So, it has been awhile since your last trip to Walt Disney World or you are planning your first trip and looking for ways to spark the Disney magic. Here are some of our suggestions that we use regularly.
1. Play WDW music during dinner and in the car. Nothing can brighten a mood for us better than a rousing chorus of “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me.” Turning up “Hakuna Mahtata” and dancing around the room singing at the top of your voice can pick up your Disney spirits quickly.
2. Watch videos that rides and attractions are based on or read the stories and talk about the rides. Lion King, Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh and the Grand Adventure, Monsters Inc., etc…. There are many you may not have pulled out of the video vault in awhile so dig in watch them again.
3. During dinner we have a nightly WDW question. We take turns coming up with them. Last night’s question was – If you could build a new ride in Fantasyland what would it be themed as and what would it be like? In the past we have done what are your two must do rides in each park and why?
4. Make a countdown chain so you can visualize how close it is getting maybe with a Cinderella castle at the end. Children especially have a hard time understanding when the vacation will begin so this is a great way to help them understand. On each link you can possibly put a Disney themed idea or as it gets closer something your child can do to help to get ready – go shopping with you for travel sized toiletries or finding their favorite Disney shirts to wear in the parks to be packed.
5. Watch the planning DVD. This is still one of my kids favorite things to do. We even have old ones that they pull out every so often (remember the pink castle?). Don’t have a planning video? Call 1-407-WDisney and order one or go on line to the Walt Disney World site to explore.
6. Turn up the heat, put on your summer clothes and have some Mickey Pancakes (one large on in the center with two smaller attached ones for ears) and talk about your next trip. We love doing this in the coldest part of winter and then pulling out pictures and scrapbooks from our previous trips.
7. Go to a website such as Allears Recipes to create a delicious Walt Disney World restaurant inspired menu. Pick your favorite restaurant and create your favorite meal to bring back wonderful memories or inspire new ones. Some of our favorites are the Boboties from Boma, the Au Gratin Potatoes from Cinderella’s Royal Table – breakfast and the Cheddar Cheese Soup from Le Cellier in Epcot.
8. Make Mickey shaped pizza from homemade dough or store bought dough. You can even make little individual sized ones that each person could personalize with their own toppings. Olive eyes anyone?
9. Purchase a tiny Mickey Mouse cookie cutter to make make Mickey cookies or cut out from corn or flour tortillas into your own Mickey Mouse shaped tortilla chips. A quick bake at 350 degrees on a well greased cookie sheet with a sprinkle of salt or other spices (garlic, Old Bay Seasoning, salt and pepper, etc…) makes a tasty snack.
10. Form Mickey Mouse heads from Rice Krispy Treats (use well buttered hands) and put them on a popsicle stick to set.
11. Pull out your crayons and grab some Walt Disney inspired coloring books. We have found some at The Dollar Store, The $1 section at Target and Michael’s for about $1 each. We keep a supply on hand in our craft area to decorate with from time to time. Cover your fridge or wall next to your kitchen table with Disney art (just for the day if you are one who likes to keep your fridge or walls spotless).
12. Go to Youtube videos and find videos other people have posted of the rides and shows.
13. Plan your next dream vacation. Where would you stay? Where would you eat? Would you take a tour or plan a special family outing? Try to plan how to incorporate one element into your next trip. Even something as small as grabbing a Mickey Mouse Ice Cream bar and staking out the perfect parade spot (think about where you will be) can bring your dream vacation a bit closer.
14. Get creative. Do you have all your photos scattered all over? Are they neatly organized or shoved in a drawer? What about all those maps and room keys? Visit a craft store get some stickers, paper and acid free picture tape and start (or finish) those Disney scrapbooks. Let your children help. I have to let some of the perfectionist in me go when I let my children help. Or let them create their own scrapbooks. You won’t believe the wonderful things they can come up with or remember when you let them be creative.
15. Play an ABC game. Pick a theme such as characters or rides in Walt Disney World and go around the table or car giving one ride or character for each letter. Characters – Alice, Beast, Cinderella, etc…. Rides are much harder than characters and take a bit more thought on our part.
16. Create a Walt Disney World autograph book. Fold several sheets of paper in half and choose a brightly colored sheet for the cover. Add stickers and and glitter to decorate the cover. Your child’s autograph book will be ready for your trip. They can label the pages with the different characters they want to get autographs of if they wish.
17. Start planning your itinerary for your trip. What are the must-dos for your family? What order could you do the rides in? Look at maps and guidebooks together. Take turns reading about the different rides and attractions and the ratings they get then make up your own family guidebook. How would your family rate Mickey’s PhilharMagic or Splash Mountain?
18. Pull out the souvenirs that you have brought home from past trips and think about what you might like to add this time. We already know that when we go we are looking for a jacket to replace a well worn and loved Disney coat and a watch. Do you need another set of Mickey ears to complete the family set? A new music box for your collection? Maybe decorate a special jar with Disney pictures to start saving your change for the new item.
19. Order or create a set of matching set of Disney themed shirts to wear in the park. We have done this with our extended family 4 times. We all pick a day to wear them and then get our pictures taken at every stop we can. We do one big picture together and then family groups if you are traveling with extended family. It is a great reminder to take home with you.
20. Play a game of Disney charades. I made a template on my computer that I can print out 2 sheets of suggestions to pull out of a bowl. This can be as difficult or as easy as you like. Malificent or Gaston? Snow White or Sleeping Beauty?
Well, this is a start. Have fun. I am sure there are a thousand more ideas but these are few to get you started on getting in the Disney mood.