I’ve mentioned it before here at DADventure Disney – planning a family Walt Disney World vacation is a part-time job. Don’t believe me? Read what Fatherly.com recently said about it!
Setting yourself up for success rather than stress is a BIG part of the planning process. In a previous life, I was a Corporate Trainer for some big international companies. Part of the training (beyond email, sales forecasts and in-house databases) would be stress relief.
A lot of those tips for keeping yourself in a positive light at work are quite applicable for planning your Disney trip with your family.
Here are some of my favorite tips for, as Sebastian says, setting ‘da mood’.
#1. Unclutter Your Planning Zone
A cluttered desk is nothing but a headache – piles of paperwork blowing in the air-conditioning, discarded kids toys, empty water bottles, 2,274 charging cables, empty bill envelopes, and this morning’s unfinished bagel.
What about all of that says “Happiest Place on Earth”?
Take 5 minutes before you jump into restaurant reviews and clean up your space.
Whether it’s an office desk, the kitchen table, the back patio or laying in bed – give yourself a clean space to do your planning magic.
#1a. Keep the Disney Mementos To A Minimum
I know – you’re proud of your Disney retro McDonald’s toys or the beanie babies of every Disney Princess, and I’m sure you have more than a fair share of Funko Pop!
But they can be clutter too. Choose two or three items to keep in view that will (as Marie Kondo would say) spark joy!
#2. Play Inspiring Music
If you’re planning at night – do not play soft music. You WILL fall asleep. However, you don’t really need to link up heavy rock for Disney planning either.
If you have Amazon music or Pandora – ask Alexa (or do it yourself, if you’re so inclined) to play “Disney’s Hits”. They have everything from Cinderella up to the most current Aladdin and Lion King soundtracks all mixed in. Another family favorite is to play “Disney Princess Medley Radio” on Pandora for a nice mix of more current Disney music (Moana, Lion King, Frozen, Big Hero 6, etc.).
If you’re at your laptop, hit up YouTube. There are two amazing things to look for with the perfect background music. Try out different “Area Loops”. They are background music from different sections of the Disney parks. I really enjoy the Fantasyland Area Background Music loop from the Disney’s PARK BGM Channel.
The other loop I think is fantastic is the music from the Mickey’s Magical Express bus rides from the Orlando Airport to your hotel.
No joke, I’m listening to this as I write this piece tonight. I listen to it all the time at work, too – just for background noise.
#3. Remember The Joy Of Your Own Handwriting
I love a good spreadsheet. Apps and websites are fantastic. I use them all in my planning.
But, there’s something special about writing in an actual notebook that makes things more ‘real’ for me.
Almost like a quill to parchment – I love the lined paper, the sound of the pen scratching on the pad, the flipping of the pages to find that one note you know you made about that Animal Kingdom colossal cinnamon roll versus the Gaston version at Magic Kingdom.
I love all of that. Not to mention there are a seemingly endless supply of Disney-inspired designed notebooks right now.
I currently am using an R2-D2 hard cover journal. I’m 44, I need every excuse I can find to buy new Star Wars stuff!
#4. Don’t Plan Angry
Have you ever done really great work, on anything, while you were negatively emotionally charged? Ever do a fantastic work report while you were sad? Ever cook an amazing dinner while you were angry? Yeah, me either.
So, why would you sit down to plan your Disney World trip (which SHOULD be the happiest of all happy things) in a less than happy state?
If you had planned to figure out the pros and cons of the Caribbean Beach Resort versus Coronado Springs this evening, but you just read an awful email from your boss, or witnessed something on the news that has set you off – take a break from planning.
You’re not going to do anyone any good looking at pirate-themed pools while in a funk.
#5. Do It For The Kids
You’re tired. It’s been a long day, but your FastPass reservation date is quickly approaching. You COULD go to sleep early or just veg out in front of Netflix, but it’s time to figure out which Character Meet & Greets you’re going to FastPass for.
Along with your clean desk, fun notebook and two or three Disney trinkets there, place a picture of the reason all this is happening.
That will make all this a true joy.
What do you do to stay happy while planning? What puts you in the right state of mind? Share in the comments – I’d love to hear!
Thanks for taking the DADventure today.