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When should we spring the good news?

Discussion in 'WDW with Kids' started by slappy magoo, Oct 18, 2016.


When Should the Kids Find Out We're Going to WDW?

Poll closed Nov 1, 2016.
  1. 1: The night before

    1 vote(s)
  2. 2: When we wake them up

    2 vote(s)
  3. 3: When we get to the airport

    4 vote(s)
  4. 4: Even longer than that!

    3 vote(s)
  5. 5: Do you have to take them? (spoiler - yes)

    0 vote(s)
  6. 6: Other

    1 vote(s)
  1. slappy magoo

    slappy magoo Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Hey there hi there ho there,
    So we took a trip this past August, and while there, I spent one night upgrading our passes to Gold Annual Passes (we're DVC members). The plan is to take a trip, 5 or 6 nights (we have 5 nights booked using DVC points, we might pay cash for one additional night), in December before the blackout period of the passes kick in. And unlike most trips, since it's going to be shorter than most of our trips, and flights that time of year aren't so bad, we're probably going to fly

    Now here's the thing - of course my wife Slappette, knows we're going. But our kids (Slapperina and Slappetina) do not.

    We're talking about springing it on them as a surprise. It'll wind up being a very big chunk of their Christmas present from us (Santa will still hook them up, but we tend to give them more presents from Mom and Dad because we love them and Santa gives them a few gifts if they've been good because f**k that old man why should he get all the credit?).

    If we fly, it'll be a very early departing flight. My wife thinks we should tell them as soon as we get them up so they're not concerned about why they're being awakened so early. But I kinda think they'll be disoriented no matter what if they're not prepped for that kind of early wake-up. I also worry if we wake them up at 3am and say "we're going to Disney World!" sure, there will be an initial rush of adrenaline, but we're then still talking 7 or 8 hours before we get there, a time frame during which there will be an energy crash, inevitably.

    So here's my thought - we prep them by saying a day or earlier that we're going to go SOMEWHERE, and somewhere pretty lame at that, and we have to leave early. We don't tell them we're flying, we tell them it's some place we have to drive. I was thinking of telling them we won a unique opportunity to work on and live at a potato farm in North Jersey for 6 days, so we'll have to get up early because the potato harvest starts at 5am sharp. Or we need to drive some place that sells used mismatched socks because we're buying 10 boxes of them, in the hopes that we can find some to match the ones they own currently missing their partner. Just so they know we're getting up early...

    ...aaand then see how long we can wait before we tell them.

    Could we convince them they're arriving by plane or the farm is farther away?

    Could we convince them there's a change of plans and we have to take a plane in order to get to the potato farm or pick up the socks?

    Any chance we could keep that up all the way to Orlando?

    So what do you all think? How would you spring it on kids if you had a chance to spring it?
    DisneyDreamer08 and tor29c like this.
  2. Weather_Lady

    Weather_Lady Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2012
    Likes Received:
    We always spring the news way ahead of time, so that the kids can be involved in the planning process and savor the anticipation for a longer period of time. If it's too late for that now, I'd wait until the night before (as long as you think they won't be too excited to sleep), so they'll be eager to jump out of bed for your early morning travels.
    tor29c likes this.
  3. mousefan1972

    mousefan1972 Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Likes Received:
    You didn't mention how old the kids are... mine did NOT do well with being surprised, at all. The one time we tried it they were 5 and 7, I think. So I'd vote for tell them sooner rather than later. Have fun!
  4. Seanual757

    Seanual757 Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I prefer to let them in once you arrive at the airport. When our kids do not know we are staying @ Disney we pre-pack all of the kids cloths in the suit cases load up the Suburban and head on over (we are 20 minutes away) and then they ask why are we pulling into such and such hotel, Oh we forgot to mention we are spending the weekend.

    Depending on your kids ages (ours are 8, 7, 2, and 5 months) the two older ones like to ask questions so we throw them off but in the morning they are 1/2 a sleep and do not put 2 and 2 together since they are not on schedule.

    IMHO the better you can hold off on the surprise the more fun it is IMHO.

    Best of luck
  5. BigRedDad

    BigRedDad Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I chose other because you never know what the response will be. I surprised my DD with a trip when she was 7. I picked her up at school, gave her the "mail Mickey sent" telling her we were headed right then to Disney World. We went through 30 minutes of crying that she didn't want to go. Mostly it was from a new found fear of flying. McDonald's Happy Meal finally got her to stop crying. Still a great trip, but not the reaction we wanted.
  6. slappy magoo

    slappy magoo Well-Known Member Original Poster

    May 26, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Thanks to those who replied and/or voted.
    For the record, our kids are 8 and 5. The 5 year old just had a birthday and as a result was too young to go to kindergarten this year, she's doing a part-time pre-k 3 days a week mornings only, so school is not a factor for her, a little more for her older sister.

    Here's where we're leaning at the moment - instead of hinting "we're going to go SOMEWHERE," we might tell them that only I have to go somewhere, a work-related trip. Mom has to drive me to the airport and of course we can't leave you guys alone so you'll have to come with, but then you can give me goodbye hugs and kisses at the airport, and I'll only be a few days, etc, maybe mom can get you a bagel on the way home. This way, they know we're all getting up, but for them it's kind of humdrum, as long as they're not upset that I'm going away (which is possible, not necessarily likely). Then once they're awake, we see how long we can put it off without telling them. What might tip our hand - when we go anywhere, their blankets go with them, even the 8 year old. She's not Linus from Peanuts, she doesn't bring it to school or out to play. But when they're downstairs, the blankets come with them, and if we take them to WDW or to visit family for a few days, the blankets get packed. So I'm not sure if they'll get suspicious once they see Mom packing the blankets while I get them dressed.
    RememberWhen likes this.
  7. mouse-eared-muffin

    mouse-eared-muffin Member

    Nov 14, 2016
    Likes Received:
    If I had a kid, I'd probably tell them on the airport. You wouldn't want to tell them too early, but you don't want to tell them late enough to where you get suspicious. I would make it like a game with my kids and see if they suspect anything. If not, then we'll spring it to them. (I don't have kids cause I'm too young, but this is what I would do if I was planning a trip for my future kids) also, I laughed my but off when you were talking about "F Santa, why should he get all the credit?" That gave me quite a good laugh :D
  8. John C. Shepherd

    John C. Shepherd Member

    Dec 16, 2014
    Likes Received:
    One year for Christmas, we gave them a Present of Disney. We woke them up early and had car packed. We left gifts under the tree from santa when we returned. We had 2 gifts for them to open at the right time. they waited till we go to airport and opened and they were so excited. The wait at airport was fine till my oldest go nervous and threw up in bathroom right before boarding, after that she was fine. They didnt get overly excited or upset.
  9. md0u80a2

    md0u80a2 Member

    Jul 16, 2005
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    We got from the UK to the front gates of animal kingdom with a 4 and 3 year old and told them there.

    Four year old said 'oh my god'
    three year old said 'where mickey lives? Oh my god!'

  10. Sillysidewalker

    Sillysidewalker Member

    Jan 14, 2017
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    I always want to suprise them but I just can't hold in the secret. Last time we did a scavenger hunt with clues (Disney related) and at the end we had wrapped their autograph books. It was about a month before the trip. I am thinking of doing the string follow thing like in Frozen Fever to tell them about our December trip. I would love to suprise them but half the fun is the anticipation and planning.
  11. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2004
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    We're facing this struggle now, so I'm interested to hear the responses. We just arranged with DS and DDIL to take all of them (mostly our 2 DGDs, though) to WDW. DS said he'd let us tell the DGDs, but we haven't yet (trip's not until October). They're 6 and 4-when should we break the news?
  12. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Likes Received:
    We are going with our DS4 in May, and we booked 3 weeks ago.

    Since this is our son's first trip and we wanted to be sure of his reactions, we told him once everything was booked, and showed him a few videos of the park and some key rides.

    He was very happy and has been keeping a good behaviour since then - because we told him that princesses don't like annoying boys. And he loves the princesses and hopes for a kiss!

    Also, each child is different, and my son likes to know and advance to plan ahead in his mind. This works best for him but not all children are the same.
  13. Beacon Joe

    Beacon Joe Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2016
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    OP, we're facing the same question. We planned a surprise trip to use up some DVC points, and are using it as a birthday surprise for our kids (trip to Disney World instead of parties and gifts). I preferred to not tell them at all, and to take it so far as having them put on their uniforms and pretend that we're going to school, but drive on by and head to the airport. My wife is excited and has wanted to tell them for weeks.

    We finally settled on telling them once the Magic Bands arrive in the mail.

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