Surprising your kids with a trip to Disney

Surprising your kids with a trip to Disney is awesome, but coming up with how to do the big reveal can be tricky.  Do your kids like surprises?  If they have never been before are they going to understand how exciting it is?  Here are some creative ways to let your kids know that they will soon be in the most magical place on earth!



Scavenger Hunt

We love to do scavenger hunts – we have one of those Pirate Treasure games where you have to find the clues and then eventually get the prize.  You could let one up around your house with Disney-esque clues such as “Look out for the ticktock Crocodile” (your alarm clock), “It is Snow White’s least favorite fruit” (Apple), “Where would you find Cinderella’s favorite footwear?” (closet/shoe rack), “What Rapunzel needs for her hair” (hair brush), “101 Dalmatians would sleep here” (dog’s bed), or “Where Woody and Buzz hang out” (play room).  Then the last one is “Where Mickey lives” and tell them they are going to Disney World!

Eeeek it’s a Mouse!

If your kids are a little older, purchase a Mickey Mouse plush at your local Disney Store and hide it in the pantry or laundry room with a big note that says “You are going to Disney World”.  When your kids come down for breakfast start running around and telling them that you saw a mouse and you need their help.  Have them run all over looking for where it went, then you run into the pantry and scream.  When they come to help you show them the mouse you found!

Time to Eat

If you have been to Disney before, make their favorite meal that they ate there.  If not, make some Mickey shaped food (pretzels, cheese, pancakes, sandwich or cookies).  Maybe wear a Disney t-shirt or apron, and then casually mention about how the food reminds you of something.  When they mention Disney say something like “maybe we should go there tomorrow!”

Wake up sleepy head

Wake your kids up with the surprise – sing “It’s a Small World” or the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song, fill their room with Mickey Shaped Balloons, have the dog come in and lick their face with a note attached that they are going to Disney, or hang a sign on the bathroom mirror or even write it in shaving cream.

It’s for you…

Have your neighbor (or the UPS guy) drop off a package for your child, and when they open it a balloon comes out with a note that says they are going to Disney.  Or have a gift basket delivered filled with all sorts of items that they will need for their trip (Mickey Ears, sunscreen, new towel, lanyard, Mickey plush, autograph book).


Order a picture puzzle from Shutterfly and have your child put the pieces together to do the big reveal.  You can get really creative on how they get the pieces – you can hide them around the house and use the scavenger hunt idea to find them, you can mail the pieces to your kids over a few days and then have them work together to put the pieces together, you can have friends bring them as gifts for a birthday or Christmas, or have their teacher send home a note with them in there…the possibilities are endless.

Bait and Switch

Tell your kids that they are going somewhere else, like grandma’s while mom and dad go away or even another (less exciting) vacation destination and then surprise them at the last minute.  Or if you want to be kind of sneaky, tell them you got their report cards and they are going to summer school…then pull out the report card envelope and have them take a look inside where instead is a note saying that you are going to Disney World!

Turn down that music

When they come home from school have a different Disney song or movie or TV show playing on each TV or iPod in the house.  As they go from room to room they will get the hint, and then have a big sign in the last room announcing the trip.

Breaking News

If you have the technical skills, you can create your own Breaking News Story!  Sit your family down for a Disney Movie Night, and a few minutes into it have it interrupted with a late breaking news story about your family going to Disney!

Getting on an jet plane

I have a friend who booked their flight to Orlando so they would have to leave at the same time the kids normally left for school.  So she got them up the regular time, had them get ready, and eat breakfast.  Then as she and her husband were rushing them out the door to get the bus instead of her normal “don’t forget your backpack” statement, she said “don’t forget your airplane tickets and park passes cause you are going to Disney World today!!”

These are some of my ideas…what are yours?  Have you ever surprised anyone with a trip to Disney? If so, I hope your kids were this excited!

About Cheryl 130 Articles
I am the Vice President, Social Media & Agent Education Key to the World Travel® with Key to the World Travel. A family vacation is all about creating lifelong memories, and I believe every family deserves an amazing vacation experience, created especially for them. As a Disney College of Knowledge graduate, I will help you create the perfect magical experience for you and your family. There are so many options available – accommodations, dining, tours, activities – I will work with you to tailor each to fit your family’s needs and desires. I can handle every detail, from dining reservations to day-to-day itineraries, and take the stress out of planning so you can just enjoy your vacation – all for no additional cost. Contact me today at (407) 219-9000, via email at, on Facebook at or on my blog at


  1. Almost every year I run a destination race with a friend. This next year we are doing Disney Princess 1/2. Instead of making it a girls long weekend, we are going for a week and taking our families. Either my parent’s or husband’s parents come to our house and watch the kids when I go (Husband works at 5am and boys aren’t old enough yet to get themselves ready and out the door for school). My kids hate going to a race, even a 5k for that matter. “They are boring.” as they put it. lol So we are just going to tell them that neither grandmas or grandpas can come take care of them and that they have to come with. I can already picture it. Both boys are going to be so sad. Like I said before “They are so boring.” We are not going to tell them where we are going but we will need to take a plane ride to get there. Husband was thinking it would be fun to surprise them when we land but not sure how that will work since, I am thinking the beans will be spilled before we leave the airport. TSA, Flight attendants, people around us talking Disney and such. lol

  2. I think that waiting until you land might be a bit hard, but maybe before you leave your house you can tell them that you really appreciate them coming to cheer you on, and that you got them something special to thank them that they can wear during the race ..and then give them Mickey Ears and a Disney t-shirt and an autograph book (lots of characters at the race)!! OR if you are going to be wearing a tutu (or other costume for the race) you could try it on and then run out with it on and ask them what they think!

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