January 2018 PTR all the way from Sydney!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by aussiejen, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    Hi Fellow disney fans ::MickeyMo


    I am so excited for this upcoming trip for January 2018 ! :mickeyjum We are visiting for 2 weeks.....2 Weeks in Disney aaarrrggghhh! im so excited ! WWe will be purchasing a 9 day Disney pass prior to leaving..that should give us plenty of time to see nearly everything..im hoping..

    Let me introduce myself & our lil family.
    DH 32 Barber & Bricky by trade, hard working family man & spoils me rotten-2nd time to DL, Who wasnt a Disney fan when we met but im slowly converting him lol.

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    Me 37 - Fulltime working mummy of 3 & a huge Disney fan since a child, been to DL & WDW multiple times in the past 6 years...im addicted !
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    DS - 13 , DD - 10 & DD - 9mths. ( she turns 1 in October) SO hopefully walking by the time we go.
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    my older 2 children have also been to DL & WDW but this will be the babies first trip to DIsney princess:
    The hard part was whether to go to DL or WDW... I thought DL would be betther considering we will have the pram & the baby so young. and we can just walk back to the hotel without waiting for the bus & trying to fight for a seat.

    I have been searching like crazy for hotels over the past 2 weeks & theres so many to choose from my head was spinning in the end.
    So I finally found a good deal with Hojos & i had to grab it, we stayed there in 2011 on our very first Disney trip & loved it. I loved the shop in Hojos, the pool area & the rooms were nice...The location is a little bit of a walk but my older 2 can handle the walk now their older. The baby will be in a pram so she'll be fine...i had no complaints.
    I would love to stay onsite but i cant justify the cost although the onsite hotels look amazing, but when you think about it your only there to sleep basically.
    I have a jam packed holiday planned in my head now i have to just research pricing dates etc so it all falls into place.
    We previously stayed at BWPI whilst they were renovating in 2014 & loved the location right across the road from the entrance & next door to Dennys, but this time Hojos worked out cheaper for us.

    We are also hoping to do Legoland, Universal Studios & Seaworld this trip.

    Quick question for all you locals, whats the transport company i organise the pick up of all the other parks? or can HOJOS reception organise that for us?

    Can i order groceries to Hojos prior to us arriving? like can i order to have groceries to Hojos the day before we leave so its there when we arrive? and where do i order them from?

    Also any tips out there for doing Disney with a baby?

    thanks all for reading, look forward to Planning this magical trip :dumbo::tink:
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  2. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    so i have frantically been searching in my every spare moment for the best airfares going atm....Visited every travel agent in my area haha, DH thinks im crazy & always teases me and says i love Mickey Mouse more then i love him, which isnt true BTW :rolleyes1
    Anyway we had the USA Travel Expo here in Sydney last weekend & theres been some fantastic deals going around. We fly in on a Delta flight & Return on Virgin Airlines. We have travelled Delta previously & had no issues but it will be the first time flying Virgin Airlines...ive heard good things though about them though. Not really looking forward to the 12hr flight with a 1yr old but the end result is worth it.
    We will be flying out of Sydney 25th january 2018 -4 days before my birthday...what more could i ask for as a birthday present. :earboy2:
    We also purchased our 10 day Disneyland passes......
    I still cant believe were going back yo Disney, i have wanted to visit Disneyland since i was a Child & i always remember the very first time entering Disneyland & walking under the bridge i had tears in my eyes, i finally made it.
    It might have taken me 20years but i was there.
    My babies are really looking forward to going back, although they only remember bits & pieces of our trips as they were young, they still remember their favourite rides & toys they got from Disneyland.
    I just love the looks on their faces because it is so magical there. Here are my kiddies :tinker:

    kids 1.png kids 1.png ayah 1.jpg
     

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  4. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    Sorry everyone i didnt expect the pics to turn out so big ...and the first pic to duplicate... im not real computer savvy.. as you can tell.

    Can i ask though how does anyone afford to stay at the Disneyland Resort & GCH? this trip is going to cost us around $25,000 as it is and were staying at HOJO'S
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  5. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    I'm on board!

    January is a great time crowd-wise as long as you don’t mind it being a bit cooler. We did it in 2005. But we were able to ride Matterhorn, PoTC, BTM, Space Mountain, and others multiple times with very little wait. There is a slightly larger list of ride closures due to changing over from the holidays. Specifically the Jungle Cruise & IASW both close down in early January to remove the holiday stuff and reopen in early February at the latest. I think the Bug's Land stuff comes down around the same time frame. Splash Mountain traditionally closes in mid-January thru February for seasonal refurb/cleaning of the waterways. In CA Grizzly River Run goes thru a similar refurb schedule to Splash. All this info is subject to change at the whim of the parks of course.

    Good call on DLR in relation to the wee one. It is a lot less walking overall and HoJos isn’t a bad walk. I’m staying at the opposite corner at the Desert Palms Inn and Suites and could make the walk from the park entrance to the hotel in 10-15 minutes depending on how crowded the sidewalks were. I think everyone stays at the BWPPI at least once, but I think you’ll like HoJos better! :yay:

    Sounds like you are squeezing in quite a bit, but the timeframe you are giving it should be good. We do the same thing when we go to Orlando, mixing in Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld/Discovery Cove depending on the trip.

    As far as the groceries, I was able to place the order from Safeway before our arrival and set a day/time for the actual delivery. It worked out really well for us. Just make sure your room as a fridge (some hotels have that as something you can request and some have it as standard). I think HoJos has it standard but I’m not sure.

    As far as the little one, just make sure you have a decent stroller that they can snuggle into well and some sort of baby sling/harness that you can easily carry them against yours/DH’s chest. You may want to check out Jania’s TR – she was there with a wee one and can tell you first hand what worked and what didn’t:

    https://www.disboards.com/threads/o...ovember-2016-videos-and-updates-7-13.3507932/

    Glad you got a good deal on your flights! I’ve done 11hrs in the air, but not with a baby – I think the longest haul we had when the kiddos were that small was 6hrs. Good luck and may she sleep most of the way. Still, Disney birthdays are the best!!! :bday:

    No worries on the pictures, I have found that sizing them to an 800-900 pixel width works pretty well for the boards. And you can always go in and click the edit hotlink in the bottom left corner to select and delete that extra picture.

    That question about staying on property is a really good one. It is pretty much a given to stay on property at WDW with the different tiers of resorts there and the transportation system. It is a whole different world at DLR for sure. I would say you should stay on property one time, but wait until your kids are at a good age to all recognize and enjoy the experience. But the bigger your family the harder it is to afford. We went in 2009 with 5 of us (me, DW, DD, DS, and our nephew) and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel. It easily added over $1,000 to the price tag of the trip. I am glad we did it, but won’t do it again until it is just a trip with DW and I (we will be empty-nesters in the next 2-3 years).

    I would say for now staying at a good neighbor hotel is the right choice for you and yours. Especially HoJos as it is really geared towards families. Have fun with the continued planning! :thumbsup2
     
  6. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for joining :flower1:

    Yes i am abit bummed about the ride closures/refurbs but atleast we'll be in Disney :D Peter Pans Flight is my favourite ride...


    Do Safeway have a website i could go through? thanks for the heads up about the fridge in the room, i will have to double check that as we normally buy cereal for breakfast before heading to the parks, sometimes we splurge & take the kids out for breakfast but i find it faster just to have something to eat in our room before heading out especially with the kids.
    I got addicted to Cheerios last time i was there & they also sell them here now...

    Lastnight the kids told me that they are looking forward to the churros over there lol, they absolutely love them, we have them over here but they are better there. This is my son our first trip in 2011 with his daily churro ::yes::
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    I must admit i am looking forward to the food in the USA because its so different to here is AUS. You get alot more for your money there too....We did a character breakfast on our first trip in 2011 in Ariels Grotto & to tell you the truth i wasnt real impressed with the food. I was thinking maybe we try another character breakfast, can someone give me ideas on other ones - maybe with mickey & minnie? & the locations of them.
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    I have started my diet because i am determined to lose weight before i get there so i can stock up on some nice clothes because the shopping there is way cheaper then here in AUS, also i tend to eat alot more when im on holidays haha :p I also need to prepare myself for all the walking so i have brought myself a new pair of comfy shoes because you dont realise how big the parks are & how much walking you actually do until you get there...My Fit bit is going to get a workout too once im there.
    This trip i would love to do a walk through DLH & GCH if i can just to feel the atmosphere,,and maybe to convince DH to stay a few nights in future trips to Disney ... They do look great in all the pics. Its a dream to stay in one someday.

    Also, the Magic Morning entry - its included in our 10 day passes.... what does this mean actually? from what i have read you get in the park earlier, but is everything open & are all the rides functioning at that time?
    What time is rope drop? and are there normally many people ?
    sorry for all the questions...i am just asking them as they come to mind otherwise i'll forget :earsgirl:
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  7. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    There’s always something closed, but there is plenty of magic to go around.

    Yes, just google Safeway and it will come up as the first hit and they have a Grocery Delivery tab to place online orders. And food is a big part of the Disney experience for sure! We have our favorites in the parks – I love the meat skewers in Adventureland!

    As far as Character dining options, we have only done two but have enjoyed both very much. The first is Goofy’s Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel just on the other side of the pool – they do both a character breakfast and a character dinner. It generally has Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale, & Minnie. And Breakfast with Minnie and Friends at the Plaza Inn on Main Street. They generally have Minnie, Chip n Dale, Hook, Tigger, Eeyore, Fairy Godmother, Winnie the Pooh, Max, and Rafiki. If you are only going to do one I’d choose Minnie and Friends, especially if you can get a reservation before the park opens. You would get an escort to the Plaza Inn by a CM and can take a couple of quick “empty park” pics on the way!

    My DW and I are on track to reach our individual weight loss goals before the trip. We are trying to get 8,000 steps in each day if we can manage it in the heat. Good luck with your diet! And yes, try and make some time to see the decorations in the resorts. We have seen them at the WDW resorts and are looking forward to seeing the displays at DLR resorts :banana:

    I don’t have a specific time for rope drop but the Disneyland calendar will have it when we get closer. It gives a solid hour before main park opening. As far as what is open, all of Fantasyland is open, along with most of Tomorrowland. In CA almost all of the “E ticket” rides are open including Cali Screamin’, Soarin’ and Radiator Springs Racers.


    Hope all this info helps! :thumbsup2
     
  8. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    I googled safeway last night but when i put in my phone number it says they need a card ID? i called HOJOS & they saggested safeway or VONs but they both seem to be the same website ?
    I might just have to wait until we arrive, but was hoping i wouldnt have to as we land at 6am & we cant check in until 4pm.

    I asked my soon to be 11yr old princess lastnight if she would do the bibbity bobbity boutique again this time with her baby sister like she did in 2011 when was 4 (thats her below ) she said she wants to be Belle this time . This is her 7 years ago in WDW....Geez how time flies

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    im so happy she said yes :cool1:. i was fully expecting her to say "im too old mum" lol, the whole experience is just magical for the little girls.....:tinker:
    they just grow way too fast ........

    Minnie & friends Character Breakfast seem the way to go......i always wondered how people get pics with the park empty. Thanks for the tip. :thumbsup2


    :thumbsup2

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  9. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    I'm not sure about the card ID thing, the last time I did it was back in 2009. And yes, Safeway and Vons are the same store.

    Cool that big sis is up for doing BBB again:thumbsup2
     
  10. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    So i was searching the web lastnight & came across a discount code that saved me $650 on our entire stay at HOJOS! :banana: i had to cancel my original reservations with Expedia & make new reservations because Expedia wouldnt allow me to apply the Promo code......so i rang HOJOS direct & re-booked..im so happy

    which only means one thing...........more spending money for Disney :cool1:

    . any saving is a good saving. Also a little suprised to find out that our room doesnt have a microwave & so i requested one but apparently theres no guarentee.

    Still deciding on the shuttle from LAX to HOJOS.....i dont really want to be driving from hotel to hotel after we arrive at LAX...i just want to go straight to our hotel because after flying for 14hrs we will all be exhausted & tired.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  11. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    That's Awesome! Nice find for sure! And yes, the microwave and fridge have to be requested at many of the good neighbor hotels. Most of the time it works to call the day before and get one set for the room but as you said, no guarantee.

    Shuttles are nice and take the worry factor out of things. The only real downside is waiting at the curb for them.
     
  12. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    upload_2017-8-15_12-51-11.jpeg

    So Excited i purchased my Disney luggage on the weekend! It came with a big suitcase, a medium suitcase & an overnight bag. We were planning on just using the suitcases weve used previously but when we got them out thay had tears on them & out of shape from being thrown by the luggage handlers etc at the airports. So we have retired them & replaced them with Disney ! :mickeyjum
    Hubby didnt want a Disney suitcase so he just got a plain black one...

    upload_2017-8-15_12-56-35.png And i ordered this shirt for my 2 girls... My son says hes too old to wear these...Hes at that age now where hanging with your parents will soon will be embarrassing. I was thinking of ordering more shirts for while were at the park. It looks great when everyone is matching...

    Just over 5 months to go & time is dragging ....i just want it to come already...lol
     

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  13. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    IMGP2643.JPG This is one of my fav photos of my DD & my mum from the very first time we went to DL in 2010. Picture 519.png

    IMGP2643.JPG Picture 519.png
    This is a photo of DH & me back in 2014 when we were at DL....He cut Mickey out of the photo..i wasnt impressed.:guilty:
     

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  14. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    Well what a week ive had.....My baby girl had a seizure, went blue & stopped breathing last Friday....Due to hi temps. She is ok now & on the mend back to her happy little self. Poor baby
    ayah hos.jpg

    Now that she is getting better, i have to get my butt moving & renew all our passports. Because the next few months are going to be busy & fly by so fast then before i know it we will be ready to fly out !:mickeyjum
    September DD is turning 11, October DD is turning 1 & November DS is turning 14. Then december Christmas.

    Then i still have to book transfers from LAX.......
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  15. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    Geez how time flies she when I first booked this trip my countdown was at 5mths now its 3mths & 3 weeks :donald:........DD 11princess: birthday over with.....all she asked for is $150 Roblox card, for you all who don't know what that is apparently its like the game Minecraft & the Sims game together & she likes to play it on line, you build things like houses etc. Its the 'in thing' here atm...anyway she got her wish & a $30 iTunes card so she can download music on her iPhone.... Kids these days are way to spoilt. I didn't have my first mobile phone until I was 18!

    Now I am busy organising DD 11mths 1st Birthday party on 5th November, DH wants it catered for & he has organised a jumping castle & a man to come & make things out of balloons for the kids like balloon animals, Swords etc, he's work is quite good actually. Anyway this supposedly small party is turning into a massive event with 150 invited & DH being from Lebanese background they are all good eaters lol:rotfl2:hence the reason I have gained so much weight after marrying him haha

    But before I get carried away with all that organising theres something else I have to organise and thats our passports, they're an essential part of our trip & we won't be going anywhere without them.....all but DH passports have expired & today we are heading out to get our passport photos done so I can get them out of the way, most of the passport forms have been filled out & then I need to organise an appointment with our local Australia Post office to finalise them & get them sent off.:hyper: getting a little excited about that.

    DH has now decided he definatly wants to hire a car whilst were over there, but I'm a bit worried as the steering wheel is on the opposite side of the car to here in Australia & I really don't know the process over there regarding car accidents etc. I mean we do have insurance but they only cover the excess incase something was to happen....:confused3 He isn't a bad driver but just makes me nervous because we don't know the roads, if we get a GPS in the car it wouldn't be so bad...
    So we are about to head out and get the photos done....kids dressed, hair done, shoes on...my makeup done ( because I feel crap after working a 45 hr week on basically 3 to 4 hrs sleep a night as DD 11mths is teething & her temps have been up). but I am feeling ok for now..

     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  16. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    Finally, i get the chance to update my TR. What a massive year this year has been,,,its been crazy.
    Well DD1 party is over with for another year & thank god for that, all that planning & money was well worth it but.
    Heres a few pics of the desert table..... Disney themed ofcourse..

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    Ok, Passports all done , Etsa Visas all done, Accomodation booked, Flights booked, but Delta/Virgin keep changing their departure times. I really wish they'd stop doing that as we has shuttles booked from here in Sydney to the Airport & pick up from LAX. I really cant wait until we pick our tickets up & Disney voucher. Im hoping within the next couple of weeks.
    I have been slowly packing a suit case....i know, i know it sounds crazy :confused3 but just things like medication, dummies, bottles toiletries...just small things that i cant afford to forget.

    Brought a new camera, kids have new back packs, i have had to buy new plugs for the USA because i have somehow misplaced the 3 i had previously.
    Cashed in more money...i always stress when i go overseas that i wont have enough money...but this time with 3 kids, DH & I it will cost a bit more then usual.

    At the moment i have 2 hotels booked for our stay, HOJOS is what i originally had booked mainly for the water park & we have stayed there before & liked it, but because its only the one room & the thought of the 5 of us in the one room for 15 nights scares me lol .............DD 11 & DS 14 tend to disagree alot lol
    So i started searching for somewhere with 2 rooms so we have more space , especially with DD1 crawling & starting to walk now she will need abit more space to move.
    Anyway i found the Tropicana, so i emailed them as when i checked our dates on their site they said sold out, but when i emailed them directly they had a suite available for us but suggested Camelot Inn their sister company. They said the suite were a little bigger & was also somewhat cheaper with the discount for the length of stay. So i took it. Locaion is closer too which is a bonus.

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    Heres our room layout...so excited to have so much space

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    Have read mixed reviews on the Camelot so im hoping we like it. It is a little more then HOJOS but im feel more releived knowing we have the 2 rooms. We wont be in our room half the time anyway, we have a 10 day Disney pass, we plan to do Universal, visit the outlets & local stores.
    I think we should be busy enough lol....:cool1:
    I AM more excited then the kids.........DH thinks im weird & doesnt share my obession with Disney...

    All im worried about is the flight...and how DD1 will cope..she loves the car, we actually drive her round at night to get her to sleep. so im hoping she will love the plane....i did say hoping..:thumbsup2
    We are going to buy her a tablet/ iPad to download all her favourite shows....

    I am working through christmas & new year so i will need the break... 3 weeks to goo....party:
    You dont understand how excited i am..... I havent been back to Disney since 2014! i hear alot of refurbs & closures are happening around our time of stay but thats not going to dampen our mood.

    We have booked Virgin flights but i believe Delta & Virgin codeshare now so im a little confused if we will be flying on a Virgin or Delta aircraft.:confused3 I have flown Delta before so wouldnt mind a Virgin aircraft...i have been told they are slightly bigger leg room wise...






     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  17. RedHotMama

    RedHotMama Mouseketeer

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    Just read your PTR. It's great that you can go to Disneyland for so long! But I don't envy you your long flight. I pray the baby does well and you all get to California in good spirits. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip!
     
  18. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    Hope you have a magical trip! Sounds like you've been doing a lot of planning!
     
  19. karly101

    karly101 Earning My Ears

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    Looking forward to reading about your trip as we are heading off end of Jan (and also staying at Camelot!) can I ask where you purchased your 10 day passes?
     
  20. aussiejen

    aussiejen Mouseketeer

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    Welcome ALL & Thanks :wave2:,

    Well i thought since were coming all that way im going to make the most of it. :mickeyjum We normally stay 3-4 weeks but the kids have school. Yes the flight hhmmmmm definatley 100 million percent not looking forward to it :sad2:



    Yes alot of planning for this one...:banana: the planning is most of the fun......well sometimes. :rotfl2: i think i now have it all covered, just have to pick up our tickets next week & look forward to the day we fly out.

    Well your the first person i have come across on this board thats staying at Camelot.. What dates will you be there? i have read mixed reviews but i am trying to be positive about them all & hope the camelot can prove all the bad review wrong...
    We will be there 25th JAN - 9TH FEB.

    We purchased our 10 day passes from our travel agent, Escape Travel. I want to spend as much time as i can in the parks. Having the little one with us it will take a little longer to get around to seeing things & riding the rides.




     
  21. minnieralyks

    minnieralyks Mysteries & Magic, Visions Fantastic

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    We've stayed at Camelot multiple times and have always had a pleasant experience. Clean, convenient location, and friendly staff. The rooms are on the larger side (larger than the Paradise Pier standard rooms at about half the price). It was our go-to hotel for a few years. We haven't stayed in the last year or so simply because we've been able to find a better deal down the street and like staying close to 7-11 to stock up on water/soda for our days at the park.

    It's great and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a basic, clean, and close-proximity hotel. It's actually closer than the on-site hotels, except for GCH.

    P.S. Sooo jealous of you Australians! Every time we go, we always end up talking to someone from Australia that says they're on a multi-week long vacation. That long of vacation is almost unheard of in the States! lol
     

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