Planning Our Disney Trip Using Planner Worksheets

We went to Disneyland!

Our family hadn't been on a Disney vacation since 2015 and hadn't been to Disneyland since the year before that so we were seriously overdue for some pixie dust. I was also woefully behind on all the new stuff happening at Disney so when we decided to plan a January trip, I had to reacquaint myself with the parks.

One of the most overwhelming things about doing Disney vacations these days is that I have to balance the Disney thing with the mom thing. So I have to be aware of the peak ride times, early morning hours, secret menu items, and new park apps but I can't forget about snacks and naps and sunscreen. Not quite as simple as when I used to roll out of bed, hop on the CP bus, and wake myself up at MGM with a little Rockin' Roller Coaster. 

To make the planning process easier, I made some worksheets so I could create a notebook on my iPad to plan out our trip. If you've looked around the site at all, you might have noticed that I sell organization page bundles. I owe you a big fat post explaining what all of that is about but the short story is that I am an organization addict and I use charts and lists for eeeeeverything. I also am big on importing PDFs into Goodnotes so I can make digital notebooks on my iPad which made making new vacation planner pages a no-brainer. 

Why do I need to plan everything out like this?

(1) My brain is very much like a colander these days and if I don't write thoughts out, I lose them.

(2) My middle child's life goes more smoothly if he can have a vision of what is going to happen and when so he likes having a set schedule he can look at. 

(3) Once stuff is down on paper, I can see potential problem areas and plan accordingly. For whatever reason, I can't quite do that when it's all bouncing around in my head. 

These are the four pages I made:

/// Trip at a Glance - This was a general overview of the week so I could keep big things like our flight information and general goals for the day in one place. 

/// Park Planner - This was the page we relied on. It has a place for park hours, an hour-by-hour itinerary, weather prediction, notes for the day, and a spot for our top 5 goals. The goals, in particular, were helpful for the kids to focus on when we didn't quite make it to one thing or another because we always managed to check off the big goals.

/// Who Can Ride - This was a nerdy page for me so I could graph out the kids' heights with the ride height requirements for the attractions. I could have just as easily written a short list of what each kid wasn't tall enough to ride but that's just not as fun.

/// In the Parks - We didn't use this page as much on the vacation but it served as a checklist for the kids to glance out so they could see if they had everything they needed for the day before we left the hotel room. Again, this one might depend on personality - my middle kid likes to have lists and written instructions he can follow whereas my oldest kid doesn't like to plan her outfits until she's thrown all of her clothes on the floor that morning.

Get the planner pages

Here are the pages (free to download!) in case you have a vacation to the parks coming up. They aren't Disney-specific so they might work for other vacation spots, although of course I designed them for our vacation. I also used the packing list, housesitter, and pet sitter planning sheets that are part of The Basic Keep Your Life Together organization bundle I sell so if you're really in planning mode, you might want to check those out as well. 

Coming up next: day one at Disneyland!

2 comments

Carly

Thank you so much for your comment! I’m definitely going to try to do more YouTube videos soon – I just need to get myself organized so I can get on camera.

CarlyFan49

I love your organization tools, so cool. I really hope you do a youtube channel to go along with this blog. You can even monetize the YouTube channel with ads and also do a plug for your family tree genealogy printouts in your videos. You would get much wider exposure with your printouts that only having them up on blogs and etsy/instagram/facebook. It’s also gotten way easier on YouTube to block troll comments and ban certain troll commenters and even add moderators to your comments section from your fan base. I think you would have a lot of success on YouTube because you have a very high IQ, a soothing and overall pleasant sounding voice, and a wide range of vocabulary such that you always sound knowlgable and never monotonous in what you are saying. I’d love to see you do videos on how to plan vacations together as a family, how to organize and pack effectively, how to optimize sleep schedules during trips, how to handle meal planning, favorite books to read on vacation, and what you see as the keys to success for optimal vacation happiness.

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