Surprise-- You're going to Disney!!! There's nothing better than watching the smile on your little one's face grow until they are bursting with excitement...they get to meet Mickey! So -- how in the world can you plan an amazing surprise without tipping your hand!
Here are 5 ways to get to get you started on the path to "Surprise Success"!
#1: After School Surprise!
This is a great option if you are leaving during the school week. Kids will wake up on a "normal" day - toothbrushing, breakfast and drop the kids off at school. Then, it's anything BUT normal for you! Once you're home, it's time to raid your closet and the kids drawers for the appropriate number of shorts, t-shirts, bathing suits etc. Pick up time!! When you pick your little's up from school, wear matching Disney family shirts, or hats to meet them and "Surprise! We're going to Disney TODAY!"
- Buy your matching shirts, hats etc. at least 3 weeks prior, so they are ready to go!
- Have a "Packing Checklist" to make the actual packing day go fast! (see me if you need one -- my daughter calls me the checklist Queen!)
#2: Sweet Morning Surprise!
If you are leaving on a weekend, you can start your morning with a "non traditional" breakfast, or end an evening with a sweet treat the night before the trip. Not only do you get crazy smiles as they get in the Disney spirit, but the fact that you are willingly giving them sweets is an added bonus!!! Arrange your sweets at the table and have a proclamation declaring "The _____ Family is Going to Disney!"
- order your cupcakes, etc ahead of time (If you are in the Chicagoland area -- I totally recommend Miss Joan's Cupcakes -- they are amazing!)
- write and print out your family "Proclamation"
#3: Holiday Surprise
Coupling your Disney surprise with a holiday is a great way to double the excitement! For trips to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you can fill stockings with either Disney themed maps (let me know if you need any!), ornaments, small puzzles etc. You can also wrap a present filled with Mickey autograph books, Magic Bands, stuffed animals, or even Disney balloons! For a cruise -- schedule your character call for the holiday morning!
- acquire your "present" items ahead of time (If you are thinking about maps - Disney does not ship these -- give me a call and I can send some to you!)
- if "packing" balloons - be sure to pre-order if you have something specific in mind (sometimes local party stores run out of certain themes at the holidays)
#4: Scavenger Hunt!
This one is especially great for a summer day! Wake up in the morning with their first clue at the breakfast table. You can make your hunt as long, or as short as you want. At each "stop" have a different clue getting them ready for the big Disney reveal at the end! There are a ton of Scavenger Hunt ideas on Pinterest. I have a fun one shared with me for a Valentine's Disney Cruise reveal -- this could be modified for any holiday or birthday - let me know if you would like a copy!
- Type up the Scavenger Hunt ahead of time
- Hide the prizes / scavenger goodies around the house
#5: Disney Countdown
If your little ones have a hard time with change and immediate surprises, this is a great option to let them get excited, but not overwhelm them with a sudden trip. You can "Surprise" them well in advance -- then share the excitement together as you count down the days until you leave. You can make changing the dates a morning, or an evening fun family event!
- Design your countdown (I have templates for the Christmas and countdown and the "regular" countdown - let me know if you would like a copy!)
Thank you to all my friends and fellow Ears of Experience agents that have shared their surprise ideas!! If you have a favorite surprise I'd love for you to share your "Magic" with us!
Monica Clark, your