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Set a family countdown clock

Clock

Image: Images Money, Flickr (license)

Set up a countdown clock on your smartphone, computer, or other device that offers a visible countdown leading up to the big departure date. You’ll find plenty of Disney-themed apps and programs to add the right flair to the project. If you want to really simplify your countdown, use a white board, chalk board, or paper to count the days and see how many ways you can decorate your numbers to look like Disney characters.

Mark essential events on the calendar

Calendar

Image: Andreanna Moya Photography, Flickr (license)

Pull out your calendar and count backward to some essential planning dates on your timeline. You can (and should) make your dining reservations 180 days in advance. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, you can make FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance. Non-resort guests can only make FastPass+ reservations 30 days in advance. Take care of these tasks early for the best spots.

In the days leading up to your reservation dates, hold fun family meetings to prioritize your picks. Have family members vote on their favorite attractions in each park. Pare down your dining options to a handful of top choices, and decide which parks you’ll visit on each day. Keep first, second, and third-choice picks on hand when you make your reservations so you have backup plans if you can’t get your top picks.

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