Planning every little detail, and then bagging the plan

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by gulliesmom, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. gulliesmom

    gulliesmom Mouseketeer

    Dec 6, 2017
    I have been planning this trip since I booked it last year, down to every little detail. Signed up for a Touring Plan subscription, scheduled my FP, ADRs, etc. There is part of me that is feeling like maybe we will get there and say what the heck, let's just do what we feel like doing. I have a very NON-Disney husband who is basically coming along for the ride. He will likely leave whatever park we are in mid-day to go back to hotel and nap and decompress from the crowds. My 13 and 11 year-olds will happily do whatever I say we are doing with no complaining at all (I am very fortunate to have easy and flexible kids). This trip is coming just after my son's Bar Mitzvah which I have been planning for two years and I know I will be exhausted and ready to just relax and enjoy being away.

    I guess I am wondering if anyone has ever planned your visit and then decided not to follow the plan. I will def be going to the parks each day and at least doing our FP rides, but otherwise wondering how much I will stick to what the current plan is.
    AdamsMum likes this.
  2. NJ Goofy

    NJ Goofy DVC Member - SSR & BWV

    Mar 4, 2008
    I am the planner in our family my DS's and DW, like your kids, go along for the ride because they know I do a good job. But with that said, I ease off on the planning now. I don't book more than one meal a day, if that. I get the FP's for the headliners and then see what we feel like doing. Sometimes it's go crazy on attractions or 3 parks in a day and sometimes we are out of the park by 1:00 pm to go sit by the pool until 6:00. Just get a feel for the day, just because you've planned every minute doesn't mean you can't change it up ! So, to answer your question, yes we don't always follow my plans and yes, we still have a great time !
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  4. OhDannyBoy

    OhDannyBoy DISdad #850

    Jan 10, 2014
    Book your FP's for the big rides. Maybe reserved meal if you wish.

    Then just go with it. You never know how busy it's going to be, or what rides will be down, or if it will rain, or if this thing is rescheduled, or....

    So just have a good time. You said your family is flexible? That's awesome news going into the mouse trap!!

    Oh and Mazel Tov!!
  5. gulliesmom

    gulliesmom Mouseketeer

    Dec 6, 2017
  6. DisneyWishes14

    DisneyWishes14 DIS Veteran

    Nov 21, 2011
    Yes, we do this all the time. I plan out about a half day, each day and then we wing the rest. This way, we get our must-do's in and the rest is a pleasant surprise. Some of our most enjoyable moments have been things we've done spur of the moment. I find it makes for a more relaxing trip.
  7. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2016
    Do whatever you feel is best. You've got a plan all laid out, so you may as well bring it. If you decide you want to follow it, then do it. If not, then don't. I know that sounds simplistic, but I think that's the answer. We're not planners at all, and that's the way we like it. We enjoy getting off a ride and saying "What next?", but that doesn't work for everyone.
  8. mrp4352

    mrp4352 DIS Veteran

    Nov 10, 2002
    I plan - but I've found I have a much better trip if I allow myself to ignore the plan and smell roses at times. Part of what makes Disney so magical is the moments that just happen - whether it's stumbling on the fountains dancing at Epcot, or a school group performing or you meet a friendly cast member.
  9. GillianP1301

    GillianP1301 DIS Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    I spend a ton of time planning and I plan every aspect of every day of my Disney trips. I find it fun to do. However, it is very common for me to abandon the plan at any given time or shift things around on the fly, I do it all the time. I find that all the effort put into planning actually makes it a lot easier to wing it while I'm there.
    denecarter, cadien, mmps108 and 8 others like this.
  10. Pdollar88

    Pdollar88 DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2017
    I spend a lot of time planning. I usually stick pretty roughly to my plan. On my last solo trip though, I almost completely ditched my AK plan. I did that because it was pouring rain, I had blisters, and I’d already altered to include a FOP FP I got that morning.

    I still hit the things I had never done before, but I scrapped most of the day and headed bsck to the hotel. It was fun just flying by the seat of my pants. Which was made easier as a solo traveler.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
    gulliesmom likes this.
  11. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    Of course. It’s the beauty of a plan. You get to know things so well ahead of time that you know what you can do differently once you’re there.

    We have always tended to lose all steam halfway through DHS days. Not sure we’ve ever made it a whole day there. And we’ve been happy to say “nope, let’s go”.

    But with kids like that, why do it? Can I borrow them? Kiddingnotreallykidding.
    gulliesmom and QueenElinor like this.
  12. SaintsManiac

    SaintsManiac DIS Veteran

    Dec 9, 2014
    I planned our last few trips like crazy because it helped me cope with the real world. We then would usually cancel ADRs the night before, change FP times, change entire days, etc.

    I'm going to ease up a bit going forward. I'm done getting up at 5am to make ADRs. I will never do it again. It's a huge waste of time to me.

    I dumped my Character Locator subscription and don't make plans on TP anymore.

    I still have my pretty spreadsheet, though :)

    Like I said, 90% of what I planned goes out the window once we get there lol
    NileNellie and gulliesmom like this.
  13. chelseabun76

    chelseabun76 I have my own Disney Angel <3

    Aug 12, 2014
    Our last trip, I planned everything down to the T. Ride by ride. Time slot by time slot. lol We got there and we kept our FP's and our ADR's, and the showtimes that I had picked for some things. But, we threw away the rest of the plans and just went with it. One day it was beyond windy at Epcot and very cool, so we called it a day much earlier than expected and missed Illuminations, but that was ok. We walked around doing the rides that didn't have awful waits, we people watched while enjoying an ice cream or dole whip. We just soaked it all in. I've planned this trip a bit differently, gone section by section instead (morning spent on this side of the park type of thing)... and we'll see how it goes. lol
    gulliesmom likes this.
  14. mdsouth

    mdsouth DIS Veteran

    Jan 15, 2005
    Your hubby sounds a lot like mine. He has a non-Disney attitude too and that is fine with me. On our last trip my DD and I went down four days before my hubby and son followed. It worked well for us, I got more days at Disney and the days with my DD we kicked back and had very basic plans and winged the rest. We had a great time. On the days, by hubby was there, we stuck more to a schedule to get in the rides we wanted and then tried to just relax and go with the flow.

    Yes, this exactly!

    So, right! Since we know a lot more about what there is to do from all the advance planning it really makes it easier to change plans or abandon them when we are there.
    gulliesmom likes this.
  15. kiford

    kiford DIS Veteran

    Nov 9, 2012
    Absolutely. Now I pretty much make a plan outline: pick parks to tour each day (usually 2 per day) that work with ADRs I'm able to book, FP+ that work with the plan, try to schedule in certain night time shows/fireworks or parades. Book a hotel that is most convenient transportation/location-wise that works with that. Then if we feel like doing something else when we're there - like taking the first bus that comes - we do that. Usually we will keep 95% of the ADRs (might change one or two during the trip - usually breakfasts) and about 75% of the FP+. We know that we will be coming back some time so we're not too stressed about missing something. If we're hot or tired we'll go back to the room early and go to the pool, nap in the afternoon, sit with our feet up and watch TV, go to a lounge and sit for a while. As long as we're still enjoying ourselves, not sticking to the plan is perfectly acceptable. If the plan becomes onerous or stressful and we're no longer having fun, the plan is wrong and must be abandoned.
    rpw2014 and gulliesmom like this.
  16. skippytx

    skippytx Bay Lake Tower

    Aug 24, 2015
    We always modify our plans once we get there. We had scheduled Chef Mickey's for dinner one night and turns out no one really wanted to go, so we canceled it. We setup the FP's for the late morning/early afternoon and just kinda do whatever early morning/late evening. We plan, but don't stress if we change it.
  17. TwinkleKS

    TwinkleKS DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2013
    For it depends on what time of year the trip is during. For our annual Christmas week trip, I stick to the plan because it causes the least amount of headaches. When we go at other times during the year, I don't worry about it much. I switch up meals, change times we will go the parks, etc.
    gulliesmom likes this.
  18. No.1000

    No.1000 Mouseketeer

    Jun 18, 2016
    I plan which parks we are most likely to visit and grabs FP's ahead of time. But I never do ADR's unless there is something extra special we want to do occasionally. It feels too stressful for us to have to make it to meal reservations and often just do quick service or make ADR's on the fly day of. Don't feel bad about changing things up to make it work for your vacation.
    gulliesmom likes this.
  19. dakotix

    dakotix DIS Dad #852 from Central Massachusetts

    Jul 12, 2012
    We plan like crazy and always always keep our ADRs . We schedule all of our FP's but when we're there, if the fast pass isn't convenient to get to we won't race to get to it unless its a bucket list item.
    gulliesmom likes this.
  20. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2008
    I like having a plan and have my spreadsheets and figuring out what parks to do on what days based on crowd calendars and meals planned based on that and wake up early to book my FPs, etc....

    ... but that is all because I find it less stressful to have a game plan once we are there vs being like "what do you want to do?" "I don't know, what do you want to do?"

    ... but we definitely change up plans if it makes more sense and it it means skipping a FP or whatever, no biggie. Obviously harder to do with ADRs as you get the fee for noshowing - but even with them if earlier in the trip we want to change something up we will

    Not sure if I have ever just bagged the entire plan, but definitely deviate once there as needed
  21. LiveToTravelNicely

    LiveToTravelNicely You said it Doc. Imagination is a blast!

    Jan 26, 2012
    We usually follow the plan loosely, but not entirely. The plan is our guide more than our requirement. Level of energy, weather, spontaneity etc shouldn't be ignored! Last trip, the plan to watch HEA in front of the castle for the 2nd time of the trip got scrapped and turned into riding Haunted Mansion and then making our way by Gaston's Tavern to watch the fireworks with no one around and having a photopass photographer take our picture with the fireworks in the background. Then, if watching HEA with no one around wasn't a miracle enough, we ended up hopping onto 7 Dwarfs Mine Train right at the conclusion of the fireworks and had less than a 5 minute wait! I never expect those stars to align again, but I tell that story to illustrate how exciting going with your gut and ditching the plan can be if no one is feeling it.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018

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