“You haven’t told them yet?!” is usually followed by, “how did you make it all year without them knowing?” or “oh my goodness, they’re going to lose their minds!” I can assure you, the struggle to not tell Miss O about our big family trip to Disney World was really, really, real.
I’ve cooked up some pretty great surprises and I can’t stop myself from pushing the limits on what is considered a casual at home kids party, doing most of the planning and décor creation in my secret lab, downstairs office. We’ve been planning this trip for almost a year and, I have to admit, the level of clandestine activity involved impressed even me. Numerous planning calls after the kids went to bed, early morning, multi-device reservation grabs and numerous shopping sessions, online and on rare moments alone.
Ever since we decided to wait until departure day to share our news, Hubs and I have sweated every day about accidentally dropping that one clue that would blow the whole thing. We’ve had to remind ourselves several times to wait until after bedtime or sent each other coded texts after we realized she could see them pop up if she was enjoying some precious iPad time. Double that fear when we realized she could read them.
Our morning flight departed at 10:30 AM and gave us plenty of time for our usual morning schedule. For school and camp, Miss O needs to wake up around 6:30 and we’re usually out the door by 8 AM. That generally gives us enough time for 30-minutes of convincing her to get out of bed, followed by a reasonable breakfast and 15-minutes of play time while hubs and I scramble to finish all those last-minute little things.
I would pack everything up the night before, as far as I could get it without toothbrushes and a few other little things, and have it ready to go in our front room. I filled her favorite kitty backpack with some new goodies for the plane and left a little room for her to add some things that morning, like whatever stuffed friend was lucky enough to make the cut. I used Miss O’s little wheeled Frozen suitcase as our carry-on bag, to hold the things we’d need before the Magical Express delivered our luggage. She loves taking that bag everywhere, even for a one night stay at her Grandy’s condo 45-minutes away!
Our plan was simple. At 6:30, Hubs and I would be dressed in our arrival day Disney shirts. As we opened the door to her room, we’d bring the Frozen bag in and place it by her wardrobe, directly across from her bed. I put a Minnie Shirt for Miss O on a hanger and would hang it on the wardrobe door over the Frozen bag along with some inflatable Minnie Ears she got in a birthday card one year.
Our usual wake up involves one of us rubbing her back and softly saying “good morning, it’s (insert day of the week), time to get up and get ready for school/camp.“ This time we’re swapping camp for Disney and just waiting to see how long it takes that one to sink in. Hubs already has at least one camera angle planned and I’m sure the lighting crew won’t mind stepping over Miss O’s American Girl doll stuff.
After her initial freak out, which we suspect will be pretty big and involve at least one run through the house and possibly some jumping up and down, we’ll cook up some mickey waffles, get Miss O dressed and wait for our Lyft to arrive.
We’re not telling her the rest of the family is going. We’re saving that one for the airport, so yeah, we’re letting Miss O and Mister A discover that part when they see each other at the gate or the kids play area. That should let them get it out before they get on the plane. They’re both amazing on airplanes, so we’re not worried. We also come prepared with toys, books and an iPad with curated movie selections and audio book files.
How have you revealed your Disney trip? Did it go as planned?