I think our anticipation took my husband by surprise. After all, he told us, “I’ve been to Disney before”. HA! Yeah, so have I buddy.He went to Disney, years earlier and had what he thought was a fun vacation. The problem was that he thought since he had already been to Disney he didn’t have any reason to go back. He thought it was a one time thing. Been there, done that. Um. No. Like any good Disney fan, we all know how the motto really goes – Been there, done that, GOING BACK!!! It’s obviously a real thing – I have a Disney World magnet and a license plate holder that tell me this.
So approximately a year or so in advance we (I) started planning. I mean, how else is a person expected to pass the time while they wait for their dream trip to Disney to happen? Extensive planning helps pass the time. I don’t think he believed me when I told him I was going to pull the trigger on a hotel reservation. He certainly thought me buying airline tickets was a joke. He probably didn’t believe me that there were calendars to work on, price comparisons to be be done, reservations to be made, spreadsheets to be created, deals to be found, height restrictions to note – you get the idea.
THEN the magic day hits – the day you’ve been waiting for! NO, it’s not the day you leave for vacation! It’s the 180 days out mark. You can now wake up at the butt-crack of dawn (or better yet, email your personal concierge cast member and ask them to do it for you) to get on the phone with Disney and start calling in for your dining reservations. This may have been the moment when my husband thought for sure I had flipped my Disney lid. To explain to a non-Disney freak that yes, you are actually making a dinner reservation for a meal you will not eat for another 180+ days takes some fortitude. There may have been some eye-rolling from both of us. From him because he couldn’t believe this was a real conversation he was having and from me because I’m having to explain why this is so important.
Back in the day, you’d arrive at the Magic Kingdom, walk to King Stefan’s Banquet Hall, ask for a lunch or dinner reservation and skip happily away a few minutes later with a cute little reservation card. That day is looooooong gone. Every now and then you might get lucky and have a last-minute, same-day reservation at the Castle (and many other full-service restaurants) fall into your lap, but it is pretty much a rare occurrence. These days you are happy if you call on 180 days out and actually get through on the first try, much less hang up with your desired restaurant/date/time.
I love everysingleminute of this type of planning. I have also saved much of my past plannings from old trips. Old calendars, with days loosely planned. Restaurant receipts so I can look up the menu to see if my favorite meal is still offered. I’ve always said that planning a Disney vacation is (at least) half the fun of the actual vacation. I love pouring over guidebooks with my villagers. I love to see their excitement as we watch the Disney vacation planning video showing them a little taste of the Magic we’ll be experiencing.
I love the anticipation.