bayou. I also added a $$+ for meals that will more likely come in around $70 depending on what we order.

For example: I figure if we eat at iHop for breakfast it will probably end up being around $50 by the time you've included a tip, we'll have snacks in the park which will probably come to around $25/$30 which leaves us with a cheap meal at In and Out for $20.

Last time we took photos of our food with the aim of writing a food report but it didn't actually happen. However, I really have found reading budget food reports helpful and so all being well, I'll actually get around to writing a food trip report with photos and receipts this time... I guess we'll find out if I can do it for $100 per day or not.

Edit for a p.s.: I should say that there are wise folk out there in the world who feel that less is more...I on the other hand very firmly (as is evident already) live in the camp of why use one word when you can use twenty! If you can put up with my ramblings hopefully you'll find some of them interesting, helpful and possibly even slightly amusing.
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Disneyland Paris Sequoia Lodge - Nov 2008
WDW Saratoga Springs - Aug 2015 Best Family Holiday Ever!
WDW Saratoga Springs & Texas - Aug 2017 Once in a Lifetime Holiday the Sequel!
Disneyland California - Oct 2019 Well that escalated quickly yolo trip!
WDW BLT, AKL and Universal Surfside - Aug 2020 3rd times a charm holiday!

Edited at 10:23 PM.
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Old 18 Aug 19, 03:29 PM  
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Disney Snacks! Now we're talking.



We're planning to pick up the odd snack at the park each day when we're feeling peckish. We haven't planned any sit down and eat meals for lunch, it's more a case of picking something up when we want it. This is because when we're in WDW we're normally feeling too full all the time or to hot!

Our current to do list is:

Mickey Beignets
Hand Dipped corn dogs
Dole Whip
Anything cake like from Jolly Holiday...nom nom!
Jack Jack Cookie Num Num
Rice and meat skewers from Bengai BBQ
Cozy Cone treats (probably popcorn and Mac n cheese)

I'd also like to get something from Flo's at night, just because!

That's our list so far. Have I missed any serious must do snacks from our list?
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Disneyland Paris Sequoia Lodge - Nov 2008
WDW Saratoga Springs - Aug 2015 Best Family Holiday Ever!
WDW Saratoga Springs & Texas - Aug 2017 Once in a Lifetime Holiday the Sequel!
Disneyland California - Oct 2019 Well that escalated quickly yolo trip!
WDW BLT, AKL and Universal Surfside - Aug 2020 3rd times a charm holiday!
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Old 28 Aug 19, 01:44 PM  
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Ooh a bonus trip, they’re always the best ones!
Sounds like a fab plan, can’t wait to read all about it.
Subway and Chipotle are great for having a cheap meal. We well and truly blew the budget on food this year in California so some evenings we needed to find somewhere low cost to eat. Denny’s is one of our favourites too!
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Old 28 Aug 19, 01:58 PM  
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Getting from anywhere to anywhere on a Friday night in London is an achievement. I suspect my OH would have hopped on the tube.
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Old 30 Aug 19, 09:02 PM  
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Originally Posted by duchy View Post
Getting from anywhere to anywhere on a Friday night in London is an achievement. I suspect my OH would have hopped on the tube.
Ha ha...yeah very true! We did think about him getting the tube but it would take about the same time as me picking him up! He works in South Kensington but doesn't finish until just gone 9pm so hopefully the traffic will be a little kinder.
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Disneyland Paris Sequoia Lodge - Nov 2008
WDW Saratoga Springs - Aug 2015 Best Family Holiday Ever!
WDW Saratoga Springs & Texas - Aug 2017 Once in a Lifetime Holiday the Sequel!
Disneyland California - Oct 2019 Well that escalated quickly yolo trip!
WDW BLT, AKL and Universal Surfside - Aug 2020 3rd times a charm holiday!
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Old 18 Sep 19, 09:05 AM  
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What a great place to go for a bonus trip! Looking forward to reading about how you get on.
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Old 25 Dec 19, 08:58 PM  
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Originally Posted by mrsdjh View Post
What a great place to go for a bonus trip! Looking forward to reading about how you get on.
Thanks, I'm hoping to use some of my Christmas down time to write up a trip report.
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Disneyland Paris Sequoia Lodge - Nov 2008
WDW Saratoga Springs - Aug 2015 Best Family Holiday Ever!
WDW Saratoga Springs & Texas - Aug 2017 Once in a Lifetime Holiday the Sequel!
Disneyland California - Oct 2019 Well that escalated quickly yolo trip!
WDW BLT, AKL and Universal Surfside - Aug 2020 3rd times a charm holiday!
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