How to spring the "surprise trip on the kids?


My sister and I were talking last night and she asked me when I thought I would tell the kids about our trip. I told her I wasn’t going to spring it on them until we got to the airport. She suggested I tell them a little earlier, like Christmas Eve or Christmas morning (our flight is for 4:30 p.m. Christmas Day), her point being part of the “experience” of going on a trip is the anticipation. As I think about this more it may be better to tell them as it will give my kids a little more time to mentally prepare and say good-bye to DH who will not be joining us this trip.
The only “creative” thing I could come up with was getting a blank puzzle, write a message on it about going to WDW and wrapping half of the pieces in a box for each child. Then they have to work together to find out where we are going.

Or maybe a treasure hunt through the house?

What do you guys think??


I like the puzzle idea,that’s cute! I also like the treasure hunt idea, or maybe give them each a little present that is a clue. Like give one a bottle of sunscreen, one a little disney character, one an airplane. and see if they can figure it out from the clues. Or how about a game of hangman with them all around the Christmas tree with the message? The only drawback I see with telling them the night before is that you’ll never get them to sleep!


I Like the treasure hunt idea that makes them work together to find the clues of course at the end you might need to have a prize for each of them

or here is another one Make a calender on poster board with the Month of December ( pictures of Disney and well highlight the date and note we are going to Disney on it ( on the date you are leaving ) and them present it to them on Christmas eve


I have been struggling with the same decision. Although my DD found out about our trip, DS has no clue. He keeps trying to convince my DH that he should take us to Disney next summer for another fun vacation. He even shows DH our scrapbook from the last trip and asks him questions about things he wants to do next summer. DH is playing it up really well and saying that he doesn’t want to go back for a few more years. Anyhow, we will be leaving on Dec. 9th right after school so if we don’t tell him until we board the flight to Orlando, I am worried that he might be upset especially if he thinks we may have forgotten to pack something. If we tell him before school, then he won’t be able to concentrate and if i tell him the night before, he won’t sleep. I guess I am trying to say that I am in nearly the same predicament as you, so I have no advice. I just wanted you to know that there are others who are in your boat. I look forward to reading the suggestions that others offer.


I thought my kids may get upset too. DS suffer from anxiety, things that are ordinarily fun to other kids are huge stressors. I don’t want to trigger a panic attack at the airport, not a fun way to start our WDW trip.
I know I’m not going to tell them the night before, they usually like to go to bed pretty early on Christmas Eve, they figured the sooner they go to sleep the sooner Santa comes. I will NEVER get them to sleep that night. :tongue:


ok then show them in the morning as you wake them up lol


I agree.
We didn’t tell our kids last year until we went to the airport that they were going somewhere other than school; and not until we landed in Orlando where exactly they were going. And their reaction was one of :huh:
They were less exited than we had anticipated and it took them a while to warm up to the tought :crying:
Do tell them Christmas Eve, it’ll be grand!!

I don’t know how old your kids are, but you could package that one nicely by printing out a map of their favorite Disney spot like Tom Sawyer Island or Frontier Land or what ever and roll it up tie glitzty stuff like stars on wires around it and hide it in the tree, or put it on their dinner plates when you serve up that Christmas Goose on Christmas Eve.


I really like the puzzle idea, that is so cute!!!

Hmm, what about waking them on Christmas morning and reading them a Disney storybook with some mickey-shaped cookies and milk. Then you can have one “really special” gift wrapped somewhere nearby with the clues inside of it. During the story they’ll be wondering what’s going on and when they finally open that big gift they’ll be so excited with anticipation!!!

Let us know what you decide to do. I am starting to think that DH and my Dad are starting to wonder, it’s harda harder to keep a Disney suprise from 2 adults that it is from kids. hehe.


A Disney themed morning … keep slapping them in the face w/WDW stuff. Like wearing your ears when you wake them up; Mickey shaped pancakes for breakfast; gifts wrapped in Disney paper. I think somewhere around noon they should learn of the trip so the anticipation can explode! And they can pack.


We leave in Feb., but for Christmas we’re giving the kids the “Magic Kingdom” game. My plan is to play the game either the morning we leave or the day before. As we play the game we can talk about all the rides and attractions, then at some point say to the kids “OK, forget this, let’s just go to the REAL Disney World!!”

Last year we told them the day before and DD didn’t believe us!! We had to get the tickets out to prove it to her!


I love that. I hope that’s what you will really do. And of course we want to know how that went. Don’t forget.


LOL, thats every day around here. They wouldn’t think anything out of the ordinary!


I like the idea of the Magic Kingdom game!


All the ideas seem like lots of fun. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. Your kids are so lucky to get such a wonderful surprise. I’t just magical!!


Can you talk to Santa? Maybe he could bring a big box or some luggage with a note in it to pack your bags because you are going to WDW… I think that I need to talk to Santa because he needs to bring something like that to our house. Good luck- it will be some much fun!!!


This is a great idea. I know Santa, I can put in a good word for you.


I’ll be sure to post a report! Depending on when we tell them I might be able to post something before we leave. :mickey:


I like the treasure hunt through the house idea!!


I have some friends that surprised their kids with a Disney trip, but lied to them, telling them they were going to a boring wedding in Detroit. They told the kids when they got to the airport that they were really going to Disney, expecting the kids to be overjoyed, but the kids were mad at their parents for lying to them for 2 weeks.


I think that’s the direction I’m heading. Now I have to think of what to hide. DD is a totally Disney freak, (don’t know where she gets it from? :angel:) so I have to think of some really tough and creative clues.