I’ve done it. I can’t believe that I have, but I did. I made a frickin’ spreadsheet for our Disney vacation. The reason for the cursing? This is so not us!!! Disney, yes. Spreadsheet, no.

To be honest, we’re the family that books our vacation time, packs our luggage, and only books where we are going, literally the night before. The kids LOVE travelling this way, and so do we.

But, this time around, it’s not the case. The kids are a little older now, (11yrs and 9yrs) and we are going to Disney for the last time – until the grandkids. This is our vow. And only now, because my daughter has the opportunity to perform there, including being part of a Magic Kingdom parade. How could I say no?!

So, it’s 8:30am, the kids have left for school, and I’m going against every grain in my soul and making a spreadsheet for our trip. I’m even ordering groceries to be delivered to our resort for easy snacks and breakfast. I’ve become my “evil” organized alter ego.

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I know though, that even though I’m going to have a clipboard and printables for every member of our family, we’re still going to have a great time!

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along this agonizing planning process:

1) Have groceries delivered upon your arrival! Yup, we’re going to do it. And, I’ve included a flat of water as well. Disney doesn’t seem to mind if you bring snacks and water into the park. Why pay $3 for a bottle of water if you don’t have to?! P.S. You can get cups of water for free at all food and beverage stands.**

2) Fireworks – Book a hotel close to the Magic Kingdom. You can watch the fireworks from some of the rooms – especially great if you have little ones to put to bed and/or if you want to avoid the crowds!

3) Dress Up clothes – Buy your children their dress up outfits BEFORE you arrive. We always take a side trip to a department store so that they can pick out their favorite character (or if you are really organized buy online before you leave for your trip)  You’ll see many children dressed up at the park. Buying branded costumes before you enter Disney, means you are saving BIG money!

4) Souvenirs – If you do decide to purchase something at Disney, remember that you can have your packages sent back to your hotel room so that you don’t have to carry them around.

5) You can buy booze at many of the parks – super important after a long day with the kiddos, lol!

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to use your CAA or AAA membership to purchase discounted park pass.

Featured Photo Courtesy: Iain A Wanless