Disney World Countdown Tips

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It's always so exciting counting down the days until the next Disney trip. There are SO many good ideas out there, but this is one I hadn't heard of and used for my girls this past September. A few days before we left for Disney, I typed up a letter from their favorite character. I said things like, "I can't wait to see you next week, remember I'll be at the Character Spot at Epcot," as well as things like, "I see you are joining me for dinner at Chef Mickey's!" You get the idea. My girls LOVED it! I took a copy of the autographs from their last visit and had that character 'sign' the letter! - Melissa
Categories: Countdown
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When our daughter was younger we decided to countdown to Disney. We got a Disney-themed calendar and wrote the countdown days on it. On each day we would attach stars (or small Disney stickers) that represented money our daughter earned doing her chores. She got $.50 to $2 per day. She enjoyed counting the stickers on the pages. I enjoyed knowing she had her own money for souvenirs. - David Colvard
Categories: Countdown
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We normally book our Disney trips well in advance so we have a lot of wait time until the big day. To keep the excitement of Disney going throughout this wait time, we do anything we can that reminds us of Disney. We will make posters of Disney from unused travel brochures and hang them around the house. We will wear our Disney tee shirts to bed. We use our Disney cups at mealtime. When the departure date is near, about a week or so, I will surprise my daughter with a different Disney theme day -- when she gets off the bus, she has no clue what she will find. One day it could be a Princess Day -- I will dig out everything we have on Disney Princesses and decorate her room, then maybe read a Disney Princess story. Other themes we've had are High School Musical Day, 101 Dalmatians Day, Finding Nemo Day. We play music from that theme and maybe watch a Disney movie, etc. Our last visit was over Halloween so I took her Mickey stuffed animal and dressed it up in a witch's costume. I put Minnie Ears on our scarecrow. You get the idea -- use your imagination! - Carol Kuhar
Categories: Countdown
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When we go to Disney World there are many children of all ages because it basically becomes a family reunion. To help the kids in the family count down the days until the vacation, my husband and I send them a package each month stating how much time is left until vacation (9 more months!). We begin a year out from our vacation. The packages contain little gifts that get the kids excited but won't break the bank. We may send lip balm with SPF and a note telling them to use it while at Disney, or a pack of gum with a note telling them to chew the gum on the plane during take-offs and landings, or a magazine to read while waiting for flights, or $5.00 to spend at the Main Street Confectionery. The kids love it and look forward to their package each month. - Angela
Categories: Countdown
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We're taking my niece and nephew to Disney World for the first time (they're 9 and 10), but not until next year. They already know they're going and are excited, but a year is a long time to wait. To help them pass the time, I went to www.disneyphotopass.com and created a personalized calendar using photos from the Disney album. I then personalized it so that it counted down 11 months to go, 10 months to go, all the way until 1 day to go and "We Leave TODAY!" That way, they not only have a nice reminder about our trip, but also a way to pass the days until it's time to go. - Kimberly Kahl
Categories: Countdown
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Before going to Disney, I started collecting a few "knick knacks," like Disney pencils, pads, small cars, etc. (even had some Happy Meal toys). I wrapped each one separately. Each night after our grandson had gone to bed, we put one "gift" on the table for him to see in the a.m. Imagine his face when we saw that Mickey Mouse had come by during the night and left him a present because he had been so good! We did this each night of our trip (sort of a Santa thing) and of course, each day he had a little gift to play with. - Debbie Tummel
Categories: Countdown
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If you know you have an impending trip, purchase a Disney desk calendar. Each day you get to see a friendly Disney face. And you can keep the pages, take them to the parks and get characters to autograph them for you. Bring them home and scrapbook them and you have a wonderful piece of Disney magic! - Michelle
Categories: Countdown
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When we get to the 30-day mark before a trip, the special countdown panties come out! My aunt and mom made iron-on transfers with pictures of Disney characters next to a number (1-30). They ironed them onto the back of underwear for us. Everybody has different characters on different days, so the question of the day becomes, "Who are you wearing today?" Once they're washed and folded, the underwear goes back into the storage box until the next countdown hits 30 days! - Michelle Price
Categories: Countdown
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With a 16-, 14- and 10-year-old, you tend to be more creative in building up the "magic" for an upcoming trip. Every day for the month before our trip to Disney we place a different "trivia" note in each of our children's lunch kits. Not only could they share their piece of trivia with each other, but they had their friends gathering around each lunch hour to find out the latest tidbit. Much of the trivia was about the places and attractions in the parks and later made for a very educational visit for all while touring the parks. - Donna Lefebvre
Categories: Countdown
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Before our recent annual family trip to Walt Disney World, our daughter and son-in-law built even greater happy anticipation in their 6- and 4-year-olds. Each evening, two of the children's cherished stuffed Disney characters would magically appear someplace in the house other than the children's bedrooms. Each character would be sitting on two one-dollar bills for the coming trip. So, there were one-dollar bills for the children and one each for Mommy and Daddy. One night, the characters had instructions for a treasure hunt. In the end, two of the dollar bills were found in the collar of Gus, their Golden Retriever. One was in Grandpa's pocket, and one was in Granny's pocket. This was done for the month before the trip, along with a special calendar on which the children crossed off one day every night. - Diane Schmitz
Categories: Kids, Countdown
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In order to get my 7- and 5-year-old boys even more excited about the upcoming Disney trip, we made our Disney "favorites" page. We used our old Disney brochures and each person cut out their favorite place, ride, food, etc. from the last trip and five things that they want to do on this upcoming trip. We added stickers and original art work. We put each page next to our Countdown to Disney calendar so that each day the excitement grows! This also helped me in planning our trip, because now I know the five things each boy wants to do while at Disney! - Shellee Blaxton
Categories: Countdown
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When we were getting ready for our Disney trip I put little notes in my daughters' lunchboxes each day, counting down the days until our trip. We had planned out each day and which park we would visit, so the week before we left the notes read, "On this day next week you will be at (insert name of park)." My one daughter was a freshman in high school and the other was in eighth grade, so imagine how their lunchtime went each day when they would open their lunchboxes to discover the notes I had left for them. They really liked it though, and they saved all of the notes. - Lisa Cash
Categories: Countdown
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To help my daughter with her excitement and anticipation of how many more days until we go to see Mickey, I borrowed an idea from my Advent Christmas calendar. I made a calendar starting the month of our trip. On each day I wrote a message, such as "Bring up the luggage," "Don't forget your sunglasses," or "Minnie can't wait to have breakfast with you." I covered up the secret messages with Mickey heads that I made from black construction paper. Every day she would get up and remove the Mickey, and we would read the message and be one day closer to our visit. - MinnieMom1
Categories: Countdown
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One way my mom and I got ready for our trip to Disney World was to make a list of every animated Disney movie (in order of when each came out) and watch a movie a day until the trip! It helps you remember the magic of the movies while you get ready to experience the magic of the parks! - Chelsea
Categories: Planning, Countdown
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We are going to Disney soon and since our last trip 2 years ago, my daughter has been asking to go to "see Mickey Mouse in Florida." Since she is only 3 and doesn't really understand the concept of time yet, we found an easier way for her to get ready (sort of). We bought her a medium-size piggybank and told her that when she filled it up, we would go to Disney World. She gets so excited now for any little amount of change that it seems like the magic of Disney has already started! We have already booked our trip, but haven't told her yet. Our plan is to try to get her bank filled a day or two before we leave so that she really thinks she made it! And, of course, all the money from her bank will be hers to spend on our vacation! - Liz Weimann
Categories: Countdown, Kids and Money, Countdown
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