California Family Trip of 2018 #illumedati 3

Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. Today I’m just going to go over my plans for the California Family Trip of 2018.

California Family Trip 2018

Stock Photo from: Pixabay

California Family Trip of 2018

So, you guys may remember on my Christopher Guest Post with Physician on Fire when I was asked:

You’ve got eleven days to visit anyplace in the world with an $11,000 budget. Where do you go and what do you do?

And my answer was:


Hmm…. I’d take the wife, kids, and my in-laws to visit my parents and sister in Southern California for the 11 days. We’d all go to Disneyland and I’d let my daughter and son do the whole Princess/Prince for a Day thing. We’d eat In-N-Out, get some real Vietnamese food in Westminster, and some real Mexican food pretty much anywhere in Southern California.

If my brother is home, we’d go out for All You Can Eat Korean BBQ and try to put them out of business. Then we’d all drive everyone down to San Diego and go to the San Diego Zoo and Legoland. After the 11 days of eating great food and being with family, we’d all go back to Oahu full and happy.

My plan would be to have everyone in the family remember that trip forever… and then maybe we make it a yearly thing to go to Southern California ever year for a week or so.

So where are we on that plan?

Well, we’ve finally managed to recover some funds after buying a house and putting on a new roof and solar panels. Additionally, my wife and I were finally able to secure the same weeks off for vacation and it was time to try to make this vacation happen.

My family lives in Southern California and my wife’s brother lives in San Diego. My little brother will also be in town for that 1st weekend as well.

So we wanted to try to see everyone and this is what we’re doing:

Getting the So Cal CityPASS.

For those who don’t know, the CityPASS Admission Includes

  1. Disneyland Park & Disney California Adventure – 3-DAY PARK HOPPER TICKET WITH MAGIC MORNING
  2. SeaWorld San Diego
  3. LEGOLAND® California

It’s something people out here in Hawaii do relatively commonly for a California Trip. Honestly, I only really care about Disneyland and LEGOLAND, but the Sea World is a nice bonus.

I think it feels like this:

Securing Flights

We are going to leave on a Friday, stay in California for a week, then fly back the next, next Saturday, for an 8 day trip.

I prefer to fly Hawaiian if at all possible.

Here’s the plan:

  • Take private shuttle to airport.
  • Arrive on a Friday, flying from HNL to LAX.
  • Leave the next next Saturday, flying from LAX to HNL.
  • Take private shuttle home.
  • Settle in, relax, and do laundry on Sunday.
  • Hopefully also relax on Monday too.
  • Back to work on Tuesday.

The Itinerary

The way there


  • LEGOLAND hotel Friday and Saturday night. We went with the Ninjago theme, which a friend recommended to us.
  • All day LEGOLAND Saturday, hopefully with my sister and my wife’s brother (and their families).
  • All day Sea World Sunday.
  • San Diego Hotel (near my wife’s brother) on Sunday.
  • Monday Morning hang out with my wife’s brother and their family then drive back up to Orange County.


  • Hang out with my family Monday, then drive to Disneyland.
  • Disneyland Hotel for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night.
  • All day Disneyland Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
  • Drive back and see my parents, and hang out on Thursday night.
  • Orange County hotel (near my parents) on Thursday night.
  • Hang out with my family all day Friday, likely with a big family dinner out on Friday night.
  • Orange County hotel (near my parents) on Friday night.

The way back

  • Wake up early Saturday morning, drive to LAX.
  • Fly LAX to HNL.

It’s going to be a tiring trip. However, I think the kids will have a lot of fun, and we planned it to maximize time with family.

Why didn’t you just fly in to San Diego? and fly out via LAX?

I considered doing this. One of our other friends did fly in to San Diego, did LEGOLAND and Sea World, then drove up to Orange County and did Disneyland, flying back to Hawaii out of LAX.

However, the flights out of San Diego from Hawaii are pretty limited, currently. This may change later, but for now, I think flying in and out of LAX was the best choice. Also, since we have family both near LAX and in San Diego, I think we managed to make the most of our time there.

Why do you need a private shuttle?

Well, we don’t need one.

However, I think it makes sense for a party of 6 people to travel in a private shuttle. We will also be traveling with two different car seats for Kylie and Lucas, so I think we’ll need the space too.

For what it’s worth, if we were to drive to the airport ourselves and park, it would cost significantly more than using a shuttle twice.

What are you planning to do at Disneyland?

Well, I think we are going to do the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Kylie. It’s where they dress you up to look like a Disney Princess. I think she’ll really enjoy it.

I also am leaning toward getting the Photopass, but I haven’t really looked into all the different options yet.

A friend of mine tells me I really should get dinner reservations for the World of Color too.

As it gets closer to the time, I’ll look into making a better itinerary. Since my kids are still so young, I think they’ll prefer the California Adventure stuff over the Disneyland stuff.

What about LEGOLAND?

We don’t have any special plans for LEGOLAND.

However, I think Kylie and Lucas will get a kick out of seeing all the LEGO characters, like the LEGO Friends crew and the heroes from The LEGO Movie, Wyldstyle and Emmet.

However, a friend of mine says that they have really good lobster rolls (random right?), so I’m looking forward to that. My other friend says the food at LEGOLAND is better overall than Disneyland, so I’m looking forward to that as well.

And Sea World?

Like I said above, Sea World was kind of like “well, we have the tickets, we should go” kind of thing. I don’t really have anything special planned.

A quick glance at the Sea World site and I think my kids would get a kick out the Penguin Up-Close Tour… but we’ll see.

That about wraps it up…

Suffice it to say, my wife and I are pretty excited about this trip, something to look forward to in 2018.

It’s going to be an expensive trip, but it’ll be an experience… and I’m all about buying experiences.

My daughter Kylie is super excited and keeps asking “When are we going? Tomorrow?” ?

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei


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3 thoughts on “California Family Trip of 2018 #illumedati

  • Physician on FIRE

    Glad to hear this is happening! From the looks of it, you’ll have a great family vacation, and I’m guessing you’ll come in well under $11,000. We’ve done Legoland Florida with our young children. They loved it (and I geeked out a bit, too.) Bring some minifigures. You can swap with all park workers, who always have a few on their nametags.

    Happy travels!

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