Looking for that perfect holiday gift this year? Surprise your family with a Disney vacation!
Whether your family loves the thrills of the theme parks, or prefers a relaxing trip to the beach, Disney offers something for everyone on your list.
Many people love to make their Disney plans a surprise. Spontaneous or well planned, the holiday season provides a great opportunity to surprise the kids with a trip to see Mickey and the gang.
Following are just a few ideas of how to pull off the surprise.
Wrap it up
Create a gift basket filled with things you’ll need for the trip. Beach towels, favorite character t-shirts, autograph books and Disney pins and lanyards for little traders, are popular items to include.
Hunt for Clues
Scavenger hunts are fun for kids and grown-ups alike. There are lots of different ways to do this. For the little ones, use pictures or letters to help them search for clues around the house. Older kids might enjoy solving riddles or rhymes to help direct them to the next clue’s location. For puzzle lovers, you can include clues on the back of puzzle pieces and once they’re all collected, piece together a Disney character or personalized message revealing the news.
Tell a Story
Personalized storybooks are another creative tool to share the news. You can write and illustrate the story of your family’s Disney adventure, or go online and create your story, complete with professionally illustrated photos, available through several photo-sharing sites.
Serving a Disney-themed meal, is a great way to reveal the news, or get your family excited about an upcoming Disney trip. Mickey-shaped pancakes or waffles for breakfast; Mickey-shaped chicken nuggets and cheese snacks for dinner, or Disney fruit snacks are fun foods to serve.
Character calls are exciting for kids. You can sign up to receive a character call for your child’s birthday through the Disney Junior website, and you can also register for character calls as a perk of your Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line vacation packages.
Last Christmas, we surprised our daughters with a trip to Walt Disney World a couple of months later. We are frequent Disney visitors, so I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to pull off a surprise.
We utilized a few of the ideas above to share the news. First, I created some Mickey head die cuts, with a different letter on each that would spell out the news. We created envelopes with clues leading the girls to the next location, and placed a few letters in each.
We saved this activity until after the rest of their Christmas gifts were opened, and they had so much fun racing around the house to collect clues. When they found all of the clues; they unscrambled the letters to reveal, “We are going to Disney World.” The last clue directed them to a large box containing a Disney calendar with the date of our trip circled, and lots of goodies for the upcoming vacation.
I thought they would know after a couple of clues, but they actually had to think about it, and didn’t fully figure out what was happening until they had pieced it all together! We topped it all off with a call from one of their favorite Disney characters, timed so the call would be received after they had pieced together the clues and opened the package with their Disney goodies.
Other families have surprised their kids with a sign on their bedroom doors, or even getting in the car for school and driving to the airport instead!
There are so many fun ways to surprise your family with a Disney vacation. The most important thing is to KNOW your kids before you try to do this. Do your kids like hidden surprises? Are they flexible, or will the sudden news that their daily plans have changed be overwhelming to them? Timing is everything – don’t try to surprise your kids when they are tired or cranky, or distracted with something else. Unfortunately, some kids may not react to the news the way you had hoped.
Choose your strategy carefully, and have fun with the surprise!
Need help planning your family’s dream Disney vacation? I can help!
With discounts and promotions currently available for Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Hawaii, I can help you plan an affordable vacation that’s right for your family. And no need to worry about the details: I can help with dining reservations, itineraries and plans for touring the parks.
Walt Disney World discounts are currently available for travel dates through mid-April 2014, so whether you’re looking for winter fun, or a Spring Break getaway, contact me and let’s put together the perfect surprise for your family.
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