by Beauty and the Beast Diva
Prepping your kids for a Disney trip!
There is nothing more exciting than the anticipation of a trip to Walt Disney World, and this is coming from someone whom has been there countless times. Thanks to this website and Pinterest I have found a ton of ways to prep for my upcoming trips. Here are some super fun ways to prep, other than the good old paper chain!
- The countdown: I will not knock the paper chain, mainly because sometimes I still do it, but try to make it exciting by writing things on the inside of the link, like “I’m most excited to ride….” “I’m most excited to eat at ….” “The snack I’m most excited to try is…” Thanks to the magic of technology and the creativity of those on Pinterest there are a ton of cool ways to countdown. There are countdown apps on our phones and tablets. And there are ton of cool ideas for countdown blocks or pictures online that are quite easy to make, and the kids can totally get involved!
- YouTube: I will endlessly thank the powers that be for YouTube, I use that crazy site for EVERYTHING. If you or your children are getting restless you can YouTube just about every single ride, parade, park opening, or act in the parks. There are also tours of the resorts, rooms, and parks. Not to mention, there are HOURS worth of music from every park. Here you can plan the rides or parades you NEED to go on or “ride” the ones you know you wouldn’t even consider. And if you’ve read my articles in the past, you know that I frequently watch the Magic Kingdom park opening just to boost my spirits when I’m in a deep Disney Depression. Warning: if you want to limit screen time, don’t start watching these because hours later your kids will still be checking things out.
- Packing Lists: I am 100% a planner. I am so old school, I will write out and then rewrite out my packing list. On occasion I will type it up, but I love the feeling of being able to write stuff out and then cross it off! While you are trying to focus on what to actually bring, let your kids make their own packing lists! It’s totally up to you to stick to it or not. Let them decide on one electronic to bring for the car or the plane ride, one stuffed animal or security item and maybe let them chose their swimsuits or one crazy outfit, it will keep them occupied while you are able to actually pack for them!
- Tinkerbell gifts: I wish I could take credit for coming up with Tink gifts. Thanks to Disney Diva’s video, I discovered them AND have passed the idea on to EVERYONE I know with children. If the children are well behaved that day in the parks Tinkerbell will come to your hotel room with a SMALL gift i.e. glow sticks for the Electrical Light Parade, or a coloring book, etc…, think Dollar Store! However, why not have her send a gift a few days before you leave- type up a letter in a fun font sprinkle on some “pixie dust” and send the package to your kids explaining that she knows they have an upcoming trip and that if they are well behaved she will visit their rooms nightly. In the package put something like a Disney shirt to wear on the plane or on the first day or a Princess dress or Pirate gear so you aren’t spending an arm and a leg in the park. How fun would it be for your kids to get a package from Tinkerbell herself?!
- Saving: From someone that spends a LOT of money on souvenirs I’m NOT the best person to be giving advice on being frugal with spending money but I will try my best. There a few ways to limit your child’s spending or have them save their own pennies to spend. My husband and I have a Disney jar; all of our change goes into it and right before we leave, we cash it all in. This money is usually for tips or mouse-keeping. Have the kids decorate the jar with stickers and keep them as their own or have one for the whole family. You can also have a chore chart or good behavior chart and have them “earn” dollars. Before you leave or once you get there, you can purchase a Disney gift card for that amount for an older child- allowing them to keep track of their own money. Or for younger children, give them Monopoly money in their amount and anytime they “spend” money take the money from them so they can see how much more they have to spend.
- Disney Movie Night: Again, everyone has family movie nights, but thanks to this website you can find Disney inspired movie nights for movies such as Dumbo, The Princess and the Frog, Finding Nemo and The Great Mouse Detective. A fun movie to watch is Pirates of the Caribbean or the Haunted Mansion and try to find the similarities when you actually ride the rides.
My husband and I do some of these things and we are grown adults. There is nothing quite like the anticipation of a trip, it’s exciting for you, imagine what it is like for them! Also, something to remember is that your family will be walking A LOT. Try walking as a family starting a few weeks before the trip to prepare everyone for whats to come. Remind your kids that they will be in a crowded place and it will be easy to get separated. And it’s a good idea to look at maps with them and make plans of where to meet if anything should happen.
Most importantly, have fun and relax! It is just a trip and if you are well prepared it will go smoothly. Good luck prepping for your trip!