How to Use a Planning Spreadsheet for Your Next Disney Vacation!

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planning

Disney has taken us – some happily and some kicking and screaming – into the new age with Fast Pass+ and My Disney Experience.  Never before have we been able to plan so much of our trip in advance, not only where we will stay but also where we will eat and what rides we will ride at specific times of the day.  For some obsessive-compulsive planners out there (ahem, me!) it’s a wonderful thing.  For others, it can be a little bit more complicated.

Here’s where our handy dandy Disney planning spreadsheet comes in.  Right after I book a vacation for my family or for a client, I begin entering information into this planner.  It has helped me maintain my sanity, especially during FP+ and ADR-planning times.  Click on the link below to see what it looks like:

>> Disney Planning Spreadsheet

To fill out the spreadsheet, here are some quick tips:

  • First, figure out which parks you want to be in on a particular day.  If you want extra time at Magic Kingdom and they have Extra Magic Hours in the morning on a Thursday, then you may want to pencil in Cinderella’s castle as your destination for the day.
  • Once you have your parks, you can figure out which dining venues fit within your list. If it’s Epcot day, for example, it might be a great day to book a dinner at Garden Grill or Le Cellier.  Or, if you’re going to be at Magic Kindom, it’s a quick monorail stop to ‘Ohana or 1900 Park Fare.  If you are looking to score reservations at some hard-to-book restaurants, check out some helpful advice here.  Don’t forget, if you are staying at a Disney resort, you can begin booking 180 days before the start of your trip and plan for the next ten days of your vacation.
  • Once you have your dining reservations completed, you can start filling in the spreadsheet with times, dates, and confirmation numbers.  If you want to get fancy, you can even add approximate costs for each reservation to see if it might make sense to add a dining plan to your booking.
  • Then, the wait begins…until the 60 day mark prior to the start of your reservation, when you can begin to plan fast passes.  Because you already have your dining times and locations in the spreadsheet, it’s much easier to figure out where in the park you might be at a given time and which rides are in close proximity.  Let’s say you have a lunch reservation at Crystal Palace.  If you happen to be an adventurer-at-heart with a desire to see the backside of water, then a Fast Pass+ to Jungle Cruise at nearby Adventureland might be next on your itinerary.
  • Once you have all your fast passes planned, you can enter all the times and put everything together in chronological order.  At that point, once you see everything laid out in a list, you may decide to tweak a few things here and there – either with ADR times or with fast passes.  Bonus: you can print the spreadsheet and carry it with you – you know, go old school just in case your phone runs out of battery.

And with that, you have planned your Disney vacation and now all that’s left is to count down the days until you see Mickey!  Well, that and pack.

Now let me turn it over to you.  How do you do your Disney planning?  Do you also have a handy dandy notebook spreadsheet?  Sound off in the comments below!

Hi there, I’m Myra and I’m a huge Disney nerd and addict!  I’m also an Independent Travel Agent at World of Magic Travel, the preferred agency of Chip and Co. and Disney Addicts.  I’m happy to help you plan your next vacation, including planning your dining reservations, fast passes, and creating wonderful spreadsheets personalized just for your trip!  And best of all – my services are completely free to you!  Please visit my page or send me an email at myra@worldofmagictravel.com to get started!

How to Use a Planning Spreadsheet for Your Next Disney Vacation! 1

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