How Do You Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation? Let’s See Your Spreadsheet!

Yesterday, Jackie asked us all to reminisce about our favorite memories and photos from a Disney vacation and it got me thinking about a trip that we took way back in 2009. It wasn’t our first visit, but it was the first visit for our son and more importantly, the first after I found the DISboards, which led to a plethora of discussions and trip planning…and a spreadsheet.

The Official July 2009 THREAD!!!, filled with DISers traveling when we were, was very active. The thread was so active in fact that we ran out of room and had to start a Part 2. Even after 11 years, I still chat on occasion with folks from that thread and a few years after this particular trip, got to hang out with two of the families at Walt Disney World.

This trip was, of course, before the era of My Disney Experience and Fastpass+, but with a week-long trip…and end get this…the Deluxe Dining Plan (!!!!)…there was still plenty of planning that needed to take place.

Enter the spreadsheet. Yep, I dug back into my Excel archives and found my 2009 spreadsheet in all its glory.

Don’t judge. I know that 90% of you that are reading this have, at one time or another, made a spreadsheet for your Disney vacation.

My work of art was mainly focused on food, because with three sit-down meal credits each day, it had to be.

It took me a second though to figure out the color-coding, but then I remembered our homemade t-shirts. Based on the spreadsheet, West visited Ariel at the Magic Kingdom (in his royal blue shirt) on August 1st and we hung out at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with our red Lego Star Wars inspired shirts on July 30th.

Aside from the, now necessary, restaurant and Fastpass+ planning what else is on your spreadsheet? What other things do you plan for?

As you get started on that spreadsheet, be sure to head to the DISboards where you have some great discussions with other uber planners like me. I wanted to share some of areas I like to frequent when heading to Walt Disney World:

  • Doing the Happy Dance! subforum – this is where you can chat with other DISers traveling to Walt Disney World the same month as you
  • Budget Board subforum – learn how to save money FOR (not during) your trip
  • Creative DISigns subforum – DISers will help you create that custom t-shirt

And you can’t miss:

Of course, if you book your vacation with Dreams Unlimited Travel, their experts will help you plan that perfect Disney vacation! You may still want a spreadsheet though.

Tom is the host and producer of the DIS Unplugged: Disneyland Edition podcast, plus Disneyland Editor of The DIS. He enjoys traveling with his wife and teenage son. At this point, their favorite destination is Alaska, with a FIFTH cruise there planned for the Summer of 2019. In his spare time he volunteers with Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, and help found his son's former Cub Scout Pack. His favorite Disneyland attraction is Space Mountain.


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