Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Disney Pre-Planning Ideas

Here are two awesome ideas for upcoming Disneyland & Disney World trips!

I get such a rush planning a trip!!  I know I'm not the only one out there like this!! Otherwise there wouldn't be a gazillion websites dedicated to vacation planning and 3 whole rows of bookshelves at the Barnes & Noble dedicated to it.

Wendy, an adorable Texas mom of 2, had some very cute ideas to involve her vacation planning with her kids:

My husband, Joel, likes to joke that I enjoy the planning of a vacation more than the actual vacation. Truth be told…I must have been a travel agent in a previous life, because I really do get a kick out of researching a new city to explore, finding places to visit that will appeal to us as well as our kids, scouring for the best prices on airfare, and comparing hotel reviews. I could, and often do, spend hours online, plotting a day by day (ok, more like hour by hour) itinerary for our annual family vacation. Seriously, what did families do before the internet?

 My daughter, Emily, also got bit by the planning bug. When she was 3½ and we were planning our Disneyland / Anaheim trip, she repeatedly asked me, “When are we going to see the princesses?” The concept of 30 days was just too big for her to grasp, so we made a countdown chain to mark the time. It was such a simple project, but a fun craft for her to do, and a way to build up the excitement of our upcoming trip.

I simply cut strips of construction paper about 2 inches wide by 8 or 9 inches long. Then she glued on pictures from all of our Disneyland paraphernalia on some of the strips. We taped the first strip into a loop, then looped the second one through that, and taped it closed as well. Rinse and repeat. 30 times. A bit monotonous, but well worth the work judging by this look on her face! Each night before bed, Emily would tear off one of the chain links. As the chain got shorter and shorter, she knew she would soon be at Disneyland!

 I also wanted to make it clear to Emily that we were not just vacationing at Disneyland, but rather visiting the awesome city of Anaheim, and all it has to offer. Disneyland was just one or two days of the adventure. I knew the schedule (yes, I had a daily itinerary), but she couldn’t read my document in the “Anaheim 2006” file. (And yes, before you can ask, I do have files for every trip we have taken…and even trips we have not taken yet.) So I decided to have Emily make her own Itinerary Book. With just a few sheets of construction paper folded in half, and stapled along the spine, we were in the book making business!

With a pair of safety scissors, a glue stick, and lots of printed images from the internet, Emily had plenty of supplies to create a daily log of our plans. For a 3 ½ year old, it was pretty basic: number stickers indicating what day of our trip it was, a picture or two of each place we would visit for the day, and a few stickers (especially Disney Princess stickers!). We even included a picture of and airplane, a rental car, and our hotel room so she would know what to expect during the busy first day of travel. As she got older, the books became more detailed and included more of her own writing. I keep them in our scrapbooks and they are so much fun to look back at.

 In the week or so before our Anaheim trip, she pored over the book, memorizing each day’s details. She would say random things like, “On day 4 when we go to Hollywood…” or if my husband would ask me if we were doing Disneyland or California Adventure first, she would jump in, “California Adventure is day 2, and then Disneyland is day 5.” It made Joel roll his eyes, but it just made me smile with pride. Maybe a future travel agent?  At the very least, she’s got my natural inclination for planning and details!

Thanks Wendy for the awesome ideas - so easy to do and so much fun for the kids!


Connie Weiss said...

I love this! I'm queen of the travel itinerary!

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

That's a cute idea!