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Second half of 2016 trip musings...

The travel bug has bit me--more than that, the "I want to do things that sound cool" bug!

Mid-to-late-August: Fly down to SoCal on a Thursday to visit Shannon (high school friend I've reconnected with), staying with her that night and maybe seeing the old hometown, before going with her down to Disneyland the next day (since she has Fridays off and is an even bigger Disneyland fanatic than I am--we had a ton of fun when we went together one day last year). Spend the day enjoying "classic" Disneyland (and weather hot enough to maybe make the water rides extra enjoyable), during a time of the summer when crowds should be less than insane.

Stay the night by the park, and then fly out bright and early Saturday morning to Albuquerque, and then a bus to Santa Fe, there to see the awesome-looking House of Eternal Return, which has captured my attention since I saw an article for it earlier this year. It's just too amazing to last long, despite them selling lifetime passes, so I have to see it while it lasts. Plus, hey, I've never been to New Mexico before...Soak up the mystery and then fly home Sunday.

Early October: head down Friday the 7th to Portland for the annual HP Lovecraft Film Festival, and spend the weekend enjoying spooky films in a dark theater surrounded by fellow fans. Maybe stay by the airport instead of the (no longer so) cheap motel by the theater to make part two of this long weekend easier. Speaking of...

Monday morning, fly from Portland to Orange County for my second theme park visit. Wander Disneyland during the day to experience the Halloween overlay (and maybe buy some cool merch for friends)--but don't stay for the separate Halloween event that night. Instead, take a short bus ride to Knotts Berry Scary Farm, and spend the evening enjoying a theme park totally taken over by Halloween shenanigans. Originally I was thinking of just making my big Disneyland trip in October so I could do more Halloween stuff, but honestly I think a day trip to Disneyland and a night at Knotts will be plenty. Because I really enjoyed Holiday Time at the parks last year, which means...

Late November (week before Thanksgiving): head back down to SoCal one more time, this time for a more relaxing, longer stay. Maybe head down Saturday to meet up with Shannon, and then go with her to the park Sunday; or maybe go down Monday and meet up with her on Friday (assuming she still has Fridays off). Spend one day visiting Universal Studios (another thing I've never done), and take in Harry Potter land (and make several friends jealous). And at some point, at the beginning or end of the trip, find myself in the LAX area so I can visit "she who prefers not to be named" and her family (and see their new house!). And whatever else I decide to do during a nearly week-long visit (I actually don't know as many people in SoCal these days as I once thought, but the ones I'll be seeing are plenty to justify the trip!).

So...yeah. That's the tentative plan. Lots of experiences, and lots of having my cake and eating it to (since originally the decision was, "visit Disneyland in October or November?"). :p And at least at first blush, each trip is relatively reasonable, price-wise--it's just how they would look in aggregate that I need to examine more closely...


Jun. 5th, 2016 04:23 pm (UTC)
The great thing about planning this far in advance--but not buying any tickets--is that I'm free to change my mind six or seven times. That may also be a "con" about this whole thing. :p

Now I'm thinking I'll do the Santa Fe trip at the end of August (maybe with a daytrip to DL if I can pick a day when Shannon's pass let's her visit, which is an unexpected wrinkle (her AP has a lot of summer blackout dates, including near the end of August)), and then going for a week in early October, skipping the film festival and making this the "big" vacation this year (not going in November at all).

In this scenario I fly out Saturday to visit Shannon in Temecula, and then we both hit the park Sunday, at which point I check into my hotel. Monday I head to Knotts in the evening when the park closes early for their Halloween party, relax Tuesday, go to Universal Studios (staying late for their Halloween night, skipping the Disney party again), relax Thursday, spend the day at the park Friday, and then head to LAX-area to meet up with the college friend and her family, stay the night with them, and fly home Saturday sometime.

Pro: I get to see most of the Halloween stuff I'm curious about, even if I skip the actual Disneyland party (which is a separate ticketed event and doesn't sound like I'd miss much aside from interacting with different characters and seeing a different firework show, both things that are low on my priority list). I'm only making 2 trips in the fall/winter instead of 3.

Con: I'm not really into pumpkin-flavored things, and the park is apparently full of the stuff during this time of year (but I'm sure I can find plenty of other stuff to eat :p). I'll miss the awesome Holiday season. I'll be a bit more on a schedule than last time. Work may not be as sanguine about me missing a week in October vs November (but I'm probably overblowing that--people take vacations pretty much all year). I'll miss the film festival.

We'll see--I really need to wait until the parks release their Halloween schedules (hopefully in the next month or two)--if Universal or Knotts only have their events on the weekend, for example, that may decide for me (since I'm trying to go during the week when it's less busy). Plus I want to talk to Shannon once she's back from her cruise and hear her thoughts, since going and not being able to spend at least one day with my fellow fan at the park would be pretty heartbreaking. ;)

Plenty of time to figure it out, but it's fun (and informative) to break everything down like this...
Jun. 5th, 2016 05:39 pm (UTC)
Ha, and it looks like both Knotts & Universal offerings are Thurs-Sun (until closer to Halloween, then they add a Wednesday show)--at least going by last year's dates. Makes sense I suppose, although Disney does seem to do the MWF thing to great effect..

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