Seven days from now, my plane will be landing in Orlando International Airport for our ten day Walt Disney World vacation. Actually our trip started 359 days ago! I want to roll my eyes when people say how expensive WDW is and that they can only go once every five years. Are you getting your moneys worth? Are you soaking up every last drop of magic and pixie dust?
Planning our trip is a family activity and our 8 year old daughter and 4 year old son are very involved. In my bedroom closet I have a “Disney Bucket” where we collect change for Disney. My kids love to find change in a parking lot or when I get change from a purchase. They count it and throw it in the bucket. We speak about the importance of saving for our trip and the things we really want to experience while we are there. Sometimes we talk in terms of Disney dollars. “Oh you want that toy? Well it costs as much as 2 face paintings in Epcot.”
Our smartphones and iPad are equipped with countdown calendars that we check regularly. It builds the excitement and anticipation. Together we read Disney planning guides, Disney blogs, and Disney Facebook pages. My 8 year old will gladly sit and read a Disney guide and plan out the things she wants to do during her trip. We chat about it with other Disney lovers and compare countdowns and Advanced Dinner Reservations. My son will talk about wanting to go on a date with me while we are in the parks and his big sister is on rides he is not tall enough for. He thinks about the treats he will have and how much fun it will be together.
My son really wanted to get on Star Tours this year. During many meals we mentioned how good nutrition and exercise will help him to grow so he can be tall enough. Many nights when he was having a hard time falling asleep he would ask,“Can we talk about Disney?”. Even achievements were measured in Disney planning like how he didn’t need to pack diapers for night this year. I have an adorable picture of him sitting in his car seat reading a Disney planning guide as if he knew what the words were.
My children have read biographies on Walt Disney and once I had my daughter write a short paper on him. We read books about planes and flying. I am petrified of flying and we use that as a conversation on fears and how to handle them and having courage. We even talk about what snack we wish we had right now. We watch movies based on our favorite rides. All year long we relate everything to Disney everything from good behavior to the importance of family.
So when my trip is over and we return home guess what we will do. We will plan our next trip and as we plan we will reminisce on last trips experiences, “Remember when Goofy was shaking Daddy’s hand really hard!” and “Remember when Jeremy peed inside that ride!” OK that one wasn’t my favorite memory. If you told me that this is what my home would be like, I would have laughed off the idea of becoming a Disniac but Hello, my name is Joelle and I am addicted to Disney!