First up...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Today was my big day! I never work on my Birthday, so this weekend will be when I start packing for Disney! I'm usually more organized than this and have it all done by now, but I think it's because flying takes more preparation and, since we're not flying this time, my prep brain is not working as fast. Flying is a very stressful thing for an Asper and it takes ton of mental prep and considering how work has been the past few months, I don't have the mental juju to get through a flight anyway.
But alas, enough about me, on with the show...You've made it! It's weeks or even days before your trip and you think you're ready...but you'd be wrong. There are some finite details that make the OCD'er not only feel better, but make for a better, more controlled trip.
I spend months loosing weight because my vacation clothes are a smaller size and I usually also spend that time on the treadmill, but I have done a crappy job of that this time. One very important thing you ought to know...I've talked and talked about how big Disney World is, but it never really occurs to anyone (myself included) that a big chunk of that you end up walking on. Even the Magic Kingdom, which one would think is a small park, is deceptively large in size. By day 3 of your trip, you're lucky to be walking without limping or without the aid of prescription drugs! It's painful on your feet, legs, back, your entire body, so please, if you do nothing else, prepare yourself physically!
Since I don't get to the store much, when I do in the months before we go, I always pick up little items for the trip, trial size items and ziploc bags (if we're flying, I put my clothes in them because I can't stand the thought of airport security touching my stuff). I make sure I have enough camera stuff and adequate batteries and chargers for everything (although I do keep most all that stuff from previous years in one location).
I buy coupon holders to use as storage for all the receipts from our trip. Each divider is a day and it makes it really easy to keep track of expenditures and of the resort shipping receipts that you need when you pick up your packages from the gift shop. Plus, it's a great and inexpensive way to store all of those receipts in case you might need them (and I have had to look at old receipts before, so it's not as odd as you might think).
I take all of our info, schedules, dining reservation numbers, hotel information, park hours, Food and Wine Festival information, and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party information, put it on 4x6 cards and have them bound at Kinkos. We call it our PIB, or Personal Itinerary Book. I also add pages for logging expenditures so I don't go over budget and can tell how much cash I should have left, pages for daily notes and comments, as well as shopping lists, photo ops I don't want to miss, etc. It takes time to create a PIB, but it's just figures and dates. The hardest part is coming up with a cover.
Disney also has a thing called pressed pennies...where you put in two quarters and a penny (of course) and the penny gets pressed into a flat shape with a Disney design on the front and back. There are pressed penny machines all over the park and they are all different. It's been years since I've done this because I had most all of them at one point, but I might consider doing it again. It's a process preparing for though. You have to pick out really pretty pennies or clean up dirty ones. You need enough change (and a great way to keep change is in M&M tubes). Just remember, if you are flying, be really careful with that much change through security! Masses of metal tend to set off the metal detectors and show up on scanners, so prepare to have your bags searched (which is another reason why I quit doing it).
But there is always a monkey wrench in even the perfect schedule...never fails. I ran across mine on Sunday while preparing our PIB. I was doing the routine checks of my schedule against our ressies on the Disney site and all appeared to be fine from a dining aspect, but when I checked the park hours, I was royally screwed! At first I thought I had my dining ressies mixed up and I tried to fix them, but the more I tried to fix, the more I kept loosing, which sent me into uber panic mode. I double checked our Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets and realized I had booked our second party on the wrong day from the schedule (at some point I got my schedules mixed up and have been studying the wrong one. Even OCD's get things mixed up sometimes).
I got the schedule fixed, somehow managed to get my dining ressies straightened out, and got a large chunk of the PIB done. But it was definitely a pretty hairy day! But it's all in a day's work for an OCD'er!
The closer times gets, the more details get checked and rechecked and checked again. Mental prep starts and I get short-timers at work. It's not out of character for the very grumpy pants that is my personality to be completely high-jacked by a humming, singing mutation of me. The day before leaving is crazy and very little sleep is had by anyone, but finally the day arrives, I hug and kiss my little munchkin who gets to stay at home and be babysat by his gran, and hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to Disney World we go!!
And that's how I do it...Disney Planning 101, OCD style. The important points are just research and prep. Being an obsessive planner makes for a better trip and a more prepared mind when it comes to the actual execution of the details. Plus, having something other than the actual trip to obsess about makes time fly by a bit quicker!