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kadee_29
03-28-2008, 01:03 PM
We are planning our trip for January but other than a tentative timeframe, we have nothing planned. Nothing.

I knew I was going to have to figure a lot out but I never realized how much I would have to put in to planning this vacation. I have no idea where to start. Hotel? Plane tickets? ADR's? I do have a AAA membership and plan on using them for all I can but I can't plan anything for next year until September through them. Won't most things be booked by then?

I know I am going to completely forget things. There are so many other things that I have read about on here that I didn't even think about.

When you all plan your vacations where you do start and how on earth do you manage it all?

I am completely in love with this site though. :love: It is going to be mighty helpful with this whole ordeal.

Grandbuddy
03-28-2008, 01:19 PM
Called about 14 months before the trip we took this past December. With the package savings for accommodations, meal plans, and tickets, all together, I think we did pretty well on the price.

mikehn
03-28-2008, 01:32 PM
I would buy one of the guidebooks, such as the Unofficial Guide. The book provides structure, walking you through the various planning stages in logical order and helps you stay organized. Use this site to supplement the book.

GaSleepingBeautyFan
03-28-2008, 01:46 PM
:welcome:

The disboards will be a big help.

On our first trip, which was way before I found the disboards, I picked up a Passporter book and used that. The first thing I did was eliminate when we couldn't go and then I figured out the best times out of when we could go using the book.

The I looked at the airline tickets to see when we could get the best rates.

Once I did that, I looked at hotel costs. The first 3 times we went we stayed offsite. But once we discovered the value resorts we stayed with one of those because we could fit in the room and those were all we could afford.

Then we looked at tickets - first how long could we go for was usually dictated by vacation time we could take off work and then the first 2 times we went we just got the basic tickets so we wouldn't be overwhelmed - no extras at all.

Then I researched the parks - at the time only MK, Epcot and maybe DHS were open so the choices were easier.

I don't know if this is helpful but it gives you a place to start anyway. Have fun planning. :)

Aliceacc
03-28-2008, 02:07 PM
I was pretty much where you are last July. Believe it or not, it all does come together.

I started this post for other newbies; maybe it will give you a direction: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1715551

Pikester
03-28-2008, 02:08 PM
I can so totally relate! My families first trip and only trip so far(going Dec 2008) was in Dec 2006. My husband had a friend at work who was going to Disney World and DH decided to look into planning a trip for us. "As long as we book 4 months in advance we'll be ok," he says. "We don't need ADRs. We'll just go with the flow," he says. It wasn't until we found the DIS that I realized we needed ADRs ASAP!:eek: DH still wasn't convinced until he really started reading everyones posts on here. The WEEK before we left I was on the phone trying to make ressies. I got so frustrated because what I wanted wasn't available and my DH had kept hemming and hawing about making them that I made HIM call for ressies. I did have the foresight to make ressies for the Hoop-Dee-Doo and the Garden Grill. I can still hear the CM's voice when I tried to make a ressie at Le Cellier a week before we were going to be there. She must have thought I was nuts!:crazy:

I can laugh about it now but then I wanted to do this :drinking1

ninety-seven
03-28-2008, 02:26 PM
Your first step.

Relax!

Seriously. You'll figure it all out. Just remember that you are planning a vacation and you want to enjoy the process as much as you enjoy the trip itself. Start where you want and have a good time doing it.

You might want to take a look at the pre-trip reports in the other board to see what other folks have done.

97

kadee_29
03-28-2008, 03:55 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I guess I am just overly excited.

mikehn ~ I was thinking of picking up the Unofficial Guide. Maybe I will do that this weekend.

GaSleepingBeautyFan ~ I have the Passporter book but I havenít had a chance to really sit down and look at it yet. I am pretty sure we will be staying onsite so we wonít have to rent a car or worry about driving.

Aliceacc ~ Thanks for that link. I will definitely check that out.

Pikester ~ I havenít been around that long and I know I need to schedule ADRís as soon as I am 180 days out. I am not even risking not getting the ressies I want. Trying to explain that to my DH would be a lost cause though. He is totally clueless.

Aliceacc
03-28-2008, 04:02 PM
OK, so here's what you do:

a) decide on a resort price. Do you want Value, Moderate, or Deluxe?
We chose to stay on the Monorail. This isn't a once-a-year thing for us; we don't foresee another trip anytime soon. So being close to the Magic Kingdom was a prioritiy for us. (And, as a family of 5, our options were somewhat limited anyway.) Your youngest doesn't count on the reservation, so you have a lot more options than we did. If you're thinking monorail, take a look at the Contemporary. Not only does it sleep 5, but you can WALK a tired child back from the Magic Kingdom.. And it's less expensive than the other monorail resorts ... Anyway, decide on a resort. And ask someone at AAA about booking now. I bet they'll let you book, just not be able to give you a concrete idea of the price increases until they're published in August. Or book room only through CRO now and let AAA pick up the reservation later.

b) Sign up (at the Disney site) for the trip planning DVD. You want your name and address in the system when they're deciding who gets PIN codes.

c) You have some time before you can make your ADRs, so let that stuff slide. Get the resort that's right at the price that's right; you have lots of time for all the rest.

kadee_29
03-28-2008, 10:25 PM
We have gone back and forth on the whole resort thing. This isn't a once a year thing for us either. We have talked about the family suites and we have talked about the deluxe resorts because of the monorail feature but we just aren't sure. We will probably go with one of the deluxe resorts just because I don't want to have to wait for any buses with all the kids.

I am on top of the DVD. I got mine in the mail earlier this week. I am hoping to be able to sit DH down and watch it over the weekend.

You are so on top of all this stuff. :worship: I will probably be checking in with you again. ;)

checkwriter
03-28-2008, 10:48 PM
You also might want to give Tour Guide Mike a try. He's an advertiser on the Boards and has a subscription website that will help you plan your trip step by step.

If you consider the planning stage to be part of the trip you will enjoy it more. I know I do. Good luck, relax, and have fun!

teacup317
03-29-2008, 04:32 AM
Also go to the mousesavers.com site. Even if you don't use any services, the information there is very helpful too, just like this site. Have a great trip!:cool1:

Aliceacc
03-29-2008, 05:40 AM
You are so on top of all this stuff. :worship: I will probably be checking in with you again. ;)

This has been my hobby since about last July, and I LOVE projects!! But I cannot believe just how much I've learned since joining the Disboards. (And, by extension, my sister and friend, both of whom will be going to WDW this summer for the first time in decades, have learned as well.)

Again: this is not something we're doing again any time soon. So I want to make the best of this trip, especially for my kids. There are SO many things I have learned here that I haven't seen anywhere else (and, yes, I do have more than one guidebook!)

Please feel free to ask anything that occurs to you. I'm a math teacher; trust me when I say there really are no dumb questions. The people here have been truly generous about answering my million and one questions; we'll be more than happy to do the same for you!

Bobo912
03-29-2008, 06:42 AM
I've never booked a trip more than 3 months in advance and I've never had any problem with hotel, ADRs, etc. But I never go during the summer peak months. We frequently go in January. You shouldn't have a problem getting everything in order. You have plenty of time.