I love planning trips. I'm a planner. I also love to travel ... so it works out really well. I often think my dream job would be a trip planner/coordinator. Or a guidebook writer. Travel, travel, travel.
I also love Disney World. Not in a go-every-year-and-never-vacation-anywhere-else kind of way. But, in a Happiest Place on Earth, take my breath away, I know the castle doesn't have an "apostrophe s" in the name kind of way. I adore the level of planning and detail that Disney puts into every aspect of their theme park experience. I'm kind of a planning and details kind of gal ... so it really appeals to me on vacation, too.
And a Disney vacation is a vacation with pre-planning. Piles and piles of pre-planning. Yay! I mean, sure you could just show up and buy your tickets at the gate and pick up a map and wander around and eat wherever you can manage to get a seat, but honestly ... I am completely convinced of the value of pre-planning a Disney trip.
That's how I did our family trip in 2006, and the trip Joe and took minus the kids in 2009. So, it's how I'm setting up for 2012.
I've already subscribed to TouringPlans.com and bought their 2012 edition of the Unofficial Guide. I browse AllEars.net and receive their weekly email newsletter. I've scoured restaurant reviews and examined charts of which parks are likely to be more or less crowded on any given days.
The result of all of this research is compiled in a color-coded document I call At-a-Glance. When complete, it will include which parks we're visiting on which days, all of our dining reservations and confirmation codes, as well as which meals I'll need to buy groceries for. We stay in a timeshare and have a full kitchen ... saves a LOT of money on dining out.
It's too early to have much of the information. I can't make dining reservations until 180 days in advance of the trip, which begins in February. But, I just thought I'd give you a glimpse into the (neurotic?) way I plan a big trip.
|Friday 8/17||Saturday 8/18||Sunday 8/19||Monday 8/20||Tuesday 8/21||Wednesday 8/22||Thursday 8/23|
|Main Idea||Travel||Animal Kingdom||Magic Kingdom||Universal Studios||Magic Kingdom|
|Breakfast, 7am||Timeshare||House of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch||Crystal Palace||Timeshare||Timeshare||Timeshare|
|Lunch, 12:30pm||Liberty Tree Tavern|
|Friday 8/24||Saturday 8/25||Sunday 8/26||Monday 8/27||Tuesday 8/28||Wednesday 8/29||Thursday 8/30||Friday 8/31|
|Main Idea||Epcot||Epcot||Disney Studios||Islands of Adventure||Epcot||Travel|
|Breakfast, 7am||Timeshare||Timeshare||Timeshare||Timeshare||Timeshare||Timeshare||Timeshare||1900 Park Fare|
|Lunch, 12:30pm||Rose & Crown|
|Dinner||Biergarten||Le Cellier||Mama Melrose’s|