Disneyland or Bust!

Our family is headed to Disneyland next month!!!

We went about 3 years ago and left Locke home (one of the best decisions I ever made).  We had a great time, but vowed we wouldn’t go back until Locke was 40″ tall and Croft was 48″ tall.  Those are the two magic numbers if you want to ride the fun rides at Disneyland.  Well, luckily everyone grew, so we booked our trip.

To get ready for the big trip we had a “Disneyland Vacation Kick-Off” last night for Family Home Evening.

First, I reminded the kids about our financial expectations.  Dad and I will be paying for their Disneyland tickets, housing, and 3 meals a day.  We will also have snacks available while we are at the park like apples, cheese, pretzels, and water. However, the kids are responsible for anything else they want – turkey legs, face painting, toys, T-shirts, pineapple whips, magnets, etc.   The kids will need to pay for anything “extra”.

This plan is a tweak on our financial plan from our last Disneyland trip. You can read about what we did back then in this post. The kids are 3 years older now, and we felt that the kids could handle more responsibility.

We announced our revised, higher expectations plan last month in our Family Council so that the kids had ample time to earn money.  One month later, not one kid had earned one cent, so we revisited our expectations.  We brainstormed ways they could earn money, but this time I recorded their ideas on a “Disney Dollars” poster.

disney dollars list

After our money pep talk, we divided up to complete a few tasks to enhance our month of waiting.

Afterall, “The pleasure isn’t in doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.” or “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” 

I mean think about Christmas.  Is it really just about December 25 or is it also about the 3 weeks before as well?

You get the idea.

Anyway, I wanted us to have a countdown chain that would help us countdown the days ’til we left. The girls went to work on a black and red one.  They measured and cut and stapled.

chain collage 2_Fotor

Crew went to work on a “Disneyland or Bust!” poster. Look how he dotted the i.  Is that the cutest or what?

poster collage_Fotor

The girls asked Crew to add a Minnie bow. And Crew was brave to let Locke color the exclamation point.


 When everyone was done, I hung up their work in a little Disneyland shrine that is in a corner of our front room.

LR corner_Fotor


I’m hoping that this visual reminder gets them making some money and gets them excited for our family trip.

Disneyland or Bust!


6 thoughts on “Disneyland or Bust!”

  1. I love this idea – jazzing them up for the trip, but letting them be in charge of the ‘stuff’. They won’t go hungry or not have fun, but they have to think about what things are worth, and the time it’ll take them. Nice work!

    1. Thanks, Sarah. I found it is so important to let them be in charge of “stuff” so they can learn young how to manage money when the stakes are low.

  2. This is a great idea. We are currently planning a trip to Washington DC so I think I will make a “DC Dollars” poster. Just curious–are all of your jobs listed worth a dollar, or do you adjust the prices? I always have a hard time assigning the value, but washing doorknobs is a lot easier than vacuuming the van!

    1. Good questions, Kristi! “Disney Dollars” was just cute alliteration and didn’t actually mean $1. It just meant a way to earn dollars (money). I told the kids I didn’t put up specific dollar amounts because their pay was going to be based on their results – how well they did, how much time they took, did they go the extra mile, etc. I mean there is dusting the blinds with a quick brush of the duster and then there is dusting the blinds with a bucket, warm soapy water, and a step stool. I wanted to pay based on effort and results.

  3. Sorry–one more question! The jobs that I might pay them to do now are also jobs that I sometimes ask them to do to help with our saturday cleaning. Do you think it works to pay them sometimes but expect them to just do them another month without pay???

    1. This is tricky, Kristi. I still expect my kids to do Saturday chores without pay. These jobs are above and beyond that. I do think you might run into some resistance if you pay them once but not another time, but also, depending on the age of your kids, they might be able to understand that this is their choice to do extra work for extra money while Saturday chores are an expectation. Maybe you could think of a different list of chores that they would not regularly do.

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