Ways to surprise older kids with trip

We are bringing our 13 and 15 year old sons to Disney this August. We want to tell them this weekend. I have a planning book for each, but would like to make it special and exciting. They haven’t been for 5 years and have been begging to go back. Any suggestions on a fun way to tell them? Last time we did a big scavenger hunt, but if we do that again, they will know right away.

We don’t do Easter Egg hunts at all in our family, but since many people do, if you do, you could have some plastic eggs hidden as part of the hunt that hold clues that, once all together, make it clear it is Walt Disney World in August.

Another option would be to tie a secret note or clue to everyday objects they use (such as a toothbrush) that they will discover as their day progresses. (Trying to make the clues least obvious with the objects they would use first, to most obvious last.)

So, let’s say their normal routine would be to come downstairs and eat breakfast, perhaps have one clue that says, “August,” in the drawer with cereal spoons. Then, they brush teeth, so next clue there. Finally, they go play video games or watch TV. Use the remote or something.

That kind of thing.

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Could you somehow present the books as “summer reading”? Like maybe sit them down all serious and tell them you have talked to their teachers about work to do over the summer to keep them on track. Then give them the books wrapped in brown paper or just in brown bags and let them know that these are the books their teachers suggested, and they need to spend some time coming up with a reading schedule to make sure they are able to read it all by end of summer… (I’m a teacher so this is where my mind went)


I’ve often imagined reveals, myself.
I could see a small package with “random” items to have them bring their minds collectively to the surprise. Either the same things in each box, or everyone getting different items.

Small wood plane. An alligator or an orange. Sunscreen. Fake “gems” for one, honey for another, tiara, small stuffed clownfish, etc. See who puts it together.