15 Ways To Build Anticipation For Your Walt Disney World Vacation

We live in an instant world, where most everything we want is delivered to us in minutes. From talking to friends through online media, to grabbing a fast dinner at the drive through, our lives are fast and in the moment. But for most folks, planning a Walt Disney World vacation is a long slow process. How is one planner supposed to keep a family engaged and excited about something that's still months away? Here are 15 expert ways to build anticipation as you wait to depart on your next Disney trip.


15 Ways To Build Anticipation For Your Walt Disney World Vacation15 Ways To Build Anticipation For Your Walt Disney World Vacation


1) Start making your vacation plans! Did you know that research shows people are usually happier looking forward to vacation than actually being on vacation? Dive into your trip research and start making your travel plans for a mental boost.

2) Make your Advanced Dining Reservations 180 days out. Dedicated Disney fans know that if you want the most hard to get dining reservations, you have to have your act together 6 months in advance.

3) Read a book about Walt Disney, or Disney Parks. Throughout the Disney Parks Imagineers have built entire worlds of fantasy, but most of them have very real world references. Spend some time discovering where the special touches are, and then be on the look out for favorites during your trip.

4) Buy You Plane Tickets. I never feel like a trip is real until my airline tickets have been bought. Once that's done you know you're really going.

5) Head to your hometown theater and see the latest Disney movie. Disney Motion Pictures, Disneynature, PIXAR, Marvel, and LucasFilms always have something new in the pipeline. With so many great properties under the Disney name, you're sure to be able to catch some pre-trip magic at the movies.


Partners Statue & Castle with Room for FamilyPartners Statue & Castle with Room for Family


6) Start a countdown. Make a paper chain, remove marbles from a jar, X off the days on your calendar, or just set up a countdown banner. Any way you do it, make sure you can see how time is getting short.

7) Go swimsuit shopping. Yes - I know that this ranks amongst the least fun activities to do before a trip. My thought here is to give yourself plenty of time to find the right one, and once you have it you'll be ready to go.

8) Start a travel journal. There are so many things that go into planning a vacation, there's no reason you shouldn't begin your travel journal now. Keep notes and thoughts inside, doodle with some Disney style, and write down all your important reservation information.

9) Plan your vacation wardrobe with inspiration from Disney. Disneybounding is one of D-hottest trends in the Parks. Create a few fun outfits to wear that evoke the spirit of your favorite Disney Characters and it will turn your experience up a notch. Plus, think how cute your pictures will be.

10) Fill a piggy bank with money for your Disney trip. Each night when you come home empty your pockets into the piggy bank. Slowly but surely your bank will get heavier as you get closer to departure. Use that money for a special souvenir.


Spaceship Earth Lit At NightSpaceship Earth Lit At Night


11) Buy new luggage. Have you bags seen better days? I know mine have. Buy some posh new luggage and start staging the things you need for travel inside the new case.

12) Use 60 Day Online Check-in and Fastpass+. Another milestone that comes courtesy of the Disney Company itself, be sure to check-in to your Walt Disney World Resort online 60 days in advance. Once your ticket media is connected you can start to make your Fastpass+ selections.

13) Customize your MagicBands. Once your MagicBands have arrived fro Disney in the mail, you can get to work adding a bit of your personal style. Etsy sellers have a wide array of Disney-ish decals, you can add crystal bling, or even paint the bands with your favorite movie scenes.

14) Cook a Disney recipe at home. Walt Disney World restaurants have shared some truly wonderful recipes from their kitchens so that you can give them a try at home. Our friends over at the Disney Food Blog keep a collection of the best Disney recipes online.

15) Get a pre-trip haircut, manicure, or pedicure. When time is short before you leave and you are bubbling over with excitement head to the salon for some pre-trip pampering. I love to relax the last couple of days before a trip so that I know I have plenty of energy when we arrive.

How will you celebrate the wait? Do you have any countdown rituals to share? If so, leave it in the comments below.

JeffC wrote on Thu, 05/31/2018 - 22:48:

Spreadsheets and countdown calendars all the way!!

I used to order the DVD and customized parks maps too - do they still offer all that?

Oh, and read the Disney Food Blog every day!!! You don't want to miss something good and they always have the scoop and insight!!!

Kristen K. wrote on Fri, 06/01/2018 - 14:30:

Kristen K.'s picture

Oooh! Great additions JeffC!

Katina wrote on Fri, 07/09/2021 - 04:19:

Katina's picture

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