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Old 10-26-2012, 11:50 AM   #61
jnsma
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We surprised our kids a few years back (5 year old twins at the time). It was a January cruise and we were going to surprise them at Christmas but there was so much going on at that point that we decided to push it off. Then it got to the point where we were going to see how long we could go before we had to tell them.

We made it to the morning we were flying out and only told them we were going to Florida. We did the character call to wake them up and it said “have a great trip”. One of them was excited while the other was like, “Shoot I wanted to go somewhere else”. We flew in a day before the cruise and stayed at the Nick hotel. They were very excited to see it and play there for the day.
The next morning we checked out and they assumed we were flying home (from Boston to Orlando for 1 night??).

They never questioned that the ride back to the “airport” was twice as long as the day before. As we were going over the bridges to PC, they saw the ship (code named Mickey boat from a previous cruise). We said, “no way, let’s get a closer look”. I got all the way to pulling into the line for drop-off passengers when they figured it out. Good thing we knew the process because I couldn’t hear the man giving the instructions because they were very excited (yelling) in the back seat. They had a great time and it was an excellent surprise.

After the cruise, we were doing 4 nights at WDW, staying at the Boardwalk, again we didn’t tell them. This time we got pretty close until they saw “the Epcot ball” and figured it out. Again, very excited and ready to hit the parks.
Let me tell you that they didn’t really believe we were actually going home when we checked out of the Boardwalk.

Overall, it was a lot of fun to keep it a secret and see them react to the news. It was almost a test of how much we could get away with and how self-involved they are. Given their age at the time, we were doing all the planning so didn’t really need their input. Given our trip was pretty soon after Christmas, they had all that excitement from the holidays that they would have forgot about the cruise anyways.
Since then we’ve been back twice and not kept it a secret. The thinking now is that they are getting older now and we want to let them have a say in what we are doing.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:19 PM   #62
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Thanks for sharing, that was a great story and you described it so well I could picture the whole thing in my head!!
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:52 PM   #63
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We surprised our kids 11 & 13 with a Dream cruise this year. It was the 4th time they had been on a Disney cruise so we already knew how much they loved them. We drove to Port Canaveral the night before saying we were just doing a long weekend at the beach. We live in SC so it's not close but it isn't so far we can't do it for a long weekend. I was expecting screams of joy. Instead I got disbelief. they were happy eventually but I was really hoping for more. We've all decided anticipation is part of the fun and the last minute surprise eliminates that. We won't wait on a last minute surprise again.

Having said all that I've told my family if any of them want to show up at my office one day and take me on a Disney cruise to go right ahead! Just make sure you've packed all the appropriate door magnets, pirate costumes, etc.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:44 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by carolinagirl268 View Post
We surprised our kids 11 & 13 with a Dream cruise this year. It was the 4th time they had been on a Disney cruise so we already knew how much they loved them. We drove to Port Canaveral the night before saying we were just doing a long weekend at the beach. We live in SC so it's not close but it isn't so far we can't do it for a long weekend. I was expecting screams of joy. Instead I got disbelief. they were happy eventually but I was really hoping for more. We've all decided anticipation is part of the fun and the last minute surprise eliminates that. We won't wait on a last minute surprise again.

Having said all that I've told my family if any of them want to show up at my office one day and take me on a Disney cruise to go right ahead! Just make sure you've packed all the appropriate door magnets, pirate costumes, etc.
Part of that reaction could have been their ages, and part of it could have been the fact that it was their 4th Disney cruise. If they were first time cruisers or first time Disney cruisers, the reaction may have been more along the lines of what you were expecting. Kids are fickle - you expect one thing and get the other. Keeps us parents on our toes.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:22 AM   #65
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For all those struggling whether to surprise or have anticipation.. I say have both. I am excited to surprise but am doing so 60 days before so I will get their excitement too!! Best of both worlds!!
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:39 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by ForTheLoveOfDCL
For all those struggling whether to surprise or have anticipation.. I say have both. I am excited to surprise but am doing so 60 days before so I will get their excitement too!! Best of both worlds!!
It does sound like the best plan.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:31 AM   #67
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We just pulled off our surprise. We drove into Galveston last night in the dark. They thought we were going with DH for work. It was a 7 hour drive. Got in the car today to 'explore' the area! Here is our little 2 min video !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O9VLWJyL20&sns=em
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:50 AM   #68
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Awesome video! Enjoy your cruise! I know your girls will.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:04 PM   #69
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Great thread and great question! My wife and I decided to surprise our kids (8,10) last April and it was a DISASTER!!! Well at first anyway. We got to the airport for our flight down to Orlando, or course the kids are thinking (and yes, we told them) we're going to Florida for vacation. So we're waiting in the TSA line when one of the TSA agents picks us out of the crowd and starts asking questions...where are you going, what's the purpose of your trip, that sort of thing. We start out being kind of vague, so of course he wants to inspect our boarding passes, ID, etc more carefully...Oh, he says, you're going on a Disney cruise! That's awesome, we did that last year and had a great time! Well the kids are mortified, no Florida?! Disney cruise, what's that? A boat? Won't it be scary, what if the boat sinks? We were both speechless. Somehow got them on the plane, and once they saw the Magic, everything was good. We had the most awesome time and now they can't wait to go back! I guess it never occurred to us that they might not like the idea at first. First time cruisers beware.
This is what I was worried about.
We are planning to tell the girls we're going to Miami. But not tell them about the cruise until we're there, embarkation day, which is our eldests 13th b'day.

When security ask us where we're going etc. can't we just say "Miami, for a holiday"? Do they often ask for full itinerary? We've travelled a lot and not been asked details before, but in the back of my mind I was thinking about this scenario. Not a great way to break the surprise!
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:09 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by ForTheLoveOfDCL View Post
For all those struggling whether to surprise or have anticipation.. I say have both. I am excited to surprise but am doing so 60 days before so I will get their excitement too!! Best of both worlds!!
I agree too. Maybe this is a good idea for us. I'm worried the excitement, if the surprise is left 'til the last minute, might be so overwhelming they'll wander the ship in a daze for the first day!

These responses are so different that it's obvious we all know our own children best and each have to judge the surprise element ourselves!

Good luck and happy holidays everyone!
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:20 PM   #71
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HA!! Love it - the screaming was great!!

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We just pulled off our surprise. We drove into Galveston last night in the dark. They thought we were going with DH for work. It was a 7 hour drive. Got in the car today to 'explore' the area! Here is our little 2 min video !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O9VLWJyL20&sns=em
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:33 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmiebr80
We just pulled off our surprise. We drove into Galveston last night in the dark. They thought we were going with DH for work. It was a 7 hour drive. Got in the car today to 'explore' the area! Here is our little 2 min video !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O9VLWJyL20&sns=em
So cute! I can imagine that we'll have the exact same conversation about costumes tomorrow when we surprise the kids. My daughter has an astronaut costume, so I have to find a way to hide her GIGANTIC space helmet. But it will be worth it after she establishes that I remembered the suit, gloves, boots, AND helmet
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:13 PM   #73
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We didn't tell my daughter until the night before. We were going to wait until we could see the ship, but I was worried about her reaction. She had been soo excited about going to the White Mountain (that's where we told her we were going). She was telling everyone she was going to the White Mountains. I thought she was going to be mad when we told her our real plans. It was so funny because we were driving down to Manhattan and she said "hey that sign said NYC" but she still thought we were going to the White Mountains. Anyway, when we told her she was soooo excited. We recorded her reaction. She cried for 20 minutes and she told us we were the best parents in the world. At one point she thought we were kidding and I had to show her our Cruise documents so she'd believe us. I was relieved it went well.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:34 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Kimmiebr80 View Post
We just pulled off our surprise. We drove into Galveston last night in the dark. They thought we were going with DH for work. It was a 7 hour drive. Got in the car today to 'explore' the area! Here is our little 2 min video !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O9VLWJyL20&sns=em
How awesome!!!! I am loving the reaction! Hope you guys have a great time! I'm so glad you remembered those heels...that might have been a deal breaker!
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:52 PM   #75
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We surprised our daughters (ages 8 and 5) last night, so a little over a week before the cruise. They were both a little underwhelmed and preoccupied. DD8 was trying to figure out how her present "magically" appeared in her bedroom, and DD5 wanted to know if there were more gifts to open. (Typical!) But once I pulled out the new personalized door magnets and showed them our FE gifts, they were psyched! Apparently I am raising good little DISers!
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