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Old 09-30-2013, 08:26 PM   #31
TreeSapp
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I just have to say to be careful for people planning a first visit. There are a ton of YouTube videos of kids not responding well to a last minute surprise - crying about not wanting to get on a plane, "but I thought we were going to grandmas! ", etc. whatever awesome surprise - give the kids some time to process

Unless you've been before and they know the drill - then last min can be pretty awesome

Our favorite video is a local kid whose mom surprised him by driving to the park instead of school. He's CONVINCED (even after seeing the big entry gate) that she's trying to take him to the dentist <3
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:40 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeSapp View Post
I just have to say to be careful for people planning a first visit. There are a ton of YouTube videos of kids not responding well to a last minute surprise - crying about not wanting to get on a plane, "but I thought we were going to grandmas! ", etc. whatever awesome surprise - give the kids some time to process Unless you've been before and they know the drill - then last min can be pretty awesome Our favorite video is a local kid whose mom surprised him by driving to the park instead of school. He's CONVINCED (even after seeing the big entry gate) that she's trying to take him to the dentist <3
Oh my goodness, I know! I saw some of those videos and felt so bad for the parents because they were anticipating a completely different reaction. But at the same time I do giggle a tiny bit.

My oldest is extremely sensitive about things like that but luckily we were able to work our little white lie out to not include anyone the girls are close to. We're simply dropping off bags at the airport for daddy's friends because their car couldn't hold them all. Once at the airport, it'll turn into a surprise Florida trip, which is no big deal for us as we go to the gulf coast each year. When we land in Orlando, then the surprise is announced. I apologize now if any of you are on our flight, there will likely be lots of squeals of happiness once we land.

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This was our quick-take-a-Disney-vacation-to-get-a-feel-of-what-it's-like-before-we-have-kids-to-drag-along trip.
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May 4-10, 2014: Coronado Springs Resort
This is our the-kids-are-only-little-for-so-long-so-lets-make-this-as-magical-and-as-awesome-as-possible trip.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:46 PM   #33
quiescentfury
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We are going dec 10, on dec 9th we are going to the mall to see Santa at a non busy time, right after school. We will have already given the Santa a card or present for the kids. We are then going to open it in a more secluded area so all the other kids inline don't think they are going to get that too. We will have something inside saying that their early Xmas gift is that we are going to disney the next day and flying their. Kids are 17,15,14,7, and 6. We never fly anywhere since there are so many of us so this will be a a dream vacation for all of us!
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:54 PM   #34
momimouse27
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I've found the best way to keep that from happening is to tell them they're going somewhere they aren't really wanting to go. You could really play it up..."I know you aren't crazy about visiting Uncle Al's, but it's only for a weekend" or "I know you guys wanted to go to Disney, but the mountains are more affordable". Then when you tell, they'll be relieved and excited!
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:14 PM   #35
JDis1015
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So, mine is a little different. I don't have kids but and surprising my DH with a Disney trip in may! I've had tshirts made and will reveal Christmas morning, via opening a present, as well as some details! I think he'll get just as excited as a child!
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:30 AM   #36
Meldev
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Smile Disney Surprise

I love this thread! I'm in the midst of planning a surprise trip a year from now! Hope to pick my 3 girls up early from school saying Daddy wants to take us to dinner in Pittsburgh and we'll go to the airport - I have about 12 months to iron out details!!
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:24 AM   #37
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I am planning a surprise for our kids now! We are doing our first trip to Disney (even my first!) and my kids have never been on a plane so we decided that telling them in advance would work best rather than surprising them when we get to the airport. Since we leave January 31 it works wonderfully to do a Christmas surprise, just enough time to let them help plan a few things (especially with the new Fast Pass+/Magic Bands) and build some anticipation!
My husband had a puzzle made from a picture of Cinderella's castle with the words Surprise! We're going to Disney World! so on Christmas morning I will give that to them to open first. I think at first they might be irritated I am asking them to put a puzzle together on Christmas morning but I am so excited to see their reaction. We are bringing our 7 and 9 year old and they have been asking so I am sure it will be great. The rest of their presents are Disney related. Cute luggage, character shirts, autograph books, pins/lanyard, a kids 2014 guide to Disney World. I also want to make a Passport book and pressed penny container to throw in. I am torn whether it would be more fun to put everything in the luggage and have it be one big present or wrap everything individually...cause it is a lot individually! Since our toddlers aren't going this time though I may put everything in the luggage since our little ones are also getting a big gift so they won't be getting a bunch of presents to open. I am pretty excited about it, I just received our package from the Disney store yesterday with the character shirts/autograph books/personalized sweaters/guide book!
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:29 AM   #38
seasidespences
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We did a puzzle also...our trip was in September so in June we started sending them "clues" with a few puzzle pieces in each clue. The clue boxes also contained some "travel" items (travel games, Note pads, etc.) and a poem to give them a few ideas about where they might be going. We gave them the final clue about a month before we left for a few reasons...one we knew they'd want to pack some of their own stuff and two, they needed to decide on their MNSSHP costumes. It worked like a charm and they were very excited, plus it was fun to watch their excitement culminate over the summer! I think next time we go I'll surprise them again...maybe this time surprise them the day of...either way...it's so much fun!!
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:47 PM   #39
DisneyDoll14
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I'm 14 and the first time my family went I was 6 (?) and my mom made us a scavenger hunt that led to a Disney Countdown calendar. The next time she surprised us was at Christmas and she just gave us $50 in Disney Dollars and told us to figure it out.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:26 AM   #40
momof3littles
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We have been planning a Disney scavenger hunt following the kids opening their regular gifts on Christmas morning. They will be 9, 7, and 3 (oldest will be almost 10, youngest will be almost 4 when we travel). We had originally thought about going in early Dec, and I'd love to see the decor. However, we really wanted to be able to announce it at CHristmas. The kids and my DH have never been, and I haven't been there since I was 4-5 yo. (30 yrs ago)

I found a cool, giant "walking Mickey" helium balloon on amazon and had that shipped to work. I think he'll announce our trip at the end of the scavenger hunt. I'm wondering if I could fit him in a giant appliance box and when they open it, it could be holding some proclamation of where we are going

http://www.amazon.com/Mickey-Mouse-A...walking+mickey
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:43 PM   #41
JWS7962
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BEST way to SURPRISE your KIDS!??

For starters, my wife and I decided to DOUBLE our time at WDW in 2015. We agreed that in spite of the trip being costly, we needed more kid time in each park. We recently returned from WDW and felt like we ran through each park trying to maximize our perks yet missing MOST of the Disney Secrets our books mentioned.

Embroidered matching shirts to be nerdy. I'll think up some other goodies but our daughters are getting older and it's becoming a chore to keep the magic alive regarding the truth behind the characters.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #42
SpringBreak
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Word of warning! I once orchestrated a surprise trip for my kindergartener. I was a single mom at the time. I pulled my son out of bed early in the morning and didn't do the big reveal until we were at the airport. He seemed happy, but unsure. While we did have a good time on the trip, it was marred by by son's pervasive uneasiness. He kept wondering what was going on at school (I had pulled him out in September) and repeatedly asked why Grammy (my Mom) hadn't come with us. He worried about our dog. He seemed *very* happy to go home. (Not my intended/desired reaction).

I learned quite a lot from this. Children, even small ones, have routines and obligations. Maybe your young child will worry about missed schoolwork, soccer practice, or just want to clear something up with a friend on the playground before leaving.

Your child may feel more in control if he/she can pack his/her own special belongings and say goodbye to family and classmates. Older children can read about the parks and help plan the trip tailored to their quirky interests. What they want to do/skip may surprise you.

Finally, there is the power of anticipation! Christmas morning is special in part because of the build-up (decorating, carols, baking, cards, etc.) We count down to it, plan for it. I don't know if it would be as cool if a bunch of presents just arrived unexpectedly in the middle of May.

So while, I think it's a fab idea to surprise kids creatively, I think it's best done a month before the the trip. Long enough to prepare and build anticipation, but short enough, that it's not unbearably long.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:10 AM   #43
momimouse27
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I don't completely disagree with the above post. What I would say is to take into consideration your child's personality. Some kids would be better served being surprised early if they fret about things easily or feel more in control if they pack their own bag.

With my son, who has autism, he loves to be surprised, which really goes against the norm. Most of those kids get upset at changing the routine, but mine is fine with it. I'd say the same about my middle daughter, but my oldest would want to know first.

My son knows we're taking a trip, but he thinks we leave on Monday and not on this Thursday I can't wait to surprise him!
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:52 PM   #44
SpringBreak
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I agree. The child's personality is key.

And to say it again --you can surprise any kid. But**some** kids may prefer the surprise a couple weeks before the trip--that is--NOT at the airport.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:44 AM   #45
KCrystal
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Birthday trip SURPRISE!

We are going for spring break in April but it also just so happens that DD's 9th birthday falls during this week. So it's a spring break/birthday trip for her. DS (5) and DD (3) already know but they aren't talking because it's sissy's birthday surprise Anywho, we are having a personalized Minnie mouse ears headband made for her as well as a shirt that says "I'm spending my birthday with Minnie!" They will be wrapped up in a box that's inside another wrapped box with a riddle in it that I came up with. She's a pretty smart kid so it shouldn't take her long to figure out the riddle and once she opens the other box she will really get it! We are giving it to her in the next few weeks because she's one of those kids that doesn't like to have her routine interrupted and needs to pack and plan well in advance (she must get that from me since I've been planning for months). I can't wait to see the look on her face! This will be my 1st trip since I was 5, DH's 1st trip since high school (forever ago ) DD8's 2nd trip (she went with her grandparents 3 or 4 years ago) and the little two's 1st trip.
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