Believe it or not, planning a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort with another Disney Enthusiast can be more complicated than going with a first-time visitor. After all, Disney Enthusiasts have established touring styles and traditions while first-time visitors usually leave the planning to the Disney Enthusiast’s knowledge. All of my previous visits have been with my immediate family, so we had similar approaches to touring and shared traditions. My upcoming visit will be with a friend/work colleague/fellow Disney Enthusiast. We’ve been in the planning stages since February and are fast approaching our arrival date next month.
Based on my experience, it’s important to do the following when planning a trip with another Disney Enthusiast:
Set a budget. This goes without saying, but setting a budget can be a bit more complicated if you’re traveling with friends or co-workers instead of your immediate family. Be sure to discuss how much you’re comfortable spending on accommodations and meals before making any plans.
Discuss your touring and travel styles. If one traveler prefers to stick to a strict schedule and the other prefers to be more loosey-goosey, it’s good to get that out in the open and plan accordingly.
I happened to run into my travel companion’s sister and brother-in-law at a work event and was quick to query them about her touring style. “She’s a task master!” and “She won’t even let you go to the bathroom if it means deviating from the schedule!”. While some people may have been worried by that feedback, I sighed in relief. With regards to our touring style, we’re two peas in a pod!
While it’s important to discuss touring styles, it’s essential to discuss any daily routines that may affect your visit. Does one traveler prefer to shower at night or have an involved make-up or hair routine? Knowing this beforehand will save time.
Link your My Disney Experience accounts. When I travel with my immediate family, I’m the planner extraordinaire. My family sits back and goes along for the ride as I plan Advanced Dining Reservations and make FastPass+ selections. When traveling with a Disney Enthusiast, be sure to link your separate My Disney Experience accounts so that you can both plan and see the plans the other traveler has made.
This was my first experience linking to another My Disney Experience account and boy did it screw everything up! I was only able to view our plans via the app and even that was spotty. Luckily, Caroline, of Magical DIStractions Vacations, volunteered to fix the problem on my behalf. It’s been working like a charm ever since!
Prioritize and go in with a plan. Do you have similar priorities? Maybe one traveler has her heart set on riding the revamped Soarin’ while the other would prefer to ride Spaceship Earth ad nauseam. Or maybe both travelers want to try new restaurants during this particular visit. Once you know what your priorities are, it’s easier to make plans.
Delegate certain portions of trip planning to a specific individual. Depending on your daily life, one traveler may be a better candidate for planning certain portions of the trip. If one person is an early bird, have them wake up at 7 A.M. EST to make FastPass+ and Advanced Dining Reservations.
Last, but not least. . .
Communicate. Modern technology has made communication easier than ever–your fellow Disney Enthusiast and travel companion is only a click away! Be sure to touch base on a regular basis to share any planning suggestions or coordinate last minute plans. For example, if you’re concerned about eating at a buffet AND a family style restaurant in the same day, be sure to let your travel companion know!
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