||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.)
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.)