Passing Time the DISNEY Way! Ways to Pass Time Until Your Next Disney Vacation Guest Blog by Lianne Lapierre
299 Days. Yep, we just hit a super-fun milestone for our next Disney Vacation!! Getting under the “300” mark seems like such a huge feat when you’ve been planning your next Disney trip for a year and a half! Not to mention the fact that we can finally say – “We’re going to Disney THIS year!!!!” But as exciting being in the 200’s is… it STILL feels like a long ways away. So, I’ve come up with a few different ideas that can be done a year or so ahead of time, to help you pass the time until YOUR next Disney World Vacation!!
- Research Resorts – There are a TON of Disney Resort hotel locations to choose from when you’re looking at staying on-site during your next Disney vacation (okay, not really a TON, because that would be 2,000…. There’s actually just over 25). From the budget-friendly Value Resorts, all the way up to the luxurious (or, what I call the “Bucket Lister”) Deluxe Resorts. There’s BOUND to be something that’s perfect for your family! We literally spent MONTHS trying to decide which resort was best for our family this time around. Each time we go, our son gets older and older, and our Disney vacations are never the same. The length of your stay, how close you want to be to the parks (think walking distance vs. bus), and how much time you plan on spending at your resort are just a few of the many things to consider when you’re deciding on where you’ll be sleeping each night. Each resort is unique, and offers their OWN set of activities and restaurants – so instead of staying in the same resort you always stay at, try changing it up a bit for your next time around! And remember – you can always split up your vacation, and spend half of your nights in a Value Resort, and upgrade for your remaining nights to a Moderate or Deluxe! Imagine spending your last night watching the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, right from your own balcony at the Contemporary! (Yes, THAT one is on my Bucket List! Complete with a Theme Park View, of course!)
- Book Your Vacation – When it comes to Disney, you can reserve resort accommodations up to 499 days ahead of time. The Magic Your Way Package is a great way to combine your room and theme park tickets into a vacation package that’s easy to access online. You have the option to add the Disney Dining Plan and the Memory Maker, make dining reservations at your favorite restaurants, and book your FastPass+ reservations. And as an added bonus, the Magic Your Way Package has some great perks and discounts that go along with it – from meal vouchers at Planet Hollywood, to admissions tickets to DisneyQuest and Disney’s Miniature Golf Experience, there’s something for everyone! And remember – once you’re at the parks, you can always upgrade your tickets if you need to. Only purchased a 3-day ticket, and decided that you wanted to get all four parks in? Don’t worry! You can buy the additional day when you get there! Didn’t get a Park Hopper and wish you would have? No problem! Just upgrade at Guest Services before you leave to head to the next park!
- Invest in a Walt Disney Travel Guide – If you’re a first-timer, a Disney travel guide book is a great investment (I personally like Birnbaum Guides Walt Disney World, which come with coupons for that specific year, and the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World). Not only will it help you plan which parks and attractions you definitely don’t want to miss out on, but flipping through a guide DEFINITELY helps pass the time while you’re counting down the days until you arrive at the most magical place on earth! I bought Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World with Kids for our 6 year old son last year, and he LOVED it. He was able to pick out all the things he wanted to do, and it gave him something else to occupy him on the plane ride down. Totally worth the money!
- Disney Discussion Forums/Groups – One of my FAVORITE ways to help fill that “Disney-void” while I patiently wait for the months to turn into weeks… is by browsing some of the many online Disney discussion groups. Facebook has quite a few of them including TMSM Fan Nation. Asking questions about your upcoming vacation, browsing pictures, and following others as they experience THEIR Disney Vacation are just a few of the ways to help get you even MORE excited for your trip! Even if it IS a year away!! But beware… it’s VERY easy to lose track of time when you’re surrounded by so much Disney… not that I would know or anything….
- Sign up for Weekly/Daily Emails – If you’re anything like me, when I start planning for our next Disney vacation, I can’t get ENOUGH of ALL THINGS DISNEY! I love reading up on current events happening at the park, fun facts, ride details, craft ideas around all of the holidays, Disney blogs… if it’s Disney, I’m reading it!! But, I don’t really have the time to actually HUNT for all these things online every day. So I figured, I’d let DISNEY do it for me!! There are quite a few websites out there that offer weekly and daily email updates – sent right to your Inbox! All you have to do is go to Disney.com and take a look around! There are a TON of different categories you can sign up to receive emails for! And if you’re REALLY daring… sign up for emails at DisneyStore.com. But BEWARE…. They DO offer TONS of sales, and even FREE shipping throughout the year… so… if you’re trying to keep that credit card empty for your Disney trip, you MAY want to think nice and hard about signing up for THIS email list! But… they DO have really good deals. And… who doesn’t love getting DISNEY MAIL every now and then?!?!?
(TMSM Note: You can also sign up for The Main Street Mouse’s Daily Recap Email by going here!)
- Disney Mail – Speaking of Disney Mail… there are some REALLY good FREE things you can sign up for online NOW, that just add to your Disney excitement!! From autographed postcards from your favorite Disney characters (just write them a letter and mail it to: Attn: Your Favorite Characters Name, Walt Disney World Communications, PO Box 10040 Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040) and customized Disney stick figure decals (BuildYourDisneySide.com), to free Disney planning DVD’s (DisneyVacations.com) and free downloadable Disney Park maps – all things you can order NOW in preparation for your vacation! Oh, and once you’ve booked your Magic Your Way Vacation Package, don’t forget to customize your Magic Bands! Disney typically mails them out about 30 days before your vacation – so don’t wait too long to customize them! (or else your entire party will end up with gray bands and no personalization). Start looking FORWARD to that walk out to your mailbox in the dead of winter– because you never know WHAT Mickey Mouse might be sending you next!
Lianne and her family live in northern Maine, where Disney is just as much a part of their lives as ever. Most of their family vacations include a trip to the Disney Parks, where they love reliving their own childhood memories, as well as watching their son’s love of Disney grow with each visit.
Images provided by Lianne found in Google Image Search. TMSM images are from TMSM sites.
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