Thinking of surprising your kids with a Walt Disney World vacation? See how we did it, and then get our tops tips for a Disney surprise vacation reveal.
Disclosure: We surprised our kids with a trip to Disney Social Media Moms. While we paid for our attendance, we also received fun perks at the conference. I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel. All opinions are my own. This post includes affiliate links. A purchase/click through one of these links may result in a small commission at no extra cost to you.
When I was invited to attend the annual Disney Social Media Moms conference, I knew that I wanted to bring my kids. My husband and I decided to surprise our kids with the trip. Since it wasn’t our regular, annual vacation time (and was a few weeks after their school’s spring break), we knew they wouldn’t be anticipating the vacation. It was well worth it, but definitely took some extra planning and work. Here are our tips for a Disney surprise vacation reveal! Have you planned one? Leave us a comment and let us know how it went.
Tips for a Disney Surprise Vacation Reveal
Come Up With a Good Cover Story
Of course, we always encourage our kids to tell the truth, but you are probably going to need a good cover story. In our case, we told the kids that we had separate business trips and that they would be going to their grandparents’ house for a few days. Then, we told them that they all would be driving me to the airport for my trip. Because they were young, they didn’t quite realize that parking in the garage was unusual (they usually would drop me off at the airport curb).
Make sure that your cover story is pretty simple but realistic. Also make sure that it isn’t TOO appealing. You don’t want your kids to be disappointed with the Disney vacation surprise reveal!
Our kids had to miss a few days of school, so I privately let their teachers know about our plan. They were so nice to play along, and helped “sell” our cover story. Otherwise, I tried not to tell too many other people so that our secret wouldn’t be prematurely revealed.
My daughter, even at a young age, had a mental catalog of the contents of her drawers. So, we had to be pretty discreet with packing, especially because Disney vacation packing in April is different than grandma’s house packing. We pulled shorts and bathing suits out of storage while the kids were at playdates or school, and packed into suitcases that were in our room. We also threw Mickey ears and autograph books at the very top, but made sure the kids never looked in the bags.
See our vacation checklist here.
Make Dining Reservations and FastPass+ Reservations
I always recommend that families make dining and FastPass+ reservations with feedback from all family members. For a surprise vacation, that isn’t going to be possible. You’ll have to do some research to figure out what rides and restaurants are best for kids their age. If you’ve already been to Walt Disney World, try to remember what their favorites are. Otherwise, talk to friends who have recently been to get some ideas.
Plan the Perfect Disney Surprise Vacation Reveal
We told our kids in the parking garage of the airport – right before we were about to head it. I made sure that I was able to record it, because I knew we’d want to have it saved. While I told the kids that I was recording our “goodbye”, you may need to come up with a better story, depending on the ages of your kids.
You could also reveal by having the kids unwrap a gift – like their MagicBands, Mickey ears, or a Disney t-shirt. I recommend revealing as close as possible to your departure, so the kids immediately have something to look forward to.
Check out our Disney surprise vacation reveal video here, then check out our collection of Walt Disney World vacation tips here.
If you are looking for a hotel for your Walt Disney World vacation, I recommend the following hotels. Note that I have stayed in some of these resorts as part of press trips, but all opinions are my own.
- Disney’s Beach Club
- Disney Swan and Dolphin
- Disney’s Art of Animation
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Gaylord Palms
- JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
- World Center Marriott
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