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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Disney magic: the surprise reveal!

When you are planning a Disney trip with young kids, you do not want to tell them too soon or else it's all you will hear about, their inability to understand the concept of time and all... so we decided early on with our over-excited 5 and 8 year old we would wait until the day we were leaving to tell them. Well, then we realized we were leaving at 4 a.m. in the morning and they'd be half asleep- not the opportune time to pull off a big reveal!

So then we decided we'd tell them a few days before we left, on a Sunday at home so we weren't rushed with school activities. It was perfect timing. It was so nice listening to their questions for a few days - but certainly would not want to tell them much sooner than a few days! My daughter barely slept for three days before we left, she was so very excited!

So I looked and looked on YouTube, Google, Pinterest, etc. and just didn't find anything I wanted to try or that fit us well. There are SO many ideas, too. If you need an idea for a reveal, you can find all kinds of things online. I just searched videos, so cute to watch kids' faces light up at the thought of visiting the princess castle!

So the night before we were telling our kids, my husband and I searched and searched and still came up short. We were trying to match our kids' personalities, age differences and our simple nature of not being super creative people to telling them! It was challenging to figure out what was best. 

So the morning before we told them I was working out on my elliptical machine and was YouTubing videos about reveals. I found this ADORABLE video of this perfect natured family of six with one baby on the way. They were PERFECT, dressed, showered, and so polite and patient. The mom was so sweet. I decided I'd copy her idea.... with like 30 minutes to prep it as we were so excited to tell the kids before our youngest went down for his nap at 9 a.m.! 

I should have given myself more time... so tip #1: PLAN ahead how you're telling your kids! :) 

For this idea that we used for our reveal it was answering the questions What, How, Who, When, Why, and Where. It was set in stages to slow down the process and increase the anticipation of finding out where we were going! I loved that part. I didn't want it to be over so abruptly. 

I admit I didn't get great pictures of this process because I was WAY too rushed and excited.

So we took a large (diaper) box and wrapped that up. Then inside the box I layered it with the questions... the where question was the last one on the bottom of the box. I wrapped the what? a trip pieces with their lanyards for the trip to wear around their necks.

Then I put the how question with a picture of a plane.

Then the question why was paired with because we love you, along with some Valentine's lollipops from Minnie Mouse, since we were leaving on Valentine's Day.

The next questions were who, and the answer was the five of us (we saved the news that grandparents were joining later). Then the question when with the answer Valentine's Day in three days. 

The last one was the biggest.... I put the WHERE question and answer DISNEY WORLD last with lots of pictures from to show them where we were headed. We wrapped it with their attire for the traveling day - Mickey Mouse sweatshirts (both found at Thred Up!). 

This was so cute and fun seeing their faces. My husband video taped it, we jumped and screeched and then showed them some videos on YouTube of the Magic Kingdom parade, welcome show and some rides they'd be going on. It was awesome! 

Of course in true family of five fashion, things don't alway go as planned... so when they got the box they shook it and everything I put inside had shifted.... so the labels of who, where, etc had moved and got into different orders... so they opened them in the wrong order, but it worked out just fine.

A few tips on choosing the reveal for your kids:
  • Do what's right for your family. Some kids love a scavenger hunt. Our kids would argue through that. Some kids do a word search, we had one kid who can't read so that's not fair to her. Some people do a chain of rings and you count down the weeks before the trip, our kids would never sleep again if we did that too soon. Whatever works for you is great! 
  • The real gift is the TRIP. Remember this... you can get so caught up in Pinterest and other ideas online- SO many of them it's kind of overwhelming! - that you forget the real thing of interest here, TRIP TO DISNEY! So however you tell them, whether it's creative or just blurting it out after dinner or in the but - it's going to be GREAT. 
  • Remember they're kids. Kids are unpredictable and yet predictable. You probably won't get the perfect dreamlike vision of them jumping and crying and thanking you profusely type of reaction you hope for or see on TV. That's OK. Just go with it. 
  • Pick the timing first. For us, a few days max was all we could let them know ahead of time, otherwise they would only focus on that and other things would be lost for them like school and behaving. Think about their ages, little kids cannot concept a span of time. They don't know that a day is only so long or that weeks are just days combined. They don't get it, so waiting is hard. Determine what works for your kids as far as how soon to tell them. 
  • Prep ahead. Don't throw it together last minute like I did. I could not find an idea I liked then when I found it it was that morning we were telling them, so it did not come out how I wanted. It ended up just fine! But planning ahead would have been better.
  • Take pictures and videos. You will want both of these! But don't take so many that you lose the moment yourself. 
  • Kids talk. Be prepared for other people to know your trip plans as soon as the kids know. Kids don't keep things quiet. Once you tell people about your trip, it's just like telling people you are pregnant- you get lots of advice and tips and ideas, and sometimes that gets overwhelming. It is so nice at the beginning of pregnancy and the beginning of planning a trip for your family months in advance when nobody knows but you and your partner. Enjoy that magical time of just you knowing. That's another reason for us that we waited until days before leaving to tell our kids. 
YOU'RE GOING TO DISNEY! However they find out that surprise is MAGICAL!

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