Disney fans know the feeling all too well: The end of your vacation is nearing, you just received your “eviction notice,” and the ride on the tragical express back to the Orlando International Airport is now inevitable. Once you arrive home, it doesn’t take long for the Disney depression or post-Disney blues to settle in.
Waking up at home the morning after a marvelous DVC vacation leaves me feeling nothing short of downright miserable! I’ve returned to a world where my MagicBand is useless, delightful music isn’t flowing as I stroll down the street and in-and-out of stores, and snack credits are devoid. Oh, how one’s soul longs for a Dole Whip, a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, or a refreshing Joffery’s Shakin’ Jamaican iced coffee. It is a rude awakening.
Rest assured, I’m here to share five tricks that can help transform each mundane day you’re not at Disney into something a little more magical!
1. Plan your Next Visit “Home”
I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have been on the plane ride back to New Jersey, vigorously looking at calendars mapping out point usage for our next DVC stay. There are quite a few things that come along with planning a trip that makes every day a little more special. For instance, making Advanced Dining Reservations at 180 days out, booking FastPass+ at 60 days out, or researching events and activities for special occasions like an anniversary celebration at the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian or a birthday surprise at The Pirates League for our little guy. Exploring possible events that may be occurring during the visit like the Food and Wine Festival, Festival of the Arts, or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is also essential. And lastly, creating a spreadsheet to organize all our plans. This becomes a fulltime job and helps keep Disney on the brain more often than not.
Once the trip is booked, we can set our date in our Disney Countdown app. Seeing the dwindling number on the countdown brings excitement to each day. Planning and laying the groundwork for my next visit always immerses me in all things Disney and makes me feel like I’m “home.”
2. Tunes Set the Mood
In our home, Disney is synonymous with music. Hollering to Alexa, “Play Disney music” while I fold laundry, cook dinner, or push my son on the swing automatically transports me to Main Street USA. The ease of streaming music from Disney movies, rides, and the parks gives a whole new meaning to “whistle while you work” as I listen during my prep time at school. If you’re looking to be swept away to your happy place, be sure to tune into Sorcerer Radio! This app streams everything from “All Disney Music, All Day Long” to park atmosphere sounds to seasonal Disney tunes. Almost immediately, the iconic sounds whisk you out of a routine-rut to a place of serenity and happiness.
3. The Proust Effect
I remember learning long ago in a Psych 101 class about the Proust Effect. It’s research and findings focused on how a scent can trigger a memory and automatically make you relive an emotional moment in life. Those who are no strangers to the DISunplugged podcasts are familiar with The Magic Candle Company. They have created candles, wax melts, room sprays, essential oils, and car air fresheners that perfectly capture the nostalgic scents that are so uniquely Disney. Some of my favorites are the Polynesian, Rome Burning, Haunted Mansion, and Jungle Boat (to name a few). Each spellbinding aroma snaps you from your present location and brings you back to your favorite resorts and rides in Disney. It’s the next best thing to being there! Use discount code: “DISNEYINFO” for 15% off your entire Magic Candle Company order!
4. Explore the Store
The ShopDisney App is great for browsing new items when you can’t be window-shopping in the resorts and parks. Thankfully, I am also lucky enough to live under 10 miles from a mall that houses The Disney Store. When the pangs of not being “home” strike hard, I find solace perusing the shelves. It’s a quick fix for everything my day is lacking: sparkling pathways, streaming Disney movies, songs and Disney narration wall-to-wall, and all the latest merchandise I can get my hands on! Most stores also hold special events throughout the year. We have attended movie-release celebrations for Disney hits such as Aladdin and The Lion King. They also have Halloween themed parties where the store magically transforms with an overlay fit for Jack-The-Pumpkin-King himself.
5. Unplug to Plug-in
For years I have been searching the DISboards for everything: trip planning, news updates, trending information, and product recommendations. It has kept me in the loop while waiting for my countdown to diminish. Most recently, I have subscribed to the DISunplugged YouTube Channel, which, quite honestly, has been life-changing! I simply cannot get enough of Pete Werner and his entire crew. I’m particularly enjoying the most recent “7 DVC Resorts in 7 Weeks” where Pete and tribe review 7 Disney Vacation Club Resorts in seven weeks. I anxiously await the release of each new show and sit glued to my phone to watch it all. These include resort tours, dining reviews, details of the visit, and an overall resort rating. Watching as they stroll through places like Disney’s Old Key West Resort, I can’t help but recall all the memories I have made with my family while staying there. If I can’t be on property, living vicariously through The DIS is the next best thing.
These are just a few of my family’s favorite ways all things Disney makes each day just that much more special. I would love to hear some of the pixie dust you and your family add to your day to give it that Disney feeling!