Thursday, May 26, 2016

Surprising the Kids with Disney - and Why We Will Never Do It Again!


Our last Walt Disney World Resort visit was a bit different. The kids had NO IDEA they were going until we were leaving for the airport.

I am sure you have seen the awesome online videos of parents surprising their kids with trips to Walt Disney World. I cry every time I watch. The excitement and joy - it's all too much to bare! We thought, how amazing would that be?! And so, about a year ago, Mr. Incredible and I decided next time - we will surprise our kids with their next visit. 

We pulled the whole thing off perfectly. The boys knew Mr. Incredible and I were going to visit, as we told them I was going for a work conference and the rest of the week was adults only. This wasn't impossible for them to believe as we visited without them just this past October. (Go ahead and judge. I can't hear you because I am having too much fun without my kids...) The 'plan' was they were going to GiGi and Papa's house while mom and dad were away. This also helped with the fact that they had bags packed and ready to go. Pretty sweet plan, right? The morning finally came and here is the big surprise!


video

Epic, right? So... why will I never surprise them again?

You know the old saying, "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.'? Even though our trip was amazing, it was glaringly obvious that we were missing something. Our entire family works together to plan our visits. We watch YouTube videos together, look at park maps together (why I have no idea because even the kids no longer need them), plan what we are going to eat, and talk about what we are looking forward to. What new things do we want to try? What will we say to the characters?  (For ideas on this check out my guest post on Growing Up Madison.) What colors should our Magic Bands be? Should we get matching shirts? (This is me. The answer is always no. I get them anyhow.) Where should we stay? Anticipating our Disney World trip together offers us something we can do as a family. We dream the day away and spend precious time together planning the best days ever. I can picture doing this as one big extended family when the boys are grown up and have their own families. I would have them over for dinner and plan out what the grand kids would love to see and do. And then we roast marshmallows over a campfire and sing Kumbayah. I know it's beautiful isn't it?

I took away this part of our trip from all of us. There was no bounding out of bed seeing who will say how many days we have left first. No carefully selecting which pins will come with that will be traded. No running to the mailbox to see if our magical package of MagicBands has arrived. 

So how can I get the best of both worlds next time? I will perhaps surprise the boys again - but probably when we book the trip. This way I can present the trip to them in an exciting way and STILL have fun anticipating our magical trip together.

Have you ever surprised your children with a Disney World vacation or anything else huge? How did it go for you?

24 comments:

  1. We surprised them the very first time we went but even then it wasn't that much of a surprise because they had seen the videos lol. I think the only one who can truly be surprised now is Madison and even she's a tough sell. :D

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  2. We haven't ever surprised our little ones. It is just so much fun to see their excitement and do a countdown chain together.

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    1. EXACTLY! Spreading out the excitement together is the way to go!

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  3. That makes so much sense that you didn't get to have the memory of planning everything out with your boys. When I was younger i love to plan out everything with my mom before we took vacations, it's al about the whole experience that makes it more memorable.

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    1. And I like to think we are teaching them great planning skills. :)

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  4. Before we went to Disney we binged watched almost every Disney movie and made our own creative autograph books for when we met the characters. It was so much fun and it was a great way to keep the excitement building for me and the kids! I can't keep a secret that huge so no surprises for my kiddos! lol!!

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  5. That such a great reflection! Just think of it this way, it was only once and from now on you can enjoy the family planning!

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  6. We have surprised our kids with a trip to Disneyland (that one didn't go so well at all) and we surprised them last Christmas with a trip to Disney world. That went a little better... but I totally agree with you. The excitement and buildup is so much better when you involve the kids in your plans!

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  7. It must tough to keep the secret knowing that you lose the excitement from your kids on planning together the trip. I hope you had wonderful time though with your family in Disney World.

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  8. We surprised our daughter with tickets to Disney World on her 12th birthday, her reaction wasn't as excited as I'd hoped. Thankfully, as we got closer to our trip and while we were there she was beyond excited, as were our littles, but I wanted a Disney commercial reaction from her.
    Kudos to you for keeping your secret so long, we still had a month before we left.
    www.mrsaokaworkinprogress.com

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  9. My son (now 13) told me in no uncertain terms that I was never allowed to surprise him. He would be devastated if he couldn't help ap with the planning. That said, I try to have surprises for each family member within the trip. That works much better for us. Once we told my son we were going for a long weekend at Food & Wine - Epcot only. Then surprised him with MNSSHP tickets on his birthday. Once I surprised the family with a split stay at AKL. The really funny part was when we were made FOD and upgraded to a 2-bedroom suite and it took me half an hour to convince my husband that I *hadn't* planned that part.

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    1. OH wow... that is a GREAT problem to have! I wouldn't care if he didn't believe me. HA!

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  10. That is exactly how my kids would act and I would be upset. My boys don't act excited about anything...they are monotone just like their father. Ugh....I think the fun is in the planning and the count down too. :-)

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  11. My sin hates surprises so we try not to do them. But I love how excited your kids were.

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    1. It was pretty epic!!! :) My oldest cried all the way to the airport.

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  12. I have wanted to surprise the kids, but I cannot keep a secret and I will miss the trip planning with them too much.

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    1. I am pretty sure holding that all in has taken weeks off my life span...

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  13. I have never tried to surprise my daughter with a trip - she always knows well in advance. It would be fun, though, I am horrible at keeping such a fun secret like that. Lol.

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    1. We slipped up quite a few times. I am honestly surprised they didn't figure it out.

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  14. I've never surprised my kids with a disney trip. They were too much help with the planning.

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  15. I love how honest and open you are about it! I would love to surprise my kids with this but I have a big mouth and cant keep a secret.

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  16. I think the anticipation is so much fun! I would love to do this someday. I love to surprise my kids, because when they are truly surprised it is epic. I can understand if you enjoy the count down together as a family that would be difficult to give up.

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  17. I can relate to this! One of my favorite parts of a trip is the planning and researching beforehand. The anticipation certainly adds something special to a trip!

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