Keeping the Disney Magic Alive at Home
by Brian Capizzi
Since Disneyland Park opened on July 17th 1955, followed by The Walt Disney World Resort on October 1st, 1971, and then parks all over the world, there has been one constant; the parks have been open 7 days and week 365 days a year. Some rare exceptions such as natural disasters and 9/11 have closed the parks for a day or two, but for the most part they have always been there for us as fans for that little bit of magic and pixie dust. That all changed in 2020, when a global pandemic forced all of the parks around the world to do the unthinkable, close their gates. To Disney’s credit, this was done with health and safety of the cast members and guests in mind. Many people who were either going for years as a family tradition or taking their families for the first time were extremely disappointed and wanted that magic as an escape from this extreme tragedy. Being quarantined for months at a time, we have been looking for that Disney magic and luckily with the available technology and a little imagination, we can bring that Disney Parks magic home. If you have had a trip cancelled, interrupted, or postponed, there are many ways to keep that magic alive at home. Here are some things that may take your mind off what is going on and remind you of why we all love Disney.
On November 12th 2019, Disney launched their streaming service Disney+. Besides the vast library of Disney Classic movies, one of the shows that we as a family have watched numerous times to get our Disney fix is the Imagineering Story. This details how the Disney Imagineers built some of our favorite attractions and parks. It starts with the opening of Disneyland and goes all the way to Galaxy’s Edge. This show gives you an inside look on how some iconic attractions came to be at the parks all around the world. Is the Gran Fiesta tour in the Mexico pavilion one of your favorite attractions? Watch the movie, it was based on The Three Cabelleros. Check out Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean saga and get a taste of the pirate life. There is plenty to check out and constantly being added to scratch that Disney itch.
Do you miss some of the nighttime spectaculars such as Happily Ever After, Fantasmic, and Epcot Forever? You can watch and re-watch them on the Disney Parks YouTube Channel. We all have smart TVs and you can see them in 4K to get that fix. If you go down the rabbit holes a little further, you can find videos of the Main Street Electrical Light Parade, Festival of Fantasy Parade, and some of those retired shows such as Wishes, Illuminations, and the original MGM fireworks spectacular. There are also many of the parades and shows from parks around the world. See the nighttime show at Disney Tokyo Sea. You can also find ride videos and if you happen to have a VR Headset, you can actually ride the rides in full 360 degrees. While your stomach may not drop on Splash Mountain, or feel the Ikran breathing on Flight of Passage, you can still get the feels at home experiencing these attractions.
Family Photos and videos
If you have taken trips to Disney Parks before, it is a great time to go back and relive the experiences you have had at the parks. Check out some of those character pictures you took with your family. Many of us may have videos of personal experiences that you or a member of your family had with a Cast Member, character, or an experience like the Bobbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Princess Tea, or a dining experience. The best part of going to a Disney park is the memories you make and this is a great time to go back and relive some of them. For some of us who have gone many years ago, it is fun to check out some of those old pictures and see how things have dramatically changed or in some ways stayed the same for many years. If you have a favorite Disney souvenir such as a bubble wand, stuffed animal, popcorn bucket, or sipper, it is fun to maybe use those one day or night for a fun Disney night.
Food and Drink
One of the best parts of Disney is the food items that are specific to the parks. We have all been told that when you go to Disney you have to get the Dole Whip, Mickey Waffles, Mickey Bars, etc. Even the simplest food tastes better with a Mickey face or Mickey Ears. Disney has released many of the recipes to some of their signature dishes on the Disney Magical Moments part of their website. Have a Disney meal one night with the Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup from Le Cellier, the Totchos from Woody’s Lunch Box, The Fried Endorian Tip Yip from Galaxy’s Edge, and The Grey Stuff from Be Our Guest. Many of these recipes are simple enough where you can make them with your kids and they will definitely bring you back to that dining experience from your last trip. There is even a recipe for the famous Dole Whip. You can also purchase a Mickey Waffle maker from ShopDisney and make those amazing Mickey Waffles and many supermarkets are carrying the iconic Mickey Ice Cream bar. My family and I have tried some of these recipes and can say that they taste almost exactly the same as in the parks.
While many of the physical Disney Stores still have not reopened, many of the parks products are available on ShopDisney. Whether it is that special set of ears, pins, stuffed animals, or the limited edition Dooney and Burke bags, you can get your shopping fix on this site. Did you watch the Mandalorian and have to have that Baby Yoda? There are plenty of products to choose from. There are always special sales going on and if you have a Disney Visa Card or Disney Debit card you can get 10% off of your purchase.
Scents and Candles
Over the years, there have been a few companies who have come up with amazing products that keep the Disney magic alive in your home. Companies like Magic Candle Company and Scentsy have come up with candles, essential oils, wax melts, and air fresheners that smell like locations at the parks. There are scents for everyone. If you miss your favorite resort such as the Polynesian or Port Orleans, there is a scent for that. If you love the smells from Soaring, there are different scents from that. If you are like me and love the burning smell from Spaceship Earth or the water from Pirates of the Caribbean, there are scents for that. Our favorites are the scents of Main Street USA. Whether is it from the Confectionery, Bakery, or the Ice Cream Parlor, you are able to get those scents and fill your home with them. They will definitely bring you to your favorite spot at the parks and bring back all those amazing memories.
For many of us who have been going to the parks for years or helping families plan their vacations, these past few months have given us a new appreciation of how special these parks are to us. The parks and cruise ships will open again and we will all be able to walk down Main Street USA and see those castles, ride our favorite attractions, and eat our favorite foods. Things may be a little different going forward but one thing will never change about Disney, the magic and right now with all that went on we can use a little Disney Magic.
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We are a Disney loving couple who have been married for 19 years and hail from the great state of New York. We have been taking our children to the Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line since they were small. As a child, Disney would be that special vacation that would only come along once every few years. I have seen Disney change from 2 parks and couple of hotels to the ultimate vacation destination it is today. My wife and I went on our honeymoon to Disney and from that day on, she was hooked. We have been going every year. No matter how many times we go, there is always something new to experience.
For years, we would help our friends plan their vacations and decided to become travel planners. We love helping people plan their dream vacations. Whether it is your first time or 50th time, our expertise and attention to detail will make your trip a vacation to remember. The biggest joy we get is when we see the amazing photos and hear all about the memories that were made. If you are looking to book a Disney Vacation, cruise, or a Caribbean getaway we can help take all the stress out of planning the details and let you relax and enjoy that special vacation