So we are still on a stay-at-home order in BC and Alberta, how about you? And we were supposed to be in Walt Disney World this week, so our spirits are at an all time low. Which means that it’s time to do things at home to bring the Disney Magic! This is something we are used to doing since we don’t live near the parks, but having zero option to go to the parks at all makes it harder somehow. If there is one thing we know, it’s that the magic of Disney brings a family together. It’s not really about the label “Disney” so much as it is about the memories that we associate with it. These are the things that we know help put us in a better mood.
If you put your mind to it, there’s a LOT that you can do at home. Is it the same as going to a Disney Park? Definitely not. But you can still do things to keep the magic alive!
Here are 25 things to do at home:
As a Family:
1. Disney Zumba or Avengers Workouts
This week is looking super rainy in Vancouver, so we will have to be mostly inside. Thankfully there are LOTS of videos on YouTube that keep you moving to a Disney tune.
Check out our favourite Zumba here, and our favourite workouts here.
2. Make an Animation Studio in Your Home
There is a series on the Disney Parks YouTube channel called “How to Draw“. Some are better than others (stick with the longer videos, they are better at instruction), but overall this is a great activity for all ages. Such a fun time!
3. Movie Night
We’ve been watching every Disney movie in chronological order and it’s been SO good to do this as a family. Disney+ has made it very accessible for people to be able to watch Disney movies that were previously hard to find or “in the vault”. (Check out our favourite Disney+ picks here.) And because of Pinterest, there are a million ways to make a theme night. From food (full meal, dessert or snack), to games, to arts and crafts… make a night of it!
4. Do a Puzzle
Our parents always love doing puzzles and there are so many fun Disney puzzles out there. (Bonus points if you have a puzzle from one of the parks!) Second hand stores are a great place to purchase gently used puzzles, or if you’re looking for brand new, check out Amazon. We love anything by Ravensburger!
My favourites right now are the Villainous puzzles, but anything Disney will do!
Click on the puzzles and they will go directly to our Amazon store! I wish my toddler let me do puzzles without going all “Stitch” on them….
5. Disney Dance Party
Spotify has a playlist called “Disney Hits” that we like to blast and dance around to. We love to play Freeze Dance to Disney songs too! Dance to Frozen like a ballerina, do the hula to Lilo and Stitch, or stomp around to “Trashing the Camp” from Tarzan.
6. Viewing Party
Go through all the pictures of your family at a Disney Park, or if you have videos, watch those! This is one of our favourite things to do. The kids love watching themselves. If you have a Google Chromecast or a Smart TV you can cast your cell phone videos straight to the TV for easy viewing.
7. Watch a Ride Video or Parade Online
There are a bunch of “attraction” videos that make you feel like you’re actually IN the park on YouTube called “POVs”. And one of our close friends loves to put on the full parades for their kids… truth is, you may even have a better “seat” than when you are actually in the park! One of my personal favourites is “Paint the Night”. You can also see parades or shows from the parks around the world, which is incredibly cool to me.
8. Watch The Imagineering Story on Disney+
The first episode is all about Disneyland and includes video footage from opening day! It’s absolutely fascinating! (Another good one is “The Reluctant Dragon” which shows the inner workings of the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank.)
9. Play a Disney Game
We love games… and if they’re Disney themed, even better! Some of my favourites right now are: Color Brain – Disney Edition (SO fun for the whole family), Disney Scene It (look at a local thrift store for this one!), and Disney Villainous (for older kids and adults). You’d be surprised how many Disney games there are at the local Walmart, or even the Dollar Store! There are even Disney versions of classic games like Memory, Sorry!, and Candy Land.
On Your Own:
10. Read a New Book Series
I’ve been really excited about the series “A Twisted Tale” lately. “As Old as Time” has been wonderful! It’s amazing that they weave the story we know with a part of the story we don’t. I love that you can get e-books books from the library, so I’ve got a few lined up.
To purchase the first three books in this series, click here.
11. Listen to a Podcast
I was never really into podcasts until I discovered one that I LOVE. It’s the perfect blend of inspiration and information about the Disney Parks, especially Walt Disney World. These are great if you just need to tune out your kids for a bit (who said that?). I like to plug in my ear pods and listen to a podcast while I clean.
12. Start a Disney Scrapbook or Memory Book
I love to scrapbook, and the Disney trips are no exception to that. It’s a great way to keep your tickets and maps together in a meaningful way. If you want it to be more of an activity together, have everyone journal a little about the last trip you took, or write their “bucket list” for next time. One of the things we did from our first Disney scrapbook (way back in 2002!) is write down everyone’s favourite rides!
For current ideas (not like these pictures, lol!), check out our Disney Scrapbook Pinterest Board. And if scrapbooking isn’t your thing, now is a great time to put all of those digital pictures into a memory book. Shutterfly is one of our faves, it’s easy to use, they aren’t too expensive, and we like the quality. There is just something about having memories in print. The kids love looking through these books!
In the Kitchen:
13. Make Churros
At first this may seem daunting, but they aren’t as difficult as I thought! Check out my video here to make them yourself! I’m not really a baker and this was super easy to follow! I like Danielle’s recipe even more than the “official” one from Disney. It uses less eggs which is nice, especially right now during a time when eggs are harder to come by!
14. Make Cupcakes
Dole Whip cupcakes are the ones we tried, but there are so many fun ones to do that use simple ingredients you might already have on hand! My family watched Peter Pan, and we did a simple chocolate cupcake, with a themed decoration, for the movie. REALLY simple (my 12 year old did it herself with her sister), and obviously delicious.
15. Make Beignets
Beignets, in our opinion, go with anything. If you want to make them super special, buy Jello powder and shake with this instead of just plain icing sugar. Our favourites (so far) are sour cherry, butterscotch and pistachio! My recipe for Hot Chocolate Beignets can be found here.
16. Mickey Waffles or Pancakes
Breakfast for dinner is a thing in our homes. Anytime is appropriate for a waffle or pancake bar. Also, Eggo has Mickey waffles that are super quick and easy, but you can also easily make your own pancakes in the shape of Mickey. All it takes are three strategically placed dots! If you want to be over the top, do a pancake or waffle charcuterie board and make it extra special and beautiful.
17. Make a Snack or Dish Inspired by a Movie
I really, really want to make “The Grey Stuff” the way they do at the Red Rose Tavern in Disneyland (i.e., a shortbread cookie topped with a Red Velvet cupcake, with a raspberry center and cookies & cream mousse around it!). We also like to make recipes from the region of the world that the movies are based in. We did a double-header of “Saludos Amigos” and “The Three Caballeros”, so I made the Brazilian national dish in an Instant Pot and Mexican Street Corn! You can read all about it here, and then check out our take on Mexican Street Corn.
18. Make a Drink from the Parks
The options here are endless. Green Milk. Blue Milk. LeFou’s Brew. Violet Lemonade. I could go on and on… there are so many great drink choices out there! You can make mocktails or cocktails based on your creativity; or try our Churro Toffee Cold Brew. Have fun!
19. Make Mickey Pretzels
Is there anything better than a hot pretzel shaped like a Mickey Mouse in the parks? We don’t think so. We’ve got a quick recipe of this hot commodity on the blog. Check out our recipe for this treat here.
20. Have a Disney Themed Dinner
Host a Dinner party for your family with a theme that inspires you. Throw on a Disney shirt and some Mickey ears and make your favourite park food. The possibilities are endless; Character night, Pixar themed, Disney Princess or Superhero. Queen of Hearts Tea Party perhaps, or an Aladdin themed night with all kinds of dishes prepared from “Agrabah”… or a Star Wars Party! A lot of people are doing dress up themed nights and giving prizes for best dressed; you could choose a specific movie, or do something more generalized. Have you seen this beautiful book, Entertaining with Disney? I got it for Mothers Day and it’s so inspiring to me. Another great one is Eat Like Walt.
Arts and Crafts:
Are you into origami? I think the biggest draw for me is the fact that you only need one supply, and that’s thin paper! There are endless designs available online; here’s one of our favourites… Olaf!
22. Crafts to Do with Kids of Any Age
I have to often work myself up to want to do a craft with the kids because they can be really messy, but these low maintenance ideas will be wonderful fun for the whole family! Check out our post from the beginning of self-isolation with supplies we have at home. See it here!
23. Do a “Disneybound” Challenge!
Give everyone 10 minutes to find clothing and items in the house that represent a Disney Character. Take a picture when you are done!
24. Recreate a Scene with Household Items
Film it on your phone, maybe with the original scene playing in the background. My family just recently did this for a friend and it was completely HYSTERICAL. The cheesier, the better.
25. Make a TikTok
We were skeptical to join TikTok, but there are lots of things about it that are super fun! Use a Disney sound, show off your Disneybound, or do anything else that interests you! Follow us here.
26. Disney Nails
Everyone can do Mickey head nails if you have a toothpick and some black polish! After laying down your base (I suggest a red for Mickey or pink for Minnie), let it dry until quite set (give it 10 minutes to be safe!). Take your toothpick and just dip the tip into the brush of your black polish and make a large dot and 2 small dots. That’s it! Let dry for 15 minutes before top coating, or else you will smudge/drag the black (the dotting method makes them a littttttttttle thicker and they need a little longer to dry). Add white polka dots on the other nails if you are doing Minnie, and you can even try to do a little bow if you’re inspired! Pinterest has tons of easy ideas! Here’s our Disney Nails Pinterest Board.
27. Have a Disney Photo Shoot
Maybe this looks like putting on an outfit that you wore to a park or were planning on wearing to a park. Or maybe this looks like a baby or toddler shoot or fake cake smash. Maybe this is doing a stop motion video. So many ideas!
There are SO many ways to bring Disney into your house when you are missing the parks. What things do you do?
Have a magical day!
Erica, Heidi, Elisia and Danielle
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