Preppers, Planners and Disney Dreamers live inside a cycle that only their loved ones know that they live in. It’s a cycle that begins the moment they get home from a Walt Disney World vacation and they start dreaming about the next time that they get to go back. The cycle length is different for everyone, but, for many of us whose trips are at least a year apart, the different phases of the cycle are complete states of mind that can be clearly defined.
The cycle begins in the post-trip phase when you’re still in a haze of peak joy and you are slowly integrating your brain back toward reality of the daily grind. This phase slowly gives way to the next as you can only dream of your next trip in the distant future while you go about your day as usual. Next is a phase that’s in-between this one and all of the planning phases, and ultimately the vacation itself.
This is the “Pre-Booking Phase”.
This is both a frustrating and joyous place to be. You’re on the cusp of starting to make your dreams a reality. You know that you’ll be booking the vacation soon, but you are probably waiting on a few things to line up in order to do so. Those things could be aligning vacation time at work or school, starting a new job, moving, making sure you’re financially able to go, a new addition to the family, or anything else that prevents you from booking today.
During all of those days of reality, you’re reading about Walt Disney World news and participating on message boards and social media. You’re learning about new things to do, and you’re thinking about how you’d plan your next trip differently. You want to use all of this information and plan your trip, and it’s frustrating because you can’t wait to get into the planning phases. It’s also exciting because you know that it’s all coming soon.
You can probably tell, I’m in the pre-booking phase.
Everyone reading this knows about that feeling you get when you’re in the Disney Bubble. There is also a certain feeling that you get from knowing that you will be going back and the trip is on the horizon. For planners like me, the planning phase of advanced dining reservations, fastpasses, and picking park days and activities is an extension of that bubble into my home.
When you’re in the Reality phase of the cycle, Disney news and social media consumption are just a part of your every day routine. When you start slipping into the Pre-Booking phase, the social media and news start taking on additional meaning. There is a different kind of bubble when you take part in online discussions, help others plan for a trip, and give advice while you’re actively planning your own trip. It’s like you’re part of the club again, that club called “I’m going to Disney World!”
So for those who are in the Pre-Booking phase, I get you. I’m here to help you contain your own excitement and make smart decisions. Don’t rush it. You’ll be going Home again soon enough.
I am a 37 year old father of three from NJ with the Disney Bug. Disney is all about family and I write with the family perspective in mind.