I promised a while back that I would share how I put together our Disney World planning booklets. We’ve used planning booklets on quite a few trips now. This much planning and detail isn’t necessary for every trip, but here are a few instances they are helpful.
Use Disney World Planning Booklets if:
- You are traveling with a large group
- You are traveling during a busy, crowded season
- You are trying to maximize what you can get done at park opening/rope drop
For this trip, we are hitting all three of the above. We’ll be traveling with 13 people total and we tend to tour as a herd. The biggest reason we stick together, especially in the mornings, is to optimize what we can get done at rope drop. If you hit the rides and attractions in a particular order and get there first thing, you can really avoid a lot of lines.
I use small photo albums from Dollar Tree to make the booklets. I thought about just using our phones for this, but not everyone in our party has a smart phone. And I think it’s simpler to pull out the booklet. Each family unit gets one, which keeps me from having to repeat the same info over and over.
What goes inside our booklets:
You can see that some years I get more creative with colored ink and stickers. This year is pretty basic. Planning a vacation two weeks after a wedding is a lot of planning. Also crazy. And fun!
The first page of the booklets is our itinerary. I use easywdw.com to find the best days to visit each park. We don’t vary from this plan. It’s very nice to not have a debate with 13 people each morning on which park we think we should go to that day.
The photo above is from an old booklet. You can see that I penciled in the meals we would be eating at our rental house. My mom cooks and freezes meals for the week ahead of time. They get packed on dry ice to make the trip down.
For each day in the park, I have a page that lists the order we’re doing the rides. This year I also included our Fastpass + times.
We decide ahead of time which counter-service restaurant we’ll eat in each day. We have breakfast at the house and one other meal at the house, but we eat one meal out each day.
My sister came up with the brilliant idea of “ordering” the food ahead of time. This serves a couple of purposes. First, it keeps us on budget. It’s also much easier to decide ahead of time what we’ll need. Ordering for a family unit can get crazy if everyone is trying to decide what they want on the spot. We also share meals, because in most restaurants there’s plenty of food to do that.
The side benefit of having it all planned is it’s a snap to step up to the counter and read off the order. I’m usually very hungry and tired by the time to eat and my brain cells have shut down. I love not having to think the food order through.
You can find all the menus for Disney World restaurants at The Mouse for Less site.
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