Thursday, February 19, 2009

Helpful Tools For Planning Your Trip

I would like to introduce and welcome a very close friend of mine to the blog, Trese D. Trese and I became friends 12 years ago when our sons were in Kindergarten together. We have remained friends ever since and have adopted each other as sisters. We rewarded ourselves in December of 2007 with a "MOMS ONLY TRIP" to Walt Disney World. It was absolutely great. Although we missed our family we had the best time. It was nice not having to worry about everyone else and think of only yourself. I highly recommend going with a friend or spouse at least once. Below Trese has given you a lot of information on a few of the tools we use to prepare our trips. I know you will find these resources helpful. Take it away Trese!

Hello everyone, my name is Trese and I am a Disney World fanatic too! I find it most useful to be very prepared before you go to Disney and then have a way to be organized once you get there. In order to preplan, be sure to check out Disney’s own website for any information they may have. To begin with you can order a free vacation planning guide. I then recommend getting one or more travel guide books specific to Walt Disney World. I will review three of these guide books here. When you have your trip all outlined head back to Disney’s website to order your free customized maps for each park you plan to visit. With these maps you can have a trail laid out for you with each of your destinations numbered in the order you want to visit.

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World is one travel book that is helpful in planning your trip. This book is more of “Disney publicity” but still has some helpful tidbits as to timing to visit certain attractions and nice information on the attractions at each park. The book also features details about each of the Disney World Resorts. The other nice feature with this book is that it has beautiful color pictures of resorts, park attractions, other attractions such as golf, and Character pictures. This is really a great feature if you scrapbook to add to your own pictures of special moments. The scrapbook feature is the primary reason that I would buy this book.

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World is a really great book to pick up insider tips from those who have been there to experience Disney World firsthand. This not only has the book’s author’s opinions on everything from restaurant reviews to ride descriptions but also from people who have written in about their individual experiences. This is a very thick book and not necessarily meant to be read cover to cover. I bought some sticky tabs that I could write on to divide my book into the sections that were important to me and that I would want to access once at the resort or individual parks. There are numerous web sites listed, as well as a special one you get when you buy the book, that provides you with additional information on numerous topics. This has a wealth of information and is especially useful for the first time traveler to Disney World.

PassPorter’s Walt Disney World is by far my absolute favorite. It is not necessarily as in depth as The Unofficial Guide but has all the information you could ever need in a concise format. This book is in a spiral binding and is already divided into sections. Especially helpful is each park section as they each include their own map. One feature that I especially like with this book is that it has ratings from the each of the author’s as well as an averaged score from book readers who have sent in their own comments all compiled on a scale of 1 to 10. With regard to each of the rides there is a good description of what to expect and then when appropriate a toddler tip, kid tip, or teen tip. Additionally there are all types of planning charts available in the book. My absolute favorite feature is in the back of the book where there are pockets for you to write down information about your journey, room, and then one for each day of your stay. This came in very handy to record information about reservations, flights, things to do each day, etc. Then in the pocket you can store receipts and any small mementos you want to save. On the back of these pocket charts is a place for you to record your memories. We recapped our day before we went to bed each night and now can remember each day in detail. This is a book I would purchase for each and every visit to Walt Disney World.

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