Ideas for surprising kids with a Disney World trip – PREP020

by Shannon Albert · 10 comments · Like the Facebook page

Ideas for surprising kids with a Disney World tripLots of parents have dreams of surprising their kids with a trip to Disney World.

Today, I have some ideas for how you might want to pull off the surprise (just be sure to not have super high expectations for their reaction - you never know how it's going to go).

I also have a quick tip on preventing motion sickness on a ride at Epcot.


These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

4 ways to surprise kids

1. Custom lottery ticket
Either make or order a custom lottery ticket that will announce the trip.

DIY scratch-off lottery ticket tutorial -

Photo credit to

Etsy shop to order custom tickets and decoder messages -

Photo credit to the crankbunny Etsy shop

2. Phone call from a character
Have a friend who sounds like a character call you or pay $5 to hire somebody on to record a message for you.

Mickey or Goofy voice actor -

Princess voice actress -

To have your call appear to come from Florida, sign up for a free Florida Google Voice number at and then have that call forward to your home phone number.

You may also want to setup a contact in your phone beforehand with a custom picture and name to show that the call is coming from Disney World or from the character.

Here's a video of a family who did this for their trip surprise...

3. Puzzle scavenger hunt
The basic idea is that you set up a scavenger hunt to find puzzle pieces and then when the puzzle is put together in the end, it announces your Disney World trip.

To create the puzzle, you can design a graphic and upload it to a site that will create the puzzle piece layout such as

You can also order a puzzle for just $5 and this site allows you to make some simple customizations like background color and text -

Here's a video of a family who did this with their 3 children (the people who uploaded the video won't allow it to be embedded so you'll need to click over to watch it on YouTube) -

4. Road trip scavenger hunt
Driving to Disney World and need to entertain kids along the way? Reveal your trip with clues during your trip like this family did...

Quick tip of the day

People are often scared to ride Mission: Space at Epcot due to the potential for motion sickness. One way to make it easier is to make sure you face forward during the ride. Parents often want to look at their children next to them but the best idea is to just face forward and watch the screen in front of you.

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Do you have other ideas for surprising kids with a Disney World trip?

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{ 10 comments (add yours) }

Stacee February 17, 2015 at 6:21 pm

We went to Disney in 2011. My kids were 5 and 3 at the time. We surprised them by waking them up at 6:00 am. With t-shirts and Goofy and Mickey stuffed animals. They were sleeping in the same bed that night. My husband and I woke them up at the same time the three year old whined grabbed his Goofy and rolled bake over. The five year old just put the pillow over his head. They were both sooooo mad that I woke them up. I told them that we were going to Disney they didn’t really care. Then I told them that there Grandma and Grandpa where there to take us to he airport. And we were going to Disney to see the real Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Stitch. Then they got all excited and happy to go. We got it all on the video tape. And now we look back and it’s funny. We are going to Disney June 2015, and this time they know. We are doing a 100 day countdown!!!!!


Kim Mcclain November 2, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Wonderful tips! I made matching Tshirts and had them delivered by “Pocahontas”! She read a scroll letter from Mickey, that explained the gift and told them that everyone at Walt Disney World was looking forward to seeing them in “1week”! She also sat with them and opened each gift. They were beyond surprised and excited!!!


Jon May 31, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Great tips! I ordered the Golden Ticket from Etsy and a Snow White voice-over from Bella at the link listed above. Bella has a great princess voice and she carried herself just like Snow. Looking forward to surprising the family with these suggestions. Thanks Shannon.


Anna May 15, 2014 at 11:18 am

We surprised our 5 year old son with a Disney World trip last year. It wasn’t his first time going, but we thought we would make it surprise this time. It was awful. He saw the Disney buses and got mad because we didn’t tell him where we were going. He got over it as soon as we ate at Narcoossee’s and he had a Nemo cupcake. He’s now involved in all the planning and there are no more surprises.


Laura Garcell March 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I laughed the entire podcast. All I can think of was the time I tried to surprise my girls and my oldest cried. She didn’t want to go she wanted to go to Pajama day at school. It took her 45 minutes to calm down.


John T January 15, 2014 at 9:37 am

We surprised our kids “scavenger hunt” style by having them search for scrambled Letter Blocks that, when arranged properly, spelled DISNEY. Awesome response!


Marsha M December 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm

We surprised our daughter yesterday for her 10th birthday with a trip to Disney. I set up a geocache for her to find! It was priceless!!!


Jessica December 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

We’re surprising our 3 and 5 year old boys this Christmas with their first trip. I am so nervous about how they’re going to react – the 5 year old told me last night to take the money from his Disney jar and take him to the beach instead. So now I’m afraid he’s going to be disappointed!


Lori December 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Love the lottery ticket idea! We just surprised our kids 2 weeks ago. The Elf sent them on a scavenger hunt to find a ticket to WDW under their beds. Then we hopped in the car and drove down!


Amber December 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

We’ve surprised our kids twice and it is, seriously, one of the best parenting memories my husband and I share. Highly recommend!

Surprise cruise trip: Puzzle pieces in hidden Easter eggs.

Surprise WDW trip: Mickey delivered a big box filled with goodies.


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