Planning a Surprise Trip to Disney? Here’s Help!

WDW Surprise Trip Idea

With the Holidays soon approaching I’ve noticed more and more people planning surprise trips to Disney.  Surprise Trips are some of my favorite to help plan, and I always love hearing the creative ideas that people come up with to surprise their families, and also hear what works – and what doesn’t.

If you are considering surprising your family with a trip to Disney here are a few ideas of ways to execute the big reveal, (also be sure to check out Pinterest as there are tons of super cute ideas there as well!)

  • Create a scavenger hunt with Disney themed clues along the way.
  • Fill a toy box or other container with Disney-themed helium balloons. Have a message for the big reveal attached to one of the balloons
  • Hand each child a package filled with Disney park maps or brochures, or an empty photo album labeled “Disney vacation pictures.”
  • For holiday surprises, visit the Disney Store and create a personalized Disney tree ornament
  • Order personalized ear hats, autograph books, personalized T-shirts, or other vacation essentials and put it together as a gift package.
  • Make a crossword puzzle or word search with all Disney-related clues.
  • For a spring trip, hide clues inside plastic Easter eggs prior to a family egg hunt.
  • Have “Mickey” send an invitation to the trip via USPS.
  • Write a “We’re Going to Disney World” message in soap on their bathroom mirror. They’ll have a fun surprise when they wake up!


Fun with Foodimage_thumb104

  • Order customizable fortune cookies with a surprise message.
  • Serve your child a meal of all Mickey-shaped food. Hide a reveal message under their plate, or finish with a cake decorate with a “We’re going to Disney World” message.
  • Order or bake a pizza that is Mickey shaped or inspired and decorate it with toppings to spell out your message.


Reveal on Route

If you’re driving or flying to Disney, you can reveal the trip en route. You may want to do this by:

  • Asking the child to input a WDW address into your GPS.
  • Telling the child that you’re heading to a different destination. See how long it takes for them to realize you’re going in the wrong direction. (You can invent some sort of reason to be traveling – “headed to grandma’s house” etc.)
  • Create a car bingo game featuring only items that can be found on the way to Disney.
  • Decorate the exterior of the car with Disney related magnets/stickers/chalk.
  • Invent a non-Disney reason to be headed to the airport (dropping mom/dad off for a business trip, etc.)
  • Ask child to check the gate number on the ticket. He’ll see the Orlando destination.


Remember when planning a Surprise Reveal…

Keep the age(s) of your kids in mind, and don’t get your hopes up too much!  Sometimes a big reveal can turn out to be a little less than exciting for some kids.  Often, I think this boils down to the kids either not knowing how to react in this kind of situation as well as simply not having enough knowledge about what it is they are supposed to be excited about!

My advice is to try and cater your reveal to the age/knowledge level of your kids.  In addition, have lots of education on hand during or after the reveal so everyone can start to better understand what they can expect from this vacation.  I recommend watching Disney ride videos together on YouTube, or having a Disney Planning DVD or park maps and brochures on hand so that you can go through the information together as a family.  This way you can all start to talk about what rides and attractions will do on your must-see and must-do lists! If you would like for me to send you copies of Disney park maps, brochures, or a planning DVD, contact me at

Also, when planning how to do your big reveal and when to do it keep in mind how much advance planning (or not) you’d like to do together as a family.  For many people the anticipation of a vacation is half the fun. Also, some kids may be more excited to go on the trip if they have more time to absorb the idea of it, and are able to make their must-see list in advance. However, if this is your 10th trip to Disney as a family that’s where a big reveal once you are driving down the interstate might work just fine!



About annayott

I'm a Travel Planner with Dream Come True Vacations!
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