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blebert 10-04-2012 05:55 AM

Ideas on how and when to let the kids know
5 years ago when my oldest 2 DDs were 3 & 4 we took them to Disney and didn't tell them. They relized when we got there and went crazy:goodvibes. We are now planning a trip for the end of Feb. with our 4 kids 9,8,5,2. I don't know how I am wanting them to find out. I don't know if I want to do the same thing again. With us living in Florida we just get up about 3 and drive. Or I was thinking when we stop for breakfast that morning, have them little bag with goodies in that are Disney related and I am thinking of making them matching Disney Head shirts and giving it to them at breakfast. What do y'all think? Any other ideas are welcomed. I want to make it special, but I know I don't want to tell them til that day or else they will be bugging us about it til them.

Please help! LOL

Also, I was thinking of putting at their goodie bags in a box with a letter from Mickey. Does anyone have any letter ideas for wording. This is just a special vacation trip. It will be our first family vacation were we goes somewhere for more than a weekend!

Thanks for any help you can give me!

blebert 10-04-2012 11:45 AM

:confused3 Wow, nobody has any ideas for me! LOL

ChitownFamily 10-04-2012 12:03 PM

I spent hours watching surprise Disney videos on YouTube.
I'm still deciding how I'm going to tell my kids. I have to run but will try to return to share my idea later today

Pesky 10-04-2012 12:22 PM

Have to ask but will your older 2 not figure it out when you get up at 3 am? Might it be better to tell them then and surprise them and then get them in on the secret to tell the younger 2 at breakfast and let the older 2 tell the younger 2? Might be a cool way to really share the gift of giving! Maybe you can surprise the older 2 with new Mickey toothbrushes to brush up and look good because you're going to WDW! You'd definitely have to wake them first.

blebert 10-04-2012 12:25 PM

I don't think the older two will figure it out because we get up early to go to doctors and to visit family and friends out of town all the time. And when we go visit people I always tell them it's a secret they will have to wait and see. So they are use to not knowing were we are going. They just try to guess who we are going to see. LOL

holden 10-04-2012 12:26 PM

We are leaving 11/2 and plan to surprise our DDs on 10/31. I know DD9 will want time to pack some things, so I don't want to spring it on them the day we are leaving.

We plan to slip something into their trick-or-treat bags - a note that is the first clue on a scavenger hunt. They about 4 more clues until the last clue leads them to their packed bags with the Magcial Express luggage tags on them.

I also bought a few Disney themed things and non-Disney things like crayons, paper, etc. to keep them busy at dinner and on the plane. We have a strict "no electronics at the table" rule for dinner!

I think it really depends on your kids. I know my DD9 would be upset if we told her at the last minute that we are going. I can hear it now..."But mom, you don't know what I want to pack!"

Missy13d69 10-04-2012 12:51 PM


Originally Posted by blebert (Post 46348479)
I don't think the older two will figure it out because we get up early to go to doctors and to visit family and friends out of town all the time. And when we go visit people I always tell them it's a secret they will have to wait and see. So they are use to not knowing were we are going. They just try to guess who we are going to see. LOL

If they are already used to surprise trips, I would keep them guessing all the way there. :thumbsup2

Bnb0627 10-04-2012 01:35 PM

I am still trying to figure this out too!!!! We have 2 DD's 9 & 8, neither have been to Disney, on a plane, or Florida. I wanted to surprise them at the airport but I now think they will really enjoy planning, packing and bragging to their friends lol.

We are leaving end of April so we would tell them either on Easter or two weeks before we go. I saw or read an idea somewhere that I liked but I don't remember where.

We would tell our kids now that we will be vacationing in Myrtle Beach just like we did this May. Then two weeks before we go sit the kids down for a family meeting. Tell them ( with a disappointing face) that sometimes families have to make sacrifices for the good of the entire family blah blah blah and we're really sorry but we just won't be able to go to Myrtle Beach this year. Wait for the sad faces from kids and then:

A: when the kids ask why say because we are going to Disney instead!!!!!


B: say we feel really bad so we got you a little something. Have them open gift with a tshirt that says " I'm going to Disney World".

This was the only idea I really liked for my kids. Hope you find one that works for yours:)

ChitownFamily 10-04-2012 04:59 PM

stopping back in...

i have to hand it to you parents who wait until the day before. I'm dying with excitement & am SO tempted to just blurt it out.
I'm going to tell my kids next Friday (yep a full 48 days before the trip, b/c i'm so excited & can not possibly contain myself anymore!!)

i had this great plan involving friends dressed up in Disney costumes. I had access to beautiful costume, but apparently don't any more.

so game plan 2: wrap 3 gifts in disney gift wrap. First: Santa Hat
Second: Airplane (with pictures of the kids flying in it)
Third: Personalized Mickey Mouse ear Hats!

my step mom & kids just came back from Disney in August, so my kids think that's why i've been listening to disney podcasts for about a month now :)
I tell ya, my kids are clueless. I really can't believe my 7 year old hasn't figure it out. I have been on the phone with Disney making ADR's when she has walked into the room.
anyways, i do love to watch the surprise videos! They are fun & always make me tear up. Be sure to let us know what you end up doing

Piglet99645 10-04-2012 05:04 PM

Last year we didn't tell the kids, and they were on the shuttle from Long Beach to Anaheim before either of them figured it out!

I was meeting them there from a work thing in Pasadena, so my husband had them going for awhile that even though they were close to Disneyland, they weren't going to go because "mom would feel left out." They were so excited when I showed up!

This year we are telling them TONIGHT at my birthday dinner! We leave in two weeks for WDW. :)


derindamd 10-04-2012 11:52 PM

We are telling them on Christmas. Although we aren't going until June. This way we can build excitement- dinner/movie nights and a countdown chain. We are excited. And are just starting to plan.

blebert 10-05-2012 04:31 AM

Just wants to give y'all an update: I think I have decided how I am going to do this. We are getting up at leaving at 3am and just going to tell the kids that we have to go visit someon. When we stop for breakfast I am going to the ask the waitress if she will will deliver a package to the kids (hopefully she /he will) the will be a letter from Mickey telling them they heard they were going to Disney and in the box will be bags for each with goodies to kill time while waiting at the park. What do you guys think?

bjscheel 10-05-2012 12:29 PM

That sounds good since your kids are used to getting up in the wee hours for trips.

When we did a surprise, we told at 10 days out, which gave them some time to anticipate, prepare, plan, and pack. This was 3 years ago. They told me recently that was perfect, and they would actually rather always do that, than to know for months in advance like usual. Just so long as I don't make my 8th grader miss school! A surprise school-missing trip would make her freak out.

momto2girlsLA 10-05-2012 02:19 PM

DH and I decided to tell the kids months before. For us, being able to share in all the excitement has been so much fun. We leave next week and had a blast having the girls help pick out their pirate costume for the Disney cruise and their princess dresses for the BBB at Magic Kingdom. We have some surprise gifts that they will get when we are there (princess dolls in the same dress they each have, Disney PJ's and some new t-shirts) but they have loved helping us plan and being able to give input.

I think the whole surprise thing really has to do with your kids and I know my kids would not do great at a surprise like this if we told them day of, at the airport or anything like that.

A friend of mine is going over winter break and she is surprising her DD as part of her Christmas gifts.

kohlby 10-05-2012 02:30 PM

We went simple. My kids were 8, 5, and 2 for our last trip. The older two were old enough to remember their trip before. Plus we talked a lot about "when we go to Disney NEXT time." They thought it wouldn't be until they were 3, 6, and 9 - since that was our original plan that changed due to a PIN code. That helped the kids plan. On the morning of, we sat them down on the couch and gave them each an envelope. The youngest got his first, that said "how" on it. He opened it up and it was a picture of our minivan. My middle child went next. Hers was "when." Her picture was a calendar with today's date circled. So, they knew they were going somewhere today. The oldest had "what." In his envelope was a picture of a Disney map with the four parks ciricled.

It was a simple way that allowed the kids to find out together - especially since the 5 and 8 year olds are competitive. A treasure hunt would end in tears with the 5 year old being upset that she didn't get to all the clues first. We had an 8 hour drive so we had to tell the kids before driving since one doesn't do well on long drives unless she's expecting it.

I didn't want to lie. So I didn't want to tell them we were going somewhere and not go there. Your plan of visiting someone said just like that wouldn't bother me. But I know my oldest would ask who we were visiting and that's where a blantant lie would come in. If we said we were visiting Grandpa - then we MUST go visit Grandpa. I realize a lot of kids wouldn't be bothered by that, but my oldest would be - and I would be as well.

*We are not surprising for our next trip. My oldest said he did enjoy the surprise but since we've already surprised once, not to surprise for Disney again. He did say we could surprise for something else though. The key with him is to not do it in a way that could be seen as tricking him or lying to him.

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