Ideas for surprise trip (kids don't know)


So, we are making a last minute, skimpy budget, top secret trip to DL NEXT WEEK! Woo HOO! (does single digit dance)
Best part - kids don’t know yet. Yep - I am yanking them out of school for a couple days and flying south to visit the happy place.

Question: should I let it really be a last minute surprise (Like, “So family, what should we do today - how about DISNEYLAND!”)
or give them a day or two to get excited? They are ages 8 and 10. I am cool with doing all the packing - I always end up redo-ing their suitcases anyway.

What do ya’ll think? This will be really special either way - we haven’t been there for 3 years, and my fabulous travel agent got up a good deal on Paradise Pier (first time on site!)
They might be picking up hints though - especially since we NetFlix’ed a bunch of classic Walt Disney movies suddenly…

Thanks! :mickey:

Trip date = 4/23


I think you should tell them the day they are going. Just wake them up and say “grab your suitcase, we are going to DL”


Hey, you’re going on Shakespeare’s Birthday! (Sorry, random fact.)

I think you should wait, too. That’s what my parents always did. “Wake up, we’re going to Disneyland!” Those are great memories.


Part of the fun for us is to plan the trip together so, when I wanted to surprise my DD about a trip, I told her the week before we left. (I had been planning the trip for a long time! It was hard to keep it from her that long.) She was SO happy to know. She had time to make her own preparations for the trip. Saying bye to her friends etc. Packing her special stuff. Saying bye to her dog! When I asked her about the “surprise” part, she was glad I gave her time before we left. (Maybe a girl thing?) I know for myself, I would not be very happy if my husband came home and told me we were leaving now for somewhere. (But of course, I would go!) I would need time to prepare. (That is just me!) Reminds me of the debate of finding out if you are having a boy or a girl. Really to me, it is a surprise at either moment.


My guess would be to let them find out the day they wake up. Pack their suitcases in advance, of course, drive them to school, and then pass the school by, heading towards the airport. :angel:

If I read skimpy budget, two to three days notice will drive up expectations which might EXCEED said skimpy budget… :pirate:

I never stayed at Paradise Pier, but I walked through it this last March (it’s more like a California Adventure hotel) and ate at Yamabuki, that Japanese restaurant where they serve you raw squid. :nuke:

Just my thoughts. How long is the trip? Are you going to both parks? You DO know you will owe us a trip report, right? :tongue:


Maybe you should tell them they are going antique shopping in Los Angeles with you or something they find to be un-fun… They will be all sad and mentally ready to be bored out of their minds and then you all just show up at the gates of Disneyland so you can say, “Tricked ya’! Woooohooo!” :mickey:

Okay, that isn’t such a good idea… :wink: :tongue:

I actually like Dana’s idea… They are young enough so that the kids may not really need to invest as much into getting ready, planning and all that… But MagicalMoments has a very good point! If your kids are planners or are not into surprises that may be a good way to go!


I love the idea of waking them up and saying “lets go to DL today!” I know if my parents had ever done that to me I would have freaked (in a good way)! Surprises are so fun! :tongue:


I would love to surprise my kids like that, the bad thing is I can’t keep it to myself for that long!! BTW, welcome to DC!! If I could, I would not tell them til that day, I love the idea of driving by the school!!


Personally, I’ve always dreamed of being surprised like that - I think it would be so cool. I’d go for the surprise.