spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Disney Pre-trip Report: lists of lists

on November 29, 2014

It’s time for one of my favorite Disney activities: making lists!  Here is a list of pre-trip rituals we like to observe.  Ok, I like to observe them, and the rest of the family humors me.

wonka whatever


First, begin the Disney planning spreadsheet and Big Fat Disney Plan binder.

  • 1 year countdown party! We actually missed this, because we haven’t made the final decision as to whether to go in July/August or October yet. Normally I like to make Mickey head Jello-O, construct a Disney crossword puzzle, watch a Disney movie, etc.
  • Biweekly Disney Movie Nights. We’ll add some Harry Potter movie marathons as well.  AND, make absolutely sure we see Jurassic World in theaters in June!
  • 6-month countdown chain: We’ll make this when we get back from our Ecuador trip mid-January, by then we should know more about the exact dates!
  • Make Cast Member Thank You cards to hand out when we experience or observe CM magic.
Have the kids help with these :)

Have the kids help with these 🙂

  • Double-digit dance: when we have 99 days left until our trip, we’ll dance to the Mickey Mouse Club march and have a themed Disney meal.
  • Single-digit dance: when we have 9 days left until our trip. More dancing, and another themed meal.
  • Design our trip shirts: A unique shirt for each trip!
Each letter in "DISNEY" is filled in with a picture from a previous Disney trip

Each letter in “DISNEY” is filled in with a picture from a previous Disney trip


And here are some trip rituals to make sure we fit in:

  • Wear our matching shirts on our 1st Magic Kingdom touring day.  I only make one set of shirts, so after that “official” photograph, we don’t dress alike.  I still wear all my old trip shirts as pajamas.
  • Take a picture of DD on the swing at the Grand Floridian beach.  This is a sweet tradition my sister and I started on a previous trip.  There is a non-swimming beach at the Grand Floridian Resort, with a nice bench swing.  My sister and I took a photo there when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I’ve made sure to take a picture of DD there on every trip.
  • Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room (also at the Grand Floridian Resort), ladies-only.
  • Ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority…it’s a great place to rest your feet, and I just love those corny jokes!  “Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow, your party from Saturn has arrived…please give them a ring!”
  • Have at least some of our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  So, so special.
  • Eat a Mickey Bar and Main Street popcorn.  Did you know that calories don’t count at Disney Parks?
  • Meet up with a friend from college who works at WDW- an amazingly talented guy who really loves to share the magic!  He’s the BEST ambassador Disney could ask for.
  • Shop.  I need new magnets, the boy needs a “First visit” shirt, etc.  I shop a LOT at Disney, and they have a whole store dedicated to Haunted Mansion merchandise now!
  • Watch IllumiNations on our last night.  Crying optional.

Here’s some I’d love to start:

  • Having a Mom/Dad switch day: each parent takes one kid solo for the AM, then switch to the other kid for the PM.  Quality Disney time…I already got some great ideas for both of the kids.  But shhhhh, it’s a secret- in case DD decides to read this!
  • Find a special spot (like the Grand Floridian swing) to take a trip photo of DS every time we go.
  • My husband has to ride Pirates! It was down for refurbishment (they were adding the movie effects) during our last trip, and he didn’t go to Disneyland with us.  This is an absolute must- his dream career as a child was to be a pirate, and you should have seen the delighted look on his face when he got to take a picture w/Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.
  • Trying new restaurants, yum.  They’ve introduced a bunch of new food spots, and I want to taste everything!  I keep up with the changes at the Disney Food Blog, of course!

OK, writing this just made me excited all over again.  I think I’ll go have some ice cream out of my Aulani mug, while wearing my Disney World sweatshirt, checking the time on my Disney Cruise Line watch, and looking through my Disneyland pictures, while leaning on my World of Disney NYC pillow.  Have a Disney Day!

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One response to “Disney Pre-trip Report: lists of lists

  1. […] My Disney2015 spreadsheeting activities are in full swing, and I’m crossing things off my lists left and right.  Super exciting, especially once I remembered that not only would Mickey’s […]

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