Planning a Disney Trip- what is the 1st thing you think about? Use1st the computer or manually for lists? - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
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Hello!! Like yourself, I like to use good old pen and paper to start with. Then I can move things around as much as necessary. This trip so far has been ever changing but has settled down until we can pick fast pass! Then I do a color coded spreadsheet!
My daughter and I are going on a trip with just the two of us (64 and 44) Oct 1 for 7days to POP!! I love the F&W festival and can't wait to eat and drink around the world!!
Hi Kate in PA! We are at 30 days tomorrow!! In years past, I was the queen of organized, color- coded binders and mini index cards on rings and lists of everything ( including a master list of all of the lists, lol), one coordinated outfit (family matching, of course!) in its own labeled ziploc per kid for each day..... phew! The planning was so labor intensive, but it kept me sane while traveling as a single mom of three littles. Our 1st trip they were all under 8! Now I feel like a pro, and beyond the hotel and the FP+, we don’t even do a whole lot of planning before we go. In fact, this trip I actually purchased airfare looong before I really knew I was going, lol! ( What can I say? I had a surprise bonus from work, SW was super cheap, and we’ve not had a vacation in 4 years. That was all the incentive I needed to book a trip!) So other than the hotel and the FP’s, we got an ADR for BOG for 6pm on the actual day we wanted it. And I’m happy with the extremely minimal planning we’ve done, we have hoppers and we’ll just go with the flow!
Since I've been just a few times now :wink: I actually start with the computer by printing off previous lists of things then I move to pen and paper. I either mark up what I've printed off or I use white lined paper. It depends upon how many changes I'm making.
The next trip on one hand is not soon enough, on the other hand, it's just far enough away. ( can't see my own ticker timer anymore to know exactly how far away it is but it must be getting close - I got Disney mail yesterday)
I keep an ongoing list in my phone of new attractions we've not experienced yet, and restaurants we've not dined at yet. I start with that on paper, and then eventually move to a spreadsheet when details emerge.
I created an Excel sheet in 2011. Each trip, I just modified with the new information. (2011, 2013, 2016 and now 2019)
It tracks my payments, resort address and direct phone number, which park on which day, with DR with conf numbers and times, FP+ choices & times for each day , etc. Then on separate sheets, I have links to interesting things I might want to revisit.
I have a sheet listing FP tiers for each park, that helps me with my planning.
One sheet for packing list. One sheet for tips to remember from previous trips.
One sheet for our scavenger hunt for the ride down and back. Travel Bingo and license plate games, etc.
One sheet for links of all rides for each park. One sheet for cool links I've found along the way.
And so much more.
Of course, the week before the trip, I start using MDE for everything.
I start by deciding on dates which may involve playing around on the DW and airline websites depending on the dates. I go back and forth between the computer and pen and paper. A lot of what would go on various lists stays in my head as I've been to DW ten times, have an Owner's Locker and have done enough non Disney traveling over the years that I just don't need to write a lot of stuff out. What does get written down or typed out are ideas, budget, thoughts etc. but things like what to pack or things to do that I do for any trip (ei. place a hold on my mail) stay in my head. The only time I make any sort of a packing is if I want or need to bring something that I normally wouldn't pack (ei. halloween costume).
The first thing that we think of is when (month & date). We then go on to resort (why stay anywhere but a WDW resort???) and then dining & FP's. We bring a white board into the living room so we can all see it/share ideas then I move stuff onto the WDW app for solid planning.
2. How we will get there and back. We always threaten to drive then end up flying.
3. Will we be going in the parks.
4. If we are going to the parks, we start making a plan, usually on the computer. We try to avoid busy days and EMH in each park. I try to put a general plan together of the main things we want to do and see.
4. Where will we be eating
We always stay at OKW anymore so the resort part is easy. The biggest decision we have to make is about going to the parks. If we don't go to the parks the only real decision is where to eat.