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Home | Planning | Travel Binder

One thing I do when I start planning a Walt Disney World Trip for my friends or family is to create a binder that acts as a repository of all the information I gather during the planning process. I use it to hold my notes, records of phone calls, our travel documents, our reservation paperwork, our Disney's Magical Express packet and anything else that I use when making, changing, or finalizing the plans for our trip.

With a little "plumping" of information, a binder becomes a great gift to give to anyone joining you on your trip and is especially helpful for members of a Grand Gathering or when you are traveling with people who haven't been to Walt Disney World before!

Here are some fun covers to use for your binder!
(Click on an image below to view the larger image. Right click to download the file to your computer.)

Binder Cover Binder Cover - birthday theme Binder Cover - Halloween theme Binder Cover - Thanksgiving theme Binder Cover - Christmas theme Binder cover - Pirates and princesses theme

What should you include in your binder?

  • Your planning records (for your reference during planning)
    • I make a chart of the park hours that is essential to my early planning - My "Park Hours" chart
    • Add in some notepaper to track your calls with the Central Reservation Office (CRO) or your travel agent.
    • Include any price quotes or other information you've gathered in your planning
  • Your general itinerary
    • Your more detailed itinerary once the plans are set. (In my sample itinerary from our recent Grand Gathering, I included the time we needed to be at the buses so people would be able to determine when to wake up. I also included information on our dining and any special events that were planned.)
    • If you'd like, print out menus for the restaurants you've chosen. These can be found at The Menus at AllEarsnet.com
    • Information (and confirmations) on any special events you are doing (i.e., one of the special parties, a fireworks cruise, spa treatment, high tea, etc.)
  • Your travel information
    • If you are flying, many airlines now email you a copy of your itinerary that you could include here.
    • If you are using a car or parking service, include any receipts or confirmation sheets.
    • If you are taking advantage of Disney's Magical Express (DME), include copies of your paperwork and tags here. (The binder is also a great place to keep the DME packet prior to packing.)
    • If you are driving, include maps of your route, including details of intersections and road changes.. Note that there is a new entrance into WDW property from the Florida Turnpike that is not included on many older maps. A mocked-up map can be found HERE.
    • If you have a stop-over at a hotel on your drive, include confirmation information as well as maps from the road to the hotel.
    • A general map of the Walt Disney World Resort.
    • If you have a rental car, you might want to include maps to the local grocery stores, pharmacies, malls and major retailers. (AllEarsNet.com has this information for you HERE, as well as information on Outlet Malls.)
    • If you're making a grocery stop (either with a towncar service, a rental car or your own car), I like to have a shopping list on hand so that I don't forget anything.
  • Your resort information
  • Your ticket information
    • If you have purchased your park tickets prior to arriving on property, it is a good idea to keep a photocopy of the information on the back of them in case they ever need to be replaced. (I also like to take a picture of this information with my cell phone or, better yet, my digital camera. Thay way I don't have to return to the room for the binder to retrieve the tickets' codes.
    • Photocopies of the backs of any other ticket media -- party tickets, DisneyQuest, water park or Pleasure Island tickets, etc.
    • As an extra measure of security, I also include photocopies of our driver's licenses, medical insurance cards, driver's insurance cards, credit cards (both front and back so I have the CC numbers as well as the phone numbers to report a stolen card), Disney Visa rewards cards, and Disney Gift Cards.
  • Documents for getting ready (weather, packing, shopping, etc.)

This page updated - November 16, 2007

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