Planning every little detail, and then bagging the plan


Collect memories, not things
Mar 29, 2008
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!

It's like studying hard for a test, then showing up and finding it's open book. You're still going to do far better than the folks who kind of just glanced over the material ahead of time.

The other thing I've found is the parks are a lot busier than they used to be. We went a lot right around the turn of the century (hah- weird saying that) and things have changed quite a bit. In 2012 we used a plan- more or less- and the family all agreed it went much better, even though we all had fun before. I think it's probably even more important now. I'd rather make and not need it, for sure.
I honestly think I learned most of my info from the boards. I used Touring Plans personalized touring plans, picked the rides and let them tell me the order so I didn't "really" learn too much from them. It was the knowledge from the Dis that helped the most. Some other goodies I learned from the DIS that helped a lot: eat your meals during off peak times, know when the monorail isn't running, rider swap, how FP+ works, etc.


Collect memories, not things
Mar 29, 2008
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....
My SO has a family member that needs to plan vacations down to the second. And she likes to plan group trips. After doing ONE weekend "vacation" with her we no longer go anymore. It was a complete buzzkill and I felt like I was with a drill sergeant. lol


DIS Veteran
Mar 5, 2007
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?"

Doing all the research for the plan is more important than executing the plan itself.
Great way to say it.

But I can honestly say the remaining 4 days of our trip were so amazing and not having a plan was the best feeling in the world
He might have thrown out your work, but he didn’t throw out your knowledge. You still knew stuff, and it likely directed the decisions you got to make, or your expectations, for the rest of the trip. It helped make those last four days better.

Also, people have meltdowns. It’s not bc of your plan. It’s because you wanted the trip to be wonderful and the stress got to you. Even non-planners have them.

And once you’ve had it, even if a husband doesn’t throw out your work, you tend to feel better. Once you let out the tension of perfecttripperfecttripperfecttrip, you can breathe.

I also adjust TPs times to fit our touring personality.
Yep. And your whole post was perfection. :)

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.
And going forward your trips will take those things into account. :)

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%.
Yes yes yes.

Our first day trip to Disneyland I was mocked for my written plan.

Our second day trip to Disneyland o kept the plan in my pocket. And whenever my fellow travelers stopped in the path to pull out a map and say “what’s next” I always ALWAYS had an idea.

Funny, they loved that day!

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:

We learned from experience, trial/error, asking questions of CMs, then of course from this board.
It is astonishing what one gleans from doing that. I’ve learned more here than I have by doing a TP plan.

I consider reading here (and the unofficial guide and passporter) to BE a detailed plan. You can’t really unlearn it (under normal circumstances).

From reading I knew more about DHS than my relatives who grew up going to the parks. Because I was learning new info while they were taking well worn paths and not changing it up. (Now we’ll all be new to it)


Tagless by choice!!
Jun 16, 2001
This thread has given me a good bit of info. I'm a Type A planner and I feel like I'm absolutely drowning. Our trip is luckily a year away so I have plenty of time to read and soak up all the info possible. My husband is not Type A and hates feeling like he's in Boot Camp at Disney. I know not to plan any super early rope drops or the paid EMM as he would be pretty ticked off about getting up early on vacation. I also know that it's important for crowds to not arrive at noon. Somehow I have to come up with a plan in the middle. At this point, I don't even know where to start. I will likely not go to the park with EMH early hours. How do you pick which day to go to which park? Some will be determined by ADRs since our focus is on Food & Wine at Epcot next year so whatever day is the French breakfast will be our Epcot day. We have hoppers and I have the Unofficial Guide for 2019. So far that is all I've planned. We're hoping to rent points at BWV but if that doesn't pan out, we may stay at the Dolphin.

Anyone care to share how they begin deciding which park, which day?


DIS Veteran
Sep 12, 2018
Anyone care to share how they begin deciding which park, which day?
From hanging around here for a few months and reading crowd calendar sites, it seems like there are 3 main schools of thought.
1. If you're staying on site, go to the park that has EMH.
2. Regardless of whether you're staying on site, avoid the park that has EMH (because it ends up more crowded later in the day).
3. Decide which FPs or ADRs are most important to you, and go to each park on whatever day you can get that FP/ADR.

Personally, I look at crowd calendars and plan to visit each park on a day when it's predicted to be less crowded. I avoid EMH because we don't have hoppers. If we did, I'd probably go to the EMH park some mornings and leave when it started to get crowded. Sometimes there are other considerations. For example, we want to see the evening fireworks in MK so we chose 1 party day (less crowded since the park closes at 6) and one late day.