Surprising kids, tell me your stories!!

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by osu2k1, May 27, 2012.

  1. osu2k1

    osu2k1 Disneyland Veteran | Disneyworld Newbie

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    We have just booked our first trip to WDW and we are going to keep it a secret, which I fear is going to be VERY hard to do. Our boys will be 7.5 and 4.5 when we go, and the oldest can read, so hiding books are a bit difficult. I think I need to get some book covers!

    We will be going Dec 8 for 8 days/7 nights. We will be leaving the house around 4 AM (seriously, why did I pick that time). I am not sure how to go about surprising them. Should we wait until we are at the airport, on the plane, or when I wake them up in the morning? I plan to video it, so we can see the surprise. :)

    Can you please share how you shocked your kids? Thanks!
     
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  3. andieb0602

    andieb0602 Mouseketeer

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    We just got back from our surprise trip - I'm doing the stinky lanundry right now! ;) The kids knew all along that we were saving for our Disney trip so that we could go "someday". We also would watch the planning video and ask them what they would want to do for "someday". We would work it into everyday conversation so it wouldn't be like we were quizzing them on Disney all at once.

    We surprised the kids simply. I just used a very direct approach. All week long we kept telling the kids we had "a lot of things to do" on Saturday and that we'd be very busy. The morning of our flight, after the kids had eaten a good breakfast (and had a good night's sleep), we handed our oldest, who can read, our To-Do List for the day. Each item had a separate page and said simply "Get up; Eat Breakfast; Get Dressed; Fly to Disney!!!" We had packed the night before so all of our things were already in the van and all the kids needed to do was get dressed and pack their toys. I've never seen them get dressed so fast before!

    The kids were in shock a little. I didn't want to do something like a treasure hunt since it can take a while for them to wake up and have their brains start working - just like Mommy! But the plan went off without a hitch. DD even told Crush that her vacation was a surprise during Turtle Talk! :rotfl:
     
  4. TiggerTrigger

    TiggerTrigger Also HouCuseChickie

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    We surprised our girls w/a trip to WDW last summer. We didn't reveal the surprise until we were literally getting ready to drive through the Maingate. Thankfully, we did this before DD5 could read...that was the only way we were able to pull it off like this. There were months and months of fibs - just trying to get their opinions on things. They knew we were going someplace special for DD5's bday, but they had no idea where (although I told them it might be Sea World or grandma and grandpa's). They had been to WDW about 8 mos prior, so it really wasn't on their radar. I even had to pack the bags in a special way so I wouldn't ruin the surprise. I've posted the vid on here before, but this is them getting their surprise.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48jiiE_jjfU&list=UUxNUdWgyGZxcZvPdaF8cYoA&index=3&feature=plcp

    We'll be reciprocating for DD3's 4th bday in Nov, but she will get the actual surprise on her bday (before we travel). I'm still working out the details on that. I will say this- as far as hiding things from my girls...I just tell them I'm helping other friends plan their WDW trips. It's really not that far from the truth...but it enables me to search online, read books, and look at all kinds of things Disney without tipping them off.
     
  5. osu2k1

    osu2k1 Disneyland Veteran | Disneyworld Newbie

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    That might work! My 7 year old's best friend is going to Disneyland the week before we go...So that might work! Great idea! I'll check your link tonight when kids are not in listening range. ;)

    Thanks!!!
     
  6. sherreis

    sherreis DIS Veteran

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    I will never forget when we surprised our boys in 2008 and am so glad that we did it. We picked them up at school and they had no clue where we were going. When we got to the airport we told them we were going to Florida to see my aunt and uncle (which we had done before) and then when we got to the airport in Orlando, we pulled the surprise. DH surprised to call my aunt and uncle and they weren't home.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSQDRTo2RoM

    They helped plan our trip but they didn't know it. We always talked about when we would make our next trip to Disney World but they knew it would be a long way away. We would watch DIsney things on the travel channel, the planning video, see books, etc. and I would ask them "if you were going to Disney World, which restaurant would you want to eat at?"
     
  7. taymaesmom

    taymaesmom DIS Veteran

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    We surprised our girls for Christmas, we had just been in May and at the time had been going every other year so they had no idea. We had planned to leave the day after Christmas so I wrapped their disney pin lanyards with $100 and a pin saying "Surprise we are going to Walt Disney World tomorrow!" I loved my youngest dd's reaction, she gets a bit dramatic at times!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPMwN-YRkN8&feature=g-upl
     
  8. pammydw

    pammydw Mouseketeer

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    We are planing a surprise trip for our DD7's 8th birthday. Since our flight leaves very early, we are going to stay at the airport hotel the night before. This is when we plan on telling her, and we are going to do so with a treasure hunt. I am going to make her an autograph book, we have ordered our Disney Park maps, I plan on having a frying pan for Rapunzel to sign, and a few other items to use for the scavenger hunt. We are now discussing what to tell her when we pick her up from school as to why we are going to the Pittsburgh airport and why we are staying overnight.
    I hope your surprise goes well! Have fun!:woohoo:
     
  9. dawnn12

    dawnn12 Mouseketeer

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    We did a surprise trip in aug of 2010.Our girls were 11 and 6 at the time. I had to work in the morning and my girls were in summer camp. When they came home my Dh was home(very unusual) he told them that he "didnt feel like working that day so he came home early". They didnt think anything of it. By that time I had my dads car packed with our luggage. I had my dad call my girls and ask if they wanted to go with him to pick up a friend. When my DD(11)asked me if it was ok I said lets all go for a ride. My dad picked us up and took us to the airport when he pulled over to let us out the girls started to get mad at us(they thought Dh and I were going away without them). when i opened the trunk and they seen the disney tags they were jumping up and down yelling "Were going to Disney, Were going to disney". We had some people at philly airport laughing. we checked in and waited for our plane. Then the questions started rolling in did you bring this? what about that? I dont have this or that. I did get the kids disney book for that year and they took turns reading it on the plane. It was great. They did say they rather know about the trip so they can help plan things out(we didnt do our usual garden grill but we tried crystal palace and the dinner at swan & dolphin) they were both great but the girls miss the garden grill so this aug we have to go there.
     
  10. ilovepooh

    ilovepooh <font color=red>I keep rubbing my head hoping an a

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    I have typed a letter on the computer from Mickey saying he was excited (enter names of children) were coming to visit him, etc. (enter favorite characters) are also excited to see you on (enter date of trip). Add some Disney clip art and make up a post mark. Shove it into mail when getting the mail and tell kids they have a letter from Mickey mouse! video excitement as letter is read by oldest to youngest child. So sweet
     
  11. AshleeH

    AshleeH DIS Veteran

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    We drive there and last year (our second family trip) all the kids knew was that we were going to a park with roller coasters (it was originally going to be Hershey Park, but that fell through). Once we hit the stretch where all the Disney billboards start, I thought for sure they would figure it out. Luckily, they were both busy playing their games and never looked up. It wasn't until we got to the Disney sign over the road that we told them to look up (and taped their reaction). Oldest DS went nuts! He was dying to go back to Disney, but we told him it would be a few years. Youngest DS just said he wanted to go to a hotel lol! After he found out we would be staying in a hotel in Disney World, his day got a lot better :).

    Surprises are so much fun, but we would never be able to pull it off if we had a long wait! They knew all about our first trip and the second trip was only a surprise because it was a spur of the minute decision and I knew we could keep it a secret for 30 days (even then, I slipped a few times, they just didn't catch me). That was also a double whammy surprise - the grandparents were getting there to spend the last few days with us, so even after we got there, we had to keep another surprise until Wednesday :). It was worth it!

    This year, we told them when we booked it and we also told them when the other grandparents confirmed that they could go. We are planning a surprise trip to Disneyland next year - I think the WDW excitement is making it easier to keep that a secret! DS9 knows we're going to California next year, but his request is to go to Hollywood, so that's what he's looking forward to. He isn't even aware (to my knowledge) that there is a place called Disneyland. He just thinks there's Disney World and "the Disney Boat", which is what he really wants to go on.
     
  12. starbound25

    starbound25 Mouseketeer

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    I love these stories! haha

    My sister and I are taking my girls this November and they have no idea

    they think we are going NEXT november!

    I have no clue how long I can hold out

    first I thought we'd tell them at 100 days out because they like to countdown (we did this the first time we took them in 2011)

    But I'd love to wait till maybe a week out to spring it on them! I just dont know if I can hold it in that long!

    Good thing is that we talk about disney almost daily haha so they dont find it unusual me asking them all sorts of questions about what they would like to ride next time we go since they think its a year and a half from now ;)

    I couldn't tell them on the day we're leaving, my oldest is a planner and I know that will be too overwhelming for her, she needs a little time to adjust to a change in plans so a week before would be awesome

    it all depends on mommy!!! :rotfl:
     
  13. osu2k1

    osu2k1 Disneyland Veteran | Disneyworld Newbie

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    I love the stories!!! Thanks guys!!! This is awesome! I really hope we can hold out until the morning of!
     
  14. nuts4wdw

    nuts4wdw Have a disney day!!!

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    We are surprising our 4 boys June 7th and we are flying out on the 10th. We are taking them to dinner and are going to have a Mickey shaped pizza and cake that says "we are going to WDW" delivered to the table (my husband works at the restaurant so this will all be prearranged). We have been talking a lot about going because "Mom loves Disney", so the youngest 3 don't have any idea. My oldest might have an idea, but still doesn't know for sure. The 7th is their last day of school so that is the reason why we will be going out to eat! (wink, wink) we need to give my oldest at least one days notice because he is high functioning autism and doesn't appreciate big surprises, that is why we arent doing it the morning we leave. Looking forward to all of this and the vacation!
     
  15. jenne

    jenne Undercover Pirate

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    Just a word of caution...... I got back from a surprise trip with my DS5 2 months ago, and the surprise part was a bit of a downer.

    We are from Canada and don't make it very often, and I took my kids for the first time in Jan 2011 - I was on mat leave with my youngest and since I am a teacher, it was my only chance to go when it isn't a school break. We had a blast and my older son fell in love with Disney. This spring break, I got a chance to take my oldest on a surprise, last-minute trip. I decided to keep it a surprise. It nearly killed me to stay quiet!

    I got him out of school early and brought him home to a scavenger hunt that ended in his bedroom where I had ballons - including a Mickey head, his suitcase already packed, a t-shirt waiting that said 'SURPRISE - You're going to Disney World! - and a bunch of goodies for him for the plane. I think he was in shock at first, but then he was - OK, let's go -no dancing up and down, nothing. He doesn't have a great concept of money, so he wasn't aware that this was a big deal and a bit of a financial sacrifice. He had been before, and now he was going again - no big deal. :confused:

    It took me a few GOOD hours - almost the whole trip there (10 hours door to door) to get over the letdown. I was expecting his excitement to at least match - if not exceed mine, and when that didn't happen, I was devasted.

    I am not saying this to warn you off a surprise trip - just the opposite. I would do a surprise trip again in a heartbeat, but I would better 'prepare' my son for it, and I would make sure my expectations weren't so high, that the wrong reaction could ruin the trip.

    I hope all goes well for you.:woohoo:
     
  16. osu2k1

    osu2k1 Disneyland Veteran | Disneyworld Newbie

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    Thank you!! Since it will have been nearly 4 years since we went to Disneyland, I think they will be excited. But I don't expect a lot of the excitement until we are nearly there. Waking kids up around 4 AM will kind of suck, so I am not sure how/when we'll spring it on them. Might wait until we are nearly on the plane. Not sure. But I appreciate your honesty! That helps!!!:thumbsup2
     
  17. esquared221

    esquared221 Mouseketeer

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    We had a similar experience last year with our DD who was days before her 4th BD. I think our problem was that we sprung it on her first thing in the morning and she was too foggy to grasp what we were talking about. It was so anti-climatic that I was disappointed but luckily once she started to understand what was going on she got really excited. Of course the trip itself was awesome so it made up for the rough start ;)

    We're planning another trip in October and now DD is old enough to understand our conversations and we're having trouble containing our excitement in her presence:goodvibes We are planning on making it another surprise but this time we'll tailor the unveiling to our daughter better :laughing:
     
  18. MickeyMommaof2

    MickeyMommaof2 Earning My Ears

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    We are in the process of planning my son's surprise trip for his 7th birthday in December. I had it all planned I would pick him up from school early on the 6th and just drive to the airport and get on a plane.. Then spend his birthday on the 8th in the happiest place we could ever be. But now everything is changing.. Rumors of free dining and Pop Warner being there is throwing a wrench in the plans. So we may not be there on his actual birthday but hopefully I can still pull off not telling him. We listen to Disney music everyday, and I'm always on the websites, reading books or talking Disney so it won't tip him off.. I just tell my 2 year old who can't talk yet :rotfl:
     
  19. 100AcreWood

    100AcreWood DIS Veteran

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    We decided to tell our kids 3 months before our trip. I made a really cool "movie trailer" with video from our last trip. It was very dramatic and at the end it said October 2011, we're going to Disney! They were all very excited. And I enjoyed hearing them plan their trip for the next 3 months. It was pretty great. I couldn't tell them the day of. I know my oldest and she would not bounce back from the shock. You need to give her warning in advance if you expect excitement!
     
  20. jenne

    jenne Undercover Pirate

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    I would love to see the 'movie trailer' that you made. Have you posted it anywhere?
     
  21. Fob

    Fob Earning My Ears

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    I haven't surprised my kids yet, but last year I help my sister surprise hers. My Sis and BIL take their girls (9 and 5 at the time of the trip) every 3 years. But since the eldest was turning 10 in January, they decided to surprise them with a trip in December (before having to pay adult rates for the oldest).

    Here's how we did it:

    1. I had my Sis send me all the video and photos they had taken from previous trips.

    2. I filmed her making the "announcement" on the balcony outside of Chef Mickey's. I held her face in close-up while she said "Where can you swim with a mermaid, go on a safari, have dinner with a mouse and hug a beast all in the same day!", then I panned over her shoulder and zoomed in on Cinderella's castle when she screamed "WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!".

    3. I worked with another BIL to edit all the videos and photos into a 15 minute trailer, complete with Disney music in the background, and finished it with my Sis' announcement.

    4. My Sis told the kid they were going to Florida for a reunion with some of my BIL friends (not a complete lie).

    5. They left at 10pm and drove through the night (9 hours total) and after they stopped for breakfast, played the video for the girls.

    At first, the girls just thought it was a cute video. They were making comments like "I remember that" and "that was fun". After the announcement, they lost their minds. It was quite funny watching them scream in excitement at the top of their lungs.
     

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