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I’ve been invited to attend the Traveling Dad 2016 retreat which is being held at Walt Disney World in Orlando.  The Traveling Dad conference organizers invited our whole family, which, when you have a family of 8, is quite the undertaking.

For whatever reason, Carolyn and I decided that we would keep the trip a surprise from the kids.  Not only did we not tell them we were going to Disney World, we didn’t tell them we were going ANYWHERE.  The plan was to just bring the kids together after school one day and basically say “We’re going to Disney World – we’re leaving in 20 minutes… GO!”

For our surprise vacation to Disney World, we decided we would do a secret reveal for our kids. Planning and keeping the secrets was tough! There are some funny Disney Land quotes but this one is ...

Keeping the surprise was…. hard

As we got closer and closer to the deadline, the stress of keeping the surprise DEFINITELY ramped up!  When Carolyn went grocery shopping on Monday, there definitely were some questions about why there was more food than normal, and why she bought a bunch of things that we normally don’t buy.  (They were snacks for the car / trip but we couldn’t exactly SAY that!)

I don’t know how we did it, but we managed to keep things a surprise up until the big reveal!

Some close calls!

We did have a few close calls, especially as we got closer and closer to the deadline

  • One child nearly saw an email left open on the computer from a school teacher mentioning our vacation (we had to tell the school we wouldn’t be there)
  • My daughter wanted to know why she and I couldn’t go to a daddy daughter dance that was scheduled that weekend.  She even went as far as to talk to Carolyn and wonder if I was keeping a surprise from the family, like maybe we were MOVING!
  • A child saw a glimpse of the shared family Google Calendar that said “Secret Trip”.  When she asked about it, we deflected and thankfully she forgot about it 🙂
  • Once we had turned our locked bedroom into “Fortress Suitcase”, there were several times when kids were confused as to why they couldn’t come in to our room.
  • Only one of my daughters noticed Carolyn taking some of her clothes out of her room, and she was NOT amused

Thankfully a little extra screen time turned them all into good little zombies who for the most part didn’t notice the fact that we were sneaking enough food and clothes into our bedroom to feed a small army


Sneak peek at the reveal!

I’ll have the full reveal with a video tomorrow (if not, hopefully within a few days, so you’ll need to check back then).  For now, here’s a sneak peek at the puzzle that we used for our reveal


Stay tuned tomorrow for the big video reveal!

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