Explain to family members the amount of planning that is necessary

We went to WDW in July 2015 and I spent hours upon hours planning the trip. My family just laughed and thought I was being obsessive. The trip was great and we got to do almost everything we wanted. We are now planning a trip in December 2016. Once again, I am planning away trying to make a magical trip for my family. However, when I try to get input about ADRs, FPs, etc., my family seems to think that May is way to early to be thinking about December meals. I understand to most people it may seem ridiculous to spend this much time planning this far in advance, but hey, it’s Disney.

I think by doing all the planning in the past, I’ve created a bubble for my family. They think we can just roll into WDW and get what the ADRs and FPS we want, when we want them. So how can I explain to them that I’m not obsessing and that planning this early is really necessary?

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I think you say just that. Then follow up with the fact that you’ll be visiting at the busiest time of year. If there is anywhere that they do (or more importantly, don’t) want to dine at, they should let you know so you can plan accordingly.

For better or worse, dining anywhere that requires reservations at Disney will affect your whole day. It determines the park you’ll be in. It dictates how early you may need to leave your current location to reach the reservation on time.

If they protest to that sort of thing, you may need to rethink the situation and just go with counter service. Eat when you’re hungry and among the choices at hand.

RE: Fast Passes - Use your judgement and make the FPs. That’s much simpler than knowing what someone may be craving on a particular day 7 months from now. If others don’t want to ride, they can sit out and let someone have a second ride.


We have all felt this way! My family will not talk to me about my plans, so I come here! The other option is - just plan what you want!


If they don’t want to help in the planning then just plan the way you would want it and if they have complaints kindly explain to them how they can shut it because they didn’t want to help lol.


DW thinks I’m slightly nuts, but she also realizes how things work at WDW. I’ll ask her at the 180 if there are any particular restaurants that she does/doesn’t want to go to, but that’s about it. She really doesn’t want to hear about the details months in advance, but as the date gets closer, she’ll ask “so what have you got planned for us”. She laughs at me (in a loving sort of way) over all of the planning I do, but appreciates it when we get there.


My DH is exactly the same! He just goes with the flow and only starts asking when the holiday is nearer :slight_smile: he’s just glad he doesn’t have to do it. I love doing it tho…I think it’s exciting!


DH is like that. I’m the detail person, and like WDW much more than him. I try not to talk too much, too often, about any details. For our July trip, I’ve got the ADRs and FPPs taken care of. I assured him my plan is NOT totally set in stone, that it is more like just a few data points and the rest is trying to fit a curve to those data points. I have to stay flexible at this point since DH is busy at a conference most days, but might find times to join me in a park for a few hours as well as most evenings.

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Let me set the scene in my house. We will be arriving in Disney on Sunday 5/29/16.

One night a week or so ago I am sitting on my bed with my laptop open to MDE and printed touring plans for each of the 7 days we will be in WDW laid out around me in an orderly fashion. There are also 2 notebooks, maps of each park, 1 unofficial guide, pens and binder clips nearby.
My 10 year old walks in: “Are you STILL planning for Disney?!?”
My response: no words…just a slight twitch in my left eye and the thoughts of how he would find food for 7 days if he were “home-aloned”. (yes I used that as a verb)

Last night after dinner I asked my husband’s opinion on ONE THING about our whole trip.
Husband: “I’m tired of talking about this.”
Me: “But I’ve only asked for your help with this one thing”.
Husband: “I know, but I am tired of talking about it. Just do what you want.”
Me: left eye begins twitching again as thoughts of a solo trip dance in my head

I figure at this point there is no explanation in the world that will help them understand. So I resume my semi-maniacal but necessary planning and leave them in their blissful ignorance. Eventually, I will threaten to never plan another vacation for us EVER again for anywhere…until I do plan another. It all comes full circle and the cycle begins again.


I have no patience for ungrateful people. Either help with the planning or I will purposely plan all the food and activities that I know you’ll hate and won’t allow so much as a single peep of complaining about it. And then next time they’ll help plan!


If you’re having a hard time getting them to engage, start small. Ask them the one thing they absolutely want to do. And then maybe coax more out of them one bit at a time. Patience. Don’t let them figure out they’re… PLANNING!

I explained it to my DH exactly the way you just did.

We are going away in Sept, just us. He has been hemming and hawing over giving me his “wish list” for the few ADRs we will need. I finally said to him the other day that we are well within the 180 days (we are at 100 now) and that I’m not trying to be pushy, but just trying to get him the reservations he wants, and to do that I need his input. He very much got in mode and we nailed down (most of) the rest of our plans.

Sometimes we need to just say it like it is. I would tell them, too, that if they don’t give you input you will just choose and they won’t have room for complaining.

I think you need to ask and then make the best plan you can. If your family don’t want to input (as mine don’t) then I think you need to interpret that as a sign of confidence in your abilities.


This, too.

My husband did say, “You always put together a nice trip for us.” So maybe your family is happy to let you choose for them??

This is totally my experience! :slight_smile:

Hey @alex172002 We had jackets made and we meet once a month as a s support group

I love the comments I get of “That is crazy” and “we’ll just wing it” like I’M the one making this up.

May I suggest the following. Make dining reservation etc that YOU want and get it all set up.

THEN say to your loving yet ill-informed family “OK - I’m not planning this trip - YOU plan it” and let them experience first hand the organized chaos that it is

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I do all the planning and as much as I can. Last year the DW and I took her family for their first ever trip. at 200 days out I was listing restaurants, sending links for them to check out this or that place to eat, let me know what their daughters would prefer. Booked all the ADRs at 180 out, then made sure they had tickets and booked all the FPs at 60. My sister inlaw’s boss was going the week before we did and my Sister inlaw asked her what plans she had setup, and they had nothing, their travel agent told them none of that was neccessary, they could just walk up to most places and get in fine.

Didn’t happen, when they got back, notes were compared and her kids didn’t see a quarter of what my nieces got to see, even with midday breaks and pool visits. People like to laugh at my scheduling and spreadsheets, but I like to refer to Disney as my planned vacation, setup it up, then just amble from attraction to attraction. When I want the spontaneity I do Scuba trips.


I hated the fact that I did the same as you @durandal12. Had everyone pick the restaurants etc. Got up early at 180 days made the reservations THEN my wife said - NO I really want to go HERE instead. I was not a happy camper - HA

I’m with you, Disney is a vacation that requires a plan. We can not just roll in there like VIPs and expect to see all the attractions. Fortunately for my family, I don’t mind planning.

Note: don’t travel with @Outer1.