(Updated: September 18, 2014)
No destination is quite as difficult or fun to plan as Disney World. That’s why I’ve always had a planning binder full of info and printables to keep me organized.
Below, I have shown the sections I use for my binder and links to downloads that you can use to create your own.
Let’s get started…
The binder I use is something I designed myself and it includes 8 tabs…
The 8 tabs are labeled:
- General Info
- Magic Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
- Animal Kingdom
- Everything Else
Although my design used to be available to order through the company where I got it, that’s no longer an option.
However, Disney’s Zazzle store has hundreds of cute binders that can even be personalized (and they cost about 1/4 of what mine cost).
To get a Zazzle binder that feels a lot like mine does, I’d recommend doing these things:
- Order the 2 inch option
- Choose black for the inside color if it coordinates with the design better than white
- Customize it, including uploading an image that can be used on the front cover (FYI: to change the font, click the “f” icon under the font size drop-down box. Took me forever to find it!)
Here are some examples that I created when playing around with their options.
Black and red style
How I did it: the red spine and Mickey patterns are part of the style already. I uploaded the front label and back stripe images and then used Zazzle’s text tools to add text to the front, spine and back. For the front, this meant having two layers: one for the label and one for the text. Just drag the layers on the Zazzle site to make sure the text lays on top of the label.
Font used on the Zazzle site:
- Front: Folio Bold
- Spine: Folio Medium
- Back: Folio Light Italics
Download the images below:
Comic Art Mickey Mouse
How I did it: just took the design already on Zazzle and used Zazzle’s text tool to add the text on the front
Font used on the Zazzle site: Futura Medium
Mickey Retro Polka Dot
How I did it: the polka dotted pattern is part of this style already so I uploaded the oval label for the front and used Zazzle’s text tool to add two different text layers to the front and 1 to the spine
Fonts used on the Zazzle site:
- Front (the year): Roundhand Bold
- Front (the rest of the text): Sprocket
- Spine: Sprocket
You can download the label here:
Turquoise oval label
Mickey and Friends
How I did it: I just used the default design and added two text layers to the front using Zazzle’s text tool
Fonts used on the Zazzle site:
- Front (big text): Impress
- Front (small text): Futura Medium
There are literally hundreds of choices of binders. You can see all of the Disney designs in the gallery below…
Note: If items are purchased by clicking on one of the Zazzle links above, Zazzle will send me a referral fee.
Of course, you can pick up a binder wherever office supplies are sold and make your own cover for an inexpensive way to create a personalized one at home.
Now let’s take a look at what goes into each section…
General Info section
In the general info section, I include a map of Walt Disney World as a whole, our trip itinerary, a calendar of the year so I can jot down dates that I need to remember (like making ADRs 180 days in advance) and a chart of which parks are best on each day of our trip.
Although the trip plan should mostly be decided beforehand, it’s nice to stay flexible and make changes as needed (plus, I like to let the kids choose what we do on the last day so that’s a helpful chart to have as a reference).
General Info Downloads
Disney World map
Printable blank calendar
|Best/worst parks chart|
|Transportation map||January park hours||February park hours|
|March park hours||April park hours||May park hours|
|June park hours||July park hours||August park hours|
|September park hours||October park hours||November park hours|
|December park hours||Trip planning worksheet|
In the hotel section of my binder, I put a map of our hotel and things specific to the area (walking paths, viewing locations, etc.).
You may also want to include a general page that includes contact info for your hotel. You can find the address and phone number info here.
|An. Kingdom Lodge map||AKL rec calendar|
|Beach/Yacht Club map||BC/YC rec calendar|
|Boardwalk Inn map||BWI recreation calendar||Epcot area running map|
|Contemporary map||CR recreation calendar|
|Grand Fl. map||Grand Fl. rec calendar||Grand Fl. jogging map|
|Old Key West map||OKW rec calendar||OKW running map|
|Poly map||Poly rec calendar||Poly jogging map|
|Saratoga Springs map||SSR rec calendar||SSR running map|
|Wilderness Lodge map||WL rec calendar||Wilderness running map|
|Caribbean Beach map||CBR rec calendar||CBR running map|
|Coronado Springs map||CSR rec calendar||CSR running map|
|Port Orleans map||POR rec calendar||POFQ rec calendar|
|Port Orleans jogging map|
|All-Star Movies map||AS Movies rec calendar|
|All-Star Music map||AS Music rec calendar|
|All-Star Sports map||AS Sports rec calendar||AS running trail|
|Art of Animation map||AoA rec calendar|
|Pop Century map||Pop Century rec calendar||Pop Century jogging map|
Ft. Wilderness Campground:
|Ft. Wilderness map||FW rec calendar||Wilderness running map|
After deciding where we want to eat, I print off menus to store in this section so my family has an idea what to expect at each meal.
I also keep a 1 page worksheet that summarizes all of our dining locations and includes our ADR numbers.
For people using the Disney Dining Plan, having a worksheet to keep track of how your credits are being spent is a good idea too.
|Restaurant menus||DDP snack list||DDP calculator (free login required)|
Magic Kingdom section
In the Magic Kingdom section, I keep a park map, touring plans and recommended viewing spots. I also like to keep a list of recommended Quick Service dining locations so I know where to head when it’s time to eat.
My custom park maps (linked below) include all of that info on 1 map that prints out on 1 piece of paper.
Magic Kingdom Downloads
|MK park map||MK touring plans||MK entertainment schedule|
|Buzz Lightyear scoring tips||SOTMK card list||My custom MK map ($)|
For Epcot, I like to have a park map, touring plans, and the entertainment schedule (especially since there are so many entertainment options in the World Showcase).
|Epcot park map||Epcot touring plans||Epcot entertainment schedule|
|My custom EP map ($)|
Hollywood Studios section
Not only do I like having a park map and touring plans for Hollywood Studios, but I especially need the entertainment schedule since there are so many shows in this park.
Hollywood Studios Downloads
|HS park map||HS touring plans||HS ent. schedule|
|Toy Story scoring tips||My custom HS map ($)||Fantasmic map|
Animal Kingdom section
As with the other parks, I include a park map, touring plans and entertainment schedule in the Animal Kingdom section.
Animal Kingdom downloads
|AK park map||AK touring plans||AK ent. schedule|
|My custom AK map ($)|
Everything Else section
This section includes all of the other miscellaneous stuff that doesn’t get its own section: water parks, Downtown Disney, DisneyQuest, pressed coin info, packing lists, etc.
Also included below are a map of PhotoPass photographers and character lists. I’ll be adding to the list as I come across more helpful info.
Everything Else Downloads
|Downtown Disney map||Blizzard Beach map||Typhoon Lagoon map|
|Pressed coin machine locations||Kenny’s Master Character List||PhotoPass photographer list|
|DisneyQuest map||Ultimate packing list||Orlando airport map|
|Rider Switch ride list||FP+ quick reference||La Nouba seating chart|
|Driving directions to WDW||Character interaction tips|
|If you enjoyed this article, be sure to get email updates (it's free).|