Go To Planning Tools?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Go To Planning Tools?

What are your "go to" planning tools for a Disney Vacation? Are they all electronic these days or do you still purchase guide books? Do you keep a notebook of lists or is it all in a file?

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Joined: 08/01/2012
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I do a little bit of both. I like the Unofficial Guide to Disney and the Dining Guide and I use my spreadsheet to plan each day. It's the control freak and secretary in me. laugh

Magic Days's picture
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We use to use the unofficial guide but I didn't really see much difference year to year. Kept finding things that had not been updated. Our new first stop is WDW for grown ups. Also like the info on all ears.

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Both, although I don't do a lot of planning when I know I'll be solo. I buy the refill for my Deluxe Passporter every year even if I don't have a trip in the works. The Passporter is my Disney bible & is my main reference book. I use easyWDW's crowd calendars for knowing which parks are the best parks on which days. I also have some apps on my phone that I use although those are used mostly when I'm at DW not before. I do use a calendar app (note calendar - android) to keep easyWDW's crowd calendar, park hours, emh, parade/fireworks schedule & any adr's I have with me & handy without having to carry an extra card or piece of paper.

Magic Mirror's picture
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All the above! biggrin

I usually type it all up in the computer but I keep a journal by my bed in case I have any late night ideas. I rely mostly on the internet but Amy and I love to hit the bookstore, grab a coffee and flip thru the travel books.

taratru's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2012
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Um, this board? silly

I read other articles and blogs as well, mostly the DFB.

I have the spreadsheet as well, which I use the heck out of. awesome

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Kristen K.'s picture
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taratru wrote:
Um, this board? silly

muchlove muchlove muchlove

crazycatperson's picture
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Here, of course.

I also have an ancient Unofficial Guide (probably close to 10 years old) that I consult occasionally - plenty of things haven't changed at all in the last decade - and also a subscription to their website for more up-to-date information on crowd predictions, restaurant menus, park hours, and so on.

Also the official WDW website.

And all my files and records are here on the computer until I print stuff out just before we leave on vacation.

Kristen K.'s picture
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As much as I love that I can find everything I need about Disney online someplace - I love having a real book for a guide, and a pen and paper to start my planning. There are just some things that I'm still not comfortable doing online, and to me it's so much easier to flip through a notebook than to have to scroll through any electronic format. I love real honest to goodness books.

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I use the MyDisneyExperience app to get up to date info on fastpasses and wait times (the posted wait times which could be different from actual wait time). I use this now and since I can go to the parks whenever I want to, I can pick and choose what I want to do when I go the parks.

h0ney227's picture
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Joined: 07/30/2013
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Mandy- is this MyDisneyExperience app free?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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h0ney227 wrote:
Mandy- is this MyDisneyExperience app free?

I'm not Mandy - but Yes!
It is free, and it's the management tool of choice for the whole MyMagic+ experience

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/plan/my-disney-experience/mobile-apps/

h0ney227's picture
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Thanks!! Going to download right now!

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rylin's picture
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I checked out the Unofficial Guide from the library this time- I remember for our first trip when I was 8 years old my sister (11) and I practically had that thing memorized Smile I then bought a copy of the Unofficial Guide Color Companion- it's not quite as massive, and it has lots of pretty pictures! I guess I really picked that up more for fun than for actual planning purposes, though.

For online planning/research/staying up to date on the news, I use this board (obviously!), Disney Tourist Blog, DFB, Disney Hipster Blog, and Touring Plans. I was also listening to a lot of podcasts for awhile, but haven't been staying as up to date on those.

For apps, I use the Lines app from Touring Plans, and the My Disney Experience App. I also have a free app for park maps, which is nice.

I keep all my confirmation info from Disney, and my lists and plans that I've made, in a binder decorated with Mickey stickers because I have no shame muchlove

oldtink's picture
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I really would like an app that will be my portable spreadsheet. I have a large excel sheet all color codes, but I print one for everyone and if it's lost I can't reprint while there. It's on my tablet too but that's left in the room soooooom I want something to put on my smartphone that doesn't cost me (going to spend the money at Disney). If anyone has anything other than Disney Experience that works for them, give a shout!

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MandaLynn's picture
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I make my own detailed spreadsheets (inspired by the ones JeffC has posted!) which are great for planning general days and then moving things around as the park hours, EMHs, etc become available. Especially now that FPs as well as ADRs are made in advance, I want to be able to see everything at a quick glance. This becomes our cheat sheet when we are in WDW. I use this board for ideas, All Ears for menus and general park info, and My Disney Experience to put it all together.

oldtink wrote:
I really would like an app that will be my portable spreadsheet.

I don't know if this would help you, but I save my spreadsheets as a PDF and email them to myself. Then I can open the email on my phone and save the PDF to iBooks (or whatever you use if not an iphone). Once you've opened the PDF in iBooks, it saves it for future use. You can't edit this since it's a PDF and not an Excel file, but once you are in the parks, I doubt you would want/need to do that anyway! Hope this helps Smile

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I use the Passporter & easyWDW.com for what little planning I do. Allears & Mousesavers get looked at too but aren't my primary soruces of information. I have a calendar app on my phone that I only use for Disney that I enter the parks' information (hours, emh, etc.) in to for each day & any adrs I have.

oldtink's picture
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Yeah, my phone calender is a pain to use and hard to read. The spreadsheet email is good,but again I can't alter it. I tried to enter Trip it, but wow! there is a lot of work to it. I will look into the Passporter and easyWDW. Thanks for the tips.

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"At some point in life you have to decide if you're the Tigger or the Eeyore."...Randy Pausch

"George Banks and all he stands for will be saved. Maybe not in life, but in imagination. Because that's what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again." Walt Disney

alicemouse's picture
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oldtink wrote:
I really would like an app that will be my portable spreadsheet. I have a large excel sheet all color codes, but I print one for everyone and if it's lost I can't reprint while there. It's on my tablet too but that's left in the room soooooom I want something to put on my smartphone that doesn't cost me (going to spend the money at Disney). If anyone has anything other than Disney Experience that works for them, give a shout!

I take a photo of my spreadsheet a day or two at a time and then I can zoom in on the photo if I need to check time for something. Somewhat unrelated, but I also photograph my pin boards before I leave home so I can check each day's haul and pull out pins that fit my many incomplete sets.

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