I'm Pretty Ticked

When I first started my reservation process and put down my down payment in September, I told the cast member to send any paperwork to my work address. My 13 year-old is very observant and one of his chores is to go to the mailbox every day. I couldn’t risk him seeing this once-in-a-lifetime surprise we were planning to reveal on Christmas day. After paying off our balance, I called again to make sure that our welcome package would not come to our home.

Guess what? It came to our home today. He saw it.

He didn’t open it, but he was asking all about it. To make matters worse, his buddy - whose parents aren’t keeping their separate trip a surprise - was showing off his welcome package the week before. So I’m more than slightly sure he knows what’s up.

I called and complained and warned them not to send ANYTHING ELSE to my house. The CM was very apologetic, but I’m still stuck with a ruined surprise.

It sucks because we never do big vacations. Cabin trips in the mountains, beach camping, and house boat once. We even chose to do the WDW thing instead of a 20th anniversary trip to Europe because the surprise was going to be so tremendous.

Sorry for the vent, but I know I’ll find some kindreds and maybe some rock-solid advice for putting up a cloud of confusion over this Disney flub.

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Unfortunately, you are dealing with a large organization with multiple people who don’t all have access to the same information.

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First, I completely understand your frustration! Feel free to vent, you’re right that this is a good spot.

I did a surprise trip this past August, and one thing I learned about my kids is that because it was the last thing they expected, it never even occurred to them to think it was possible. Even as we were telling them to get ready for the airport! We had many near giveaways and it still just didn’t sink in. If you’ve never done a huge surprise trip before, it’s probably not something that he even thinks is an option. It’s like when you see your neighbor at the gym or something - you brain doesn’t even recognize them because it’s so out of context.

I would not consider it a ruined surprise unless he confronts you and says that he knows. Even if he wonders, it’s not the same as a ruined surprise. Plus, recent research shows that people get more pleasure out of the anticipation of an exciting event than actually doing it, so he will have a lot of time between now and Christmas to anticipate whether and when you might be going, which will probably enhance his excitement, not detract from it.

Last thought, if he does bring it up, I’d first be like “huh, I don’t know if I saw that.” Then I’d say “Oh, yeah, that - it was junk mail with advertisements, it went straight into the recycling bin.” Disney sends tons of junk mail and this is just more of it.


That’s terrible, @thechindo. In my family, even the tiniest secrets are impossible to keep (if I had a dollar for every movie ending my DH/DDad/DBro ruined for me, I’d always stay club level :wink:), so I’ve never been part of such a grand surprise. But I do know what’s it like to triple and quadruple check something, and still see it get messed up because of factors beyond your control. I’m sorry!

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If you confirm that he indeed knows without a doubt you are going, then simply make him part of the planning. Kids love to help plan and have input into what happens on the trip. Hope it works out.


I am sorry that this happened. But do find a way to turn it around.

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That would drive me nuts.

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Yes, go with the junk mail! Pick it up in front of him and say “an ad for a great vacation - but a trillion $”. Or let him have surprise now and help plan.


Thanks for the co-misery folks. It looks like he’s none the wiser, but he could be doing an act. We’re gonna stay the course as though it didn’t happen.

But here’s the snow job we’re planning in case he gets nosey. I had toyed with the idea of joining DVC earlier last month, so they sent me 2 or 3 packages along the way. As soon as he hints that he thinks he knows something, DW and I will pull those out on the dining room table while he’s doing homework nearby, talk about them in good cop/bad cop style, and then I’ll decide it’s way too expensive and toss the package all within his sight.

So, here’s a fresh question… how do I turn Disney’s mistake into my upgrade? Any suggestions?

You’re kidding, right?


Um, no, @MDU. Not kidding. :blush:

What do you know that I don’t?

It just seems like an innocent mistake on Disney’s part. It sucks, but you seem to have the situation under control. The surprise could have been ruined, but not the vacation. I wouldn’t expect compensation, but that’s just my opinion. I wouldn’t get your hopes up, is all.
Again, this is just how I feel. And what I would or wouldn’t expect. I go more than a few times a year, so I’m a little more tolerant.


Ahhh. That makes sense. I’m not usually hard on customer service, but I am looking to make the most of this never-before-never-again vacation, so maybe I am being a little greedy. :wink:

I would go online and request information from different vacations and resorts (Not Disney). Let your mailbox be flooded with vacation stuff. Even states will send out visitor guided for free. Maybe the Disney stuff will just blend in.



There’s a lot of truth in that @Iheartepcot. There a lot of us here who think planning is certainly half the fun.

I’m really sorry Disney blew that one. However it goes, what a big thrill for you and your family. Hope you have a great trip!

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That sounds great. Maybe get your son’s opinion on the different places too? Get him thinking about what he would want to do if he went to Disney or New York or the Everglades etc. I think getting his head into planning, even if he thinks it’s a fantasy trip, will be fun for him too.

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Just popping in to say, your new pic is awesome @MDU!

I keep telling my son we are going in two years so even if he point blank asks, you can say yes, and say you are leaving in summer or whatever.

Double check your MB shipping address. I have all our stuff coming to my office as well but I didn’t rely on someone on the phone. Mistakes still happen but try to minimize them yourself.

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We comprised for our first Disney trip with the kids - we wanted to involve them in the planning but wanted to surprise them too. We simply added a week to the countdown chain so the kids thought we were going a week later than we actually were. They had all their must dos and which parks we were going to each day and all our dining reservations listed - it was just a week later than when we were actually going (I had the real dates of things hidden in my planning binder and they never went on MDE). Honestly, I have a 12 year old DS and I can’t imagine doing a completely surprise trip without any of his input. He’d be too upset about missing whatever he had planned in his life - boy scouts, friends etc to throw himself completely into the trip. The one week early surprise was AWESOME!!! They were so shocked and excited when we showed up at the school wearing our ears to head to the airport. The night before we left my middle son had actually said to me “I can’t believe how organized you are mom - can’t believe we are actually packed a week in advance.” They had no idea but still got to have all the fun.