/ Thursday, June 28th, 2012

by Emma Godbold

There can be many factors (location, funds, special offers etc) as to why many of us have to book our Walt Disney World vacations far in advance and often have months or even years to wait until our next trip.

We all have different ways of filling our time and counting down to that all important departure date so today I thought I would share a particular favourite of mine – THE DISNEY PLANNING DAY!  This particular way of creating a little Disney magic can be shared with your partner, family or a group of friends….that way everyone going on the WDW trip can get involved.

My mother and I are both Disney nuts and love nothing more that researching and planning each other’s next trip to the World. We usually get together about six and a half months before a trip and have a Disney themed day. Not only do we read, talk and eat Disney but I’ve even been known to wear my favourite WDW t-shirt for the day to get into the spirit!

The morning will start off by getting out our vacation paperwork and any reference books we’ll want to refer to. If possible we’ll also usually have two laptops open; so that we can cross-reference websites and information!! We’ll play some Disney-themed music in the background (or one of those great Magic Kingdom audio guides by Lou Mongello!) and then we’ll look at everything we want to achieve that day. It’s usually things like looking at park hours, crowd calendars, behind the scenes tours or ADR’s. The availability of the information that you want to look at will often determine when you schedule your planning day.

After a couple of hours of browsing the Internet and singing along to our Disney music it will be time for lunch. As part of the planning day we like to have a lunch that reminds us of some of our favourite foods to eat in WDW; such as mac ‘n’ cheese, biscuits and cupcakes. Whilst snacking on our lunch we’ll watch a Disney planning DVD or one of our favourite Disney films.

Once we’re full of our American fare we’ll have another couple of hours researching and planning. It’s lovely to see how much information you can find in one day and make notes of what else you’d like to do before your trip.

The best thing about Disney planning days is that they can be changed to suit you and your family. If you’re not into ‘extreme planning’ like my mum and I, why not have a day revisiting the parks and resorts on various Disney websites? If you want to get your children involved why not use the day to draw up a list of the top five things you each want to see or do during your vacation?

If you have a long time to wait for your vacation you might have more than one planning day; if so you could take it in turns to choose the music you listen to or the film you watch. You could even let your children make the WDW themed lunch; learning recipes and cooking makes the day educational as well as fun!!!

Why not comment below and share how you build up the magical anticipation of your next trip to Walt Disney World!  😀

Emma Godbold lives in the East of England and has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a teenager. In between trips, Emma can be found reading about Disney history or researching and planning her next Disney vacation. She also writes her own blog at www.daydreamingdisney.com.



6 thoughts on “Missing Disney? Host a Disney Planning Day!”

  1. Allison W says:

    Love this! I’ve never gone as all out as you, Emma, but I’ve definitely done my fair share. Last trip I took I sent my travel buddies a poll to rank all attractions as must do, should do, indifferent, or won’t do to make sure we all got our input on what to experience. We then all got together listening to Disney film music while we selected our resort, booked our flights, and made ADRs! I even topped it off with a little speech about what to expect when we are there and what to pack! Sometimes the planning is just as fun as the trip itself!

  2. Natalie says:

    I love this idea! I would be right there with you if I was in the UK! My best friends and I did this before we went to WDW on our Senior Week trip and it was a blast! Now 10 years later, my fiance and I do the same thing to prepare by watching Travel Channel specials, Disney movies, and now WDWRadio podcasts! I always say planning is half the fun and you look like you’re having a blast!

    PS – How cute is that Mickey Mouse binder!? I love that!

  3. Tony E says:

    in the months leading up to last Disney trip I watched the vacation planning DVD along with The Top 7 Must sees/Must do Disney 50 times each! in the final 30 days before my trip I posted a different picture to twitter each day of the previous trip. 🙂

  4. Emma says:

    Thanks for sharing Allison and Natalie 🙂
    We all love a bit of planning to keep the Disney magic alive!!

  5. Emma says:

    That daily twitter picture sounds awesome Tony!!

  6. Nicole says:

    Glad to hear that I am not the only one that does this.. I have more fun finding the deals and planning out the meals then anything. I love being able to get those hard to get ADR’S. Also my almost 5 year old daughter is following in my foot steps she loves to help plan for the next trip. Our family of four two daughter almost 5 and almost 2 my husband and I are going back in October of 2013 for our 10th anniversary. And our oldest pick the hotel she wanted to stay at. POR in the royal suit room… So we hit Youtube and check out to see what they looked like. We loved POR when we stayed before and are looking forward to this trip. One thing that I always do for our trips as well as the ones that Nana and Papa take just the 4 year olds is a make a book that has a list of places in each park that I know the kids will eat at. IE my nephew will only eat the mac and cheese. So a list of places in each park to get it as well as a list of places for best burgers or where to go if you want a salad. Sounds odd but before smart phones I would print out the menus so we could look at it before we got there. But in the last trip in May I even helped a few other family’s that were looking for places that had a lot of choices or a good vegan item. I love to plan the trips out I go all geek as my husband calls it take over the dinning room table and get happily lost in the job. And to this day I still find my self wishing for some type of food that is found at Disney.
    Last year when we were watching the local fire works my then four three year old sat there with her sunglasses on and her hard ear muffs and was happy. the fire works we found out are too bright and loud for her. With out the sun glasses and hard ear muffs we could not sit through a show. Any way when they were done she said” there ok but nothing like EPCOT, now that is how you do fire works.” My husband and I lost it…