ProphetPaul’s Planning Process - Part 2 - “Perfect” Plan(s)

Jan 10 - ProphetPaul’s Planning Process - Part 1 – Proposal
Jan 4 - Paul’s Dream is Renewed
Oct 11 (2018) - A Dream Delayed

In my last post (Part 1 – Proposal) I walked through my decisions for when to visit WDW, how long to stay, and where to sleep. I appreciated everyone’s input, thank you! As a reminder, my family (DW, DS4, DS3, and DD1) will be in the bubble from Oct 26 – Nov 3, staying at CR for 4 nights then moving to BW for 4 nights. So, what exactly are we going to do during those 9 days? What’s “the plan”?

First, I’d like to start off with a remarkable thought. I try to remember this throughout the planning process. The perfect plan does not exist ,and for one big reason: plans change. I guarantee it. Ideas are shared, options appear (and disappear!), life happens. The good news is that this is OK - modifying can be a good thing :wink: . Maybe I’ve been lucky, or maybe its the Disney Magic, but each plan that I’ve put together has felt perfect after thinking about it for a bit. Sure, you might not get to all the attractions or restaurants you want, but fitting everything in by running yourself into the ground isn’t perfect either. Of course, you could take a 44-day trip and do everything there is to do. Maybe even twice? Thrice? Four times?

Personal example. For our October 2018 trip (see A Dream Delayed), I had about 5 or 6 different contingency plans in place (and booked!). Below is a screenshot showing some of them. These plans evolved significantly over a few months as our situation changed, my Disney knowledge grew, and my ideas expanded. After each iteration of these plans, I felt like they were “perfect”, they couldn’t be improved. Funny, I felt the same way about the previous version and the one before that!

Now, moving on to our 2019 trip. The overall trip concept is “Family’s First WDW Trip, with a side of runDisney”. As mentioned in Part 1 – Proposal, we want to see as much of the World as is reasonable for our family in about a week. Last year (A Dream Delayed), we had set aside one day day to visit Kennedy Space Center and hopefully watch a rocket launch. This year, I’ve decided it would be better to replace that with a little more park time (allowing slower pace) and the Wine & Dine races.

We aren’t going to do everything we want to, but almost. Quality before quantity. Each day has a theme, and I’ve tried to structure the touring plans to follow a sort of “narrative”. For me, I’ve found that having the narrative helps the trip feel “perfect” despite lacking some of the things I’d really love to do at WDW. For example, on Monday morning we will do BOG for breakfast, Tales with Belle, and then meet Gaston (if he’s around). Simple, yes, but this grouping ties the morning together nicely.

Before getting into the day-by-day narrative and touring plans, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • I’m using a “relaxed” walking speed
  • FPs are mostly used for things we deem “required”, not necessarily those with long stand-by lines
  • “Breaks” are used extensively for non-attraction, non-dining, and non-park items. Refer to the notes.
  • Almost every day has a long mid-day break from 1-4PM.
  • Not everything is listed below, only the important ones like ADRs and FPs, but I’ve included links to the full touring plans.

Below is a screenshot of our detailed plan (as of today).

Saturday 10/26 – First Experience Touring Plan

Since it’s our first trip, and we’ll have 3 young ones, we decided that we should start (and end) in Magic Kingdom. On this first day, I wanted to piece together something that is “quintessential” Disney. I’d love your thoughts on this:

  • DME from MCO to CR. The boys are really going to like riding the bus. I think entering “the bubble” via DME will make it a little more magical for them.
  • Chef Mickey’s for lunch. We get to meet Mickey upon arrival to WDW. The boys will probably make us ride the monorail too. Maybe we’ll take a loop before naps.
  • After naps… meet Tinkerbell (FP1), explore Main Street, eat hot dogs at Casey’s Corner .
  • Cinderella’s Castle, it’s a small world (FP2) will be our first ride, then Prince Charming Carousel, PhilharMagic, Princess Fairytale Hall (FP3)
  • Finish with HEA Dessert Party. We’ll enjoy the treats, but mostly I care about getting a good spot for the show without fighting crowds.

Sunday 10/27 – Mickey’s Halloween Party! Touring Plan

The main event today is MNSSHP, which means it will be a late night. So, this morning will be relatively laid back, but still a lot of fun.

  • Visit Grand Floridian and 1900 PF for breakfast, meet Mary Poppins and Pooh
  • Visit Disney Springs: World of Disney, PhotoPass Studio (in Halloween costumes), and Raglan Road for lunch, maybe Aerophile if it works out
  • After naps… MNNSHP! Start in Adventureland @4PM, finish with Boo-to-You parade @9PM (maybe not DD1)
  • Jungle Cruise (FP1), Pirates of Caribbean (FP2), Haunted Mansion (FP3)
  • Meet Tarzan, Aladdin, Jasmine, Moana

Monday 10/28 – Some Disney Classics and a Pirate Cruise Touring Plan

  • PPO Be Our Guest for breakfast. I’ll shoot for an 8:55ish time slot, but we’ll arrive at MK as soon as gates open to PPO guests. We’ll have a leisurely stroll to BOG, taking some pictures and explore the “empty” park before eating. I know we don’t need an hour for this, but I don’t want to feel rushed to get to BOG.
  • Tales with Belle (FP1) and meet Gaston afterwards. Combined with BOG, this will be a highlight of the trip for us. B&B is my favorite movie, and is DS4’s favorite book (not sure why it’s not his favorite movie). I know the Beast doesn’t do breakfast - is there any other way to meet him outside BOG?
  • Storybook Circus: Barnstormer (FP2), Dumbo, meet Goofy and Donald. The Barnstormer will be the boys’ first “rollercoaster”.
  • Tomorrowland Speedway (FP3). I’m considering this a WDW “classic” to fit with today’s theme. I know, it’s a stretch. In any case, there was a bit of free time and I know the boys will want to do this one multiple times
  • After naps… visit Wilderness Lodge and Artist Point for dinner, meet Snow White and company.
  • Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage (no DW or DD1). Meet Captain Hook, Smee, and Peter Pan. I have a feeling this will be a highlight of the trip for the boys. Last year, they were Peter Pan and Captain Hook for Halloween.

Tuesday 10/29 – Early Morning Ride-A-Thon, Then to the Wilderness Touring Plan

  • Fantasyland EMM (lots of rides!). We are paying a fortune for this so we can ride some of the headliners without waits (7DMT, PPF, etc.). We’ll finish with Under the Sea, then meet Ariel in her grotto (FP1)
  • Tomorrowland: Space Ranger Spin (FP2), meet Buzz, Monster’s Inc. (FP3)
  • After naps… Visit Fort Wilderness: Tri-Circle-D Ranch, Hoop-Dee-Doo for dinner, carriage ride

Wednesday 10/30 - The Studios Touring Plan

This plan is not really set yet, because there are some big unknowns right now. For example, we might do the B&B Sing-A-Long at Epcot instead of the HS show. Originally, I had planned a H&V Fantasmic! package, but I think at this point in the trip (day 5) there will be no more late nights for us. I certainly don’t want the pressure to do it. From here on, I’m expecting to be back at the hotel around 7ish. To make this day’s plan even muddier, we will be homeless until our room at the Boardwalk is ready (hopefully in time for naps).

  • Toy Story Land EMM. Again, paying the premium to ride some headliners without waits (SDD, ASS, TSM).
  • Remaining time will focus on shows (see all if possible): Frozen (FP1) and meet Olaf, B&B, Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones, MuppetVision and PizzeRizzo for lunch, Lightning McQueen Academy? (FP2)
  • Fairfax Fare or Dockside Diner for dinner?
  • Runaway Railway? (FP3)

Thursday 10/31 – Extra Magic in the Future, Then Touring the World Touring Plan

  • EMH in Futureworld: RD Soarin’ (rider swap), Spaceship Earth (FP1), SE:Green (rider swap)
  • Mexico, China (meet Mulan), and Norway: Frozen (FP2), Kringla Bakeri for lunch, and meet Anna and Elsa
  • Figment (FP3) and/or Disney/Pixar Shorts on way back to hotel for naps, DW picks up 5k bib at W&D Expo
  • After naps… France (B&B Sing-a-Long?), American Adventure, Germany. Biergarten for dinner.
  • Italy, Japan, Morocco (me, DS4, DS3). DW will take DD1 back to hotel after dinner. She’s running the W&D 5k tomorrow at 5:30AM (DW, not DD1)!

Friday 11/1 – Lions, Aliens, and Dinos, Oh My! Touring Plan

  • DW runs Wine & Dine 5k, gets back to Boardwalk around 730ish I’m guessing
  • Meanwhile for the rest of us… PPO Tusker House for breakfast then Kilimanjaro Safari (DW meets up afterwards)
  • FOTLK (FP1) and meet Timon
  • Pandora: NRJ (FP2), Satu’li for Lunch
  • Naps @ hotel while I get race bibs at W&D Expo
  • After naps… Finish up what we can at AK (will depend on naps, and everyone’s mood). End with dinner at Flame Tree , Tree of Life Awakenings, and another Kilimanjaro Safari (FP3 for DW, DS4, and DS3). I will take DD1 back to hotel after dinner (I’m running the 10k tomorrow at 530 AM!)

Saturday 11/2 – Fun Running and a Magical Ending Touring Plan

  • I run the Wine & Dine 10k, getting back to Boardwalk around 8ish I’m guessing
  • ESPN WWoS for Kids Races: 100-m dash for DS4 and DS3, Diaper Dash for DD1, and then 1-mile run for DS4. Lunch at WWoS Grill .
  • After naps… Back to MK to hit anything we missed or let the boys pick some rides that they liked. Two rides I don’t have in the plans yet are Splash and BTMRR. I’ll probably book FPs for these here just in case. We may ride them during MNSSHP though, so wePreformatted text will see.
  • The Grand Finale: CRT for dinner.
  • DW, DS4, and DS3 stay in park afterwards (energy???), but I take DD1 back to hotel after dinner (I’m running the half marathon tomorrow at 530 AM!)

Sunday 11/3 – The Big Run

  • I run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the longest race I’ve ever done, and the culmination of my “Become a Runner” goal for 2019. The family cheers me on in the Boardwalk area. I’m guessing I’ll be back at the Boardwalk afterwards around 10ish.
  • Packing, airline check-in, lunch in the Boardwalk area
  • Fantasia Gardens if later departure
  • DME out of the bubble…
  • Be sad. Very, very sad…

Your spreadsheets are the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen!


I’m…overwhelmed. :heart:

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Me too! It helped to put it all down in words.

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@Cgerres thanks!

So glad I renewed so I can follow along! Great plans!!! I love your day 1!! I also want to start at Chef Mickeys.

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I’m hoping someone else can help you out with details, but I recall reading something last year that a guest could only book 2 FP with a MNSSHP ticket (one from 4-5 and one from 5-6). And then some folks had issues where the FPs were not specifically linked to their MNSSHP ticket so the system thought the guest was using a day of their regular tickets for the FPs. Now if you are planning to use 1 day of park tickets on your MNSSHP day, then there’s no potential issue, but it doesn’t look like that is your plan.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I wanted to point it out in the hopes that someone who had personal experience could give you more info.

@OBNurseNH - You are the FP master. Are you able to shed any light on this?

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NRJ and FOP are both Tier 1 so you will only be able to get a FP for one of them. I would recommend that you do FOP, send everyone else on NRJ and then the whole family go on the Safari.

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If it were me, I would secure those FPs for Splash and BTMR … Great rides and classic too (though potential height requirement and fear factor issues for the kids). My 3 year old wouldn’t go on any coasters on our trip.

I hope you don’t view my comments was being critical of you amazing plans. Just trying to make suggestions to consider.

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You are correct.

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I wouldn’t try for a 8:55am BOG breakfast as you’ll miss the best hour of the day, go for 8:10am if you need lots of wandering time. Me personally I’d still book for 8am, if you are 5 mins late you can say you had to queue to get in. Don’t quote me on this but with a 8:55 ADR they might not let you in at 7:45, I recall reading something about it having to be before 8:45am

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Thanks for all the tips so far. Totally forgot about the FP tiering at AK!

So using the FPs will activate a regular ticket? Is this by design (they don’t allow FPs for MNSSHP tickets) or is it a glitch in the system?

If I can indeed use 2 FPs for MNSSHP, which would you cut out: Jungle Cruise, Pirates of Caribbean, or Haunted Mansion? Which would probably have the shortest stand-by waits during the party? Our focus during party time will be trick-or-treating and characters.

We booked Fastpasses for 3-4, 4-5 and 5-6 last time we went (in September). If you went straight to Pirates you’d make it within the grace period (and even if you just missed it the CM would almost certainly let you in anyway).

I know a lot of people setup “dummy” MDE accounts which they link their MNSSHP tickets to, and book those Fastpasses first. That supposedly avoids any ticket/FP confusion. We’re AP holders, so this is not something I’ve ever done, but I’m sure someone else will have all the information you need. :grinning:

Not really, no.

It’s just that the system is glitchy about reserving FPs on a party ticket only. You won’t have to actually use a day ticket if you have valid party admission when you use the FPs.

I am glad to see these nice early returns for the runners. That will help be sure that runners have a chance to be rested.

I know that you note that it’s a 5:30 AM race time… You might find it worth noting the “mandatory” bus time. For Marathon weekend, runDisney wanted all runners on the race buses no later than 4:00 for the 5k and 10k, and 3:30 for the Half (and full) Marathon. I expect that they will be publishing similar language for W&D as well.

Yeah, in my day-by-day chart posted above you can see that I’ve got “Waking up @300 tomorrow” in big red letters. It will be rough going but I’m excited already!

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This is actually the reason I’m not sure DW will run the 5k, which is why I posted this: RunDisney event registration - possible to change runner?

She won’t have a problem running (or walking) the 5k, but I’m not sure she will be willing to wake up that early, lol!

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@TheProphetPaul where do you get/how do you make your spreadsheets?

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The screenshots I shared above are from PowerPoint. It’s actually not a spreadsheet. I’ll share it when I have some time later. Read about it in this thread: Keeping track of your plans? Tools?