Making Disney Magic Without Leaving Houston

Whether you’re in a situation like me, anxiously awaiting your next Disney vacation {May 2019! Who’s coming!?}, or you just came back from your Disney trip, the post-Disney vacation blues are a REAL THING! You miss the magic of possibility in the mornings. You long for the adventure of seeing each new experience through your children’s eyes. You wish for the social acceptance of singing Disney songs at the top of your lungs without embarrassment! 

Making Disney Magic Without Leaving Houston | Houston Moms Blog

You soon come to realize, however, that unless you are extremely fortunate, you cannot financially afford to go to Disney World every month. So, you start saving your pennies and looking through your photo albums yearning for that next magical vacation.

Well here’s a wonderful thought, {not just any happy little thought}, there are actually affordable and even free activities you can do with your family in the Houston area that let you keep the Disney Magic alive! I’m going to share my favorite activities that I do with my little ones every time we’re missing Disney!

Dress up and go to the Disney Store Opening Ceremonies

Making Disney Magic Without Leaving Houston | Houston Moms BlogThis first stop ALWAYS helps us to satisfy our Disney cravings! I’ll have my kiddos pick out their favorite Disney costumes {and yes, they have to pick, because they have a few}. Then, we load into the car and head over to our closest Disney Store at Tanger Outlets. A little known fact to many is that EVERY morning, the store does an “opening ceremonies.” During this ceremony, one child gets to wear the Mickey Mouse Sorcerer’s Apprentice hat and cloak. Then, they say the “magic words” that open the store! The cast members at the store always do a great job hamming this part up, and my kids LOVE IT!


Have a Disney Movie Themed Day/Evening

Making Disney Magic Without Leaving Houston | Houston Moms Blog

We came across this wonderful tradition as I was prepping my littles for their birthday trips to Disney. My concern was that they wouldn’t understand some of the rides in the park, because we hadn’t seen the movies. {Obviously, as a Disney Mommy, I knew this had to be fixed.} We therefore had one day a week, before our vacation, {which Charlotte termed “surprise-i-day”} in which we’d watch a Disney movie accompanied with themed snacks.

Pinterest is a TREASURE TROVE of ideas for Disney Movie snack pairings, so no need to wreck your brain trying to be over-creative; just pin something within reason and go for it!


Use those Disney Soaps {I know you have them!}

Seriously…you have them. I know you do! They’re not going to bring memories collecting dust! Use them in the shower for yourself or during bath time for your littles! Once you’ve lathered up, the smells of the soaps will make you feel like you’re taking that much needed bath at the end of a day filled with sun, parades, and teacup rides! Out of your favorite soap? No problem! Disney sells them online

Now that we’re on the topic of those valuable park souvenirs, don’t forget about your Disney Resort mug! I like to fill that puppy with coffee or cold soda on the regular and take a walk around the neighborhood! It makes me feel like I just left the food court, and I’m heading back to my room.

Go on a Park Tour via YouTube or Enjoy a Disney Parks Playlist

Now that my four year old is a Disney World expert, one of her favorite activities for screen time during a hot afternoon is to take a “tour” of her favorite rides at Disney World. Youtube contains a plethora of videos of Disney rides, events, parades, and character Meet & Greets. This is a great way to not only relive experiences you’ve had at the parks, but also to prep kids for an upcoming vacation. 

On a related note, as you know, part of the magic of Disney vacations is the soundtrack to the rides and the parks that you don’t necessarily get in the movies. One of the kids’ favorite activities is to hook up a Spotify playlist of Disney Parks Music and use it as background music during playtime.  Additionally UAB Magic is an awesome website which features not only attraction songs, but also area music in the parks.

Visit a Disney-esque Location in Houston

I know there’s nothing EXACTLY like Disney, but in my experience there are a few locations in Houston that will give you a taste of Disney. Here is a listing of places in and around Houston that offer an atmosphere which gives our family that “Disney-esque” experience when we can’t officially go and see the Mouse.

Making Disney Magic Without Leaving Houston | Houston Moms BlogMoody Gardens

The entire resort gives you that Disney feel with their Palm Springs Water park {pictured} and a variety of attractions and activities! The SpongeBob SubPants Adventure is always a must-do for us. {Think a 4D Turtle Talk with Crush!}

Houston Zoo

A carousel, themed areas, and educational content :: it’s pretty much the framework for Disney Magic. The African Forest area really gives you that Animal Kingdom feel!

King’s Biergarten and Restaurant

Also known as the “castle restaurant” in our family, between the amazing food, costumes, and atmosphere, you’ll think you’re back in the World Showcase at Epcot.

The Rainforest Cafe Making Disney Magic Without Leaving Houston | Houston Moms Blog

Technically one of these does exist in Disney Springs and in Animal Kingdom! Also, if you go to the Galveston location, you’ll find an indoor ride and a volcano at the entrance that “erupts” every thirty minutes! {My son couldn’t stop shouting “Te-Ka!”}

Kemah Boardwalk

Rides. Shops. Eats. Yup, we get that Disney feeling here!

The Downtown Aquarium

Even though you’re right in the heart of the city, the theming of the exhibits, splash pad, and rides can really transport you right back to Disney!

So if you’re “wishing upon a star” for your next vacation, remember you can always tell those Disney Blues to “Let it Go” and discover Disney Magic in your own city!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here