To make things easier, there are plenty of resources, both free and paid, that will make your planning easier.
First off, I would suggest (and most would agree, even if they aren't in the business) that going through an Authorized Vacation Planner can help with many decisions that you may not even think of. I've used many in the past, and I still suggest to friends and family to use them. Of course, I'd love for all of my friends and family to use me (as well as those fans who are now following my Blog! :) ) but honestly, any of the
and Adventures destination, or one of the theme parks. That is the best way to begin.
After that, it's completely up to you. There are countless books, countless websites, and even more ways to make it a special time. Our favorite books include The PassPorter guides, Frommers, Fodors, and The Undercover Tourist. A good read (although it does have some comedic false info in the book) is the Unofficial Guide. The Hidden Mickey's books are also fun to read (and can be a great scavenger hunt to do when you are at your destination...more on that in a later post). I'd suggest one of those, or any one you are comfortable with, and definitely read it. Disney (especially Disney World) can be intimidating to the first timer. It's so big, and so spread out that you can easily get to the end of your well earned and deserved vacation and end up feeling like you didn't get all that you wanted to get done. Worse yet is the feeling that you went so fast and so furious through the parks that you wore yourself out while on vacation! That's like the total opposite of a vacation!! Take you time planning now, and you can avoid that.
There are also amazing online sources. If you're reading this blog, then you probably found some, but I'll include my favorites here. The best sources for unbiased info are many of the blogs or bulletin boards that are available. DisBoards, DisDads, Disney Food Blog, PassPorters Blog/Forum, and AllEars are some of the top on the list. Additionally, most of the Authorized planners I mentioned above have blogs or links within them to various boards and forums. That's a great place to find advice, ask questions, and even find discounts you may not have known about if you hadn't checked. Explore what you can and see what you can find. It never hurts to ask other Disney people how, when, where, and what to do on your vacation, whether you're a veteran or a first timer.
The last source that I'll mention (but certainly not the last source available to you) is the info directly from Disney. First and foremost, get a Disney Planning DVD. These are free through Disney and provide a wealth of information at your fingertips and include all of the Disney Experiences. Also, watch your local TV listings for the different Disney Travel Company offerings on the cable channels. These shows (Disney Behind the Scenes, Hidden Disney, etc.) can offer some great insight into the inner workings of the Disney parks and have even helped me, a Disney veteran, find some new and exciting things to do. The Disney website also can offer a wealth of information. Check all of them out
**Quick Tip! A good friend of mine...another Disney Freak like myself...has been able to get special discounts emailed to him just because he's been on the Disney email list. I've not gotten any, but he's been able to get such great perks as free dining, second night free, and room upgrades just for getting on the mailing lists.
All in all, if I could give you three pieces of advice when getting ready for your vacation, it's this. 1) Plan, 2) Plan, and 3)...well...PLAN!! You won't regret it, and you'll have a blast doing it!
Until next time, Have a Magical Day, and never stop working toward your Enchantment Destination!