HERE! Basically, the theory is that no matter what's going on in your life, you can get yourself psyched up and ready for something awesome to happen, all by listening to the right piece of music. Playing off of that theory, I feel that one of the very best things about a Disney trip is actually preparing for it, or getting psyched! You can have a whole bunch of crappy stuff happening in your life at the time, but if you have a Disney trip on the horizon... even if it's 564 days away, you have something to look forward to and enjoy preparing yourself for. In fact, many Disney fans, (myself included), pretty much get from one day to the next by preparing for upcoming trips. You may even book a new trip as soon as you come back from Florida, or get off of the cruise ship. If that sounds like you, OR if you're new to this and you'd like to join our elite ranks of Disney planning enthusiasts, here are five ways that you can get yourself revved up and excited about heading to see The Mouse!
1. Get the Kids Psyched
For those of you traveling with Littles, you probably know that if the kids are excited about something, it's pretty infectious. There are lots of ways to get your kids psyched about a trip to Disney, in fact, I could do a whole separate post on that subject alone! (I'll put a pin in it.) But for right now, I'm just going to mention a couple of little ones that have a big impact.
Kids who are looking forward to meeting the characters will enjoy making their own personalized autograph books. You can keep it simple by buying a small, spiral bound notebook of unlined paper, and having your kid create a cover for it that represents their own personal style. Or you can get all fancy and create themed pages for various characters to sign. Add polka dots and bows to Minnie's page. Maybe stamp a glass slipper on Cinderella's page. Cover the edges of Donald's pages in nautical stickers. Whatever floats your boat. It's a fun project and the kids will have a really special souvenir when you come back from the trip.
Use your upcoming trip as a form of bribery for good behavior or extra help around the house, by allowing your kids to earn spending money for the trip. You can pay them in the form of Disney Gift Cards. My daughter, D, loved collecting dollar bills for good deeds and putting them into her "Disney Fund"! We then let her use that money however she wanted in the parks. She ended up having enough to buy herself a Belle dress and she was so proud. It meant that much more to her.
One other idea is to make a visual countdown. This is especially helpful when kids are younger and don't have much of a concept of time. There are several different ways you could do this. You want it to be as simple as possible? Buy a cheap Disney Character calendar at a dollar store and cross off the days as you get closer. In our family, we like to make a paper chain, using stickers and markers and we let the kids pull off a ring each night before bed. The visual of the chain getting shorter makes the concept of the trip getting closer easier for kids to understand AND to get excited about.
2. Use Social Media to Get Psyched
WDWMagic.com does a really great one. And there are zillions of Disney pictures out there, so why not make a game out of it? Turn it into a countdown. Each day, as you get closer to your trip, send out an e-mail, a tweet, an Instagram or a Facebook post with a picture of something that you're looking forward to on your upcoming Disney trip. Share it with all of your friends, or privately with those that are traveling with you. It's a fun way to have a little flutter of I-can't-wait excitement, every day counting down to your trip.
3. Get Psyched While Sitting on the Couch (Let's Call It "Research")
You have a TV, right? Or a computer maybe? Well there are lots of entertaining things to watch all about Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line. The Travel Channel often airs specials on the parks and the ships. You can check your local TV listings for those. YouTube is full of Disney videos! Everything from trip planning guides, to videos of full Disney shows and parades. My 4 year old, K, often requests to watch the "firewooks" on TV before bed. (Just be careful if you're watching with kids, because you may find that some YouTube videos are not made for little eyes.)
Oh, and if you don't already have them, definitely order the free vacation planning DVDs from Disney! They are an awesome preview of the excitement that is to come. To order the Walt Disney World or Disneyland one, go to www.disneyvacations.com. For the Disney Cruise Line one, click HERE. You can order them as hard copy DVDs, or as digital downloads. The agents at Kingdom Konsultants can also help hook you up with this stuff.
4. Psych Yourself Up With The Disney Film Library
All around Walt Disney World there are references to Disney films. Some are obvious, like "Toy Story" being the inspiration for Toy Story Midway Mania, and some are more subtle, like Aladdin and Jasmine doing meet and greets in Epcot's Morocco pavilion. As you get ready for your Walt Disney World trip, why not cozy up and watch some Disney films, so that you and your family are more familiar with the characters and the attractions that you might see in the parks? Some of the films that have the most mentions in the parks? Frozen, (of course), Cinderella, the Toy Story series, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Finding Nemo, the Star Wars franchise, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King, to name a few.
5. Tink's Disney Get Psyched Mix
Of course, the most obvious way to get yourself psyched for a Disney trip is to take Barney Stinson's lead, and have your very own Disney version of a "Get Psyched Mix". I have actually created one that you can feel free to borrow, over at Spotify. Listen in, and get excited about your trip to Walt Disney World, by clicking HERE!. Going on a Disney Cruise, or just want to feel like you are? Check out my Disney Cruise Line Memories playlist HERE. If Spotify isn't your thing, you can also create Disney stations on both the I Heart Radio and Pandora apps. Live365.com has tons of Disney park music stations. I personally love Sorcerer Radio, which you can listen to at SRSounds.com. You can even buy all sorts of Disney and Disney Parks CDs through Amazon.com. I know that for me, nothing gets me more excited about going on a Disney Cruise than jamming out to some A-Teens "Upside Down" or "The Cha-Cha Slide". When I'm away from the parks and missing my Disney time, a little "Festival of the Lion King", or music from Main Street USA takes me right back there.
- Jenn aka "Tink"