Countdown to Disney – Anticipation! Excitement!

After about three thousand changes to our Walt Disney World reservations (including adding a day, dropping Zachary and Jonah from one day, rebooking under free dining, adjusting Advance Dining Reservations, then removing two days, removing Zachary and adding my uncle) I think we are all set in the reservations department and our countdown to Disney has taken a more exciting tone. When we first made the reservations, we were still over six months away from our trip. Making our dining reservations adding a little excitement, but since then it’s more like, “I can’t wait for Disney! It’ll be awesome,” from the kids about once every day or so.

We head to Florida next month and I can’t wait. Our last trip was so fun, I’m looking forward to doing it all over again with the kids, who are all two years older and hopefully willing to try some new experiences.

How can you make the wait for Disney more fun-filled, especially when reservations are made so far ahead of the departure date? Here are some ways we’re keeping the Mouse in our minds.

1. Watch videos on YouTube. You can type “Disney World rides” into the search box and find tons of options. The ones my kids like the best are the POV ones that take a viewer through the ride from start to finish. I’m hoping this will lessen their jitters a bit when we head to a new ride that they were not ready to ride in 2010. Not only to know what to expect, but I think it also helps them to see other kids their age (or younger) having a lot of fun on these rides. Other kids’ opinions are worth more than their mom’s!

2. Make a countdown chain. To young kids, telling them they have 54 more days until Disney is about the same as saying there’s 365 days until next Christmas. It’s a long, long time and they have no concept of exactly how long it is. At the beginning of each new month, Grant has proclaimed, “We go to Disney World this month!” and I’ve had to say, “Sorry, buddy, not quite yet.” So we used some scrapbook paper I picked up two years ago, cut it into strips, and made a countdown chain we hung in the living room. As the chain gets shorter and shorter, the kids get more and more excited.

3. Make Disney treats. This one popped up in my “everything” Pinterest feed, but, alas, I failed to pin it. I dipped regular sized Oreos in red candy melts (I needed to use a toothpick to make the line straighter; I like straight lines) and broke toothpicks in half to attach the mini Oreos (take them out before giving them to small kids, folks). Melted almond bark for the dots. This was a super easy project for an inept baker such as myself, and the kids were impressed. Success!

4. Start talking about the specifics. We got our luggage tags in the mail from Disney the other day. You know you’re getting close when those arrive! I’ve been talking to the kids about the airport, plane ride and the bus trip from the Orlando airport to the resort. I’ve been reminding them of the long lines and miles and miles of walking. I think setting up realistic expectations really helped us on our first trip two years ago (for both the kids and the parents). I don’t want them to demand 100% fun 100% of the time – let’s face it, feet get tired and standing in lines can get tedious – that way, when things (hopefully) go better than anticipated, we can all rejoice.

5. If this is not your first trip, pull out the memories. I am ashamed to admit I hadn’t yet done anything with our Disney 2010 photos. In fact, I had never even glanced at the images from our PhotoPasses. Awful, I know. So one day I got an email announcing a 50% off photo book sale at a photo printing company and set about making a little photo book for the kids. Hasn’t arrived yet, but I can’t wait to see it! Also, I put all the photos into a slideshow set to music that we could play on the DVD player. The kids had a blast reliving the memories and talking about what we’re going to do again when we go next month.

Did I mention I can’t wait? Yeah, I think I’m more antsy than the kids!



  1. Oh wow! Your post sounds so happy! I’m glad. Love that countdown chain! =>

  2. I absolutely love the countdown chain!! We could have used that around here for the countdown to Halloween! My son asks every minute, “How many days until Halloween?” I can’t imagine how excited they would be over going to Disney World! I hope you have a great trip!

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