Wednesday, August 6, 2014
I am a Planner
I’m a planner! Especially when it comes to vacations. Today we hit double digits, 99 days until our next trip to Disney. Planning for a Walt Disney World vacation is one of my favorite parts of the vacation. Our last trip to Disney was June 2013 and we are returning in October, making it the first time I have the option of using the FastPass+. I began planning this trip in February; I wanted to get it booked before our daughter was born in March as I knew life would be hectic.
Once the vacation is booked then the real planning starts. We chose October because it will be the last time we can go in “off” peak times. Our son will start Kindergarten next fall. I have been a few times for Mickey's Not SoScary Halloween Party and wanted to share that experience with my husband and kids. I started watching the different forums and boards for possible discounts. The last trip we were lucky enough that a room only discount came out and we were able to apply it. Free Dinning seems to be the big discount that everyone was looking for, so there were a lot of disappointed people when most of October was blacked out. We have never used the dining plan so we were ok with that, but still hoped for a room discount. To date none have been released for our time frame, but my husband was lucky enough to receive a unique offer code in the mail for free dinning for the time frame that we would be there. We jumped on the free dining ship, how could we not?
I have been to Disney about 20 times but still order the planning DVD while planning our trip. My son loves watching it and seeing all the things he remembers doing at “Mickey’s” house and seeing what new things he might be interested in this go around. I feel the DVD serves two purposes; it updates you on anything new since your last trip and gets you super excited for the vacation.
My husband attended Culinary School and currently works in the food business so picking our restaurants is an important aspect of every trip. Disney offers so many wonderful and unique dining experiences. From dining in different countries to dining with our favorite characters, there are so many wonderful options. I usually ask everyone who is traveling with us to pick at least one must do restaurant. As the 180 day mark approaches I hem and haw over choices and get it narrowed down to the ones we have selected. I always try to pick at least one new location that none of us have been to before. We are actually doing a few new places this time. Since we will be traveling with a little princess for the first time we will be dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and 1900 Park Fare, both are new to us. My son's favorite character is Piglet so The Crystal Palace was his obvious choice
He also chose Hollywood and Vine so we can dine with the Disney Jr. characters.
We have eaten at both of these restaurants in the past and enjoyed them. My in laws are traveling with us so my husband and I will have the luxury of a date night, we plan on going to California Grill and since I was up bright and early the day my ADR’s opened up I was able to secure a reservation a half hour before Wishes starts. This particular restaurant has been on my bucket list for years.
Once dining reservations are made, I start focusing on any special events that we would like to do while there. We are traveling when there is a lot going on. The Epcot Food and Wine Festival will be ongoing and on certain nights Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This year we have selected Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and my husband and I will be doing the Keys to the Kingdom tour at the Magic Kingdom. So the next step in my planning process will revolve around picking out and making costumes for the party. I also make family shirts, (yes we are one of those families).
I have a little over a month before our FastPass+ selection day comes up. Since I have never had this option before it’s new and exciting to me. I’m going about it similar to making dining choices; everyone picks a few must dos at parks and go from there.
Are you a planner? Do you start planning your next trip before the current one is over? I look forward to sharing more of my planning experiences with you.