10 Fun Disney Reveal Ideas To Surprise Your Family

Last updated:

This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure

Are you planning a surprise visit to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or on a Disney Cruise? If so, you’ll want to reveal the news in a special way that will make your loved ones feel excited and surprised. Here are 10 fun Disney reveal ideas to share your surprise Disney trip!

Read our tips for visiting Disneyland for the first time

disney cruise reveal idea.

Our Surprise Disney Vacation Reveal

For Christmas day this year, I planned the ultimate Disney trip surprise for Simon and the kids. They had no idea I had booked a Disney cruise vacation for us for the following December.

Since we live in Australia, we really never expected to get the chance to experience a Disney cruise while our kids were younger… if ever!

However, a few months earlier at D23, Disney announced that their cruise line, the Disney Wonder, was coming to Australia and New Zealand for a special season – so this was a huge surprise. I wanted to make sure I planned a special reveal, so here’s how it went down:

Disney Elf On The Shelf Reveal

Our kids absolutely love having Elf on the Shelf visit them each day from December 1st until Christmas Eve, so knowing how much they love this tradition, it was the perfect way to build up to the big Disney trip reveal!

Each of our daily Elf on the Shelf visits was Disney-themed or related to Marvel and the Avengers. These clues were subtle enough not to guess what they were leading to.

Here are our daily Elf visits:

  • Day 1 – Disney-themed scavenger hunt to find the advent calendars using these printable scavenger hunt cards.
  • Day 2 – Letter from Elf and activity to draw themselves as a Disney Princess or superhero.
  • Day 3 – Lily’s birthday prank with a hint at a Disney vacation surprise and a badly wrapped box revealing there was no Disney trip inside. Cruel, yes! But she sort of laughed.
  • Day 4 – Do You want to build a snowman with LEGO activity.
  • Day 5 – Muscles like Thor with a workout card and a hilariously bad elf face on Thor’s body image as their new iPad screensaver.
  • Day 6 – What happens when Elsa has a bad day? Paper snowflakes on the window and Frozen LEGO.
  • Day 7 – Elf dressed as Minnie Mouse with DIY Disney ears.
  • Day 8 – Elsa’s ice castle made from toilet paper rolls and a joke ‘What is Mickey Mouse’s favourite treat? Mice cream!’ Check the freezer for a treat later.
  • Day 9 – End of school year paper session with Minnie Mouse bath bombs and day spa set up.
  • Day 10 – Elf relaxing by the pool on vacation (just like he would on a cruise).
  • Day 11 – Letterboard with the word WONDER on it
  • Day 12 – Elf with stuck-on earrings and a gift of Disney and Marvel earrings for the girls.
  • Day 13 – Oops I think I annoyed Spider-Man with the elf wrapped in web.
  • Day 14 – Mickey Mouse ears drawn in dry-erase marker on photographs
  • Day 15 – A day at Marvel Superhero Academy with Marvel LEGO (just like on the cruise ship).
  • Day 16 – Elf playing a game with Disney characters and a gift of a card game for the kids.
  • Day 17 – Elf on Maximus with a long blonde wig as Rapunzel
  • Day 18 – Read to me with a Disney book and a mini tree made of stacked books.
  • Day 19 – Elf dressed as Ariel with a mermaid tail and red wig.
  • Day 20 – Elsa joke “Why should you never gift Elsa a balloon? Because she will ‘let it go’ and a balloon hanging from the roof above.
  • Day 21 – Elf on a toy slide asking if the kids love water slides (since there are slides on the cruise)
  • Day 22 – Postcard from a friend on a cruise ship
  • Day 23 – Get an early night since Santa comes tomorrow with Minnie Mouse sleep masks. Simon’s family are Polish so we celebrate with gifts on Christmas Eve.
  • Day 24 – Big hugs from the elf and a farewell letter telling them they are in for a huge surprise from mum on Christmas day!

Christmas Day Disney Reveal Box

On Christmas Day, I set up the gifts so that the family needed to open them in order since Simon only knew about some of the gifts and I wanted him to be surprised too. I set everything up so that the Disney cruise reveal was the final gift they opened together.

I set up a large box with several smaller boxes inside. Each layer of boxes provided some new clues about what was coming.

disney surprise box.

When they opened the main box, they found an inflated Mickey Mouse foil balloon. You can find loads of cool Mickey balloons and Disney balloons on eBay.

Underneath the balloon was the first box. Inside the next box another wrapped box with a note on top.

I created the notes using Canva and uploaded some Mickey inspired fonts and Avengers font to create the clue cards. These were both free from a font website.

The next box held our Marvel lanyards and cardholders for our cruise room cards with a note that they will need these for the final reveal.

disney trip reveal box.

In the final box was a printable cruise ticket with the departure date of our Disney Wonder cruise.

setting up a disney reveal box.

It did take them a moment to understand what it all meant but the excitement kicked in a little later, once they absorbed the news.

Although it was almost a year before our Disney cruise so they were bummed about the big wait!

We will come up with a fun Disney countdown and watch some videos to keep the excitement high throughout the year.

This was definitely the most fun Christmas gift I have ever given and made the whole lead-up and Christmas morning feel extra magical!

More Surprise Disney Reveal Ideas

Now that we’ve shared our Disney cruise surprise, here are some more ideas for revealing a surprise Disney trip, whether it be to Disneyland, Disney World or one of the many other fun Disney theme parks around the world:

Disney Reveal Scavenger Hunt

Set up a scavenger hunt around the house, leaving clues that lead to the surprise Disney reveal at the end. Each clue could be Disney-related trivia, such as this one from Picture The Magic that we used with our Elf on the Shelf arrival.

Or it could include hints about your Disney trip reveal instead and what activities they will do when they get there.

There is some fantastic Disney trip reveal scavenger hunt printables on Etsy. Here are some of our favourites:

Letter From Mickey Mouse (Or Another Favourite Disney Character)

If your family is a fan of Mickey Mouse or another Disney character, then why not create a special letter from them with the details about your surprise Disney vacation?

You can buy official-looking letters from Mickey and friends on Etsy, but if you feel like getting creative (or are looking to save some money) you can always design and print them yourself.

I use the free Canva editing software to create all of my printables, including the ones I created for our Disney cruise surprise.

You can hand the letter to your kids in person or mail it to your address and wait for it to arrive in the post.

Disney Surprise Box

I created my own larger Disney surprise box, however, another really fun and creative trip reveal idea is to use an explosion box. These cool boxes can be personalised with clues or photos and open in layers like a flower blooming.

If you are creative, you can make one yourself. Here is a fantastic Mickey box video tutorial.

Otherwise, you can get SVG cutting files to make your own via Etsy, or pre-made boxes you can decorate yourself.

Personalised Disney T-Shirts

disney trip shirts.

Make or order a set of personalised Disney trip t-shirts and gift them for your big surprise announcement. Not only will you have an excited family when they realise what it means, but you also have something cute to wear during your Disney park visit!

There are adorable designs to suit every type of trip and family! Check out these ones.

Puzzle Reveal

Have a personalised puzzle made to share the news. You can order custom puzzles on Etsy or have one made at some online or in-store printing places. Vistaprint is a great option for this.

You can create your own design and upload it to their printing software and have it shipped to your address.

Tell Them At The Airport (Or When You Arrive)

disneyland tips entrance (1).

If you’re wanting to keep the surprise until the last minute, keep your kids guessing where they are going and share the exciting news with them once you arrive at the airport and are ready to board your plane.

Or if you happen to live close to Disney World or Disneyland, or any of the other Disney Parks and Cruise Line terminals, you can wait until the absolute last minute and let them figure it out once you arrive.

Disney Movie Night Reveal

If your family loves Disney movies, you can create a special movie night.

You could have classic Disney films playing, or perhaps rent a new Disney movie to stream at home before revealing the exciting news.

Disney Surprise Gift Box

Put together a gift box or gift basket full of essentials you need for a day at a Disney park (or cruising items for a Disney cruise).

Some people use a suitcase filled with gifts instead.

It can be obvious Disney-themed gifts or a mix of practical items too.

Here are some fun Disney goodies and theme park essentials to include for your magical vacation gift box:

  • Hat
  • Drink bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Disney shirt
  • Snacks
  • Stuffed Mickey Mouse
  • Mickey or Minnie ears
  • Magic bands
  • Lanyard
  • Printed ticket or trip announcement letter
  • Autograph book
  • Park maps

This is a great option for a Disney Christmas surprise or a birthday gift surprise.

No matter what option you choose, there are plenty of ways to make your Disney surprise reveal extra magical and special for the whole family! Get creative and have fun when planning the perfect surprise Disney trip reveal.


surprise disney reveal ideas.
disney surprise vacation reveal.

Got your own cool Disney trip reveal ideas to share? Tell us in the comments how you shared a Disney trip surprise or how someone surprised you.