Countdown to Disney!

Part of going on any trip is the anticipation; the planning, and the researching, and the Googling… oh the Googling! Don’t forget the Pinteresting! That’s a word, yes? I love getting excited about a trip. My family has been watching all the old Disney classics in order of release in anticipation for our upcoming trip. We are all about a Countdown to Disney!

Skip forward. Your trip is planned, you’ve read the blog, you’re ready to go. Right? Wrong. Time to get vacay ready!


The first thing I do is create a countdown. I’ve done it as far in advance as 100 sleeps.  Here are some examples of what you can do:


I like to just use construction paper and simple circle punches in the iconic red, black, and yellow. The kids loved helping make them and cutting them down each day!

The one on the right I used a large Mickey Mouse cookie cutter to trace the outline. We then went on Pinterest for ideas about how to decorate them like different characters. We let our kids start, and when they lost interest, my husband and I took over! When we get within 18 sleeps of our trip, we will carefully remove one per day. I have used these for other trips, and have added a couple for our latest trip.


If you aren’t feeling crafty, the one on the left will do! Follow this link for your own printable copy. These are only a few of the ideas that we have used. Get creative and involve the kids! It’s all part of the fun. 


unadjustednonraw_thumb_6ad2One of the magical touches that puts us in the mood are doing some Disney nails the night before we leave. Jamberry has high quality nail wraps, but have recently ended their partnership with Disney (cue ugly cry). They do currently have a Star Wars line. Disney has started to offer their own nail wraps through their site here.

No Mickey designs yet, but still cute. I’m sure more will be released. I’ve also seen them in the Disney Store, so you  could give that a look as well. This is the Jamberry nail wraps plus gel polish. We have a gel nail kit at home, which we find makes a huge difference for longevity. One sheet of wraps outfitted the entire family, since we only used a couple each. Even though Jamberry no longer has current Disney wraps, I have found endless groups online and on Facebook of people willing to trade or flat out sell half sheets of old wraps. It’s worth a try!

If you don’t like gel nails, or don’t have access to one, this fun nail polish collection is currently at Target. Buy it here. We started with three white nails, and two red nails. We used a dotter to create perfect Minnie Mouse polka dots. (It’s also very helpful for doing Mickey heads!) We took a silver Mickey head from the far left polish jar, and carefully placed it on the middle and pointer finger.

You can also find a lot of ideas on Pinterest. Some even come with tutorials! They (usually) aren’t as hard as you think. Pro tip: give yourself time to let the layers dry so that you don’t have smudging (especially when you want to put on the top coat). I usually let my design dry for at LEAST 10 minutes before attempting to apply a top coat. If you use a tool like a dotting tool, it will make the nail polish rather thick in those spots, which might drag when you go to do the top coat.


This may sound like a bizarre thing to list in the countdown, but outfit planning is a huge part of the anticipation for us. We pre-plan “themes” for each day and part of the fun is finding the perfect clothing item for each day. Sometimes I have started looking up to a year ahead of time and then saved the piece until we go. Each time I see it in my closet, I think “I can’t wait to wear that in Disney,” which totally adds to the excitement. I have just recently started making my own shirts with my silhouette cameo; later blog post to come (See what I did there? Anticipation.), which takes it to a whole new level.

Mickey Mix

img_6116Think all things Mickey, but in edible form. Anything white, black, red, and yellow goes! Throw it into a big Ziploc bag, and dole out before the trip. Ours typically contain: Peanut M&Ms, pretzels, goldfish crackers, mini marshmallows, raisins, yogurt covered nuts (I don’t really love that these melt, so I usually leave these out), and nuts/seeds. You can google ideas for Mickey Mix.

If you want to go real gung-ho only do red, white, black and yellow M&M’s. Our mix for this summer is going to be Captain Crunch cereal (yellow), red and white M&Ms (which they have out for Canada Day this year… winning!), pretzel sticks and roasted almonds. I’m going to put them in smaller sized bags so I can grab them for each day we are in the park. I find that they melt on a hot day so it’s one of the first snacks I will bring out.

Travel Gifts

I did not get on a plane until I was nearly 18. Like, literally, two weeks before my birthday I went on a band trip to Disneyland. And it was awesome. But I digress. Coming from a family of six growing up, flying AND going to Disneyland for 5 days was not an option. One thing our mother did for us was to give us a travel gift that helped pass the time while driving from Vancouver to Anaheim. It was so exciting to climb into our seats on the morning of the trip, and open up that bag! Try checking out thrift stores for things like new books and toys. I’ve also picked up used Nintendo DS games. Dollar Tree also has some great options.

Some gift ideas:

  • Travel toys (cars, cups, hand held puzzles)
  • Books
  • CDs
  • Snacks (Mickey Mix anyone?)
  • New Disney shirt
  • Colouring Books / Colours (follow this link to see Mess Free Colouring)
  • Anything that can be played with / enjoyed while confined to a car seat / plane seat
  • Bubbles, skipping ropes, chalk (if you’re driving with kids, it’s fun to put some active games in that you can pull out at a rest stop along the way)
  • Travel sized games (you can find road trip bingo and things like that to help pass the time)
  • New movies (we refrain from buying any new releases the kids really want when they first come out, and rather save them for the trip)
I made these for our kids for the plane.

So before you go on your trip, build that anticipation a little! Feel free to comment with any of your “anticipation” ideas! 

Have a magical day!
Elisia, Erica, Heidi and Danielle

2 thoughts on “Countdown to Disney!

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  1. anticipation is definitely one of the things that sets a Disney vacation apart from any other. we usually are planning our next trip before we ever leave disney.😍

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