I get very passionate when giving advice on trip planning and today I have some background on my philosophies on trip planning, along with some stories on why I feel that way.
I also have a quick tip of the day on an alternative to taxis on Disney World trips.
These are notes from this episode. There’s much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.
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4 of my trip planning philosophies
Do as much as time and money will allow based on your child(ren)’s interests
As I explained in a Facebook post, I’m passionate about people doing things while their kids are young because we weren’t able to do that with our daughter.
Make a plan, but stay flexible
One of the reasons my touring plans for all 4 parks are only for the first part of the day is that I think you should leave plenty of time to be flexible on your trip.
It’s also why I group the first few hours of the day by hour: so you can have a good general plan but won’t feel too rigid.
Remember that the goal is to make memories, not to do everything
You can never do everything on a trip, so be sure to pare it down to the important stuff that will allow you to have fun and make memories together.
Involve children in the planning process
You can do that by watching videos of the rides (I have videos for every ride in my park guides), read Birnbaum’s for Kids books, or watch TV shows about the parks on channels like Destination America.
Quick tip of the day
Consider using Uber as an alternative to a taxi on your trip. I’d recommend downloading the app and setting up your credit card beforehand. Keep in mind that Uber isn’t allowed at the Orlando airport.
You can get a free ride (up to a $20 value) using code “shannona9” or redeem at this link.
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Friday 22nd of January 2016
I just wanted to let you know that your speech about doing all you can even if you feel silly because they're "too old" made me tear up!! I've been researching Disney World vacations for the past many months in preparation for a surprise trip I have planned, booked, and paid for this summer to celebrate my sister's birthday (her 18th birthday!) as well as her graduation from high school. Having come from a comfortable but not vacation-capable childhood, neither of us have ever been to Disney World. I am EXCESSIVELY lucky to have found work after college that is now allowing me to whisk her away for this week of sister-only Disney fun.
Of course, despite the fact that we will be 18 and 26 at the time, the first thing we will be doing on our first day in the parks is breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table thanks to a very lucky ADR grab. Forget the fact that we are (frighteningly) now both adults. Every Disney-loving child, no matter the age, wants to spend some time in Cinderella's castle! I know it'll be cheesy and silly and probably not nearly as fabulous as I might imagine, but I am so excited that we will finally be able to have our princess moment.
I will second your comments not to over plan. It seems so easy to do that with Disney! I've already been trying to pare things back, and we don't leave until the first weekend of June!
I've been loving your podcast and blog. Thanks so much for the tips!
Wednesday 25th of March 2015
Is Uber allowed to drop you off at the airport? I know they can't pick up. Thx
Wednesday 25th of March 2015
I believe so, yes.
Tuesday 3rd of February 2015
Loved this post I just returned from out 1st trip and planning but being flexible is the key, My daughter loved loved loved her meet and greet with Jack Sparrow at the Halloween party and that changed the direction and focus of her trip she started to love Pirates and one day happily re rode Pirates of the Caribbean 5 times in a row, If we would of stuck to a stick touring plan this wouldn't of happened. So my crazy princess loving little girl jumped shipped to the land of Pirates and adventure all because of a fab character interaction
Monday 2nd of February 2015
Thank you Shannon for another great podcast! I can absolutely relate to your story about not being able to do as many things with your daughter when she was young. We were young parents, having our daughter when we were 21, so really didn't have funds available to do things like Disney. Our daughter is now 23 & since we do have money to do things like take regular Disney trips, we do as frequently as possible - typically once or twice a year. One of my favorites was a "Mom and me" trip the fall of '13 - we acted like little kids and had such a great time.
I agree wholeheartedly with your philosophy of doing as much as they can while their kids are still young. They grow up so very fast! Make those memories before they are all grown up.
I also look forward to giving Uber a try on my upcoming trip in April.
Thanks again for all you do!
Monday 2nd of February 2015
Is it possible to take Uber into each park? We'll have a car but will probably want to split up into 2 groups. Thanks for the idea!