Let’s say you want to visit Disney World in the future, but how do you know where to start? What if you, for whatever reason, do not want to use a Disney Travel Agent for your trip planning? Or maybe you just prefer to have an even more in-depth plan so you never miss a beat on your vacation. That way you can have every minute mapped out. Well, here I will explain how you can create your own Walt Disney World Planner Spreadsheet for your trip. Don’t worry, I will give you a nice Walt Disney World Planner Spreadsheet template to start with! You can modify it to fit your needs as well.
Walt Disney World Planner Spreadsheet
First, Download your Template
Being a Disney Travel agent, I know exactly what goes into planning my own vacation but also someone else’s Disney vacation. That’s why I was able to make this Walt Disney World Planner Spreadsheet for you.
You can keep it how I have it but you can also download it onto your computer or print it.
Make sure to check out each tab because it isn’t only a planner. There’s a checklist, a list of what to pack in your park bag, and more!
Why do you need to plan?
Some people who go to Disney World expecting to “wing it” may find themselves in way over their heads upon arrival. If you do not plan well enough, you might miss out on a lot that the resort has to offer. You definitely do not want to go home disappointed. This is especially true for those who are not used to Walt Disney World, even if you are used to Disneyland in California.
Disneyland in California is catered to those who live their lives spontaneously. However, Walt Disney World is the exact opposite. Why? It is all about the Advanced Dining Reservations, Fastpass + reservations, hotel stays, flights, and transportation. The nature of the Walt Disney World Resort doesn’t really allow for spontaneity unless you happen to live nearby and visit for a few hours a day.
Even then, you might need to occasionally plan far enough in advance for reservations at restaurants or good Fastpass + reservations. A planner spreadsheet will also help you keep all this necessary information in one place. That way you aren’t scrambling through your park bag or wallet for information later on.
Is there such a thing as “too much” planning?
Well, yes and no. You are still on vacation and should relax as much as possible. However, as I mentioned previously, you cannot have a full Walt Disney World vacation without planning a good chunk of your trip before you even step onto resort property. My general rule of thumb: plan as much as possible ahead of time. Then, be prepared for changes and relax while you are on vacation.
So, I suggest mapping out your days and filling out this spreadsheet before you leave for your trip. I also recommend keeping a copy of the spreadsheet on your phone or even a paper copy in your wallet or purse.
When is the best time to fill out this spreadsheet?
You should complete your planner spreadsheet as soon as you have your Fastpass + reservations booked (60 days in advance if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel or 30 days in advance if you are NOT staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel). By then, you should also have your flight information and Advanced Dining Reservations made as well. In fact, the Fastpass + reservations should probably be the last things you add to your spreadsheet.
As soon as you know any other information regarding your vacation–flight information, transportation, dining reservations–you should add them right away. Ideally, you will be gradually filling out this spreadsheet as you plan your trip. That way, you will have everything you need to know–reservation numbers, times, locations, etc.–all in one place.
What kind of things am I planning for?
Great question. This is where things start moving! Here is a list of things you will want to include on your Walt Disney World Planner Spreadsheet.
- Hotel Reservation Information: You will need to have your confirmation number, check-in time/date, check out time/date, etc. You will want to write down which hotel you are staying at, whether onsite at the Walt Disney World Resort or not, and how to get there from the airport. If you are not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, be sure to write down the address. If you happen to know your room number ahead of time, you should write this down on your planner spreadsheet as well.
- Flights: Be sure to write down your flight number, airline name, whether you are checking bags or doing carry on. Also, make sure you have a plan if you are taking multiple flights. You will need to know as much information as possible about the airline, flight, airport, and gates so you do not miss any of your subsequent flights because you got lost or confused in the airport. If you are supposed to have assigned seats on your plane, make sure you know where those are. On the flip side, you may be flying with an airline like Southwest where there are no assigned seats, but your boarding order depends on when you check into your flight online. This usually means you have to check into your flight exactly 24 hours before your scheduled departure time. The earlier you check-in within those 24 hours, the earlier you get to board and choose your seats. So if you care about where you are on the plane or you are traveling with kids, be sure to check in as soon as possible.
- Rental Car and/or other Transportation Info: If you are planning to drive a rental car around during your Orlando vacation, make sure to book it ahead of time. There are several locations to do this online. Make sure they are credible. Disney and Universal websites are good resources. However, if you are planning to use The Walt Disney World Resort’s free transportation services, you will want to know what times those operate and which hotels are connected to each transportation vessel.
- Opening/Closure/Departure Time: Do not forget to include all these important dates and times.
- Your Must-Dos: Make a list of all your Must-Do experiences and attractions for you to do on your trip.
- Day-by-Day Schedule: List which parks you are visiting on what day, as well as dining and Fastpass reservations.
- Show Times: There are bound to be some shows you will want to see on your trip. Just to ensure that you never miss them. Research these showtimes beforehand and write them down.
- Advanced Dining Reservations: Advanced Dining Reservations should be made around 180 days before your trip. Some of these reservations can be difficult to book, so booking them as early as possible is the best.
- Hopeful Dining Experiences: There are some restaurants that you cannot book in advance, like most quick-service food locations. So do not miss out on these just because you forgot to write it down.
- Fastpass + Reservations: As soon as you successfully book these reservations 60 days in advance (if you are staying at a Disney Resort Hotel) or 30 days in advance (if you are not staying at a Disney Resort Hotel).
- Free Time: Yes, you even have to plan your free time. But not as much as you have planned everything else. Basically, all I am saying here is: leave room for free time and relaxation. You are on vacation after all!
Planning a Walt Disney World vacation may seem overwhelming but it is really easy once you break it down. You can spend a couple of months before you leave slowly chipping away at your Walt Disney World Planner Spreadsheet and I promise it will not be as bad as you think.