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Old 02-17-2013, 09:40 PM   #1
CoachT
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steps for planning

What steps do you do to plan for WDW? Like 1. Resort 2. Parks 3. Restaurants 4. Ect? This will be a first time trip looking for what others do to plan a trip.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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I pick WHEN first. We like special events. SWW, F&W, Halloween, Christmas, etc. Then, I select where to stay. After that, I look at crowd calendars & decide what park to be in each day. Then, I plan meals based on where we plan to be.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:04 PM   #3
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We pick the "When", basing it around school schedules and making sure it coordinates with a time DH can get off work (his busiest times of the year are when schools are out for breaks, so it's tricky).

The hotel is our next choice. When that gets booked, we start talking about ADR's and each get a favorite restaurant choice (booking those at the 180+10 mark).

We pick parks based on crowds or ADR's or just whatever we feel like.

I like to really plan and get our vacations structured so that when we get there, we can relax and enjoy (we don't do any commando touring plans or anything - the excessive planning on my part allows for a more 'go with the flow' experience when we know the basics of where we need to be).
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:55 AM   #4
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When first

The kids' schedules are fairly rigid.

Resort second - we have settled in at POFQ after trying others. I suppose this could be first since it is generally not much of a discussion, but in case we change resorts, I want to have a reservation early so I can get the AAA discount. I usually do this more than six months in advance.

Parks next - this can get tricky if you are going early in the month. We try to choose where, in general, we will be on what day. We usually leave some periods open. For example the afternoon of the second to the last day and the morning of the last day are open for our upcoming trip.

Restaurants and tours next - we want to be in the right area for a meal or tour or the travel time eats away at your time in parks. This can get tricky with some restaurants in high demand. If the ADRs are not made early, you may not get a restaurant you want. If you want it bad enough, you may have to change your park schedule.

Attractions - I don't subscribe to a touring plan. Too rigid. I do subscribe to a general plan of what we most want to do, would like to do and don't care for much/ Between advice on these boards and the available apps, it is pretty easy to plan a rough order. There are some that have to be handed early; Toy Story Mania, Soarin', Test Track, Peter Pan, etc. I did use a wait time app to plan my next steps by reviewing wait times at different hours of the day. Still you need to be flexible because of uncertainties.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:50 AM   #5
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Here is how I do it:

1. Pick a date ( we do it based on lowest crowd level)
2. Pick resort ( easiest part)
3. Decide the park schedule -what days we will go to what parks ( I do this based on Touring Plans web site)
4. Decide dining options & times
5. Decide if we want park hopper or one park per day tickets
6. Put it all into an excel spread sheet
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:05 AM   #6
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I'm only planning our 2nd trip but this is how I've been doing it:

Pick the date (last time we went based on getting free dining, this time we're going for my daughter's birthday PLUS they're out of school that week yet most schools in the country will still have school)

Pick the resort- right now we really want to stay at art of animation but I'm planning on Pop Century simply because so far art of animation hasn't ran any specials on the standard rooms.

Pick the parks- We do opposite of a lot and like to take advantage of EMH without buying the park hopper so I view the calendars to see which park looks like they will have EMH on our dates.

Pick our dining- We plan out where we will dine based on which park we go to. If its a resort dining obviously it doesn't matter as much!

And Finally, keep looking for discounts that may apply and give a cheaper rate for our chosen date!
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:11 AM   #7
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I have been to Disney many times but this is my first time actually planning the trip. I am still in the beginning stages but this the how I plan on planning

1. Pick date
2. Pick resort
3. Decide park schedule
4. Dining and other options
5. Start packing!!

Oh, and lots of spreadsheets will be involved!
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshleeH
We pick the "When", basing it around school schedules and making sure it coordinates with a time DH can get off work (his busiest times of the year are when schools are out for breaks, so it's tricky).

The hotel is our next choice. When that gets booked, we start talking about ADR's and each get a favorite restaurant choice (booking those at the 180+10 mark).

We pick parks based on crowds or ADR's or just whatever we feel like.

I like to really plan and get our vacations structured so that when we get there, we can relax and enjoy (we don't do any commando touring plans or anything - the excessive planning on my part allows for a more 'go with the flow' experience when we know the basics of where we need to be).
Im sorry if I sound clueless but I have not heard of the 180+10 mark. I have only heard that you make your ADR's 180 days out. Can you explain a little bit? TIA
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacdolfin View Post
Im sorry if I sound clueless but I have not heard of the 180+10 mark. I have only heard that you make your ADR's 180 days out. Can you explain a little bit? TIA
Someone tell me if I am correct -
at 180 days you can make ADR's for the next 10 days.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvc at last !

Someone tell me if I am correct -
at 180 days you can make ADR's for the next 10 days.
Yes, as long as you are staying on property, you can make ADRs gotten days past the 180 mark.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:47 AM   #11
gotitclean
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Many people fail at this step. It can be relatively easy to make a plan up to this point. But, here’s where it’s time to put in the work. In our above example, the first step was to get a raise at work. You would now figure out what it will take to get that raise and go about making it happen. Perhaps you simply need to wait for a timed raise or you may need to work harder. Always remember what you’re working for, but don’t get caught looking ahead. Focus on the current step in your plan and execute it.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayliesmom

And Finally, keep looking for discounts that may apply and give a cheaper rate for our chosen date!
It sounds like most people reserve rooms and buy tickets separately. How does it work if you do this, then later there is some kind of discount released that requires a package? Can you change your reservation to a package?
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abinormal View Post
It sounds like most people reserve rooms and buy tickets separately. How does it work if you do this, then later there is some kind of discount released that requires a package? Can you change your reservation to a package?
Yep. I did. I had a room only to get my dates in and wait on discounts. Then the spring discounts came in (and you got even more discount with package rather than room only). So I called and had it changed. The CM will do it for you. It's actually easy-I was happy about that!
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