25+ Fun Disney Countdown Ideas (Plus a Free Disney Countdown Printable!)

3 boys with paper chain countdown to Disney World

Looking for Disney countdown ideas for your kids (or even yourself)? I’ve come up with a BUNCH of fun ways to countdown the days until your Disney vacation. 

I mean, there’s nothing better than having a vacation to look forward to! But that’s not the only reason I love a good countdown around here. I also love them because it gives our kids a visual of when our vacation will be here (which saves me from having to answer one-million questions…ha!). And the excitement is through the roof in the days leading up to our trip. 

We travel quite a bit. And no matter where we’re going…to Walt Disney World, within the USA, or taking an international trip…we always make a countdown. In fact, we travel so much that we’ve personally used almost every single one of these vacation countdown ideas.

From DIY Disney countdowns to countdowns you can purchase to a free Disney countdown printable, this article has you covered. With all these options, you’re bound to find something that works for your family. 

Disclosure: You may see affiliate links throughout this post, which means these are the things I handpicked! If you purchase something through these links, I will get a small commission at absolutely no extra charge to you. And that sure means a lot to me, so thank you in advance! See the privacy policy for more information.

Disney Countdown Ideas

Paper Chain Countdown

Alright let’s start with the countdown that matches the photo at the top of this article, shall we?

This Disney vacation countdown is always a hit with my boys. Make a paper chain by cutting strips of construction paper (about 1.5” thick) and then linking them together. We usually use a stapler, but you can also use tape or glue. 

Each day leading up to your Disney trip, rip off a link until there are no more links left. 

Dot Sticker Countdown

This is one of my favorite Disney countdown ideas because it doubles as an activity for the car or plane. Each day, you stick a dot sticker on the countdown. When all the circles are filled up, it’s Disney vacation time!

I also bring along dot stickers and printable templates as a travel activity. But doing the countdown with the dot stickers teaches them how the activity works, so they just get to jump right into the fun instead of figuring out what the activity is. 

To print out my travel dot sticker activity templates, click here (but if you’re looking for all of my vacation countdown templates, wait until you get to the end of this post!).

And make sure to purchase ¾” dot stickers, which is what the templates are made for. The dot stickers in the link are my absolute fav because there is no sticker backing, making it super easy for young toddlers to pull the sticker off.

Toddler doing a dot sticker activity for Disney countdown ideas

Dot Art Vacation Countdown

For a more artsy version of the dot sticker countdown, use dot art instead. You can use the same templates, but instead of the stickers, your kiddo can fill in the dots with a dot marker.

Boy doing dot art with free Disney printable countdown

Disney Countdown Calendar

A good ol’ fashioned calendar. My oldest has been super into looking at our calendar lately, so this was the perfect Disney vacation countdown for him for our upcoming trip. 

He can also visualize all the other exciting things happening until our time in Disney–visiting Nana and Papa, playing in his t-ball game on opening day, and his last day of Kindergarten to name a few. This helps the countdown fly by!

Boy crossing off date on Disney countdown calendar

Letterboard Vacation Countdown

If there’s something that makes me smile, it’s a funny quote on a letterboard. But when I’m not using our letterboard for funny quotes, a Disney vacation countdown is the perfect thing for it. 

While I’ll admit that my husband custom-made the one in the photo for me, there are also plenty of letterboard options to purchase. This letterboard is actually the same one I used for my middle son’s monthly photos during his first year of life (oh the memories!). 

Disney countdown letterboard

Post-its Disney Vacation Countdown

You can put your own spin on this vacation countdown idea. On the Post-it, write down how many days are left until vacation. Then under the Post-it write something related to your destination. 

Maybe you want to write a fun experience or an attraction you know they’ll love that you’ll be doing during your vacation. Or maybe you’d like to add an educational component to this trip countdown by writing a fun fact about your destination. 

This would be a great way to countdown to a surprise Disney vacation, too.  Under each Post-it, you can leave a hint about where you’re headed. 

Disney vacation countdown ideas, post-it countdown

Color-by-Number Vacation Countdown for Kids

In the days leading up to your Disney trip, have your little one color in the corresponding section of the picture.  When the picture is all colored in, it’s Disney time!

Boy coloring in a color-by-number vacation countdown

Disney Countdown Blocks

What I love about the countdown blocks is that you can use the blocks to countdown to lots of different moments…vacation, first day of school, Christmas, your birthday…you get the drift. Plus it’s easy to start it on whatever date you’d like without missing part of a countdown. 

check it out

Precious Moments Disney Showcase Mickey and Friends Countdown

Tear-Off Countdown Calendar

Tear off the top page each day to countdown the days until Disney…simple as that! 

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60 Day Theme Park Countdown

Disney Countdown Chalkboard

This countdown chalkboard is great because you can customize it by writing in what you’re counting down to. 

Looking for Disneyland countdown ideas? Or Disney World countdown ideas? Or Disney Cruise countdown ideas? This chalkboard can be any of those.

Tip: use these chalkboard markers for a more polished look. I always use baby wipes to clean it off each day when it’s time to write the new number of days left until vacation. 

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Simply Said, INC Chalk Talk 12″ x 5.5″ Chalk Board Sign

Disney Countdown Whiteboard

Similar to the chalkboard, but now we have a whiteboard! The Disney-specific border is such a cute touch. Just write in the number of days left until Disney until you get to zero. 

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Disney Vacation Countdown Dry Erase Board

Disney Picture Frame Countdown

This is an easy DIY Disney countdown idea. Print off a countdown template (like the one you’ll find as a part of the free Disney countdown printable toward the end of this article!). Cut it out to fit your frame, then use a dry-erase marker on the glass for your countdown each day. 

Disney World Countdown with Surprise Gifts

Counting down to a vacation is one thing, but you also have to figure out what to pack for vacation. Since you’ll want to pack all of these things anyways, might as well turn it into a vacation countdown! 

Each day leading up to your Disney trip, have your kiddo open a surprise gift. Some examples include small toys for the airplane/car, a Disney gift card, Disney souvenirs (like a bubble wand, Minnie ears, or an autograph book), a cute Disney t-shirt, goggles for the pool…the list of things to pack can seem pretty endless sometimes, can’t it?!

Want to know EXACTLY what to pack for your upcoming Disney World trip?

Snag a free printable Disney World packing checklist by clicking the button below. (And how do I know it’s EXACTLY what you need? Well, it’s the list I personally use, so it’s been through plenty of trial and error.)

Digital Countdown Clock

Set up your digital countdown clock and let it be! Each day, you can glance over at what the clock says and get excited because your Disney trip is almost here!

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Reusable Digital Countdown Clock

Disney Countdown App

Want a countdown you can easily access all day? Download a Disney countdown app onto your phone.  

For the longest time, I’ve used an app called “Big Day,” which is just a general countdown app. But there are also plenty of Disney-specific countdown apps in the App Store. 

For all of my iPhone users out there, you can add a widget to your home screen so the countdown is right there for you. Just press and hold any of your apps until they start wiggling (for lack of a better term!), then press the “+” sign at the top of the screen. From there, you can scroll down until you find your countdown app, and add the widget to your home screen. 

Sorry, Android users! As much as I would love to give you advice on what would work on your phone (I’m sure there are plenty of vacation countdown apps for you to download if you search in your app store),I’ve never used an Android. My husband, on the other hand, has only ever owned Android phones–we’re a house divided! But unfortunately, he doesn’t write a blog! Ha!

Adjustable Vacation Countdown Sign

I love this minimalist and straight-to-the-point countdown sign. Just flip over the number each day. And watch your vacation get closer and closer.

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Dayspring Geometric Countdown Calendar

Wooden Slider Countdown

Looking for a Disney Cruise countdown? This cute countdown idea will be perfect to help you countdown the days until you’re sailing away.

Side note: there’s also a road trip version (you can see it if you click the link) if you’ll be driving to Disney!

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Wood Slider Countdowns From Made By R And R

Memory Jar Countdown

Have you visited Walt Disney World or Disneyland before? This cute countdown idea is very nostalgic.

Write down some of your favorite memories of past Disney vacations on a popsicle stick or piece of paper, and stick them in a mason jar (or whatever you have around the house). Pull out one memory from the jar each day. And when all the memories have been read it’s time to make some new ones! 

Clothespin Countdown

For this Disney vacation countdown, use the number of clothespins that equals the number of days until your trip.

You can pin these mini clothespins onto a ribbon or even around a cute corkboard like the one below (which is also perfect to display Disney pins if you’re into pin trading). Take a clothespin off each day until there are none left. 

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Pin Holder/Trading Pin Display/Cork Board

Scavenger Hunt Countdown for Disney Vacation

Send your kids on a scavenger hunt! (Or maybe even a treasure hunt if they’re into pirates?! I mean, my boys did turn into pirates when we visited Disney’s Vero Beach Resort after all thanks to the pirate hats and gold coins they were given when we checked in!) 

Each day leading up to the trip, guide them to a note, where they’ll see how many days they have left until vacation. You can even write down something fun you’ll be doing at Disney on the note to build the excitement even more. 

Read a Book to Countdown to Your Disney Trip

Make a pile of books based on the number of days you have left until vacation, and read one every night before bed. Put the book away after you read it and watch the pile get smaller.

Bonus points if you choose books related to the Disney characters or attractions you’ll see during your Disney vacation

Disney Figurine Set Countdown

If you celebrate Christmas, this is similar to an advent calendar. Each day, your little one will open a new box to get a fun Disney figurine. 

You can even bring the little toys along for the trip!

check it out

Disney Junior Mickey Mouse Countdown to Vacation

Where’s Mickey? Countdown 

Sticking with the holiday theme, is your kid a fan of Elf on the Shelf? Well, this idea is similar. But instead of an elf hiding around the house, it’s a Mickey plush (or your little one’s favorite Disney character). 

You can go all out and have Mickey Mouse causing a bit of a ruckus, or you can just stick a little note in his hand that says the number of days left until your Disney vacation.

Me personally? I’d go for the latter. My kids cause enough of a ruckus around our house without the help of the Mouse.

Disney Punchcard Countdown

For some reason, my kids love using a hole punch! The physical therapist in me is all for the fine motor skills that it builds, so I’m not complaining. 

Every day, the kids will punch their punchcard. When their card is filled, it’s time to go to Disney!

Boy punching hole in vacation countdown punchcard for Disney vacation

Coloring Sheet Countdown

Get out the crayons or colored pencils! Color in the countdown each day until your masterpiece is complete. Then go enjoy your Disney vacation!

Coloring sheet, Disney balloons for Disney vacation countdown ideas

Movie Night to Countdown the Days Until Disney

Write out a list of movies or TV shows based on the characters you plan to see or the rides you plan to go on during your trip. Each week leading up to your trip, have a movie night. Then cross the movie off the list. 

When you watch the last movie on your list, you know your Disney trip is that week! This is a GREAT way to prepare your kids for the trip. The more they know the characters and the Disney stories, the more excited they’ll be at Disney.

Here are some ideas based on popular Disney World attractions: Toy Story, Frozen, Star Wars (there are some kid-friendly Star Wars shows on Disney+), Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Peter Pan, Ratatouille, Moana, Winnie the Pooh, Monsters Inc., Cars, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Tiana, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Aladdin, Snow White, Tangled, Finding Nemo, Up.

Planning a day at the Disney World parks can be overwhelming! But it doesn’t need to be.

Check out my FREE daily Disney World park planner to help prioritize and organize your day, so you can have the vacation you’re dreaming of.

Doorables Disney Countdown

Ok…these things are just the cutest! As your Disney vacation gets closer, have your kiddo open up a new Doorable every day. Then they’ll have a whole little crew to bring along with them to play with in the plane or car. 

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Disney Doorables Multi Peek

Free Disney Countdown Printable

You didn’t think I was going to make you make each of these DIY Disney countdown ideas yourself, did you?

I’ve created a free Disney countdown printable that has a bunch of Disney countdown options for you to choose from. So, click the link below and print out whichever one you think your kiddo will love!

Coloring sheet, Disney balloons for Disney vacation countdown ideas

Counting down the days until Disney?

Well, let’s build that excitement even more!

Click the button to download a free Disney countdown printable. It’s FULL of fun Disney countdown ideas to choose from.

FAQ: Disney Countdown Ideas

Is there a Disney Countdown app?

Yes, whether you’re looking for a Disney countdown app or even a Disney cruise countdown app, there are plenty to choose from. Search “Disney Countdown” in your app store to see all the options. 

Does My Disney Experience have a countdown?

It does…as long as you’re staying on Disney World property! Open the My Disney Experience app, click the 3 lines in the bottom right corner, then click Resort Hotel. You’ll see your countdown right at the top.

How do you make a Disney countdown chain?

To make a Disney countdown chain, grab some paper (we usually use construction paper) and cut it into 1.5-inch strips. Staple, tape, or glue the first strip into a circle, then continue to link each strip together. Rip off one link each day until they’re gone…then it’s time to go to Disney!

How do you do a Disney countdown?

Once you’ve booked your dates for your Disney vacation, start counting down the days until Disney. Check out this article to see a ton of fun ways to countdown to a Disney vacation! From DIY Disney countdowns to countdowns you can purchase to a free Disney countdown printable, you’ll find it here.

Wrap-Up: Disney Countdown Ideas + Free Disney Countdown Printable

To me, planning and preparing for a Disney World vacation is almost as much fun as the actual Disney vacation. And doing a vacation countdown is part of that fun!

I hope you can use one of these ideas to get excited for your next Disney trip!

let’s connect!

Looking for allll of my Disney tips? (Because there’s plenty more where this came from.)

Instagram is where it’s at! Check out @ThoseMagicalDays — an extension of Those Johnson Boys, where I let loose on everything Disney to help make your trip stress-free.

let’s talk photo editing!

Wondering how I give my photos a bit of an oomph?

Well, let’s just say I’m a little obsessed with the Light & Airy Photographer photo editing presets.

In just one click, your photo goes from, “Aw, that’s cute,” to, “WOW!”

Light & Airy Preset before and after photos of mom and 3 boys

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