Hey! So this post should really have gone live earlier today but unfortunately I didn’t get time to finish it (I spent the evening sewing a blue Cinderella inspired skirt). As such its a little late on this evening, but even if it had been tomorrow, its still technically 3 weeks to go, because we actually fly on the Thursday. If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that I’ve covered the preliminary planning (accommodation, flights and park tickets) and then pre-planning for the things you want to do (character dining, photo passes and fast passes). This week I want to share with you my actual physical planner, with our actual plans!
At first, my planner didn’t start off as an actual planner. Instead it started off as the odd print off here and there. However as my planning grew (especially with the fast passes booked) it seemed like a good idea to get some sort of organisation. As such I created this planner, with a folder I already had kicking around and a whole bunch of freebie stuff.
The first page is a calendar, but only really of the days we’re on holiday. I googled for an April 2015 calendar and then chopped it down until it only had the days I was interested in. I then printed it off and completed it – in pencil of course, in case there were any changes! After that came the maps. I’d found these a week or so earlier, but I’d printed them off and stapled them together in various forms. I had a map for each park – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios etc. and also ones for Downtown Disney and Universal’s CityWalk. Each one of those got a separate pocket in the folder so I could see them easily. Along with that map, I’d also downloaded some Character Meet maps from Kenny the Pirate. I slid these into the same pockets (Disney only), but back to back so I could see both sides.
After the map sections, come actual planner sections. These were free to me, because Amy sent them to me, but I know she originally bought them off Etsy. I personally wouldn’t have bothered buying something like this and probably would have just made a few pages in Word, but I have to admit they do look lovely and give a sort of uniformity to the planner. I printed one for each park and slid those into separate pockets too. The Ride Plan page is really the only one I’ve used for each park, but it contains space for Park Opening Times, Crowd Predictions, Fast Pass Reservations, Ride Wishlist and then Notes. This was really all I wanted.
As I began to fill them in, I realised that it would perhaps be better to have a few more for Magic Kingdom, as its the one park we have plans to be in for more than one day. After completing my planner page for Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, I printed out a further three copies of the Magic Kingdom one (four in total) and completed these too. It seemed natural to place them in date order and so almost unintentionally I was making a day by day guide.
Because of this, I decided I would like a similar thing for my days in Universal and also at Kennedy Space Center. I went searching the internet for Universal Orlando planners, but basically drew a blank. There was something on Etsy which I did actually buy (it was less than £2) but to be honest it was rubbish and not worth the money. However it gave me a basis and a place to start, so instead I chopped it around myself and edited it, making it be what I wanted it to be. I made one page of solely Harry Potter rides and attractions -in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure – and two pages of all the other rides and attractions – one for Universal Studios and the other for Islands of Adventure. I then printed these off and gave them their own pocket, marking out the days in my planner that would be designated to them.
After that I researched into the Kennedy Space Center. We already have our tickets and although they’re not for a definite day, we do have one in mind for visiting. I looked up how far away it is from where we’re staying and also some directions to follow. I printed off a complex map too so at least we have a rough idea of what there is to do and how long it might take us to look around.
Finally that just left the things like dinner reservations, flight info and accommodation. Although I already have the information written down elsewhere, I figured I may as well complete it, just so that it makes one whole complete planner – and perhaps a souvenir of our trip afterwards. So now I had a page for almost every day that we’re away, not including the day we fly, the two days after we arrive and the two before we leave. I realised it was likely that we’d probably spend another day in Magic Kingdom at some point, so I made a blank page and listed all the other rides and activities I wanted to cover, that weren’t already FastPass’d on other days. I figured this would give me a good place to start for what was left to do and what we wanted to do. With every day we spent in Magic Kingdom I could mark off anything we’d managed to do, so by the end of the holiday I could see what was left.
The whole thing was really simple and easy to do and since doing it I feel a lot more organised and ready to go. Whenever I think about something I need to do or want to make a note of, I just go to my planner and add it there. Since making it I have gone through it several times and even sat and gone through it with my mum. I’m pretty proud of all the work it contains and fingers crossed it will give me all the information I need when we’re away on holiday!
Next week I’ll be updating on the shopping we’ve done for holiday – the girls shopping trip to Meadowhall and Chris’ birthday present clothes. It will include the dresses I’ve most recently bought from Hot Topic and also the clothes I’ve made for us to take with us! Please come back next Wednesday to see what else I have to share with you!!