Everyday Pixiedust: 10 Ways to Live the Disney Magic on the Daily

April 29, 2020

Buckle up and por favor, mantenganse alejado de las puertas, guys, because this is going to be one long ride! I mean post...(if you're reading this, you're probably at least a little bit into Disney. If you make it all the way to the end, congratulations, you're officially a Disney junkie).

So we're stuck in quarantine, the world feels like it's falling apart at the seams, and the Disney parks are closed (insert exaggerated 3 minute long gasp here). For some of us addicts, this is absolutely soul crushing. Ok, I'm being dramatic here because in the grand scheme of things, there are more pressing matters. BUT we still need a little pixiedust in our lives, now more than ever. So what's a Disney fan to do when you can't go to Disney? You bring Disney to you. 

No, I'm not talking about those epic overchieving people that have gone viral with their videos about how they made a Jungle Cruise ride in their backyard or completely transformed their living room into Cinderella's Castle (I'm a working mom stuck at home with a 2 year old. I do not have time for that - kudos if you do). This post is all about simple & easy ways how you can bring home that Disney magic that we all know & love. Whether it's muddling through quarantine, a long gap between Disney trips, or getting over a Disney vacation hangover, there are plenty of ways to keep the Disney spirit alive & well at home.

1. Dress up
Ok, Captain Obvious. This one was a no brainer, but it was for that reason I had to include it as #1. Some of us hardcore Disney addicts do this on a regular basis (hi.) but wearing Disney-centric outfits, sporting mouse ears, or going full on Disneybound-mode helps us not only cope with missing our second home, but puts a little fun back into an ordinary day. There's something about throwing on a cute Disney shirt or curating a Minnie-inspired outfit that instantly lifts my mood.

If you want to get social, do it with friends! Where there's one Disneybounder, there's several thousand, so you can absolutely Disneybound with others! The Disney community on Instagram is one of my favorite places to participate in fun Disneybounding challenges (check out @thedisneybound or @colormemagic). It gave me & my friends something to get excited about during the week, and I looked forward each day to seeing what outfits they came up with. We were constantly sharing photos all week long in our ongoing group text.

2. Immerse yourself in the media
No, I'm not talking coronavirus news. This kind of media is the pixiedusted kind: streamable content, music, and podcasts! Thank goodness Disney+ came out when it did, right!? There are tons of great shows to watch on Disney+, but even if you don't have that streaming service, you can still get Disney content lots of other places (YouTube, anyone?). I also love listening to park music on Spotify, or playing a vinyl album of classic Disney songs. For my Disney news, I also have a full rotation of Disney podcasts, and I look forward to new episodes, which come out weekly.

Here's my list of Disney media recommendations:

Disney + original content:
  • Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings
  • Imagineering Story
  • Be Our Chef
  • The Mandolorian
Disney + movies:
  • Babes in Toyland
  • The Parent Trap (both versions)
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  • Escape to Witch Mountain
  • Tall Tale
  • Any of the live action remakes (Aladdin & Beauty & the Beast are my favorites)
  • Mary Poppins
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Blank Check
  • Camp Nowhere
  • Heavyweights
  • Saving Mr. Banks
Spotify playlists:
  • "EPCOT Center" by txcrew
  • "Disney World Parks Music" by Kyle Crane
  • "Disney Parks by The Lost Bros" by Cody Michael Tapoler
  • "Magic Philharmonic Disney Orchestra - Disney Classics" by Paul Jenson
  • "Disney Classics (Best of Disney Soundtracks" by Ann Nicole Sangrador
Disney podcasts:
  • DISunplugged (excellent news source)
  • Disney Parks podcast (another news source with fun weekly trivia)
  • Pixie Chicks podcast (it's like talking Disney with your besties)
  • The Budget Mouse (my go-to source for trip planning on-the-cheap)

3. Virtual Reality
I am so glad we live in the age of technology. It definitely makes "bringing home the magic" a lot easier, that's for sure! One of my new favorite ways to experience the parks at home is with a pair of virtual reality goggles. These run the gamut from  the incredibly basic carboard viewers to full on Ready Player One level (ie. the Oculus). I've only recently dipped my toes into the VR world, so I went middle-of-the-road with this $36 pair from Amazon. It comes with a padded area for your eyes and a slot in the front that fits various size phones and holds it firmly in place. I also suggest enhancing your VR experience with a pair of bluetooth headphones.

Once you've picked out your VR goggles, just hop onto YouTube and search "virtual reality Disney" or "POV Disney" and you'll find tons of content you can stream - often in 360 - that will make you feel just like you're at the parks! Ok, so maybe not just like it, but it does the trick. 
4. Eat "park food"
There are tons of recipes out there on the internet for making park-food-dupes, but I tend to stick to the easy stuff: Mickey waffles and store-bought items (I'm not much of a cook. I'm also lazyin the kitchen.) Sure you could snag that exact replica Mickey waffle iron for a cool $309 (on sale from $455 - what a steal...???) or this similar one for $75 from ShopDisney. But if you're more inclined to spend your cash on a 7th Loungefly backpack you don't need but just can't say no to (I get it), you can call it a day and get the much cheaper version that still does the trick for $20.

Besides waffles, there are plenty of other ways to get your fix. Lucky for us, the grocery stores now sell Mickey bars and Mickey icecream sandwiches. I also found these cute Toy Story Evian waters (& yes, I kept the empty bottles. Why else would I have bought these?). Or you can play pretend and get mini corn dogs & shoestring french fries, set up camp on your lawn, and sit back with a venti iced coffee in a Starbucks cup = instant Casey's Corner + "hub grass" = mega chill.

Here are just a few things to get you started if you want to try making a dupe food item or drink:

5. Retail Therapy
Some of us do this year round, or what feels like almost weekly during quarantine (*slowly raises hand*), but buying Disney stuff is just what we do. Ordering a new cute mug or fun bag serves two major purposes: (1.) it sparks immense joy and (2.) it gets us really super excited for our next Disney trip so we can wear aforementioned new bag/outfit/ears, etc. 

Some of my favorite things to collect & shop for are Disney mugs. I start my day with coffee every morning, so having a myriad thingamabob collection of whosits and whatsits to choose from to pour my rocket fuel into every morning is something I look forward to. Somehow, my husband doesn't have quite the same warm fuzzies towards the mug collection I have amassed, currently taking up precious cabinet space in our kitchen (but one does not simply "get rid of" Disney mugs - am I right or am I right?)

There's some reeeeally cute stuff out there right now, so I took this opportunity to share some options with you guys - you know, if you need a little pick-me-up right now :)

6. Castle yoga
We've all seen those pictures of people doing yoga at Magic Kingdom right in front of Cinderella's Castle, right? Unfortunately, that was just a castmember event (I would absolutely pay money for that though if they made it a hard-ticketed event) but sidenote, you can get kinda close with free (YES, I SAID FREE) yoga at numerous resorts (check out the full list here). For now, I'm limited to my daughter's playroom as as a makeshift yoga studio, but if you want to recreate that castle ambiance and add a bit of magic, it's as easy as bibbidi bobbidi boo!

First, you're going to need some cute workout gear. I am partial to the LuLaRoe leggings in any of the prints from their Disney collection, but there are numerous options out there for Disney inspired leggings and yoga pants. Next, you'll need a TV somewhere close by and pause it on a scene from where you want to do your yoga (Cinderella Castle is an obvious choice, but Spaceship Earth and the Tree of Life are also excellent choices). You can pull this up via YouTube or one of the numerous shows on Disney+ (for reference, my TV is paused on Episode 1 of "Be Our Chef" at about 1:52 or somewhere around there).

Once you've dressed the part and your scene has been set, all you're missing is the music. There's actually a yoga version of Disney classics on Spotify! Just search "Yogi Translations of Disney Classics" to find it. Then relax, take a deep breath, and get your asana on! (Does that word conjure up images of Rafiki singing asante sana squash banana for anyone else? No? Just me? OK!).

7. Virtual Zoom Disney party
Y'all this one is fun!! This is definitely more of a quarantine activity because it's virtual, but once we're all "allowed" to actually hang out again in the same physical space, I'm making this a regular occurrence. The idea behind it is simple: have a "night out" where you ditch the sweats & PJs in favor of a Disneybound, and then make a cocktail inspired by that bound. It gets your creative juices flowing and adds another element of fun on top of actually seeing/speaking to other humans.

I picked Jasmine, while my friends bounded as the Mad Hatter and Cruella, with cocktails to match (peep those tiny "puppy spots" in Heather's glass!!)

I found a Jasmine-inspired cocktail online and modified the recipe to be more "me" & tweaked it to my tastebuds. So while I bounded as Jasmine, my cocktail came out more Genie than Jasmine. So I'm calling it "Friend Like Me" (because we can all use more of these kinds of boozy friends in quarantine).

To recreate this cocktail, it's super easy (which is totally my speed). You'll need:
  • White rum
  • Blue curacao
  • Honey, simple syrup, or corn syrup
  • Gold sugar crystals
  • Pineapple juice
  • Ginger ale or Prosecco
  1. Rim a glass with honey, corn syrup or simple syrup (you want something on the rim that the sugar crystals can adhere to)
  2. Dip the rim in a bowl of gold sugar crystals/sprinkles
  3. Pour in 3 tbsp of white rum (4 if you like it strong)
  4. Pour in 2 tbsp of blue curacao 
  5. Pour pineapple juice on top (enough to your liking)
  6. Top with bubbles (ginger ale or Prosecco)
  7. Bonus aesthetic: garnish with blue cotton candy

8. Resort hop
Just because you can't be at the parks doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little "resort hopping" of your own. One of my favorite resorts is the Grand Floridian, so I gave myself a little spa night by making Mickey towels, giving myself a Minnie-mani, and using some leftover Disney resort products I had in my linen closet. The H20 products they use at the resorts are also available online for purchase here.

Other ideas you could try inspired by the Disney resorts:

  • Polynesian: make dole whips, put together a Hawaiian inspired look, and have a backyard luau
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge: at-home Sanaa bread service, wear something animal-print, and have a screening of the Lion King. If you're daring, try making your own zebra domes
  • Beach Club: have a massive icecream party a la the Kitchen Sink, don your finest beach wear or bathing suit, and lay out by the pool (no pool? No problem - inflatables & kiddie pools work just as well!)
  • Port Orleans: have a jazz brunch complete with Mickey beignets, watch the Princess and the Frog, and wear (or make) a Mardi Gras mask.
9. Participate in virtual Disney community events
It's no secret I'm a fan of Dapper Day (just check out these Dapper Day posts here)! It's an unofficial event that happens bi-annually at WDW and Disneyland where people of all over come together to celebrate the styles of yesteryear. I had a trip planned for Spring 2020 but obviously Covid-19 had other plans for...well, the world. But that didn't stop the Disney community from celebrating!

The Dapper Day people organized a virtual event, complete with lots of livestreams, and everyone used the group hashtag #dapperdayathome to share their fancy looks (& some people got really creative)! I participated and put together my own Jane dapperbound, complete with an at-home photoshoot in the jungle (AKA my backyard...where yes, there is real bamboo growing. Aesthetic much?)

Point being - the interwebs is abuzz right now with lots of virtual "events" going on, and Disney is no exception. They recently hosted a Disney Family Singalong as well as a livestream of the Happily Ever After firework show. @thedisneybound on Instagram regularly hosts month-long Disneybound challenges, and several other Disney influencers and instagrammers host their own challenges, events, and livestreams as well.

10. Plan your next trip
There's nothing quite like planning a Disney trip. I love the whole planning process - everything from picking out the resort & the reservations to planning each outfit. So to me, this seems like a no-brainer as a way to nurse your Disney trip hangover or to get excited for your next trip, With so many things up in the air right now, just pick a date way far in the future and start planning! Planning your next trips gives you something to look forward to (& something to work towards). The parks may be closed right now, but they won't be forever.

                                After all, they can't order us to stop dreaming.


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