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Are you counting down the days to your next Disney trip? Sometimes I think my favorite part of a Disney trip is the planning and anticipation. I can spend months getting ready for a trip. In fact, our whole family gets involved. We watch videos, listen to a podcast, and discuss all the latest Disney news.
Disney really is our family hobby. Being together at the parks brings a certain closeness. When we plan together and talk about our past trips that closeness comes home with us. I want to share with you things we do to countdown to our next Disney trip.
1. Disney Trip Planning
First, go through my Disney World planning series. Even if this isn’t your first Disney trip, I think you will get some good tips from it. I talk about how to choose the right resort, how to spend your days, transportation, even how long to go for.
When people hear how much planning I do for our trips, they usually say something like this, “That doesn’t sound like a vacation.” To which I respond, “Planning is not the vacation. Once I’m on vacation, I don’t make any decisions. I’ve already done all of that. ” It takes all the stress away for me.
2. Movie Nights
Before a trip is a great time to catch up on all the latest Disney movies. With Netflix streaming all the latest Disney movies, it’s easy and affordable to watch them. Don’t just watch the movies! Make it an event. Have a Mexican fiesta and watch Coco or dress the kids up in their superhero costumes to watch the Incredibles.
One of the best things about Disney is that everyone gets to be a kid. Don’t wait till you’re on Disney property to start! Sometimes we’re worse than the kids. Find a night when everyone is together and go crazy. Have themed snacks, play a game, sing along with the songs. There are no rules, just fun.
3. Favorite Foods
Cook a copycat Disney recipe. Do you have a favorite meal that you can’t wait to have on your Disney trip? Why not try to make it before you go? Many of us have strong memories associated with food or even the smell of food– Main Street Bakery, I’m talking to you. Imagine your house smelling like those yummy cupcakes.
What about something for breakfast? Try some homemade Tonga Toast to start your Saturday morning off. Even dinner can have a Disney touch with Columbia Harbor House’s mac and cheese. Make one of your favorites or try something new because each meal you make gets you one day closer to the parks!
4. Disney Store Trips
Make a trip to the Disney Store. It’s OK to be regulars. The cast members at our local Disney Store know us. They tell us about their trips, and we tell them about ours. It’s fun to see the new merchandise and they have one thing I’ve never seen a park store–SALES! We can often save a few bucks on vacation by pre-purchasing some of the kids’ souvenirs at the Disney Store.
If you live near a Disney outlet, it’s even better because they have discounted parks merchandise. I have a Disneyland rain jacket that was originally $50 that I spent $15 on.
Start deciding what to wear on your Disney trip. I love seeing the outfits, t-shirts, and accessories people have on in the parks. I’ve seen everything from cute Mickey shirts to elaborate Disneybounds, and what about all those groups with matching t-shirts.
Disney clothes don’t just have to be for kids. I have tons of purses, scarfs, shoes, jewelry, and clothes that are perfect for going to the park or to the grocery store. Start planning if you’re going to Disneybound, do a group outfit, or just need a new Disney tee for your upcoming trip.
6. YouTube Videos
We watch a lot of YouTube. Seriously, like more than regular television. We love YouTube for Disney content for a few reasons. It’s more realistic than the Disney promos. Don’t get me wrong! I love the Disney promos, but somehow, those people are the only ones in the park, their kids aren’t crying, and their hair isn’t messed up after riding Splash Mountain.
Umm, that’s just not how my typical Disney day goes. YouTubers can give you a better idea of what to expect. Want to try a new restaurant? Look up some reviews. Worried your kid might be scared on the Haunted Mansion?
Let them watch a ride through a few times so they know what to expect. I can’t tell you how many times Disney Dude has watched Fantasmic on YouTube.
Similar to YouTube channels, we also listen to a lot of Disney-related podcasts. They are great for trip reports, tips, and news. A Disney podcast is actually what really started my love of Disney. I’ve always been a Disney fan, but Shaun started listening to a podcast called Mousetalgia that focuses on Disneyland and it’s history.
When I realized how much history and tradition the Disney company has, I was hooked. Before I knew it, my phone was filled with Disney podcasts. I listen to them while I clean. The kids and I put them on in the car. It’s the happy version of talk radio.
8. Disney Books
Read a Disney history book. The Disney company has a long history of innovation and imagination, and they are very proud of it. Disney was the first in many things including Snow White was the first full-length animated movie, Disneyland was the first theme park, and the first use of audio-animatronic figures in its rides.
Whether you like the parks, the movies, or the man himself, find a book to dive deeper into Disney history and gain a greater appreciation of the people that make the magic possible. I especially like this book “It’s Kind of a Cute Story” by Rolly Crump.
Don’t forget your kids either. Not only are there tons of Disney storybooks, but they also have books on Disney geared towards kids like this one “Who was Walt Disney?” Let them know how their favorite place got there. You never know it may inspire a future Imagineer.
9. Countdown Activities
If you have little kids, you probably here, “How long until we go to Disney?” about a million times. Solve that problem and have a little fun with a countdown activity.
Make a paper chain and tear off a link every day. Fill a jar with candy and eat a piece everyday. Or use a dry erase board to mark the days. Make it as simple or complicated as you want, but watching those days go done will really keep you going until your next Disney trip.
What will you do before your next Disney trip?
Waiting for something as exciting as a Disney vacation can be excruciating, but hopefully these ideas will make the wait a little more bearable. As you go on more Disney trips, they may even become traditions.
So pick a few or all of the suggestions and start the countdown to your next Disney trip.