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Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide
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Brian Bennett

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Prioritizing Attractions & Restaurants

One suggestion that I have is to do some amount of planning ahead before you leave for Florida.  WDW is so big in scope that you can't possibly see and do it all.  It just makes sense to have some idea of what is high priority for the people in your group BEFORE you head out on your vacation.

On one of our earlier trips, I even went so far as to develop a "Restaurant Decision Matrix Spreadsheet" (I no longer have a copy of that Excel document), but it was set up to allow everyone in our group to vote on the various restaurants.  We voted on our interest in the atmosphere, on pricing (higher priced restaurants were penalized), on whether or not we've ever visited that restaurant (one's we'd never enjoyed before were given higher priority), and so on.  After collecting all the votes, and calculating the results, we had a list of restaurants we really wanted to visit.  You know what?  We ended up modifying the list because all of that work didn't really capture what we wanted.  We spent a lot of time "prioritizing" only to realize we really already knew the answer.  When we plan our trips now, we do it by gut feel and simple discussion -- I tossed the spreadsheet.  It simply wasn't worth the effort.

I would never suggest a "Disney commando" plan-of-attack in which every moment of every day is outlined.  Frankly, when I see those kinds of detailed pre-trip plans (even on trip reports here at MousePlanet), I just smile to myself.  Why go through that much effort to plan things in such intricate detail?  There's just too much at WDW that is much better enjoyed with at least a small dose of spontaneity!

With that experience behind me, I now suggest a less rigorous -- but still extremely valuable -- approach.  Simply sit down with the people in your party (including extended family and friends, if they're going to be joining you), and discuss the attractions, restaurants, etc.  You'll find, simply by talking through them, that you'll get a pretty good idea of how things stack up, what things to avoid, what things are of very high priority, what things are in the middle and can be hit or missed depending on circumstances.

The bottom line is that you should be familiar with the options, discuss them to find out what everyone thinks, then go on vacation!


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