If driving for hours and hours, listening to kids scream about wanting out of the car, and waiting in lines for an eternity in the hot sun sounds like your worst nightmare, then you must read on. We don’t think any of that sounds like the recipe for an amazing family vacation, either.
Yes, Disney is the most coveted family trip out there. From the Insta perfect pics to the meals with your kids’ favorite characters, it seems like a child’s dream come true. But guess what? Kids just want to have fun. That means you can have all that Disney entertainment in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the cost.
If you couldn’t budget for a Disney trip or know that kind of spending isn’t possible right now, we have the best staycation ideas for any family to bring the Disney magic right to your front door.
Make sure to
- Check out virtual rides online
- Try your hand at copycat recipes
- Play the Disney hits
- Make an itinerary
- Make the kids a Disney “welcome bag”
- Make Mickey ears
- Create photo op areas
Just like parents surprise their kids with a swag bag to let them know where the family vacation is, you can do the same. The night before, gift them with their welcome bag containing Disney PJs, their ears, and a Disney bracelet that you can pretend to scan before they enter any room.
Create your own itinerary with whatever activities you want. Even if all you are going to do is eat and watch movies (sounds like heaven) create a cute schedule with the movie titles, movie times, and snacks being served.
Buy Mickey ears for a reasonable price online or have the kiddos make their own as one of the activities. Whether you buy a Disney tarp to hang on the wall for pictures or get a pack of paper stick props, photo opportunities have to be everywhere.
Pick whatever works best for your family and home space
- Stick with one movie to theme out top to tail
- Do classic Mickey all around
- Make each room a different movie
- Pick one room and rotate the theme every day
- Use what you already have
Whether you turn your home into Disney for a day, a weekend, or (for the brave ones) a whole week, it’s about what your kids like. If there’s only one movie your child has been watching for months on end (hello, Encanto) then you should stick with that.
If you’re feeling up to the task, make each room a different movie or theme. If you don’t have the time or energy to transform your whole home every day, keep it to one designated room and rotate the decorations in there.
If you’ve had a Disney-themed birthday party, use what you saved. Is your child obsessed with Disney Legos? Set up an area for them to play. Do they already have costumes from Halloween or regular playtime? Then there’s another activity or station ready to go. When you go through the house for Disney-themed stuff, you might find you have most of the staycation supplies already.
- Sing along with all the songs
- Watch a parade online
- End the vacation with a virtual fireworks show
Just because you won’t be there in person doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the famous parade and fireworks show!
Personalize as much as possible
From decorations to the food, even down to fun labels, everything should be as themed as possible. Pull colors from the movies to bring the decorations to life without buying the trademarked Disney items. Note what your kids’ favorite characters are wearing and grab balloons and streamers in those colors.
Let your labeling imagination run wild
Organization is important when it comes to any party with kids. But make that go in your favor. Let your inner kid out and create cool signs to put on all the doors and themed labels by all the food. Personalize it for each child and make name tags, signs for who sits where for movies, and place settings for all meals.
Make shirts for your staycation
And just because you won’t have to worry about a kid potentially getting separated at a busy park doesn’t mean you skip on the matching outfits. Get custom shirts made! Or buy solid tees and puffy paint and let each child make their own. If you’re doing more than one day, have the shirt match the day’s theme.
Don’t skip the gift shop
The “trip” isn’t complete without visiting the gift shop. However, now you won’t spend $20 for a key chain. Check out your local dollar store or Target and get a bunch of Disney goodies for cheap. Then set up a little shop and let your kids “buy” what they want at the end of the staycation.
A successful staycation with kids ends with them having as much fun at home as they would have had at the place you didn’t want to go to. Mimic all of those expensive things like food and gifts, while keeping your bank account happy and you’ll all have the best time.
While you can’t bring the teacup ride to your living room, you can transform your house into an unforgettable experience for the kiddos. Enjoy your Disney staycation without constantly checking your budget. Your kids will have an absolute blast and no one will get sick on the ride home.
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