Vacation Planning 101 – Part 2 – Dining by Corey Applegate

It’s been a while since Vacation Planning 101 – Part 1 was published. Better late than never – here is Part 2!

When I was young, my parents didn’t really know the value of table service restaurants and dining reservations.  I’m sure there are those of you out there who are shuddering at the thought that I’ve been on close to twenty trips without dining reservations.  With a family of six and one income, I’m sure you can appreciate why it was easier to eat breakfast in the hotel, bring our own lunch and have a quick service dinner. In fact, I was seventeen before I boarded a plane, stayed in a hotel on property, or ate at a table service restaurant (Crystal Palace).

All of this changed recently, and I’m honestly not sure I can pinpoint an exact time when we decided to branch out and give table service a try.  I know that the first time I made reservations on a large scale was for Spring Break in 2012.  There were somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 people in our group and that was a lot of reservations that I had to make.  Last summer we took it easy and there were only five of us, but here we are again with a large scale group.

Now, I have to give credit where it is due, so the spreadsheet I use to plan our vacations, and those of my clients, was made by my husband.  The whole thing is color coded, and since there are different people doing different things for our next trip, I actually have it broken down by family, and each sheet tells me how much each family owes for their portion of the trip.  As of today, I have reservations at Whispering Canyon, Liberty Tree Tavern, Tusker House, 1900 Park Fare, Akershus, Chef Mickey’s, Biergarten, and Sci-fi Dine in Theater.  I also have reservations for my nephew to get his first haircut at the Harmony Barbershop, and for my daughter and niece to go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

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Screenshot 2014-04-15 18.32.35For your trip, regardless of size, I recommend a spreadsheet like mine.  I email it right before we travel, and then everyone can print one if they choose and carry it with them.  This way, I can pull it out of my purse to verify my reservation times, what restaurant I had scheduled that day, and I have my confirmation number just in case.  I know that you’re thinking that the My Disney Experience app does all of that for me.  However, I had a terrible time getting the app to work the last time I was in the park.  It refused to believe that my password was correct even though the same password worked on my laptop and I had a lot of trouble with internet service.  It certainly never hurts to have a backup.

That’s all for now.  Stay tuned for Part 3!