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Old 07-07-2010, 01:48 PM   #16
Is it time to go back to Disney World yet?
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I guess my wife and I would fall into the commando style (me more than her). We actually make a binder with every day planned out. While we don't plan it to the minute we know where we want to be and what we want to do on each day. We list which parks have EMH, the regular hours of the parks the show times, ADRs etc. Then we just take the page of that day with us. I've told my wife we should make this binder a business somehow, that's how much detail and planning goes into it.

I usually make all of the ADRs and then try to tweak them to fit our schedule if need be. We always try to plan pool time in the afternoon. Except for one day (which is usually DTD day) we are at the parks for rope drop. We have found that we usually get to hit the major stuff by 11 then eat lunch and head back to the resort for some pool time. We then return to the parks in the late afternoon for dinner and more fun!
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:31 PM   #17
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now I have some things to plan, I'm going to try to get the Dapper Dans
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Glad to see the thread geting off to a good start Welcome All

I usally plan my day 7am - Midnite, I have my list of things to get done for the day (the only things I list as a time is ADR's, Parades, Shows etc) I've found out this works well and you don't feel rushed

For my dinner ADR, I usally make for a out of park resturant, this way after dinner it's off to a different park (usally the one with the EMH for the night), then depending on what time it closes off to DTD or the Boardwalk.

For my DW & DS I have a child finder tag on them, so if I go to get a FP or get separated I can locate them quickly, I hate wasting time looking for somone.

The last few years I've been going in the Fall so the heat and rain have not been a big factor and stay in the parks the whole time, but If you are going in July or August, the heat can wear you down quick, I would say if you are staying on site take advantage of the EMH's in the a.m. go back to the resort sometime during the day,hit the pool,take a nap go to dinner and hit the park that has the evening EMH's (this time of year some are open really late) IMO the a.m, and night time are the best times to get alot done.
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:47 PM   #18
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Count me in! I went down to Disney for a week in January complete with a color coded spreadsheet with ADRs, EMH, parades etc on it. I love EXCEL! We go for ONE day in the summer. We drive over from our beach vacation for one day and hit MK and now that my DD is a little older, only 3 but OCD like her mommy, we hop to EPCOT as well. My tip is that you can do commando with toddlers. My daughter sleeps in her stroller or during HoP, Carousel of Progress, TTA on my shoulders. We do not take midday breaks even with a little one. Last summer she woke up at 3:30am (too excited to sleep) and except for two 30 minute naps was awake until 10:30pm! I kept waiting for a fit due to exhaustion, but she just kept saying "What's next?" She knew her mommy had a plan!

On a completely different note, I was at AAA today. Someone came in to book a vacation with Disney for this August 16th! I know that all reading this thread feel just like I do.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:54 PM   #19
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Our last trip was 10 days in the park.

I arranged our days around EMH. ADR are with the resteraunts in either that park or within a quick monorail ride to. From there I plan our day with the time shows in mind. Give each ride or show a half hour increment. We never step on a ride that is either more then 20 minutes or we haven't FPed. We've send DH off running for a FP while we are in line for food. I use the menu guides to plan which direction of the park we are going to work on. So, if I know we like a particular CS we work on rides/shows that direction. As soon as we are off schedule due to an extra wait, we quickly pass up a few of our planned rides and get back on schedule. It sounds rough, but for the most part it has really helped with each person seeing thier favorite characters or shows with rides in between. Each trip we found that we missed a couple of our planned activities, but then that gives us something to look forward to.

My biggest suggestion is Steve Soares Entertainment Guide. About a week before our trip, I update all the times of our favorite shows. I have found there is so much more shows/character meets on his site, vs the entertainment guide they hand out.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:54 PM   #20
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Commando is the only way to go for us!!!

Rope drop to gate closing -- that's where you'll find my crew.

I laugh in the faces of those who say commando touring is wrong, that you don't have fun this way, etc.... uhm, not for us! We love riding as many rides as we can and watching all the shows, parades and fireworks. We can rest/sleep at home for free, so why would we do that in Disney for $$$$? The day just doesn't feel complete if we don't ride everything in our checklist -- and believe me, we do ride/see them all. Twice or thrice even.

We don't push, shove nor run over anyone, so if this is the way we enjoy our trip so be it. Someone made a snooty comment to me on these boards saying that they get to go every year and so they don't feel the need to go commando. Well guess what, we average 2 trips a year as DVC members and we still go commando!

Here’s a sample of what we actually achieved one day at DHS:
Wake up at 630 am
Bus to DHS by 715 am
Enter DHS at 750 am for early breakfast at H&V
Take pics in an empty DHS on Hollywood Blvd.
Eat at H&V from 8am to 9am
Take pics with Stitch by Hat
Run to TSM; Dad and boys wait by standby line, Mom get FP's for TSM
Ride TSM
Ride RnRC
Ride TOT
See HSM2 parade/show
Use FP's for TSM; Get FP's for TSM again
Get autograph/photo with Green Army Man
See Backlot Tour
Pictures with Mike and Sulley
Pictures with Dino Power Ranger
Picture with Ron Stoppable
See Muppets 3D
Eat lunch at Backlot Express while watching Jedi Training
Get parade spot in front of giant Emmy Statue
See Block Party Bash Parade
See Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Use FP for TSM ride again
Photos with Mater and Lightning McQueen
See Lights Motors Action Show
Ride Star Tours
Ride TSM via standby line again (4th time)
Ride RnRC via standby line again (2nd time)
Buy Dinner at Catalina Eddies
Line up and enter Fantasmic theater
Eat dinner while waiting for Fantasmic to start
See Fantasmic
Take bus back to resort (around 1030pm-ish)
Swim at resort pool
Bed by 1 am-ish

Go Commandos!!!!

Oct. '07 Photo Trip Report: My 6 and 4 year-old park commandos -- How we conquered the World!
July 2008 Photo Trip Report: They Tried to Make Me Go To Rehab, But I Said No, No, No!

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Old 07-07-2010, 07:27 PM   #21
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Oh well, let's look on the bright side
If I hadn't been so wiped out I would have kissed my anesthesiologist
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Some of you are amazing. We used to do it your way but just don't feel like making it all day any more. I remember the days of lists too but now I just rely on memory and our ADR (s) of the day are all that are written down.

Like I mentioned previously, my biggest dislike is carrying a lot of stuff though. I feel that having to worry about bags and packs slows a person down.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:38 PM   #22
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*hiding detailed spreadsheets behind her back*

Commando? No way!

I'm trying really hard to keep from getting sucked over to the commando darkside but I am type A and I already have the general schedule for our Dec trip done. I told my DH today that I need to go through the detailed list of attractions and start planning our days. He just rolled his eyes.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:39 PM   #23
Please stand clear of the doors...
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Originally Posted by Dexican View Post
Count me in I always walk around the park without undergarments.
You read my mind!

I hate this term used in this way--I immediately think of not wearing undergarments. There's got to be a better term for its intended meaning on this site. I'm sick of thinking that there are hundreds of guests walking around without underwear.

That being said, I just printed out my dining spreadsheet with confirmation numbers, and park hours spreadsheet. I plan on laminating them (I've already made them the size of a credit card for easy carrying.) That's about the extent of my planning.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:16 PM   #24
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The only thing we really plan in advance is where we are going to stay. For example we never make ADR's before we arrive, however since we stay Club Level we like to take full advantage of their food offerings so that is one reason why. However there might be days when we plan to do something, although we might change our minds at the very last minute and do something else. Plus since we always have our own car with us we don't need to worry about getting around to anywhere we want to go. As for visiting the parks we usually plan which ones to go while we are down there, however if it turns out the weather might not be good that day then we will wait and do something else.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:24 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by tarheel_girl View Post

On a completely different note, I was at AAA today. Someone came in to book a vacation with Disney for this August 16th! I know that all reading this thread feel just like I do.
LOL. I am going next week with my children, and I booked the vacation less than two weeks ago
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:26 PM   #26
Enjoying some "Invisabili-TEA" with a crazy kid!
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Location: Central Florida
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Originally Posted by Dexican View Post
Count me in I always walk around the park without undergarments.
I am glad I am not the only one out there that has the image of people walking around the parks sans undergarments every time I hear this phrase!

That being said -- when I was a kid and my family would take a vacation to Disney World every 5 years or so, yes we went from early morning to closing down the park. But it was the 80s then and only two parks to troop through. Way back then we really didn't make minute to minute plans -- the crowds were smaller then or so I remember -- and we never needed to make advanced reservations (except the one time we went to Hoop Dee Doo Music Review and got food poisoning!) we would just go see guest relations each morning and make a reservation in the park (Liberty Tree Tavern and Tutto Italia Ristorante are the only two I remember). I don’t even think character dining existed then!

Now, living in Central Florida, we don’t make plans – we just go where the whim takes us. This is not an option for most and I bow down to all of you with your spreadsheets and time tables! I cannot imagine the organizational prowess that it takes to do what you do. I have a hard enough time even planning my normal day – let alone a vacation (I tried when we went on a Disney Cruise a few years ago, but even that was thrown out the window the first night!)

But for all of you planners out there please do me (and yourself) a favor -- make sure you schedule in time to have fun and just be with your family. My DD and I (and occasionally my hubby) go to the parks a LOT – we defiantly get our money’s worth out of our annual passes – and we witness an awful lot of family meltdowns while we are there. Wrenches are constantly thrown into the works and things will not always work out as you had them planned – rides have technical difficulties, thunderstorms pop up and cancel parades and outside rides, ADR seating gets delayed, people get tired and cranky and the list goes on and on. I know Disney vacations are expensive, but please don’t let the speed bumps ruin your whole vacation – sometimes the best times with your family happen when you stop rushing from one place to the next. What is most important is that you are there with the people you love … or care about … or kind of, sort of like a little bit!

Okay, I will get off my soap box now!
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:41 PM   #27
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We used to go commando but after more than 35 trips and since I'm now in my mid-60s, not so much anymore. I slow down and enjoy the beer!
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:45 PM   #28
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We are commandos too!!! I say that because we have a plan, never miss a RD, use FP, and always have our ADR's booked!!! For us, I know this makes for a better time. Our first trip, (many years ago) we had no idea...stayed off site, showed up at 11am with all the crowds, did not know what a FP was, had no idea where we were going to eat any meals, and generally wandered around the parks dazed and confused.

We did not have a good time - we were all hot, tired, cranky, and hardly went on any rides...I'm surprised I got DH to go back!!! Then I found the DIS which lead to TGM... what a difference!!! You mean I can book ADRs??? Be there at RD - what a concept!!! Now we stay onsite... We rode more in the first hr at RD (and this was during Christmas week) at MK than we did in our entire June vacation the last time we were there!!! Now, I know show schedules ahead of time. I have a general order that we like to do things, but it's not a strict plan - if the kids want to go here or there we can. Also, sometimes rides break down or show times changes, so you do have to be able to be flexible.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:56 PM   #29
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I do commando--although I really really do try to relax some.
I know what park we are doing and in what order we are seeing attractions, riding rides. What time we are leaving the park--and what time we are eating and where.

God help the person that takes too long in the bathroom.
Yep, i factored that in this trip.

I do not want to be that family that is standing in the middle of the walk way--looking at a map with everyone trying to decide what to do.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:34 PM   #30
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We always go commando for the first 2/3 of the day. We try to always leave the room an hour and fifteen minutes before rope drop to make sure we are up front. We normally have all the main rides taken care of in the first couple hours and use FP constantly. As our kids get older, we are able to stay in the parks longer before heading back to the room for a swim and nap break.

I have become a little easier on the planning portion since we know our way around each park and know what rides and shows are must sees. I normally have our daily plan done when we make the reservation, but I just completed our daily run-down for our August trip yesterday and the reservation was made prior to FD being released.

We always try and do a new adventure each trip. This time will be the CS free dining. We normally always do the TS and it will be something new and less hassle with planning around a sit down meal each day.
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