How should I break the news to my daughters when it's time to go to WDW?

This was exactly why we didn’t do it the first time. One of my daughters would likely have taken it in stride. The other - not so much.

I know that as we get closer, it will be incredibly hard for me to keep it a secret. One thing I do though is I talk about Disney with my kids. And I know one thing they don’t - they will have the viewpoint of a 6 year old going. I know their tastes will change, but they are still thinking they will want to do lots of kiddie rides, but will change to want to do more other things.

Last trip, we did clues around the house that led to our bedroom. They opened the door to find our bed covered with all of their Disney stuffies. They loved it. Cried happy tears.

It worked for our family, but that’s just it - it worked for our family.

This time my DD is helping us plan the trip, but doesn’t know when it will be. So she has a say in property (she gave us a list of top 3), dinings (she made a top 10 list), etc, but no idea when we are going or what we selected. My DS will just be happy to go. So a little bit of help this time, but still some element of surprise.

Best of luck with whatever you decide! It will be magical no matter what!

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That’s brilliant. I like that idea too. I guess since I have so many good options, I have to do that number of trips, right?


I’ve never understood the concept of not telling your kids until the day of or the day before. I don’t have kids so I can’t speak out of first hand knowledge, but I would think they would get a lot more enjoyment out of the anticipation of going than the 1 minute shock and awe of learning they were going today.I would also want them to be part of the planning (if they were old enough) or if they have never been before, prepare them a bit by telling them about the different parks, what kind of things are there, etc. Two years out is probably too far, but I would “let them in on it” at least by the 60 day window - if not the 180 if you are planning ADRs. But that’s just me…


You and your wife know your girls best so why not go for the surprise if that’s what you want to do. Option 2 sounds really fun to me.

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But…but…it makes it so much harder to post a video on social media of the shock and awe if parents did it your way!

Which is another way of saying…I agree with you…the building anticipation of the trip, to me, is more enjoyable than a brief moment of surprise. I mean, obviously that’s true for the adults, or else we all wouldn’t be on these forums! I think my wife would hate it if I came home from work one day and said, “Oh, honey, by the way. Pack your bags! We’re headed to Disney World!” She’d be surprised, all right, but also more than a little bummed that she wasn’t part of the planning for it.

Still, despite this, I also see why it is fun for parents to do the whole surprise thing. Just don’t do it to ME! :smiley:


I like the open a present and have a mickey with magic bands–I mean it is their birthday :slight_smile: I’d love to surprise my kids but I get so excited planning that I really couldn’t keep it a secret.

And also, I once surprised my oldest two kids with a trip to the zoo in another town as I didn’t want to tell them we were going if it rained and we canceled. Let’s just say, it did NOT end well. But I love the idea of a surprise trip especially if they have been before so they would be excited and not apprehensive.

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I like your option 2. But as others have warned surprises don’t always turn out as planned. I surprised my DS (then 10) last summer with a long weekend trip to Disney. I packed everything without his knowledge and then woke him up the morning we left. I gave him a gift bag with a Disney shirt and a magic band. He looked at me and asked when we were leaving. I said now. He started crying. Not the reaction I was hoping for.


Some of my favorite videos are the “WDW Reveal Fails” :smiley:


Our 3rd or 4th trip to DLR I surprised our kids by waking them up a 5 am and telling them to get dressed. Both groaned (first day of summer break), until I told them we were going to Disneyland! You have never seen two kids hop out of bed so fast. But alas no pictures or video, just a fun memory. I realize it is not for everyone (it is not even for us all the time), but not all of us do it to share on social media. My mom used to do that with us, just wake us up and throw us in the car and go to wherever we were headed (never a theme park though, she hated them). Those are some of my favorite memories as a kid. We also surprised them by having my sister join us and upgraded to park view club level room. It was one of our favorite trips. I do acknowledge that there is not nearly the level of planning involved with a DLR trip as there is with WDW.


How far are you from WDW?

Will you drive or fly?

We surprised our granddaughter by letting her think we were picking someone up at the airport. (1 hour from our house) When we got there we showed her the hidden luggage and surprised her.

surprising people is the greatest.

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I live about 2 hours from my parents. We will drive there the night before, and srive down which is about a 10 hour drive.