Our big Christmas gift to the kids last year was…a trip to Disney World.

I NEVER thought I would go to Disney World. We only live an hour from Disneyland and I just couldn’t see us ever spending the money for a trip to Orlando when — again — Disneyland is practically down the street. But I was invited to attend a conference at Disney World, and one of the perks of the conference is ridiculous discounts on tickets, hotels, food, the works. AND — it includes a three-day Disney cruise. After going back and forth about it with Mike (the kids would have to miss school) we decided to go for it.

We told the kids by wrapping up a box of little Disney trinkets from the Dollar Store, plus I put together a few characters and I made a countdown paper chain.

paper disney cruise
It took me an hour to put those together, and they were destroyed in minutes. Grumble.

disney world box
Paper characters and the paper chain.

They were really confused when they first opened the box. “What is all this paper?” Annie asked. But when we explained we were going to Disney World and on a Disney Cruise they flipped out. As they should.

A paper chain was absolutely the most brilliant thing I put in the box. It’s saved me countless questions of, “How many days until we leave?” I’m going to do paper chains for EVERY big event from now on.

The kids have done a ton of planning and research, thanks to YouTube Kids. This also really fed into James’ obsession with the Tower of Terror ride. Did you know there’s actually a Tower of Terror movie? WELL THERE IS. AND WE HAVE WATCHED IT MANY MANY TIMES. It’s some of Steve Guttenberg’s finest work. James has been talking about going on the Tower of Terror so much, in fact, that even his friends are excited for him.

Case in point:

from mckenna

There are only six days left in the paper chain! I supposed I should, oh, start packing? For those of you who have been to Disney World or on a Disney Cruise, drop some knowledge on me. What’s the one thing I shouldn’t forget? Besides Dramamine, because Heather + Cruise = seasick.