We took a family vacation in June of 2013. It was our first time to Disney World!
I had been to Disney when I was 5 - 1 day at Magic Kingdom with my mom. And I had been in Sept of 2012 for a conference - which made me realize that we needed to come as a family.
And while the trip wasn't without times of frustration and whining, it was really a great week of family fun.
We've been trying to figure out the best time to go back. We were thinking of going when school got out this year but all the crowd tracking websites I obsess over indicated that crowds would be pretty high at that time in 2016 (Star Wars Weekends and unofficial Gay Days are going to overlap).
On a whim, I checked the dates for our spring break. And they look good!
So the family is going back to Disney!
And we haven't told the kids. Last time, we told them from the moment I started planning. It was a family mission. This time... I think we might want to save it for Christmas. Or maybe not even tell them until it's time to go!
I have to admit that I get caught up in over planning when it comes to Disney. We have a subscription to Touring Plans and I will tweak plans for each park over and over and over again as we approach trip time. I have made spreadsheets with info on the resort, dining options, which park we will visit on which day. I am eager to apply the learning from our first trip there - and the learning Jeff and I did when we went without the kids last year (and they still don't know- shhh!). But all my over planning means I can let go once we get there. Plus, over planning now just keeps me excited for it!!
And we wouldn't do this planning without Hi Ho Vacations and our awesome travel agent, Katie!! All I had to do was choose dates and resorts. She put together the quotes for me. Then I could easily choose what we wanted. Next, because we booked right before the 180 day window, I went ahead and figured out dining and she made all the calls/pinged the website/got us the reservations we wanted - I had a message this morning that we got everything we requested!
The focus on the next 6 months will be on the budget (because we use Hi Ho, I can make payments to them instead of having to pay everything up front), we will be pushing Disney movies at home, and it's time to get more fosued on being able to walk and walk and walk! Time to put together a new Disney Training Plan!
And if there are any gift opportunities coming up... Disney gift cards are VERY welcome! Or cash towards the trip. Also VERY welcome. Just don't tell the kids why you're giving them a Disney gift card until Christmas, please!!
I think the over planning also helps me justify the cost of a vacation. Vacations cost money. No matter where we go - a weekend just a few hours away, a week a few more hours away, a full blown Disney vacation - it's always going to cost money. That's the stressful part for me. But the planning, knowing the fun and memories and experiences we will have together... that makes the expense worthwhile.
Be prepared - I'm in Disney focused mode for the 6 months!!