15 ways to bring the magic home while the Disney Parks are temporarily closed

by Brooke Geiger McDonald

We’re all struggling right now, and Disney fans across the country are mourning the closure of the Disney Parks due to the virus crisis, the cancellation of their vacations, and their daily fix of real-time Disney content from around the internet and social media.

disney parks
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

To help you get through these sad times, we’re highlighting our favorite ways to bring a little Disney magic home. Just remember, responsible social distancing is the quickest way to end this and get us all back to the parks we love. Disney fans, we’re all in this together.

1. Stage a Homemade Version of Your Favorite Ride

Thank goodness for social media and the creativity of our fellow Disney parks fans, because people are cracking us up with their #HomemadeDisney rides. Check out a collection of our favorite copycat rides here, then try making your own. Tag us and we’ll feature the best ones on our social media channels.

2. Design Your Own Theme Park

We may not be able to visit any theme parks right now, but while you wait for them to reopen, why not come up with the plans for the next great one? Walt Disney Imagineering has teamed up with Khan Academy and Pixar to create Imagineering in a Box, a series of interactive lessons in theme park design and engineering. See videos and case studies from Imagineers and then put what you’re learning in action by doing the corresponding activities. Think you’ve come up with the next great park idea? Let us know in the comments or tag us on social media!

3. Ride Your Favorite Rides From Your Living Room

Not feeling creative (or energetic!) enough to recreate a ride at home? Head to the Attractions Magazine YouTube channel to watch POV videos of all of your favorite rides—it’s the closest you can get to being there!

FULL POV - Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disney's Hollywood Studios

4. Animation Academy

Keep flexing those creative muscles by learning to draw your favorite Disney characters with lessons from the pros. The Disney Parks Blog is sharing a series of tutorials on how to draw Mickey Mouse through the years. After you’ve mastered Mickey, check out the other tutorials on Disney and Pixar characters like Winnie the Pooh, Buzz Lightyear and Jack Skellington.

How-To Draw Mickey Mouse - Contemporary | Magic Kingdom Park

5. Get Cooking

We’re all missing our favorite treats right now. Fortunately, the internet is full of copycat recipes to help you recreate all the best Disney snacks, treats, and even full meals at home. From DIY Dole Whip to Epcot caramel corn to the famous Blue Bayou Monte Cristo, we’re loving watching the Disney community get creative with their at-home snacks. Have you found the perfect copycat recipe? Let us know in the comments or tag us in a photo!


6. Play Those Park Sounds in the Background

You’ll have those iconic Disney smells covered when cook your favorite Disney treats at home. Now, cue up the sounds. This YouTube playlist features hours of land, ride and queue soundtracks:

7. Keep a Disney Puzzle in Progress

We’re all relying on tech to keep us connected during this crazy, isolated time, but it’s a good idea to take breaks and put down the devices when you can. Puzzles have been shown to improve memory, raise your IQ, and even help stave off dementia. Set up a spot to keep a Disney puzzle going and take tech breaks to work on it. When you’re done, you can glue and frame it and it will double as a pretty piece of Disney artwork.

disney parks
Photo by Brooke Geiger McDonald

8. Binge-watch Disney+

If you haven’t subscribed to Disney+ yet, now’s the time. In addition to the hundreds of Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars movies and shows now available to stream, Disney has been speeding up the streaming releases of their newest films, like “Frozen 2,” available now, and “Onward,” available to stream April 3.

9. Subscribe to Attractions Magazine

If you read Attractions Magazine online and follow us on social media, you know we’re always bringing you the latest news and updates from the parks. But if you don’t subscribe to our print magazine, you’re missing out on exclusive content only available to our subscribers. With in-depth reviews and analysis of the latest attractions, resorts, and restaurants, an Attractions Magazine subscription brings your favorite theme parks home to you. Three subscription levels come with a range of perks, from mystery merch boxes to exclusive online content and local discounts.

10. Start Training for a RunDisney Virtual Race

While we’re all quarantined and our local gyms are closed, many people are looking for new ways to get out and exercise. Luckily, running is one of the few activities that’s still on the sanctioned list. In-person races in the near future, like the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Weekend, have all been canceled, but runDisney offers a summer series of three Virtual 5ks that you can do by yourself, on your own time, and commemorate your achievement with a finisher medal. The best part? This year’s summer series is themed to fan-favorite Disney theme park attractions. Keep an eye out for registration to open soon and start your training now!

11. Stay on Top of Your Handwashing and Social Distancing—But Make It Disney

Disney Instagrammer @MichaelDoesDisney has the internet in stitches with his daily handwashing and social distancing tips, sung—in costume—to the tune of favorite Disney songs. He even brings in other members of the Disney Instagram community and some notable voices to help hit those high notes—like Bianca Alomar, one of the starring performers in the Move It! Shake It! Mouskedance It! Street Party at Magic Kingdom.


12. Take Your Conference Calls from a Disney park

Liven up those Zoom calls by adding a virtual background. Dig through your vacation photos and upload them as backdrops. I’m now taking all calls from Pixar Pier and my kids are doing Zoom hangouts with their friends from the star destroyer hanger in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

disney parks
Photo by Brooke Geiger McDonald

13. Recreate Your Favorite Park Scene With Legos

If you’ve been watching the new LEGO Masters show on Fox, you’ve probably been inspired to get more creative with Legos. Last year a Disney Parks fan designed this incredible Disney dream park out of Legos. Check out more Disney-inspired Lego ideas, like the “UP” house, and the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A. Not creative? For the ultimate splurge, treat yourself to the Disney castle or the Disney train and station. These massive sets are guaranteed to keep you busy for hours and will be great display pieces when they’re done.

14. Make Home Your Own Personal Disney Resort

Your trip may have been canceled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring some Disney resort magic home. Turn the in-room TV channel on YouTube, burn a resort-scented candle from one of the many great small businesses making Disney-scented candles, and whip up some Mickey waffles for breakfast in the morning.

Pro tip: Here’s the waffle mix they use in the parks and resorts.

WDW Today Channel - January 2019 - New Music!! | Walt Disney World Resort TV

15. Pretend You’re on Main Street With the Sounds of the Dapper Dans

Everyone’s favorite voices from the middle of Main Street, U.S.A., the Dapper Dans, are serenading Disney fans from their homes to ours in their #VoicesFromHome project. Head over to the Disney Parks Blog to hear “When You Wish Upon a Star” and let them know what song you’d like to hear next.

#VoicesFromHome: Dapper Dans Share Disney Magic

Related Articles

1 comment

Idrive orlando March 27, 2020 - 10:11 am

Love this!


Leave a Comment

Email Newsletter Signup

Get the latest news direct to your inbox.
Simply submit your email address below.