By: Dena Burkett
Today I am going to give you a glimpse inside my tactics for planning a Disney trip. I know that everyone plans for their Disney vacation differently, whether it is your first time or tenth time. I am hoping that some of the things I do can help make your future trip easier and more magical.
The first thing I do when I find out when I am taking my trip and where I am staying is to start making up my itinerary. It may seem like a lot of work or a waste of time (I get grief about it from family) but I love having it! It keeps everything in order and in one place. I put the park hours on it along with reservation confirmations, flight information, any other information I would like readily available, and of course, what we plan to do each day. Now, I will tell you that we sometimes stray from it, but for the most part, we follow it to a T. I also print out the hotel information, Magical Express information as well as any other documents I think I might need. I put everything in a red, Disney-decorated folder that I use every time we go. That way everything is in one place and I can easily find it during the trip. Doing something like this, whether it’s in an actual folder or perhaps saved on your phone in an app like Tripit, can really be a life-saver!
When packing, I always try to match my outfits to the parks. For instance, I always wear a Minnie Mouse shirt in the Magic Kingdom. I always try to wear safari colors or patterns when going to Animal Kingdom. Don’t forget making shirts to wear on the plane ride. My family and I always make at least one shirt when going to Disney. Last time we made them for the plane. The time before that, we made them with my Goddaughter’s dancing pictures on them because she was dancing in Disney. They are easier than you think to make! Places like Michaels sell easy iron-on transfers that make making coordinating shirts a breeze!
I also make sure to use my backpack that I take to the parks as my carry-on for the plane, in addition to remembering to dress for the parks. I do this because our hotel room is usually not ready when we get there and we head right to the parks. If you have what you need when you land you won’t have to wait around. Just take your luggage to Bell Services (if you have it with you. If you used Magical Express, it will be automagically delivered to your room later, usually within around 5 hours of you landing) and have them store it until you come back.
In addition here are some other helpful hints that may make your trip to a Disney park a little more enjoyable.
* Put your name and phone number on your cameras/electronics. I put a clear mailing label on my camera and it helped when I left my camera in a restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.
* Ask for Disney gift cards for holidays and birthdays. There is so much you will want to buy!
* I like to make breakfast reservations in the theme parks for around 8-8:30 am so we can get in the park earlier than it opens. Just be sure you make the reservation for when the park doesn’t have extra magic hours in the morning. Being in the parks before the crowds is breathtaking, not to mention the picture opportunities!
* Make sure to check out www.themouseforless.com. There are a ton of tips that have been compiled in addition to resort reviews, a list of refurbishments and more! There are even menus available for you to peruse for every restaurant on Disney property.
* Buy a small battery-operated fan from Wal-Mart or a dollar store, especially if going in the warmer months. You will need one! Although the ones in Disney are pretty and have a strap, they are bulky and expensive (about $14) and don’t work any better than the cheap ones.
I know there are many more tips and hints that people can offer for the most magical time. I invite all Disney fanatics to post some of your best ideas. Below you will find a sample of my last itinerary. Hope your next trip to visit the mouse is spectacular! Happy Planning!
Disney World Itinerary
Monday, June 20th
Flight @ 6:45 am (flight # 1633 6:55 am-9:12 am)
Get Magical Express to hotel
Early check-in (get “Key to the World”)
Head over to Hollywood Studios since they have EMH tonight
Hollywood Studios EMH: 7 pm-10 pm
Tuesday, June 21st
Breakfast @ Boma (AK Lodge) 8:30 am
MK EMH: 8 am-9 am
Epcot EMH: 9 pm-12 am
Wednesday, June 22nd
Crystal Palace 8:25 am # 40356
Spend some time in MK
Dinner @ Ohana 6:45 pm
AK EMH: 8 am- 9am