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DIY Up Inspired Vacation Countdown Calendar


“We’re too excited to sleep!”

This classic exclamation from the little boy in the memorable “Anticipation” Walt Disney World commercial expresses the uncontainable joy  the night before a departure to the Most Magical Place on Earth.  As the days narrow down, anticipation builds and there is no better way to share the delight of an impending vacation than to create a countdown calendar.

Today, there is no shortage of digital options for marking off remaining days, but sometimes, it is fun to do things the old fashion way.  So, clear a workspace and prepare to get creative!

Here are the supplies you will need to create your very own Up Inspired Vacation Countdown Calendar:Supplies for Up Inspired Vacation Countdown Calendar

  • Blue Poster Board
  • White Poster Board
  • House Color Page, printed from this pdf
  • Black Sharpie Marker or Printed text of “Our Walt Disney World Adventure is Out There”
  • Colored Pencils/Crayons
  • Balloon Stickers, optional
  • Small piece of stiff paper or poster board cut in the shape of a balloon (If you are using balloon stickers, trace one of the stickers to achieve the correct size.)
  • Double sided tape, adhesive squares or glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Exacto-knife


First, print the House Color Page that looks like Carl and Ellie’s home, color it, and cut it out.

Next, along the bottom of the blue poster board write, “Our Walt Disney World Adventure is Out There” or if you are not too confident in your penmanship abilities, you can print these words, cut them out and adhere them to the bottom portion of the poster board.

Text for Up Inspired Vacation Countdown Calendar "Our Walt Disney World Adventure is Out There"

Adhere the colored copy of Carl and Ellie’s home just above the words leaving plenty of room above for the bunch of countdown balloons.

Next, decide how many days you would like to include in your countdown.  (Tip: Fifty creates a nice size bunch without being too overwhelming.)   On the white poster board, start the bottom of your bunch of balloons by using a pencil to trace your small balloon pattern.  Work your way up and out, overlapping the edges to create a bunch of balloons.  Be sure to keep count as you are going so that you can balance out your remaining balloons.  Then, trace the balloon shapes with a Sharpie marker and add one number to each balloon.

Balloon bunch for Up Inspired Vacation Countdown Calendar

Now, cut out around the outside of the bunch of balloons.  If you have any gaps between the balloons, cut those out using an Exacto-knife, and be sure to place a cutting board or old magazine under the balloon poster board so that the Exacto-knife does not cut into your table!

Then, adhere the balloon bunch to the blue poster board above the house, and add strings to connect the balloons to to the chimney.

Completed Up Inspired Vacation Countdown Calendar

You are ready to begin your countdown!  If you are using balloon stickers (the ones pictured above and below were purchased at Hobby Lobby), each day, place one sticker on each traced balloon, beginning with the highest number and counting down each day.  If you are not using stickers, color one of the balloons each day, beginning with the highest number and counting down each day.  On the day you leave for your vacation, you will cover/fill-in the last balloon and be ready to embark on your adventure.



Photos from the author’s personal collection.  Coloring page property of WDW Radio. 


To learn more about Kendall and read her recent posts for the WDW Radio Blog, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.