I've been a cave lately and completely missed the fact that the October Walt Disney World Park schedule is about to be published! You know what that means...it's time to officially plan days! That gives me the best way to pick restaurants which is definitely the most fun (and most frustrating) of the whole process!
For those of you unfamiliar with WDW, you're probably thinking what's this crazy OCD chick talking about? The plan is to get the most "bang" out of each day and the only way to do that is to know what the schedule is. For example...On Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party days, the Magic Kingdom closes at 7 to non-party guests. We are doing two parties, but there will be more parties happening, so I don't wanna schedule a day in the Magic Kingdom only to be kicked out at 7 since MNSSHP is a private ticketed event! The scheduling process is one of the most delicate dances of the whole trip process!
On top of all that, one of the many perks to staying on Disney property is Extra Magic Hours (and I've had the on-property/off-property debate, so we know where I stand on that issue!), and Extra Magic Hours also have to be factored into the schedule to help maximize the day. But just because it might be Extra Magic Hours in Animal Kingdom, that means that the park still closes at 8 pm if its an evening EMH, meaning there is plenty of time to go Downtown shopping or what not. Or, for example, a normal Animal Kingdom closing night is 5, but a night EMH elsewhere, means another park is open till 11 pm or midnight (the joys of a Park Hopper Pass!!). Unfortunately, we've never made an a.m. EMH, but I have done a park opening ceremony and what an amazing experience that is! It will bring tears to even the hardest of people when at the Magic Kingdom the train pulls up and all the characters arrive (even me!). I can't even imagine what it's like for the random family that gets picked to open the park (and a bit of trivia, it's the only time of the day that the Walt Disney World Railroad train is perfectly centered at the Main Street Station and is the perfect photo op for at least the first 30 minutes of the opening of the park!). The other park openings are not quite as magical, but they have their own appeal just the same.
Other things to consider is the fact that fireworks can be at different times, some nights there can be two firework shows, crowd calendars have to be consulted (because god forbid I want to be in Epcot on a crowded day...the line for Soarin' is already long enough!), several schedules have to be made in case dinner reservations can't work out, it's not as easy as people think it is. Plus, I have to monitor the DisBoards to see which major tour groups are going to be there the same time as us and try to track their movements as well, so that we can stay well away! This is still my reasoning for why most people that go and have a terrible time is because they don't plan. You wouldn't go to Europe without planning! I've said it before and I'll say it again...Disney World is NOT Six Flags!
I usually come up with about 6 to 10 options and then at the 120 day mark when I can make dinner reservations, which ever plan works out best is the one that gets to live! Then, there is a rare occasion when the schedule has to be changed again, and you talk about a nightmare! But, that's why I only go to Disney World once a year (OK, not the only reason, the main reason is down to money), but it takes a whole year to plan a trip!
If someone where to call me and say, "you've won a trip to Disney World but you have to leave tomorrow", believe it or not, I'd probably say no! My nerves couldn't take it! I would have no restaurant ressies (and the food IS part of the experience and you're not going to get them last minute unless you're incredibly lucky, which I'm not). Then there is the weight issue, I've got 30lbs to loose and all my Disney vacation clothes are two sizes smaller than I am right now! Plus, you have to be of a certain physical strength to even manage walking around that place and, even when I am, I still end up in extreme pain by the end of the trip with swollen feet, blisters and it takes me a good month to get over it! I know nothing about the current guest climate (one needs to know these things...don't want a repeat of '99 and waking up to cheerleading squads every morning!). And probably the most important reason of all, I need tons of spending money! I have "I want" syndrome and my house is the showplace of that syndrome and I need new "stuff"!
So, in the coming weeks, I'll give you guys an inside look at what goes into planning a Disney trip, not just from the view of an Asper-girl with the added bonus of OCD, but in the way that makes for the best trip ever because I've had quite a few!!! My Disney mantra is this, if you have a bad time at Disney, it's your fault, not theirs!!
As a parting gift, I've found a clip on YouTube (god bless YouTube) of the opening ceremony, so you guys can get a a taste of what I mean, although it can't do the same justice as being there in person!