Genius . . . or insanity?


#1

I'm feeling a little delicate this morning, so please me gentle with me!

I have spent so long planning our Orlando trip. I have put huge amounts of thought into every aspect of it. I've put together the attached schedule, which I'm very proud of, but my travelling companion is getting fed up with my planning and thinks I'm nuts.

My process was this . . .

I listed all the rides and attractions at the four Disney parks and then ranked them from "I have to do/see this" to "Meh". I booked FPPs for the top three/six in each park (we have two days in each). I looked at dining options, and booked ADRs for each park. I looked at show times and scheduled those. I looked at extras like dessert parties and dining packages -- though expensive, anything that can reduce the stress is worth it to me.

I then plotted the first draft of the schedule on maps of the parks so that I could see if they made sense. I didn't want to be endlessly criss-crossing parks in hot, humid weather.

Finally, I divided each day into 15 minute increments so that I could add in walking-time between rides and so on. I also figured out when we'd need to get up, whether we'd need a big breakfast (because our ADR was late) or a light one (because we'd be eating earlier). I even made sure we had gentle rides after meals -- no big lunch followed by Star Tours!

The whole thing was a huge logistical exercise, which resulted in many FPP and ADR changes.

I think I'm pretty much done. There are some long days but I think the schedule is less busy than it looks. Every "walk to" slot is 15 minutes, but in practice some of those walks are going to be a lot shorter. Every ride slot is 30 minutes -- presumably some will be much shorter, even taking queuing into account. Meals are allocated between 90 minutes and two hours. There are lots of opportunities to sit down in air-conditioned spaces that are protected from the rain. I've even included suggestions for hotels we can escape to for a break. Day 5 could potentially be a complete day off, or a half-day.

The colouring is: red = FPP or reserved seating, pink = ADR/dessert party, orange = shows, blue = travelling. Rides on white or grey backgrounds are targets to aim for but we have no FPP for them.

(The Universal days have no real planning. We have a VIP tour on one of them, and Express Passes for the others.)

This schedule literally has every ride on my "must do" list and every restaurant and show I wanted to do. So I'm very happy with it. We're lucky to have Epcot Food and Wine and MNSSHP.

My feeling is that having a plan reduces stress -- it means once we're there we'll know where we're going. I've aimed to minimise queuing times by having FPPs and reserved seating. (I don't want to be defending a fireworks viewing slot for an hour, when I hot and tired!)

So (if you're still with me!) . . . Does this plan look nuts to you? Are there any obvious mistakes? Is it unrealistic?

Be kind! My travelling companion seems to think the whole thing is massive overkill.

PS Shout out to @AuntB_luvsDisney without whom much of this wouldn't even have been possible.


#2

Wow, This is amazing! I'll let the experts chime in on the schedule but I'm challenged to up my game! My poor husband.:grin:


#3

I think you've done a great job, and your traveling companion will appreciate it when you get there. It's so much less stressful if you have a plan! My husband thought I was crazy before our first trip, but by the second day he was a big Fan of the Plan.

Let me just grab a cup of tea and wake up a bit more, and I'll look at the details.


#4

Great plans! Your first full day- can you tell me about your plan for AKL? Will you bus back and forth, drive or Uber?


#5

We have a hire car, so we'll be using that. We're only using an Uber on the first day so that we can go to the Contemporary and walk to MK from there to save time, and on the last day, when my friend leaves town earlier than I do.

The gap (which I now realise is nearly three hours!) between lunch at Tiffins and rising Everest is entirely unplanned. Depending on the weather and how we feel, we could go back to our house (it has a pool!), or we could do some animal touring (Gorilla Falls, etc.), or who knows what! See how easygoing I am!

(The light grey hotels are just suggestions for bolt holes -- or exploration -- if we want or need to get indoors.)


#6

Day 3 has a lot of walking. I understand parking at Hollywood Studios so you can have your car waiting for you at the end of the day. You might want to look around at transportation options before you start walking from HS to Epcot, though. Save your walking energy for later! If there's a bus to Epcot waiting as you exit the parking lot, I suggest using one. Since you want to get from the HS parking lot to Test Track, a bus or Uber to the front Epcot entrance will save your feet. A boat would take you halfway, to the back entrance of Epcot, which is the same as the walking path. Maybe use Google maps to see what the walk from HS to Test Track looks like, if you haven't already done that.

Other this that, everything looks great!


#7

I think this is a really great schedule. From my experience, though, I wouldn't bother your travel companion with it. If they're down with the general idea of seeing and doing a lot and trust you to plan accordingly, just crack on with it, don't involve them if they're a bit freaked out by it, and just know the plan before you go so it's all in hand and no stress. Try to learn the plan so you're not constantly referencing it and totally be prepared for things not to go precisely - I'd maybe take out some of the detail here the closer to your trip you get so you can relax into it a bit more.


#8

Oops. I said Test Track. I meant Mission Space. Sorry.


#9

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

The idea of walking to Epcot from DHS at the beginning of the day was because I wanted to see the Boardwalk. (And, yes, the idea of parking at DHS was that I read that getting home after Epcot is a bit of a nightmare, compared with DHS.)

I was imagining that the "early" walk from the DHS lot to Mission Space would be leisurely and that it wouldn't yet be too stiflingly hot and humid. From about 2.30pm onwards we're pretty much sitting down the whole of the rest of the day!

But I'll take your advice -- we'll see how we feel when we're actually there. Here in England, we have no idea what 92°F is!


#10

You're totally right. It's just I get so excited by my planning that I want to tell someone, and she's the obvious person because she's coming! Plus I feel pleased with myself when I realise that Mission Space -- Test Track -- Spaceship Earth is a much better sequence than Mission Space -- Spaceship Earth -- Test Track, because I've plotted it all on a map.

But there have literally been hundreds of changes over the last two months that I've been planning and I guess it could get a bit annoying and confusing to hear about them all. Plus I think she thinks I'm going to be totally regimented about everything and that there'll be no spontaneity. But our second Epcot day (which is focussed on World Showcase) has a full six hours with no specific planning at all!

But yeah, I guess I'll keep things to myself from now on.


#11

This might help you decide. I couldn't get it to work for Mission: Space, but Test Track is right next to it. It IS a beautiful walk, and getting a cupcake at the Boardwalk bakery or a pastry from the France pavilion along the way would be fabulous. Walking will take the same amount of time as any other option (in general.) It can be quite pleasant, especially if y'all are quite fit and the temperature cooperates.


#12

I walk my dog every day and am happy to walk three miles without stopping. My friend walks to work with three bags every day.

But the real unknowns are how we deal with the climate, and with general tiredness -- we do have some very long days planned!

PS You has me at "cupcake"! We're definitely walking now!


#13

The interesting thing about Disney plans is that they are not one-size-fits-all. My youngest son has foot pain issues, so for us, I need to minimize long stretches of walking. Meanwhile, a long relaxing walk is a great start to the day for other people. I really enjoy seeing other people's plans, especially when they're totally different than mine. A plan that careful considers the preferences and needs of individuals is a beautiful thing!


#14

I think you might have AKL in a couple of places where you mean AK?


#15

Ah. No -- what I mean by AKL is that if those afternoons are hot and humid and we're tired, we may escape to the air-conditioned goodness of AKL. I'm actually keen to visit anyway as it looks really interesting.


#16

Do you have time planned at AK to stop and see all the street performers? They add so much to the park!

I asked about the transportation because it always takes so much longer than you think. You will need to walk to the car, drive to a resort, park, tour, walk back to the car, drive, go back through security and entry. With a car it will be quicker/easier but everything takes so much time at Disney. Also, I assume if it is AKL twice, you will focus on Jambo the first day and Kidani the second? I think you may find that if you do Jambo first you may not spend as much time at Kidani?


#17

One of my guiding principles is (supposed to be) stopping and smelling the roses. I want to walk around, drinking it all in. I don't want to be rushing from ride to ride.

Others have said "we RD and got in eight rides before 11am" -- as you say, that's great if that works for them, but it's not the kind of trip I want. I'm hoping for, say, eight great experiences (ride, show, meal, fireworks) per day.

This has meant I'm not going to be using a Touring Plan touring plan at all. Thanks to FPP, the fact we're doing two days in each park, and the fact we have MNSSHP (where lines are said to be minimal) I just don't think we need them.

This has meant a few sacrifices -- no TSMM or BLSRS for us -- but I'm fine with that.

(On a related note, I'm promising myself I'm not going to take photographs or videos. I want to see WDW through my own eyes. I despair of seeing the photos of the fireworks with people holding up smartphones to film it.)


#18

What I would do is take the attraction schedules you have worked out and enter them in a Personalized TP and Evaluate to see what it thinks the timings will be. After that, Optimize and see what order it puts them in - if it makes a significant difference you might want to revisit your plans.


#19

My DH thinks I am crazy too (not to mention he is going under protest). When he walks up and says "what are you doing?" I tell him, you don't want to to know and he replies with a knowing look and walks away. It has bee super hard to not have someone to talk to about it, but that is why I am on here! You guys get my crazy :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#20

That plan is impressive! I will be following your format for my own plan!