Building the excitement
Many times our Disney trips are impromptu. We don’t tell the kids we’re going until we get in the car. There have even been times when we’re unsure what the weather is going to do when we get Orlando that we have held off telling them until we‘re getting off the highway. This time we traveled with my husband for work and knew we’d be there for several days, so we told the kids about a month in advance. But each day the four-year-old would ask, “When are we going?” Showing the four-year-old on the calendar wasn’t really doing the trick, and the question started to get old fast. So with about 10 days out she and I built a countdown chain. Then each day she got to remove one chain link and knew exactly how many days were left. (Not a bad way to incorporate math skills into it, either)
We created the chain from our craft supplies and recycling bin. My oldest cut and created the chain links while I drew and cut out the Mickey shape in the black paper and the cardboard box. The best part about using the Mickey head is how easy it is to recreate with two different size circles. We used the Mod Podge to attach the pieces together and give it the glossy finished look. Finally I glued a section of ribbon on the top and a loop at the bottom to hang the chain from.
Avoiding the sticker shock
Autograph books and costumes are pretty pricey when you are in the parks. So plan ahead and make your own to bring with you.
I created our Autograph book back for a birthday trip in May. Now we need to update the pages and take inventory of which characters are still needed. I had originally gotten the idea when we were putting together our scrapbook, and thought how neat it would be to be able to include the characters’ signatures in the display as well. The book is made up of a package of 3″ x 5″ scrapbook pages. I covered the front with black paper and put on the castle sticker. I wanted to use binder rings to hold the pages together so I had to punch holes each of the pages. One of the added bonuses of the autograph book was that it convinced my oldest to visit character she said she was scared of. For years she had freaked out when meeting Goofy. This time she had something to ask him right off the bat and that helped.
Get the Look
Character clothing helps get everyone in the mood for the day of fun, but can be very expensive when purchasing more then one piece at a time. Or in the case of the preschool who can’t choose, it helps to have a variety. Plus the formal costumes are not the most comfortable to spend 8 hours walking around in. Either it’s too hot or too cold or just plain scratchy. My solution is to make pillow case dresses inspired by the princess my girls love. I’ve been using the same pattern for the past three years and love it. If you have done little to no sewing in the past you can do this pattern. Simplicity does a great job of making it user friendly. It’s been easy to modify and embellish depending on which princess I was trying to represent. For a long time I was able to buy the iron-on transfers at the fabric store. This time when I wanted Rapunzel iron-ons I couldn’t find them. But I did have a crown stencil and fabric paint to complete the look. Because they are adjustable at the shoulders it makes layering a breeze. I don’t typically dress my girls alike, but this was too cute to pass up for the day.