With the way the economy has been lately, not everyone is able to afford a Disney vacation. In fact, many families are opting to stay home and plan a staycation instead. Just because you are planning a staycation, it does not mean that you are not able to have a little Disney magic mixed into your adventures. So, instead of heading to the Walt Disney World Resorts, enjoy a Disney-themed staycation in the comfort of your own home. Just because you are not able to travel, does not mean you have to miss out on the fun Disney has to offer. Enjoy your time off of work Disney style!
Plan a week where everyone will be home and there will be no distractions from your Disney staycation. Make sure there are no baseball games, swimming lessons or work around the house that has to be done. You will also want to tell your friends and relatives you are enjoying time with your family and unless it is an emergency, you will be unavailable for the time frame of your staycation.
Before time has arrived, sit down as a family and map out your week. Some suggestions are listed below.
Order your Disney Vacation DVD from the Walt Disney World website. You will be asked specific questions on what you would like to see during a Walt Disney World vacation. Just because you are not going there, does not mean you cannot order the DVD and enjoy watching it.
Decorate the house to look like party central. Make it festive, like the parades and new Fantasyland attractions found at the Magic Kingdom.
A final preparation idea is to gather any old photographs you may have taken in past Disney vacations. If you have never been on a Disney Vacation download some pictures for an activity that will be mentioned later.
Go to a local store such as WalMart or Target and purchase matching Disney T-shirts for the entire family. You want to really feel like you are on a Disney vacation, so get everything you can think of to make it magical. You can also find small Disney trinkets at some of these stores that you can use as souvenirs for the kids.
If you have kids, download some coloring pages from the Internet by searching for “Disney Coloring Pages” on Google. Print a whole bunch out and put in folder to have on hand for your kids. Do not forget to purchase some new crayons or colored pencils. Some stores carry Disney-themed crayons.
Plan time to play Disney-themed games. There are plenty of them, including Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Scene It and Operation, all with Disney characters. You can even make it a game for everyone to come up with his or her own Disney-style game to play.
Tour Disney via the Internet
Plan a day to sit in front of the computer with the family. Take turns looking up something on the Walt Disney World website. Park hopping will happen a lot faster this way and you will not have to wait in the long attraction lines. You can even check out Google Earth and put in “Walt Disney World” as your search option and get a 3-D tour of the Central Florida attraction.
Disney movie night
Each night at the Walt Disney World Resorts movies are shown at select hotels for all guests. So gather all your Disney movies, or go buy some since you are saving money by not going to Florida, and watch a movie every night. Make sure everyone gets a chance to pick one movie during your staycation. Do not forget the popcorn and your mouse ears.
Bake sugar cookies in the shape of Disney characters and then sit down and decorate them. Many local stores carry them in their baking section. If not, any craft or baking store should have Disney-shaped cookie cutters.
Another option is to download some Disney restaurant recipes and try to make the meals yourself. See how close you can get to being a Disney Chef yourself. Allears.net has a decent list of Disney restaurant recipes.
The entire time you are enjoying your staycation have Disney as your background noise. Either play Disney music all day long (and in your car too), turn on the Disney Channel or put in a Disney movie. Music is best, because it does not take the kids attention away from what you have planned during your staycation.
If you were to travel to the Walt Disney World Resorts you would more than likely come home with a souvenir or two. So why not log on line and get one souvenir for everyone. Pick a night and get your Disney Park souvenir. Set a budget and let your kids know how much they can spend. Click here to check out the Disney Park merchandise available on line through the Disney Store.
The Disney Parks celebrating anything and everything and you can too during your Disney Staycation. Your home is already decorated for a party, all you need is the cake and party supplies. Even if you are not celebrating something at that time, celebrate anyway. Sing happy birthday to your kids! Kiss your spouse like you did at your wedding! Happy birthday! Happy anniversary! Celebrate it all!
No lines. No frantic wives. No crabby husbands. No cranky “I need a nap” children. Go at your own pace and enjoy. Remember, as with any vacation make time for each of you to enjoy some time alone. Since you will not be paying for a Disney vacation, budget in a spa treatment for mom. Let dad go play a round of golf, with Mickey ears on and take the kids to the Disney store, if there is one nearby. Hire a babysitter for one night, make sure to leave Disney-themed games behind, and go out for a romantic dinner with your husband or wife. This is something you probably would have done at one of the Children’s Activity Centers while at Walt Disney World, so why not do it at home.
If you are familiar with PhotoShop or any other photo editing tool, now is the time to pull out your old Disney photographs or the ones you downloaded before your vacation. It is time to make a “Disney Staycation” photo album. Of course you will want to put the pictures in a Disney-themed photo album and you will want the photos you took at home during your staycation. But it will also be fun to create pictures of you with Walt Disney World in the background. Make it feel like you were really there. Update old pictures with new photos of you and your family. I am sure the kids are not babies anymore and if that was the last time you were in Florida, now is the time to have fun and update them. I know, sounds cheesy, but it is a lot of fun creating your own memories. I bet you will all look back on them in years to come and remember the fun you had making them.
Make time to go take a walk at a park and go to the pool daily. Do everything you would do while on a Disney vacation, but right in your own back yard.
Also, in order for your Disney Staycation to be a success, everyone in your family must be on board with the idea. If not, it will end in disaster. So plan it with the entire family so they are as excited as you are.