How should we tell our kids we're going to Disney World!

Hi! I’m looking for ways to surprise our kids that we are going to Disney World! They are 4 1/2 and almost 3, and it will be their first time going. We are visiting the last week of June, and so we will probably announce it to them some time next week, as I want to have time for them to see videos and get excited and prepared!

How have you announced to your kids?


The first time we went, I doctored a Garfield comic in the Sunday papers that offered a clue - it was funny to see the light bulb slowly go off over their heads after they read it.

2nd trip I created an elaborate scavenger hunt - you can read some info and see some graphics on my old trip report post:

For our upcoming trip we went much simpler - right before we loaded the live stream for the new fireworks last week, I loaded up the “select your Magic Band colors” page on the big TV screen and let it sink in. :slight_smile:


Your kids are young. I’d go with a Mickey or Minnie plushie that they can keep and look at as a reminder of their trip. Also, have a phone call from Mickey to come and visit. You could put the plushies in a box, like it was mailed to you and have them each open their package after the phone call.

I did see one idea - on this board, I think - where someone hired a princess to come and invite them to her castle.

1 Like

I’ve seen pictures of a Disney type “advent” calendar that parents gift to the kiddos a couple months before the trip

i am trying to see how far we can get with my kids (7 and 4). I can explain the plane to florida, as my parents are snow birds, and spend time there. I think the magical express is going to blow it for me. I was hoping to get to the poly or even within view of the castle!

Something fun would be to fill a cardboard box with blown-up balloons, and have a big “invitation” inside that invites the kids personally to come and visit. You could include any other gift or even a Disney movie inside. Then put it on your front step and tell the kids a delivery has come for them.

We’ve been talking about Disney for a while in my family, so we didn’t surprise the kids with the trip itself, but we’ll do a countdown as we get closer and I’m going to do Tinker Bell gifts in the hotel each night.

1 Like

If I remember correctly, when I rode the Magical Express, the driver announced when we were officially in Disney World, pointed out the sign, and everyone clapped. Pretty sure that’s a dead giveaway.

1 Like

I love that! My cousins did that with their kids once - straight up did not tell them they were going. Huge surprise!! Also cut down on the crazy anticipation :slight_smile:

1 Like

i’m not going to be mad if they find out. I have no big reveal planned, just to see how far we can get. if its on the bus its on the bus.

1 Like

I just popped over and read your trip report- love it!

1 Like

so just throwing this out there. My brother and sister in-law “surprised” their kids with a trip to WDW. Nephew was around 7. They lived in DC and had noted that they were going to the National Aquarium. Bing Bang Boom they end up at BWI and end up at the gate that says ORLANDO.

My brother says “HEY we aren’t going to the National Aquarium - we are going to WDW” - to which my nephew replied “So you lied about the Aquarium? We don’t lie in our house. I really wanted to go to the Aquarium. Will we go to the Aquarium after we get back from WDW”.

So just advise against a last minute surprise - you never know what the response will be.

We basically announce - We are going to WDW!!! and that is it. We let the kids help “plan” but that usually has a pretty short life. I personally like keeping things simple - I don’t understand the whole “we need to make this extra extra super duper special” - especially at a younger age. I know I may be grumpy old man here. But I personally think it is getting crazy all the pre, and post and everything needs to be 100% super awesome.

1 Like

This is similar to one comment above, but for our first visit, we bought the kids each an inexpensive set of luggage for their birthdays (which are 2 weeks apart). At their party, we had them open their presents, and when they opened their suitcases, a Mickey and Minnie balloon flew out. We had a typed up fancy note in each saying “Have fun at Walt Disney World!” At first they thought it was a joke, but when they realized it was real, they were so excited! Have fun!


We tried the wake up - surprise trip once when our kids were small and we were heading to Dutch Wonderland in PA.

Daughter was 6 and when she realized she wasn’t going to be able to sleep in her own bed that night she had a complete melt down that lasted more than an hour.

No more last minute surprises after that! Although at 10 I think she’d probably handle it better now. :wink:

Ha - we are right near Dutch Wonderland (well an hour away)

1 Like


Never used this personally however saw someone had typed a letter in Disney Font to their children from MM inviting them to WDW, obviously sent through the mail. You never know you may be able to get someone (on here) to post them from Disney to arrive in time.



We had friends who, some years ago, wanted to surprise their kids with a trip to Disney World. They secretly packed everything up in the van after the kids were in bed, thinking they’d surprise the kids in the morning when they were getting ready for school.

Well, over night, the van, which had been parked in the driveway, was broken into. Their stuff was gone and instead of a happy surprise, they were combing the area for any of their things and filing a police report. They made it to their flight and they did find their stuff (who wants suitcases of clothes) in an alley, but it wasn’t a great start.