Like many parents, Rina and Mike Zeller turned on a video camera to document the squeals of delight when they surprised their kids with news of a family trip to Disney World.
But the kids didn’t jump for joy. Instead, much to the Zellers surprise, Sophia, 6, and Ian, 4, started crying and insisting that they’d rather spend their vacation in … Chattanooga.
“We live close enough to Chattanooga that we usually go there once a year for a long weekend trip,” said Rina Zeller. “The kids love the aquarium and children’s museum and stream running through the downtown area. And we’d been telling that we're going to take them to Chattanooga this year for fall break.”
Instead, the Zellers, who live outside Atlanta, planned a trip to Disney World. “We’d been there before and wanted to go back while the kids were still believers,” said Zeller. “And we thought it would be funny to tape to their reaction when we told them were going to Disney this year instead of next. Our bags were packed and were leaving the next day.”
Zeller said the kids warmed up to the idea of a Disney vacation pretty quickly and had a great time. But the video of the vacation “reveal” was so funny that Zeller wanted to share it with friends and the children’s grandparents. “Not everyone has a Facebook account, so I put it on YouTube. And I sent it to the Chattanooga visitors bureau because I thought they’d get a kick out of it,” said Zeller.
The Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau in Tennessee loved the tape and, of course, began sending it around. Since then the tape has shown up on TV stations nationwide and been viewed on YouTube more than 70,000 times.
“It’s nice to know there are some kids that would rather visit Chattanooga instead of Disney World,” said Dave Santucci, vice president of marketing for the Chattanooga CVB. “Especially because most families can’t afford to go to Disney World every year. But they can afford to come back to Chattanooga.”
Other stories you might like
- Disney breaks the mold with Aulani resort
- The keys for kitschy Carhenge are for sale
- Do you have the right to recline your seat on a plane?