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Old 01-03-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
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How soon do you tell the children?

How soon before Disney do you tell the children that you are going? Was thinking at the 100 day before we go mark this time.

I managed to keep Lapland a secret until the day before but this time we desperately want to share x

1998 WDW All Stars Sports
1999 DLRP Disneyland Castle Club
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:48 AM   #2
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Both this year and last year, we told them as a Chanukah present about a February trip. I wouldn't tell them any sooner because they go crazy with the "Is it time yet? Today? How much longer?" and I can only handle that for so long. But I also would never want to not tell them in advance because the excitement builds, we talk about what we'll do, we make a countdown and the all important threat of "Oh well if you don't want to behave here, I guess you won't need to go to WDW then?"

Last year was about 6 weeks in advance and this year was a little longer (we told them 12/7 and we leave 2/22).
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:53 AM   #3
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I tell mine as soon as we book, if not sooner. But considering my daughter has been asking me since about August when we're going back.......
Feb 2014 - Pop Century
May 2012 - All Star Sports
Jun 2009 - Caribbean Beach Resort
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:57 AM   #4
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I told my girls the day before we were going! I loved keeping it a secret, but it was really hard not to tell them. I am just now starting to plan our next trip for next February (2014) I won't tell them till right before again. The only thing is this time they know we are going next year they just don't know when.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:14 PM   #5
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We told our dd as soon as we booked our trip last year. Last year was her first year going, she was 3, and we were excited to tell her. This year's trip is going to be more of a surprise for her, so I'm not sure what we will do yet. I'm thinking that we won't tell her until were leaving (were driving), but I know that I will so want to tell her. Dd handled waiting on the trip and counting down the days just fine. We had no problems explaining that we still had to wait and then she was just as excited when it was finally time to go, but each child is different.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:51 PM   #6
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We always tell them as soon as it is booked. I like to include them in the planning and we go to Disney a lot so it wouldn't be a surprise to them lol
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:01 PM   #7
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We aren't telling our 4yr old boys until the morning of our departure day.

I would love to tell them sooner, but the excitement will be too much for them. Stephon worried about anything new so he wouldn't sleep for days before because of worrying about the flight/food/hotel etc and Caleb would be too excited to do anything!!
We have an afternoon flight so don't arrive until 23:00 so not having a good nights sleep 2 days in a row will make for very tired grumpy mouseketeers and that would be awful for their first WDW trip!!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:30 PM   #8
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My son is part of our decision-making process as we figure out our trips. So he knows from the beginning.

I have found to be a lovely way to incorporate learning about calendars and months, and how time passes, by having him know. The countdown chain, for the year or two he liked doing it, was fabulous, and it prevented "is it time to go" types of questions, though I don't mind answering those.

It also helped me be able to run through TSA procedures with him. Now kids under 12 don't have to take off their shoes, but that only changed in the last year, and during his first flights where he had to walk through, we definitely needed to practice that! I can't remember if it was at 3 or 4, but on one of our times through TSA he really really REALLY disliked having to take off his shoes. I mean really seriously did not appreciate that. After that I started working with him more, walking him through the procedures, etc.

My mom once surprised me and my brother with a Disneyland trip, and it went fine, but thinking about it as an adult, it must have been WAY too hard for it to have "paid off" for her. We were driving to and from the Grand Canyon, and we begged for Disneyland the whole way to AZ and then on the way back until we were passing and they said "surprise!" as they turned in, and I just have to imagine that it was NOT fun for her. PLus, it would have been a surprise the *instant* she said yes anyway, so there was simply no need for her to wait until we were turning off the highway. The surprise aspect of it would have been great even before we left our home.

So I see no need to surprise DS. He gets surprised enough when he realizes I've made "arcades" a line item in the budget, LOL. I'm good with that.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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I'm going to wait and tell them the last day of school. This is for two reasons. 1.) it's not for sure that we're going; and 2.) they drove me crazy weeks before our last trip with the "Is it time to leave for Disney yet?"
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:46 PM   #10
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Honestly, 2 of our trips we surprised the kids on the way out the door, 1 trip they knew in advance but I don't remember how far in advance. This trip it is just the 2 littler girls going and they have known since last summer. We've really just started talking about it in 'soon' terms though. We have been watching Youtube videos and started putting some stuff aside and working on making tshirts, etc. My girls didn't really know enough about DW to help with decisions about dining or accomodations or anything like that so there was no real point in telling them earlier. At this point, we have plenty of time to discuss which rides/characters we want to do and which ones we can skip but it's not so long that they are thinking it is forever away.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #11
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We give them a few weeks' notice (which has mostly been presented as a Christmas gift ). They like certain surprises, but definitely like to help us plan Disney stuff, and watch youtube videos to remember rides and check out new ones they can now do and all that. It also actually helps to increase their excitement and joy with a little time.

We are so blessed! Trip to WDW in the 80s courtesy of Make-A-Wish, two trips in the 90s thanks to youth group and a band trip, then a trip in 2004 with DH - what started the trend. Another short trip in 2005, a trip to DisneyLand in 2008 with our DD1, another trip to WDW in 2008 with DD1, trip in 2010 with DD1 and DD2, and just another in February 2011 with DD1 and DD2. It's been amazing!

DH, me, and our two beautiful girls (5 and 3)

Our dining report from our February 2011 trip
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:56 PM   #12
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This the first year were we have not told them. DD has problems controlling behavior when she gets to excited about a trip and it leads to problems at school and home
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:44 PM   #13
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We've been fairly often and we've told them at different times. Sometimes if it's a long-planned trip (more than 6 months), I will tell them when I book. Yes, it's a long time for them to wait, but I will say, "we're going after (Aunt/Uncle/Cousin/Grandparent)'s birthday," or "we're going when school gets out." That gives them a tangible milestone to look forward to. We've also sprung trips on them with about 2-3 weeks' notice and that was fun; it was long enough that they got to enjoy the anticipation and the "I can't wait till we can ride XX," and help with the packing. We've also gotten them up and told them, "guess what, we're going to Disney World TODAY!" and that's been fun too. I don't think I would do that for their first trip, though. When they don't know what to expect when they get there, it might be hard for them to grasp the surprise. My friend just surprised her daughters with a trip. They left home and got about an hour away, she stopped the car and gave them each a box with Disney t-shirts, coloring books, etc, to open. She told them she'd been keeping a secret and they really weren't going to Virginia, they were going somewhere else, and to open the boxes and figure it out. She videoed their response and she was a little disappointed, I think. They guessed pretty quickly, but were kind of in shock and just sat there looking at their stuff. When we have surprised our kids, they already know they're going to have a blast so they *are* excited. It's not some fantasy place - they know it well and know they're about to have a blast.
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Jan 2014: OKW - Feb 2013 (DPHM): CSR - Sept 2012: Pop - Nov 2011: Pop - May 2011: CSR - Jan 2011: All-Star Sports - May 2010: Pop Century - Nov 2009: Wilderness Lodge - May 2009: Shades of Green -
Aug/Sept 2008: CSR - Jan 2008: POFQ - Sept 2007: CSR - Sept 2004: FWCabins - Sept 2003: CSR - Jan 1997: Honeymoon at Westgate - Plus many trips as a child at FW!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:55 PM   #14
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Last Jan/Feb was my kids first trip. We told them at Christmas. So just over a month before. It was our gift to them.

We are going again in 30 days and we are surprising them the day we leave for our night before flight. We will stay at a hotel the night before so they will know after we pick them up after school and have a DVD that we have been working on to play when we don't go home.
Roll Call:

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November 2014 Poly
February 2013 POP SURPRISE TRIP for kids
January/February 2012 POP My kids FIRST trip to Disney!!!
December/January 2000-2001 off site
March 1990 off site
several other times as a child stayed off site
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:57 PM   #15
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Our first trip we told them when we got to the airport. The past 2 trips we told them as soon as we knew we were going. Now that I'm working full-time we're going to go every March Break, so we don't need to tell them at all, they already know and help with the planning as soon as we get back from the previous trip
Feb 2009 - Surprise Trip - POFQ
Jan 2011 - Birthday Trip - POFQ
March 2012 - POR
March 2013 - POR
March 2014 - POR/POFQ
August 2015 - Poly

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