There are as many variations of vacation preparation as there are attractions at Walt Disney World. Some people just show up and wing it; others schedule nearly every hour of the day. Me, I’m something right of center since I do create a summary spreadsheet, make my ADRs well in advance, and compile a list of the “must do” things for my trip, which I carry with me and check-off.
For this year’s trip I’ll also be bringing along a new tool, which is “Lines” from Touring Plans, a smart phone app. But that will be for a post-trip article.
TODAY I’d just like to list out seven recommendations which I feel will help others, particularly newbies, in preparing for their visits. What about yours? Remember to add your comments, but please read read the articles that follow from this month’s Magical Blogorail Red collection.
1. Of course my next trip is not my first, so I’ve learned to begin planning just after my last trip. We'll prepare some notes of what we had planned to do and didn’t, such as restaurants to visit, or back-stage tours, events or activities to attend, but weren't able to. And then we begin to think about what time of the year my next visit may be since that affect the "to do" list. I’ll create a word processing document to keep running notes.
2. During the pause between visits, which could be a year or more, I purchase my recommended Guidebook, The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World. I get lots of ideas that are added to the new planning list I’m maintaining. Recently I purchased a second book but this one is digital, the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. Restaurants and foodie events are becoming very important during our trips.
3. I enter contests. That's why I started Disney Contests and Sweepstakes. I used to just watch for the contest ads on the various websites out there. As I was maintaining my own list of Disney vacation contests to enter (and re-enter), I thought I'd share it with everyone... which was why the new website. Hey, you never know!
4. I check out a lot of websites in between visits. It’s one of those ways to keep the Magic alive. I love to read about Disney and WDW, and I like to hear what others have to say. Although I didn't mean for this article to be a link-back to my sites, but that is why I started the Disney Blogger Collection; as my list of sites grew, I thought why not share this with others as well. Now I don't read every one of the nearly 500 websites I've collected, but I do regularly check out the most recent posts since they are always on the top of the page (especially the wonderful bloggers of the Magical Blogorail).
5. I've also signed up for several newsletters, like from AllEars, MouseSavers, The Disney Dish and the Disney Food Blog, which come through e-mail and are quick to review to find out what's new, what's good to eat and about any new money-saving tips. Then of course, there are the half-dozen Disney fan Podcasts we listen to like those from WDW Today, WDW Radio, BetaMouse and many more (check I-Tunes for free downloads).
6. We do make our restaurant ADR's beginning 180 days in advance. Maybe not all of them, since we do try to visit during the less than full park seasons. But as we review menus and make list of our favorite and new restaurants, we will make dinner reservations (and sometimes breakfasts) well in advance. Of course, these can always be changed as we get closer, but if the foodie stop is important to us, we don’t want to take the chance of not getting a table during the visit. The Disney web site is best for searching and making online reservations.
7. We do over pack; it’s something that we seem to accomplish every trip. But even then, we don’t always remember all that we should, so we use MouseSavers Ultimate Packing List. I have gathered up a bunch of other planning resources created by other Disney fans, and are always looking for more suggestions. Let me know if this selection of tools is missing something important.
Disney Magical Express, Car Rental Center, and Airline Check-In There is so much I want to review from our trip to Walt Disney World, I almost didn’t know where to start, and then I thought why not at the beginning. Or, at least from the time we arrived at the Orland International Airport. This was actually the first trip that we used Disney Magical Express (DME), so that is a good place to start. In addition, we rented a car on site which is also … more
Continuing our trip planning: The Early Bird Catches the ADR We’re getting deep into our planning for a fall trip to Walt Disney World during the 2010 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, but as I explained last week, this is not the only reason we’re going. Another is to build my photo collection to use in “A World View” and its related blogs which I have been building since we returned from our trip last December. And we love … more
Taking a trip to Walt Disney World always sounds like a great idea, but what if you decide two weeks or a month before you travel. Wow, speaking of stress. One of my facebook friends sent me a note asking for suggestions about a last minute visit during Easter. Hey, last minute is bad enough, but during a School Break period like Easter, Oy Vey. However, I had a few ideas, contacted my Magical Blogorail buddies for suggestions, and searched the web for more experience to draw upon. The result is … more
We love Walt Disney World for attractions, resorts, restaurants, characters and more. But for many of us who return time after time, there is always something a little less traveled at the "World" that also brings us back. This series is about some lesser known or frequented Disney magic that helps make the experience special or unique, and which takes you off the beaten path at Walt Disney World. I wanted to point out events or activities at WDW Resorts which are open to all guests, … more
Blogger Bruce and DW Mary Ann captured by a Disney PhotoPass Photographer Today I’d like to talk about the Disney PhotoPass Service. Some people will rave about PhotoPass and others will say the charges are too high for the number of pictures. My opinion is that it depends. It depends on whether this is your first time using PhotoPass. I think there is real value to using PhotoPass at least for one vacation; or every vacation … more
We love Walt Disney World for attractions, resorts, restaurants, characters and more. But for many of us who return time after time, there is always something a little less traveled at the "World" that also brings us back. This series is about some lesser known or frequented Disney magic that helps make the experience special or unique… and which takes you off the beaten path at Walt Disney World. Fishing has been part of the Disney experience way before even Disneyland … more
Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation: How Long to Stay? Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation Planning a vacation can be something that some dread, while others relish. How much time you choose to take in planning your Walt Disney World Vacation is up to you. Experience shows that taking the time to do at least some basic planning can help you save money and make the most out of your vacation time at Disney World. If you are investing … more
Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation: When To Visit Since the Walt Disney World Resort is not your ordinary theme park, you need to take a different approach when planning to visit. Even if you are not a planner by nature, you can greatly enhance your visit by planning some key elements of your trip. A Walt Disney World Vacation is not cheap by any means, so you want to make sure that you invest some time up front in order to help … more
We’ve completed the basic structure of our vacation plan… hotel, airline, restaurant ADRs, special events, tickets and park choices. Onsite transportation is still up in the air, but Magical Express is likely. Some attractions and visits are on the tentative schedule, more choices and planning is necessary to be sure our goals are met. Pop Century Resort In Part I we were reviewing our funding, the hotel, and the appearance of … more
Today A WORLD VIEW is pleased to present a post written by Tracie A. Cook author of Kid Tips for Walt Disney World: Touring Advice by Kids for Kids Book writing about the Top 10 WDW Touring Tips from Kids. Included also are photos of the Cook family enjoying their visit to the “World”. # # # I am the vacation planner in my family. I have spread sheets detailing where we will be on what day. I … more
Hi folks. My blog is A World View - Enjoying Walt Disney World. I actually think it was watching a True-Life Adventure called the Living Desert that started my enthusiastic love of Disney. I must have … more
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