So, it turns midnight and we enter into 2015. The first person I text is my best friend Bee, not saying the standard “Happy new year” no.. I text her saying “We’re going to Florida this year!” I have to admit, although it’s 90 days today til we board our flight, saying it as 3 months makes it feel so much shorter. In fact.. almost panic worthy when you think that 3 months ago it was October and that seems like 5 minutes ago!
Over the last few months Instagram has become my best friend in planning a Disney holiday. I’ve managed to find a lot of Cast Members and Annual Pass Holders who are happy to give me all the advice and tips I could ever need. What’s more I’ve become friends with one wonderful lady in particular, Emily (who has a blog over at Mink Flamingos it’s amazing for people like me who need their weekly dose of Disney photos). Emily has a little girl much like LM called D, in fact there is only 6 months between them. What this means is Emily has been a well of information about having a toddler at Disney, especially since she has done the parks alone with D on occassion. We’ve been exchanging length emails which have fully prepared me for what to expect. Most people who I’ve spoken to about our trip have only been as an adult, with adults or as a child themselves (like me). But now I feel so prepared to tackle the parks on the occassions I’m not around Bee & her family. This is definitely a weight off my mind.
So this month my main focus has been thinking about fast passes. Now fast passes have changed so much since I was last at WDW, and even DLP who still use the old system. Now it’s recommended you book your FP 60 day in advance for resort guests and 30 in advance for offsite guests. You can only select 3 FP at a time, and some parks like Epcot and Hollywood Studios have a tier system which limits which rides you can select from certain tiers. I now know exactly what rides and experiences I will be fast passing for each park. I just need to sort them into days. As expected meeting Anna & Elsa is top of our list and the one I have to work hard to secure. Also Toy Story Midway Mania at Hollywood Studios. Magic Kingdom has a lot of FP experiences to choose from which is good for us as we are planning a lot of visits to this park. But I have been able to make a list of what definitely needs a FP and what hardly ever has a queue longer than 30 minutes. I’ve also been thinking about what characters to meet and where you can meet them. Some meet in more than one park for example the characters that meet in MK and somewhere else, MK is usually the one with the crazy queue. Character meeting is so much more chaotic than when I went as a kid, but since it’s the thing LM will get the most pleasure out of I’ve had to prioritise. I asked my parents if they had all this to think about and they really didn’t. Back when I went the parks didn’t get half as crazy unless it was Christmas. And we even went during school holidays! My notebook is filling up fast with all the notes i’m making but everyone i’ve spoken too, both people who frequent Disney a lot and people I know personally have assured me the best way to tackle Disney World is with a plan of action.
I haven’t done much else in the way of organising due to the unforeseen circumstances during December. Now the Christmas presents are out of my room, my suitcase has returned to its home of open on my bedroom floor so as I collect things I store them until packing begins. I also booked a meal & Fantasmic package purely because in the evening I know LM will be less tolerant to queueing. I’m also toying with the idea of booking the dessert and Wishes package. These are now just extras purely because I know we have to eat in the parks and these combine it with an experience to make it enjoyable for LM. I also now have a list of where is best to get a drink (just in case). I have also started my Disney inspired outfit of the days, starting with my A Whole New World dress from Black Milk Clothing.
It’s all starting to feel very real now! I’m on a spending ban to ensure I have a much as possible for while we’re there to make it the best trip ever. The planning part has actually been such a wonderful experience as I’ve made so many new friends. Sometimes it’s good to get a heads up on what to expect and to learn all the secrets… now if only we can catch characterpalooza…