Like many of you, I suffer from PDD (Post Disney Depression), I’m a little bit OCDD (Obsessive Compulsive Disney Disorder), and I am very impatient while waiting for my next Walt Disney World vacation to arrive. There are some things that I like to do at home to help me relive the magic of our vacations and that special feeling that I get when I am in the world. Here are my top 10 strategies:
10. Wear a Disney Shirt
Seems simple enough, but many of us don’t work in a job where a Disney T-Shirt is acceptable office wear. My collection of park t-shirts is fairly vast, so whenever I need a quick Disney fix I go to my drawer and pick out a favorite and pretend like I’m dressing for a day in the parks. Plus, wearing a Disney shirt cheers up everyone else around me too!
9. Use Your Refillable Mug
Even though it isn’t always convenient when on vacation, I miss being able to refill my resort mug when I return home. So, sometimes I break it out to use every now and then just to add a little Disney to my day. This one can work for a lot of Disney souvenirs you might bring home. We have the trash can salt and pepper shakers—those always make me smile. I love to buy Disney kitchen tools—they add a little more fun to the work of preparing a meal. And carrying my Disney Dooney & Bourke or Vera Bradley bag makes every day errands a little more magical.
8. Plan your next trip
Nothing is better therapy than planning your next Disney vacation! I prefer to start this before I ever leave the world. Keeping up with all of the news and changes, creating and tweaking an itinerary, making dining reservations, and daydreaming about all of the fun experiences you will have brings all of the magic back. I also recommend subscribing to a few favorite Disney podcasts while you are doing this process—it makes your morning commute more manageable, and you keep up to date on the latest at Disney. My favorites are the DIS Unplugged, WDW Today, WDW Prep To Go, The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill, and Geekin’ on WDW. Check them out in iTunes.
7. Watch Disney Parks Shows on TV
Destination America has a great series on the Disney Parks (and Cruise Line), and there are DVDs and Blu-Rays available. Some of my favorites are the Behind the Scenes at Walt Disney World types that are basically long commercials for the parks—but they bring back so many of the experiences. If you can find them, Samantha Brown’s Great Hotels featured a few of the Disney resorts—Wilderness Lodge, Yacht & Beach Club, the Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom Lodge. And then, of course, there is the official planning DVD you can order through Disney, and tons of footage on YouTube.
6. Use Disney Toiletries
Okay, I may have a slight problem hoarding Disney toiletries. If we were to go through some sort of soap & shampoo shortage I would probably be okay for several years. And I know I am not the only one who brings these home. So, when you need a relaxing Disney fix break out the toiletries. The cute Mickey or Tinker Bell designs and the nice fragrance will take you right back to your vacation.
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5. Disney smells
In addition to the scent of the toiletries, there are other ways to bring back those quintessential Disney scents to your home. Amazon (and other places) sell a spray (Pure Citrus or Citrus Magic in orange) that will take you back to the orange groves in Soarin’ (and way back to Horizons). Retail candle shops may have scents that you can match up to a particular place or attraction.
4. Listen to Disney Music
There are a lot of sources for music too. There are the official park downloads in iTunes and can be purchased as CDs as well. If you shopped while you were in the parks you can find specialty CDs—in the past I’ve gotten parade & fireworks soundtracks, Candlelight Processional, Party Music, and a few others. If you enjoy the live entertainment you can find a lot of the groups have an alternative name and offer CDs or downloads too— Yee Haa Bob (Bob Jackson: http://www.yehaabob.com/CDs_and_Tee_shirts.html ) and the Voices of Liberty have music available. Some of my favorite music, however, is the background music in the parks and it is harder to find. You might be able to find some of this online—either as downloads, or as a list of songs used and links to purchase them. Main Street USA is my absolute favorite background music and I was happy to discover that the Paragon Orchestra who recorded the music has it on CD, “The Whistler and His Dog” http://paragonragtime.com/store/ And then there are places like Mouse World Radio where you can listen to the parks through your web browser: http://www.mouseworldradio.com/
3. Disney Movie Night
Disney magic isn’t just about the parks—the films are the inspiration. It is fun to plan an elaborate movie night themed to that particular movie with decorations, a themed menu, costumes, snacks, you name it. Joy Rawls has a great blog “Dollar Store Disney” with articles on the fun movie nights she plans for her family, and suggestions you can take for your own. And best of all, she is working with Dollar Store items, so it won’t break the bank. Check her out: http://dollarstoredisney.com/
2. Disney Food
One of my favorite souvenirs (going back to #9) are Disney cookbooks. When we visit during the Food and Wine Festival I like to pick up the Festival Cookbook to recreate the specialties at home. You can also find cookbooks that have favorite recipes directly from the restaurants. This way you can create a meal with a combination of your favorite foods from all of the parks and resorts. Yum! And combine this with the right foods to go with your movie night in #2 and you are on your way to a lot of magic.
1. Photos and videos
The best way to relive the magic is to look back at all of the photos and videos from your past trips. It always brings a smile to my face to watch videos of our trips—seeing how the kids have grown (though that is bittersweet), watching their reactions to the characters or on a ride (my husband is the best at capturing their screams on Big Thunder Mountain), and seeing all of us happy and relaxed. I love looking at the photos too—going through the scrapbooks and photo albums. Such happy memories! It makes me thankful for what we’ve already experienced and even more excited about what is to come.
What is your favorite way to relive the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation?