I am currently planning a multi-family Disney vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort. The trip will include my family of 4, another family of 4 as well as my 2 parents. Although a little extra planning is required when travelling with a large group, I have found the following 5 tips quite helpful!
Have only one “main planner”
Although everyone will be helping to plan the multi-family disney vacation, having only one person in charge of making the Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) and FastPass+ (FP+) reservations makes organizing everyone and everything a lot easier! This way, there are fewer chances that days or times of reservations get mixed-up! The “main planner” will have to link the other parties’ reservations (with their confirmation number or numbers) and add them to their “My Family and Friends” list in order to be able to add other Guests to their ADRs or FP+ reservations. With My Disney Experience (MDE), each party will then be able to see the itinerary. I also created a shared Google Doc so that everyone in my party could see the plans before they were booked on MDE.
Travel with the same passes and tickets
If everyone has the same Park Tickets and Passes on a multi-family Disney vacation, planning becomes much simpler. The same goes for the Disney Dining Plan. In my group, we decided on the Magic Your Way with Park Hopper and Water Parks and More, as well as the Disney Dining Plan. This way, when we plan to head to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, the entire group can come with no one feeling left out. As for dining, being on the same plan makes ordering a lot easier. For example, if one of the families were on the Deluxe Dining Plan, which includes appetizers at Table Service Restaurants, it creates a kind of divide between the other groups who do not receive apps with their plan.
Schedule your first 3 Fast Pass+ together …
… and then plan to break off into smaller groups. As a group, go through the attractions that EVERYONE wants to do. I am sure there are at least 3 per park (which is what Disney allows you to reserve 60 days in advance). Once you have completed these 3 FP+, you can plan to break away into smaller groups (maybe a group who wants to experience some thrills, and a group who wants to visit characters).
DIStracted Tip: There are a few exceptions to this rule if very popular attractions such as Toy Story Mania in Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Soarin’ in Epcot are not on everyone’s “must-do” list! If you do not schedule these ahead of time, there is a chance you might have to wait in the Stand-By line. Also note that some Parks have a tiered FP+ system which only allows you to choose certain experiences and attractions together.
Schedule some meals apart from the rest of the group
Try taking your immediate family to experience a few Table Service Meals. Planning a visit to Cinderella’s Royal Table, for example, could be a cherished family memory for years to come. This will also allow the family a break from the excitement of a large group. Even taking a break to go to the pool is another option to do as a smaller group.
Vacationing as a large group usually means at times things will not go as planned. Grandma gets tired, someone decides that Space Mountain is not for them, etc. Try to have “whatever” time booked in if you are a Type A planner like me. This way, you have some scheduled time to break-away from the large group. Everyone can choose to do something different, or plan to do nothing at all!
Planning a large group vacation can be challenging, yet the experience it delivers can form the best of memories! Happy planning!