Prepping for Disney – Part 1

I’m sure I only mentioned this about a billion times, but after a long 3 years my family and I are headed back to Disney World in December! To say I am excited is an understatement, I might even be more excited than the kids!

When we went to Disney last time in November of 2016, I was brand new to planning a trip with kids. The last time I went to Disney World was in my 20’s on the fly during a work trip. Back then, I was just giddy to be there and didn’t have any “must dos” with only me, myself and I to worry about. Fast forward to 2016, I had pretty tiny children (newly 3 years old and 10 months old) and not a clue what type of rides we could do with them, how many activities would be too much for them etc. I thought about booking through a travel agent and letting them tell me what’s best, but to me, part of the fun of a Disney trip is the planning! Being the researcher that I am, I got to work. I researched the Disney World website, moms forums, watched countless Youtube videos, and formulated a pretty solid plan by the end of it. Mind you at this time, I also only had 4 months to plan it (last minute decision – at least to me!) and kept in mind while I had all these expectations, we really just needed to go with the flow and keep the kids comfortable and happy. To help me through it all I made what Youtubers’ called a Disney Planning Binder. In this binder I put our reservation confirmations, park maps, fastpass reservations, and other miscellaneous reservations like for our double stroller and grocery order. Yes, you can have groceries delivered to your room. I’ll do a recap of our 2016 trip here in preparation for this one! Lots will change since my kids are older now, but I think some of my strategies will still be helpful!

Here it is in all it’s glory. Circa 2016.

So, to bide my time and keep the kids interested and excited, I’m doing another planning binder and utilizing a regular planner. I know, it seems like overkill, but I’m a list maker and a visual kind of girl. Paper makes me happy. The planner part is not what is so exciting for the kids. I do other things to get them involved like asking what rides they are most excited to go on, watching Youtube videos on said rides, etc. Then I’ll put the decisions we make into the binder! Once we get a bit closer, I’ll do a countdown calendar and other fun activities, which I know they will love!

Now, while we are a solid 9 months away, I do like to plan in stages, which is something I didn’t get to do last time. I booked our Disney resort back in December, got the park tickets, and am currently waiting a few more months to book our flight. In the meantime, I have been researching the rides at each park and putting them into our category of “Must dos”, what character dining we want to do this time around, and. The new binder for this trip is not quite ready for primetime yet since I haven’t been able to book much, but I’ll share how I organized the 2016 binder below!

Having things like an itinerary of the day’s events was really helpful!
Lastly, I had a packing checklist in the back to help me keep track of all the items I had left to buy!

June 4th is when I’ll be able to book our ADR’s (Advanced Dining Reservations) so I’ll definitely show you the updated binder at that time! How do you guys like to prepare for a Disney trip? Do you utilize a travel agent, rely on friends, or do you do it all yourself?

Bye for now!

P.S. I have a Youtube video to coincide with this if you want to check it out!

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Colored in Pretty

Hi! My name is Nicole and I am a 30-something born and raised Boston girl who is in love with all things Disney. I am the wife of a less enthusiastic Disney fan who supports my addiction, and the mother of two mildly obsessed Disney toddlers. When I'm not watching Toy Story, Beauty and The Beast, or Aladdin for the thousandth time, I enjoy shopping, recreational ballet and planning anything from birthday parties to trips to Disney. I hope you enjoy my tidbits on how I adult while letting the magic of Disney peak through!

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