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When a Travel Agent Plans Their Own Trip

When a Travel Agent Plans Their Own Trip

I spend every day thinking about someone’s Disney vacation, excited about the fun activities they have planned or a special milestone they’re celebrating.  What’s it like when I plan my own trips?  We have a trip coming up so I thought I’d share some of the thought processes we go through.

Dates
As my own boss, I approve my own vacation days.  When we start to get an idea for a trip, one of the calendars I check against is my work calendar.  Are there any dining reservation openings or final payment due dates while I’m gone?  I need to be sure I have time set aside to keep current on these important dates.  For our upcoming trip I had to do this twice, as we had to make a major date change less than two months out.  Yes, we lost our Frozen Ever After Fastpasses :'(

Hotel
We take two kinds of Disney vacations – DVC villa trips and resort hotel trips.  When we take a resort hotel trip, we prioritize unique room types or hotels we haven’t stayed in recently.  We also do split-stays frequently, which means more hotel experiences in a short time.  We may start a trip in a moderate hotel, then finish with a few days in a deluxe hotel.

This trip we are staying in a Garden Room at the Boardwalk.  These two-story Club Level rooms only sleep 2 adults, so we are  one year away from our family size outgrowing these rooms.  I’ve hoped to stay in these rooms for a few years and I’m excited to finally have the opportunity.

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Boardwalk Inn lobby

Planning
As I mentioned above, our two types of trips are also planned differently.  Our DVC villa stays are usually planned a year or two in advance.   Our resort hotel trips are usually planned a few months out when we have an opportunity to get away for a few days.  These more spontaneous getaways have a fun factor that differs from the months of anticipation our DVC trips have.

Dining
We’re notorious dining reservation changers.  Ironically, when we book dining 180 days in advance we usually make few changes to our plans.  When we plan a few months in advance we constantly book and cancel dining reservations.  We aren’t seeking the “perfect” plan, rather we change our minds about what we’d like to do.  Since we have less time to brainstorm the trip our plans are constantly evolving.

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Expedition Everest queue

New and Improved
We prioritize new experiences on each trip we take.  Our last trip was 9 months ago but so much opened or changed that we are taking another trip just to experience these changes.  Here are some of the new experiences we’re looking forward to…

Disney Springs – We’ve only had one quick visit here since it began its transformation, and missing it due to days of rain on our last trip was our biggest regret.  We’re excited for new shopping, food, atmosphere, and parking and navigation.
New restaurants – We intend to eat at Skipper Canteen (oops, had to cancel this after it interfered with the Once Upon a Time announcement!), Rizzo’s, and Homecoming Florida Kitchen.  We’re excited for some new experiences, but whether a restaurant is new or just new-to-us it’s always good to try something different.
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! – Hollywood Studios is going through so much change that we’ve completely missed a fireworks show between the one that ran in January 2016 and the new Christmas show that debuts this year.  As a parent to a toddler, I secretly appreciate that this show is running early at 6:45.
Once Upon a Time – The new projection show in the Magic Kingdom is a surprise addition to our new experiences list.
Animal Kingdom – Several years ago we experienced nighttime in Animal Kingdom, both from early sunsets and from evening Extra Magic Hours (which no longer occur.)  The atmosphere of Animal Kingdom at night is so unique from the daytime, and nighttime is even better with the entertainment and visual improvements they introduced over the summer.  Hopefully I can hit the single rider of Expedition Everest because it’s in its best form at night.
New rides – Frozen Ever After and Soarin’ updates opened since our last trip.  We’re also looking forward to the finale scene upgrade to Gran Fiesta Tour.  As Muppet fans we’re also excited to check out The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History.
Restricted Admission – The Disney Visa meet and greet in Epcot has a new location and we love what we’ve seen of the design.  The DVC Lounge in Epcot opened after our last trip and we’re pumped to stop by.

When I write it all out it’s so clear why we booked our upcoming trip.  As I mentioned in my Trip Report for our January 2016 visit, we experienced a lot for the last time.  Now we’re taking a trip that we’ll have experiences for the first time!  Pardon me while I go check on a few dining reservations…

 

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