You’ve had your vacation and caught the Disney bug, so how do you go home and avoid the deep-seeded depression of your everyday life? No rides or music or anyone to wish you a magical Disney day, how will you cope? Today we are going to delve into the depths of how to bring your Disney magic home and soothe the bleak transition back to normal life.
Let’s start with the return trip. Have you ever spent the time on the plane or in the car wallowing in a mix of emotions; agitated, confused and dejected, feeling as though the best days of your life are now in the rear-view mirror? You are doing it wrong. Those hours journeying back to your regular existence are not a time for misery-entwined self-pity, they are your window to plan your next vacation. If you don’t already have your next adventure underway, these are the hours you have free to make the plans that will revitalize that traveling spirit. The goal is to have your timeline, location and a few of the more delicate points locked in before you even cross the threshold of your slightly less exciting home.
From the moment you return you are then working towards something specific. Even if your goal is far off, it provides inspiration to go back to work or school or whatever it is you need to do to support your love of Disney. If you do this correctly, before you even set sights on your regular life, your post-Disney depression is replaced with anticipation for your next journey.
There was a recent post on the DISboards Facebook page that caught my attention — it was asking at what point in your arrival process do you get that tingling sensation that you have made it. For me the answer to that is simple: It occurs wherever I hear that enchanting sound of the Disney music wafting through the air around me. It is like an endearing hug that envelopes me in a child-like euphoric excitement similar to that of Christmas morning when I was 6. Okay fine, Christmas morning even now, who am I kidding?
So what better idea than to bring this inspiring auditory experience home with you? Play it in your car or at home, even set it up through your headphones at the office. While everyone else around you is struggling to cope with their overwhelmingly disappointing existence, you can smile to yourself while toggling between your actual work and your 180-day Dining Reservation window for the next trip. Hook yourself up with a Spotify playlist or, my favorite, the Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Disneyland.
By now you are home, you have your next trip planned, you are skipping wistfully around the laundry to your Disney music, and it comes time to deal with the items of Disney clothing you have brought back from your recent escapade. Do not pack them away for next time. Wear that awesome spirit jersey to go and pick your kids up from school. I shamelessly wear my silver Mickey Mouse ballet flats everywhere, and my gold Minnie Mouse studs are my earrings of choice for most workdays. Wear your fabulous new attire doing regular things. Now getting around to the bank with your Minnie Ears on may not be a thing, but you could plan a family movie night, game night or trivia night with friends and get everyone sporting some ears for a few priceless photos.
Speaking of social gatherings, plan one and theme it up with your Disney stuff. You can use that Mickey-shaped cookie cutter to make themed tea sandwiches and serve fruity drinks with your Mickey-shaped ice cubes from that tray you bought on a whim and have never used. Yep, I’m talking to you, and we both know it has never come out of that drawer.
Frame your photos! Most of us take a ton of them while we are away, only to have them stored on a backup drive indefinitely. Start a photo wall and pick two favorites from each trip to add to it. You get to watch your family grow and enjoy the moments you captured every time you pass by. To make it more fun, mix up frame colors and textures, so each one has a different feel to it. It may feel disorderly at first, but once you add a few more to it, each picture and frame will take you back to that happy place in a different way from the next.
You can also collect everyone’s photos from your trip and make them into a photo book. These are super cheap to order, and they look fantastic. A great idea for younger kids to remember their Disney experiences and a fun conversation filler for anyone who pops by unexpectedly. Make it your new coffee table book and avoid the awkward conversation from the kitchen while the tea is brewing. Eventually, you will have a whole collection of them that make all those beautiful moments you’ve experienced so much more accessible. Do it old school and get it printed.
Another way you bring home the magic of Disney is to give your house an aromatic makeover. Disney has a unique way of stimulating all of our senses, even if we don’t realize it. Before you leave, take a look at some of the fragrance lines available in the resorts, or source some similar ones where you live. Do some homework and find a scent that fills your home with the smell of your family’s hopes and dreams.
I’ve saved the best for last, and this one is free. Bring home your family spirit and a good attitude. It is very easy for all of us to feel that intrusion of self-pity creep in the front door of our souls and get comfortable for a lengthy stay. Picture Slimer from Ghostbusters chewing up all your happy thoughts and leaving behind resentment, disappointment and bad attitudes that can be contagious throughout your whole family. The truth is, you can kick him out and make room for positive reflection on all the new magical shared memories you and your family have acquired while away.
Look forward, not back. Use what you have gained to strengthen those bonds with the people you travel with. If you visit the parks solo then you can walk around your everyday life knowing that you did something incredible yesterday; it’s like your own private secret that, if you let it, can light you up from the inside out.
After all, if this trip was that good, imagine how awesome the next one will be.