Disney Vacations don't just begin when you're on property

Disney mom

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#1
I don’t know about you, but when I have a Disney World trip scheduled, I get this feeling! I can’t really explain it. When I think about something I want to do on our trip I sometimes even get butterflies! I know it’s crazy! I’m an adult! I have two kids. It happens every time I am planning our vacation! I can’t be the only one out there... I hope I’m not anyway! When I plan our vacation I don’t just think about what we will do when we’re actually on property. I like to build the excitement for the rest of my family from the very beginning. We start with a countdown calendar on the 100th day before vacation. Now in my mind I’ve started a countdown from the very second our reservation was made. We always get the quick service dining plan so the 180 day reservation mark isn’t really a priority except for Be Out Guest. We like to eat there for breakfast on our 1st Magic Kingdom day. The big draw to this used to be that we could make an early reservation, before park opening, and get Main Street USA and Cinderella Castle practically all to ourselves. This isn’t the case anymore, since Disney did away with the Train Station Welcome Show in 2017. We still get BOG reservations, though. It’s just so magical in there and the theming is wonderful! For our countdown we will usually have something on our refrigerator or in our kitchen to change the day on. We have also done a countdown chain with activities on the back of each link. The activities will usually start when we are about a month from vacation. This year we still did our traditional change the day countdown, but we did something new. We did Disney Dinner and a Movie Nights. One weekend night for two months before vacation we would watch a movie and have dinner that, in some way, related to the movie. Sometimes it was very loosely related. I really had to put my creativity to the test on some of these, but let me tell you, my husband and I had the best time coming up with ideas and preparing these meals. It really pushed us to think outside the box and try things we never had before. Now some things were very simple and kind of no brainers, but some things we had to be quite creative with.

Ok, So to get the countdown started we had to decide what movies we were going to watch. We had 8 weeks til vacation so I let each of my 2 boys pick 3 and my husband and I each picked 1. We all have our favorites and I wanted to make sure everyone got to be included some how. I didn’t let the kids know what movie we were going to watch each night or even what we were going to eat. We always had a big reveal right before supper. This just added to the excitement! I like for our movies to, in some way, relate to something at Disney World and some are very traditional Disney favorites like Toy Story and The Little Mermaid, but we also threw some not so traditional ones in like National Treasure and Indiana Jones. Now I know there is really not anything National Treasure at Disney, but it is a favorite of ours and it is a very patriotic movie which can be tied to the American Adventure in Epcot or even the Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom. Usually, we can find someway to tie it to Disney. We had so much fun with these movie nights that we ended up adding a couple of extras before vacation. I think this will definitely be a tradition for us before heading off to Disney!

Let me know what you do to countdown or prepare for your Disney vacation. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. I’m always looking for new things to do for our family vacation.


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stevejones

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#3
Great thread. We have a countdown board. We typically start it around the 50 day mark. Its a Mickey head shaped chalkboard that we change every day. Pretty simple but it keeps everyone excited. I'll post a picture of it in a bit.
 
 
   
 

DisneyDaddyof2

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#4
Our family does something similar. We have movie nights leading up to when we leave for vaca. We all have to eat popcorn out of our Walt Disney World popcorn buckets. The last movie we watch before we leave is always Peter Pan, our favorite attraction.
 
 
   
   
   
 

Disney mom

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#6
Great thread. We have a countdown board. We typically start it around the 50 day mark. Its a Mickey head shaped chalkboard that we change every day. Pretty simple but it keeps everyone excited. I'll post a picture of it in a bit.
Thank you! Look forward to seeing it!
 
 
   
 

Disney mom

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#7
Our family does something similar. We have movie nights leading up to when we leave for vaca. We all have to eat popcorn out of our Walt Disney World popcorn buckets. The last movie we watch before we leave is always Peter Pan, our favorite attraction.
That’s awesome! I just love having Disney traditions!
 
 
   
 

Wonderfulworld

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#8
We do our countdown to Disney by giving the kids chores to do to earn money for souvenirs. Every chore on the Disney chore list will earn money. This may include your typical chores such as dishes. Has worked well for our family.
 
 
   
 

Disney mom

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#9
We do our countdown to Disney by giving the kids chores to do to earn money for souvenirs. Every chore on the Disney chore list will earn money. This may include your typical chores such as dishes. Has worked well for our family.
That’s a really good idea! My kids definitely find stuff to spend money on!
 
 
   
   
   
   
   
 

Wall.e

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#12
That is pretty neat. We are always looking for new ideas to keep the excitement up before a trip (not that we really need to keep it up) lol
 
 
   
 

Disney mom

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#13
That is pretty neat. We are always looking for new ideas to keep the excitement up before a trip (not that we really need to keep it up) lol
Thank you! I like to try different things leading up to our vacations too. We really did have a lot of fun with this one, but you are 100% correct, going to Disney is filled with plenty of excitement just by itself.
 
 
   
 
 
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