Pre-pre-pre planning - it’s never too early?

Hey all, this is my first post. I’ve just started planning a 2-week Disney World (and Harry Potter) trip to celebrate retiring from teaching for September 2022! Yes, 2022 is not a typo. This will be our second trip to WDW, our first was our honeymoon in July/August of 1996. We also made a trip to Disneyland about 10-15 years ago.

Just as the parks have changed some since 1996, so have we. We are both currently very plus sized and both have mobility and other issues. We plan on renting two ECVs for the duration of our trip and will probably get a DAS card as well. It’s a bit humbling to realize that we need these accommodations but we are thankful Disney is so inclusive.

You all have been so helpful with posts and question answering, I just want to say a HUGH thank you to everyone!

I will turn 55 in August of 2022 so September 2022 is pretty much the first time we could go. Plus, I am looking forward to being in Disney when school is in session! My DH is 2 years younger than me and his birthday will probably fall during our trip as well.

Since we will need accessible accommodations we are planning to use a travel agent that specializes in Disney to help us get our hotels. We are thinking about a split stay at POFQ and then a hotel on the monorail if we can afford it. We are also planning on traveling by train rather than by plane. Thanks to all of you and the TPs and the Unofficial Guide ( I knew I had the right book when they started talking confidence intervals) I have a very rough idea of how many days we should be looking at. Keep in mind we need to build in rest days so we can enjoy this.

Day 1: arrive by train, hotel - Universal Studio property

Day 2: Harry Potter @ both parks

Day 3: change to POFQ (or similar), rest day

Day 4: AK day 1 (we have never been here)

Day 5: AK day 2

Day 6: HS Star Wars!!!

Day 7: rest day

Day 8: HS day 2

Day 9: Epcot day 1, switch hotels

Day 10: rest day

Day 11: Epcot Day 2

Day 12: MK

Day 13: rest day, go back etc.

Day 14: leave

Of course, the days can and probably will shuffle a bit, but it’s a start. :slight_smile:

If you made it this far, thanks for reading this, longer than I intended, post!


Our family always rope drops and takes advantage of EMH, especially in the morning. We took breaks every day, mid afternoon, then heading to a park. Every.Day. This time, on 2 of the days, we will rope drop, spend the morning in the park and then take the rest of the day off from the parks. We thought about taking a resort day, but I am not willing to give up the lower crowds in the morning. So taking off 2 afternoons.
Happy upcoming retirement. And happy planning.


Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! I agree, it is never too early to start planning and it is a great outlet because there is so much to learn about WDW. I too have learned so much from this forum. I’ve had the unofficial guide since planning my trip in 2018 and had read everything I could find online (to the point that all things Disney are the only things Google thinks I’m interested in). However, somehow I did not even realize this forum existed until maybe 6 month ago…and now I’m lurking on here everyday and still picking up new morsels of wisdom. As soon as you think you have a handle on it, Disney goes and changes things around.
I will say that we went the last week of September 2019 and totally lucked out with the weather—it was hot but manageable. Of course weather is unpredictable, but you might have better luck with more pleasant weather (and still relatively low crowds) in the two weeks prior to Thanksgiving week.
Also on a side note…knowing that you are a teacher makes me hyper-aware that I inappropriately ended a sentence with a preposition earlier…and yet, I still don’t have the energy to go back and fix it.

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Happy planning (wdw and retirement)! Only one MK day? Is that because you’ve been there before?

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I was thinking the same thing…I would need more days there.


Yes mostly, plus on day 13 we can go back and pickup anything we want depending on how we feel. Also, I was trying to keep the length to 2 weeks because the train will add two days-ish each way.

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Thanks for the suggestion about the time before Thanksgiving! I will keep an eye on temps and CLs this year and definitely consider that :smile:

Also, I’m a math teacher, so as long as I can read it and understand what you are saying I’m not going to judge you! Well, I am judgy about to, too and two but …

Likely we would go Again on that day 13. That’s part of the reason for wanting to be at a monorail hotel, so it will be more direct to get there - maybe I should call day 13 a flex day rather than a rest day.

Gotcha!!! Are you planning on doing the MNSSHP?

As @srentmee mentioned above, September can be hot. We were there at the end of October 2019 and had very hot weather all but the last day. Takes a lot out of you. We were there just after Thanksgiving in 2018 with much more pleasant weather, even chilly in the evenings.

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Never too early to plan. It’s fun to plan! I hope you have a great trip. :slight_smile:

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If it’s going on when we are there we will definitely consider it. I really haven’t included extra hours/events in my thinking yet since it is so far away and from what I’ve read they don’t get announced until a few months or so before. We would be more open to evening hours than morning. Also, seeing how our mobility issues progress or not will also factor into what we can or can’t do.

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Another great suggestion! I’m still only a week or so into looking into this and honestly as long as we go when school is going on I’ll be happy! We would like the cooler temps but with 2 ECVs we need to keep crowds in mind. That’s where recommendations here are so valuable for us! It’s also why we want to use a travel agent because our dates are so flexible I’m hoping we can get some good deals.

I love planning trips up to a point! It is a lot of fun for me and I can already tell that having this trip to plan will help me stay focused while I am working towards retirement. I hope that makes sense.


In 2018 we were there starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Disney Springs was insane with Black Friday shoppers on the weekend. Otherwise, the crowd levels were not bad. Crowd levels at the end of October 2019 were not bad either it was the record breaking temperatures that were difficult.

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Ok, UNCLE!! 2 days at MK!!!

We can rest on the train. Plus some of the 2 days are more like 1.5 days with a later start. Park hopper just in case.

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Never too early to start planning! I sometimes think I enjoy the anticipation and planning more than the trip itself.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to switch hotels three times in two weeks. If you’re only spending one full day at Universal, is it even worthwhile staying at a Universal resort? Two Universal park days may be worth it.
Definitely agree that you need more than one day at Magic Kingdom. Perhaps switch your second Animal Kingdom day for Magic Kingdom.
We’re from the UK so we come for 10-14 days at a time. A long trip gives more down time. I would build in more breaks and perhaps on some days do only mornings and evenings in the parks with some time at the resort in the afternoons. Taking advantage of extra magic hours is a must!


I came home right before Christmas from WDW and my next time isn’t until 5-6 years from now.

Since everything is fresh in my head and DH’s head, I’ve been jotting down what we would do the same or differently next time.

In December, our second trip to WDW, we did the following:

  • 15 nights (5 nights before our college kids arrived)

  • 7 day park tickets (No hoppers)

  • 2 nights of MVMCP before the kids arrived

  • 2 days at MK, 2 days at Epcot, 2 days at HS, 1 day at AK, and 1 day at Kennedy (which included watching a rocket launch at morning).

It was such a huge learning curve to plan the December trip. I plan on hanging out here through our next trip to help others, stay in touch with friends, and to stay up to date on tips and things to do next time. I hope to come up with the most ideal and customized WDW vacation possible for trip number 3.

Next time, our third and maybe final trip, we want to go around Mother’s Day. It may just be DH and I :pensive:. We very, very tentatively plan on the following:

  • 12 nights

  • Park hoppers

  • 1 day at MK and HS; and 2 days at Epcot and AK

  • 1 Day at Kennedy

  • 1 Day at Universal

On our first trip, we did a split stay: 7 nights offsite and 7 nights at Pop. On our second trip, we did 5 nights completely offsite and 10 nights at the Hilton at Bonnet Creek. On our next trip, DH dreams of staying at a Boardwalk resort. We might do 10 nights offsite and 2 nights at a Boardwalk resort. Planning so early helps with saving money. We can stockpile hotel points, airline points, etc.


After reading comments here and on the turbulent ride question I asked here are the revised very tentative plans for a two-week trip. One reason I’m currently listing staying at a USF hotel the first 2 nights is because seeing HP stuff will probably take a lot out of us. Also, since we are so far away it’s one area I can ignore for now and deal with later once we are working with a travel agent. Also, I’m leaning more toward the time before Thanksgivings day rather than September.

Day 1: arrive by train – Hotel USF

Day 2: HP at Universal 8-8 very busy day

Day 3: change to POFQ rest day

Day 4: AK Day 1 10-10 but break for going back to hotel etc

Day 5: AK Day 2 – Two possibilities 1) full day 10-10 rests in park 2) half day 1-9

Day 6: (can swap with Day 7) HS SW!! 8-9 with some rests

Day 7: (can swap with Day 6) rest day

Day 8: HS Day 2 9-9 with rests in park

Day 9: Epcot Day FW 9-3 – switch to monorail hotel

Day 10: Epcot WS 10:30-9 rest at hotel then back

Day 11: Rest day (Disney springs??)

Day 12: MK Day 1 9-9

Day 13: MK Day 2 9-2

Day 14: Leave on train, maybe a park in AM.

It is never too early.

While I’m just back from a “quickie”, I’m starting to look at possible dates for a holiday visit with Mrs. TriSec for our 30th anniversary - in 2026!!!

(Our last big trip was in 2016 for our 20th. We were actually supposed to go in 2011, but the Great Recession intervened. I was planning that trip for five years.)

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For our 2018 trip, we arrived 13 days before Thanksgiving. We were there for 8 nights, leaving the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We got there 4 days after Veterans’ Day, wanting to avoid people taking a long weekend. Where I am going with this is, by the Saturday before Thanksgiving, CLs really rose. Our last day in MK was supposed to be a CL 2 and it ended up being a CL7. So, be careful how close your dates come to Thanksgiving depending on when it falls that year.

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