Another One-Day Wonder (Halloween Party Sept 2018 complete)

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Jaina, May 17, 2018.

  1. AuntieKels

    AuntieKels Mouseketeer

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    I forgot to add that we did the character breakfast at Aulani and spent the rest of the morning at their beach (all beaches are public in HI). It was THE BEST! We couldn’t afford to stay at the hotel but that half day was wonderful!
     
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  2. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Sorry, I guess that was unintentionally vague! Ha ha, it was this week’s podcast from the Disneyland Weekly. I just barely subscribed to some podcasts and decided to start listening to some of them, and I didn’t make it all the way through the hour long episode, but they were talking about how there used to be a gas station next to the Disneyland Hotel, and when it closed they just emptied the big gas container and filled it with dirt and covered it up, and that Disney has figure out how to get it out of there before they can start construction. I have no idea if that is actually true, but it was interesting!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  4. AuntieKels

    AuntieKels Mouseketeer

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    That’s totally interesting! Thanks for sharing
     
  5. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    Have a wonderful trip to Hawaii and a great time with your family! And bravo to your DH for giving you this loving gift and for being Mr. Incredible while you'll be away. :) (Here's hoping that none of the kids discover hidden super powers and turn into Jack Jack while you're gone!)
     
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  6. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    Hope you had/have an amazing time in Hawaii! What an amazing gift!
     
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  7. CO2CA

    CO2CA Perpetually Planning

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    What a fun trip!! Your daughter sounds like a true Disney fan! haha Her costume is super cute.

    I'm glad that you switched to a hotel a bit closer. That walk, while usually fine, can be a bit scary sometimes especially if it's by yourself or with a little one. Yay! Can't wait to hear about your plans!
     
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  8. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Mini-trip interlude: Well, Hurricane Lane (more threat than bite for O'ahu) led to some of my family rebooking our tickets. We were all supposed to arrive Wednesday and Thursday, but while my sister and BIL still flew in Wednesday (American wouldn't let them change their tickets unless they were flying a day later) but my brother and SIL changed their flight to today (and got in with no problem) and mine is tomorrow morning. I'm super super excited to go, anxious about there being too much rain for us to do some of our activities, anxious about how my family will do without me while I'm gone, and just generally a little anxious over all, especially with how up and down my emotions have been this week. It's seemed like one of those dreams where you keep waiting for something to happen, and it just never does. I mean, seriously. There are almost never hurricanes in Hawaii, until THIS week, of course. But it's happening, and I'm leaving the house about 5:30 tomorrow morning to make my 7:30 flight! I've flown to Calgary, Chicago, D.C., and Orlando, but this will definitely be my longest flight so far!
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  9. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    I just asked DH to check the current weather reports for you. He has a friend who is on the FEMA team in Waikiki. Looks like the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is moving west of the islands, so you and your family should be fine. Have a safe flight (long, but hopefully smooth and uneventful!) and a wonderful vacation! :)
     
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  10. RedHotMama

    RedHotMama Mouseketeer

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    That sounds nerve-racking! I hope you trip ends up beautiful!
     
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  11. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    I actually was thinking about you and your upcoming trip when I saw the news about the Hurricane! I hadn't even realized it was THIS week for your trip!!! Travel safe!
     
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  12. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    Hope you had a great trip! I didn't hear too much (in Kansas) about the hurricane so I hope it didn't affect your trip too much!
     
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  13. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Thanks! Some of us were able to switch our flights to Sunday with no change fees, so we did that. But I was still stressed until Saturday night about it hitting Oahu. It hit the Big Island with tons of rain, then pretty much just died before it ever got to Oahu. It was kind of crazy. My sister and BIL flew in Wednesday, and they were in the ocean/waves multiple times Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, even though the official word was "stay home in case it hits hard!" It was really no big deal. I am just back from my trip last night, and I'll try to do a mini trip report (and keep things short) in the next day or two. It was fabulous!! (but I'm still trying to adjust back to normal AZ time...)
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  14. theluckyrabbit

    theluckyrabbit Moderator Moderator

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    So glad to hear that you had a great time and got there and back safely!
     
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  15. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Hooray for a safe trip! Excited to hear all about it :)
     
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  16. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Shortened Little Travelogue of my amazing week in Hawaii. Spoiler alert: We did NOT make it to Aulani... And yes, this is the short version.

    (PART ONE - I forgot about the only-so-many-images -rule)

    Sunday: I had to get up at 5:20 to be able to leave my house 5:30/40 and make it to the airport by 6 for my 7:30 flight. Of course, even taking Benadryl the night before I was up by 5, so no problems there. My flight seemed very long, despite there not being any crying children or anything around me. I had some good conversations with my seat-mate, who got his Engineering degree in India (where he's from), is in his third year of his doctorate program studying Sustainability at ASU, and had another 9 hour flight (ours was 6.5 from Phoenix to O'ahu) to Australia that day to get to his conference. I was so glad I didn't have another long flight after that! We arrived about 11 AM local time, and I was met at baggage claim by my parents. I was so happy to see them! 6 months is too long! I'm trying not to think about the next year they'll still be so far away, even though we talk often and can Skype and Facetime. We met up with my siblings and went to church, then enjoyed walking around the beautiful temple there that's right across from my parents' apartment. We all grabbed dinner at my parents', since they had been stocking up for the possible Hurricane Lane issues (which didn't happen in O'ahu, thankfully) and had a completely full fridge and freezer! Later we went to the rental house I was staying at with my siblings, with a detour to Laie Point, which was awesome, and then took a nice walk on the beach in front of our house. My BIL led us on a random jungle excursion to the next beach, which was slightly exciting considering we girls were still in our skirts or dresses from church and we were all wearing flip flops... By 8 pm local time (I was pretty wiped out, and by the time I got to bed I'd been up 20 hours!)
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    Monday was a packed day. I was up about 4 AM, and once someone else was awake to tell them where I was going, I walked down to the beach (just across a road and a park) and watched the sun rise. That was cool. Then by 7 AM we were "next door" at Pounders beach. You know, since we were all more or less on AZ time still. And I had a good time, other than a possible allergic reaction to something in the water at first (my ankles and feet were so itchy and had hives!). And the part where I did get pounded into the bottom of the ocean, face-first. Those waves don't mess around. And then we were touring the Polynesian Cultural Center (where my parents serve in various capacities) since just before lunchtime through like 9 PM, luau and amazing Disney-quality (I thought) night show inclusive. We were pretty worn out after that full day!
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    Very busy day Tuesday! We hiked Manoa Falls early in the morning, where it rained on us 90% of the time, and was kind of crazy, but also amazing. The canopy of trees was so beautiful! Then we did the catamaran after a quick lunch in Waikiki, which I adored, then went snorkeling for several hours at Shark’s Cove, and had dinner at Seven Brothers. I’d never done most of those things, and it was awesome! I was so glad my parents were able to take some P-Day time and join us for the last half of the day. I had never snorkeled before, and it was awesome! This is the day we had reservations at Aulani, but after the big buffet the night before at the luau, and all our busy-ness, we weren't really up to stuffing ourselves again to the tune of $50 a plate at Aulani's buffet. We were tired! I will see it someday, and wasn't upset about it. If I had really wanted to go, my parents would have taken me down Saturday or something.
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    Wednesday! We went snorkeling (again) at Three Tables, and I wasn't enjoying it as much because my mask was pushing on my face in places that were sore from the day before, but then. Then. GUYS WE SWAM WITH A SEA TURTLE! Totally made my whole trip!! Oh, and also spent several hours at the big swap meet at Aloha Stadium, visited and ate lunch at the Dole Plantation, (then was snorkeling) and had a super fun evening with my parents eating at the PCC, and walking all around “the Islands” are after dark. I was already sore from hiking and snorkeling, and after that evening I thought I might be sore from laughing. Great day! I enjoy my family!
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    Thursday: We spent a good chunk of that day(one set of siblings' last) in the water... We started the morning with some fresh hot malasadas from the food truck at the PCC, then visited with my mom a bit before she went in to work. We snorkeled for several hours at Shark’s Cove, had lunch with everyone back at the PCC with my parents, then got beat up a little at Pounders beach again for the first half of the afternoon. After another quick dinner at SevenBrothers I rode over to Sunset Beach with my parents and we -almost- saw the sun setting there, followed by some cards with the siblings that were still staying another night. Between the busy schedule the previous few days, lots of time in the water today, and a bit of a sunburn, I was really feeling my not-in-my-20's-anymore-ness!
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    (do you like my Guardians shirt? :) )
     
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  17. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    HAWAII Travelogue Part 2 of 2

    Friday: The last set of siblings headed down to Honolulu around lunch, because they were staying there that night before their flight the next morning. So it was mostly just me and my parents. My dad had meetings a lot of the day, but my mom was able to hang out with me and drive me around. After a nice walk on the beach in front of the rental house, my mom and I went to the Byodo In Buddhist temple, to Pali Lookout (which mostly felt like you were riding a motorcycle, wind-wise, just standing there, and had an amazing view), and the Macadamian Nut Farm outlet. We rested a little in the afternoon, and ate dinner at Papa Ole’s, followed by a quick tour of the warehouse my dad is newly in charge of, and then we spent some time wandering through the shops at the PCC. It was good to mostly stay out of the water and the sun today after getting burnt the day before.
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    (the rental house!)
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    Saturday: my last day in O’ahu. I got up a little earlier than I have been(trying to get closer to AZ time) and went to the temple for a little while (I was staying with my parents at this point). We drove down and did a little hike up above the Makapu’u lighthouse. It wasn’t too far, or hard, but the sun was crazy hot when we didn’t have a breeze. The views were amazing though. It was a super clear day, and we could see some of the other Hawaiian islands in the distance, which surprised me. (Mokoka'i and Mau'i) The water is such a beautiful color here, and there were paragliders in the sky set again nay the mountains. After we made it back down the hill, we went over to the Sea Life Park, because my parents got free entrance with the PCC name tags. For free, it was really cool, and we enjoyed a few hours there even though it was the hottest part of the day. It was very small, but there was a fun little sea lion show, a good dolphin show, and we got to see a bunch of tea turtles and some other fun little sea creatures. We went over and saw the Halona blowhole, and Hawaii decided my hat was too big and floppy to fit in my suitcases and to live in AZ, so it blew it away. (sad face) We stopped at the macadamian nut farm outlet again in the way home, then ran a few errands. We ate dinner at the PCC again, and relaxed and packed the rest of the evening. I was sad that it was over, and that I had to leave my parents there for another year, but I was very happy to get back to my family again! Eight days is a long time, and I had never been away from the kids for more than 4 days before I don't think.
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    Sunday I tried to fit everything into my suitcase (the ukelele I bought and have been enjoying playing made everything complicated) and then my dad took my to the airport about 9:30. O'ahu is so beautiful to drive through! My flight home was fabulous. I ended up with no seatmate, and was so much more comfortable, plus the flight was a little faster. I was happy to step into the Sky Harbor airport and be able to feel the lack of humidity in the air. I flew in about 9:00 PM local time, so it wasn't even too hot. (You know, just like 85/90...)
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    (The amazing shortbread cookies from the Pounders' (restaurant at the PCC) bakery that I got addicted to. I did manage to not eat them all on the plane so my kids could try them!)
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    And can I just say that it was so novel and amazing to have a real vacation where people were so kind and generous and kind of took care of -me-? That hasn't happened since I became a mom! (not that other people in my life aren't kind, I was just very touched by it all) I didn't have to do any planning, hardly, because everyone was more experienced at "Hawaii" than I was, everything was super interesting and/or fun, they didn't let me pay for much (other than my own food most of the time, and my flight) and it was my family, so there wasn't the awkwardness that can come with sharing space with people for that long. I wasn't in charge of anyone or responsible for anyone, and I wasn't the one that had done all the planning and felt like I had to make sure the trip went well for everyone. (That's usually my self-imposed role, especially at Disney!) It was amazing, and I missed it after about 6 hours of being home and having 5 little people all trying to talk to me at the same time again. And I miss my family, especially my parents and my sister. It was lovely spending time with them without all the grandkids making everything rather loud and chaotic. (Though I love those get-togethers too) It was heavenly. And I was so glad I have Disneyland to look forward to in a few weeks, so I wasn't too depressed for it to end!

     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  18. RedHotMama

    RedHotMama Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for sharing your beautiful trip! I would love to go to Hawaii someday!
     
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  19. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Now THAT's work waking up early for!!! :)

    Your pictures were all so incredibly beautiful. I have never been to Hawaii, but to see some of these things in person must have been just astounding!

    Are those your underwater pics?? Can I ask what kind of camera you use? We are doing a Disney cruise next year and I am looking into underwater cameras, but seriously have no idea where to start!!
     
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  20. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    I loved it so much! I would like to go again with my husband someday, but it would be a totally different kind of touring. (Which would also be fun) With my family we did a lot of adventuring. He'd be more into exploring Honolulu and Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, more touristy stuff, and more just appreciating the beaches and walking on them than getting in the water. It would be really fun though! I'd like to do that, and to do WDW with him someday. :)

    It WAS so beautiful. I didn't enjoy the humidity/warmth so much, and I'm grateful that I don't live on an island like that, actually, but it is so SO worth visiting. Yes, I was planning to just use my iPhone (that's all I used for most of the pictures, and my other siblings' phones) because I didn't want to lug around a DSLR, but when I was looking at waterproof stuff that would work underwater with my phone, I read something along the lines of, "You really want to take your super expensive phone out in the ocean?" And I really didn't. But we didn't want to drop a bunch of money on a GoPro when this trip was already expensive (for us). The one I got is an Apeman Trawo (APEMAN Trawo Action Camera 4K WiFi Ultra HD 20MP Underwater Waterproof 40M Camcorder) that came with a bunch of attachments and a waterproof case. It was the daily deal on Amazon, plus we had some rewards on our Amazon card. We got a floating hand attachment for it that I used pretty much always, and it worked really well. If you get an action camera like that, I would recommend going in and taking it off wide-angle in the settings if you want your pictures and video to look "normal." Also, it resets the date every time you take the battery out, which would have been good to know. I was glad I had also turned the "date stamp" off. It was really fun to use though, especially when we found that sea turtle!
     
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  21. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    Okay, back to the trip at hand! 2 weeks from today people, 2 weeks! It's crunch time. I've got my spreadsheet created and my Disneyland app open and I'm going to do my best to chart what kind of times we're looking at for standby lines and FP return times on a Monday afternoon, during Halloween time, in California Adventure, from 3 PM to 7 ish PM. We are going to maximize our time there before we head over to Disneyland for the party! I already know our best shot at Guardians will be just getting in the standby and soon as we get through the gates. But we might have to stop to get a small snack on our way through. I figure that's a nice air-conditioned (mostly) line to wait in that time of day anyway, with lots to see. We'll book a FP for something else (GRR? Soarin? RSR if it's still randomly available?) on our way to Guardians! The spreadsheet nerd in me is excited to track these times today and next Monday... Let's just see if I can make it happen, since I also have 5 kids, and 3 to 7 is prime time for them.
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