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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, May 29, 2011

To Surprise or Not to Surprise?

To surprise or not surprise, that is the question.  Some folks traveling to Disney try to, and sometimes succeed, surprise friends or family members with a Disney trip or vacation.

I am aware of such surprises, have been involved in planning such surprises, and have even written about Disney surprises—click here to read more.  I’m just not sure if I agree with them or not.

Of course, what could be a better surprise than a Disney trip?  It ranks right up there with being proposed to or finding out a baby is on the way, both of which a person might have some sort of clue that either of which might be coming . . .

My problem is that the person being surprised doesn’t get to enjoy that feeling of anticipation.  Only the person/people planning the trip get that feeling.  For me, half the fun of a Disney trip is the anticipation and the planning.

At our house, there are many conversations about upcoming trips.  The other night, the boy was ready to pack his sand toys after we were talking about Castaway Cay and getting to go there twice.  While part of me was thrilled that he was ready and wanted to pack, I wasn’t quite ready for the sand toys to come out of the box and go into the suitcase yet.  If we were planning a surprise, we would have missed out on that conversation and the boy certainly would not have been excited about packing sand toys.

Yesterday, we went to a graduation party, and the boy needed me to wait a moment for him to get something out of the house before we left.  He returned to the car with a stuffed Donald Duck as he wanted to give it to the grad.  I explained that we already had a gift to give and that his plan was very generous and then began talking about meeting Admiral Donald on the Dream, what an Admiral is, and what he might be dressed like.  Again, a conversation that might never have happened if we were planning a surprise.

At our house there is also a feeling of teamwork as we strive towards our Disney vacation goals.  We were also at Wal-Mart yesterday with the clear understanding that we would look at toys and that there would be no purchasing.  Understood.  The boy understood that we are saving money for our Disney vacation.  He enjoyed his “window shopping” experience, and so did I.  No fits, lots of dreaming, and his favorite aisle in the store was the clearance aisle.  Good boy!  He may not have had the same constraint or understanding if we were keeping the trip a secret.

I get the idea of Disney surprises and understand why someone might want to surprise others with a Disney trip.  They may even video tape the event and send it to Disney in hopes of being part of a commercial or the current Disney theme.  Even though I understand, I feel that for us, something would be missing. . . and someone might miss the planning and anticipation that comes before a Disney trip.

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