• Claire Gell

Magical Holiday Planning

[In association with https://www.stationery-geek.co.uk/]

It’s safe to say that I'm writing this blog post with a heavy heart…

Last July when Lucy at Stationery Geek sent me a Magical Holiday Planner to try, I was thrilled, and I was full of excitement for my holiday yet to come. Our 2020 trip to Walt Disney World had been booked for two months and my official countdown had begun. But, only weeks from our departure date, I’m sitting with my (now scruffy) planner at my side and a sad feeling in my stomach, because we are not going to Disney World this year.

However, the good thing for people like me is that I genuinely really enjoy planning my Disney World holidays and a planner that I could use specifically for this task was something I couldn’t wait to try out!

When it comes to planning Walt Disney World holidays, I think there are roughly three types of people.

Type 1: They’ve not been before and they just show up.

Type 2: They do a bit of research, make some Fastpass+ reservations and show up.

Type 3: They spend the year before their holiday planning and re-planning the itinerary and have a lot of fun doing it!

I am Type 3, that’s why my Magical Holiday Planner looks a lot less pristine now than it did last year when it arrived. I’ve tried to look after it, but I’ve taken it everywhere with me so that whenever I had a free moment I could jot down ideas or news about ride closures and openings etc etc etc.

This planner is great for those who’ve never been before, as well as the itinerary obsessives like me. There are some pages dedicated to jotting down when you’re thinking of going away and for comparing prices with different travel companies – handy for keeping track of yourself when you’re shopping around for a good price.

Another handy set of pages is the “Essential Rides!” section, especially useful for those people planning a shorter trip – I always like to spend 2 weeks at Disney World and still don’t get everything done. It’s over 40 square miles, man! Get your family or group together and have a chat to find out what everyone’s Must-Dos are. If they’ve not been before, get an idea of which kinds of rides people enjoy the most. I used the “restrictions” line to mark whether or not my parents thought they’d want to ride each thrill ride – we’re all taller than 6’0 so thankfully ride height restrictions aren’t a worry for us!

As a Walt Disney World addict I have most of the rides, shows, and night-time spectaculars memorised, but for those less familiar or planning their first trip the “Parades & Spectaculars!”, “Shows not to be missed!”, and “Experiences not to be missed!” pages are perfect for your research stage and noting down the things you think your group will really enjoy.

I repurposed the “Other places to visit!” notes pages in the middle of the planner into a place for my itinerary drafting. I like to write-erase-write-erase a lot, which often makes a bit of a mess, this meant I could keep my favourite part of the planner clean and tidy…

The daily itinerary pages! They’re broken down into half hour increments so you can plot your plans for each day and also make a note of Fastpass+ or dining reservations. There’s a useful notes page on the right-hand side, which is great for seeing your itinerary and any additional info at the same time. Up until now, I’d used my daily notes pages to list which Fastpass+ reservations I wanted to try and get… but the COVID-19 outbreak happened before our Fastpass+ window opened (30 days before for people not staying in a Disney resort), so I never got to make them. Sad times.

The upshot is that I’m obviously gutted we’re not going to Walt Disney World this year, but, as always, I had fun making the plans. And it was nice to have a planner to do it in this time. Hopefully we’ll be able to rearrange our holiday to next year and I’ll get to plan it all over again, and then it won’t be long before I’m strolling down Sunset Boulevard and Main Street USA forgetting about this awful business and feeling very thankful.

p.s. Did I mention that the Magical Holiday Planner fits perfectly in my Woody Loungefly backpack? :)

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