best age for disneyland, family trip to disneyland, large family vacation

Tips for Disneyland: 5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Surprise Your Kids

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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best age for disneyland, family trip to disneyland, young kids to disneyland

“We’re going to Disneyland!” Once you decide to make the trip the search for the best tips for Disneyland begins, right?

This blog is not likely one you would expect to find, I’m sure. However, stick with me.

There is a fun trend of surprising your kids with a trip and leaving right then or the next morning. I will be honest, I thought about it with our last trip.

However, my husband and I decided against it. While yes, it was a surprise when we told them, we told them 5 months before our trip, shortly after we had booked.

After our experience I would do it the same every time.

Here are my 5 reasons why you shouldn’t surprise your children with a trip.

Your children can save their money for the trip if they know about the trip in advance.

Nothing is a better financial lesson than that of saving and then selecting what to spend your money on. With time to save kids can do extra chores and even save any money received from birthdays.

Then when you enter the park and are enticed with EVERYTHING Disney under the sun, your kids will have some of their own spending money.

My children had to make choices on what to spend their money on and to not spend their money. Surprisingly the oldest four (ages 10 down to age 4) saved all of their money from the moment they found out.

Had we surprised them, they likely would have spent their money or not done extra chores to earn more. Mom guilt would have kicked in and for sure I would have spent twice as much out of pocket on souvenirs.

Another of my top tips for Disneyland is to include your kids in picking out fun matching outfits.

Wearing matching Disney outfits is a fun part of the experience. Plus, matching outfits makes it easier to keep track of your party.

If you surprise your kids you’re selecting the outfits hoping everyone loves them. Yet tell them in advance and include them in the process. Their buy in will be greater. They will appreciate that you’ve allowed them to contribute their opinions.

This also means that when it comes time to put on those matching outfits they will be much more excited.

Along similar lines in tips for Disneyland is include your children in packing for the trip.

Packing is a big job. If your kids are old enough (and I’d say if they are over 4 or 5 they are old enough to help) then let them help.

My girls LOVED helping lay out outfits, grab packs of diapers and wipes and packing their airplane activity bags.

All of my children (okay, not the baby, but she doesn’t count!) were around and helping as I packed for our family. They helped grab things as needed. They also saw the amount of work that went into packing. Another good life lesson that it does take work to travel, even if totally worth it.

Finally my last in tips for Disneyland is that by not surprising your children they are more invested in the trip and the experience.

Before the trip you can watch videos of the different rides, rewatch favorite Disney movies, talk about the flight and what to expect and more.

We did all of these things. My kids were fully invested. They had input about which rides they might like to do. They helped decide what the trip would look like.

They had time to research, plan, get extra excited. The anticipation was a part of the entire experience. So was putting in the work of planning, packing, and preparing.

I believe that by not surprising my kids their experience was more well rounded. It was not a vacation that was just handed to them, but something they contributed to.

As you review all of the many top tips for Disneyland, consider this one, tell your kids early. They will be excited. You can still make it fun in how you tell them. Even more have a count down calendar or a piggy bank you work to fill together for extra spending money.

Then once you do, tell me if you loved having them involved!

For more tips on traveling to Disneyland check out my other posts on Disney.