Disney Trip Reports: What? Why? and How-To

“Post-Disney Depression.” For many Disney World fans it’s that feeling of disappointment or sadness experienced after a trip to the most magical place on Earth. It’s the sudden reality that your Disney trip is over. All of the planning and excitement before and during your trip has come to a screeching halt. Many of us have experienced it, but how do we get over it?

I’ve heard many suggestions and theories on how to get over “Post-Disney Depression.” Some have suggested planning another Disney trip. Others suggest starting scrapbooking your past trip. What I’ve personally found is that writing a Disney trip report helps me get over my “Post-Disney Depression.”

When I first started writing trip reports, I would write them upon my return from my vacation. But once back in the “real world,” I found myself forgetting key information and details about my past trip. This was frustrating because I knew I was excluding important information I would want to reference in the future. Plus, anyone else who read the report would not get a complete perspective. Sure, I could take a pad and pencil around the parks with me to take notes, or I could flip through my photos in sequence to see what we did, but even then I’d still forget some key elements of the trip. It became frustrating at times to the point where I almost gave up writing the trip report all together.

Over the years, I’ve also discovered that simply writing a trip report with plain text was not enough. As we moved into the digital revolution adding pictures or even video has become common-place. Not only did I appreciate the photos and video posted in my trip report, but readers greatly appreciated it as well. It allowed me to relive my memories and help cure the “Post-Disney Depression,” and it allowed the readers to live vicariously through me and my family at Disney World. To the reader who has not visited Disney World in a while it helps them pass the time until their future trip.

Recently I tried a different approach. Instead of waiting until I returned home to write the trip report, I’d try writing it live. This way, the information would be fresh in my head as I was writing the report each day during our trip. Writing a live report (some may call it a live blog) involves posting photos and videos, and describing the day’s events within a short timeframe; typically, the same day. This particular method worked best for me and my vacation habits. As a DVC member we spend a lot of time at the resort in the afternoon and late evenings after the parks have closed. Taking the time to write, post photos, and update a live trip report inside the resort lobby or room was no problem. However, this method may not work for everyone. It really depends on you and your vacation habits while at Disney World. You may find it’s better to write your report after you’ve returned home.

As you might guess the readers enjoyed the live trip reports more than the reports created at home. It appeared the readers were more engaged knowing the information in the live report occurred that specific day versus 3 weeks ago. It was also apparent in the amount of reader and writer interaction that occurred during the live report. Readers and friends would post questions and comments each day as our trip progressed. One reader actually posted a tip for us to try the next day which made a dining experience more enjoyable for our family. The live trip report became a learning tool for both the reader and the writer.

Trip reports can be written in many ways. With today’s mobile technology you might even find yourself creating a live trip report in one of the theme parks on your cellular phone. Mobile technology is changing the way we interact and communicate with our friends, and how we create our trip reports. How you create a trip report is really up to you, your vacation habits, and your writing style. Once you are comfortable with the type of report you wish to create you will feel more encouraged to write it.

Here are a few tips and suggestions for creating a trip report:

* Use a light, portable digital camera to carry with you – I use a Sony Cybershot.

* Choose a photo and video website to store your photos – I use photobucket.com.

* Choose your favorite Disney fan website or forums to write your report; especially where your friends hang out – I use several.

* Take memorable family photos, but also take photos your readers will enjoy.

* Try taking short video clips with your digital camera and posting them in your report.

* Take notes of events during your trip on your cell phone or a small notepad for future reference.

* Try and be detailed with your dining experiences in your trip report as it always seems to come back to food on your Disney vacations.

A well-written Disney trip report can provide information and tips which you’ve seen or experienced to other readers or other Disney fans. This can help the reader plan for future Disney trips and experiences. A trip report can also let the avid Disney parks visitor know what recent major and minor changes have occurred at the parks and resorts.

Not only are there benefits to the reader of a trip report, there are also additional benefits to the writer. As a writer of a trip report you can refer back to it as often as you’d like to see what you accomplished and experienced. This can be very beneficial for future trips to avoid previous mistakes, or to see what you enjoyed most. Basically, your past trip reports become a history journal so you can better plan future trips. You may also find yourself reading a past trip report just to relive your favorite moments of that particular visit.

During your next visit to one of the Disney destinations why not give a trip report a try? It’s becoming a growing trend among Disney fans. It will enhance your trip, cure that “Post-Disney Depression,” and help pass the time until your next visit to the most magical place on earth.

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