When Do You Tell The Kids You are Headed to Disney World?

By Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess.com

Every time the Disney commercial comes on TV with unsuspecting kids opening a pizza box announcing a trip to Disney, I tear up. I tear up at any Disney commercial, but that’s beside the point.  How do you Disney Moms tell your kids that a Disney trip is forthcoming?

Tell them the minute you make plans.

In general, I am of this school of thought. The one and only time we surprised our kids with a Disney trip, they were ages 2, 3 and 5. We packed their stuff, picked them up from pre-school, told them we were going on a trip to the Florida beaches, and woke them up when we pulled up to Disney.  Surprise! Every other trip, we told them the day we made the reservations.

This has backfired a couple of times, because plans changed and they got disappointed. But life is full of disappointments and plans change all the time. They got over it and waited for our next trip announcement.  We scheduled a Disney cruise last year, told the kids, showed them our exact room location on the ship, and cancelled the trip when school schedules conflicted. 7 days turned out to be too many days to miss school. They are still sad the cruise didn’t work out, but they understand the reasons why. Life is full of change, and dealing with disappointments is part of dealing with life. They know we’ll go again, and it gave us something to talk about.

Where is one of the coolest Disney places to go these days?

My kids are pre-teens now. They have their own birthday and Christmas money to spend at Disney. Announcing a surprise trip to Disney doesn’t give them any time to save any money. I certainly don’t plan to pay for every t-shirt and key chain they will ask for, so they get lots of notice. If they don’t have enough money on the trip, then I have an excuse for not bailing them out and buying  their souvenirs for them. Poor financial planning on their part does not create a financial emergency for me. Learning to save for what you want is a life skill.

If you want to save money on souvenirs, here’s some ideas.

However, if my kids were small again, I would probably…

Surprise them!

You Tube is covered with videos of kids being told they were headed to Disney. Woohoo! You won’t see that many moments of absolute childhood joy on their little faces, the minute they hear they have driven all night and they are actually in Orlando rather than Grandma’s house in Missouri.

Telling them at the last-minute will ensure you do not have to answer, ”When do we leave?”  five times a day. But you can’t make these cool count-down crafts with the kids either.

So what do you Disney Moms do? Do you tell them at the last possible minute or put the phone down to announce you are on hold with Disney reservations? Leave us some comments on how you handle the news of your next Disney vacation with your kids.

A trip to Disney is a chance to make fabulous family memories. Pack that camera and have a blast.

Thanks for stopping by the Disney Moms. Enjoy those kids while they are young, because they sure grow up fast.

Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess.com

Come see us at Disney’s Cheapskate Princess on Facebook and Cheapskate Princess on Pinterest.

8 comments for “When Do You Tell The Kids You are Headed to Disney World?

  1. Brande
    23 June, 2012 at 9:47 am

    shhhhh! I’m surprising my daughter and husband this time! They think we are going somewhere else! It’s going to be a long 6 months for me. But, it will be worth it!

    • 23 June, 2012 at 11:26 am

      That would be a fabulous article- all the things you did to trick them. Let us know how it goes! And thanks for reading.
      Amanda

  2. 2 July, 2012 at 6:53 am

    I’m surprising my kids this trip! My oldest is 12, will be almost 13, for the trip. We keep telling him we’re saving to go after my husband gets back, but we’re really going before he deploys! We have an activities advent calendar that we do every year and we are going to have him pull his advent calendar and it will say, pack to visit Mickey or something similar. Then we are going to enjoy a Disney themed dinner at home. I’ve been secretly planning for months and working on Disney projects while he’s been on a summer vacation visiting grandparents! I can’t wait!

    • 2 July, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Woohoo! Hope you havea fabulous time. Let us know how the surprise turns out!
      Amanda

  3. 26 August, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    2 years ago my son’s, then 6 & 4 asked to go to Disney World. I told them we would go in 2013, so they and they’re baby brother would be old enough to remember their first trip to Disney World. They know were planning it and the excitement they have looking forward to the trip is wonderful. I think if we still lived in CA and were taking them to their first DisneyLand trip, we would have surprised them, but since they’d asked (they surely didn’t forget my answer) and we live so far away, they know. :)

  4. 12 April, 2013 at 8:40 am

    My daughter just turned seven and we are taking her this October during fall break. We had planned on waiting till the last minute to surprise her but just last night, she really started in with asking to go and that her much older brother got to go when he was five (well before she was born) so she thinks it’s unfair that we still haven’t taken her. I stopped working when she was three so our income dropped by $65k and we all know DW is NOT a cheap vacation. This year my husband received a nice bonus so we can swing it without racking up credit cards or dipping into savings to do so. Just not sure if we should go ahead and tell her or keep it a surprise. My husband thinks we should tell her but I would really like to surprise her the morning of (and save myself the constant questions about it). Would love to hear what others think…

  5. Melinda
    23 June, 2014 at 11:27 am

    For my son’s 5th birthday I did the surprise route and he got a call from Mickey, Goofy and Donald the day before we got there. He was convinced that the gang was waiting for him and Goofy cooked his birthday dinner.

    Last year he wondered where we were going to do his birthday trip (we do trips instead of parties). So I told him that we weren’t doing a trip, I had a sad little man who was about to be 7…so I had to tell him we were waiting till school got out and doing Star Wars Birthday Weekend in WDW. I received the “Mom of the Year Award”.

    This year we’re doing Halloween Week in WDW, No birthday surprises, but my son has been very active/helpful in helping to plan this trip and the rides and he’s even doing chores around the house to earn some spending money.

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