Our family will be heading, once again, to Walt Disney World (WDW) this October. We are in the throes of one of our favorite Disney traditions, our Countdown to the Magic. This tradition started after we booked our very first “on-property” family trip to WDW. The children were young, and we booked the trip over a year in advance. We made a VERY long paper chain marked with the days until vacation. When that paper chain stretched across two walls of the kids’ bedroom, we got a true sense of how long we would have to wait to see the Mouse. Any of you fellow moms and dads of “littles” will know how excruciatingly difficult the waiting can be for those eager Mickey loving tykes. Oh, who are we kidding … it’s painful for ALL of us!
To keep the excitement alive before that first trip, I began to sneak small Disney themed surprises into their lunchboxes once a week. These gifts ranged from Disney Princess fruit snacks or Mickey shaped sandwiches to stickers or Disney themed party prizes. I always included a little note that would read “_ Weeks ’til Disney!” Out of this, our favorite Everyday DIStraction was born.
As they have gotten older these special countdowns have evolved, but the tradition still lives in our home. As we anticipate and plan for our October trip, we are doing Disney themed activities for our Countdown to the Magic. We have a jar with slips of paper in it. Each paper has Mickey Mouse with an activity printed on it.
Once a week, a member of the family gets to draw a slip of paper from the jar to choose which activity we will do that week. These activities are designed to cost very little, but be loaded with fun and excitement.
We want to share with you a list of countdown activities that we have enjoyed over the years, and a few photos of our favorites.
- Decorate jars for kids to start saving souvenir money in.
- Make Mickey shaped pizza for dinner.
- Assemble Disney puzzles.
- Play the Disney Movie Quotes Game.
- Surprise the kids with Disney balloons after school.
- Play Disney Scene It.
- Make Minnie Mouse cupcakes (pink frosting topped with white chocolate chips).
- Choose table service restaurants for vacation.
- Look at pictures together from previous WDW vacations.
- Have a Dole Whip on the deck.
- Eat Mickey pancakes for breakfast.
- Play Disney Cranium.
- Eat dinner on a Disney tablecloth.
- Check out Disney books at the library.
- Play “Find the Hidden Mickeys” in your house.
- Have Mickey shaped sandwiches for lunch (using a cookie cutter).
- Do Disney activity sheets and coloring pages during dinner.
- Make 50’s Prime Time PB&J Milkshakes.
- Watch the Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Video.
- Eat Foodles for lunch or snack.
- Shop for Disney window clings to decorate your resort room window.
- Write a letter to your favorite Disney character.
- Choose your FastPass+ attractions.
- Eat dinner on Disney paper plates.
- Make Mickey ice cream cones like they do at the Plaze Ice Cream Parlor.
- Create a Disney playlist for your flight or vacation road trip.
- Indulge in a homemade Beaches and Cream Kitchen Sink Sundae.
- Whip up a batch of Mickey Crispy Rice Treats.
- Craft a Mickey lollipop wreath.
- Play Disney computer games.
These are just some of the activities we have enjoyed while anticipating our memorable Disney vacations. Do you and your family have your own Countdown to the Magic traditions? Please share them with us in the comments below. Did you enjoy this article? Take a moment to read about some of our other Everyday DIStractions like our Hercules Movie Night or Disney Family Game Nights.
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