Friday, December 4, 2009

Uber Planner

When I go down to Disney, as many of you happen to do, I like to plan. Granted, I don't go so far as some do, where they even have bathroom breaks scheduled only at certain times. But I do like to have a general outline of what I think will work best for which days I'm down there.

Most of the time, I use a mixture of touringplans.com and Disney's own park hours to decide where my fate lies on a specific night. Once I tackle that project, (which trust me, can be a project to decide where to go and when), I can start to create my own little masterpiece that I will carry proudly with me along my journey.

Some people do spreadsheets...which is great, however, I do my version in a little more arts and crafty manner. (Although, as I discovered on my last trip, spreadsheets, aren't as bad as I thought...and are now included in my handy tool, as you will plainly see.)

So what do I do in preparation of my trips? I create my very own "WDW Booklet."

Alright, so I know you're thinking...what's this booklet all about?

Basically, it's a bunch of index cards which I've compiled together to create my map of what should potentially happen on a given day during my Disney vacation. It contains all pertinent information, such as confirmation numbers, park hours, fireworks times, dining reservations, and anything else that would possibly be something I'd need to know, all at the ease of a small carry-able booklet.

I use index cards because they're small and fit inside my plastic pouch I bought easily. I use the plastic pouch in my purse to keep rain and water off of important documents I'll be needing during my trip. I learned the hard way to keep the booklet in the plastic, as it got ruined in a rainstorm once. Luckily I had a backup list that time of everything that I had planned. I get the plastic pouches really cheaply at Walgreens and they work wonders.

Also, it's time to break out the markers and glue because like I mentioned before, I like to do this old school!

Each time, I use the same cover I created using black paper and stickers. With each trip, I change out the index card information so I'll have what I need.



First things first, important confirmation numbers for my flights and hotel rooms.




Next, I'll include the info for my park touring schedule. I include the parks I plan to be in for the day or any other activities planned and my ADR times.



After that, I'll include the Touring Plans.com recommendations for which parks are the best and worst on a specific day and also what the crowd level predictions are supposed to be for the day.



After that is when my new-found love of spreadsheet info comes into play. I'll include all the day's hours and parades and fireworks schedules, just in case my plans do change. This way, I'll be fully prepared. Each day is represented on a different card.



Finally, I have listed, by day and time the different ADRs I've got scheduled, printed straight from the online ADR system.



Last, I leave a few blank index cards in the back for any additional things that may pop up mid trip.

It all may seem a bit manic, but a) it helps me get out my pre-trip jitters because I have something to do before my trip to rid myself of that anxious "I want to be there" energy and b) I am prepared in case of an emergency. Anything can happen during a trip and it's best to have all the info on hand so you can offer it up, if necessary. This is especially true with things like confirmation numbers.

So, this is what I do. What do you do? Strictly spreadsheets or do you have something a bit more creative or even a bit more simple?

And who knows, maybe I can help someone else get rid of that pre-trip agony. Gosh knows I'm feeling it now. January can't come soon enough. Guess I need to get cracking on making my booklet up now...I think it will help! :)

5 comments:

mrsksomeday said...

I do something similar to that as well. I always carried something small like that until our last trip where I actually did the binder thing because we were taking kids with us.

I really enjoy your blog!

Dawn said...

I do this too, I love to have all my info close at hand. I'll have to check for the plastic pouches, I use a ziploc bag now. Good job Rikki :0

Cozyflier said...

Rikki,
So glad to find out I'm not so OCD!!! My kids think I'm obsessed when I know which park opens early or stays open late before we get there! I think planning it all out is the only way to do it! What is the name of the plastic pouches? Those look great!!

Thanks, been busy with a new job,
Carrie

nibblesandbits said...

Carrie,

I'm not sure what the exact name of the pouch is. I believe it's probably a coupon holder. It's a single plastic colorful velcro pouch. It's about the size of 4x6 or so. Hope this helps! :)

Suze said...

I use my BlackBerry, but your way is much more fun! I'll have to do that when we go to Disneyland in May.