Skip to main content

Traveling to Walt Disney World with a Large Group

It sounded like a great idea when someone said  “We should ALL go to Disney World together next time!”  And then the planning started.  The Aunts can go just about any time because they’re retired, but the family with 3 kids under 12 can’t take the kids out of school for too long, the DINK couple (Dual Incomes, No Kids) can’t put in their vacation requests for next year until 3rd quarter of this year and the rest of the family says “I don’t care when we go."  Great.  We’re getting nowhere fast.  Sometimes things sound better in theory than they do in reality, but with a little patience—OK, A LOT of patience!—a big group vacation to Disney World can be a wonderful experience.

I’ve had my hand in planning quite a few of these extended family vacations, and I’ve learned a thing or two about what to expect, what to focus on in the planning process, and what to not get caught up in during the process.  Here are a few tips I’ve adopted in planning a Disney trip for a large group.
  1. Start early — Set a travel date set as soon as possible.  8-12 months in advance, depending on group size, isn’t unrealistic.  As I already mentioned, people need to request time off work, and/or navigate school and sports schedules for kids.  The sooner you have that date set on the calendar, the sooner everything else is able to fall in to place.
  2. Communicate — Set a Point Person in the group to coordinate all information and pass it along to all the other members of the travel party.  
  3. Enlist the help of a Travel Agent — Booking for your family is one thing, but when you have to book and coordinate the flights and resort rooms for 8 different families traveling from 5 different airports, all arriving at different times and requiring different tickets and dining plans, you’re on a whole other level of travel planning.  While it can be done, your Travel Agent has expertise in this area that can prove to be invaluable to you and the entire group.
  4. Get input from the group — You’re doing the Dining Plan, right?  Ask each family to choose 1 restaurant that is a MUST DO.  You all have your faves that you do every trip, but wouldn’t you like to try a couple new spots, too?  This will give you an opportunity to all get together over a nice meal and talk about the day’s activities.
  5. Did I already mention start early? — Because you are a large group, you’ll want to make those dining reservations right at the start of your 180 day window.  You need Boma for 26 guests on the 24th of February?  Be Our Guest for 18 adults on the 14th of March and Chef Mickey’s Breakfast on the last day of your trip for 22 Adults and 9 children?  Calling right at 7am the morning of your 180 day window is key.
  6. Be flexible — I know you’ve planned to stick together with all the members of your group, but
    by the first afternoon in the Magic Kingdom you’ve realized who walks slow, who walks fast, who stops at every bathroom, and who browses through every gift shop on Main Street…and they’re all driving you crazy because you just want to get to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Ugh.  Don’t be afraid to split off with other members of your group with similar interests.  It’ll help keep everyone stay sane in the long run.  If a few adults stayed out late at the pool bar enjoying an adult beverage or two, they can get up and meet you at the chosen meeting point later in the day.  Don’t let other people’s plans infringe on your plans.  Everyone’s idea of a great vacation is different.  Go enjoy a stroll through World Showcase with your small group and eventually, your paths will cross again with the rest of the group.
Whether you’re with a group of 30 or 3, remember you are on vacation so relax and remember  you’re in the most MAGICAL place on earth.  Take a deep breath and soak up the atmosphere.  Life is good when your day begins in Walt Disney World!

Mary Ann

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

5 Ways To Get Psyched For Your Disney Trip!

Hey-Howdy-Hey, Disney Guys and Gals!      Is anyone familiar with Barney Stinson's "Get Psyched" Mix? Anyone? How I Met your Mother Fans? Ok, great! So you totally get where I'm going with this! If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can watch a clip  HERE!  Basically, the theory is that no matter what's going on in your life, you can get yourself psyched up and ready for something awesome to happen, all by listening to the right piece of music. Playing off of that theory, I feel that one of the very best things about a Disney trip is actually  preparing  for it, or getting psyched! You can have a whole bunch of crappy stuff happening in your life at the time, but if you have a Disney trip on the horizon... even if it's 564 days away, you have something to look forward to and enjoy preparing yourself for. In fact, many Disney fans, (myself included), pretty much get from one day to the next by preparing for upcoming trips. You may even book a ne

You Must Be This Tall to Ride... Universal Orlando Resort Edition

Universal Orlando Resort has branded itself as the more grown-up vacation destination in central Florida. With advertising campaigns like "kids grow up, so do vacations" and "grow bolder", it should be no surprise that there are many attractions at the Universal Theme Parks with height requirements.  If you're visiting the Universal Orlando Theme Parks with little ones, it's very important to familiarize yourself with the ride height requirements so you know which attractions your little ones can, and can't ride, based on their height. You'll find these helpful signs with height requirements for all of the attractions when you enter the Universal Orlando Theme Parks. Universal Studios Florida 34 inches - E.T. Adventure 36 inches - Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster 40 inches - Despicable Me Minion Mayhem 40 inches - Fast & Furious - Supercharged 40 inches - Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon 40 inches - The Simpsons Ride 40 inches -

Toledo Review - A Tale of Two Tapas

I have dined at Toledo twice. Shortly after Grand Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs opened in 2019, I ate there with my mom, and most recently with my fellow agent Maci during our visit for Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary. Located on the 16th floor, the atmosphere at this dinner only restaurant is just lovely. Floor to ceiling windows with tasteful d├ęcor offer lots of light. You will get a view of all the parks, but some are certainly better than others depending on which area of the restaurant you dine in. Even if you aren’t facing the windows, the ambiance of the orange and pink stain glass on the ceiling and greenery from the trees in the restaurant are a welcome sight. Toledo is self described as serving Tapas, Steak, and Seafood. I ended up only ordering tapas and drinks both times I dined here. On my first visit, my mom and I weren’t too hungry and on my most recent visit, they were unable to serve us the special 50th Anniversary dish because it was technically the da