Sometimes, my travelers and I come up with code words, and even safe words that the parents will say when an unexpected child pops into the closet where the parent is hiding during our call. (Let me just tell you, that is hilarious when it happens.) Some of you do tell your children, and in fact, use that as bribery for the next nine months or so. As one client shared “Mickey doesn’t let children in who can’t be nice to their brothers.” Perhaps not, but I can in fact, personally attest to the fact that you can find a time-out corner at Disney World.
So besides bribery and hushery, how would you break the news to your children that you’re going to Disney? Here are the top 10 ways to tell (or not tell) your family about their upcoming trip:
10. The Daisy / Countdown Chain. These are fun for littler kids who don’t have an exact concept of time. You simply make a paper chain, and for each day that passes, they can pull one ring off the chain. Be forewarned, this method is super fun, but don’t be surprised if you catch your tot trying to take two off at once to make the event get here quicker!
9. Goodie Bags/Boxes. Some parents will gather up a collection of Disney goodies and put them in a box addressed to the kids and let them open it. Who doesn’t love mail? Even as a grown-up, I love getting paper things in the mail that don’t require a response in the form of a check! And if we grown ups love it, you know the kids do too! I have seen them include everything from a life-size Mickey-shaped balloon, to plush toys, and even Mickey-shaped treats.
8. Phone calls. Some parents like to involve others in their crimes of deceit. Such as having Cinderella make a very sweet phone call to tell your princess the news, or even having a character send them an invitation.
6. Incorporate the goodies that your travel planner (that would be me, wink, nudge) sends you. You may have a different travel planner – I can’t tell you what she’ll send you, but I usually send a few goodies for each child, just to get them excited, and it may or may not (wink, nudge) include some of the things in this list!
5. Going TODAY. I recently got so tickled at a client who videotaped her kids from inside their vehicle which was parked in the airport parking lot. The dialogue was a bit like this: “But where’s our stuff?” (Peek into package tray area, then wide-eyed shock, then “AHHHHHH!!”
4. Just Got Here. And then there are those of you who can REALLY keep a secret. The kids don’t have a clue until you literally pull up in front of your resort hotel. Having done this before myself, I can tell you how we did our trip. We simply packed the kids up in their pj’s and said “Buckle up”. That was about 9 pm. Next thing you know, they woke up to bright sunshine and asked “Why are we still in these seats?”
3. Lies, Lies, and more Lies. Is it fair to say 99.99% of us have incorporated some little white lie into our vacation plan? From the explanation to why you’re getting on a plane, to possible threats of leaving one or more children at home due to behavior unacceptable at the Happiest Place on Earth, to even stretching the truth (just a little) about how far off the trip is, you use your childlike reasoning skills and catlike reflexes to keep sprinkle your own version of pixie dust over your family vacation.
2. Scavenger Hunts. I applaud you! To devise an entire hunt with clues and cards, and hiding places is amazing!
But when you end up with a final shot like ((this one)), every second was worth it! (By the way, I think this is my favorite client photo!)
1. The “Family” Trip. Some of you tell your kids very early on! You research together, plan what to wear to each park, and even look online together at your must-do ride list. They are as much a part of the trip as you are, right down to the planning. You are my clients who, at the end of the day, I’m not sure who is more excited, you or them, because as a family you’ve just had so much fun in this planning process!
As for my hubby and I, we’re a number 5, number 4, and okay, maybe number 3 kindof family. We enjoy picking the kids up at school at noon, telling them we’re going for a ride and ending up at Disney. (Although the time hubs told the kids we were taking Aunt Char to work (who we also picked up to come with us on that trip) and she worked far away led to them thinking for a few days that she worked at Disney World!) We like covering our ears when they see the first Disney billboard in Florida and realize we are not, in fact, just heading to a Walmart far away because ours is closed. There is no right or wrong answer for each family. What’s perfect for you will be perfect for you, and you’ll know it when you see it.
As for me, I’m busy plotting how to get a new passport photo made for my hubby without his knowledge so I can surprise my “chief surpriser” with a surprise of his own. Wish me luck!
°o° ~ Karen