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The Countdown to WDW!

Monday, April 16, 2012

When we are in the home stretch of our Walt Disney World vacation planning and anticipating, it’s pretty hard to hide the excitement in our house! There is definitely Disney in the air – er, I should say more  Disney in the air than usual! In this week’s column, I’m going to share different ways our family keeps the “Disney” in the air during what can be an excruciating wait for a Disney vacation to begin!

First thing’s first. Make a countdown! This is especially fun when you have young children (but my husband and I did this pre-kids, as well!). I forget where I got this original idea, but it all starts at Home Depot. Locate the paint department, and find the Disney paint chips. They are conveniently in the shape of Mickey’s head! Take as many as you need to represent the days remaining until your next Disney trip. These are free, however, you may want to ask a Home Depot associate before taking a handful! Buy magnetic tape. Number all of your paint chips, and put a piece of magnetic tape on the back of each paint chip. Before we got our stainless steel fridge, we would put all of our Mickey paint chips on our fridge. Every morning, my daughter would have the job of taking off one paint chip and saying “One day closer to Disney World!” This countdown is re-usable for future trips, as well!

Order a FREE Walt Disney World planning DVD well in advance. They could take up to eight weeks to arrive. Why order a planning DVD? They showcase all the attractions and resorts, and detail all of the latest campaigns. Besides being informational, they are a blast to watch to get the whole family excited for the trip! In our house, the closer we get to a WDW trip, the more often we watch our planning DVDs! We order a new one each year!

Mark milestones! It’s always fun for us to celebrate the 30 day mark, for example, by doing something Disney-ish. On a previous WDW trip, I purchased a Mickey head-shaped cookie cutter, and like to use it for making my daughter Mickey head-shaped sandwiches! Something seemingly small like this is fun to remind us that our trip is fast approaching!

Something new to our repertoire is character calls. Sometimes in the past, you have been able to order a phone call to your loved one from one of your favourite Disney characters! This isn’t always available, and even when it is, it’s not available in all regions. For this upcoming trip, our daughter is old enough to actually appreciate a call from one of her favourite friends, but young enough to realize it’s not a “real” phone call, so I’ve created my own version of a character call. You can purchase ring tones and text tones with the voices from Disney characters from the App Store (for your iPhone) for $1.29. Yes, there’s a cost, but a one-time cost, and its use is unlimited! We currently have Minnie, Goofy, and Donald’s voice. They usually go something like this… [phone ringing]…. “Gawrsh! It’s me Goofy! Somebody really wants to talk to you!”. So, when we are making our “phone call” to Goofy, I play this ring tone and then when he says that somebody really wants to talk to us, I put the phone to my ear and pretend to be talking to Goofy or Mickey, etc. My daughter really thinks I’m talking to one of her Disney friends and she gets so excited! I tell the character of choice how our day was, how the kids’ behaviour was, and how excited we are to be visiting them soon!  Believe it or not, this little “phone call” is a source of motivation for good behaviour from my daughter!

These little things might indeed seem little, but they help put some extra Disney magic in the air in our house and do the trick in making the wait until our next WDW vacation a little bit more bearable! Here’s hoping that with a little Disney magic your Disney wait will go by in the blink of an eye!                                                                



About this column

Danielle Perry shares the adventures and challenges of travelling to Walt Disney World as a family.


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