How to pull off a surprise for an adult

My partner and I have been planning a split stay at Pop and WL for this coming week for a while. I was looking at rooms last night and found a Passholder Discount for AKL for the first part of our trip, so I secretly changed our stay from Pop to AKL.

It actually works out perfectly in so many ways, but now I have to figure out how to keep it a secret and how to do the reveal. We have reservations at Jiko our first night which were already planned. I’d like to go to dinner and then somehow do the surprise and let him know that’s where we are actually staying.

My idea was to slip the valet a note to ask him/her to discretely take our bags to bell services after we go inside, then at the beginning of dinner excuse myself and go check in at the front desk. Then, after dinner, I will say that I want to explore AKL a bit and then magically open our room door with my magic band.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to make this work or make it even better?? I’m scared that the guard at the gate might mention something about checking in and also concerned that the valet might not know what to do with my note.

Is there any way I can coordinate this with AKL staff?

Thanks for any ideas!!

Suppose you leave your bags in the car as if you were checking into Pop after dinner. Don’t let security know you are checking in, don’t let your MBs get scanned (hide them from view), and just say you are there for Jiko. Maybe slip out during dinner and do your check-in suggestion. (Only worry here is you might be gone for a while…alternate is you mention your surprise after dinner and check-in together).

Wonder if things might get complicated if you include bags in the equation.

Alternatively, I wonder if you can call the concierge at the AKL and see what’s possible?

I wouldn’t worry about the bags immediately. If you’ve got things you don’t want to leave in the car, then you’d likely take them in for dinner anyhow. Just tell the guard at the gate that you’re there for dinner, and they’ll let you on in. Then either self park or valet park, have dinner, excuse yourself during the meal to visit the restroom and go check in (but do online checkin ahead of time so that you can quickly zip through that process), and then do the wandering around bit to go find your room. Once you’ve seen the wonder of your room, go grab the bags.

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We just checked into AKL today. The guard didn’t ask for magic band but did ask for ID and that’s the person that gives you your parking pass. Not sure how to go about getting around that. Possibly if you just say you are there for dinner but then they would like scan your MB.

That gives me hope that he won’t give away check in at least! I’ll try to preempt him by saying we’re there for dinner. Tomorrow is the day, so we’ll see how it goes! Not a life-changing surprise but a fun little change of plans at least.


Oh fun… we’ll be at AKL until Saturday. Say hi if you see us!

If you say you are there for just dinner, wouldn’t the guard just take a quick peak at the id and not compare it against the check-in list?

I’ve had them scan my magic band and make event specific comments before even asking why I’m there such as “checking in today?” or “on your way to 'Ohana?”

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If they don’t see you have a MagicBand, they won’t try to scan it. (We often go to resorts for dinner, and as locals, we often aren’t wearing MBs – they just look at the ID, see it matches the person, and wave you on in). The only exception might be if you’re going to an Epcot resort during peak times where parking is at a premium, where they might require proof of reservation. What you can do to avoid having to show a MB is to show your printout of your reservation confirmation e-mail and hand that to him first. At that point, the guard might not even ask for ID, but if s/he does, they’ll compare it to the e-mail.

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