You’ve booked your package, you’ve made all of your Advanced Dining Reservations and maybe you’ve even started packing. A Disney vacation is on the horizon and now comes the difficult task of waiting for it to begin. While the planning is a lot of the fun, many Disney guests hit that point before their trip where there is simply nothing left to do, but wait. And a wait for a Disney vacation to begin can feel like an eternity! To help pass the time until the magic begins, take a look at some great ways to make the waiting game so much more fun!
Growing up we’ve all made the paper chains that we draped from the walls. Whether for a holiday or a birthday, or maybe a countdown to the last day of school, we can all relate with that joyous feeling of taking that last chain link down. Why not make one for an upcoming Disney trip? You can use the famous black, yellow and red colors to represent everyone’s favorite mouse. And if you’re feeling extra crafty, why not add some ears to those paper chains and make Mickey heads! Another countdown idea is to use a large poster board and make your own calendar. Have the kids find pictures of their favorite characters in magazines and clip them out or even print up coloring templates off of the internet for them to color. Let them do the coloring and decorating of the poster board and they can feel as if they’ve played a big part in helping for the upcoming trip. If you want something a bit more subtle, you can make your own creative dry erase board. Simply get and old picture frame and insert a picture of your favorite attraction, park, resort – or even create a scrapbook page for the frame. Once created, you can use a dry erase marker on the glass and every day update the number of days until your trip!
Maybe you’ve got the countdown on the wall already and you’re looking for activities your whole family can participate in. How about a Disney game night? Gather the family around for a night of games involving all things Disney! There are games for every age, from matching games for younger ones to games like Scene It? Disney, Monopoly Disney Edition, Apples to Apples Disney Edition and so many more! You could also come up with a game of Disney charades and act out your favorite character or attraction. If you’ve got an Xbox with Kinect, pick up the Disneyland Adventures game! The whole family will have a blast roaming Disneyland park, visiting their favorite attractions and interacting with beloved Disney characters. It’s a great game for the entire family (even couples who don’t have kids, such as my husband and myself, we love it)!
One of the reasons people love Disney vacations are the emotions and memories they have tied to these very special destinations. When a princess in training meets her favorite royal beauty, a young space cadet defends the galaxy with Buzz Lightyear and mom and dad visit their dear old childhood pals from The Hundred Acre Wood, emotions start running and memories start making. And many of these emotions and ties we all feel are attributed to growing up with these stories and characters through Disney movies and stories. And finally getting to be a part of these stories and interact with the characters we’ve all come to know and love from them are the moments in which everyone will remember. A great way to pass the time is to make one night a week a Disney movie night. Grab the popcorn and blankets, settle in and put on your favorite Disney classics. Each week a member of the family can pick their favorite movie to watch. After the movie, talk about your favorite parts of the movie, as well as favorite songs and characters. All of these Disney discussions are sure to build up anticipation!
Along the lines of a family movie night, have a Disney vacation planning night! Many Disney vacationers look forward to ordering the vacation planning DVDs for their favorite Disney destination. And don’t forget the customized maps for Walt Disney World! Make a night of it and take out the maps (if you’re like me, you’ve surely got some stashed from previous visits). We always come home with a set of maps! Have the kids take turns with each map and make a list of their “must dos” and their “it’s okay to skip” attractions. This will not only get the kids involved in the planning process, but help save time when in the parks so you know which attractions can and cannot be missed for your family. If you want to make these Disney vacation planning nights a little extra magical, try to recreate some of your family’s favorite Disney vacation dishes and snacks. You could even pop in a Disney park or show soundtrack to really get everyone in the planning mood!
One thing I absolutely LOVE to do while waiting for an upcoming trip is to watch videos and look at pictures from past Disney vacations. Not only is it a wonderful way to relive memories that have been made, but a great way to get the family excited for new memories to come! Speaking of videos, if you just can’t wait to check out your favorite resort or attraction, YouTube has become a great outlet for all Disney fanatics. Another great resource is visiting the forums over at WDWMagic.com and mingling with Disney lovers from around the world!
The possibilities of fun are endless. You can make the waiting game almost as fun and magical as the trip itself! Do you have any traditions with your family to help pass the time to an upcoming Disney vacation?