spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

We near the end…but not without some fun updates :)

on February 18, 2020

So after taking increasingly long breaks from blogging, mostly due to life happening around me, but sometimes due to laziness, I’ve pretty much decided to stop updating this website before the domain name renewal in June.  This will allow me to wrap it up neatly (6 years strong), and provide one last Trip Report– for the upcoming May Disneyland trip.  Read on for a great update on our flights!

So, on the last post, I was waiting for my Alaska Companion Fare (CF) to be active.  The very next day after publishing that post, my wishes came true.  And if I do say so myself, I got a screamin’ deal.

estimated actual
airfare $860.00 $603.43
LAX hotel $0.00 $0.00
DL express shuttle 😦    Karmel instead $85.00 $90.00
airport misc $35.00
$980.00 $693.43

I direct you to the bolded section above.  Yes, that is my total airfare cost for 2 round-trip fares from Honolulu (HNL) to Los Angeles (LAX) around a holiday weekend.  Just over $300 or approx 11 cents per mile.


This means “good, nice, and cheap” 🙂

The pre-story: So I was looking at flights and bemoaning the fact that in being limited to Alaska metal flights (a rule for using the Companion Fare), I only had 1 daily nonstop departure to choose from.  It was about $637 RT for 1 person, approx $780 for both with the CF.  And that flight landed at 10:10p, which meant that 1) we couldn’t expect to be up bright and early for the Parks the next day after disembarking, riding the 45 minutes to the resort area, and checking in- even if all that happened very efficiently, it’d be midnight by the time we could sleep, and 2) I’d have to find some alternate way of even getting to the hotel, because the Disneyland Express charter bus from the airport to the resort area (approx $85 RT for 1 adult and 1 child) stops running at 8p.

So I thought about my options, and began considering adding another day to the beginning of the trip.  What would I want to do after landing at 10p?  Shower, then sleep.  Note about time zone differences- yes, it would “be like 7p” for us after the relatively short travel time, but one way I avoid jet lag (besides sheer stubbornness) is to live the time zone that I’m in as soon as I arrive.  So I checked on the flight prices for the day before.  Good news!  Same flight, over $200 less!  If I could find a deal on an airport hotel, we could land, shuttle to the airport hotel, sleep a full night, then wake up, shuttle back to the airport to catch the Disneyland Express during daylight hours, and arrive at our resort hotel refreshed and excited.  My arrival day plan did not include Parks, just a character dinner at the Disneyland Hotel, so this change of travel arrangement would work just fine.  IF I could find an airport hotel.  Off to check my stash of points.


The internet really has everything.  I remembered this image from an ancient Betty Boop cartoon VHS that my sister and I watched as little kids!

And wouldn’t you know it!  It was anniversary time for my Marriott Bonvoy card.  Part of SPG’s rebranding was to add a Free Anniversary Night to the card.  This is the 1st time I’d be using this annual benefit.  I received the email that my night was available to book, looked at the LAX options, and picked the beautiful-looking Renaissance Inn LAX/Century Blvd.  So as you can see in my table above, the stay is $0, and it even includes breakfast!

Hotel booked, I set about purchasing the flights.  Several clicks later, it was done:

Base Airfare me $409.88
Taxes/Fees me $47.32
Base Airfare DS $99.00
Taxes/Fees DS $47.23
Total $603.43

Woo! I had it made in the shade. Right around this time (December), I decided to go for it on the Park tickets. Good thing I did, too, as the prices went up just in the past week. I have 4-day Park Hopper tickets with MaxPass. I bought through Undercover Tourist, which saved me a couple of bucks. Still a big bite though- the tickets cost quite a bit more than the flights!  UT also sells the Disneyland Express fares, with a small discount,  so I bundled that into the ticket purchase.

I was zooming along rather nicely, everything falling into place, when….Disney decided to discontinue the Disneyland Express service altogether!  Bummer.  I contacted Undercover Tourist and they immediately refunded the fare we had paid.  But now I had no way to get to the resort area.  I don’t do Uber or Lyft for the same reason I don’t do AirBnB…old-fashioned, I guess.  So I read on the DISboards, where lots of people were making alternate arrangements.  I settled on using the Karmel Shuttle service after seeing a bunch of positive reviews.  Our transit is easy- we will have only carry-ons, and DS no longer requires a car seat.  At $90 RT for 1 adult and 1 child, it was only $5 more than the DL express.  You can see that change reflected in my chart above.

A last detail on that- this shuttle service track your incoming flight and has you text them when you have gotten your bags from the claim area and are waiting at the designated area for pickup.  That really won’t work for me because my flight now lands the night before I need the pickup!  So I have a reminder to call them a few days before and explain that I will be at the airport at the time I requested pickup but to disregard my flight info.

So this is where we stand: flights/hotels/tickets/shuttle arrangements are all done.  I have allowed for 4 full days in the Parks, which is plenty.  The next task is to sort through all the information I highlighted from the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, the DISboards website, and the Disneyland official website, and start the most important/fun thing of all- the ITINERARY!  Rides, food, fireworks…yay!!!

dl panorama


3 responses to “We near the end…but not without some fun updates :)

  1. Eric Thau says:


    On Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 9:05 AM spreadsheets and suitcases wrote:

    > spreadsheetsandsuitcases posted: “So after taking increasingly long breaks > from blogging, mostly due to life happening around me, but sometimes due to > laziness, I’ve pretty much decided to stop updating this website before the > domain name renewal in June. This will allow me to wrap it up” >


  2. Gina says:

    Fabuloso! Que organización✈️✈️


  3. VivaLaDiva405 says:

    Betty Boop! “In the pink!”


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