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We’re going to Disney World and I’m trying not to be a control freak.

Posted Aug 28 2012 10:29am

Photo from karmaloop.com

By the time you read this, we’ll be well into our final hurrah of the summer – our trip to Disney World.

For those of you who have been around for a while, you know that I have a bit of a Disney, um, problem. Let me tell you, it is just the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) vacation destination for a type-A OCD-er like me!

In case you’ve missed them, here are my Disney posts of old (and if you’re looking for tips, make sure to read the comments readers have left!) Call Me Crazy
The Happiest Place on Earth
I’m Baaa-ack!
Disney Trip, Part Two
Top Ten Tuesday – Disney Tips!
We’re Home!
Top Ten Disney Tips (Lessons Learned the Hard Way Edition)
A 10-Month-Long April Fool’s Day Joke (this one is only tangentially related to Disney, but it’s a classic that I link to whenever possible.)
I’m going to Disney World (and I’m going to eat. A lot.)

Which brings us to today – when we are actually at Disney World.

Believe it or not, I’ve done some things different this time around. The last two times we’ve gone, our kids were really young (Kate was 3 the first time, and then she was 5 and Sam was 1 the next time we went) and I had more time on my hands got a little obsessed with planning. This time, with older kids (aka no one in diapers) and some experience under our belt, I’ve done a lot less planning.

I know. I can’t believe it either.

Of course, I’ve done some… you will not see me leave Ohio without Advanced Dining Reservations complete (let’s be honest – I made them 180 days ahead of time) – so I have an answer to the most important question – where are you going to eat? I’m so glad you asked! We’re hitting…
Mama Melrose (with the Fantasmic package, which means we’ll have reserve seating for the end-of-the-night presentation at Hollywood Studios. That’s the only fireworks show we haven’t seen before, and I am excited about it!)
San Angel Inn . This is located in the Mexico portion of Epcot. We ate there the day after we ran that stupid half marathon , and I have been dreaming of the steak tacos ever since.
The Plaza Restaurant . This is a table-service restaurant that is new to us, but from what I’ve read, it is a hidden gem!
Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine at Hollywood and Vine. Sam is super excited about having breakfast with Jake the Neverland pirate and his friends Handy Manny and Special Agent Oso.
Tusker House. Our other character meal is going to be breakfast with Mickey, Donald and the crew at the Animal Kingdom.
Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Ohana . This family-style luau at The Polynesian Resort is new to us as well.

I must admit, deciding where to eat is one of my favorite parts of planning the trip!

Anyway, like I said, I’ve been taking things less OCD easier on the planning, and I intend to keep that attitude while we’re there. (Someone remind me of that, would ya?) We are going at a time that’s supposed to be less crowded than when we’ve been before (1s, 2s, and 3s out of 10 on the TouringPlans.com crowd predictor site, as opposed to 8s and 9s before) and I’m hoping that will mean I am less drill sergeant and more nice mom, since we theoretically won’t need a strict plan of attack to get everything in. (When Kate was three, we followed the “Dumbo Do or Die” touring plan. No, I am not kidding.) We’ll see how it goes.

The other thing I’ve done differently this year is to plan a few little extras. For one thing, the kids are going on a two-hour Pirate Adventure, where they’ll take a boat ride and search for hidden treasures with other kids and the Disney crew. In the meantime, Andy and I have reservations for a leisurely breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe . Don’t worry – they have breakfast cocktails. I checked.

I’ve also made reservations for the kids at the Pirates League experience , where they’ll be dressed up as pirates for the day. It’s basically Bippity Boppity Boutique without the tulle. I haven’t told the kids about it yet, but I think they’ll be excited.

I do have one other secret I’m keeping from the whole family. We are taking a Fireworks Cruise – basically we’ll have our own pontoon boat and driver, and we’ll cruise around Epcot and end with an up-close view of Illuminations, Epcots end-of-day fireworks show, which is one of my very favorite things. I am so excited to surprise the kids and Andy with this!

Finally, the other major difference in this trip and those before is… my trusty iPhone. Having it in my pocket will be so handy – I’ll have all our reservation numbers, schedules, etc at all times. I won’t even need the picture album containing excel spreadsheets and miniature maps that I’ve carried around in the past! I’ve got our schedule on iCal, and the WDW Lines app ready to go so we can see current wait times at any moment. I’ve also got the official Disney Parks app, which has just about anything you’d need to know about the parks – maps, wait times, restaurant information, hours of operation, and even where to find the characters at any time! I think it’ll be game-changing to have all that stuff at our fingertips.

So… that’s my plan for a non-OCD (relatively speaking) Disney vacation. Any last minute words of wisdom?

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