196 days, 5 hours, 17 minutes and 30 seconds…this is my Disney countdown until our next trip (well not really but you get my drift that I am a planner) 😉 There is no way around it, I love Disney. As you probably guessed from my last post, Disney is my happy place and really the only place I want to vacation right now. Also, if you are familiar with my YouTube channel you also know I am a planner. From Erin Condren to Happy Planner, put me in a stationary store and I feel like I died and had gone to heaven, pens, markers, washi and stickers! Oh my! Anyways, back on track….No sooner than the plane ride home I am planning my next trip back “home”, I have my notebook out and I am writing down my list of “Must Do” for the next trip.
So in true planner fashion I thought I would share with you what I do to plan for my next Disney vacation 🙂 (which happens to be in a few months!!)
- Use a calendar– Mark off the days you are going “home”and then go and check the Disney Calendar on the Disney website. This calendar is usually up 6 months in advance and this will tell you on what days certain parks will have EMH (Extra Magical Hours) and what time each park opens and closes.
- Fast Passes– Following with #1, choosing which park to go to on each day will also help you decide on fast pass selection. You can only book 3 fast passes per day and only at one park, so if you do have the park hopper option on your ticket it will not matter. You can book your fast passes 60 days in advance if you are staying at a Disney World resort or if you are staying off property (like we usually do) you can still book up to 30 days in advance. Fast pass booking can be made starting at 7 a.m. EST. I highly recommend getting fast passes for Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight these rides usually always have long wait times and are a must to do.
- Dining– Planning my food is just as exciting to me as planning the rest of the trip. I love eating at Disney and if you want to experience some of those extra special dining choices you have to get an ADR (Advance Dining Reservation). These can be made 180 days from the date of your trip and I HIGHLY recommend it. Chances are if you want a character meal, you will not be able to walk up and get it on the day of. Plus, even if you are “on the fence” about a certain meal, book it. You can cancel up to the day before the ADR without penalty.
- Plan a budget– Beside rides, Disney has so many other special experiences for families to enjoy. Make sure to plan for these. One of our favorite if the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique (which also requires a reservation). I also ALWAYS plan the memory maker into our trip, to me this is a must. I do take lots of pictures on my own but it is nice to get pictures with all of us in them. Also, the memory maker includes things like little video clips of certain rides (we were able to get a video of Madeline’s first time on the Tower of Terror 🙂 )
- Don’t plan to “Do it all”– Disney spans 40 square miles and there is no way you can do it all in one trip. I recommend getting the Park Hopper option so you can visit multiple parks/ day and then follow my other suggestions above to get the most out of your Disney trip.
So, these are a few of the ways I plan for my Disney vacation. Stay tuned for more Disney related posts, including one on “What I bring in my Park Bag” and ” My Top 10 things to do at Disney”.