Surprising your kids with a big vacation is such an exciting experience for parents. However, it can be overwhelming trying to make it the best experience ever without spoiling the surprise ahead of time. Whether you’re going to Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter, any of the Disney Parks or other large dream vacations, keep these tips in mind when revealing the big news to your kids (and maybe spouse!)
Here’s the big reveal for our Wizarding World of Harry Potter vacation! (and I apologize in advance for the wonky video – see Tip #2!)
Don’t Stress Out
Too often we try to make experiences the best of a lifetime for kids, all the while stressing ourselves out so much that we don’t have fun, too! Make sure you are able to enjoy the process, too — the kids are going to love it no matter what happens!
As you can see on our reveal video, I didn’t plan ahead, enough, and didn’t have my phone charged (silly me ran it out working on my business that morning and just didn’t think), so I had to grab my tablet, which I hadn’t used for videos before. So pardon the sideways view of our reveal. Also, if you’re doing some complicated delivery and sneakiness, practice it beforehand to make sure it works. Also in our video, you can see how it took entirely too long to retrieve the letter because it had fallen so far back no one saw it at first, and we didn’t just pull out the screen and grab it.
Keep it Simple
If you are not in a position to do a grand reveal, it’s just fine! But a simple letter in the mail, or a ‘delivery man’ dropping off a package (i.e. the neighbor), or a sorting house pancake will still be an awesome experience.
Make a Big Deal
Now, this seems counter-intuitive to keeping it simple, but make a big deal of the reveal. Allow the kids time to celebrate after or let off some steam if that’s what they need. Spend a little time looking at the website and photos.
Don’t Reveal too Far Ahead
Don’t make your leave date too far from the reveal date, especially for the littles. With our big kids, we did it about six weeks out because we just couldn’t wait any longer (honestly, I was afraid I was gonna blow it!). If you have to wait it out, use a countdown calendar, craft projects and reading books about the destination.
Be Prepared for a Meltdown
Your child may be so completely overwhelmed that they break down crying, and they might not be happy tears. Know your child’s temperament before the plan to know whether to go big or go mild. And expect the tears. Give them time to process and be calm with your demeanor. Overly excited Mom and Dad might actually scare the wee ones.
Most of all, have fun with it. Don’t get so wrapped up in recording it for social media or getting the photo of a lifetime or making sure the ‘script’ goes just so. Just enjoy the time with your kids, even if the photo/video doesn’t turn out perfectly. You’re still doing an awesome job, and you’ll have the silly memories forever. This big vacation is worth doing it right!
Share your Story
Whether you video it to upload to Facebook or Instagram, or just scrapbook your memories, be sure to share your story over and over again – oh the memories! Did you do a big reveal to your kids? Share your story in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear them!
If you are planning on your own Harry Potter Vacation — or even a themed birthday party — get these free countdown printables today!
COMING SOON >>> Fun Ways to Surprise Your Kids With a Trip to Wizarding World of Harry Potter!