The Planning Resumes

And just like that it’s time to get back to the planning! Our Disney countdown ticked it’s way into the double digits recently and now finally feels like our trip is near! We’re into the 80’s now and getting ready to make FastPass+ reservations. I’ve pulled out my binders with our prior plans, spread out the park maps, opened the spreadsheets (and transferred most to Google Docs).

We’re still dealing with height restrictions. I’ve measured Diva again and she’s just sticking around 42″ mark. I’m certain she won’t grow 2 more inches in the next few months. This really isn’t a big problem, but I’ve decided that I’m going to look for a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage. There’s so much hype I need to give it a shot. We’ll need to do Rider Swap and Disney has made some changes in recent weeks to it digital and require use within what I’m seeing is 60-70 minutes of the first ride. I feel like that is going to cause me (or Grumpy) and Diva to rush from whatever they’re doing. We have really enjoyed the ability to ride a specific attraction and then send the other parent back with Peanut later in the evening or even the next day we visit the park. We also spread a little bit of Disney magic when we weren’t able to ride again by handing off our pass to a family that could use it instead. Oh well, we’ll either manage the second ride back to back or one of us will have to lose the ride.

Other than Flight of Passage I’m aiming for a Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+. These are the two hardest to get right now so I’ll prioritize those then look for other highly coveted ones on Frozen and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I’ve actually never had any trouble getting Mine Train for multiple days in our trip and at preferable times. We didn’t attempt Frozen the last two years because Test Track and Soarin’ were more of a priority. We had hoped to ride after breakfast at Akershus but failed in our mission as the meltdowns before our meal caused delays in our plan. We will ride it this trip. Finally!

I printed my favorite FastPass+ reference chart from WDW Prep School. I find that it’s easiest to have the chart in front of me just to make sure I’m not missing something, especially some of the new-to-us attractions.

I also keep Kenny The Pirate‘s calendar of operating hours and his recommended parks. Our trips have been a combination of his suggestions and use of Extra Magic Hours (which are not suggested parks due to the volume of people that visit). Disney has discontinued posting their official operating hours calendar. I’m very disappointed because I loved having the entire month view on one page. It was super easy to read. The calendar from KTP is weekly, but has a nice reference section at the bottom with important dates.

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I took a look at the latest update of the spreadsheet and reviewed park hours last week. Then I turned to Grumpy and said: “Who did you put in charge of planning this trip?” I then looked back at my prior spreadsheet and wondered why the heck I changed some days around. It must have been for dining reservations. I tried to move around some, but on our 180-day mark, I nagged some good reservations at either perfect (11:30 lunch is my favorite!) or the only options (Backyard BBQ has a scheduled start) and there is no re-organizing of our hard to get finds. I do have a reservation finder set up through Touring Plans to see if I can at least move our Be Our Guest lunch to another day.

Although I’m not sure why I made changes I’m actually pretty happy with our plan as it’s set up just looking to make a couple tweaks. Once our FastPass reservations are in place that will fine tune the trip.

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Speaking of schedule changes, Southwest emailed me as I was working on some of the planning to say our flight schedule changed. It’s a little change, about 15 minutes later.  I like taking the late flight home because we can get an extra day squeezed into our vacation, but late flights sometimes mean delays. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all goes smoothly on our departure day since we’ll be flying into an airport 2 hours from us, rather than the one just 6 minutes down the road, so we’ll still have more travel time ahead of us once the flight lands. The flight change prompted me to check the flights again (something I do regularly anyway). The price I booked is still the best deal.

I also checked on our rental car reservation and the price went down by a few dollars so I updated the reservation to take advantage of the savings.

I’m at what I feel is the most exciting part of the pre-trip preparations. Making our daily plans has me daydreaming about what our days will be like and all the fun we’ll be having around the parks. Our trip finally feels so close!

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