Our plans for our surprise vacation are moving along swimmingly thus far. We bought plane tickets and have a rental car reserved. We're currently scanning deals for a place to stay in or around Orlando. One of my awesome cousins (who I adore, but don't get to see nearly often enough) offered to let us stay with her for the second half of the trip.
Our flight leaves early in the morning, so we're limited in what we can do for our big reveal. That means there won't be time for a big Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt or anything of the sort.
So I think what we'll do is pack the van the night before while the kids are sleeping. Then, in the morning, get them up and tell them we need to go out. I think I'll ask them to check the mailbox where they'll find envelopes addressed to the big three (the 2-year-old will get over the fact that she doesn't have one, I assure you).
I spent an hour last night creating the text for the envelopes and finding playing around with fonts so that they're very similar to Hogwarts acceptance letters. Our twin daughters will get letters explaining that this is in honor of them turning 9 and 3/4. I even used graphics from The Graphics Fairy to design tickets to mimic the Hogwarts' Express ones (my favorite part is the bottom portion. The original ticket from the movie read "Journey subject to the rules and regulations of the Hogwarts Express Railway Corporation." Ours says, "Journey subject to the rules and regulations of your parents.")
Our son will get a letter which explains his dearest wish is coming true.
You see, the last time we got Chinese food, his fortune read, "Your dearest wish will come true." He hung that up on the fridge and announced, "My dearest wish is to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter." SWEET! So his letter works with that. He made it easy on us. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what his letter would say until he made that wish. Thanks, kid.
This is one of his sisters' letters (identifying information has been removed):
I am SO freaking excited about this trip. We're going to have a blast. We've never been able to do anything like this for the kids and I can't wait until we tell them. I've almost slipped up a few times, so I need to be careful or I'll spoil the surprise.
This will be our first ever family vacation AND we'll be able to surprise our kids with something they want so badly. I'm so freaking excited about this.