Disney theme parks are dubbed ‘the happiest place on earth’ thanks to the culture of magic that the brand delivers to guests. More than just a vacation, Disney offers an immersive experience that starts before you even arrive and touches every detail. From Themed resorts to character experiences, themed shopping, signature treats the Disney brand leaves no stone unturned.
The brand has expanded the magic to reach guests in more ways with Disney cruises and Disney experiences outside of their flagship theme parks. With all of the magical Disney-themed fun to be had, it is easy to get overwhelmed. If you are planning a trip to Disney, extreme organization is needed to make the most of your trip and not miss out on big opportunities.
Organization Tips to Plan the Best Disney Vacation
Getting it right starts as soon as you start planning a Disney vacation. Disney has a lot to offer guests, but that experience comes with a pretty big price tag. From finding the best deals to financing your vacation, there is a mountain of information to digest and decisions to make while planning your trip.
Set Up a Disney Trip Fund
Find ways to save money to put towards your Disney trip fund. Even if you don’t know what your vacation will cost, you can start saving towards the goal of going so that you are already a leg up when you do get to that point.
Tip #1 - Choose a fun container and collect spare change to put towards your trip. You might think a few coins are never going to add up to much, but one man brought his spare change into a Coinstar and cashed out with enough to buy a brand new car.
Tip #2 - Create a savings budget. Set aside a certain amount of money from each paycheck to put towards your Disney vacation fund. Print a fun, Disney-themed tracker to keep you motivated as you stash back cash.
As you start to put aside a little money towards a big Disney trip, the dream becomes a little more of a reality. It is time to start really getting into the nitty-gritty of planning your trip. Start gathering information so you can decide where to stay, what to eat, and what to do.
Conduct a Little Magical Mouse Research
Assuming you are not a veteran park-goer, you might spend weeks or months researching blogs and recommendations on Disney trips. There are so many choices and so much information that it is easy to get distracted. One minute you are online looking at Disney vacation packages and a few clicks later you are watching a video on the history of Mickey Mouse. That is how the internet works, folks.
Tip #1 - Use Pinterest. If you are not familiar with the social media platform Pinterest, now would be a great time to acquaint yourself. Gather all of the ideas from around the web that are of interest to you on a series of boards that you can reference as you plan your trip.
Tip #2 - Make a Bucket List. After you have collected a good bit of information on Disney vacations, go back to your boards and make a bucket list of must-do activities for your Disney trip. This will provide the framework for planning the details of your vacation.
Want some tips on how to plan a Disneyland trip? Go watch this amazing video to get advice on how to save and enjoy the same time!
Shop for Deals, Plan Ahead to Save Money
A Disney park's vacation can be very rewarding, but it is also a big spend of money. Manage your costs by planning ahead and shopping around for the best deals. Try working with a travel agent that specializes in Disney vacations. They will be able to set you up with a good timeline to take advantage of different deals and promotions that will save you money.
Tip #1 - Take advantage of Disney’s Free Dining Plan Promotion. Every year Disney runs a promotion for free dining plans when you book within the dates of the promotion. If you can find out the dates in advance, you can book this promotion either with a travel agent or direct through Disney.
Tip #2 - Purchase Disney Gift Cards at a Discount. There are a few different ways to do this, but for starters, you can use your Target Red Card to purchase Disney gift cards and receive 5% off. Those gift cards can be used anywhere during your trip from Disney resorts, to dining, souvenirs, or even theme park admission tickets.
Create an Itinerary
When you are there at the park and caught up in the moment, it can be easy to forget to do things. Create an itinerary to match up to your bucket list. Your itinerary will provide a framework for each day of your vacation. You may decide to be more impulsive while you are there, but at least this way you will know what you are giving up.
Tip #1 - Plan a rest day. Lounge in the resort pools or visit Disney Springs in between theme park days. You don’t need park tickets for every day of your trip. The theme parks are physically and mentally exhausting. Give yourself some breaks in between so that your vacation feels like a vacation.
Tip #2 - Carry an envelope size accordion file with you. When you visit Disney, you will want somewhere to hold copies of dinner reservations, maps, tickets, and receipts. A letter-size, poly expanding file is a perfect choice.
Staying Organized While You Are There
Planning the trip of a lifetime is only half the battle. Once you arrive, you will be shuffling between your resort, four theme parks, and Disney Springs. Trying to keep track of what you need and where you need to be is another big task.
When packing for your Disney trip, you will have to find a balance between what will fit in your luggage and what you will need at the parks. At a minimum, swimwear and comfortable clothing and shoes should make the list. You might also want to bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated during your trip. Bring a small bag or waist-pack to carry items while in the park.
Back-Up Photos Daily to Create a Photobook
Thanks to cell phones with great cameras, we all have access to take some pretty great photos. Plus, Disney offers about a billion photo ops. You will want to cherish the memories of your Disney trip and photos are the best way to do that. Take plenty of pictures and back them up to cloud storage every day. When you return home, make a photo book of your trip to have as a keepsake.
Keep a Journal During Your Stay
Another way to record the memories that you are making on your Disney trip is to journal about each day as a family. At the end of the day when you return to your hotel, take some time to reflect on what you did that day. Ask everyone about their favorite things and record this information in a journal. This makes great material to caption your photos once you return home.
A Disney vacation is full of magical, memory-making happiness. There is so much to do, it would take several trips to get it all done. So rather than trying to get to everything, or doing something insane like hitting up all four parks in one weekend. Decide what activities are most important to your family and focus on designing a memorable trip around those experiences. Hopefully, you found a few good tips here to get organized for your next Disney trip!
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