There’s no question about it—I’m a bona fide Disney fanatic. I’m not alone in this. I’d venture to guess that most people reading this can relate. We frequent Disney World as often as we can. We listen to the “Disney Classics” Pandora Station while we clean our house. We make Mickey Mouse pancakes and read Disney blogs and will talk your ear off if you ask us anything even remotely related to Disney. Adjusting back to the real world after leaving an awesome Disney vacation is no small feat for those of us who have a strong affinity for the Mouse and can more often than not have us feeling stuck in the doldrums for many days thereafter.
For this reason I entwine Disney into my daily routine as often as possible. Why? Simply put, because Disney makes me happy. The “Disney blues” are a real thing, folks, and not something to let fester. Adding a bit of Disney to my day stirs up feelings of joy, makes me nostalgic, and helps me feel like a kid again. It’s hard to be far from my next Disney vacation, but there are things that we can do to make it a little easier. Here are 5 keys to surviving non-Disney days (a.k.a. “real life”).
5. Host a Disney-Themed Dinner or Party
Parents are always throwing Disney-themed birthday parties for their kids…but why do they get to have all the fun?! Throw a dinner party with your friends or just host a gathering and sprinkle that bad boy with as much pixie dust as you can muster. A few years back I hosted a surprise Wonderland birthday party for my sister. The catch? Everyone had to come as an Alice in Wonderland character. Some costumes were elaborate (We had a Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum that would blow your mind!) and some were simplistic yet clever (My brother tied a doorknob to his nose). Need more inspiration? Host a Frozen dinner party and make all Norwegian-inspired dishes or a conglomeration of Disney films party and serve dishes with fun names like Jungle Salad with Baloo-Cheese Dressing, Cruella Deville’d Eggs, and Tow Mater Soup. Play Disney board games afterwards or follow it up with a Disney movie. Just have fun with it and share your creative Disney side with your friends and family!
4. Become an Unofficial (or Official!) Disney Travel Planner
It’s easy to talk about things we know well. When a friend is planning a trip to Disney, why not offer to map out a perfect Disney vacation for them? After all, people can’t really expect to just bippity-boppity- boo their way to the perfect Disney vacation with a magic wand. It requires thought and planning. What better way to plan than to get experienced recommendations from a Disney fanatic? I am thrilled when people come to me looking for advice on how to make their Disney trip the most magical for them. Let your love of Disney shine bright and people will naturally seek you out when planning an upcoming trip. Impart your knowledge—share with them the best time of day to ride Soarin’ or how to secure a much-coveted Be Our Guest dinner reservation. Helping others plan their Disney vacations helps take the sting out of not being there yourself, even if just a little bit.
3. Create Disney-Inspired Dishes at Home
Are you one of the millions obsessed with Disney’s Pineapple Dole Whip? Perhaps you can’t get Le Cellier’s Cheddar Cheese Soup off your mind or you find yourself dreaming about Liberty Tree Tavern’s Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at night. There is no better way to convince yourself you are in reach of the Castle than to close your eyes and indulge in food that is unmistakably characteristic to Disney property. Many of these recipes can be received simply by asking your server at a Disney restaurant or you can try your luck with a Google search engine. Many authentic recipes or their very convincing replicas of the more popular favorites will be found online. What are you waiting for? Grab your chef’s hat, or just put on your Mickey ears, and get cookin’!
2. Watch a Disney Attraction on YouTube
My daughter is obsessed—and I mean OBSESSED—with Disney parades. If it were ever a choice between watching a cartoon on television and pulling up a YouTube video of SpectroMagic, the latter would always win. It wasn’t until her recent obsession that I realized just how many Disney attraction videos there are for our viewing pleasure online. You can, essentially, pull up a video of any ride or attraction and do a first-person ride through, living vicariously through the videographer. No, you won’t feel the wind through your hair as your runaway train plummets down the tracks on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while you watch the screen before you, but it is a satisfying second to actually experiencing it in person and might just get you through those attraction-less days before your next Disney vacation.
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1. Read up on Disney History or Watch a Disney Documentary
There are books galore on Disney—everything from the Parks history to the ingenuity of the Imagineers to biographies on Walt Disney himself. The history and information surrounding Disney is fascinating and once you begin to learn the intricacies behind it all you will truly gain a new appreciation and a whole new perspective for your next visit. Not much of a bookworm? There are also dozens of Disney documentaries available—even some airing on The History Channel—giving you glimpses of the Parks early days and the complexities surrounding every attraction. There is rich history here, make no mistake! Brush up on your Disney knowledge—there is enough information to have you always learning something new.
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