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Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

England
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Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

It's very much an individual thing - I know there's been some heated debates on here about it but you're obviously interested in gathering more info or you wouldn't be sat on these forums gobbling up as much detail as possible :)

I'm not the organised type, I usually like to lay horizontal in the sun for a couple of weeks but when we book Orlando some dark, demon planner emerges from somewhere. I know exactly where it's come from - my earlier mistakes. This is our 4th time to Orlando in 10 years. The first time we went - we wandered around aimlessly for most of the two weeks, overwhelmed by the crowds, the queues and the sheer scale of things. I swore I wouldn't go back as it was so stressful however I knew how good it could be and then someone introduced me to the  Unofficial  Guide so I went back armed with a touring plan. It was the most inflexible plan you can imagine - not accounted for toilet breaks, food, basic human behaviour and I turned into a sergeant major, barking orders at everyone and having palpitations should there be any deviation to the touring plan....  This was equally as bad but the next time I managed to get that balance and found out that the more planning I did, the more I learned and the more flexible I could be cos I had a touring plan worked out for just about every eventuality :)). Bingo!!! I know it's not for everyone but now I actually enjoy the planning process and am much more relaxed (albeit still as busy) when we're away :). So although I may come across as completely anal - it's just my split Orlando personality lol. 

There are some fantastic people on this forum who offer some amazing tips and advice you won't find anywhere else but if you do want to plan more - here aremy tips.  I thoroughly recommend the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World - especially for first timers as it gives you some really good advice on all the individual attractions and rides, especially useful if you've got any nervous kids so you can make an educated decision on what is more likely to frighten them.  It also introduces you to the idea of a Touring Plan (you don't have to use one but again it's a good idea to understand why you might want one). 

Then if you're not staying on Disney, go onto the Disney website and look at the calendar for the dates you're there. Make a note of each day and the parks that have extra magic hours (you want to avoid these as they're supposed to be the busiest days). 

If you want even more detail - www.touring plans.com (spin off from the book) offer a pretty scientific crowd calendar that tells you out of 10 how busy each park, each day is - plus the recommended park and the park to avoid for any given date.  You can also personalise your own touring plans and there's a cool iPhone app that gives you wait times - real time.  There is a subscription charge for this but if you want me to just have a quick look at your dates, I don't mind. 

Orlando Informer also offers a crowd calendar which is free for Universal and IOA and I believe Undercover Tourist do too. 

There are lots of other forums out there too - but you'll lose the rest of your life to them...

I created a spreadsheet and overlaid this info so I could choose what days to do what parks and then make any restaurant reservations based on it. 

Hope this helps the anal amongst us - for the rest of you that don't feel the need, I'm very, very jealous :)

Bradford
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21. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

jdisney.

yes i think it is...i'm sure people started to get ushered out at 4 ish but i could be wrong, and have been many times before..

To be honest though by 4 pm we had done evreything....i dont know if the same works for the mvmcp?..

Ohh, & ladies...ive planned ours for ages....men can do what ladies do...LOL

Brighton, United...
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22. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

I really hope not, our 1st day at mk is planned for an eve with mvmcp... I was hoping to be able to stay until 7, 4pm is a half day!! Bet they don't charge less than summer months when we were there from 9am-11pm!

Seaham, United...
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23. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

Trill,

Reading your trip reports I think you did an amazing job of the planning!

I only wish I could interest my hubby in helping with it. His attitude is that I do such a good job of it that it would be a shame for him to interfere!

Regards,

Deaconblue

London, United...
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24. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

Hi jd... Am pretty sure park open till 7pm for all guests, but those with mvmco tickets can get in from 4pm.

It was when we there :0)

Edited: 28 April 2012, 21:22
London, United...
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25. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

Was supposed to say mvmcp... Stupid predictive txt changed it! :0)

Brighton, United...
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26. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

Thanks kk, that's what I was hoping, we are going to mvmcp, but on a different day- its hard to plan a 'full' day at mk when we are there when considering emh's (we're offsite), mvmcp & crowd calendars on touring plans!!

England
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27. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

Trill - must admit, you did a proper good job atplanning, wish you'd have a word with my dh :) (

Also -if you were a woman you'd have everyone up and ready for rope drop....

Scotland
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28. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

Haha spambo was just going to say if my OH planned we'd not get anywhere until about lunchtime and certainly no rope drop!!

May consider purchasing the unofficial guide. Downloaded a sample to my kindle and it is seems useful. Anyone ever used the kindle addition? Wondering if its easy enough to make out any pictures, maps on it.

Does the book suggest touring plans or do you also have to subscribe to the website?

alberta
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29. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

Agree with the unofficial guide! I have already read it once and am on my second read - with a highlighter! I want us to do this trip as though we will never return ( a very distinct possibility) so I need to plan every moment- even the relaxation-lol

England
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30. Re: Tips for Planning - from the ultra anal....

The book does give pretty comprehensive touring plans - the beauty of the website is the crowd calendar and the personalised plans. It also gives you estimated wait times (per hour) for every ride for all dates and what the predicted fastpass return time is which is great if you want to make your own plans.

If you buy the book, you get a discount on the online subscription (also if you like them on FB they sometimes give out offers). If I had to choose I think I'd go for the Touring Plans subscription but I'm glad I got both.