I am a huge fan of vacation anticipation! I mean, I love planning, talking possibilities, and dreaming with my family/friends I am going on vacation with! I love researching my destination to find out more! And I am queen of the countdowns! As you probably have guessed, I am a fan of a known vacation. Okay, so by known vacation, I mean a vacation where everyone knows about the, vacation (sorry for my redundancy). I know everyone has their own preference with this and believe me, I have seen some pretty great "reveal" videos; you know the ones, the parents devise some creative way of revealing that the family is loading up the mini van and heading to Disney World...like right then...the kid does exactly opposite of what the parents think and everyone is rushed to said mini van and in a confusing dash you make your way to Orlando!
Okay, so I think that would be a fun thing to do like at least once... but, I am proposing that the big reveal and video capture are made with a little room for family prep and planning! I would hate to miss out on the fun, that is, the build up before a Disney trip! For this first post of the series, we will be taking a look at what kinds of fun you can have with prep and planning for your Disney trip...
Call a family meeting!
I love the idea of calling a family vacation planning meeting once a month (or more if that is your thing) to talk planning! I've determined that while these meetings were once innocently designed to aid in the prep and planning they have secretly transformed into a way for me to squeeze every last drop of vacation goodness out of my trip. I plan these
pep rallies meetings, on the following topics...
In my book, no matter how old you are, if you are going on the vacation, then you have a say! Think about it, from teeny babies who decided to nap midday, to temperamental teenagers who want to have the park to themselves, this theory holds true! I say, that when you are planning a vacation get some input from everyone. There are many ways to do this, from deciding which ride each person wants to make sure to ride to discussing meals to eat. One of my favorite, tips here is to let every person in your party pick a restaurant. I find this really easy when dining is included because, when I go without free dining I tend to not eat as many expensive meals in the parks. I like to pull up sites with lists of the menus like Chip & Co. and All Ears let my family members pick a restaurant. The coolest thing about this idea is that each family member's voice is honored (oh, it's Molly's restaurant night!) and you get to try out new restaurants!
Count em' down!
I love a vacation countdown and with the invention of Pintrest, you can't escape the chance to exercise your inner Martha! In fact, I created a board approrpiately named , It's the Final Countdown!!! Disney World in ___ Days! on Disney Done Right's Pintrest page (on a sidenote, you should follow!!!) I love that everyone in the family can help create and keep track of the countdown! I love that it helps keep the momentum for the vacation to come and I love how stinkin' cute those things are!
Research isn't what you remember from your school days. With the simple click of a mouse you can be transported into worlds away in seconds! I love searching through pictures and websites and I especially love looking at maps, reviews, and my personal favorite, Youtube videos! I love the sense of excitement that comes with looking at the possibilities and seeing them come true as I make my way through the park gates! If you read this blog, you'll probably know that I went to the Garden View Tea Room on my last trip to Disney. I was so pumped for that tea! I looked up reviews, pictures, and even the menu in order to find out more! The build up to my vacation only increased my excitement for that day! Also, it helped to seal in wonderful memories! I look at reviews and videos now and think "I remember that!"
Set the tone!
One of the best meetings my family had to prep and plan for a trip, was for our Hawaii trip just last year. My brother-in-law prepared a full luau for us as we looked over preliminary itineraries and information. I love this idea for a Disney World planning family meeting! One of my favorite bloggers in the Disney Sphere is Disney in Our Blood's Christina. She has the wonderful talent of putting together Disney themed movie nights. Complete with coordinating food and activities...if I wasn't a grown woman, I'd ask her to adopt me. You should really check out that link to find more great suggestions to make your Disney Trip (hhh, hmmmm...official family meeting here friends) even better by playing up the magic and wonder of Disney!
Save it up!
Okay, every penny counts when you are saving up for Disney...Right? I remember thinking that when I was little. I would store coins away for trips to the beach or Disney World! I still believe this! And, to make matters even better, I think this is a good economics lesson for your kids. Clearly, pocket change collected in a matter of weeks isn't going to be enough to get you to Disney (if it is enough to get you there, again this grown woman will be up for moving in as your slightly older child). I can imagine a family meeting to make a jar for all the random coins and bills you come across. Just think, a penny found is another cent closer to Disney fun. And, why not let the kids in on the spending? You can put it toward a souvenir or dinner. That sounds like fun to me!
What are some of your ideas for family planning sessions? Share them below and be sure to check back for the next post in the series soon!