WDW2020: Planning for Disney- What are our objectives?

Welcome to my series of posts for planning my trip to Walt Disney World in 2020. Post “zero” of this series can be found here: Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation where I pretty much just summarize why I’m so excited to be going again, and ask for your questions about the WDW trip planning process.

20180201_093754.jpg

What is the goal of your trip?

The first step in planning a Disney vacation is to figure out your objectives. Walt Disney World is a vast place with a wide variety of vacation activities (aside from the parks there is also dining, golfing, camping, water sports, musical entertainment, dancing, mini golf, water parks, and more- you could have a fabulous vacation at WDW without even going to the parks). As my husband likes to say, the Circle of Life lyrics “…there is more to see then can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done…” were written about Disney World.

Why are you going? Perhaps you have never been to Disney World before and you want to see what the parks are all about, or maybe you have been before and know the types of things you enjoy. Are you going because you want to bring your kids and think it’ll be a great family vacation? Are you going to explore Galaxy’s Edge with four of your besties (raises hand)? Are you going to have as much fun as possible and ride ALL THE RIDES? Or are you looking for a normal chill vacation?

Who are you going with? Will there be kiddos? How young? Senior folks? A large diverse group? Just you and your partner? What do those people enjoy? Your trip will be amazing no matter what you do, so focus on the things that will make the people in your party really happy. Don’t plan to do everything. Prioritize your interests and focus on achieving those goals. A trip with some little princesses may need to include a princess makeover and dinner in the castle. A trip with your parents may need to include sometime walking around Disney Springs and plenty of relaxing downtime. A trip with some Star Wars fans may need to include 4 days in Galaxy’s Edge.

20180201_120519.jpg

What are our objectives?

My group for 2020 consists of 5 adults (including one married couple) in their 30s. Four of us are big Star Wars fans. Most of us are interested in being somewhat economical.

Our goals are to:

1) See as much of Galaxy’s Edge as possible

2) Avoid crowds caused by Galaxy’s Edge

3) Keep the trip on the less expensive side

4) Maximize our time so that we can stay for only 5 days

There is also the possibility of a 2021 trip with some relatives. This trip will likely have different objectives than the above.

20180202_132436.jpg

My strategy for reaching these goals

My strategy for reaching these objectives will be to favor Hollywood Studios when deciding what parks to go to when, following detailed touring plans, observing crowd calendars, utilizing extra magic hours, staying at a value resort and choosing less expensive dining options.

Some of the above strategies will be similar to my previous trips, but other aspects will be very different. I will go into detail about each strategy in the upcoming posts.

If you are following along and planning a possible Disney trip (even if it is just a hypothetical future trip), what does your party look like? What would your objectives be?

Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation

I’m going to Walt Disney World!

Sorry, I don’t mean to brag, but I’m super excited that I am once again visiting the most magical and happiest place on earth!

Disney is so much more than an amusement park to me. As someone who is terrified of roller coasters, prone to motion sickness, and gets super anxious around crowds, Walt Disney World is a magical place where my fear and anxiety melt away. I feel safe. Only in Disney do I happily talk to complete strangers and ask for help when I need it. I constantly push the boundaries of my motion sickness and my fear because it feels safe to do so. This scaredy-cat would never vacation alone anywhere else, but if my husband didn’t also adore Disney, I would be headed there on my own in a heartbeat. It’s comfortable and I understand why so many Disney fans refer to it as “home”.

20190124_172114.jpg

Planning for Disney is a great self care tactic for me. I find the organization and research fun and soothing. Planning isn’t for everyone, but for those who do like planning, it makes a trip to Disney even better! Planning for Disney also REALLY pays off. With planning, you can avoid crowds, get to go on way more rides, and eat at the places you want to eat. Disney puts a lot of information online including complete menus for all their eateries. They also allow you to book fastpasses (sort of like reservations for rides) up to 60 days in advance and their version of dining reservations 180 days in advance.

I went to Disney (both world and land) many times when I was a kid. There was a gap for over a decade when I didn’t go because college and grad. school. However, my husband and I went there for our honeymoon in January 2015. Then we returned in 2017, 2018 and 2019. I also had an extra bonus single day Animal Kingdom adventure in the fall of 2018. I think it’s safe to say I’ve had a lot of experience planning WDW trips recently. Given my naturally nervous nature, I read a lot of articles, make spreadsheets, listen to podcasts and investigate the best touring strategies.

20190130_095839.jpg

Last year, for the the first (in forrrreevvverrr) , we brought two friends with us to Disney. One of the friends had never been before. These two (non-couple) friends both enjoyed their trip so much that they are going to WDW again. Not just again, but with me. And not just with me but on my next trip! I did not expect them to go again so soon. While most of the credit goes to Disney and to our mutual friendships, of course, I’m going to give a bit of that credit to my travel agent and tour guide skills.

I'm going to be sharing my planning experience here. My strategies, tips and tricks, moments from my previous vacations and more. I would love to help you plan your next Disney trip or answer some of your Disney questions. Please leave suggestions for topics, questions and comments below.

What do you want to know about planning a Walt Disney World vacation?

Back from Walt Disney World & Upcoming Blog Posts

20190126_091958.jpg

Today I’m transitioning from Vacation Mode to Routine Mode, as last night I got back from 10 nights in Disney World. I had a great time in a magical place with some amazingly lovely friends who were excellent to tour with. It was my first time to the World with friends, and my fourth trip as an adult. My transition is even harder this year as I do not know when my next trip to the world will be, as we currently have no trips planned. I definitely will be back- it’s my happy place- but I don’t know how soon.

20190124_175122.jpg

I have plans to do a day by day trip report here with our experiences as well as some tips and recommendations for your own travels to WDW. If there is anything you’d like me to talk about in those posts (Toy Story Land, restaurant reviews, merchandise, how to prepare for a trip, or any questions you have about Disney, really) please leave a comment below! I love helping people plan their future experiences in WDW, and talking about all things Disney!

20190124_172114.jpg

Aside from my trip report posts, I’ve got a lot on my mind for upcoming posts:

  • Establishing an improved Self Care routine: My mental health hasn’t been the greatest these past several weeks. I think I need to make self care a priority. I’m going to do some research on the different categories of self care (physical, emotional, psychological, social etc…) and establish a weekly routine for addressing my needs.

  • Related to the above, in WDW I got a new notebook perfect for recording daily intentions and gratitude journaling. I will discuss my plans for this.

  • Disney Souvenir hail: Pins!!! Plus a few other things (like earrings and a cute purse) that I got in WDW.

  • Goals: Now that my vacations over, I can focus on the fact that it is a new year and I only recently started a new bullet journal. I have goals this year to improve my cooking skills and learning to draw.

  • Bullet Journal Spreads?

  • What podcasts I am listening to/podcast recommendations

  • Reblogging old posts

  • A Sims story? My new self care routine should involve more time for gaming, which means I will have Sim stories to tell.

  • Other things I might touch on- WDW news, journaling, depression, anxiety, pets, games, apps, books, penpalling

If there is something from the above list that really appeals to you, dear reader, please let me know and I’ll do my best to make it one of my priorities. While I blog for me, I do enjoy engaging with my readers so if something sparks your interest, we can have a conversation about it!

I hope you have a magical week!