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Old 01-28-2013, 11:26 AM   #1
SweetAlex
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What's Your Plan to Surprise your Kids?

I think there are quite a few of us planning to surprise our kids with a trip this year and I'd love to hear all your stories! What's the plan? How will you drop the big bomb?

We live in Vancouver, BC and have told the kids we are spending 5 days in Seattle over Spring Break. They are so excited... but little do they know we're actually hopping on a plane in Seattle and heading to The Happiest Place on Earth! We hope to be able to get through the border without having to let on to the kids where we are going. I think I'll include a copy of our itinerary when we pass our passports on to the customs officer with "SURPRISE TRIP TO DISNEY" written across the outside. I'm really hoping they are able to play along and not give anything away! That's my main worry. Then when we hit the airport, we'll tell them, making sure to video their reaction of course!

The first trip in 2010, we were going in February and told them Christmas morning. We wrapped up a HUGE box and inside was a piece of paper; the first clue. It led them to the next clue and with each clue was a little "hint", like a toy airplane, a passport, etc. At the end was a Disney poster and once they figured it out. My 8 year old's first words were "can you afford this?" and my 3 year old grabbed her suitcase and shouted "I gotta pack!". It was priceless.

What's your plan?
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:05 PM   #2
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I'd be wary of too good of a cover story if I were you. It bit me in the *ss royally on our Feb/11 trip. I made up an elaborate story about how we were going to visit "Grandma". Curse my over active imagination!When we were driving to the USA boarder crossing (a 2 week trip driving to DL and back), I gave the kids a package with a fleece blanket, a DL shirt, and a stuffed Mickey holding a sign staying "We are going to DL!". The kids melted down as they wanted to spend time with Grandma. It took them 2 days into the drive to clue in that we were actually going to DL, and not Grandma's place. I learned my lesson, and when an opportunity came available later that year to go again, I plotted against the kids again. I didn't give them any clue that we were going to DL until 10 mins before our taxi came to take us to the airport (flying down this time for a short trip). I acted as if the next day was going to be a normal day, and gave them no indication that anything was going on the following day what so ever. No cover story, nothing. By not giving them any clue that the trip was going to happen they were really open to it, and no meltdowns. I guess it just depends on your kids and how they handle sudden major changes. DS9 is a stress magnet, and he would rather be surprised than having to stress over the trips for months. Once again it depends on how your kids deal with stress, and to work around it. Hope this helps.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:04 PM   #3
SweetAlex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BELLEDOZER View Post
I'd be wary of too good of a cover story if I were you. It bit me in the *ss royally on our Feb/11 trip. I made up an elaborate story about how we were going to visit "Grandma". Curse my over active imagination!When we were driving to the USA boarder crossing (a 2 week trip driving to DL and back), I gave the kids a package with a fleece blanket, a DL shirt, and a stuffed Mickey holding a sign staying "We are going to DL!". The kids melted down as they wanted to spend time with Grandma. It took them 2 days into the drive to clue in that we were actually going to DL, and not Grandma's place. I learned my lesson, and when an opportunity came available later that year to go again, I plotted against the kids again. I didn't give them any clue that we were going to DL until 10 mins before our taxi came to take us to the airport (flying down this time for a short trip). I acted as if the next day was going to be a normal day, and gave them no indication that anything was going on the following day what so ever. No cover story, nothing. By not giving them any clue that the trip was going to happen they were really open to it, and no meltdowns. I guess it just depends on your kids and how they handle sudden major changes. DS9 is a stress magnet, and he would rather be surprised than having to stress over the trips for months. Once again it depends on how your kids deal with stress, and to work around it. Hope this helps.
Oh no!! I don't know whether to laugh or cry . I bet Grandma was flattered when she heard that the kids wanted to visit her more than go to Disneyland!

I think my kids will be okay with not staying in Seattle. They both were sad when we explained that Disney would have to wait another year but were happy to hear we were doing something anyway so they will be pretty jazzed.... I hope .

We'll have to do some sneaky packing though the night before. The weather in Seattle may be just a little bit different than California . We'll have to slip their shorts and Ts in our suitcase I guess and switch up the luggage (i.e. leave all the jogging pants in the car) at the airport.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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We are taking granddaughters (7&9) on Saturday for a long weekend. They have no idea! Granddaughter9 lives in Austin, TX and we live in the Houston area. She only knows we are picking her up this Friday and visiting with us til the next Wednesday.

Granddaughter7 lives locally and knows nothing at all. Not even that her cousin is coming! The first big surprise will be Saturday morning when the three of us go pick up local granddaughter and tell them we are going to the airport!

Not sure at what point we will spill the beans about DL!
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:59 PM   #5
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I will be telling my son on the plane where we are going. All that he is gonig to know is that we are going on a trip. I did this before with my oldest and every time we stopped somewhere else the questions started flowing. First at the airport, then security check, then at the gate and finally on the plane I gave him an envelope with disney dollars in it. He asked me why was I giving them to him on the plane we aren't doing to Disney World so I had to explain that there is a Disney in Cali. Then I was able to fill in a couple of holes that I left blank for the trip that I wanted his input for.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetAlex View Post
I think there are quite a few of us planning to surprise our kids with a trip this year and I'd love to hear all your stories! What's the plan? How will you drop the big bomb?

We live in Vancouver, BC and have told the kids we are spending 5 days in Seattle over Spring Break. They are so excited... but little do they know we're actually hopping on a plane in Seattle and heading to The Happiest Place on Earth! We hope to be able to get through the border without having to let on to the kids where we are going. I think I'll include a copy of our itinerary when we pass our passports on to the customs officer with "SURPRISE TRIP TO DISNEY" written across the outside. I'm really hoping they are able to play along and not give anything away! That's my main worry. Then when we hit the airport, we'll tell them, making sure to video their reaction of course!

The first trip in 2010, we were going in February and told them Christmas morning. We wrapped up a HUGE box and inside was a piece of paper; the first clue. It led them to the next clue and with each clue was a little "hint", like a toy airplane, a passport, etc. At the end was a Disney poster and once they figured it out. My 8 year old's first words were "can you afford this?" and my 3 year old grabbed her suitcase and shouted "I gotta pack!". It was priceless.

What's your plan?
We are flying into San Diego from NY
spending 2 days in SD doing zoo and surrounding area
taking AMTRAK to Anaheim
Staying 1 night at PPH and 2 nights DLH with four day parkhoppers
AMTRAK back to SD for Mission Beach and Sea world

When we are taking the train from San Diego to Anahiem to "sightsee" I'll turn to the kids and say I'm not sure how many places we will see today but I know you will need these, and I will throw them their pin lanyards (we are big pin traders). Once we check in during the second evening we will surprise the kids even further as we move from PPH to DLH.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangebob View Post
I will be telling my son on the plane where we are going. All that he is gonig to know is that we are going on a trip. I did this before with my oldest and every time we stopped somewhere else the questions started flowing. First at the airport, then security check, then at the gate and finally on the plane I gave him an envelope with disney dollars in it. He asked me why was I giving them to him on the plane we aren't doing to Disney World so I had to explain that there is a Disney in Cali. Then I was able to fill in a couple of holes that I left blank for the trip that I wanted his input for.
Fun! Do you think he'll figure it out pretty quickly or will it be completely out of the blue for him?
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:51 PM   #8
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My kids know that we are going to DL sometime this year. They just don't know when. They talk about it a lot and ask when we are going. I just say, "I don't know if we will be able to make it this year." or "Daddy and I are still talking about it." I hope that I will be able to have everything all packed and ready to go without them knowing. Then, wake them up the morning we are leaving and say, "LET'S GO!" We will see if it works. And hopefully, I don't give it away!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:39 PM   #9
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I only have 21 days to keep quiet.

DS thinks we are going to Idaho. I don't know when he will figure out we are going to Disneyland, but DH and I are not gonna be the ones to tell him!

Either it will be someone at the airport (TSA would be our guess) or he will end up figuring out at the gate or when we land.

He will be so excited! This is the biggest secret we have kept from him. He is 16 and we wanted to do one last trip before he possibly feels too old for the Disney magic!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:56 PM   #10
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My DD is 4 years old and loves everything related: Princesses, Doc McStuffins, Mickey and Minnie, etc. She has been telling us recently that she would love to go to Disneyland someday and we tell her “of course someday, when you are 5 or 6”… We live in Monterrey Mexico and we will be flying from McAllen Texas so she knows what for her next vacations we will go to McAllen. Our plane leaves at 5 a.m. so I am not sure if it would be a good idea to tell her the news at such early hour maybe she will be sleeping and won’t pay any attention. Maybe we will there her at the airport that we will fly to Las Vegas (we took her with us when she was 2 and loved it, still remembers)…I have been preparing my stories telling her that the princesses don’t speak Spanish because they live in the USA and she has been practicing these lines “ Hello, my name is Julie and I am from Mexico” and plans to tell to the villians “Be good”….. I am trying to teach her short and simple sentences (she thinks she is practicing for that coming trip in 2 years)… I can hardly wait to see her face when she finds out where we really are going to spend our vacations!
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:01 PM   #11
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DS (4) knows that we're going sometime this year, but he doesn't know when. We've recently tried to stop talking about it around him so he kind of forgets about it. We're checking into the hotel two days before we actually go to the parks, so I'm hoping we can still keep it a secret until the morning we actually go. We're staying offsite, and far enough removed from everything (the Holiday Inn on Walnut, so kind of behind everything), and he's only been there once, when he was two, so I don't *think* he'll figure it out as long as we avoid Harbor Blvd (he can read, so going by the big sign would be dead giveaway).

If it works out, I have balloons with the Fab 5 on them that we'll blow up after he goes to sleep the night before we hit the parks and throw them around the hotel room. I also have a 17" plush Mickey to set up somewhere noticeable, so he'll see it when he wakes up, and with it will be a bunch of other fun Disney surprises (t-shirts, something Disney-themed to eat for breakfast, little Disney toys, a new Mickey Mouse water bottle to take to the parks, etc.) and, something I got from another thread on this board, I'm going to make a fake Disneyland ticket to prop up in Mickey's lap, so he knows what's going on.

I have a similar set up, featuring Cars things for the day that we spend at DCA (and Cars Land, which he is SO excited about).
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:05 PM   #12
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My teenager knows but the 2 little ones don't know anything as of yet. But I was thinking of having a shirt made for the 3 year old with something along the lines of "Let's go to Disneyland today!" for the 7 year old to read once we're at the airport. That's my best idea so far, so we shall see
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:13 PM   #13
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We surprised my 5 yr old niece and 10 yr old nephew last year. We told them we were going to see their aunt the next day- who lives a few hrs away. Then at 3am we woke them up to say we were leaving (we had an early flight out of Toronto). The kids were groggy and just getting up when I said here, I picked out your clothes. At this point, remember they thought they were hoing to see their aunt. Then I tossed them both t shirts that we had premade (through the website Etsy). The shirts said, It's my First Trip to Disney World! And it had cartoon pictures of all of us in front of the castle. They were so surprised! Their mother packed their bags in the night and his them in the basement, they had no clue! The whole way to the airport they thought we were joking. My nephew had to lay down because he was so excited!! It was special for sure!
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:00 PM   #14
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We'll be surprising our boys (13, 10 &7) a couple of weeks before we leave because the older two do not do well with surprises and sudden changes in routine.

That being said, we're leaving April 15 so we will either do something at Easter and give them lots of clues from the Easter bunny & let them figure it out. That's my idea. DH wants to do something on April Fools Day. "Hey kids, we're going to Disneyland tomorrow! April Fools! We're actually going in 2 weeks!"

They know that we're going sometime this year but I've told them it would probably happen in the summer so they don't miss any school. However, we're having a hard time keeping the secret and if they were really aware they could figure out when we're going, but they haven't figured it out yet, that I know of, anyway.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #15
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I am dying to reveal our trip to my kids!!! I am surprising them Valentine's morning and we leave that night for a 4 day weekend. We've been to Disneyworld many times and on Disney Cruises, but they've never been to CA much less Disneyland!

I'm going low-key with my reveal. I'll get them up early and have their Valentine's gifts out for them. Because they both have Christmas season birthdays, I always give them "real" gifts for other gift occasions like this one instead of just candy so that they don't get all the gifts at one time. Normally for Valentine's, I spend about $50...you know, a book, a Wii game, an outfit or purse or something. So, they'll be excited to open their gifts. I'm hoping to find a Disney themed card for each and maybe even a Disney themed box of Valentine's candy. Anyway...they will both open a gift bag of "clues" - a miniature Delta airplane (matchbox size), a Disney key holder (Goofy for son bc he's his favorite, Minnie for daughter for same reason), a mini surfboard and a mini personalized Hollywood Walk of Fame star. They have NO idea so I think they'll be confused and overwhelmed, but very excited!!! They're going to school that day and I will let their deans know so its approved bc they'll miss the next day (private school). I will leave work early to get them from school so that we can come home and frantically pack and then we leave for the airport at 6:15pm!!!
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