My vacation planning is really no different. Besides trips up to Canada to visit family (which I don’t count!), our last 7 vacations all had to do with Disney, so I feel I am pretty versed in it!
One of our biggest planning strategies, is to take a vacation during off season. The prices for hotels are cheaper, and you can often get perks if you plan right through Disney. This past trip we took, was the only one where we have ever stayed on property. Usually we are too cheap to do that, but since we didn’t want to rent a car, we explored the option. Since we were going during low season, and used a AAA discount we ended up getting the hotel for 20% off, we felt that was worth it. I found a lot of the dates and savings at MouseSavers.
We book far in advance — as far out as we can. Usually you need to leave a deposit, but both with hotel rooms, and staterooms on the Disney Cruise Line, the earlier you book, the better the prices and selection. You can always cancel it if your plans change, usually at least 30 – 60 days out, with no penalty and your deposit back in full.
Breakfasts are usually cheaper than lunches or dinners, so even if you are staying in the park, eat a bigger breakfast, grab a snack at lunch, and then get counter service for supper if you want to save money. Surprisingly to us, the food at the hotel (we stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter), was less expensive than in the park, you did not have to tip because it is also cafeteria style, but the portions were huge, and it was tasty too. They offered all kinds of things, from Chicken Parmesan to Pot Roast.
After all the initial booking is done, until closer to the vacation date, there is not much to do but wait. Which is usually the most difficult of all! So this is how I do my waiting:
Put a wallpaper on my computer that is reminiscent of Disney (currently I have a picture of Castaway Cay their private island in the Bahamas)
Have a Disney postcard on my fridge.
Put a ticker on your blog, so each day you can see how much closer you’re getting!
Visit the DisBoards for ideas and general chat about all things Disney.
Use the Disney toiletries I brought home from the ship and hotel room as sparingly as possible until it is all gone! (they are made by H20).
This year as I await our Transatlantic Cruise in 2010 on the Disney Magic – I will be playing along with the Destination Disney Meme.
Need more planning strategies? Check out Uptake.com. TTFN!