Disney World Planning & Tips Planning Tips

To Surprise or Not Surprise Your Kids with a Disney Vacation

Surprise Trip to Disney

We’ve all seen the cute videos of parents surprising their kids with a Disney vacation. The kids jump up and down with joy, and even cry – they are so happy to be going on a trip to Disney World, Disneyland or on a Disney Cruise. You may wonder if you should try and set up a similar surprise for your kids, or if it is better to just tell them in advance once you decide it’s time to take a Disney vacation. Let’s review some questions that may help you get to the right decision for your family.

Are your kids old enough to collaborate on your travel planning?

For many people, the planning phase of a Disney vacation is a huge part of the fun. Will you enjoy reviewing resort options, attractions and restaurants with your kids? Allowing them to have some input into where you are going to spend your days, nights and meals can really get kids engaged and excited about an upcoming trip. If your kids are too little to understand this part of the process, then this won’t be a factor in your decision.

Surprise Trip to Disney
We love to plan where we will eat our meals together – Be Our Guest is a family favorite

Will your kids asking you over and over again when you are leaving drive you crazy?

A Disney vacation is super exciting and a big milestone for kids. Once you let them know that you are going to go and meet Mickey Mouse himself, you are sure to get a lot of questions about when you are leaving. If the thought of getting pestered about this day in and day out sounds like a total nightmare, you can absolutely consider holding off on letting them know until much closer to your departure date, or even when you are on the road or heading to the airport.

If your kids don’t react to the surprise the way that you are expecting, will that negatively impact how you feel about your trip?

We decided to surprise our youngest child, our seven-year-old daughter, with a trip to Disney World for her birthday this year. I had been planning in secret for months, and when we finally told her we were leaving the next day, she was disappointed that we weren’t going to be celebrating her day back at home the way that we had in years past. I was bummed that she wasn’t immediately thrilled, but she certainly did warm up to the idea and we had an amazing trip. Just keep in mind that if you decide to video your big surprise trip reveal, it may not turn out as spectacular as you are hoping. Kids are nothing if not completely unpredictable!

Surprise Trip to Disney
Surprise! You are going to Disney World!

For my family, a large part of the fun of a Disney trip is making plans together before we go. We love to talk about where to eat, what FastPasses to book and which parks to visit on which day. It’s a fun way for us to reminisce about past trips, and it’s also helpful to have them jog my memory about things that may not have worked particularly well for us on trips past.

One option that could be the best of both worlds would be to surprise them far enough in advance so you can see that amazing reaction, but then they can still help with the planning and you can still enjoy talking about your trip in the weeks preceding your departure!

Ready to start planning your next trip to a Disney destination? As an agent with Chip & Co’s official travel partner, Key to the World Travel, I would love to help with your first, or next, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line or Disneyland vacation! Email me at missy.graner@keytotheworldtravel.com or simply fill out the quote request below. And be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

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