A Planning Obsession…

“A Child’s Dream” Photo by: The Crafty Professor

I realized this morning that I am slightly obsessed with our upcoming trip.  I love planning vacations.  I’m pretty detail orientated and love a good spreadsheet while planning a vacation.  My sister in law still teases me about the pages and pages of recommendations I sent for their weekend trip to New Orleans.  It is just plain fun for me to plan a get away from reality.  But, I’ve reached a whole new level with our next trip.


This will be the Munchkin’s first trip.  She adores anything Disney.  Before she was born my parenting bible was “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” and I swore I would not have a princess obsessed daughter.  HAR! HAR! She wears princess costumes on a daily basis.  Her favorite movies are all princess.  In fact, right now we are in the middle of a princess palooza movie marathon.  She will be 5 during this trip and is just a prime age to enjoy all the magic.

Now, I must confess…when she was 3 the parents went to Disney World without her.  GASP!!!!  I had a sociology conference at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel and Conference center in Disney.  We decided to make it an adults only trip.  Our first one since she was born.  I was being selfish.  Because I would be in sessions all morning and afternoon, I did not want to bring Munchkin and miss major pieces of her first trip to Disney.  We didn’t tell her where we were going on our trip.  She stayed with Nana and her Auntie.  On the last day of our trip she found out where we were and had an epic meltdown on my sister.  That meltdown has scarred both Munchkin and my sister for life.  And now, almost 2 years later Munchkin tells people on a weekly basis that her parents went to Disney without her.  She’ll be telling her therapist that story one day I am sure.

bad parents

Bad parents ran away to Disney…without the kid!

But, in going by ourselves we realized how different a trip to Disney is these days compared to when we went as kids.  When we went 20 years ago as children and teens we didn’t have to worry about advanced dining reservations, fast pass reservations, customizing magic bands, maximizing ride times, and all the other things that are now crucial (or I see them as crucial) to planning a Disney vacation.  I realized that this trip will be my planning dream and hence the obsession began.

I think since the day I booked our trip I’ve read the reviews of every restaurant in Disney World, read every blog about traveling to Disney during the month we are going, joined multiple forums to talk with other Disney loving people, and then on the day we could book our advanced dining reservations I was up at 5:30 a.m. with my laptop, Ipad, and cell phone so I could book Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, Bibbity Bobbity Boutique and all the other necessary character experiences to make this a dream trip for her.  I’m still working on Be Our Guest and I stalk the reservations site on a daily basis trying to snag the coveted reservation.  I’m almost to the point of setting my alarm for the middle of the night to try for reservations.  And yes, I’ve read countless blogs on how to book a hard reservation.

Every night I read the chat section of a website that I am obsessed with WDW Lines.  They are my people.  They are my tribe.  They are just as obsessed as I am about planning the perfect rotation of rides so we maximize our time.  The planning tools even let me plan our break times and then it works with past Disney data to optimize the order of rides/shows.  For a sociologist the way this site uses data is a DREAM COME TRUE.

This is also our first vacation as a sandwich family.  We decided on two adjoining rooms so Mom can escape us when needed.  I’ve been using the chats to ask questions about traveling with the little motorized scooters since Mom will use one.  She’s got some bad feet and knees.  I tell you, all these strangers have been so completely helpful and letting me know how to navigate Disney with a scooter.  Now, we just have to make sure Mom isn’t one of “those” people who runs everyone over or becomes Mario Andretti with her new wheels.  I’m just so excited that Mom will get to experience Munchkin’s first trip.

We’ve also decided NOT to tell Munchkin about this trip.  We are still months away from this vacation.  My child is like a dog with a bone once she knows something fun is coming up.  We decided we didn’t want 5,000 questions a day about when we were leaving.  Since she is used to traveling with me for work trips we will just tell her we are going to one of Mommy’s boring work conferences.  We will tell her a few hours from Disney where we are really going.  I cannot wait to see her face.  You can guarantee I will video that special moment.

Now, Hubby and Mom know I’ve been doing a fair amount of research for this trip.  I’ve been pretty good about hiding just how much I read about Disney World on a daily basis.  J did find the 6 apps I know have on the Ipad for different Disney planning tools and blogs.  He looked at me a little strange.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I’m not going to be a military sergeant once we are down there rushing everyone through our trip.  No, I don’t want to make everyone miserable.  If we need to deviate from the plans we will.

But, for now, I am in my planning paradise and love every second of this new obsession. I have roughly 6 months until we enter the “Happiest Place on Earth” and I can’t wait!!!!


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