“The Waiting Is The Hardest Part” – Tom Petty sang the truth, patience is a virtue that some of us were blessed with, and others of us (like me) – were not so lucky – which makes waiting for the time to FINALLY start our Walt Disney World vacations even harder! Of course, there is a ton of planning and research you can do before your trip to help fill the painful waiting period, but once all that is done and you’ve done all your reading, made your ADR’s, taken care of Fastpass+ bookings, and checked in online – you might be wondering “well – what now?” And if your kids know you’re headed to the most Magical Place On Earth – they might be getting antsy, too! Here are some pre-trip activities to help you bide your time before you head to Disney World:
“DIY” Misting Fan: They sell these at the Disney Parks – and if you’ve never seen one before, it’s a battery operated fan that also has a misting function to help you stay cool during those hot hot Orlando days. It’s a great product, and really helpful especially for the kids when at the Parks – BUT – they are kind of pricey, I believe they sell for around $20 at the Parks, and if you have multiple children that can quickly turn into an unforeseen expense eating up a big chunk of your souvenir budget. My solution? DIY it! You can purchase similar plain misting fans from Wal-Mart or Amazon for around $7 or less, and then you can turn it into a project by letting your kids “decorate” theirs – puffy paint for their names, and Disney stickers are a great addition, too! I personally had stickers laying around already, so I didn’t even need to buy those! Buying them ahead of time saves money, and decorating them allow them to be easily distinguishable for each family member, too!
Countdown Paper Chain: This is best to do about a month or so before your trip, all you need are some construction paper strips, and a stapler! Remove one each day, and by the time the chain is gone it’s time to head to Disney World! Of course if you wanted to take it to the next level….you could use patterned Disney scrapbook paper, or theme the colors to match your favorite Disney character. Either way, it’s a great way for the kids to visualize how many “sleeps” are left until Disney. I remember making these for Christmas and various other assorted holidays/special celebrations as a kid – and I always loved it, made me feel involved and excited to tear off a ring each day!
Chore Chart: An easy way to help your kids “earn” their own souvenir money is to create a Disney Chore Chart (basically a regular chore chart – but I like to draw some Mickey heads on there and use Disney stickers for the squares). What’s nice about this one is that it’s something you can do WELL in advance of your trip, as it will keep them focused on behaving and helping out around the house (because of COURSE they want to earn that souvenir money for Disney, right?). We are a BIG fan of chore charts in our house – as a reminder to help our son do his chores and learn responsibility, we have been using them for a while now – and even if your kids are really young, they can still earn a sticker for doing simple things like picking up their toys, eating all their dinner, etc – it’s a win/win for everyone
Savings Jar: Once they are earning some Disney souvenir money from their chore charts – they will need someplace to put it! A simple mason jar or anything with a top you can cut a slit in for coins will work – and you can easily get creative with the decorating, too! You can use vinyl for the letters, or stickers, puffy paint, ribbons/decoupage – the possibilities are endless, and once you and your little ones are done, your masterpiece can sit as a pretty reminder of your upcoming trip! I recommend you put it in a place where you will see it often – so you remember to stash all your spare change in it, too!
Packing Helpers: Packing for Disney is a CHORE to say the least, especially when you are working on packing not only yourself, but your little ones, too. I personally like to tackle it with plenty of lists – actual printed ones, so that I can physically check things off as I put them in bags. Aside from that though, packing is actually something you can get your kids involved in too – let them pick out some of their own outfits, have them bring items to you, have them pick their own toys/stuffed animals to bring – it may seem like a huge pain and waste of time to have them “help” – but they will love the chance to help prepare for the trip – trust me! Here are some more Packing Tips to help ease the burden of the not-so-fun task of packing for Disney
The countdown to Disney is never easy – but hopefully, these pre-trip activities will serve as useful distractions for your little ones (and you, too!)
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