Saturday, November 28, 2015

Disney World Part 3: The Travel Binder

I am kind of a planning geek.

And Disney is like the Olympics of travel planning. I swear I did more work to plan our 8-day trip to a Florida resort than I did to plan our 2-week drive around the coast of Ireland.

And I needed a place to keep all that paperwork. Hence the binder.

I did not take a picture of my binder but I just used a regular old 3-hole binder from the office supply store. You can go all disco and get a Disney-branded one if you want. I took various documents and print outs (more on that later) and slipped them into top-loading clear plastic sheets made for 3-hole binders and I was off to the races.

My binder was arranged to tell the story of our trip start to finish.
  • Flight details from New York to Orlando,
  • Master Disney reservation sheets, printed from My Disney Experience, showing all hotel details, dining, FastPasses and special tickets,
  • Resort map,
  • PhotoPass locations for places not in the parks, including our resort,
  • Day-by-day calendar of all park hours for the week we were there, with all dining reservations noted for each day, so we could see each day at a glance,
  • Park maps and touring plans (including FastPass times) for each park in the order we planned to visit, so Magic Kingdom map and touring plan followed by Epcot map and touring plan, etc. I also noted dining on the touring plans.
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party guide,
  • Flight details from Orlando to New York,
  • Extra plastic sheets for anything else that might come up.
I also included the following in my binder:
  • Starbucks gift cards to use on the trip,
  • Envelopes filled with tip money for the hotel staff,
  • List of addresses for postcards,
  • Luggage tags,
  • Various personal things like my husband's anniversary card and the nail wraps I wore at Disney.
See my wraps?
My biggest source for printouts like park maps and park hours was the very awesome blog WDW Prep School. You can find it here. The single most useful printout was the day by day calendar. The funnest were the Mousekeeping envelopes. You don't have to buy her binder supplies to print out anything but these resources will really help you get prepared.

I pulled out my touring plans and park maps each day for my park bag. Those did not survive the trip!

Maybe I overdid it, maybe not, but everything I did helped smooth the way for a trip that was truly awesome!

Next week: On the ground at Disney.