Note: “Disney Depression” is not the same as clinical depression. This post is not meant to diminish real depression in any way.
With the world in the midst of a pandemic, vacations and trips have been cancelled while most of us self isolate in our homes. Like most people, my partner and I had to cancel all of our travel plans for 2020. While we have some hope that 2021 may present a safe opportunity to travel at some point, that time is far in the future as of the writing of this post. After honeymooning at Disney in 2019, we had hoped to re-create that experience in 2020. Obviously it wasn’t possible once the virus took hold.
We’ve been feeling pretty down about not being able to go back to Disney World to be perfectly honest. I know it seems silly considering how much has happened this year, politically and otherwise, but I strongly feel that the disappointment in unfulfilled plans is valid. Most of our lives have stopped moving forward. Most of us are confined to our homes, working in a makeshift office, and only leaving the house for appointments and grocery shopping. It’s completely normal to mourn what “should have been.” In an effort to combat this Disney Depression, a term coined for the feelings you get leaving the most magical place on earth and the time between before you are there again, I came up with 6 different ways to deal with the Disney blues.
Create a Disney “Staycation”
Luck for us, plenty of other bloggers and YouTubers have made creating a Disney “staycation” super easy. Whether you have kids or want a staycation for just yourself, you can tailor this vacation-from-home to be unique to you and your living situation. Plan an entire weekend around your “trip” to Disney or maybe just plan a special Saturday dedicated to relaxing at your favorite Disney park or resort. Start off with a virtual tour of the parks or resorts, ride your favorite attractions virtually, wear your mouse ears as if you were at the parks yourself, and to top off your stay at Disney, make your favorite desserts and drinks to enjoy. The Mickey Mouse ice-cream bars are my absolute favorite dessert at the parks. You can try a recipe yourself or, if you’re lucky enough to have them in your local grocery store, buy them pre-packaged! Some other Disney snacks you can purchase online or in your local grocery store are Dole Whip soft serve, Minnie’s graham cookies, and Mickey shaped veggie chips!
Have a Disney Themed Date Night
No time for a staycation? How about a Disney themed date night instead? Put on your favorite Disney film, Disneybound as your favorite couple, and plan the night’s meal and dessert around the movie you’ve picked! Lady & the Tramp would be a perfect movie themed date, especially if you adore Disney World’s own Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. Dress your best as Lady with a caramel and cream dress or tan and white ensemble with a blue necklace or tie. Clean up well as Tramp with a gray sweater and gray wash jeans/pants or a simple gray dress and cardigan. Settle in for a movie and dinner with this recipe (that you’ll believe is) straight from Tony’s kitchen: Chicken Parmigiana! Or you can go traditional with a twist thanks to this amazing recipe for Paw Print Spaghetti Cups by Geeks Who Eat! Finish it off with a shared strawberry milkshake or another dessert of your choice so long as it ends your date night with an adorable kiss.
Make a Photobook or Scrapbook of Past Visits
If you’re like me, you probably have an entire folder full of digital photos from Disney’s Memory Maker that you haven’t touched since the week you came back. Spend some time looking through them to relive those moments again with your family. This would be a good time to pick out some favorites or photos that stick out from the rest like that one of you kicking your partner’s butt at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Once you have several picked out, get them printed to go in a family scrapbook. If scrapbooks aren’t your thing, I highly recommend Shutterfly to create your own photobook. Just upload your pictures and use their ready-to-go pages to customize a special photobook of your trip. Make it even more special by sitting down with the family or your partner to make it unique to you. Alec and I have used Shutterfly many times over the years, and these photobooks are always the best gifts to give for birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays. I promise I’m not sponsored, and that’s not even an affiliate link (I wish!); I just love using the site!
Decorate with Disney at Home
When I say decorate with Disney at home, I don’t mean it has to be loud and in-your-face. In fact, you don’t have to put anything physical in your home to recreate the magic you felt in the parks. You can easily make or find Disney park music playlists on Spotify or listen to Disney podcasts to put you back in that “going to Disney” feeling. I know some people have even re-created Disney parks on their Animal Crossing islands! If you do want something physical in your home, I always recommend Disney ornaments from your trip for holiday trees. If you are an avid pin collector (or trader), these really cute and subtle frames make it easy to display your favorite pins. I also really love subtle Disney frames for trip photos to display around the house like this one. If you want to take decor a step further, hit up your local thrift stores (safely, of course) for finds that elude to Disney movies like a tea set paired with a candelabra and a mantel clock to represent Beauty and the Beast. Use your imagination and some DIY skills to sprinkle a bit of pixie dust around your home to keep you in the Disney spirit between visits.
Use and Wear Disney Memorabilia
Confession time: I am in love with the hotel mini soaps and shampoo. It smells amazing and fresh. Every time I use the lotion I brought home, I’m instantly teleported back to French Quarter. If you have used up your mini bottles from your stay, you can snag full size bottles and sets on Disney’s website. If bath and body products aren’t your thing, you can always throw on your favorite Disney apparel. I bought an amazing rainbow tie-dyed spirit jersey during our trip. I only wish I had bought it in black so I could wear it more. I also have a subtle Beauty and the Beast rose necklace I wear often. Every time I wear it, it reminds me of Disney and our honeymoon. Other ways you can use and wear Disney to help remind you of those fun memories: drinking tea or coffee or hot chocolate from a Disney mug, using Disney stationary to plan the next trip or write notes to loved ones so they can remember those cherished memories too, and making Disney themed food like Mickey-shaped waffles in a Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker!
Plan a Return Trip
With most travel still being discouraged , you probably haven’t thought about planning a return trip to Disney. The truth is you can absolutely plan a return trip so you have something to look forward to when traveling is safe again. You can start the prep work by creating a budget and putting away a bit of money into a savings marked for Disney. I find that putting money away for the trip always makes it feel more real. If you’re more of a “set a date” planner, Disney World allows you to book your trip in advance, and sometimes you can even move the dates of the trip around if needed. Nothing says you can’t plan for a future trip even without booking it though. Take to Pinterest and pin everything that you want to see, do, and eat! Pin outfit ideas if you want to Disneybound or just beat the weather. Pin tips and tricks straight from ex-cast members and bloggers in the know so you can be even more prepared for the next trip.
Have you ever had Disney Depression? Or maybe a different “end of trip or vacation” blues? How did you deal with it? Let me know in the comments below!
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