Yeah, I've started my countdown. Yesterday I updated my iGoogle stuff to add a Disney tab full of Disney information. I barely have time to get through the iGoogle stuff I have on there now as it is, but I added a whole new tab just for Disney.
I've got plane tickets reserved, a car rental reserved, and promises from friends of a free week at a timeshare. We haven't reserved a hotel for our first night in Orlando yet, and I haven't bought theme park tickets yet.
I've found many, many Disney websites of course. Many sites that will help you plan your trip, blogs, websites, email lists, things that are free, things that cost money etc. I did cave and spend money on one website, but it was less than $10. I'm not sure if it was worth it though. The "personalized trip planner" doesn't seem very "personalized" in my estimation, but I guess I also bought access to parts of the website that I wouldn't get if I didn't pay. I hate paying for access to websites though, so I probably won't shell out any more money. I also paid for at least 1 Disney planning book etc.
Right now my frustration is trying to figure out which parks to visit on which days, and to figure out how many days we will actually spend in the parks, and what kind of tickets to buy.
We'll be staying off-site, and we will be spending some time with my mother and my husband's mother as well. They might come with us to the parks, they might not. Neither one of them as the stamina of a 21 year old. I figure we will also hit Old Town in Kissimmee, and Downtown Disney. I think getting the Park Hopper option is a no-brainer. I know that Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios close relatively early, and we might want to go somewhere after they close. Or we might do one park in the morning, take a break (naptime), and then go to another park in the afternoon/evening. Will we go to the water parks? Should we get the "no expiration option"? I don't know! ACK! My husband is not big on amusement parks, but he is doing this trip because he knows I want to. I want to bring our daughter there, while it is still free for her to get in, and let her have a week's vacation of lots of fun. But I keep reminding myself that he is not going to be having a lot of fun, and he would probably prefer not to be in Disney parks every minute of every day. We should probably plan for some non-Disney days too, or at least some down time at Downtown Disney or the Boardwalk or something. Like I said, Old Town is on my list.
When it comes to which parks to go to on which days... We will be available to go to parks Saturday through Friday. One source I read said to go to the parks in a specific order if you have a small child. Do Magic Kingdom last so the kid won't think that the whole vacation is going to be fairyland or whatever. Epcot is kind of boring, sort of, less characters, do that early on. Plus it's big so you don't want to do Epcot and MK back-to-back. Another source I read said don't go to a park on days when Magic Extra Hours are happening (unless you are going to those extra hours) because the parks are busier on those days. Still a third source actually broke things down and said the projected crowds are expected to be busiest at each park on such-and-such a day so you should go to park A on this day, and park B on that day etc....
And then there is still the decision to make about how many days to spend at the parks total and what kind of ticket to buy. Do we get a 7 day, park-hopper, no expiration ticket? or a 5 day park hopper ticket without the expiration option? Do we get the water park option etc??
Oh my! Overload completely!!! I really don't know how to figure this stuff all out. I can't really plan this out with my husband because it's too far away in his brain still. He will start caring about this about a month before we go. Sometime in August the light will go on in his head, and he will start to care. In the meantime, he has other things to do.
If anyone wants to post some comments about how to figure this stuff out, I'm "all ears".