Surprise are fun but they can also go really, really wrong. Last year I did a round-up of some of the most epic surprise fails: footage of children who were surprisingly devastated instead of elated as their parents told them they were going to Disney World. When I surprised my kids with our last Disney trip, I used these videos as a cautionary tale, and tried to avoid the aspects where most of these reveals went wrong. My experience this week taught me the good to a good surprise involves:
To start our gradual reveal, I printed several images of clues that were progressively more specific about our destination. I placed the clues into 8 envelopes. Then I attached the clues onto twine using clothespins, and secured the twine to the wall using a thumbtack. It was simple, but they were so excited when they woke up and saw the hanging clues!
Our first clue: we’re going on a family trip!
Our second clue let them know we needed to take an airplane to get there.
Our third let them know our trip was in the United States.
Our fourth clue: somewhere warm!
The next clue was a picture of the state of Florida, but none of them recognized it. We consulted with a map. Once they realized we were going to Florida, they had a hunch it might be Disney World. I refused to tell, which just made the anticipation more fun,
The sixth clue was a picture of the Contemporary Hotel. They didn’t recognize the hotel so I think it threw them off the Disney trail.
Clue #7 showed the monorail inside the hotel. This got them excited that maybe it was Disney World again. Also . . . a hotel with a monorail inside? How could is that?
And the last picture . . . you’ll have to watch the video to see their reaction!
The kids are a bit older than this last trip, so I need to find a creative idea for the reveal that is a little more sophisticated. I don’t want them to guess too soon. Any ideas for me?