For many die-hard fans of the Disney parks, having to spend an extended period of time away from the parks can feel like torture. Whether your Annual Pass is blocked out, you don’t live close enough to the parks to visit regularly, or any other factor is keeping you away from the parks, it doesn’t take long for Disney withdrawals to start setting in.
Since moving to Orlando and becoming an Annual Passholder, this has been something I (Danny) have had to overcome whenever my Annual Pass blockout dates are in effect.
Being an Orlando local and living so close to the parks, I do have a few more options to get my Disney fix outside of the parks than people who live elsewhere, but many of my ways of coping with Disney parks withdrawals are things anyone could do to keep the Disney magic alive when you’re not able to visit the parks.
The first year I was an Annual Passholder and had to endure blockout dates, the first source of relief I turned to was YouTube. There are countless Disney-related videos available on YouTube. Disney vlogs and podcasts, as well as parade and fireworks videos, became a part of my everyday life and helped me to get my daily Disney fix while I was blocked out from visiting the parks.
Similarly to Disney vlogs on YouTube, I started following Disney-related blogs. This became my way of vicariously living through others who were still able to visit the parks. I learned a lot about the parks, in general, and started to compile lists of things that I hadn’t experienced yet. These lists provided me with new options to explore when I was able to get back into the parks.
Disney Springs is free. You don’t need to buy a ticket or pay for parking to visit Disney Springs. Whenever my Annual Pass has been blocked out, or any time for that matter, I have always loved visiting Disney Springs on a regular basis. Although Disney Springs is a very different experience from the parks, it is still very much Disney and has a special feel to it. There is so much to do, see, and experience at Disney Springs. Living just minutes away, I try to get there as often as possible. Halie works at Disney Springs, so that is easily the #1 reason I visit as frequently as I do, but I have always loved it regardless.
Watching your favorite Disney movies can help you feel connected to the parks. Even though you may be miles away from the parks, watching these old favorites can bring back so many great memories from your past Disney experiences.
Checking the current wait times on the MyDisneyExperience app can help you to feel like you’re still living in the magic, even if you’re miles away. Although you may not currently be at WDW, or planning a trip, checking the wait times for attractions can bring back some memories from previous trips.
Reliving memories from past Disney vacations can help to bring back the magic. A truly magical Disney vacation will provide you with memories that last a lifetime. Telling stories of those trips, wearing/using any memorabilia you purchased during those trips, cooking your own version of a favorite Disney meal, or just thinking back to those memories can help you to get through those times when you are away from the parks.
Planning ahead for your next Disney trip is another great way to get your Disney fix. Even as a local, when I know my Annual Pass blockout dates will be ending soon, I start planning well in advance for what I want to do when I am finally able to get back into the parks. I have my favorite go-to things that I want to experience, but I plan my return to the parks weeks in advance. Getting to experience a favorite attraction or show again for the first time in a while can feel like reconnecting with an old friend.
Visiting a Disney store or shopping online for Disney merchandise is an option for those of you who don’t live near the parks to bring the magic into your life while you’re away from the parks. Sometimes all it takes to feel the magic is just thinking about what you would want if you were able to be in the parks.
Any way that you’re able to incorporate the Disney parks into your life while you’re away adds a little extra magic to your day. As locals, Halie and I are incredibly fortunate to live close enough to hear and see the fireworks on a nightly basis. Although it’s not the same as experiencing the fireworks from inside the parks, getting to watch them from anywhere is a magical experience. We are very blessed to be able to have the fireworks as a special part of our lives every night.
This past 4th of July, I was able to enjoy an amazing view of Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from two miles away. Obviously, it wasn’t the same as watching from inside the park, but it was still a very magical experience. I have watched the 4th of July fireworks from a distance for the past four years now, while surrounded by other locals. It’s pretty cool to see how many locals have adopted Magic Kingdom’s fireworks as a part of their annual 4th of July celebration.
As locals, we feel incredibly fortunate that Disney is such as huge part of our everyday lives. We know we are able to enjoy experiences that Disney fans elsewhere may not be able to enjoy, but we hope these ideas help you to power through your Disney parks withdrawals until your next vacation.
What are your go-to methods of overcoming your Disney parks withdrawals? Do you have any methods that we didn’t mention? Please feel free to share in the comments. We would love to hear your favorite ways of getting your Disney fix when you’re away from the parks.
XOXO, Halie and Danny