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By Dreamin’ Diva

Are you “Disney Dreaming”? Are you desperately in need of some good old fashioned Disney magic? Does it feel like everyone else has had a Disney trip this year except for you? Are you insanely jealous of all of the fun pictures your friends and family have posted on Facebook of their recent Disney vacations? Well, since you can’t see me sitting here with my arm in the air and pointing to myself as I answer yes to ALL of the above questions, I’m just going to come out and say it:  My name is Amanda, and I am coping with severe Disney withdrawal. 

                                                                                  (Made with the Disney Memories app for Android)



Whether you have been to each park many times or you have never been to the parks, dreaming about your next trip is completely normal.  At least it is in my world and for many of my fellow Disney addicts.  Unfortunately though, for many of us, a Disney vacation isn’t in the near (or distant) fiscal future. When you are craving a little magic, the expenses of life and the distance between you and Walt Disney World can be a real drag. Here are a few tips for dealing with your Disney withdrawal:

1. Watch Disney Movies
This can also be good prep for when your dream becomes a reality.  However, in the meantime the characters and songs of the classics can warm the heart and bring back great memories of childhood or past visits to the Happiest Place on Earth. Recently, a friend of mine got a hold of a copy of “Song of the South”. Of course we had to have a movie night because we had all never seen this classic movie used as the back story for Splash Mountain.  Singing along to “Zip-a-dee-do-dah” and “Laughing Place” were oddly soothing.  This movie is hard to come by since it has only ever been released on VHS and will likely not be released due to its historically political incorrectness, but if you are able to get a hold of a copy (or you are willing to spend $90 on eBay or Amazon), please do. I could go on and on about this particular movie, but my point is, when the kiddos (or grown-ups) want a movie, encourage a Disney film. Whip up some popcorn and pop in one of the classics! What a fun movie night! After the movie, explore the extra features and games.  Some DVDs and Blue Rays have “Easter Eggs”, which are fun little hidden bonus features. Do an internet search for the movie of your choice as follows: “The Incredibles Easter Eggs”.  
When the kids (and grown-ups) know the stories, it will make that dream vacation even more exciting. You literally step into these stories around every corner in the parks.  So when “A part of your world” comes on, go ahead and belt it at the top of your lungs! I sure do and I can’t wait to step foot on the new “Little Mermaid” ride in the New Fantasyland!
2. Plan a Fake Vacation
Take a look at the websites for the parks and resort highlights.  At first, it may make me feel a little sad because I just want to be there already, but I find it so fun to just look at all the possibilities I have to look forward to one day!  This also helps price out how much it would take to make your dream a reality. Using the websites for the parks and seeing all of the selections that are offered can give you a great idea of where to start when the time finally comes to plan! Play around with the options until it is in a range you think you can handle.  Look at the different lodging options and the amenities at each resort. There are many things they offer that you hadn’t even thought of.  Consider what the best option is for you and your family. I have visited many times and know a lot about the parks, but things change occasionally.  I learn new things all the time just by browsing the websites when I’m really missing the parks.  For my vacations, I make an Excel spreadsheet and list all of the aspects beyond just the park tickets and hotels. I’m just a nerd like that.  Be sure to include a budget for airfare, food, souvenirs, gas and anything else you might need to bring with you that you don’t already have.  Once you have it all down in one place…… it’s time for tip # 3!
3. Start a “Disney Fund”
Put a little away each week, each paycheck, or each month.  Once you know how much your vacation would cost (from tip # 2), you now have a goal.  It feels good every time you add to the stash to know that you are that much closer to your dream vacation. Anything can help, whether it is every $1 or $5 bill you get, adding all of your change to a jar, a set amount each week, or a full on savings plan. When I am considering buying something that isn’t essential, I think to myself, “would I rather have this pair of shoes or put the money in my jar”. I’ll be honest, the decision is usually pretty easy.  I am currently doing the 52 week Money Challenge from this website here to save for our next trip:
4. Follow Disney on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs or use Disney smartphone apps.
Yes, Disney is even on Pinterest! They pin Disney memes and lots of other fun park info. Keeping up on the latest park news has been a great way help me feel better about not being there.  My best friend has told me that she always knows when I am missing Disney World because I will re-pin about 50 pins about Disney in about 15 minutes time.  I love to just search “Disney” and see what comes up.  I have found great ideas that I am saving for the big day when I can begin planning a real trip! I will be so glad that I did, I just know it!
There are so many options to stay connected. You can subscribe to the Disney Insider emails ( or become a member of D23.  For me, it has been a great way to stay connected to the magic. There a several Disney apps for movies and parks out there that are pretty neat.  I have even made it a little game to find the parks on Google Earth app on the iPad. It is quite fun to try to navigate through parks with a bird’s eye view. There are so many Disney Apps out there that may satisfy that Disney craving! One of my favorites is the Disney Memories app because you can add a touch of Disney to your own pictures.
 Another fun thing to do is to enter contests for the Disney vacations that are often advertised on Disney’s social media.  Some of them are quite fun because there are little games where you can earn more entries or extra prizes if you happen to be lucky enough to win. I know the odds of actually winning are pretty slim, especially because I never win anything, but a girl can dream… can’t she?
 5. Disney crafts and recipes
This probably isn’t terribly shocking, but Disney has a family oriented website dedicated to crafts and recipes ( Spoonful has lots of great crafts for all ages along with yummy Disney related recipes.  The emails you can sign up for include seasonal recipes, crafts, and other featured topics. You can even follow Spoonful on Pinterest!  I have also found lots of great Disney inspired crafts on Spoonful and Pinterest in general to do while I’m Disney dreaming (if you haven’t already noticed, I am OBSESSED with Pinterest!)  Next on my list is a decorated jar for my “Disney Fund”. Have you started planning yours ever since you read tip #3?
On our last visit to the parks, we found a cookbook (Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs) with recipes from restaurants in the parks and cruises.  Try your hand at recreating your family’s favorite eats from your last trip. You can even find some of these recipes online! We could all use a Dole Whip from time to time, couldn’t we?
Another time consuming craft while you are waiting to make your dream vacation a reality is to make a scrapbook of the pictures from your last trip and talk about your favorite memories with your family.  Write down what you remember and tuck it into the scrapbook. This is going to be my winter project this year.  Just last weekend, I made two shadow boxes with tickets, room keys, and trinkets from our trip to Walt Disney World for our wedding and honeymoon. I also made one from the trip where my husband proposed (all were Pinterest inspirations). I proudly hung them on my walls and have looked at it every day since then.  They make me smile every time! Get creative with what you have and you will really surprise yourself! Haven’t made the trip before? Pre-make scrap book pages for you to fill with your happy memories when you get home from your long awaited trip!


What do you do when you are craving some Disney magic? Give these a try and don’t give up hope! As they say in The Carousel of Progress”
“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day! There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow is just a dream away!”
 I hope you can plan your next trip soon and I can’t wait to hear all of YOUR stories!
See ya real soon!