Sep 1, 2016

Countdown to Disneyland

Disneyland was definitely the highlight of our Summer 2016. And since it was at the very end, we were eagerly awaiting its arrival for quite a while. Luckily, a friend of mine gave me a great idea - have a countdown. But not just any old countdown. This one would include a fun activity of some sort each day. And I happened to come across my friend's blog about such a countdown when we were 45 days out. 

I quickly turned to Pinterest and made up a plan, supplies list and shopped for supplies so that we could be ready to start on Day 30. Each day the girls took turns pulling a labeled Popsicle stick from our new "Disneyland" mason jar. 

Some sticks were color-coded. The stick to start the countdown was marked black. Longer activities that would need to take place on a weekend day were marked red. And to be honest, we didn't get to all the activities - I think 2 or 3 were forfeited as things were a bit crazy right before we left, but overall the girls had a blast and this countdown built up the aniticipation. 

Here is the list I came up with of possible activities (and pictures to go with): 

1. Learn to Draw Mickey - this was one we never drew due to the last minute craziness. I'll save it for next time. 

2. Mickey Mouse-shaped Pancakes for Breakfast - I made the batter extra thick and doctored an individual Sunny-D bottle to squeeze it through to help make the shape. London still asks for Mickey-shaped pancakes every weekend. 

3. Watch Disneyland YouTube Videos  - We watched a video about the nighttime shows we could expect to see, Walt Disney's Opening Day Dedication and a preview of changes made to the Peter Pan ride since that had recently been refurbished.

4. Read a Disney book before bed - each girl picked a book so they got two in one night. 

5. Name the 7 dwarfs & then watch Snow White - Surprisingly, London did this on the first try

6. Compare Park Maps - We compared an Opening Day park map that I found online to a map we had from our last visit (2 years ago). I keep a map for each girl for each visit, circling each attraction, restaurant and show they see. Now I just need to purchase special "Disney" memory boxes to keep these in, along with Pins they get, autograph books and any other fun memorabilia from our trips. 

7. Play find the Hidden Mickeys - I used my Silhouette Machine to cut a Classic Mickey head (which I found on Pinterest) and then hit them around the house. The girls continued to play this for several days until I took the Cut outs away - I need them for next time! 

8. Pick Your Favorite Character - then I printed out a coloring page of that character. London picked Aladdin (she knows this is Daddy's favorite movie) while Sydney chose Ariel.

9. Make Mickey Pizza for Dinner - We pulled this stick on the night before we left. Couldn't have been more perfect timing as I really didn't have anything else planned for dinner. 

Yum! This stick got pulled the night before we left which was perfect timing. 
10. Princess Glitter Slime - unfortunately, we didn't make it to this one. I may have to work in a version around Halloween. This countdown was fun and doesn't just need to be for Disneyland. 

11. Mickey Pretzel Bites - I found this on Pinterest as well. Super easy to make too. We made white chocolate and dark chocolate versions. Turns out most of us preferred the white chocolate. And we made these close enough to the trip that they came with. Most mornings I found London snacking on this while waiting to go to the park. 

12. Pin the tail on Eeyore - Again, found on Pinterest. I printed Eeyore and the tails on Cardstock. And I swear London figured out how to cheat - just not sure how. 

13. Thumbprint Balloon Picture (inspired by Up) - this was a fun little art project that was accomplished while I made dinner one night. Sydney definitely needed a bath after it. As did my dining room table - one reason I love having a glass table top. 

14. Disney Bingo - again, I found this on Pinterest. We never actually played it at home but we took it with us and played it at California Adventure while waiting for World of Color. Definitely worth repeating and keeping in our Disney backpack, but I need to doctor it up a little. 

15. Do you Want to Build a Snowman? - I found a cute printable on Pinterest where you cut out and create your own Olaf. This was also good cutting practice for Sydney (yet another thing she didn't learn last year at the old daycare). 

16. Mickey Mouse Hopscotch - remnants of this are still in our front walkway. The girls still try to hop through it as we walk to the cars each day. 

17. Winnie the Pooh or Mickey & Minnie Flower Pots - this one definitely took some time as you had to wait for each layer to dry and I didn't prime the pots first. The girls still need to get plants for theirs. 

I couldn't resist and made one myself - I needed a home for the Jade plant I have at work
18. Watch Peter Pan & color Tinkerbelle

19. Gift of a Disneyland Trip Journal - I found this on Pinterest. And we filled them out when we got back. Another thing to fill the Disney Memory boxes when I get find the right ones. 

20. Make Magic Feathers & watch Dumbo

21. Mad Tea Party Viewing of Alice in Wonderland

22. Sword Play. Make swords and watch the Sword & Stone - I got giant paint stirring sticks from The Home Depot and giant Popsicle sticks, which I used hot glue to put together, and then covered the swords with foil. The foil has not lasted but the swords are still a hit. 

23. Mickey-shaped Biscuits - again, an idea from Pinterest and super easy. The girls loved them. 

24. Mickey Dot Shirts - We each made one, with the intention of wearing them at Disneyland but the girls chose other shirts instead. To make, I just cut a Classic Mickey head on my Silhouette onto sticker paper. We placed the stickers and painted around, then pulled the sticker off. These will probably become paint shirts in general now. 

25. Learn about Hidden Mickey’s - this paid off. Sydney spotted a really good one while we were at Disneyland. We also have a Hidden Mickey book, but it may be time to replace as it's from the 50th Anniversary and still has the California Adventure land "Golden State"!

26. Mason Jar Aquariums (inspired by Finding Nemo/Dory - I put a little too much blue dye in the water, but I also still need to add the submersible LED lights so that these can also act as nightlights. 

27. Minnie-inspired Pedicure 
28. Countdown Chain - this was our first stick. That way each girl got mark each passing day. We also talked about what the girls were excited for. 

Sydney made a Sleeping Beauty-inspired Chain and was excited for: 

  • Meeting the Princesses
  • Space Mountain
  • Bibbity Bobbity Boutique
  • Paint the Night Parade

London made an Elsa inspired chain and was excited for: 

  • Meeting the Princesses
  • California Screamin'
  • Seeing friends and family
  • Splash Mountain

29. Make Chefs hats & watch Ratatouille - again, I found the tutorial on Pinterest. All it took were a couple of sheets of tissue paper, printer paper, a glue stick and tape. And surprisingly, these have survived. 

30. Learn about 1955 Rides that are still open at Disneyland today - We went onto for this. When searching Attractions there is a special filter just for this. 

If you haven't picked up on it yet, we focused on the 1955 Originals as best we could, from movies to watch (each movie has an original ride still open today (except Ratatoullie - I couldn't pass up the Chef hat craft). I choose this theme since we were going for the 60th Anniversary celebration. Cameron and my first trip to Disneyland together was for the 50th Anniversary and I really didn't want to miss the 60th! 

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