There is nothing more depressing than coming home from a Disney vacation. All of the anticipation is replaced with a longing to go back in time and do it all over again. We have experienced this many a time and have come up with a few ways to keep the magic alive.
Once I’m home, and the laundry is done, and the suitcases are away, I like to start working on a photo album. It’s something that I started doing after our Walt Disney World trip. It hit me that with all of my social media sites, I would upload photos, and then I would look at them maybe once a year (thanks Facebook Memories). I had all these fantastic photos just sitting on my hard drive (and phone… I’m so terrible about clearing my gallery!). So I started putting together photo albums to commemorate each trip.
I like to use Shutterfly. They often have promotions like half off, or even free 8 x 8 albums periodically if you have the app. They ship to Canada, but it is cheaper to ship to the United States. It is user friendly, and through the app you are able to upload the photos directly from your phone. (I don’t know why, but getting photos from my phone to my computer always feels like such a task. Also, does anyone else have in irrational fear of the photos disappearing from life? She has a valid reason for this as her engagement photos from Disneyland disappeared because of a corrupted drive!) Word from the wise: do NOT choose the option of allowing Shutterfly to put the photos in for you. You will end up with a $200 photo book, and angry with me for recommending it. I like to manually put in my photos. When you have Shutterfly automatically do it, you end up with a bunch of pages with only one photo on it. I like to cram as many photos in there are possible. During our recent trip, there were about 150 photo album worthy photos. A photo album comes with 20 pages… do the math.
Here is an example of the photo album I am currently working on. Once I order the book, I like to keep it somewhere that people will see. Whenever I have company over, people will pick them up and look through them. My son also really loves to grab the books and (carefully!) look through them. I love hearing him exclaim over them, and point out the things we did. I include in the book their favourite rides, and any special experiences that we had.
One of our favourite ways to savour the magic of a recent trip is to get everyone together for a viewing party. We usually have video footage and so we make an event of it. We make our favourite Disney food. This can change from time to time, but will most often include gumbo, beignets, and mint juleps. It’s so nice to get together and talk about how wonderful the trip was and relive it together.
We are really old school in that we bring an actual video camera on the trip, and get as much footage as possible (remember, you can always delete… but you can never add). We love re-watching our trips, and our kids ask to do it constantly. It’s neat to see how the parks change, and especially for us parents, how the kids change and their reactions to everything. I’ve made the effort recently to record video on my phone. I’m not ready to make the video camera leap, but we’ve got decent cameras on our phones.
The other thing we did for the first time when we went to WDW in 2016 is collect the pressed pennies. Instead of keeping them in a book (which you can buy here… they are really fun), when I got home I arranged them in a picture frame in the shape of a Mickey head. It hangs right in the main floor bathroom, which happens to be a bright cheery Mickey Mouse red. It’s SO fun to look at the pennies and think back to where we got them, and when we were there it surprised me how much we enjoyed finding the machines scattered throughout the four theme parks, two water parks, our hotel, and Disney Springs.
Of course, all of us love our “You are Here” Starbucks mugs from each of the parks, as we have mentioned before many a time. Another thing, however, that my husband and I had the pleasure of doing was getting a caricature done of ourselves. This is something that I have ALWAYS wanted to do. And I do mean always. I remember as a kid leaving from Pirates of the Caribbean and seeing the caricature artists at work and being so in awe. When we went in January of 2017 it was the one souvenir that I wanted to get done and bring back home.
As an artist, this was really a treat for me. First, we had to look around at the different booths to see which artist’s style we preferred. Once we picked, we were able to tell her what we were planning on doing with it so that she could give us the room that we needed. My favourite part of this experience was getting to watch her work when she was doing my husband’s part (we were not both sitting at the same time for most of it so that there weren’t shadows and such as we were her last customers of the evening). She was even kind enough to answer my barrage of questions that I asked her during the process (and believe me, I milked that moment). Now I have something unique to put up on a gallery wall in my house!
What are things that you do after a Disney trip to keep the memories alive? We’d love to hear from you!
Have a magical day!
Erica, Heidi, Elisia and Danielle