Visiting Walt Disney World (or any of the Disney parks around the world) is such an awesome experience that many guests visit time and time again. It’s the Happy Place where so many can forget their troubles and feel like a kid again, no matter what their age.
I did a blog in 2018 that discussed ways to keep the magic going even when you cannot be at a Disney Park. It seems like the right time to edit, update, and once again publish a blog on that topic. There ARE ways to keep the Disney Spirit alive at home, let’s list a number of them!
- There are many blogs and podcasts out there. Of course, David’s Vacation Club Rentals’ blog is my personal favorite, but there are tons to choose from. Google Disney Blog or Disney Podcast, and you’ll be busy for quite some time reading and/or listening to folks who love all things Disney.
- Buy some Disney jigsaw puzzles! Disney sells many in the parks, but you can also find them elsewhere, i.e., Amazon. The most well-known brand, the one that is sold in the parks, is Ravensburger. These puzzles are not only are beautiful; most have hidden surprises within the design you won’t notice until you finish the puzzle. Once you have completed the puzzle, you’ll have a treasure; you can keep forever. Craft stores sell special glue to keep the puzzle from coming apart, and then you can frame it and enjoy it for as long as you like. Or, of course, you can take it apart and do it over again at a later date!
- Read a book about something Disney related! You can read a number of biographies of Walt, and there are many books about the parks as well. If you have a special interest, for example, let’s say you love Pixar or Imagineering, you will be able to find a book on almost any Disney subject. You can purchase books via the internet, and many libraries also have the option of digital downloads.
- Take out your Disney vacation pictures! You can relive the memories when you go through your photos. If you want to go one better, make a scrapbook using favorite pictures and memorabilia (ie, old park tickets, maps, brochures, times guides, etc.) from your Disney trip.
It’s nice to add more pages as time goes by. You can see how the parks have changed from visit to visit, and, if you have kids, you can see how they have changed over the years. Some folks make very fancy scrapbooks, and if you would like to do so, there is a lot of info out there on the internet to help you. But if you want to keep it simple, all you need is a binder, some construction paper (to paste things onto), and some clear plastic pages that have holes the correct size to fit into your binder. You can slip the completed construction paper into the clear pages, insert pages into the binder, and voila! If you are unable to get all the materials currently, you can set aside what you have to complete the scrapbook later. Half the fun is choosing what you want to put in the book!
- There are numerous Disney sites on the internet, some with message boards (so you can interact with other Disney fans), along with many Facebook pages dedicated to Disney, where you can read posts and/or write some of your own to add to the discussion(s). You can find just about any topic. Resort Hotels; Restaurants; Vintage Disney; Disney on a Budget; Disney for Singles are just a few of the plethora of topics online where you will find information and (if you so choose) other fans to chat with.
- Decorate your house with some Disney memorabilia you have stashed away. Don’t hide your souvenirs; put them out where you can enjoy them. (If you have little in the way of souvenirs there are plenty of places to order things from online). You can display a few things or go full-blown “Disney Addict” and have a home chock full of Disney items. Some folks dedicate entire rooms to a favorite Disney attraction or park!
- Log onto YouTube and look at the videos of whatever Disney subject you choose. There are many folks who put up movies of entire attractions, fireworks shows, parades, and just about anything Disney you can think of. You can check out the new attractions, pay a visit to a favorite attraction, or relive days of yore by checking out a vintage video. You can also find interviews with Walt and other Imagineers, the choices are nearly endless…Warning: This is very addicting. You may intend to just look at one video, but YouTube will have links to similar videos on the page you chose to look at originally. It’s hard to resist the temptation of looking at “Just one more” before you know it hours have gone by!
- Play an Old Favorite Game Disney-style! There are quite a few classic games that are available in a Disney version. You can find Clue, Monopoly, Operation, and more. Most have more than one version; for example, Clue has the options of Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror. Monopoly has MANY Disney versions. Some are more kid-oriented (Disney Princess Monopoly, for example), others are geared towards the same age group as the original game. (photo 8 – Disney Trivia Pursuit)
- Play an entirely new Disney Game! There are many, many Disney games available for all age groups and all tastes. Search around, and you are bound to find one that appeals to you.
- Buy or rent a Disney DVD to watch and enjoy! All of the Disney/Pixar/Muppet films are available for purchase and can be mailed right to your home.
Some libraries will mail DVDs to you at no cost (my library has that service), so look into that as well. And, as mentioned earlier in this blog, libraries often have digital downloads available, another option to check out. In addition to Disney animated and live-action films, there are a number of specialized DVDs, such as Walt: The Man Behind the Myth; Henson’s Place; Frank and Ollie (an excellent DVD about two of Walt’s original animators), Waking Sleeping Beauty (a film about the re-emergence of Animation when The Little Mermaid was produced). Additionally you can find boxed sets of the original Mickey Mouse Club as part of a series called the Treasure Collection. This specialized collection comes in a silver case and has topics like “Ladies and Gentleman: Walt Disney” (shows that were hosted by Walt), “Disney Rarities” (old original animated shorts), and a number of others that are only found in this special series. Of course many, if not all of you own Disney Films already, so pop one in and enjoy. Even better (IMHO): If you have home movies you haven’t seen in a while, this is a great time to take them out!
- Listen to Disney music! Listen to your own or buy a CD; Livestream; download; Disney radio stations online—whatever you prefer, there is a ton of Disney music out there, including some sites with music from the Disney parks.
- If you’re a pin collector organize and display your pins! My personal favorite is putting them on a large corkboard, which you can hang on the wall and feast your eyes on every time you walk past. Having them in a pin book is another option. You’re more likely to view the pins if you spend time doing something with them instead of putting them in a drawer. When you are making your pin project, and after when you’re viewing the pins, it will take you back to being in the parks when you first traded for them.
- Shop online for Disney memorabilia and clothing! You don’t need to actually buy anything, just browsing and looking at the merchandise will lift your Disney spirit. Maybe you will find something you want to purchase, and it will be exciting when it’ it ‘slivered and enjoyed.
- Subscribe to Disney +! There are hours and hours and hours and hours (you get the point, lots of stuff!), of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Muppets, Star Wars available (National Geographic as well). The cost is fairly reasonable, and they offer a free trial if you’re not sure you want to commit to joining right away: https://www.disneyplus.com/.
- My last and probably the best piece of advice is to start thinking about your next trip! Even if it’s years away, there is nothing better to get rid of the “Missing Disney Blues” is to start planning for the next time you’re there. Similar to scrapbooking, some folks make a real project out of planning—including itineraries and spreadsheets, while others are content to get a notebook and write down all the things you don’t want to forget to do or see on your next visit to Disney.
As you can see, there are many options to keep the magic going when your home. There truly is so much out there to get you in the Disney spirit any time you wish. I hope these suggestions will help you get through missing being at the Most Magical Place on Earth until you are able to return.