I admit, I stole the subject line from @Hoopsters. I was utterly perplexed by his/her 'what’s up with all the babies" post, having myself taken a 9 month old to WDW (because we very intentionally wanted to take his older 6.5 year brother to WDW in that ‘sweet spot’ age-range). Sooo many reasons to bring a baby, and I viewed this post as teetering very closely on the judgey side.
Then, the whole post got me to thinking: I too might be in that same ‘judgey’ zone, just on a different topic. Yikes.
So, here it goes. There is a ton of research that says that most, if not all, of the benefits of a vacation accrue in the planning / anticipation of the vacation itself. See link below. I doubt we even need the link to the study on this forum, given the overwhelming anecdotal support from all the tweets, posts, and chats from liners regarding countdowns to WDW…i.e. 16 days, 1 day, 499 days, 300 days.
So, why do sooo many people choose to surprise their kiddos, spouse, or loved one with a WDW trip? Or any vacation for that matter? Every time a colleague tells me they are surprising their kids on xmas day with an immediate ‘going to the airport now’ trip to WDW, I first cringe, and then compose myself with cheers and high fives and effusive exclaimers of well-done.
What I am really thinkng is how much anticipation and joy will likely be lost for the whole family related to things like: catching up for weeks on end on the many Disney movies never watched/not remembered (from Dumbo to Pirates), seeing kiddos become so responsible/serious when they are tasked with/allowed to plan one day of the trip, watching kiddos studiously set aside their clothes, swim suits and goggles in the weeks leading up to a trip so that “Mom doesn’t forget to pack it,” observing kiddos as they empty their piggy banks and carefully count their money to place in their wallets for their souvenirs, enjoying weekly trips to the library to check out disney books, from Pooh to Monsters, Inc, etc. etc. The list of cool things to do around prepping for any trip is endless, whether a national park, camping trip or beach vacation.
Here’s a link on this topic, but you can google it and find a ton of results in main stream media.
What are everyone’s thoughts? I am genuninely interested in understanding surprise vacations.