Passing Time between Disney Vacations

| July 14, 2010

It’s the last day of your Walt Disney World vacation.  The sun is rising and your alarm sounds loudly next to you.  Thirty seconds later your phone rings.  It’s your wake-up call with the sound of Mickey Mouse reminding you to get your day started.  But, there’s a problem; you don’t want your day to start, let alone end.  You sit on your bed and realize today is the day you’ve dreaded for the past few days; departure day.  It’s the day your family leaves the fantasy and magic behind and heads home where reality is waiting for you to return.

You’ve got a lot of work to do before you leave your resort.  There’s packing everything (including trying to fit in all those souvenirs!) or maybe checking your luggage and picking up your boarding pass at the airline check-in desk.  Either way, you’re going home and it’s simply depressing..  There’s really a double-whammy effect working on your emotions.  Not only is your vacation ending, but you are leaving your favorite place in the world.

For Disney World theme park fans like us, we are in our comfort zone when we visit Orlando.  We know where everything is, how to handle certain situations, and even how to outsmart other guests when it comes to touring the parks.  We love visiting Disney World, but dislike leaving our comfort zone.

You shouldn’t feel too bad though.  There are some activities you can do when you return home to tide you over until your next vacation to Walt Disney World.  Granted, some of these activities may be more effective than others, but in the end, all of them combined will help you and your family pass the time until you return to the most magical place on earth.

Plan Your Next Disney World Vacation

Most of us would agree this is the best way to get over your post Disney vacation blues.  There is something very gratifying when you depart Orlando knowing you will return in the future.  It helps ease the pain as you return to the reality of your everyday life.

Just after you return home, make sure to select your next vacation dates (if you haven’t already).  Over time, continue to plan other aspects of your trip including; selecting your resort, choosing your dining locations, making advanced dining reservations (ADRs), what parks to visit on which days, and even selecting what type of special experiences your family might try for the first time.  Although this may seem like a lot of work, you will find it can get you very excited about your upcoming vacation.  If just selecting aspects of your trip is more your speed and you don’t want to continually make phone calls to Disney for reservations, consider using a travel agent.  They can make those phone calls for you and assist with other details of your vacation.

Visit Disney World Message Boards

The world is a big place.  Many Disney World theme park fans like us who are passing the time until their next vacation want to share and obtain information as well.  Disney World message boards, like DISboards.com, are open 24 hours a day for us to post and read information about Disney World.  You can visit the boards as much as you would like depending on your daily schedule.

There are several topics you can discuss about your upcoming vacation.  There are so many topics and so much information you will certainly find someone to help answer any questions you have, and you’ll find so much useful information to consider for your upcoming trip.  If you need to fill your Disney void make sure to visit the message boards.  It’s a quick and easy way to pass the time before your next visit to Disney World.

Writing a Trip Report

A trip report is a day-to-day reflection of what transpired during your vacation.  It is usually written in chronological order along with pictures that coincide with the days events.

A trip report is a great way to reflect on your recent vacation.  It allows you to look back and relive many details of your vacation.  You may find yourself smiling and laughing as you write details of your family’s adventure.

If you choose to write a trip report, make sure to start it immediately after you return home from your trip while the details are fresh in your mind.  The longer you wait the more details you may forget.  Sometimes you can look at your photos to remember certain details, but you still may forget other details if you wait too long.

Once you’ve completed your trip report make sure to keep track of it.  You’ll want to look at it again in the future to relive your trip.  Also, consider using it to avoid making the same mistake twice, or reminding yourself to try something you forgot to experience during your last trip.  However you choose to use your trip report it’s another tool to use while you pass the time until your next vacation.  Be sure to visit the  ‘Trip Reports’ board on the DISboards to view others who have written a trip report.  It will help you write your own trip report in the future.

Scrapbooking

Another way to live through the eyes of Disney World until your next vacation is to put together a scrapbook of the past trip.  A scrapbook is an album into which clippings, notes or pictures can be pasted.  You can take many of your past Disney World pictures, buttons, pins, etc and place them into your scrapbook.  It’s a great way to reflect on your past vacation while using your imagination along the way.

Similar to a trip report, be sure to start your scrapbook as quickly as possible after returning from your trip.  This way you will not lose or misplace any key pieces of the scrapbook.  Visit the  ‘Scrapbooking’ board on the DISboards to learn more about scrapbooking and how to put one together.

Listen to Disney Theme Park Music

Who says Disney World music only exists in the theme parks?  Over the past few years the advent of Internet radio has created several genres of music including Disney theme park music.  Whenever you need to feel like you are in the theme parks, plug in your headphones and tune into such stations as DIS Radio.  You can listen to park music 24 hours a day whenever the mood strikes you.  It’s a great way to feel like you are in the parks.  Listening to DIS Radio is all about theater of the mind.  For instance, hearing the background music around Spaceship Earth gives you the feeling of walking through Future World in EPCOT, or hearing the music of the Tumble Monkeys makes you feel like you are watching the Festival of the Lion King in the Animal Kingdom.

Listening to theme park music is one of the best ways to pass the time until your next trip.  It can create a lot of images in your mind of the many different areas inside the theme parks.

Watch Disney World on your TV

You know that machine under your TV and that stack of DVDs in your cabinet collecting dust?  Well, somewhere in there are probably a few of the Disney World planning DVDs.  Watching these planning DVDs can help your family relive the magic on occasion.  It’s a great way to watch the parks and resorts right in the comfort of your own living room.

Also, keep an eye on your TV programming schedule.  There are times when specials about the Disney theme parks will air on many cable TV networks like the Travel Channel or the Discovery Channel.  Be sure to check your future programming for shows and times when Disney theme park specials will air.

Listening to Disney World Podcasts

It’s hard to believe there are so many other people like us who love the Disney theme parks.  Some people produce shows on a weekly basis discussing the various aspects of Disney World.  These shows, called podcasts, are Internet radio shows discussing different topics.  One such show called the DIS Unplugged is an example of a podcast based on topics of Walt Disney World.

Listening to these shows on a weekly basis provides information on what is happening at the Walt Disney World theme parks.  It keeps you connected by providing weekly news stories, attraction updates, restaurant reviews and more.  Listening to these shows not only passes the time between Disney World visits it keeps you informed of the changes which happen on a seemingly weekly basis.

Finally

I’ve always said the best part of any Disney World vacation is the day it starts and you have everything in front of you.  However, the last day of your trip can be the polar opposite of your first day.  Just remember, there are actions you can take to ease the pain of returning home and passing the months ahead before you see Mickey Mouse and pals again.

We’ve covered some of the ideas of how to pass the time between Walt Disney World vacations, but there are many more to share.  Some people may have their own ways to pass the time.  Please feel free to share your family’s ways of passing the time between visits in the discussion forum below.  We’d love to hear them so others can have more ways and options to get through the difficult period between Disney World visits.

“See ya real soon!”


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  • lakeane

    In addition to most of the items above, I upload my vacation photos and then create a calendar which I can enjoy all year with some of my favorite photos. If I have a really special photo, sometimes I create a mouse pad or coffee mug. That way I can relive my trip while on my computer or having my morning cup of coffee. I also like to help other family members or friends plan their Disney trip. I create itineraries for them and help them plan their meals, etc., and even though I am not actually going on their vacation, it’s fun to help others plan and keeps me thinking about Disney and my great trips.

  • WDWGeek1971

    I’m a nerd. I do a “root cause analysis” of the trip immediately. What was good, what was bad, what could be better. I make notes for things that I really must do next time. I keep all my notes on a spreadsheet, now in GoogleDocs, so that I have access to my future plans and notes on past trips in a centrally located place. I’ve been doing the “plan my next trip when I get home” thing for decades. I just recently crossed some sort of line by having two future trips in planning stages simultaneously! I think one at a time is better. I have go back and check my notes about where the ADRs are, which parks which days. One of the nice things about the upcoming pair of trips is that one will be Epcot/Studios focused as it will be during Food and Wine and we’ll be staying at the Boardwalk. The second trip will be very focused on the Magic Kingdom with forays to the Animal Kingdom as we will be staying at the Wilderness Lodge during early December. Knowing that in advance will make my touring more efficient, I hope!

    The DIS Unplugged podcast is a great treat to keep me attached and up to date on general Orlando activities. I used to live just north of Orlando and now live in NJ. I kind of feel like I did the Orlando move to the magic, but in reverse! I know what they’re experiencing and understand their perspective. Leaving Orlando was a really tough decision, but meant I could have my dream career and what has thus far been a most wonderful life. For a while, I treated NYC like I had WDW–head in for dinner and a museum. Do some shopping and sight-seeing. Funny part is that WDW is still exciting and new and NYC has gotten a bit long in the tooth. I still visit NYC, and I still visit WDW. But even though I’m less than an hour from NYC I visit there about 2 times a year, but WDW is 3 or 4 annual visits.

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