Because my budget doesn't allow me to live at any of the Disney parks, I have to space my visits out, planning carefully what I'm going to do each time. Below is my Disney bucket list, something I think carefully about as I start planning each trip.
Thanks to Tom Bricker for giving me the idea to lay this out in order of attainability (and for giving me some ideas to add to this list)!!
Note: I'm including several things that were on the original list, even though I've since completed them.
Four parks in one day - I've done two parks in a day. You know, hit DHS during EMH for ToT and RnRC, jump over to Animal Kingdom for the rest of the day. Hit a park for the biggies, then spend the rest of the day someplace else. But until recently, I never thought to actually try and hit every park in one day. I find the thought very entertaining. I can see this happen in the next year (or so).
Fantasia Gardens mini-golf - as a child, it seemed like a vacation wasn't a vacation if my family didn't play some mini-golf. And while this continued well into adulthood, somehow we never played at Disney.
Drinking around the World - a beer (or mixed drink) at every country in World Showcase? Yes, please, where do I sign up?
Epcot's DiveQuest - as a certified scuba diver, diving at a Disney facility (especially my favorite pavilion at Epcot) is a no-brainer.
Monorail Pub Crawl - it's exactly what it sounds like: a pub crawl by Monorail, with stops at each resort on the line. Stopping at Magic Kingdom along the way is optional (but highly encouraged).
Moderately Difficult to Attain (truth: most of these are modestly difficult only due to the availability of finances to support them):
Disneyland/Disney California Adventure - to be fair, I've been to Disneyland. It was a belated graduation gift in 1997, the year after I graduated high school. I remember very little about that visit, other than visiting on the hottest day of the year, and what turned out to be one of the hottest days they'd had over several previous years. As for DCA, I don't think they'd even broken ground at that point.
Stay on property at Disneyland Resort - you'd think that if I were to make the long trip to the other side of the country to visit Disneyland, I'd be sure to stay in one of the on-property hotels, but I grew up in a household that always went for the cheapest rooming options available (Motel 6 by Angels stadium in 1997). This one will taking planning.
Disney Cruise Line - it's hard to justify a trip on the DCL when I can take a longer trip for less money on my old standby, Royal Caribbean. But the Aqua Duck (and the Aqua Dunk) looks like so much fun!!!
Stay in all Value Resorts at WDW - I've stayed at Fort Wilderness, the All-Star Music Resort, and Pop Century. It's a start. (Update: As of 2017, I've added All-Star Sports and All-Star Movies to this list. The only remaining resort to check out is Art of Animation)
Attend all character meals at WDW - I've attended the breakfast aboard the Empress Lilly several times. What? There's no Empress Lilly? Sure there is! Only, now it's called Fulton's Crab Shack, and they no longer offer character meals. (Since originally writing this, I've gone to Chef Mickey's for dinner, Hollywood & Vine for breakfast, and Crystal Palace for dinner.)
Take 10 Disney Tours - as in, Disney's Keys to the Kingdom, Behind the Seeds, The UnDISCOVERed Future World, Epcot Seas Aqua Tour, etc. (As of 2015, I've done Behind the Seeds)
Visit all 4 WDW parks in one trip - no, not in one day. I want to spend one full day at each park, in the course of one vacation. I've done three parks in one trip, by park-hopping, but never more than two parks when focusing an entire day on each one. (Since posting, I've done 3 parks in one trip - see upcoming Sep 2013 trip report)
Take a family on their First Visit -
Very Difficult to Attain:
Disney Vacation Club membership - this appeals to me on so many levels, but it doesn't seem cost-effective. A) I have plenty of free places to stay when I visit WDW (I'm originally from FL, with lots of family still down in the Orlando and Tampa areas), and B) as I'm single, with no kids, I'm looking at prices v. perks for one person. I just can't make it compute in my favor, not with my current salary and budget.
Stay in all Moderate Resorts at WDW - there are several resorts that I plan on staying in over the next couple of years, but as the price level increases, the likelihood of staying there decreases. I'm a State employee, people.
WDW and Disneyland in one day - oh, this would be so much fun! And if I actually lived in/near Orlando or Anaheim, I can see this as substantially easier to do. But since I live on the northern GA/SC line, well, not so easy.
Work as a Cast Member (again) - my plan, my entire life, was always to finish school, get a good job, save money, and one day move back to FL and go back and work for the Mouse (I was once a Disney Store Cast Member). But in recent years, my cousins have provided me with the love of my life in the form of a Bug, and I find myself making plans to move closer to him (which, sadly, is further AWAY from FL). I'll have to revisit this plan once Bug is in his 20s.
Unattainable (given the cost of each of these, I don't think any explanation is needed as to why I've listed them as unattainable):
Stay in all Deluxe Resorts at WDW
Visit Disneyland Resort Paris
Visit Tokyo Disney Resort
Visit Hong Kong Disneyland
Visit Shanghai Disney
Be part of the Opening Family at the MK Opening Show - this is listed as unattainable for two reasons: 1) I'm not likely to get chosen if I don't have children with me, and I tend to travel alone or with adults, and 2) being chosen is entirely up to the whim of a CM. No amount of money or flirtation can get one family chosen over another. I just have to hope that, if I ever go down with kids, we get there early enough and talk to the right CM. As there is no longer an MK opening show of this type, this will remain unattainable...forever.