Saturday, September 6, 2014

How I Am Planning our Disney Trip

We are a little under 6 months away from the Princess Half Marathon and our Disney world vacation now, and I am so stupid happy about it all. My friend Jana and I text back and forth non-stop about all the little things we are looking forward to doing. I really think this trip is going to be epic.

One of my favorite things about traveling is planning the "perfect" trip. There is soooo much information out there about Disney world that I am really enjoying sorting through. I thought I would share a little bit about my trip planning process here. Maybe it will only be fun for me and not fun for y'all at all! But it is my blog, so I can do what I want! So there (just kidding).

1. Reading a Guidebook
My first step in planning a major trip is buying a guide book from an actual book store! Yes, it might be a little old fashioned in the internet and digital age, but there is nothing like having that book in my hands. This book is 700+ pages long, and other than skipping a section here and there on parks we are not going to, I read the whole thing. 

2. Podcasts! Podcasts! Podcasts!
There are so many Disney loving podcasters out there that I am listening to weekly. My favorite is definitely WDW Happy Place (a married couple who talk all things Disney, they even mentioned me on their 9-2-14 podcast), Capturing Magic (about documenting your trip), and Disney Dream Girls (to hear about all their Disney Shenanigans from two seriously funny British ladies). 

I actually learned about touring plans from my guidebook. Basically, touringplans is team who have scientifically studied the crowds and line formations at the Disney and Universal parks. For a small fee, you can plug in everything you want to do in each park, plus your reservations and fast passes, and it makes a schedule for you that will minimize waiting and walking time. I can't wait to try it, so many people speak so highly of it!

4. WDW Tools
One of the main things we want to do at Disney is eat at the newish Be Our Guest restaurant. But the reservations are super hard to get! So even though I got up at 4:45 a.m., 180 days in advanced of when we will be eating at the restaurant, as you are supposed to, the reservations for 4 were all gone. I was so devastated! But somewhere I heard about WDW tools. WDW tools is a website that watches for reservations for you (for ten dollars), and it texts you as soon as one becomes available, so you can snag it! With the help of this feature, I was able to snag the reservation for 4!! I'm so excited. This site is soooo good. It has actually found 4 reservations for me this week at Be Our Guest (although I only used one). I highly, highly recommend trying it if you are struggling to get a reservation.

5. Tripadvisor
I use tripadvisor for planning all my trips, even small weekend ones. I have been using it this trip to look at reviews for restaurants to see where we want to eat.  Not only can you read reviews, you can look at pictures of the restaurant. Although after looking at some pictures of Be Our Guest, I had to stop, because not only was I getting too excited, I didn't want to ruin it for myself!

If you have any trip planning advice, I am so open to suggestions!

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