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Counting Down to Your Next Disney Adventure

Please welcome guest writer Melissa. You can check out Melissa’s writing and pictures at her blog, Picturing Disney.

One of the best parts of planning a Disney vacation is when you are all done! By that I mean when you have paid off your package, booked all your tours, booked advanced dining reservations, checked the park schedule and plotted out which extra magic hours you are going to hit.  How do you deflect all the excitement and adrenaline from your impending trip?

Here are a few of my favorite things to do!
Countdown Calendars!

I love to create countdown calendars! Whether it is a link chain or a poster this is a fun project to make and use to count down until your trip starts! Here’s a link to my craftsy project page for a DIY calendar: http://www.craftsy.com/project/view/Disney-Vacation-Countdown-Calendar/37666

Fun Fact Texts
When I was heading out to Walt Disney World with my husband and a  few friends, I thought it would be more fun to text them daily updates. So each day they got a text that said “We have ___ more days until Disney.” Followed by one of the Fun Facts below based on how many days we had.  I am not sure where these originally came from because I got suggestions from some friends on the Passporter forums–I think they are probably from some of the Walt Disney World Trivia books!
0.  Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World uses zero real stones but is instead completely made of steel and other building materials which do not easily wear down.
1.  There is only one kind of gasoline vehicle allowed in the Magic Kingdom’s utilidors—an armored car that picks up the cash each day.  It is such a tight fit the driver only had 4 inches on the sides of the car to maneuver!
2.  Walt Disney World is the 2nd largest purchaser of fireworks in the entire United States! They are second only to the US Military!
3.  Soarin exhilarates your sense of smell with 3 different smells: orange groves, pine trees, and ocean breezes!
4.  There are a total of 4 Walt Disney World Railroad trains to take you on a relaxing tour around Magic Kingdom Park.
5.  The big drop on Splash Mountain is 5 stories!  You drop of a total of 52.5 feet on your final drop into the Briar Patch!
6.  There are 6 different theaters in Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress!
7.  On Test Track the technician isn’t sure if guests should be exposed to #7, which is the corrosive conditions test!
8.  At 8:05pm on October 31, 1939 the Hollywood Tower Hotel was struck by lightening.
 9.  When World Showcase first opened there were only 9 pavilions ( Morocco and Norway were added later).
10. On The Backlot Tour enough water shoots out in Catastrophe Canyon to fill 10 Olympic size swimming pools!
I know, I know, who is so crazy that they pack as a countdown?  The answer: this girl right here.  About two weeks from my trip I start stacking some Disney shirts in the closet and setting aside my favorite flip flops or my park cutoffs.  I don’t quite take out my luggae that early but I usually dub a dresser drawer the Disney drawer or grab a small laundry basket and call it The Disney Box!
As the trip gets closer, I start adding all the things I plan to bring, whether its my favorite guide, my personal fan or toiletries I grabbed while grocery shopping.   By the time I get about a week out The Disney Box is literally bursting with pre-vacation fun!
Disney Meals & Movies
Planning to eat at Tony’s Town Square?  How about a Spaghetti night while watching Lady and the Tramp?
Looking forward to a drink at La Cava de Tequila?  How about a homemade Plato Mexicano?
Can’t wait to try the new Star Tours?  How about an original trilogy marathon and some cookies made with the awesome Williams Sonoma cookie cutters for dessert!
The great thing about the rides atDisney is the way they are so mainstream and accessible.  You can easily make a Disney themed meal or afternoon.
There is so much to do to build memories and excitement before you even leave for a Disney vacation-no wonder it’s called the Happiest Place on Earth!

What are your favorite things to do before a trip?


  1. I sent my dad fun fact texts just like that when we were going to meet him at WDW one year. He is a huge Disney fanatic like I am, so it was so much fun. And I love movie nights, but they are especially fun when they are counting down to a trip. 🙂 Great ideas!

  2. OMG I love the Countdown Calendar idea… I am so doing one of these!

    I also collect my disney for the trip in one place sometimes 6 months in advance! We go in the winter often, but I’ll put summer stuff in the stash so I don’t have to pull it out of storage…

  3. We are always looking for countdown ideas for our WDW trips. Thanks for the post.

  4. I always do a countdown. I have friends who end up asking ‘how many days now’ and I always know.

    I have a few things that always stay in my disney suitcase. My blow up camp pillow so my old butt doesn’t have to sit on hard curbs. My Canada flag Mickey head pin and of course a rain poncho.

    I only take carry-on so I have packing down to a fine art. I have a packing list book that I have kept for years, I copy forward onto a new page the things that I wore or needed and leave off things that didn’t work out or went unused.

    Pretty much every trip when I check in the the airport, they ask how long I am staying (7 or 8 or 9 nights), the next question is “and you are only taking carry-on”, Yep.

  5. I’m so love this stuff.. for presenting these wonderful photos in different kinds of image.
    Thanks for sharing.

    A webmaster of disney photo books online

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