Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Adventures in Big Family Vacation Planning (part 4)

The hotel choice is always a big one for any trip, but especially for Disney. Once we decided where to stay, we started to look at our dining reservations.

However, we thought we knew who was coming on our big trip, but apparently we didn't get everybody! A few weeks after we had settled the dates of when we were going and after we had made our dining reservations (more info on that in a bit), my mom and brother started talking about going.

Then my cousin and his wife started asking questions. Before we knew it, we had added more hotel rooms for them and added them to our dining reservations!

So now we're up to something like 23 people coming for portions of the long trip.

That's a lot of people to organize for meals!

When Husband and I start our planning, we look to the park hours of operations as a starting point. We have a big ole spreadsheet that is color coded and everything! Every day we're there has a column, and each hour of the day has a row. We start with the park hours and mark those, plus the Extra Magic Hours for each park. Each day one of the parks is open early and one is open late so we try to arrange our schedule to make one of those extra times in the park. You can ride a bunch of rides in those extra hours when (in theory) the park is less crowded. We also pay for a membership in TouringPlans.com, a website that helps us in the planning process.

It may seem like a bunch of work, but it really is fun for us and the family! The schedule of the park hours allows us to choose which day to tour each park.

We use this schedule to figure out where to eat and when.... but that's for next time!

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I may have to steal your idea and make my own like this. This might be easier than the one I used last year.