There is something so special about a Disney trip, a magic that you can’t explain. We all need a little bit of that magic right now. With the Disney parks closed so many people were forced to cancel trips they had been planning for months or maybe even years. But there are quite a few ways to feel the Disney magic at home.
I completely understand the disappointment that comes with having to cancel a trip. Early in our relationship, Mitch had an accident that completely shattered his leg and he had to undergo multiple surgeries. Because of this, we had to cancel a trip we were planning to celebrate his birthday in Disneyland.
Coincidentally, he was actually released from the hospital on his birthday so as a surprise I decorated our home at the time to make it feel like he was in Disneyland. I themed each of the areas of our small North End (Boston’s Little Italy) apartment to each of Disneyland’s lands. In each land, there was a game to play and a snack I made. The entryway was Main Street USA. I covered the walls with scene setters brick and had a display of balloons and lollipops. You entered Fantasyland through a posterboard cutout of Sleeping Beauty’s castle where a Mad Tea Party was set up. New Orleans square had Monte Cristos and beignets and we played Haunted Mansion Clue. We had so much fun that we barely noticed we were in our tiny kitchen and not in the Happiest Place on Earth.
Whether you had to cancel a trip or you are just stuck at home looking for something to do here are some ways to feel the magic that is so special in the Disney Parks in your very own home.
It is something we look forward to at least once on our Disney Vacation and I am sure it is on your to-do list as well. When I need a Disney fix I find the best way to get it is to break out my Mickey Waffle iron and special waffle mix. Check out Disney Food Blog’s post below on how to make these at home to brighten up your day.
While you may not actually be able to ride your favorite attractions you can pretend to. Give your kids the boxes from all of the Amazon orders you have received in the past few days and let them decorate them like their favorite ride vehicles. There are some great ride POV (point of view) videos on youtube. Set your ride vehicle in front of the tv and have fun with it!
My favorite thing about Walt Disney World has always been the food. I plan my vacations around new restaurants and exciting dining reservations. The internet is teeming with copycat recipes of popular Disney dishes. Take a look at the menus for the restaurants you were planning to visit and pick a dish to recreate. My favorite is Ohana Bread Pudding.
Theming is what sets Disney apart from other amusement parks. I love how all the details tie in to create a magical experience. If you are struggling to entertain your children choose a theme for the day. Before you watch Frozen 2 on Disney+, learn about Norway and Norse Mythology, do a science experience where you create crystals, have craft time where you build a snowman with paper plates, bake Princess Anna’s favorite chocolate dessert and plan your dinner menu around the movie. For something slightly more low key make pasta and meatballs and watch Lady and the Tramp.
Check out the Queen of Movie Night, my friend, Esther, at A Magical Kingdom Called Home.
I find most of the magic of Disney is found not on the rides or restaurants but in the details. If you have followed me for some time you will know sitting on Main Street just taking in the atmosphere is my happy place. Disney released a game on for the Xbox One Kinect years and years ago. It was called Disneyland and you could actually walk through the parks. You had a series of challenges to help the characters who called the land home. You had to ride attractions to grab items and bring them back to Mickey. Although the Kinect was discontinued you can still get the accessory and the game for very cheap.
Prepare yourself for your next adventure to EPCOT or beyond. Spend some time learning about the cultures represented in the World Showcase. Get your kids excited to fill their passport by learning how to say hello in each of the languages. National Geographic has a great explore platform that teaches you facts, geography and culture of many nations including those in the World Showcase. Make sure you write down any questions that come up for them to ask the representatives.
The Disney Animation Academy has been reincarnated in Disney’s Animal Kingdom but this reminds me so much of the good old days of Hollywood Studios. I love how Hollywood Studios celebrated the Golden Age of Hollywood but it was also an actual working studio. Brother Bear, Lilo & Stitch, and Mulan were almost fully animated from the park. You too can learn to draw your favorite characters from videos online.
Have some fun re-decorating a space in your house. It can just be a temporary display for the length of the quarantine or you can add some permanent decor. Have the kids help pick a theme and pick the items you want to add. You can redecorate the playroom to be Walt Disney World for a few days like I did for Mitch or add some subtle Disney love to your home permanently. My guest room is Beauty and the Beast inspired with a Be Our Guest farmhouse sign over the bed, yellow rose accent pillows to reflect Belle’s dress and teapots, candelabras and clocks adorn the bookcase.
The Artistic Sparrow has some of my favorite home decor pieces but they only open occasionally so be sure to join their email list.
Have you ever noticed how amazing the background area music is at Walt Disney World? Listening to it just transports me there immediately. DParkRadio is an app that can be added to your Amazon Echo. Go to the Alexa app and search for DParkRadio in skills and enable. Then have Alexa as D. Park to play channel 2 – that is their background music loop.
Head to their website to learn more and see what is playing right now.
They say that your olfactory glands are the ones that most trigger memories. There are some great small businesses out there that create candles and oils that are inspired by smells in the Disney parks.
There is no more iconic souvenir than Mickey Ears. A great way to feel like you are in the Magic Kingdom is to don your favorite pair. Break out your favorite Disney t-shirt, princess dress, superhero suit, Jedi robes or try Disneybounding.
Disneybounding is a subtle way for fans to show their love for Disney while adhering to the Disney Parks no adult costumes rule. You wear an everyday outfit that is inspired by a particular character. According to the creator, Leslie Kay “It uses clothes to recreate the outfits of your favorite Disney characters without being costume-y. You could go to school or the mall in a Disneybound and not get pegged for being in costume.” So if you were to bound as Snow White you would wear a yellow skirt, navy shirt, red cardigan, and red headband.
Head to Polka Dot Pixie Dust for some style inspiration
End the day the same way you would if you were in a Disney Park… with a nighttime spectacular. When I need a Disney fix I watch videos of the fireworks before bed. The added bonus, there are no crowds and no long walk back to the busses to get back to the hotel! You can find dozens of full videos of the fireworks on Youtube.
Everyone is being hit hard by the coronavirus. Many small businesses are wondering how they are going to survive so it may take some extra creativity to save for your next trip. Go online and look for ways to earn money through rewards programs. Have your kids start planning a lemonade stand or car wash for when social distancing is a thing in the past. Have them figure out cost and margins – make it a math lesson. Have them develop a marketing plan. Or maybe you can start crafting something that they can sell to friends and family. Brainstorm and get creative. Let them have whatever they make for spending money.
The BEST thing you can do to hold you over until your next visit is to start planning it. I am obviously a planner by nature but my favorite thing to do between trips was to plan. Even if it wasn’t a financial possibility I would plan elaborate dream trips that I still hope to take someday. Currently, Disney packages are available through December 2020. The Dining window is coming up for Sept/Oct trips within the next few weeks. With a Disney trip the earlier you can begin planning the easier it will be. So let’s start planning together! Get your FREE Downloadable guide below to get started planning out your trip.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how you can bring Disney Home to your family. I am constantly pinning new ideas to my Disney at Home Pinterest Board, make sure you give it a follow so you can keep up on new great ideas!
I understand how you’re feeling, I know all too well how easy it can be at the beginning to start researching online, just to find yourself 3 hours down the line more confused than when you started. But don’t panic! I can help you plan your dream Disney vacation without any of the stress of hassle – starting with the ‘A Disney Trip without Overwhelm, 5 Easy Steps’ Guide. These 5 steps will help keep you focused on organizing the best trip ever, while giving you peace of mind that everything will be done, and nothing will be left out.
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