Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mouse-Earing the Pages

150 days. 150 days stand between me and a Disney World vacation.
Although I’m counting down, I won’t wish this time away. The precious days leading up to our trip will be spent preparing, planning, and looking forward.
Basically, I will be turning into what those in the Disney know call a theme park commando.
You know my type. I schedule bathroom breaks between rides on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I map out the perfect route to Toy Story Midway Mania, so that when the ropes drop I’m first in line. I peruse the various restaurant menus, picking out the perfect entrée, beverage, and dessert.
It’s all pretty obnoxious. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that I get on my own nerves with all the Disney-centric talk, research, and all-consuming preparation.
But I can’t stop. Like a woman-possessed, I pore over Disney World-related websites, print out planning guides, gobble up secret tips. I’ve even started buying clothes for the trip, carefully selecting t-shirts and shorts that will be both comfortable and cute. There’s a special section in my closet where they all hang, tags still intact, waiting for their big day.
The really sad thing is (and there are many sad things here) that once I get to Disney World all of this planning will have been for nothing. We basically do whatever we want to when we want to, which is how vacation should be in my opinion, but up until that moment when we do arrive, every minute of the trip will be scheduled and overscheduled and rescheduled and back again.
And y’all, I don’t even have kids. This is a trip just for me and my husband, a fifth-anniversary celebration to the most magical place on Earth and one of my all-time favorite vacation destinations.
It may seem pretty strange at first: a childless couple in their twenties choosing to go to Disney World on vacation. Isn’t Disney World for kids, you ask? Well, yes and no. It’s for kids, but it’s also for grown-ups. For the adults who refuse to give up fun and goofiness and everyday magic.
Even Walt Disney himself believed that Disney shouldn’t be intended for kids alone, saying:  “You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” And I guess that’s what Jeremy and I are: kids at heart with obsessive compulsive vacation planning tendencies.
At this juncture, I’ve just about exhausted all of the planning and preparation options available to me, and believe me, there are a lot.
So this weekend I’m going to begin what I refer to as the Disney World Extravaganza notebook, a compilation of all of the menus, planning tools and tips, reservation confirmation documents, and other Disney World odds and ends, all combined stylishly in a pretty green notebook that matches our even prettier green Disney luggage.
After that, we will have around 145 more days to fill with excitement and anticipation, and therein lies my problem. When I’ve already done everything there is to do to prepare, what else is going to be there to get me pumped about the trip?
Ugh. See? Obnoxious.

What do you do to prepare for vacation? Are you a vacation planning maniac? Any tips on how to best enjoy the preparation and counting down?
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