So, I had such a fun time creating my own Destination Date Nights and then planning a Japan staycation for my friend, that I decided to do it again. We were meant to go to Walt Disney World in 2020, and then again in 2021, but with Covid, and then all the terrible laws and government since then, we postponed and then outright cancelled our vacation. Our friend was going to meet us down there.
|A bit of a behind the scenes pic|
The disappointment from us all has been understandable, and we’ll eventually get back down there for this trip, but for now that’s not happening. Since we aren’t able to take that trip, and she had never been, I decided that she should still get to have that Disney magic at home, whenever she felt the need.
Every staycation needs a backdrop, in my opinion, and to make this one extra special, I planned a two-step backdrop. At some point, I plan to do a Disney party, focusing on the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, so I figured I’d use the castle backdrop anyway. I purchased the one above on Amazon, set it up in the backyard, put on our (subtle) Disney gear, posed in front of it, and then took a bunch of photos. One of them was good enough to keep, and then I edited, cropped, and uploaded that one to make a new background.
Other backdrops you might like:
- nighttime castle and World Showcase Lagoon
- nighttime castle with stars
- daytime Disneyland castle
- Christmas on Main Street
- Halloween on Main Street
- It’s A Small World
- Spaceship Earth, or you can design your own with a public domain pic on Zazzle (get up to 60% off your first purchase with my link). I use the seller Canadapromo for all my tapestries. They aren’t as heavy and they are machine washable.
- Don’t forget the clamps to hang your background!
While I waited for my background to be printed, I put together the rest of the staycation. I wanted this to be an “experience”, so there was a story and a layering system to everything in the box, meaning she would have to experience the trip in the way intended. Here we go:
Disney is more than just a castle, so I picked three of my favorite attractions and got the prints made of them. These help set the atmosphere. “Some people are just happy to be at the parks, surrounded by all the sights and sounds.”
“Jump on the monorail to City Hall and get your Birthday button, then head to your meet and greet with all the princesses.” Some of our favorite things and must-dos were on the list to start off this staycation. If it’s your birthday, anniversary, first trip, or whatever, a free button from City Hall is always fun. I tried to come up with a way to do a meet and greet that wasn’t super cheesy, and knowing that I was going to include an actual birthday card, this pop-up card was an easy choice.
I knew she would be spending her birthday with her mom and grandma, and souvenirs are always fun. Mouse ears are the ultimate souvenir, so I ordered 3 different princess ear headbands for them to all get in on the fun: Anna, Ariel, Belle.
Of course, my visit is never complete without treats. Ya’ll know I have a churro budget, and when she and I went to Disneyland a few years ago, I had 4 in 3 days, and Dole Whip, and popcorn, and some other things I probably didn’t need. She loves sweets as well, so I wanted her to be able to enjoy her own churros at home, Mickey (and Donald) ice creams, and then I tossed in some Mickey cups I found at Party City to be used for sodas, adult beverages, or mini popcorn buckets. (Here are some similar ones on Amazon.)
Parades and rides are hard to replicate at home, but luckily, there are people who film all the things, so I made YouTube playlist of some of the best rides and entertainment, then I included this at-home VR headset that you put your phone in, start your video, and then wear it like goggles. Stroll down Main Street, browse shops, watch a parade, ride Space Mountain. You name it, you can find someone who’s filmed it on YouTube.
And, of course, no trip to the Magic Kingdom is complete without fireworks. Sure, they could watch fireworks on YouTube as well, and I included a link to a few, but what about fireworks at home in your house?! A company called Uncle Milton made a whole line of fireworks simulation toys about a decade ago. They were discontinued, but I found a bunch on ebay. This one is the fireworks light show launcher, which gives you all the best parts of fireworks. It makes the fireworks launch sound and projects static fireworks wherever you point it.
I wanted one for myself, and then I found out they had a Pixar version, so I bought both versions. They were used, but they worked perfectly and was the cherry on top of my staycation box. I sent her the Pixar one, which also projects Disney characters in the “sky” with the fireworks, and kept the generic one for myself and future party planning. (I wish I had thought to look on ebay when I wanted this for the end of a Weasley Wizard Wheezes themed Harry Potter party.)
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Want to read more tips for traveling worldwide on a budget? Check out my blog at Shereen Travels Cheap or find me on Facebook or Twitter. You’ll also find product and website suggestions, packing tips, current deals and a whole lot more to help you travel better for less!
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