Disney Planning Update: Where I’m At

This post may be mostly for my benefit as I try to organize my thoughts on what I’ve already done and neaten up the spreadsheets, so I apologize for the repeat information.

Referring back to WDW Prep School‘s 6-step process…

Step 1: Pick a Date- I’ve talked about this in two posts: here and here. Our dates are finalized now and the trip has actually already been booked! We went with 8 days in late January.

Step 2: Choose Where to Stay- I’ve also talked about this twice as well: here and here. We decided that a value resort would be right for us given that we don’t take full advantage of the amenities and a lower cost will allow us to go this year. I booked the Pop Century Resort, and we are excited to check it out.

Step 3: Make a Daily Plan- I discussed our potential daily plan in this post. However, I have further refined it. Here’s the spreadsheet:

Disney Date Configuration

I found differences between WDW Prep’s recommended days and Touring Plans crowd level predictions. So, I summarized them in a table. TP stands for touringplans.com and WDW stands for wdwprepschool.com. MK is the Magic Kingdom, EP is Epcot, DHS is Disney’s Hollywood Studios and AK is Animal Kingdom. For touringplans.com, I recorded the level  as “low” if crowd levels were between 1 and 3, “moderate” between 4 and 6, and “high” between 7 and 10. For WDW Prep, I translated her “suggested park” to “low”, “moderately suggested” to “moderate” and “not suggested” to “high”.

I did all this so I could compare the two. I trust both sites, so I figured days that they agreed upon could be taken very seriously. I translated these back into numbers (1 through 3) for convenience purposes and averaged them.

We want to go to MK for 3 days, Epcot for 2, Animal Kingdom for 2, and Hollywood Studios for 1. The highlighted configuration shows are plan (as of now). Out of the three lowest dates for DHS, two were at the end of the trip. I’m the sort of person who likes to “save the best for last”, so DHS goes first. I like how we sort of scale up in the beginning- DHS, AK, Epcot and finally MK. And then we take breaks from MK with AK or Epcot.

Those of you who have been following along will have noticed that I switched an MK and an Epcot day. So now on the day we’d potentially need to leave early due to a football game, we are at MK. I was hoarding super low crowd level days for MK, but I decided that given the margin of error with crowd prediction, there isn’t much difference between a predicted MK 2 and MK 3. I therefore gave up the MK 2 day in order to gain a full day at Epcot.  MK morning hours are more important due to the high volume of rides…so we can do a LOT on a low-crowd day at MK before leaving at 2pm. And I won’t feel compelled to return to the park in the evening since we’ll have two more days there. We’ll leave early and chill at our hotel. Actually since it’s around the halfway point, it may be a good laundry day. We could also go check out the Art of Animation resort (since we can walk there from Pop) and/or watch whatever movie they are showing that night by the pool at our own resort.

This post has become longer than planned, so I’m turning this into a two-parter and stopping here!


One thought on “Disney Planning Update: Where I’m At

  1. Yay! That’s so exciting that you’ve booked the trip! I thought getting a customer binder was some serious commitment, and I guess I was right 😉 Hope you enjoy pop century! We did.

    I love to see your planning process. So much. I’ve never put that much thought into a trip and it really inspires me to plan more carefully in the future.

    Yay for 2 full days at Epcot! It’s my fav :3


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