The only thing better than taking a Disney vacation is….getting ready for your Disney vacation! Honestly, I think all the excitement & anticipation that happens before a trip – while you're planning and dreaming about it – is the best part. Did you know research shows you actually get MORE happiness out of planning a vacation than actually taking one?!
I’m pretty sure I proved this theory just last month. Our family recently went to Disneyland, and we spent weeks talking about it beforehand. My boys LOVE Disneyland (how could they not, with me for their mom?!) – but they got such a kick out of our planning that by the time we actually got there, they were SO excited for all of their dreams to come true.
If you’d like to amp up the Disney prep at your house too, here are 5 easy ways to get your kids excited for a Disney vacation:
1. THE BIG REVEAL. Announce your trip in an exciting way – I love the idea of doing a Disney scavenger hunt around the house to reveal the surprise vacation. Or, you could have your kids unwrap the news – on my blog, I offer a customizable family guide for Disneyland that’s perfect to print, wrap and deliver.
2. LISTEN UP. Did you know the official Disneyland and Walt Disney World soundtracks are available on Spotify? (You can also buy the albums HERE.) We love listening to the music from our favorite rides, parades & shows year-round – it's almost like you’re walking down Main Street USA in your very own home!
3. MAKE A COUNTDOWN. My kids love the visual of checking off days leading up to a vacation – we like to do a countdown calendar or paper chain before our trips. It’s helpful when they can see how many days they’ll have to wait before you leave (and you're not constantly having to tell them!).
4. WATCH RIDE VIDEOS. YouTube is full of videos showing entire Disneyland rides. (Try one of our favorites: Theme Park HD or The Coaster Views) I used to be on the fence about this one because I didn't want my kids' ride experience spoiled, BUT I've changed my tune. My boys get really nervous about fast, dark or loud rides – so for them, being able to watch the actual ride from the safety of home made them a lot more brave about trying the ride in person. Plus, actually riding the ride (with the music, and lighting, and special effects – like the wind & aromas in Soarin', my favorite!) is still a pretty exciting experience compared to a YouTube video – so never fear, there will still be surprises in store.
5. GET YOUR BEARINGS. Another fun thing to do is give your kids a park map and let them peruse to their heart’s content. We’ve been to Disneyland a bunch of times and I’ve saved old guide maps, so I pull those out for fun – but you can also download and print them online. (Search “guide map” and the name of the park you’ll be visiting.) The maps show you the layout of the parks, the rides & restaurants, even little illustrations that your kids will be delighted to recognize in real life.
And, don’t forget – you can hire a friendly ConciEAR to help you plan the details of your trip and geek out right along with you! One of my favorite things to do with clients is set up a private Facebook group where we can post the latest Disney travel news and chat about all the fun you get to look forward to. Anticipating the magic of a Disney vacation isn’t just for kids. Are you ready to get started planning your next vacation today? Go ahead and contact me directly at lwells@ConciEARS.com and together we can develop a magical plan for your next Disney vacation.
Have we missed anything?? Chime in with your family’s favorite ways to get ready for a Disney vacation below.