So you’ve planned a trip to Disneyland! What’s the hardest thing now? The waiting of course. Haven’t you heard the song? Well, trust me it is. So I thought it would be fun to share some ways to pass the time. Some fun ways for your kids to visualize how long they have to wait, some fun ways for adults to rub it in their friends noses I mean celebrate how quick it’s coming!
1. Chains – No, not the metal kind. I’m talking about the kind your children made in elementary school with construction paper. Yes, construction paper probably clued you in that this one is for kids. I’ve seen some really cute ones with a Disney theme. The idea is pretty simple. Take a bunch of paper strips (red, black and yellow?) and staple the first one into a circle. Then staple the next one into a circle that interlocks with the first one. Do this until you’ve arrived at your desired countdown number. Every day, take one off! Your kids will know, the shorter that chain gets, the closer they are to the Happiest Place on Earth!
2. Advent Calendar – This is my favorite way to countdown! Do your kids get these at Christmas? The kind where every day they open a little window and get something like a piece of chocolate. Or, if you’re a really cool parent, a little Lego Star Wars Figure! Well, these work for Disney too! I wouldn’t necessarily save one from Christmas though. That chocolate may be a little scary in September. I’d recommend finding an empty Advent calendar and filling it with fun Disney type things. I saw quite a few this year at Christmas, so grab one during an after-Christmas sale and have fun filling it! Or buy a shadow box! Or, if you’re a scrapbooker, you’ve probably found something similar to this set of drawers or this one. It’s great to decorate (or leave plain) and fill. If you’re pin traders, my suggestion is to fill those calendars or drawers with pins! Buy an inexpensive lot of them on eBay and plus up your collection for trading before you go.
3. A Regular Calendar – This one’s pretty straightforward. Get a calendar! Any calendar. Hang it where everyone in the family can see it, and mark off the days. You can number backwards from your arrival date so every day you’ll know how many days you have left! Get a Disney calendar for even more fun. Or instead of marking off the days, put a Disney sticker on each day. When the days are filled, it’s time to go!
4. Tickers – Vacation tickers are so much fun. You may be wondering what on earth a vacation ticker is? Well you’re in luck because I’ll tell you! A ticker is like an electronic banner for use on things like message boards. There are many websites like Myvacationcountdown.com that will let you create one for free. They’re very easy to make, you just follow the instructions and customize it however you would like. After you’re done, the website generates HTML code to cut and paste. The ticker keeps a countdown to whatever date you pick. It will tell you at a glance how long you have to go! I have one month, 2 weeks and 5 days until my next Disney cruise in case anyone was wondering…
5. Vacation Countdown App – In this day and age of smart phones, you can bet there’s an app for that. There are several actually. These apps will add an icon to your phone which opens a Disney themed countdown. I’ve got WDW Countdown on mine. There’s a red notification bubble with the number of days left until my next vacation! That’s 49 on my phone if you’re keeping track.
6. A Chalkboard – A simple chalkboard. Or a Disney themed, heavily decoupaged chalkboard, works in a pinch. Just write down the number of days left and change the number every day!
7. Refrigerator Magnets – Put a countdown where you’re guaranteed to see it multiple times a day – on the refrigerator. Buy some Disney magnets and simple number magnets. Change the count every day! Or get a magnetic dry erase board to write the numbers on, there are lots of options here. I’ve even seen someone attach magnets to the back of small boxes and create their own Advent type calendar on the fridge!
8. Character Mail – Get a collection of Disney post cards. Put one in the mailbox every day to the kids letting them know how many days are left. If you’re really good at impersonating handwriting, you could even write a little note about how excited the characters are to see them!
9. Disney Jar – How about a fun family activity to get everyone excited? Choose the number of days you want to start counting down from, like 30. Cut out 30 strips of paper and write something Disney related on each one. Maybe a trivia or other type question. Like, “What ride are you looking forward to the most?” “What’s your favorite Disney Character?” “What Snack are you looking forward to the most?” Fold up the papers and put them in a jar or other cute Disney themed container. Each day take one out to share with the family. It’s a dinnertime topic in case you were running out of things to say to each other.
10. Buy a Countdown – Have you ever heard of an amazing website named Etsy? Etsy is a site where people sell amazing things! It’s usually handmade or vintage, and they’re things you can’t generally find in stores. I got an amazing Disneyland iPhone 5 case on Etsy, but I digress. Oh and camera straps! They have the greatest camera straps! Oops, digressing again. Well there are a few sellers on Etsy that have made some absolutely adorable Disney countdowns. Go to Etsy.com and search “Disney Countdown”. It’s a feast for the eyes and not always a huge hit to the wallet.
So what fun ways do you countdown to your next Disney Vacation?