More Disney Cruise Line Stories

How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise

Jonathan Frontado

by , Public Relations Director, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Disney Vacation Club

It may only be September, but I know all of you creative gift-givers are already scheming up some pretty wonderful holiday present ideas for your loved ones. A Disney cruise is always a popular gift, and I’ve heard stories from so many people about the special ways they’ve unwrapped this present for their family.

Whether you’re brainstorming ideas for Christmas morning, or for when you give the gift “just because,” I thought you may be inspired by how some of our current and former Disney Parks Moms Panelists have surprised their families with a Disney cruise …

How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Nancy W. How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Nancy W.

Nancy W.
“Once we surprised our kids with a scavenger hunt on Christmas morning with clues placed all around the house. Each clue was wrapped in a package with items needed for our vacation like bathing suits, sunglasses and even pirate costumes! With every clue found, the kids grew closer to the final package which was waiting for them on the front porch. When they opened it, they found “tickets” for a magical voyage on the high seas with Captain Mickey and a Disney Cruise Line Planning DVD!”

How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Diane W. How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Diane W.

Diane W.
“One Christmas morning, after we exchanged gifts and ate breakfast, I suddenly “remembered” another present that we’d “forgotten.” I told the girls to look on the back porch, and when they opened the door, there were two suitcases with big Mickeys hand sewn on the front, mouse ears and giant Mickey and Minnie plush to greet them. I think my neighbors two blocks away could hear them screaming. “We’re going to Disney!” What they didn’t know (until they opened the suitcases) was that we were going on a Disney cruise! The suitcases were packed with new swimsuits, outfits and pillowcases monogrammed with our sail dates and the name of the ship.”

How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Marcy G. How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Marcy G.

Marcy G.
“We wanted to announce our surprise Disney Cruise Line vacation to the kids in a unique way, so we sent them on a scavenger hunt throughout the house and yard for clues. Each clue they found related to the trip, such as “Do you like warm weather?” and “Did you SEA that your bags are packed?”. The final clues were our itinerary for our Disney Magic cruise and their Magic Bands for our stay at Walt Disney World Resort. They couldn’t stop screaming to know we were leaving right then for a land and sea vacation with Captain Mickey!”

Have you ever given the gift of a Disney cruise? Tell us how you did it in the comments!


  • My parents surprised me and my siblings with a Disney Cruise and Vacation in 2012. My dad had put together a video with picture from our last trip and in the middle one of the pictures was of my mom wearing mouse ears and gloves, with a sign that said “Your Disney Cruise Departs October 31st!” It was so magical. I can’t wait until I get to surprise my kids with a trip to Disney. 🙂

  • I was wandering hiw did you purchase your Cruise ahead of time? Is it thru the companys Hub or regular Disney cruise line website which Im aware cast members dont get any discount. As for the Hub
    They only have few dates available & dont have anything for December trip.
    We would like to do the same for our kids.

  • Love reading all the surprise moments for these very excited families.
    My husband surprised me and his Mom with a Disney cruise, that moment will be forever etched into my memory, her 80th Birthday, my 44th Birthday.
    I had a tough year and it was all I could do to keep from crying somedays, well this day was no exception other than the tears were those of Joy,”I’m sending you and Mom Mom on the Disney Dream for your Birthdays” he said to us over dinner. I’m not sure if I hugged him first or her but I do remember that the excitement was nothing short of magical!
    Our plan was to go in February of 2011, but Mom Mom had heart issues so we put our “Dream” cruise off until November. With her doctors clearance and bags packed we barded that ship with those same tears in our eyes, we made it!
    The cruise on the Disney Dream was full of enchantment, excitement, and dreams come true at every turn.
    It’s now our tradition, evey year since that year the two of us travel together on the Dream and Wish on a star that we have next year to do it all again!

  • We didnt surprise our kids for the trip BUT my kids like to have their “own” spending money for souvineers on ship and at ports. For Christmas we filled a box with blow up balloons that happend to have rolled up $1 bills in each. It was the beginning of their fund and they did extra chores to earn more.

  • We took my husband’s mom, dad, sister, and grandma on our first Disney cruise, and we surprised them at Christmas. I made up Mickey and Minnie stockings for all of them filled with sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, and other little travel-sized goodies. I included a letter that read “Mickey and Minnie have some news… you’re going on a Disney Cruise!” with all the details. There was screaming and crying and it was awesome!

  • My friends surprised our family with the gift of a Disney Cruise, and we are not telling the kids until we are literally at the Port! It’s been hard to keep it a secret, but I cannot wait to see the looks on their faces! I’m happy it’s coming up soon and we’ll have some Halloween fun on the high seas!

  • We surprised our entire extended family with a Alaskan cruise on the Disney Wonder. During our Easter party the grand kids search for plastic eggs that had scrabble tiles hidden in them. As they all sat down to open the eggs, they each found they had tiles that spelled Wonder Alaska. It was a magical beginning to the vacation of life time.

  • I’ve planned a WDW/ DCL trip for December, and haven’t told my kids yet. Might not until we head out to the airport. 🙂

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