Planning for Disney

May 5, 2008

With the hubby busy getting his Masters (and shelling out the bucks for it), we’re holding off on our usual once (or twice) annual trip to Disney World this year.  It’s hard!  What can I say, I’m spoiled!

I should really be avoiding anything Disney right now so I won’t be reminded what I’m missing…. but I just can’t resist Jennifer’s carnival on Disney over at Snapshot

This past Friday she asked about trip planning.  Oh yeah!  Not much I love more than preparing for a Disney trip.  Thinking on it more though, I realized I probably don’t have much to offer in the way of advice for newbies.  We’ve gone so many times that we don’t put much thought into where, when or how we go any more. 

In the past our family has stayed at Disney’s Beach Club, Yacht Club, AllStars, Contemporary, Animal Kingdom, Key West and Carribean resorts.  We’ve also experienced staying off site once.  Now we know what works for us so we always stay at the cabins at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness.  If you have a large family or a child with autism, this is the way to go!  The mobile home sized cabin features a bedroom with a full sized bed and a set of bunk beds, a murphy bed in the living area, a full kitchen (full size fridge, microwave, stove, dishwasher, dishes, pots and pans, dining table for 6), two tvs, and most important of all – space between cabins so your kids aren’t always waking the neighbors!

My favorite time to visit is October.  The weather is perfect, the crowds are light and you have to try the Food and Wine Festival in Epcot. YUM!  The hubby and the kids also like to go in May for Star Wars Weekends.  It’s just too hot for northerners like us in the summer and being that we homeschool, we’ve got no reason to go in the spring when everyone else is there.

We tend to go for 9 or 10 days at a time so most often we purchase annual passes.  Last I checked, if you’re going to the parks for 7 or more days, these are the best deal.  We often get 2 or 3 trips out of ours so they’re definetly worth it for us.  The bonus here is that we can go for a few hours the day we arrive or chill in our cabin in mid-day heat and I don’t have to feel like we’re ‘wasting’ our ticket for the day. 

That’s all no brainer stuff for us.  But each trip has to have a plan.  Here’s where we spend our time and build the excitement.  A couple of years ago I made our own personal Ultimate Disney Guidebook.  It’s got everything we need.  Printed menus from, maps of all the parks, lists of our favorite rides and restaurants and THE PLAN.   For each day I plan which parks we’ll visit based on the hours, extra magic hours and special events.  We get votes from everyone on where they’d like to eat (the menus come in handy here) and make the reservations.  Then I print it all up on a master plan sheet complete with a list of all the park hours (so we can make changes on the fly) and it goes in the front of our guidebook, ready to help us make the most of our trip.

Besides that, preparations for the trip usually include the little things I like to do to make it special.  I make audio CDs full of Disney music, personalized t-shirts and car magnets that go with our trip theme, luggage and ID tags for the kids.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to get the kids to make a paper chain to count down the days!




6 Responses to “Planning for Disney”

  1. ohamanda Says:

    I love it! Oh, I love to hear everyone’s Disney stories. Great idea about the season pass. I hadn’t thought of that. Plus, that makes them park-hoppers which is so much better!

  2. Cammie Says:

    Wish you guys could come down sometime soon – it would be fun to meet up with you. But, I’m sure you’ll be back to experience the magic soon. =)

  3. Love the idea of making a paper chain to build the excitement, and just the idea of planning in general as building the anticipation.

    It sounds like you have great info about the hotels–I would love for you to link up a post in 2 weeks reviewing all of them when the carnival topic is hotels and resorts!

    Thanks for joining in.

  4. I used to go to Disney land almost once a year when I was a kid. It was fun, but not as fun as other parks, in my opinion. I did always wonder how much different Disney World was compared to Disney Land. Is it pretty much the same thing, but on a larger scale?

  5. Carol Says:

    Never been to Disney Land so I don’t know! Guess we’ll have to check it out someday so we can compare 🙂

  6. No problem using pocket screws to attch the top and shelf.

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