I originally created the Disney Trip Envelope in fall 2007 and updated it a year later. Since then, it has sat amongst our trip albums and other memories waiting for a future use. The future finally arrived last spring as we took Dylan to Walt Disney World for the first time. Here's a look at the changes I made for our latest trip ...
Park Hours I kept this one essentially the same. Updated the dates and park hours for each (hint: find park hours on WDW's website here - https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/).
Parades & Fireworks On Disney's website, you can search parade times for a particular date. I searched for the 4 days of our stay and made a note of times by park so we could easily plan for when we wanted to see one.
Table Service We opted not to buy a dining plan this visit and pass on all table service. The latter was partly in not wanting to be tied to a specific place and time. We wanted to just move at whatever pace worked best with Dylan. And, while I was somewhat tempted to book a character breakfast, as he was showing a little nervousness around costumed mascots locally at the time, I didn't want to chance a similar fear and have a terrified child stuck at a table. Thus, this card was pulled from the envelope and stashed for use hopefully on our next trip.
Kid Attractions In my original design, I had a card listing our personal favorite attractions at each park and which had fast passes. I recreated the attraction card and made a new list of kid friendly attractions that we thought Dylan might enjoy and underlined the ones that had the fast pass option.
Pressed Pennies This was a new card I added. Dylan already had a pressed penny collection from various trips. Thinking he might want a specific character or two during our visit to Walt Disney World, I searched online at Presscoins.com to find where some of his favorites were located as well as noting which ones were at our resort.
Disney To Do List Before the trip, Dylan & I talked about what he might want to do at Disney and came up with a list of 7 basic things. I printed these out for him to use as a checklist during the trip. This was a fun way to enjoy our visit to Walt Disney World and also not feel as pressured to "do it all."
Admittedly, when I first created this envelope, smart phones weren't what they are now. I did have a Blackberry on the 2008 trip, but the "there's an app for that" phase hadn't begun. Part of my reason for continuing with this (besides the simple tradition for us) and for leaving my DSLR at home (*gasp*) - we wanted to be in the moment and enjoy that magic with our son. Not faces glued to little screens in our hands or fumbling with a heavy camera to get the 'perfect' shot. As magical is Disney is at any age, watching him light up with excitement was the most magical part of all.
Planning a trip to Disney with your young child(ren)? Check out my tips for Disney with a Preschooler and how to save money with Packed Fun for Less.