What do you do when you really wish you could wear your Goofy Cap to board meeting? What happens when you go to pick up your kids at kindergarten, and the other parents want to talk about the science fair, or play dates, as opposed to important, more magical topics, like how to convince your spouse to join the Disney Vacation Club?
The real world is place full of scowls, people pointing with one finger, and transactions you can’t pay for with your house key.
What to do when your next vacation is so many more than 180 days away? Here are just a few ideas.
- Organize your photos with your family. You can upload them to a digital album, create a massive print order to the drug store (bonus, because you get a fix the day you send them AND the day you pic them up) or you can design a holiday card with your best one. Who cares if you are creating Christmas wishes in May? You are ahead of the game. If you have prints, make a group game. Hang them on the wall in rows, and eliminate them. Hearing people advocate for their favorite memories just imprints them more on everyone’s brains, and hearts. If you went with a group, and nobody cares about who gets the photo credit, have everyone upload to one site, so you can have the best angles for each situation. My secret to looking good in photos? Having control over the delete button when I look more like Ursula than Snow White.
- Shop it out. The credit card bill is coming, you did really, really need that Dooney and Bourke purse, but you can think about preserving memories for less than $10 by shopping for holiday decorations (including Halloween) or finding pins to represent your favorite attractions on e-Bay. If this is the first time you stayed at a moderate resort, like Caribbean Beach Resort, there’s a pin for that.
- Ring it out. You can download some of your favorite songs from background music (BGM) to show tunes from Beauty and the Beast, and make a playlist or ringtone out of it. There are sites where you can download creations by others, including safety messages. Sure to make at least 10% of the people in your office or on the train smile when it rings after you thought you turned it off.
- Recreate your favorite recipes. Whether it is the strawberry soup from 1900 Park Faire or spanakopita from Kouzzina, let your taste buds be your scrapbook. Let the kids cook, too, even if they just spread powdered sugar on the beignets.
- Have a fashion show before putting the mouse ears in storage. Take pictures of people performing every day tasks in Disney attire. Waiting for the bus in a Stitch hat. Bring your Mickey hands to the grocery store, and let little ones find items on the list as they try to point, wearing them. Bring your Dooney and Bourke purse to the book club. Oh, did I mention the purse again? Hmmm….sure wish I had birthday and trip coming up. There are lots of ways to put a little Disney into your everyday life, and, there’s a blog about it.
- Go to the library, also known as Netflix on a budget. If your library is anything like ours, the DVDs may be a little scratched up, but you can choose books to read aloud at night, one chapter at a time, like the Kingdom Keepers series, set at Walt Disney World, or for fans of non-fiction, including family members with Asperger’s Syndrome, try trivia and background knowledge books that don’t give away too many magical secrets, like The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World. *Meltdown prevention tip: Talk about how books have new editions when facts change. If a book mentions a character meal that no longer is available, or a name change like MGM Studios to Hollywood Studios, it can lead to tears after bed time. You know, like when someone asks if Elmo is Disney, since Kermit is a cast member now, and you want to scream?
- Go back, in your own home town. If it is a long time between trips, but budget and schedule are making it seem like one of the six impossible things you have to do before breakfast, plan a Disney event a month, such as picking up a DVD next month, or celebrating the premier of the Alice in Wonderland with an unbirthday party, or throwing a Tiana-themed Mardi Gras play date. Cupcakes, beads, and pink lemonade in a tea pot solve a lot of wrongs.
- There’s an app for that. More in an upcoming post on this, but when I’m stuck in traffic, checking wait times for Toy Story Mania reminds me that it isn’t always perfect anywhere. A fun way to listen in on Disney-speak is to go to Twitter and type #ohatdl in the search box. People report what they hear people saying on line or at attractions at Disneyland. Some favorites of mine include “Grandma’s gonna need a cocktail tonight” and “Do you want to take her? Just don’t let her bite you!” It beats reruns of the Jersey Shore.
The best way to get over the end of this trip is, of course, plan your next one. We’ll be there in August, and have started the countdown, but my five-year old has some thoughts on how we’ll celebrate his seventh birthday. The nice thing about a place that is both always changing, but has so many “evergreen” qualities is that there are as more things to look forward to than there are to miss.