You saved, you researched, and you finally booked your Walt Disney World vacation! Congratulations, now comes the least fun part: waiting. The weeks and months between booking and actually leaving for the Most Magical Place on Earth always seem to crawl by. Why can’t the time before vacation move as quickly as the time spent on vacation? Here are ten ways to keep your excitement level up and help the time go by faster!
10. Make Mickey shaped foods
What is better than treats shaped like your favorite mouse? Don’t wait until you’re in the parks, make them at home! Use a cookie cutter to make sandwiches, eggs, or… cookies… into Mickey’s silhouette. If you’re adept with pancake batter, try free-handing some Mickey pancakes! You can even purchase a Mickey Mouse Waffle Iron on Amazon. Do it the week leading up your vacation to get the family in the Mickey Mouse mood!
9. Listen to music
Nothing gets me in the Disney spirit more than listening to music from the movies, broadway shows, and attractions. Use Spotify or the new Apple Music to create Disney themed playlists. Listen while you cook, while you drive, while you walk the dog. Music really can put you in a better mood and make the non-Disney days a whole lot brighter!
8. Decorate a chalkboard or dry erase board
Use stickers, paper cutouts, or even just chalk or markers to jazz up your countdown and mark the days until departure! Watching the numbers go down each day will help time feel like it’s moving faster. Hopefully, this also helps quell your kids’ “how many days until we go to Disney World?” questions.
7. Make a paper chain
Disney-fy a paper chain by using colors from your favorite characters like Mickey (red, black, and yellow), Ariel (green, purple, and red) or Tigger (orange and black). Make as many links as there are days until your vacation, and tear off one link per day.
6. Watch classic animation
Sit down as a family to watch your favorites, or brush up on a old classic. Seeing characters in parades, shows, and meet & greets is so much more fun when you can remember their story. Once the trip is booked, I try to revisit one Disney movie each week before I leave. If you’re feeling optimistic, shoot for one everyday!
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5. Coloring book
Coloring can fill the days (and your fridge) with Disney characters. Consider giving the kids one per week, or a smaller one per day, leading up your vacation. Hit up clearance aisles, the Dollar Store, or the dollar spot in Target for fun little projects!
4. Disney inspired crafts
DIY the days away by making autograph books, customized t-shirts, hair bows, anything that will put a smile in your heart during the days leading up to your vacation!
3. Stock up on Disney gift cards
Use the gift cards to pay off any charges made to your hotel room over the course of your stay, or give them to kids as their spending money for souvenirs. I like to add one or two gift cards at check out in Target, and since I use a Target Red card, I get 5% off (bonus savings!). Buying gifts cards requires some advanced planning because there is a $500 per day limit on gift cards purchases (which I learned the hard way, the day before my trip!) to prevent fraud in the case of stolen credit cards.
2. Countdown App
There are dozens of countdown apps available, most of them for free! Be sure to also mark the days when you’re eligible to make Dining Reservations (180 days before check-in) and Fastpass+ (60 days for on-property guests, and 30 days for off-property guests). There are even several Disney-specific countdown apps to choose from.
1. Start your packing early
I like to start my packing list about a month before I leave. Partly, because I’m neurotic about forgetting an essential item, and partly because I’m so darn excited. I see the packing list as the first step of my Disney vacation. Generally, I write a list of the obvious items, clothes, toiletries etc, and then add to the list with things as I think of them, like power strip for the hotel room (trust me, you need one!). Starting early means I’m not in a rush to gather travel-sized everything and run a zillion loads of laundry. A fully-thought out and crossed-off list means I can start my vacation without stressing about forgetting anything!