spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Disney World October 2015 Trip Report Part 11: Final Thoughts

on March 25, 2016

Oh, boy.  This is it. IT.  There’s nothing else to do as far as post-trip activities than finish this last post.  Everything else is done:

  • unpack the suitcases
  • find places in the house/closet/fridge for new souvenirs
  • reconcile the budget/accounts with the trip receipts (My estimate was off by $8, guys.  $8!!!  I pegged it almost exactly.  This gave me an unreasonable amount of pride)
  • have everyone complete my “Post-Disney Trip” questionnaire, the last Trip Tradition.  Just 4 questions: what was your favorite part of the pre-trip preparations, name your 3 favorite rides/attractions from this trip, describe the funniest thing that happened on the trip haha I think we all know what that was: Pool-tastrophe 2015, and your opinion on the new things that you tried on this trip)
  • sort through the PhotoPass pictures, organize and name
  • sort through the personal pictures (from my iPod Touch that I used as my main camera, my phone, my husband’s iPod Touch/camera, his phone, my daughter’s phone, and her videocamera), organize and name
  • print said pictures
  • fill 2015 albums with said pictures, and stick an envelope in back of the photo albums with flat souvenirs like our MNSSHP bracelets, and the resort maps with our room locations circled on them
  • force the family to look at the pretty albums
  • suffer from Post-Disney depression.. sniffle.
  • do the Trip Report!

A few Disney lessons learned:

  1. put the MagicBands on the Carry-On Packing List,  unless you enjoy crying on trans-Pacific flights
  2. start booking your FastPass+ in backwards order, starting on the last day of your trip and working towards your first day
  3. For kids 4-7, use a stroller, but try only using it at night, so they build up endurance in the daytime and recharge their little legs in the evenings
  4. Allow more than 1 hour for Resort-to-Resort transport if using the Disney busses
  5. Portable chargers are your friend!  Very convenient not having to worry about dead electronics batteries.  We had this Orion one, which was great
  6. Plan to your heart’s content- all of my nights of tweaking the plans led to an extremely smooth trip
  7. Recognize when to go off-plan, like when your little Frozen-loving guy doesn’t want to go to the Sing-A-Long so you spend an hour happily riding monorails and taking silly selfies in air-conditioned comfort, or when your teen needs a couple extra hours of sleepily watching Disney Must-Do
  8. Be part of the Magic via Cast Member Thank-You Cards, general friendliness, and Mickey Ice Cream bars

Another list: things to definitely do on the next WDW trip:

  • can you believe we didn’t ride the Jungle Cruise even one time on this trip?!?  It occurred to me on the bus on the way to AKL after our last night at MK.  This MUST be corrected next time, it’s a corny classic!  Plus, they’ve since opened the Jungle Skipper Canteen, a Jungle Cruise-themed restaurant.  That’s on my list as well.
  • DD will be old enough on the next trip to go on the Backstage Magic Tour with me, while DS will be probably be old enough to enjoy the Magic Behind our Steam Trains Tour with DH.
  • Animal Kingdom is debuting a new nighttime spectacular next month: Rivers of Light.  This’ll be a priority for sure.
  • I’m wishing that Epcot will do something health-and-wellness themed with the old Wonders of Life Pavilion.  When I was little, I enjoyed Body Wars, and my sister participated in Cranium Command.  Nothing has been announced, but a girl can dream.
  • DH is due for another round of golf, not having had time to squeeze it in this time around.
  • whatever else Disney thinks up and installs between now and then
  • of course, ride all our favorites and continue our Trip Traditions.

So then, here are my final, final thoughts.  For our family, WDW is a happy place.  As such, we will continue to visit, but not frequently.  Reasons why:

  • By definition, a treat is a special occurrence that only happens once in a while.  Disney World is the epitome of a treat, an immersive experience that deserves a great build-up.
  • Travel time.  You know how I love 8+ hour flying times….not.
  • Diversification: it works for investment portfolios, and it works for the Walt Disney Company: they have 5 other Parks around the world, plus 4 cruise ships, with 2 more being built!
  • Finally, I want my family to continue to travel the globe in search of new experiences, cultures, languages, etc.  Between WDW 2008 and WDW 2015, our family traveled to Disneyland in California, NY/NJ, 5 cities in Spain, Philadelphia, The Big Island of Hawaii, Aulani, Alaska via Disney Cruise, Vancouver, Niagara Falls, Hershey Park, State College (PA), 9 out of the 24 provinces of Ecuador, and some other cool spots via school trips for DD and business trips for DH.  So while I know we will be back, I also know our next trip to WDW will be enhanced by all the other trips we’ll have taken in the meantime.  I hope I have just as long a list (or longer!) of places visited between now and the next time my feet make it into the Florida Disney Bubble.

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