How to plan without over-planning

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by Katney, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Katney

    Katney Earning My Ears

    Apr 19, 2012
    Hello everyone!

    I am one of the lurk-y type board users... I hang out here every day, reading posts but barely posting anything myself because - though I love reading from other people - I don't really have much to say ;)

    But I can't hold it in any longer and I need someone to share with who won't roll their eyes at me everytime I say the word "Disney"! :rotfl:
    And, to be honest, I wanted to have my own signature with a ticker so I could always check how much longer it's gonna take! :rotfl:

    I am so so excited to go to WDW for the first time since I was twelve (a trip I barely remember)! :banana: :cool1: :banana: :cool1:

    My DBF wanted to go to Miami for a nice long vacation and I said no way are we taking a 12hr flight and not at least "stop by" WDW! He - very reluctantly - agreed. To four days only though! :rolleyes2

    Now, I am not a Disney novice, far from it, but since we live in Europe, we are frequent visitors to Disneyland Paris. I dragged DBF there for the first time last year and though it was an ok trip, i wouldn't call it awesome. He's not a Disney obsessive like me, it is clear he's doing all this to make me happy. I had everything planned out, ADRs (though they don't call them ADRs in Paris :)) and everything and while I was excited and tried to stick to the plan, DBF wasn't having any of it. Our last evening I actually spent in the Park by myself, because he prefered to go to bed early! :rotfl:

    Problem is, he hates planning. I love planning. But appart from loving it, this time I see it as a necessity, especially since we only go for four days.
    So, we won't have any ADRs (that backfired big time on our last trip, DBF was never hungry when we had ressies, because he stuffed himself throughout the day)
    We're gonna go with Quick Service and Fast Food whenever we feel like it.
    We do a park a day. (no park hopper tickets!)
    We will be there at rope drop, even if I drag him there in his PJs!!!!
    I already informed DBF that we will be getting up 7am at the latest!
    I read the "Unofficial Guide" and it helped me out a lot. Though everyone advises to stay away from the EMH-Parks, I am planning to do evening EMH at Magic Kingdom. Since we'll be flying in the evening before, we will certainly be jet-lagged, a nap in the afternoon the first day sounds like a good idea, so we can take advantage of the late hours of the day.
    I have 4/29 set for MK. 4/30 for HS. 5/1 for Epcot and 5/2 for AK.
    Other than that, I try to not plan too much because I know how it will work out.

    I appreciate any tipps on how to plan ahead without actually making a plan (I hope you get what I mean)
    I am fully aware that we won't make it to every attraction and I do have a personal must-do list. I asked DBF, he has nothing to add... :rolleyes2
    oh, and I know all about Fastpass, they have those in DLP as well, I am planning on using FP a lot.

    Thank you!
    Love this Forum, btw. I spend hours every day on it at the moment. Don't tell my Boss! ;) I've already learned so much about WDW!
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  3. hollygolitely93

    hollygolitely93 DIS Veteran

    Feb 13, 2011
    I think you have a good non-plan going. My suggestion would be to map out which rides to head to first...and perhaps the general order of how you will tour the parks...

    I find HS the "trickiest" to work out as you have all the show times to consider....if you plan on watching any of the shows...

    I think one of the disney apps will help you while in the parks. You can use it to see show times, find characters, check on wait times, and even Fast Pass return times...I like lines and we used disney Experience, too...

    My only thought as I read your strategy was the jet lag. While you will be working off of adrenaline to push you through it sounds like he will not. And a cranky, tired BF on top of him already being a non-Disney fan may be enough to push him over the you both have experience with jet lag? I have always adjusted by just forcing myself to adopt the local time right away...and I know many adjust by using ambien or the like.

    Enjoy! And posting for a ticker seems like a great reason to post :)
  4. waynesgirl

    waynesgirl Maleficent is my hero!

    Feb 10, 2008
    I went from Europe to WDW in the same trip. Adrenaline does push you through. And you sound like me...planner with a no-planner DH. It took a while to break free to let go.
    Pick the must do rides and hit those early-enjoy the rest of the day to explore. It's easy. Make dining reservations now, if you want. You can cancel them later. And maybe consider park hoppers...I find that when some parks are packed, it is good to go to another park for some space.
    Have fun...enjoy.
  5. housetomouse

    housetomouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 26, 2009
    My only suggestion would be to consider Park Hoppers or leaving the park and coming back in later in the day. Non-Disney-ites may not like being sentenced to a park for all day. Give him a way out :rotfl: Also, maybe there is something in or around Disney that he might like doing, outside of the parks. You guys could go separate ways sometimes. Have fun!!
  6. MrRomance

    MrRomance Planning and Plotting

    Sep 19, 2011
    DW and I are very different in our approaches to WDW too, but we are both Disney fans so that's one thing!

    We always have a fairly flexible approach, there are things that we plan to the most minute detail and things where we fly by the seat of our pants!

    With only 4 days, you are going to need to have some sort of planning. I would check for the lowest crowd days for each park and schedule which park on which day using that. The worst thing in the world is to have just 1 day at a park and have it be super crowded and you can't do all the things you have your heart set on.

    With No ADR's or hopping to deal with, you will have some flexibility in your days but make sure you know the parade, show times, etc. ahead of time (if you're into the parades and shows that is) that will give you the ability to work out if you have time to wait in a standby line or not.

    While I agree with PP's to a point about the jet lag being overridden by adrenaline, there will be an impact. My DW is from the US and I am from the UK and for a while before we got married we were in our home countries frequently visiting each other when we could. We're experts at the whole jet lag thing and it kicks our butts still! :lmao:

    Consider an actual touring plan too. Some people don't like them but with only 4 days, I'd be inclined to at least consider it.
  7. JessM

    JessM We all have a dream

    Sep 5, 2012
    I was in a similar situation as you this past December when I took my DBF down for the first time. He didn't understand why I liked to plan and thought we needed to plan. In the end I planned 3 ADRs and which parks we were going to each day before we left and that was it.

    Each day we would get up and go to our park of choice for RD. While waiting at the turnstyles we would plan out our first few attractions. (We only had 3 days so they ended up looking like this:

    HS-TSM FP, Ride TSM, Ride RNRC, Ride TOT-get FP for RNRC or TOT
    MK- (we had already done ETWB and the LM the night before) FP Peter Pan, Ride Space til a line forms, do Fantasyland
    AK-Ride Safari, Pagini Trail, FP Everest, Ride Everest

    This would almost always take us to 11am. The rest of the day we planned 3 or 4 steps ahead to keep from criss crossing the parks. We would make the plan while waiting in line for something or during lunch or a snack. We would plan to use FP for the major attractions and then see shows or do less popular attractions close to the FP ride. We got so much done this way but DBF didn't feel like his day was completely planned out. We kept a times guide with us all day and used it to see when shows would fit into our schedule (we were able to see NEMO and FOTLK at AK with this strategy). I feel like this is an adaptable touring style that is inbetween commando and flying by the seat of your pants.

    Have a great trip! Hopefully you can convert your DBF like I did mine ;)
  8. Katney

    Katney Earning My Ears

    Apr 19, 2012
    Thank you all for your replies!
    There are some awesome tipps in there!

    As for jetlag, I am not too worried about myself. Until recently, I worked night shifts (meaning one night/week, while the rest of the week was different hours during the day), so I have no inner clock or whatever you want to call it, my body adjusted to it and I am sure once adrenalin kicks in, I am good to go.
    Not too sure about DBF, and as a PP said, I do not want to drag around a grumpy, tired BF.

    What I figured now is to go early, get there for rope drop and then get my own must-dos out of the way early morning. So the afternoon we can take it easy, maybe take a nap, whatever. I think this is the way to make both me and DBF happy. :thumbsup2
    I love the idea to come with a plan for the first few stops and then discuss the next few steps while waiting in line / waking / snacking / whatever.

    I'd love to throw something in for him outside the parks. Thing is, he won't even look at what options there are. He loves to eat, especially american food, so maybe if I keep him fed,we'll be ok! :rotfl:

    Thanks for all the tipps! :wave2:
  9. jrtoastyman

    jrtoastyman Purveyor of Fine Latex Products

    May 22, 2011
    I think the best way to plan for a trip without over-planning the trip is just to educate yourself before you go, which is sounds like you're doing. We didn't really follow a plan per se on our last trip, but knowing what is what and what develops lines quickly helped immensely in ensuring that we weren't just aimlessly wandering the parks or resigning ourselves to waiting in lines that were longer than they needed to be.

    As others have said, we'd essentially go into the parks with an idea for what we were going to do when we got there and maybe 2 or 3 attractions after that, but thereafter we'd pretty much wing it, relying upon our knowledge of the parks to steer us thereafter. Because you're not really doing a bunch of ADRs, you could basically follow this approach every day and do pretty well, I'd think.
  10. conniehar90

    conniehar90 DIS Veteran

    Apr 5, 2005
    I think you have a good plan going. As mentioned, the most important thing is knowing which attractions to hit first. Once you get those done, the rest of your day should be fairly easy. So, you don't necessarily need to hit all your must-do's first, but you need to make sure you hit the important must-do's early.

    For example, Spaceship Earth might be one of your must-do's but you do not want to go to that as soon as you walk in Epcot. You need to get to Soarin or Test Track because those will have long lines later in the day.

    At MK, you might rate Haunted Mansion higher on your list of must-do's than Peter Pan. But, the lines for HM move fast and you can pretty much go on that anytime. Peter Pan, on the other hand, will have lines 60 minutes or more through out the day. So, if you want to get on it, you need to go early.

    So, knowing the importance of the order of you must-do list is key. Post your thoughts and folks will be glad to help!

    Hope that helps.
  11. RapunzelsBFF

    RapunzelsBFF Earning My Ears

    Sep 11, 2012
    I just wanted to jump in and say your boyfriend reminds me of mine when we go to Disney. I am obsessed with planning and he wants nothing to do with it! He definitely puts up with it for me. We are lucky to have guys that go along with all the Disney-craziness just to see us happy :)

    And as for your planning, it sounds like you have everything figured out so far. Like another poster said, you may want to consider park hoppers, that would be my only suggestion. Have a great time on your trip!
  12. MrsDuck

    MrsDuck DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2011
    We typically decide what day we're doing what park, make a few dining reservations, and decide our must-ride rides. That's it!
  13. housetomouse

    housetomouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 26, 2009
    Also, I always had a plan but acted like I didn't. I knew my husband wouldn't like being marched here and there. So I'd suggest we get to park at X time and get a Fast Pass for this and line up for this and then that. After that, I ask what anyone else wants to do and let them drive the rest of the day. If they have ideas, we go for it. If not, I have suggestions (& ADRs :thumbsup2). If I have an ADR and we're not going to make it because we decided to do something else, I'll cancel it, no big deal. My husband really liked having the flexible plan, that way we weren't aimlessly wandering and hitting big lines, but still doing what everyone wanted. The plan is always in the background if we want it.
  14. hsmamainva

    hsmamainva DIS Veteran

    Sep 13, 2009
    That's what we do!

    The first trip, I tried the "tour plan commando" routine, dictating what rides to ride and in what order, and no one enjoyed themselves!

    I also suggest scheduling an "off day" where you sleep in, have a late character breakfast, go for a swim, shop a little bit, maybe visit a park in the evening for dinner & fireworks. I try and do this in the middle of our week so we have a day to re-charge our batteries.
  15. Timandalicia

    Timandalicia Mouseketeer

    Apr 2, 2010
    My advice is to plan the whole thing out on your own and then say to yourself and Dbf that you will not follow the plans and just be flexible with whatever. That's what we have been doing for years. For me, the planning is so much a part of the fun. And I mean I plan to the every detail. My wife loves to be spontaneous when we get there. What ends up happening is a well organized spontaneous trip. Forewarning, doing Disneyland Paris unplanned and doing Disneyworld unplanned is like doing Cannes versus Paris unplanned (respectively).
  16. backpacktwang

    backpacktwang Mouseketeer

    Jan 19, 2013
    I am an insane planner and my dh is not. He thinks I am crazy. That said, we have found a kind of nice compromise by identifying 5 "must dos" in each park. I get to plan those out, do the ADRs, and then we will just wander around for the rest (so that he gets some relaxed time). This will be our first trip, and we have four days as well. I think that's going to be a good compromise for us. Have fun planning without planning too much!:thumbsup2
  17. Katney

    Katney Earning My Ears

    Apr 19, 2012
    Thanks for all the cool replies. Glad I'm not the only one in this situation!

    I think with all those tipps, we'll manage to have a great four days. Though I don't have much hope I will convert him to a disney addict like I am.

    Just wanted to mention - though it somehow doesn't sound like it - I am very grateful that he even agreed to come and I am happy to have him!:lovestruc
    In return for four days WDW, I agreed to spend 2 weeks in Miami doing whatever it is he wants to do... :rotfl:

    Can't wait for our trip to start! :banana:
    Thanks again!

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