Surprise vs Countdown - which do you prefer?

Login or register to post comments
25 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 07/19/2013
Posts: 1489
Surprise vs Countdown - which do you prefer?

We're planning a trip with friends that have 2 children. The kids have never been to Disney World before so this will be a great experience for them. Our friends (the parents) want to keep it a secret from the kids and the plan is to meet up at the airport and surprise them with the trip down to Florida.

It got me thinking about what is more fun... a surprise the day of traveling or a countdown to the trip where anticipation builds. Both have pros and cons.

What are your thoughts?

Magic Mirror's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/18/2012
Posts: 2952

yikes, tough decision- but I am a planner all the way mickey and I love the fanatical hunt of good deals, upgrading resorts and tackling touring strategies...so I am going with the countdown! clapping

JMed's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/16/2014
Posts: 2871

Yikes... BOTH!!!

Like MM said, I love the countdown, the build up of anticipation, the planning.

But I would LOVE to be surprised. I think. Wait, now that I really think about it, I would be too worried that it wasn't planned right, no fastpasses, no ADRs....

I think I will stick with the countdown

__________________

"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

Jennifer Huotari | Create Your Badge

The Huotari's Disney Adventures | Promote Your Page Too

Figments Girl's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/22/2014
Posts: 59

I think that the planning and anticipation work for adults but that the surprise would be better for children.

__________________

JanJ's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2013
Posts: 1458

Figments Girl wrote:
I think that the planning and anticipation work for adults but that the surprise would be better for children.

This is what I think too. Our friends (the parents) are relying on us to help with the planning since we're pros now. And they are worried about the girls being too excited and not being able to focus on their school work as we are going after their first week back in September.

I'm excited since we are having breakfast in the castle and dinner at BOG! This is the fun aspect of planning ahead. clapping yay clapping

Spook's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/27/2012
Posts: 2292

Both. As much as I LOVE planning, a surprise trip means another trip to Disney yay

Belinda's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/09/2012
Posts: 733

I want to be surprised about 9 months ahead so I can do all the planning; however, I think surprising kids would be soooo much fun! I bet you two are having a ball helping plan this surprise!

__________________

** BeLiNdA **

Offline
Joined: 07/19/2013
Posts: 1489

Belinda wrote:
I want to be surprised about 9 months ahead so I can do all the planning; however, I think surprising kids would be soooo much fun! I bet you two are having a ball helping plan this surprise!

Yes, indeed. We are really looking forward the the surprise reveal at the airport. However, we have to be careful not to mention anything when the kids are around. All the planning is being done in stealth mode. LOL.

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 4790

For me, planning and obsessing is half the fun so I'm going with countdown. But for a child going for their first time I think a surprise is great!

Belinda's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/09/2012
Posts: 733

KenJ wrote:
Belinda wrote:
I want to be surprised about 9 months ahead so I can do all the planning; however, I think surprising kids would be soooo much fun! I bet you two are having a ball helping plan this surprise!

Yes, indeed. We are really looking forward the the surprise reveal at the airport. However, we have to be careful not to mention anything when the kids are around. All the planning is being done in stealth mode. LOL.

Pretty sure I would have a really hard time being stealthy!!

__________________

** BeLiNdA **

Kristen K.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 17063

While I think surprises are a ton of fun, I am really bad at keeping secrets. So if our house there has always been a countdown.

__________________

oHIo's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/04/2014
Posts: 662

JanJ wrote:
Figments Girl wrote:
I think that the planning and anticipation work for adults but that the surprise would be better for children.

This is what I think too. Our friends (the parents) are relying on us to help with the planning since we're pros now. And they are worried about the girls being too excited and not being able to focus on their school work as we are going after their first week back in September.

I'm excited since we are having breakfast in the castle and dinner at BOG! This is the fun aspect of planning ahead. clapping yay clapping

Totally agree with Figments Girl and JanJ!! In 2015, on my birthday, DH and I had breakfast in the castle and dinner with the Beast at BOG. As an adult, it was totally amazing, so for two little girls it will be mind boggling! Please be sure and post pictures!

Brinbunny's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/23/2014
Posts: 616

I love the planning and I'm also pretty good at pulling off the surprise trip after years of never telling my son we were travelling.

In a way I would love a surprise trip but as I work full time and am the chief form for funds for family travel, oh and my ma is useless at surprises. Add to that I prefer to travel solo I am fairly sure that a surprise trip would be more than a surprise! The closest would be to win a trip in a competition ....... crossfingers

__________________

April - Non Disney cruise

JoAnn C's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 5841

When I went with my friends in February, they surprised their kids about three months out so they could help plan fastpasses. As you know, they left out one surprise for when they got there - me. Lol.

They watched a lot of you tube videos with the kids the first time they went (2015) so they plan their fastpasses for rides the kids wanted to try.

They had fun with the countdown. I would say countdown with one surprise while on the trip.

__________________

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker

alicemouse's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2739

Since I'm the planner, there's no such thing as a surprise trip. I love the countdown, but sometimes it would be so cool to just say "the heck with real life. let's go to Disney today!"

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

Find me on Facebook

Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts

danijrod's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/23/2014
Posts: 368

I agree I think it's a great idea for children to surprise them, but I love the planning too much. Saying that I would love the surprise of getting told we are going and all paid for as long as its in enough time for me to plan and get the ADRS and FP's I would want ha!

__________________

No Ticker Sad

Danielle Jane RobsonCreate your badge

Offline
Joined: 07/19/2013
Posts: 1489

Thanks for your comments so far everyone! It sure is a divided topic as both have their merits.

Anyway, we are really looking forward to seeing the kids reactions when the surprise is revealed. Here's how it's *supposed* to go down...

Our friends and their 2 kids and their grandma will head to the airport early in the morning. The story to the kids will be that grandma is flying somewhere for the week and that they will be staying at grandma's house while she's away to look after it. This will explain all the luggage.

Then, Jan and I will show up and "bump into them" by chance at the airport. We'll ask each other what we're doing there etc. We will then say that we're heading to Disney World for a week and hey... just a thought, but do you guys want to come with us? Hopefully the kids will be all excited and the DME luggage tags will appear for everyones' bags. mickey

We then hop on the plane together and head to Florida. We're using our DVC points for us all to stay in a 2 bedroom suite at BLT. The close proximity to MK will definitely be a bonus on this trip! The suite will be perfect with 3 bathrooms and in-room laundry etc. Being able to do this is exactly one of the reasons we bought DVC. muchlove

Grandma has even volunteered to watch the kids one night and our friends and us will have dinner at the Cali Grill with some bar hopping afterwards (Trader Sam's?). There will also be a few trips up to TOWL I'm sure!

Jan and I are particularly looking forward to this as we'll get to experience things through the kids' eyes. I can't wait to see them see everything there for the first time. It should be a lot of fun for everybody.

yay

BarbaraB's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/13/2014
Posts: 401

The "surprising the kids at the airport" sounds so cool! I hope they get a big kick out of it.

Personally, I would LOVE for somebody to surprise me with a trip to Disney. Other than dinner reservations, we don't do a whole lot of planning for our vacations. We're "what do we feel like doing today" kind of travelers. However, Disney FORCES me to plan just about everything, and I find it quite stressful. When I tell hubby what I'm thinking about planning, his stock response is "Whatever you want, dear." WHAT I WANT IS SOME INPUT FROM YOU!!!! I'll go ahead and make ADRs and FPs and plan side-trips and what-not. Then, about a month before we leave, he'll make his tee times. Now I have to see if everything I planned works with his schedule. Oh...sorry...can't do the morning FP on Expedition Everest because he's golfing. Let's hope I can change that to the afternoon. Nope can't get an afternoon FP this late. Let's try a different day. Oh yippee...I can get one for Tues instead of Wed. Now I have to change 6 FPs because we have to change parks. AAAARRRGGGHHH. So frustrating!

Somebody please surprise me with a trip where I don't have to plan anything. I'll just go along for the ride. If I don't get to ride Expedition Everest, oh well. At least I didn't have to pull my hair out trying to make a schedule that works for everybody.

__________________

~ Barb ~

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 4790

Sounds amazing! You'll have to share your thoughts on the 2 bedroom at BLT. We're thinking of possibly renting one for our October trip next year.

Offline
Joined: 07/19/2013
Posts: 1489

Allie wrote:
Sounds amazing! You'll have to share your thoughts on the 2 bedroom at BLT. We're thinking of possibly renting one for our October trip next year.

Actually, we already stayed in one with and thanks to MrHub and Scrappy. The suite is really nice and has lots of room. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay there.

JanJ's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2013
Posts: 1458

KenJ wrote:
Allie wrote:
Sounds amazing! You'll have to share your thoughts on the 2 bedroom at BLT. We're thinking of possibly renting one for our October trip next year.

Actually, we already stayed in one with and thanks to MrHub and Scrappy. The suite is really nice and has lots of room. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay there.

We loved it, especially that the suite has 3 full bathrooms! You can't go wrong with BLT.

Spook wrote:
Both. As much as I LOVE planning, a surprise trip means another trip to Disney yay

Best answer ever!

MrHub's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2009
Posts: 8880

I would definitely go with the surprise for the kids! You can do it! awesome

__________________

mickey Markmickey

"To All Who Come to this Happy Place: Welcome"
"WARNING - you may experience sudden hunger from all the picture and talk of FOOD around here!"

Who's going to WDW or DL this year ? / Your most artistic Disney photo's /My Disney Fix /
Tikiman Pages / Mrhubs Disney FaceBook Page / Other Webcams / Forum rules

Magic Mirror's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/18/2012
Posts: 2952

I LOVE this Ken & Jan!

muchlove muchlove

oHIo's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/04/2014
Posts: 662

Allie wrote:
Sounds amazing! You'll have to share your thoughts on the 2 bedroom at BLT. We're thinking of possibly renting one for our October trip next year.

Do not hesitate or delay! Looking at Oct 2017 there is little available in a 2 BR during the month!

crazycatperson's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/19/2011
Posts: 3611

I personally would never want to be surprised. I wouldn't have time to do all my pre-trip checklists and I would be in panic mode knowing things had been forgotten and probably the cats would starve.

But it's a whole different thing for kids. Time crawls for them, especially when they're anticipating something fun. Surprise them.

Kristen K.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 17063

BarbaraB wrote:
Somebody please surprise me with a trip where I don't have to plan anything.

And bring me!!!

__________________