What Do You Do When The Planning Is Done?

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One of the Facebook pages I read on a regular basis is “You May Be a Canadian Disney Addict If . . . “ The page is populated by dedicated Disney fans from across Canada and describes itself as “Where everything Disney meets the Great White North.”

I was fascinated by a post I saw there just a few days ago.

Christine M. from Hamilton, Ontario wrote: “Do you ever feel sad when your trip is all planned and there is nothing left to do but wait? Sometimes I make up imaginary things to keep me busy, like making itineraries I won’t actually look at, just to have something vacation related to do. I am at 96 days – ADR’s are done and it’s too early for FastPasses. What else can I do to feel the Disney magic while I wait?

I’m sure we’ve all felt Christine’s frustration. While you plan your Disney vacation there are spurts of activity as you hit those important time thresholds; you can make your hotel reservations as much as 499 days in advance, book your dining reservations 180 before your trip and make those FastPass+ bookings at the 60 day mark. (By the way, do you need a handy tool to help you determine those important booking dates? Try the Planning Strategy Calculator. It’s easy and it’s free. Give it a try by clicking the link HERE.)

For many of us, the planning is almost as much fun as the trip! So how do we keep the magic alive during the lulls, between those key dates, those brief flurries of activity? As you read above, Christine makes up imaginary itineraries. They are quite detailed, and even colour-coded. It sounds like she puts a lot of effort into schedules she will never use!

Some of the other readers offered some interesting comments and suggestions.

1. Cheryl S. from Uxbridge, Ontario, Charissa T. from Jordan Station, Ontario, Allainna S. and Tara K. all watch Disney related YouTube videos and vlogs.

2. Jen L. from Georgetown, Ontario makes Mickey ears and door decorations to pass the time.

3. Laura M. from Hamilton, Ontario suggests: “Watch YouTube videos of where you will be staying and rides you like. Read Disney trivia. Watch movies related to particular rides.”

4. Michelle G. keeps checking her airline for cheaper flights, earlier in the day.

5. Jennie B. makes Disney activity books to keep her kids busy on the plane.

6. Tara H. shops for Disney themed outfits. (Tara must be a “Disney-bounder”)

7. Michelle B. reads Disney Food Blogs and plans all of her family’s meals.

8. I chuckled when I read Lisa C.’s comment. She wrote, “Thank God it’s not just me!

No Lisa, you can be absolutely certain that it’s not just you! I could visualize my wife Carol and a lot of our “Disney friends” as I read the comments and activities listed above. I think most Disney fans enjoy the planning almost as much as they enjoy the trip itself!

There are plenty of tools to help plan your Disney vacation. The shelves in your local book store probably contain a number of different books dedicated to planning your Disney trip, but it’s also nice to have first-hand tips from other travellers. Don’t forget to check out the AllEars Reader’s Tips Archive; it’s just packed full of good ideas. You can find it by clicking the link HERE. In fact, that’s something you can do between those key booking dates, read some helpful tips from AllEars fans.

Of course, there have to be many other ways to keep your entire family excited and enthused about your upcoming trip. Why don’t you share some of your ideas with us!

How do you keep the Disney magic alive during those planning lulls?

Gary hails from Canada and he’s a lifelong Disney fan. In the 1950s he watched the original Mickey Mouse Club and The Wonderful World of Disney on a snowy old black-and-white television. Gary was mesmerized by the Disneyland that Walt introduced to the world during those Sunday night shows! In 1977 he took his young family to Walt Disney World for the first time and suddenly that Disney magic he experienced as a child was rekindled. Since then Gary and his wife Carol have enjoyed about 70 trips to Walt Disney World, 11 trips to Disneyland and 11 Disney Cruises.

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7 Replies to “What Do You Do When The Planning Is Done?”

  1. We keep a detailed packing list, constantly updating and refining it and even have mini ‘fashion shows’ at home if we buy a new Disney-related holiday item.
    We also had a family meeting at our 180 day mark to discuss ADRs, MNSSHP costumes etc for our upcoming trip in October, with Disney inspired dishes, snacks and music.. We’ll have a 2nd meeting to discuss FPs at the 60 mark too 🙂

  2. Hi Gary!
    I constantly find myself looking at the AllEars menu pages and planning my snacks around Disneyland for September.
    This then inevitably leads to ‘ooh do they still have that in WDW – I’ll check’
    I’m just all about the food.
    Wishing you and Carol well!

  3. We’re at 40 days. At this point, everything’ done. Just waiting for our “Disney Magical Express” package to arrive.

    We only book half our evenings with ADRS, so I love looking at changes to food, like the new fries at The Plaza.

  4. I frequent all my Disney web pages and blogs while waiting for the trip to come up. I have a count-down on my laptop that is visible in the toolbar section and I can hover my pointer over the graphic and it shows the days remaining until the trip. Right not I’m at 289 days! I check the “Crowd Calendar” frequently. Since I also live in the Northern part of the USA, my winters seem especially long and my spring trips keep me going. So, planning and living vicariously through others trip reports also fill the time. So Gary, keep those reports coming!

  5. I’m in that position now for 2 trips (and not at home while visiting a new grandbaby) I’m going crazy. Yesterday I logged into my “mydisneyexperience” account and added the times I want to try to get FP+’s for our October trip. I’ve worn down my kids trying to make a basic plan for FP’s for our family December trip, and I know my DH won’t discuss it with me. I really miss the traffic on our Disney fan boards.

    Guess it’s time to get my color coded plans out, as soon as I get home. LOL

  6. Play the “Magic Kingdoms” game on my iPad, read Disney historical/trivia books, watch Disney movies, plan and prepare/freeze food, and read Disney Websites. 127 days!

  7. I drive my husband mad with information he doesn’t care about. I read lots of food and restaurant blogs and trip reports. He is as bad though, he spends his time looking for webcams.