Planning every little detail, and then bagging the plan

pkrieger2287

Disney Dreamer
Joined
May 12, 2017
My wife and I just got back from a trip where we planned every little detail, then about a month before the trip changed plans, and finally still did some spontaneous things once we arrived. You just have to go with the flow and realize that no matter what plan is set there might be better opportunities once on property.
 

KatherineV

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
I feel like if i dont plan ahead, i will miss out on something. I tend to make fastpass and dining reservations ahead, which i end up changing day off. The availability of these can be unpredictable, so I like to have some plans in place. But I wish that it would be possible to go without any preplanning.
 

tex1989

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
I read the post where the first couple of trips were offsite and not planned all that well and it reminded me of our start going to WDW. 1989 with a 4 1/2 year old we drove to Orlando stayed offsite, stopped at the welcome center in Ocala and bought our tickets and DHS had just opened. No FP's and we just waited in line for everything, long days and we enjoyed it a lot. Then a last minute trip with friends in 1993 where we drove stayed offsite and bought tickets once we got there. Our vacation style and our friends did not mesh at all, but wife and I noticed the people getting off buses from resorts and starting thinking about that. Summer of 1994 we booked a week at POFQ and not knowing to request a room and there was not tiered rooms yet we wound up in a first floor corner room facing the pool and 100 feet from the river. We had the best vacation ever and were absolutely hooked. In the back of my mind somewhere I thought Disney saw it was our first on site stay and sprinkled some Pixie Dust on us. So all these years and probably 40 trips later we have survived through the introduction of FP's, FP+'s, tiered room rates, MDE, ADR's, and all the other changes good and bad and are still going albeit just the wife and I. Over that time we have learned to be flexible regardless of plans, bought AP's to slow down a little and don't stress when we are there. We stop an smell the roses a little more so to speak. We find ourselves getting a drink and snack and just people watching more than we once did, and go at our own pace as opposed to a frantic pace to make sure we do everything every trip. Last trip in September wwe did not ever make it to DS. Other trips we have actually not gone to a park on a given day even though we have the AP's. We have played mini golf, golf, and done some tours.

I think part of it is thr frequency with which we go and a lot of the spontineity comes from knowing where things are, the best way to use Disney transport to get there, and the fact that we are just not in that big of a hurry to get there. It took a lot of time (and money) to get to this place but since we arrived it has made the vacation a lot more pleasant and relaxing.
 
  • copper rules

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 31, 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.
    make the plan we find the plan do the plan more change the plan make new plans read detail the plan and in any moment we scrapped the plan and do what we want
     

    studiojmm

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2017
    The nice thing about planning with a tool like TP is that you end up understand your the implications of your choices and get a chance to decide your priorities before you get there. Running scenarios helps prevent over planning in your head - too many attraction desires for the available time = disappointment.

    It also helps me deal with the inevitable "oh, can we go in this shop? can we do this unplanned thing?" questions in the park. Yes, we can, but this is what we said we wanted to do. Is it ok if we don't do that? Sometimes we do what we planned and sometimes we don't. Usually by mid-afternoon we are in free-form and jumping on FP+ opportunities, but often we have time-sensitive plans in the late afternoon/evening and it's useful to be able to say "If we want to get to x attraction before y show/meal, we have z amount of time now to do whatever it is."

    I have printed my TP plans before leaving home so I don't have to check the app all the time, but sometimes optimize plans in the TP app during the day too, especially if crowds are different that we thought. I never feel locked into a plan or that it wasn't worth my time to think through our itinerary in the first place.

    BTW - I also adjust TPs times to fit our touring personality. For example, I assume it takes us double the allotted time to do most self-paced attractions. Maybe the majority of people spend 20 minutes on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Animal Kingdom or 10 minutes in the Test Track Pavilion at Epcot, but we spend way longer. I mean you have to make several versions of your car's commercial and take multiple goofy photos with the demo cars at the end right? Well, maybe not everyone does, but we do. I also tend to choose the super relaxed pace, not because we don't walk fast when necessary, but because there's stuff to stop and see, spontaneous characters to meet, snacks to be purchased (and bathrooms to visit) - and moreso in MK/AK than HS/EP.
     

    Jasperann

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    The visual on this is hilarious! You must have been in shock when he threw it away!
    I was most definitely in shock. This = :eek: me. But I do believe it saved our trip. It is a funny story now, but at the time I was seriously in the middle of a major adult tantrum meltdown. I feel for people in the parks when I see them going through a similar thing. :laughing:
     
  • WIll C

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 19, 2018
    I planned a lot. ADRs and FPs for each park we were going to hit up. It lasted perhaps half a day in AK. It was so hot that we couldn't do half of what we wanted and just went back to the hotel to rest. The other days didn't fare well either. Usually either or mornings or afternoons were washed out. We did the MNSSHP one day so that day, along with dining and pre-party FPs were kept but the next day was all by ear.
    This was just a trip for the two of us but my wife has mobility issues and really could not take the weather for any long period of time. We just slowed it down and went where we wanted. It did help that we got 3 anytime FPs for our last day at MK and had EMH for the resort guests. That was the best time we had just going anywhere we wanted.
     

    MaryKM

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 10, 2018
    I plan. Ok, understatement... I plan a lot!
    I think the planning is what makes me love the vacation - I build it up in my mind and it makes the winter months less dull thinking about Disney. The first time we went, I thought we would be one and done, so I crammed in too much. It was a blast and we saw it all, but it was busy and there wasn't much spontaneity. I got bit by the Disney bug on that trip, and we've been back every year since. I swear the planning is what I found so addictive.
    Now, I don't feel quite as manic about it. I make my ADRs (usually just one per day), and get our FP+ for the rides we want most, but knowing we'll be back allows me to breathe. Our most recent trip was so different, because we didn't speed walk all day, we sauntered and shopped, and chatted with cast members. The whole family felt a happy difference in our pace, but that's because we didn't feel the need to see it all.
    Our next trip is probably our first/only trip during the holidays (at least until I retire or hit Mega Millions), so I am scheduling us up again, but if we're going to see all the fun holiday things, I feel I need a plan to follow. I hate feeling like I missed something.
    I think: find the balance that works for your family, be open to some breathing room when you can - even if it's just a few late afternoon park hours that are left "open for exploring" but be sure you make a list of things you don't want to miss out on, so you can leave with no regrets - if they are even possible at Disney!
     

    QueenElinor

    It's not my fault they're all redheads.
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2012
    I planned a lot. ADRs and FPs for each park we were going to hit up. It lasted perhaps half a day in AK. It was so hot that we couldn't do half of what we wanted and just went back to the hotel to rest. The other days didn't fare well either. Usually either or mornings or afternoons were washed out. We did the MNSSHP one day so that day, along with dining and pre-party FPs were kept but the next day was all by ear.
    This was just a trip for the two of us but my wife has mobility issues and really could not take the weather for any long period of time. We just slowed it down and went where we wanted. It did help that we got 3 anytime FPs for our last day at MK and had EMH for the resort guests. That was the best time we had just going anywhere we wanted.
    I, too, have mobility issues and usually will rent a scooter at WDW. So that goes into the plan. Even though the rest of the family can stay all day at the park, we've found that a long mid afternoon break works very well for us- everybody is a lot happier if we eat an early lunch, maybe see a show-type attraction and then go back to the resort for a few hours to avoid the heat and worst part of the crowds.

    BTW - I also adjust TPs times to fit our touring personality. For example, I assume it takes us double the allotted time to do most self-paced attractions. Maybe the majority of people spend 20 minutes on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Animal Kingdom or 10 minutes in the Test Track Pavilion at Epcot, but we spend way longer.
    Yep. You definitely must have a plan that's right for you, don't follow someone else's. I take teeny binoculars with me to AK especially so I can see animals and all the awesome details on the Tree of Life, etc. No getting me through fast!!

    I think anyone can triage a bit- let some things go to save the rest of the day on an as-needed basis. It does take more computer time to assess that in advance if you haven't been to the parks before. I always make a note of what we might skip or where the plan may not work out exactly. Then just let it go, no one thing is that important. Attitude is everything.
     

    Novakm

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2013
    My DW hates having to follow a plan. So we agree to do without.

    So I make a detailed plan and don’t tell her. When she says “so what do we do next” I say something like “let’s go that way”. Magically, we end up hitting all our faspasses, and when she gets hungry we just happen to have an ADR right near where we are standing. She doesn’t follow any plan, but I follow mine about 80%.
     
  • WIll C

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 19, 2018
    My DW hates having to follow a plan. So we agree to do without.

    So I make a detailed plan and don’t tell her. When she says “so what do we do next” I say something like “let’s go that way”. Magically, we end up hitting all our faspasses, and when she gets hungry we just happen to have an ADR right near where we are standing. She doesn’t follow any plan, but I follow mine about 80%.
    Well done. A true unsung hero.
     

    studiojmm

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2017
    I take teeny binoculars with me to AK especially so I can see animals and all the awesome details on the Tree of Life, etc. No getting me through fast!!
    Oooooo! I have teeny tiny binoculars and they totally have to come with me next time!

    My DW hates having to follow a plan. So we agree to do without.

    So I make a detailed plan and don’t tell her. When she says “so what do we do next” I say something like “let’s go that way”. Magically, we end up hitting all our faspasses, and when she gets hungry we just happen to have an ADR right near where we are standing. She doesn’t follow any plan, but I follow mine about 80%.
    That's awesome!

    My daughter's weakness is shops. I have a much lower tolerance for shopping and she usually wants to go in the first shop she sees, you know, at rope drop! So having a plan gets us back on track - "You said xyz are priorities. The lines for those will be atrocious later and the shop will still be here."
     

    RedStars

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2012
    I'm an overplanner (Thanks, Anxiety!) but I'm a big fan of chucking it all and winging it.
    I have a minute-by-minute breakdown for the party on Sunday yet I guarantee I won't follow it.
     

    QueenElinor

    It's not my fault they're all redheads.
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2012
    I'll try to be quick. I always planned the trips. One year it was decided I should not plan. Half way we decided that was a bad idea.
    Hah! I've been there. My sis once let her husband plan a trip to SoCal. He forgot which hotel we were all to stay at, just that it was a Marriott. How many Marriotts do you think there might be in LA?:tongue:
     
    Last edited:

    sapphirerose915

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2018
    My DW hates having to follow a plan. So we agree to do without.

    So I make a detailed plan and don’t tell her. When she says “so what do we do next” I say something like “let’s go that way”. Magically, we end up hitting all our faspasses, and when she gets hungry we just happen to have an ADR right near where we are standing. She doesn’t follow any plan, but I follow mine about 80%.
    You're my hero... this is my goal when I go this Dec
     

    Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    The beauty of a plan is that you can toss it out and are no worse off than if you had no plan. I make a basic outline of park days and meals so we are not wandering around like lost people trying to make a decision. We book FP to work around meals, and that's it. We h
    Know when shows and entertainment are scheduled and will either stay or go. Vacations for us are not a time for a schedule that is set in stone, but a time for family fun. If the family wants to shop instead of seeing a parade or show, we shop.
     

    gorkt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2011
    Yeah, I have been enough times that I just tend to make a rough plan of what days we will be at what parks, make ADRs and fastpasses, but be flexible to change if we just aren't feeling like doing something. I have cancelled FPs and ADRs when necessary.
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    But you probably learned at least some of that common knowledge by making a detailed touring plan. There's no way I'd ever have figured out as much as I have without that kind of discipline. People don't know what they don't know- it's those unknown unknowns that really muck up a plan!
    Actually, no. We've never made a detailed touring plan. Ever...even when we were fairly new at WDW and/or only went every 2-3 years. We learned from experience, trial/error, asking questions of CMs, then of course from this board. Some people don't like to have a vacation "planned". Like mi*vida*loca said, it will kill the fun. I've said this before in similar threads...if we had to have a detailed touring plan on our vacation, I honestly would refuse to go. It would be zero fun for me. When we go to WDW, we make FP+ in advance, but even that is pretty much random...picking a park with no rhyme or reason, and then picking rides we want, again with no particular strategy. Truth is we wind up changing those half of the time anyway.

    Then again, there are plenty of people who wouldn't have fun unless they did plan every minute. No wrong answer. Chocolate or vanilla....
     

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