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Old 10-14-2018, 03:43 PM   #16
PrincessSharon
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The Enchanted Itinerary

The wonderful thing about this particular Adventures By Disney itinerary is that it hits the major highlights of China and Hong Kong. So fortunately there wasn’t much planning for me to do at all. I do love to plan, though, so I had to research what I’d be doing with my On Your Own (OYO) time.

When I booked, I considered adding in a trip to Tokyo Disneyland (after all, it’s so close), but I decided against it because I wanted my first trip to Japan to be long enough to really see the country in addition to TDR. But I did have the idea of visiting the Disneyland Resort in California at the start, thanks to the email that started it all. And I figured a direct flight from LA to Hong Kong would be easier to manage than flying from New York City to Hong Kong.

So there will be three (three!! ) Disney Resorts visited on this trip. And as I mentioned in my first post, my goal is to visit them all, so once this trip is over, I’ll only have Tokyo yet to conquer. My original plan was for 2020, but now there’s all this exciting construction going on there, and rumors of a third gate, so I think 2022 is more likely. Hear that, Chez? And now that I’ve got a 10-year visa, I think when I do go to Japan, it’ll be easy-peasy to stop and hit HKDL & SDL first. After all, there’s a lot of growth happening for both parks right now.

First, the basics. The ABD itinerary highlights (our schedule is slightly modified from the regular ABD itinerary).

Day One – Hong Kong

• Welcome dinner

Day Two – Hong Kong

• Sightseeing in Stanley Market
• Victoria Peak
• The Peak Tram
• Hong Kong Disneyland

Day Three – Hong Kong, Beijing

• Flight to Beijing (all flights during the ABD were arranged by ABD)
• Dinner at Duck de Chine (famous for their Peking Duck)

Day Four – Beijing

• Temple of Heaven tour
• Tiananmen Square
• Forbidden City

Day Five – Beijing

• Hutong Pedicab tour
• Great Wall of China Tour (we visit in Mutianyu)

Day Six – Beijing, Chengdu

• Fly to Chengdu

Day Seven – Chengdu

• Chengdu Panda Visit (this is one of the things I’m most looking forward to. Pandas!! Squee!)
• Lunch at Sichuan Hot Pot restaurant
• Sichuan Opera

Day Eight – Chengdu, Xi’an, Guilin (this is our Amazing Race-style day)

• Maglev bullet train to Xi’an
• Terracotta Warriors Museum
• Fly to Guilin

Day Nine – Guilin

• Cruise on the Li (Lijiang) River (I’m really excited about this!)
• White elephant gift exchange (knowing what ABD trips are like, this should be fun)


Day Ten – Guilin, Shanghai

• Fly to Shanghai
• Shanghai Acrobat Show

Day Eleven – Shanghai

• Old Shanghai – Yu Garden Tour
• Shanghai Disneyland
• Farewell dinner

Day Twelve – Shanghai

• End of ABD

As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot of time in either park. Not even a full day for either park is simply not enough time. Fortunately, the smart folks at ABD scheduled them at the beginning and end of the trip so you can easily extend your trip in either direction for more park time. And y’all know I did that! I also considered booking other things on my own, but being an ABD veteran, I know I don’t want to pack my itinerary too full, because ABD packed it pretty full already (I’ve only listed the big-ticket items).

Now it was time to focus on my pre-days, my post-days, and my pre-pre-days. I wanted to visit Disneyland Resort first, then fly to Hong Kong from L.A. My plan was to stay using DVC points at the Grand Californian, but even right at the 7-month mark, there was no availability. I’m not sure what’s going on at that time, but I found that mostly everything was booked up, even for a random Wednesday night in October.

Sadly, they were only offering rack rates for the Disneyland resorts. Paying $700 a night for a hotel room (that’s really not all $700/night luxurious, sorry Disney) just stuck in my craw, so I decided to go for a Good Neighbor Hotel instead, the Camelot Inn & Suites. I keep checking for discounts, but there’s a 2-week gap between the summer discounts and the fall discounts that falls right when I’m visiting. I’d be afraid the parks are going to be mobbed, but the crowd calendars I’ve checked all seem to have low to moderate crowds. Shrug.

I also wanted to use my DVC points to stay at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, but then, the Disney Explorers Lodge opened and I decided that looked like fun (the Disneyland Hotel is very reminiscent of the Grand Floridian while the Explorer’s Lodge is more unique). I was able to get that booked with no trouble at the 7-month mark. It cost more points than I normally would spend, but because I didn’t spend much time at WDW in 2018, I had the points to spare, and plenty left over to bank for next year.

Shanghai was a tougher choice. Should I go for the super-cute and immersive Toy Story Hotel or the classic Shanghai Disneyland Hotel? I flip-flopped back and forth and finally went with the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Now I’m kind of kicking myself for not doing a split stay. But I originally decided against a split stay because I’ll be staying in 8 different hotels already. I’ve graduated to Cheryl & Mark-level travel!

I checked flights to Hong Kong from LAX and American Airlines had the ideal schedule. I also decided that 13 hours was a long enough flight to justify paying for an upgrade. I’ve been hoarding my Delta sky miles hoping I could use them for this trip, but the Delta flight schedule was completely wrong for me, so I’ll have to keep on hoarding those miles for something else. My flight to Hong Kong is a red-eye (which I prefer, believe it or not). I depart LA early Friday and arrive in Hong Kong on Saturday, thanks to the time change. For the return flight from Shanghai to LAX, I will be flying back in time, so I’ll arrive in Los Angeles before I leave Shanghai!

I’d still need to get from New York to L.A. and back at the end of the trip, so I checked all available flights and found a great deal on JetBlue. This will be my first time flying JetBlue, so hopefully all goes well. I have some minor reservations based on others’ experiences. It should be fine, though.

I generally have no problem sleeping on planes, so I don’t expect to suffer too much from jet lag. Also, the entirety of China is on the same time zone, so once I get adjusted there, nothing will change until I fly home.

Up Next: Park, Park, Park, Park
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Last edited by PrincessSharon; 10-14-2018 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:02 PM   #17
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That's quite an extensive itinerary you'll be doing! I'm sure that's not everything on this tour and just the majors as I've done tours myself. Too bad you don't get full days in the Disney parks, but at least you'll get a good feel for them.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:47 PM   #18
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What an amazing trip! I'm enjoying all the information your sharing because it's quite interesting especially about the toilets and toilet paper
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:08 PM   #19
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Whoa! They do keep you busy, don't they! It sounds like you have things laid out well, though. I've flown JetBlue and was quite happy with them. I think they are much like SW and maybe even a tad better.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:25 PM   #20
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Whoa! They do keep you busy, don't they! It sounds like you have things laid out well, though. I've flown JetBlue and was quite happy with them. I think they are much like SW and maybe even a tad better.

Probably a bit better than SW as you said. Recently they have upgraded their Airbus 320s to include business class seating. I think these are called Mint and Mosaic. It's the first five rows. The other day on my return from Vegas they looked quite nice. I had the even more space seating in row 6, which was quite nice as being a bulkhead seat with so much legroom. So great on a long flight from Las Vegas to JFK!
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:08 PM   #21
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Yikes, when I started reading the itinerary I was thinking that was definitely not enough time in the parks! So Iím very glad to hear that you will be extending your visit on either end to spend more time in the parks! Iím really surprised that all of China is in one time zoneÖ I always think of China as really large so I wouldíve thought they were in more than one time zone!


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Old 10-14-2018, 09:17 PM   #22
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Beautiful plans, sorry for the short times in the Chinese parks. At least you should have western toilets in them. Very interesting about the time travel.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:11 PM   #23
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Yikes, when I started reading the itinerary I was thinking that was definitely not enough time in the parks! So Iím very glad to hear that you will be extending your visit on either end to spend more time in the parks! Iím really surprised that all of China is in one time zoneÖ I always think of China as really large so I wouldíve thought they were in more than one time zone!


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That is quite bizarre as China is close in size to the USA which has four in the continental region of the original 48. China only goes by one time zone and considering most of the population is on the east coast, I'm guessing the priority is given here and I'd be surprised if it was elsewhere with Hong Kong (it's a UK territory but still China) Beijing and Shanghai among the principle cities. I've read over the years that with the size of the country they could have five time zones.


This doesn't make sense at all as it should be broken up with the extreme distances from east to west as it is in the states. Not sure why this is done but some sort of government garbage/red tape and it is China after all. They may not care about the western part of the country as a lot of poverty and rural! Wish I had an answer but a guess!
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My TR from my most recent trip is now underway. Includes: Universal Studios Florida, Disney World and Sea World
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:22 PM   #24
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What a fantastic itinerary. Guilin is the only places I haven’t been, and I’ve done the majority of things on your list. Peking duck, YUM!
The opera in Chengdu is amazing. Hope you get to see the famous face-changing, as well as shadow puppets. And if it’s the one in the old town, the theater is open air, and there are grannies coming through offering massages. Get one! Those tiny little old ladies are STRONG! I have a memory of our 7 year old relaxing while getting a foot & leg massage at the opera.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:43 PM   #25
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What a fantastic itinerary. Guilin is the only places I haven’t been, and I’ve done the majority of things on your list. Peking duck, YUM!
The opera in Chengdu is amazing. Hope you get to see the famous face-changing, as well as shadow puppets. And if it’s the one in the old town, the theater is open air, and there are grannies coming through offering massages. Get one! Those tiny little old ladies are STRONG! I have a memory of our 7 year old relaxing while getting a foot & leg massage at the opera.

Thanks for sharing this Colleen. Sounds like an amazing experience you had in China when you were there. Even more so for your 7 year old at the time (son or daughter?)



China is on my list of many to visit but I'd put Japan in Asia first as more of an interest. Hope both happen for me in time. Tough, when I keep returning to WDW each year. But up to me to change that.



Including North America, I've visited three other continents and proud I've done this. Antarctica is pretty unlikely as not exactly easy to visit the mainland! Various cruises but I'm not sure if you can set your feet on land on most. Only way I'd do one of these. Other continents being Europe (10+ countries in 8 trips), Africa (only Morocco) and Australia.



Yes! I love to travel and enjoy the trips, experiences and everything about them so much! From tours, culture, sights and food. I am quite a happy guy with this approach!
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October 6, 2017-Enjoying an amazing dinner at Victoria & Albert's with PP's Dot and Drew

My TR from my most recent trip is now underway. Includes: Universal Studios Florida, Disney World and Sea World
Orlando Trifecta TR
-Updated December 10th! TR is now COMPLETED!





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My Previous Trips1995-2000, 2006-Various in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, France, England, Holland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Lichtenstein, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Morocco; 1998-U.S. National Parks (California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada) 1999-Las Vegas, 2001-Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, 2005-Memphis, 2011-Austin, TX: ACL Festival and Orlando: Bay Hill Lodge; 2013-Paris and Eastern France's Wine Country, 2015-Memphis for 7 WDW: 2002-WL, 2003-CSR, 2004-AKL, 2005-BWI, 2007-POR, BC, 2008-Offsite Championsgate Omni & CBR, 2009-Poly, POR (Decade of Dreams), 2010-POFQ, GF, 2011-POFQ, 2012-CSR,WL, 2014-POR, 2015-DCL Magic in Western Caribbean, 2016-B Resort in DS, 2017-USF: Royal Pacific /WDW: Dolphin
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:51 AM   #26
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I can go with Japan in 2022... I've already written it off until at least 2021, because of all the work they're doing to the park before the Olympics. It's a bit like WDW at the moment in terms of all the building work going on from what I can gather...

I'm so glad you're adding on time at both parks, as when I read that itinerary, I was like "that's about half a day for each park". That would not be enough time by far for either - definitely not for Hong Kong. We did just a day there in 2008 and covered most things, but they've done such a major expansion since we were there...

Your itinerary is very similar to the one I'm looking at - I think the only things missing are Hong Kong (which we've done, so I'm not worried about), Guilin (which I'm not fussed about) and Shanghai, but you can do an add on for Shanghai, which we'll do and hopefully then add two or three days on top of that for Shanghai Disney as well.

How weird everything was booked up at Disneyland for October. We really lucked out getting back into the Grand Californian Villas again at seven months for March.

I'll be interested to see what you make of the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, as that definitely looks like more my type of hotel for a stay there!
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:54 AM   #27
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That’s a lot of very busy days, glad you are adding days on both ends as I can’t imagine only 1/2 a day at each park. Lucky you can sleep on planes as those are long flights.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:16 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
That's quite an extensive itinerary you'll be doing! I'm sure that's not everything on this tour and just the majors as I've done tours myself. Too bad you don't get full days in the Disney parks, but at least you'll get a good feel for them.

I know the ABD days will be packed. I think breakfast every morning is at 7:00, and you're on the go for the rest of the day!


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Originally Posted by patclairesmom View Post
What an amazing trip! I'm enjoying all the information your sharing because it's quite interesting especially about the toilets and toilet paper

I learned some other stuff too, but I'll save that for the TR.


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Whoa! They do keep you busy, don't they! It sounds like you have things laid out well, though. I've flown JetBlue and was quite happy with them. I think they are much like SW and maybe even a tad better.

Glad to hear that.


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Probably a bit better than SW as you said. Recently they have upgraded their Airbus 320s to include business class seating. I think these are called Mint and Mosaic. It's the first five rows. The other day on my return from Vegas they looked quite nice. I had the even more space seating in row 6, which was quite nice as being a bulkhead seat with so much legroom. So great on a long flight from Las Vegas to JFK!

Good to know.


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Yikes, when I started reading the itinerary I was thinking that was definitely not enough time in the parks! So Iím very glad to hear that you will be extending your visit on either end to spend more time in the parks! Iím really surprised that all of China is in one time zoneÖ I always think of China as really large so I wouldíve thought they were in more than one time zone!


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I was surprised too! And I for sure need more than a half day in each park!


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Beautiful plans, sorry for the short times in the Chinese parks. At least you should have western toilets in them. Very interesting about the time travel.

I guess I get a traveler gold star for actual time travel.


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Originally Posted by cubfancolleen View Post
What a fantastic itinerary. Guilin is the only places I havenít been, and Iíve done the majority of things on your list. Peking duck, YUM!
The opera in Chengdu is amazing. Hope you get to see the famous face-changing, as well as shadow puppets. And if itís the one in the old town, the theater is open air, and there are grannies coming through offering massages. Get one! Those tiny little old ladies are STRONG! I have a memory of our 7 year old relaxing while getting a foot & leg massage at the opera.

Yes, we're going to see the face changing, and I'll have to get a granny massage while I'm there.


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I can go with Japan in 2022... I've already written it off until at least 2021, because of all the work they're doing to the park before the Olympics. It's a bit like WDW at the moment in terms of all the building work going on from what I can gather...

Yeah, there's a lot going on, but it will be amazing when it's done!


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I'm so glad you're adding on time at both parks, as when I read that itinerary, I was like "that's about half a day for each park". That would not be enough time by far for either - definitely not for Hong Kong. We did just a day there in 2008 and covered most things, but they've done such a major expansion since we were there...
I wasn't going to fly halfway around the world for a half day in each park! I think I should be able to do everything on my list.


Quote:
Your itinerary is very similar to the one I'm looking at - I think the only things missing are Hong Kong (which we've done, so I'm not worried about), Guilin (which I'm not fussed about) and Shanghai, but you can do an add on for Shanghai, which we'll do and hopefully then add two or three days on top of that for Shanghai Disney as well.
So I'll write a thorough TR to help you out. Consider me your research assistant.


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How weird everything was booked up at Disneyland for October. We really lucked out getting back into the Grand Californian Villas again at seven months for March.
It seems I have the worst luck with DVC! And my wait list never comes through, either.


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I'll be interested to see what you make of the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, as that definitely looks like more my type of hotel for a stay there!
To tell the truth, it's definitely more my type too, but the theming at the Toy Story Hotel is so adorable.



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Thatís a lot of very busy days, glad you are adding days on both ends as I canít imagine only 1/2 a day at each park. Lucky you can sleep on planes as those are long flights.

I think it will be fine. I just have to time it so I'll wake up at the right time.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:22 PM   #29
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So I'll write a thorough TR to help you out. Consider me your research assistant.
That works!
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My Countdown Counting down to: 2019
Happy New Year!
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My Previous Trips21 trips to WDW, 6 to Disneyland in California, 9 to Disneyland Paris, 1 to Hong Kong Disneyland, 1 to Tokyo Disney, 1 to Aulani, 1 to Hilton Head, 2 to Vero Beach and 13 Disney cruises on the Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:36 PM   #30
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Great plans!
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