Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mickey Helper Ticket System

As many of you know our little family has been planning a trip to Disney World for a while now. We put a deposit down about nine months ago and have slowly been paying it off and it is going to be an amazing trip! I've done so much research, and we've talked about everything we want to do and how much fun we are going to have, and the boys are SO EXCITED!
With that being said I don't want my kids growing up thinking we are just going to give them whatever they want without them working for it. This trip is going to cost us a lot of money, and I feel like they need to do their part to "earn" the trip.

Enter the Mickey Helper tickets.

I sat down with the boys and explained to them that going to Disney world was a privilege and that privileges need to be earned. We talked about how they needed to do their part around the house and be "Mickey's Helpers" so they could earn their trip. They seemed to understand and we moved on to developing the ticket system.

I asked them what things they wanted to do when we went to Disney and we built a list of activities like swimming in the pool at the hotel, going to Magic Kingdom, eating lots of desserts, and going to Mickey's Halloween party. All in all we had about 20 things make the list! We then asked them how many tickets they thought they should have to earn to do each thing. They did a really good job assigning the values to things, swimming in the pool got just one ticket, while Mickey's Halloween Party they gave a value of 25 tickets!

Once we had assigned how many points each thing cost we talked about what they needed to do to earn those tickets. We discussed chores and good behavior, made a list, and assigned the tasks and chores ticket values from 1 ticket to 3 tickets. For example putting 5 dishes in the sink earns 1 ticket. helping mop the floor earns 2, and getting through an entire outing without a fuss earns 3 tickets! There were a few things they tried to lobby for more tickets on, such as taking medicine without a fuss which my oldest deemed worth 15 tickets (and the way he fights it it just might be worth it!!). But for the most part I felt they did a good job choosing how many tickets each chore would be worth.

We made little jars for them to house their tickets in during the week, and every Sunday we will count the tickets and fill in the correct number on their goal charts. 45 days before our trip if they haven't earned enough tickets to cover the cost of the trip we will discuss what they have to give up or change to make our trip fit their "budget" and finalize our plans. the last 45 days before the trip they will earn tickets for souvenirs and such. They can redeem them for specials treats, desserts, pressed pennies, disney dollars and standing in character lines (we are doing many character meals, so they will meet a lot of characters doing that, so they decided they had to spend tickets to see others).

They valued the overall trip we have planned at about 250 tickets, and there are 224 days until our trip, so they only have to earn a little over 1 ticket a day to "pay" for the trip, which I think is more than doable for them. We told them that if they have extra tickets left over after the trip they can use them to start earning our next family vacation.

If you are planning a trip to Disney and would like to adopt the "Mickey Helper Tickets" System you can print out the PDF's here: It includes a blank chore chart to fill out (with space on the bottom to put each child's name), labels for Helper jars, and the charts to fill in.

All you need to get started is a Mason Jar for each kid, and a roll of tickets! We are using these ones http://www.amazon.com/2000-Blank-White-Raffle-Tickets/dp/B005NBQ0FK/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1359400253&sr=8-16&keywords=blank+tickets

I still have to put some of our stuff together, but I will update this with a picture of our jars, the chore chart, and the canvas I am mounting the helper meters on as soon as they are finished. It has been fun developing it, especially since the boys have been so eager to help with it!

Be on the lookout for more Disney printables and projects as we start diving into the real planning! We've got a planning night planned for this next month, and you better believe we will be having some fun stuff with that!


  1. You are such an awesome mom. Can Grammy buy a few tickets for the boys? Valentine's day gift or something?

  2. They have to earn the tickets, but if you want to send them something they could use on the trip, like a Disney gift card, we could put it away for them. :) They are getting so excited.

    Speaking of the trip, what is the verdict on you guys coming? Just wondering because we have to make dining reservations 180 days out (so mid-march) and we'd need to know if you were joining us for some of them by then. Getting reservations some places is next to impossible, and adding additional people later isn't an option.

  3. Might depend on school schedule...if I get accepted. We are going out to Utah for your husband's graduation, so don't know what our budget looks like. I'll talk to A. but it's not looking likely.

  4. Brilliant Holly! You have the best ideas! :D Definitely want to do this when Liam gets older.

    1. I found that letting them help make the decisions about things like chores and consequences helps a ton! If they help make the rules they are more likely to follow them.

      You are going to have some much fun with Liam! Little boys are THE BEST!