Tuesday, February 24, 2015

See ya Real Soon! Disney World Reveal Ideas

How are you going to tell your kids you're going to Disney World?
Whether it's a once-in-a-lifetime trip or you've visited before, something this special deserves a ceremonious unveiling and can help build anticipation.

Let me take this moment to share a few links to the entire Disney World Planning Series:
Disney World Planning Guide (Choosing a time, resort, etc.)
Disney World Tips & Tricks for Making the Most of the Magic (10 Best Tips, incl. Fastpass+ info.)
Disney Dining Tips (Dining Plan, ADR Recommendations) 
Disney with a Baby/Toddler (including packing list)
Packing for Disney (including ways to save $ & time)
Disney World Touring Guide (which parks when, how many days)
Magic Kingdom Touring Guide (1 day & 2 day plans)
Port Orleans Riverside Review (Room for 5)

Now, here's 2 of my favorite way to reveal:
The iconic "WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD" Day-Of surprise.
We surprised our kids on the morning we left & it was quite memorable.
This method obviously requires major restraint & effort. We had to get to the mailbox before they did when Magic Bands & Magical Express packages arrived and often conceal mailings with wording that would have revealed the secret. We also had to pack the entire family & stow the evidence completely in secret.
Here's how we revealed the surprise:
We went about the morning routine: dressed for school, packing lunches, and eating breakfast. I had packed three shoe boxes (1 for each kid) with Disney paraphernalia as clues: glow sticks, sunglasses, water bottle, Disney trinkets, Disney apparel, placing the most obvious: the autograph book (purchased at Disney Store) & trading pins (purchased on prior trips & from Amazon) on the bottom. On the top of each box I pasted a word & together it spelled out: We're Going To. 
While they were sitting at the island for breakfast, my husband casually asked them what they wanted to do today. School, was the natural reaction, because they suspected nothing. "But if you could choose, what would you do today?" Funny enough my son whispered, "Go to Disney World" into his youngest sister's ear to get her to say it out loud. And we told them we have an idea & gave them each a box.
Dancing & jumping for joy erupted! I'd even had a Disney station playing on Pandora through the whole thing, (that was pretty typical for us) and turned it up for celebrating the surprise! We showed them the Magic Bands, in an official box (which were still in the testing phase at this point) and they further added to the excitement.

One word of caution for a day-of surprise, depending on the age of your child, you may not want to pull a bait & switch-i.e.: say, "We're going to grandmas house" & then instead pull up at the airport & surprise them with Disney. Children have been known to cry over the overwhelming change.

A Countdown Chain
As much as I enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime type thrill of surprising them on the morning we were leaving, I missed the build up of anticipation we've shared prior to other trips. I enjoy pouring over details with them, getting books from the library, and watching You Tube videos of attractions.
We made a countdown chain that sat with a plush Sorcerer Mickey & a box of Magic Bands to reveal another trip. Clues led them to a room that had this all set up. It was a thrill! 
The countdown chain (an idea I found on Pinterest, but unsure of original designer) was super easy to make. I free-handed Mickey ears on black construction paper & folded them to make the Mickey link, and pasted white circles (made with a hole punch) on the red link to represent his pants.
On the inside of each link I wrote a detail about our trip to reveal little by little each day & build anticipation.
I have to say, this is the most enjoyable reveal for me. I felt my little kids (under 5) were overwhelmed by the "day of" reveal. Decide how long of a countdown is appropriate for your kids', depending on their ages. Three weeks is plenty long enough for us; 21 links in our chain looks like a lifetime to 5 year-old!
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