What order do you plan in?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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What order do you plan in?

When I plan a vacation I pick my dates, then my hotel, then my ADRs.

Everything else moves around those points. Now, honestly, on the past few vacations I've been moving around and changing my ADRs right up until the weeks ahead of my trip. That tends to toss the whole plan in the air an freak me out, but I'm trying to learn how to be more flexible this year.

In what order do you plan? Do you have fixed points, or are you flexible? Is there a point in time that you say that's it and make no more changes?

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I plan in the same order as you do. First we pick a date, then a resort, followed by ADRs. Sometimes I try to pick our ADRs based on where we are staying. I have changed them as close as 3 days out from our trip. I do usually end up changing one or two for most trips. However, since we usually do not plan our days at all, changing ADR's is not a big deal.

Mase's picture
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Yeah... same here as well in the same order. But it also depends on if we have an Annual Pass. That definitely dictates when we stay.

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We are pretty flexible about the whole trip. We pick a date but there is usually no reason behind that date. We are less likely to give up the resort we want.

angels444's picture
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I plan the same way. Date, there is no planning on the hotel it is always the same, then the hard to get ADR's. I always plan Le Cellier, Ohana and Tusker for breakfast, before the park opens. This year I added BOG for dinner. Once I have those I plan our parks. We go to Epcot on the day we have Le Cellier, Mk on BOG night, so on and so on. Then I base my other ADR's and park days around those days.

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Belinda's picture
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We pick the dates, then the resort. After I study the park hours I make a few ADRs at the park we plan to be in that day. I always like to start and end our trips at MK.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Mase wrote:
if we have an Annual Pass. That definitely dictates when we stay.

Interesting! How come having an AP changes your choice of Resort?
I'm not sure I would have thought of that being a factor.

finngirl's picture
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We pick a general time we want to go, then start looking at airfares. When we find a good deal, we book that first. Then the hotel, then anything else that needs booking. By being flexible on the air tickets, we saved $400 on our upcoming flights alone.

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1. Decide whether we're going this year. It's not a given - hubby is not as big a fan as I am.

2. Pick a date range - this year's was October 12-November 11; we got October 20-27.

3. Put in a request with RCI for a timeshare exchange in our date range.

4. Start work on the touring schedule based on the crowd and schedule estimates for our date range.

5. When we get a timeshare exchange match within our date range, confirm the reservation.

6. Revise the touring schedule based on the crowd and schedule estimates for the actual week we'll be going.

7. Make ADRs.

8. Purchase transportation (air or rail) and park tickets.

9. Work on travel lists (prep, pack, petsitter, etc.) using the last trip's lists as a starting point.

10. Obsess about the upcoming trip (we all do this, yes?).

11. Make Magical Express reservations - a first for us this year, since this is our first time exchanging into a DVC resort.

12. Revise touring schedule and ADRs based on changes in the crowd and schedule estimates, or just because I decide switching days around will make for a better vacation.

13. When the final park schedule for the week is released, finalize our touring schedule based on the new information and the availability of last-minute ADRs (in other words, if we can't get into a desired restaurant on a different date, forget it and stick with the original plan).

14. Start working through those prep and pack lists. When the last thing is checked off...

15. Go to WDW! clapping

angels444's picture
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10. Obsess about the upcoming trip (we all do this, yes?).

12. Revise touring schedule and ADRs based on changes in the crowd and schedule estimates, or just because I decide switching days around will make for a better vacation.

13. When the final park schedule for the week is released, finalize our touring schedule based on the new information and the availability of last-minute ADRs (in other words, if we can't get into a desired restaurant on a different date, forget it and stick with the original plan).

awesome I do all of these.

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JoAnn C's picture
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Since I've been going with my friends, the dates and place are the same each year (the week before Thanksgiving at Pop Century). Since I go a couple of days before they arrive, I've been making the ADRs. We discuss which restaurants to repeat from previous years and I throw in some new ones and I make the ADRs. Our park days are planned around the ADRs.

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Spook's picture
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I also plan when we're going to go first then the resort. It's usually around the same time of year (early December) and we stay at a Value resort. Up until this coming trip (which we are switching up alittle by staying in a moderate resort and going early November) We have never done ADRs before. We're not big fans of having to be somewhere at a certain time. However, we got a free dining plan this year so we made ADRs and whichever park the restaurant is in, thats the park we plan on being at that day mickey

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For me and due to the job, I have to pick dates first, then best deal on AP discounted hotels, then ADRs then flight. Unless there's a giant sale on airfare it's usually last. Because values are the best Pricing I usually stay at Pop. We're doing AoA in December because it's new. If I'm going with adults we'll do moderates for their first trip unless they want to save a few bucks. (Pop in October with newbies) one day soon I'm going to book AKL savannah view and have a blast. I might rent some DVC points to do that...one day we're going to become DVC owners. Just can't swing it right now.

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Mase's picture
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Kristen K. wrote:
Mase wrote:
if we have an Annual Pass. That definitely dictates when we stay.

Interesting! How come having an AP changes your choice of Resort?
I'm not sure I would have thought of that being a factor.

Oh... not where we stay... just when. We are always for the most part going to stay at AKL. Most of us can't justify the point values for some of the other places to stay at when we love AKL so much. So either way... we still pick a date first. But I guess if you really wanna look at it... were always choosing AKL... so I guess in the end we are really picking resort first, then dates.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Doh! I totally had misread your "when" as "where"

subvetss's picture
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We always found out when the next Fl. resident rate was in effect then picked a value resort, starting with Pop Century, that had 5 nights open and cost under $400.00 and booked. No other plans than that.
That's what being old, retired and living in Florida can do for you.
Joe

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Mase's picture
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Kristen K. wrote:
Doh! I totally had misread your "when" as "where"

lol... its ok. But it did make me rethink our order... so all good! lol

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It's posts like yours Joe that make me think we should become some of those "annoying Canadian snowbirds" when DH fully retires. I would love to spend enough time in Florida to be able to pop in and out of WDW when a deal came up.

Thanks to all the posts about seeing other resorts, we are also planning on doing that in October too. I can't believe we've never stopped at the Poly, or AKL, etc. eek

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Allie's picture
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We pick the dates, hotel, a tentative plan of which parks we'll do which days, and then base our ADRs off of around where we plan to be. This trip I've added ADRs later on but haven't cancelled or switched any last minute.

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We pick the dates were going to go first, then decide what resort we plan on staying at. Never have done ADR's as of yet. Depending on what park we go to, we figure out where we are going to eat on the bus or monorail ride over from our resort.

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We usually pick what resort we want to try first then we work on the dates and it seems those can change right up til the time we book it. Once we are booked we then pick our ADRS based on where we are staying and what order we want to visit the parks.

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subvetss wrote:
We always found out when the next Fl. resident rate was in effect then picked a value resort, starting with Pop Century, that had 5 nights open and cost under $400.00 and booked. No other plans than that.
That's what being old, retired and living in Florida can do for you.
Joe

And it worked for you & Jan Joe so that's all that matters! awesome

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Dates, flights, hotel, tickets, adrs, planning, packing and generally jumping up and down several times a day saying 'we're going to Disney'! yay yay

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campbell87 wrote:
generally jumping up and down several times a day saying 'we're going to Disney'! yay yay

I love it! biggrin awesome clapping yay

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campbell87 wrote:
Dates, flights, hotel, tickets, adrs, planning, packing and generally jumping up and down several times a day saying 'we're going to Disney'! yay yay

The same for us, typically. This trip we made a ADR and flights together before the hotel because the ADR was special and with this trip at the holidays, we didn't want to chance NOT getting this one special ADR during our trip!

Oh - the ADR was for Victoria & Albert's!! biggrin

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