We’ve heard it time and time again…
“I can’t imagine how you find Disney fun with all that planning you do!” or “I could never do Disney, it’s too much work!”. To the die hard Disney fan, all that planning and research is equivalent to foreplay, 😉 the build up to an experience we know will be nothing short of magical. All kidding aside though, if approached the right way, the planning is part of the fun! Make it a family affair. Using the MyDisneyExperience app, navigate through the parks using the park maps, explore the attractions, rides, shows, and shopping experiences at each section of the parks. Ask each family member which attractions are most important to them and work together to determine what is most important to everyone. Prioritize, make lists of fast pass desires, match them up to dining options in those parks and get ready to roll!
Leading up to the six month dining window, I like to look as close to my week as possible to predict when the various Extra Magic Hours and Holiday events (is- MNSSHP) days are. If you aren’t doing a holiday event, you might wish to avoid MK those days as they close earlier (6pm) for the event. I make a chart for each day, with predicted hours, and based on that I map out my park sequence. It might be work on the front end, but it removes the disappointment of booking fast passes for Space Mountain at 8pm when we might have to leave! Keep park hours in mind when booking dining and fast passes!
Once I determine which parks we want to hit on which day, I talk to my family about the restaurants (if any-some parks we prefer quick service) and fast passes they prefer. Using the MDE app, at the six month mark, I go straight to the day that I want to book the “most popular” restaurants, then I proceed to the others. On my Fast Pass booking morning, I break out my iPad and laptop (as does my husband) and again, we go to the day of the most popular rides (Pandora, Mine Train, Slinky Dog for example) and book those first. I try my best to not cross cross the parks and book fast passes by area of the park. This is important. Familiarize yourself with the maps of the parks first and do your best not to race across the parks to get to fast passes. Not only is this exhaustion, but you won’t get to enjoy the little things along the way! Don’t stress over the times of your fast passes, you can always go back and adjust them… maybe not the big ones, but most will still have some alternate times to move to.
The last major “planning” thing I do is keep a packing list. Staying organized will prevent feeling so frazzled the days leading up to your vacation. And remember, if your room isn’t ready when you arrive, bell services will take your belongings and store them while you go enjoy the parks or resort!
Just remember, the more you can map out ahead of time, the less thinking, and more enjoying you can do while you’re there!