A trip to a Disney Resort can be a transformative experience. The sights, sounds, and memories you experience can stay with you for a lifetime. Unfortunately for most of us, visiting a Disney park doesn’t happen as much as we would wish. And in times like now, when all Disney parks have closed their doors for an extended period of time, it can seem like the magic of Disney is just out of reach. Well, I’m here to tell you that this isn’t the case! There are in fact many ways you can bring the magic of Disney into your own home while you get ready for your next trip. Let’s take a look at 5 of our favorite ways to “plus” your home life with Disney. Because as Mickey Mouse once said: “Take the dream with you wherever you may go.”
Watch Ride and Show Videos
The biggest draw to a Disney park is arguably the rides and attractions. There are no places better in the world for a family to enjoy masterfully crafted attractions meant for all ages than Disney parks. From piloting the Millennium Falcon to zipping through the mine caves of the 7 Dwarfs, there are so many ways to enter your favorite worlds. A great way to relive those fun moments spent on Disney attractions is to enjoy a “virtual ride” or fireworks viewing through videos on YouTube.
Not only are these videos a great way to relive your memories and bring a bit of the parks into your home, but they can also be a good resource to prepare younger guests for rides they may be apprehensive of in future visits. Not to mention that those of us who have been visiting the parks for decades can revisit some extinct attractions as there are many videos on the site from long past rides and shows.
Make Your Favorite Parks Snacks and Treats
They say that smell is the strongest sense tied to a person’s memory. The smell of your favorite Disney snack wafting through the park can have as much of an effect on someone as a ride on Space Mountain. One of my favorite ways to bring back all of those great memories of time spent in a Disney park is by baking up one of the many delectable iconic treats at home. You can find many official recipes for some of your favorite Disney snacks and treats over at OhMy.Disney.com. From Walt’s own chili recipe to instructions on how to make Winnie The Pooh cake pops, there’s something for every taste. I’ve included one of my favorites, the Tonga Toast from The Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This popular breakfast item can be a great way to kick off your Disney Parks day at home.
Tonga Toast Recipe
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Tonga Toast Ingredients:
1 quart canola oil, for frying
1 loaf sourdough bread (uncut, 12 inches long)
2 large bananas, peeled
1. Mix sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl (large enough to roll toast) with a fork until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
1. Whip eggs in medium bowl (large enough to dip toast) until well beaten. Add milk, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
Tonga Toast Preparation:
1. Preheat oil to 350 degrees F in a large pot or a deep fryer. (If using a large pot, use a candy thermometer to make certain the oil does not get any hotter or it will burn.)
2. Slice the bread into four three-inch-thick slices.
3. Cut each banana in half crosswise, then each piece lengthwise.
4. Place a bread slice flat on the counter and tear out just enough from the middle (do not tear all the way through) to stuff half a banana into; repeat with each bread slice.
5. Dip stuffed bread into batter, covering both sides, allowing excess batter to drip off bread and place carefully into hot oil.
6. Cook 4-5 minutes until golden brown. If needed, turn toast over after 2 minutes and cook for another 2 minutes on other side. Remove and drain excess oil.
7. Roll toast in cinnamon-sugar. Repeat for each piece of toast.
Play a Disney Parks Board Game
One of my family’s favorite ways to spend quality time together, with no screens involved, is by playing a board game. In the past decade, Disney has gotten “onboard” with the resurgence in popularity of this classic pastime. There is now a large number of Disney themed board games available in the parks as well as in retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. If you’re into the darker side of Disney, you can get dastardly with Disney’s Villainous Strategy Board Game. This fun and family-friendly game has developed a big fan base and was awarded the “Toy of The Year Award” for 2019. If you’re looking for a classic game, you can choose from many Disney-fied versions of favorites like Tower of Terror Clue, Disney Princess Candyland, and a whole slew of Disney themed Monopoly games.
Play Disney Parks Mobile App
Disney recently added a new way to interact with the parks and pass the time in line with the Play Disney Parks app. This app is available for iPhone and Android and features new ways to explore and play while touring a Disney theme park. It offers games, music, achievements and interactive elements to not only add a new dimension to a guest’s day but help pass the time while waiting in line (this facet of the app is probably its most useful).
The fun isn’t just limited to while you’re at a Disney Resort though, as there are many games and features of the app available to use anywhere. The app features sections for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts and lets you take a cartoon virtual tour of their parks. You can test your parks knowledge with fun trivia games, listen to parks music, and plan achievements for your next visit.
Listen to Disney Parks Music
After entering into a partnership with Disney last year, streaming service Spotify unveiled a new “Disney Hub” featuring a collection of music from a wide range of movies, shows, and parks. Disney parks music collections can also be found on Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, and the Play Disney Parks App. My favorite is the Disney Parks Collection, with 51 classic and new park tunes. This collection features everything from the Country Bears to the new theme song from Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, “Nothing Can Stop Us Now”. Putting on a playlist of Disney Parks songs while going about my normal day always adds a bit of joy to usually mundane tasks. These are also great songs to enjoy with the whole family as you remember the fun you’ve had in the parks, and start planning for your next visit!
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Some Photos Courtesy Disney
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