Friday, July 27, 2012

Ways I (a mom of three) Prepare My Family for a Trip to Disney

There are so many ways I prepare for a Disney vacation.  Since I have already written about how I prepare my children for a trip, I decided today to focus on how I, a mom of three, prepares for a trip to Disney.

1. As soon as we pick a date for our trip, I start talking to my kids about it.  We look through photo albums of previous trips and watch our trip montages.  This gives me a good idea of just what the kids loved about previous trips, as well as give me some insight into things we didn't try that they want to.  Even better, we start talking about attractions my children are finally tall enough to experience and get them thinking about whether or not they plan to try them out.

This is by far is tops on Joey's to do list
2. Order the Disney Vacation Planning DVD:  This is free and a great way to get into the Disney spirit.  We always watch it as a family and start making our "Must Do List."  Each of us has our own list of things we just have to do each trip.  Eventually, we create one family list to be sure everyone gets to experience at least a few of their favorites.  Luckily for us, there are a lot of overlaps in our favorites lists!

3. Packing List:  I am the one who packs for the kids.  I make a packing list for each child, as well as myself and a "family" list.  I use the same lists every year, though while in Disney I always seem to find things to add to my list!  (I'll share those in a future post!)


4. Dining Spots:  As soon as we decide we are going to Disney, the first thing we talk about is dining.  We all have favorites, but our goal every trip is to try some new places.  This takes a lot of research to be sure find one to appeal to everyone.  The more often we go, the harder it is to "squeeze in" a new spot amongst our favorites, but we make sure we do!

5. Our Itinerary:  I create an Excel spreadsheet based solely on the TouringPlans.com Crowd Calendar.  I find this tool to be absolutely invaluable!!  We have used it every trip and have yet to be disappointed.  I plan our days based on their park recommendations and also use my spreadsheet as a tool to keep track of our dining reservation confirmation numbers.  I give a copy of the itinerary to everyone traveling with us.  This itinerary simply lists which park we will visit each day.  Once in the park, we let the park take us where it will . . . this means wherever the kids want to go, we go.

6. In Flight Fun for the Kids:  This is a series I started a while ago on  this blog.  As soon as I know we are heading to Disney, I start looking for fun things to pack in the kids' carry ons.  Now this may seem like something to do to prepare the kids, but really it isn't!  If I didn't find fun things for the kids to do on the airplane, I cannot imagine how often I would hear, "How much longer until we are in Disney?" or "Are we there yet?"  So this is really a way I prepare for myself to have a fun flight to Disney!  If the kids are having fun (and not bored), I will too!


What is your best tip for preparing for a trip to Disney?


10 comments:

Amy@DisneyLiving said...

This months Blogorail topic has SOOO put me in the Disney spirit! I'm ready to go!

DisneyDonnaKay said...

I love the Disney Vacation Planning Video, it really does put you in a Disney frame of mind. Great post!!

Beth Green said...

we do think alike!! Surprised?!?!?!

Capturing Magical Memories said...

Yep, you and the other Beth are just like my husband!! : )

Beth D. said...

Thank you, Donna Kay! I can't wait to order the 2013 one now that I know we are going in February! I am hoping it includes more Fantasyland Expansion attractions!

Beth D. said...

Really, how are we not related??? :-)

Beth D. said...

We are all peas in a pod!! :-)

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

Me too! We just booked our flights and will be booking are rooms next week! I can't wait!

400 Miles to Disneyland said...

Hooray for the Excel spreadsheets! I have one for every trip we make to Disneyland and I've got an entire workbook for my upcoming WDW trip! Great post, Beth!

Beth D. said...

Thanks, PT! I don't know where my Disney planning would be without Excel! :-)