A Step-by-Step Guide to Keeping Life Magical
With September well underway, most of us are finding ourselves back in the familiar routines of our everyday lives, home from our vacations of summer, and already pining for our next chance to get away.
Unless of course, you are among the few lucky people who somehow manage to make it to Disney during September, which is traditionally one of the least crowded months in the Parks. But even then, you’ll eventually return home to face what many of us are currently experiencing: The Post-Disney Vacation Blues. Which can happen whenever you return from a Disney Vacation, whether it’s September or February or May, so you’ll want to keep this Guide handy at any time of year!
“The Tragical Express” Ride Home
Anyone who has been to Disney knows the pain of the Post-Disney Blues. Back when the Magical Express was still running, my family and I renamed it “The Tragical Express” for the depressing ride back to the airport to head home.
But don’t worry! Having experienced the Post-Disney Vacation Blues myself many, many times, I’ve discovered a system that helps bring the Magic back to me, and my sad-faced family, until we are once again walking down Main Street USA. There are a few things you can do right away to turn those frowns upside down, and there are even a few things you can do to plan ahead and implement before your next trip, too.
What To Do If You Just Came Back from Disney
Keep the Magic Alive!
When in Disney, many of us are totally immersed in the experience, wearing the matching shirts, sporting our favorite Ears, and indulging in Mickey-shaped treats while the songs of beloved Disney movies dance around us everywhere we go.
So why not keep some of that going as long as you can? Don’t put away those awesome shirts just because you aren’t in the Parks anymore! Not only will wearing your themed shirts make you feel like part of the Magic is still with you, but you’ll get your money’s worth out of them, too! And if you really want to get in the spirit, put on a pair of Ears (I can’t even tell you what wearing Ears does for a boring chore like vacuuming or folding laundry)!
If wearing Mickey gear is just not your style outside of the Parks, there are still other things you can do to keep the Magic going. Put on Disney music or Disney movies in the background as you go about your day, so your favorite songs and characters never feel far away! One of my favorite ways to keep the Magic alive is by making Mickey waffles for a weekend breakfast or even a weeknight dinner. And if you don’t have a Mickey waffle-maker, Mickey-shaped pancakes are super easy to improvise (but seriously consider asking Santa for a Mickey Waffle-maker this Christmas, because it really does add extra Magic to mealtimes)!
You may be back in your everyday routine, but there are always ways to infuse some Mickey and some Magic into whatever you do!
Create a Memento
Although you probably have some souvenirs and a bunch of photos from your Disney Vacation, another great way to feel the Magic of your trip even longer is to create something that will always remind you of the incredible time you had. And it makes it even more meaningful if you have your kiddos do most of the creative work!
It can be as simple as a photo collage, or a hand-decorated picture frame for your favorite picture from your trip. If you went during the Holidays, you can carve a craft-store pumpkin into a Mickey shape with the year of your trip, or make an ornament to hang on the tree. Painting Mickey shapes on anything is a great activity for kids because the three circles are pretty simple, and parents can help by adding the year. Depending on your level of craftiness, you can turn almost anything into a Mickey shape, from wreaths to pillows to homemade jewelry.
Plan Your Next Trip Back!
It almost goes without saying that the best way to beat those Post-Disney Blues is to plan your next trip back to the Happiest and Most Magical Place on Earth! I don’t know about you, but from the moment I book a trip to Disney, the excitement and anticipation bubbles and builds until we drive under that Welcome to Disney sign.
Having another vacation to look forward to definitely takes the sting out of your last vacation being over, especially if your next vacation is back to Disney! Plus there are so many places to feel that Disney Magic now, between the new ships and itineraries on Disney Cruise Line, and Disney Adventures, which has trips all over the globe focusing on location and culture, all while infusing that one-of-a-kind Disney Magic, not to mention all the Disney Parks all over the world, too. And of course, your favorite Love of the Magic Travel Agent is ready to help you plan your next trip to Disney, or anywhere else, too!
What To Do Before and During Your Next Trip to Disney
Be on Top of Your Photo Game
First, I always recommend booking the Disney PhotoPass with your reservation (if for any reason you didn’t include it at the time of booking, you can add it on at any time). Having the PhotoPass ensures everyone in the family gets to be in as many pictures as possible, and includes pictures on rides, and some PhotoPass pictures with characters are even coming back, too!
If, like me, pictures are one of your favorite souvenirs from wherever you go, you might want to consider booking a Capture Your Moment Photo Session in one of the Parks. One session is 20 minutes, accommodates up to eight people, and is priced at $79. Since little ones sometimes have a hard time with longer photo sessions, 20 minutes is just enough time, and you wind up with dozens of pictures, some of which will be the best from your entire vacation. Honestly, I think these Capture Your Moment Sessions are 100% worth it, and I’ll be booking one for my family for every Disney Vacation from now on.
Besides PhotoPass and Capture Your Moment, there will of course be all the photos you take on your own camera or phone. Take AS MANY PHOTOS AS YOU CAN, and, as I learned on my last trip, DON’T FORGET TO TAKE VIDEOS, too! Because the very BEST way to relive your favorite Magical moments from your Disney Vacation is by looking through all your pictures and watching (and re-watching) the videos you were able to get. Looking back at my camera roll has been one of the most helpful ways to keep my kids happily remembering all the fun we had, instead of just being sad that we aren’t there anymore. Plus, you’ll also capture moments your kids may not have even remembered without having a photo as a reminder. The effort it takes to constantly be taking pictures will always be worth it, trust me.
Seek Out Strategic Souvenirs
It’s hard not to go crazy buying souvenirs in Disney with the amount of adorable and amazing merch they have. And it can be especially difficult to reign in the “I want, I want, I want”s from the kiddos (although I do have a souvenir plan in the Disney for Grade School Kids Blog, and the Disney for Teens and Tweens Blog, too).
Usually, when I’m considering what souvenirs to bring home, I try to seek out things that will bring me the most joy on a daily basis, whether that’s something I’ll use everyday, or look at hanging on my wall, or wear as much as possible (though admittedly, I have fallen prey to the occasional impulse purchase like anyone else). And it doesn’t have to be the most expensive thing either! On our last trip, my favorite purchase was a set of Minnie and Mickey spatulas (which I think were about $12) that I literally use every time I’m cooking, making them a perfect reminder of everything wonderful from that trip. So choose souvenirs that will make their way into your everyday life as much as possible, whatever that means for you!
Make Your House a Place You Love Coming Home To
A well-loved home is much easier to come home to than somewhere you really don’t like to be. I’m not saying you need to move if you don’t love your house or wherever you live (though honestly, sometimes moving is exactly what a person needs to love where they live, speaking from experience), but there are a few little tricks to make wherever you come home to feel warm and welcoming.
As crazy as it is when you’re getting everything packed for a vacation, try to leave time to do some last little straightening up around the house. I don’t mean to do a deep clean with vacuuming and dusting, but if you can get that last load of laundry put away, and the toys put back into their bins, and the dirty dishes out of the sink, it will make a world of difference when you come home.
And if you’re really on top of your game, you can change the sheets on your bed before leaving so your bedroom *almost* has that fresh hotel room feel when you get back, and you can stock your pantry with some of your favorite comfort snacks to ease you back into everyday life.
These little extra touches and bits of effort really do make a difference when you’re coming home from the Happiest and Most Magical Places on Earth. And although it seems like the opposite would be true, when you really love your home, you actually enjoy vacations more, because you truly get to enjoy your trips, instead of spending the whole time running away from whatever you left behind, and dreading going back to it each time.
Post-Disney Blues to Pre-Disney Anticipation
As a proud member of the Love of the Magic Travel Advisor Team, I have to admit that MY favorite way to get over my own Post-Disney Blues isn’t just by planning my next travel adventure, it’s by planning YOURS, too! There’s nothing I love more than helping YOU plan your next vacation, whether it’s to feel the Magic at Disney, or the thrill of adventure anywhere else you dream of going!
Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org to plan your next Adventure, to Disney or Anywhere Else, too!