Walt Disney World is a magical vacation location. It is even better with a large group. Whether you are traveling with a large group of family members, a business trip or a cheer group there are some tips and tricks you need to know in order make your trip easier.
1. Start Communication Early
Once your group has made reservations, you will want to start communicating with one another. Think about what is the best way to communicate for your group. Facebook allows private groups as a great option. This would allow everyone to be able to connect and communicate. Text messaging as well as google would all be great options. Once you determine how you are going to communicate, start discussing top goals of the group. What are the must do attractions or shows? Where does the group want to eat? The earlier you start communication, the more prepared everyone will be.
2. My Disney Experience: Get Connected
When traveling with a large group, you will want to make sure the group is linked in My Disney Experience. Under the Friends and Family section, everyone will want to go in to make sure they are connected. This will allow everyone to make plans together when it comes to dining, fastpasses and memory maker.
3. My Disney Experience: Download It
Before heading to Disney, make sure that the group has downloaded Disney’s My Disney Experience App. This is a great resource for them to use when it comes to navigating the parks. From wait times, to maps to food and bathrooms the app will provide everyone with quick, easy access to information.
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4. Plan downtime (together or separate)
Whether you do this as a whole group at the resort pool, or split up and let everyone choose what they want to do in the parks, make sure you schedule some downtime. Walt Disney World is magical but it can also be extremely taxing. Keep this in mind when scheduling your time in the park. You typically don’t spend 24/7 with family members or on your feet walking 5 to 10 miles a day. Make sure you give yourself, and the group, time to just relax.
In each of the four parks there are great areas people can take a break without leaving the park. From the Carousel of Progress in Magic Kingdom to Star Wars Launch Bay in Hollywood Studios, each of the four parks offer shows and experiences that will allow everyone to get out of the crowds and sit down for a while. When planning, allow for downtime both together and apart. This will keep the magic going.
5. Travel Time = Allow Time
When you are planning your trip to Walt Disney World with a large group, be aware that everything will take longer than expected. Traveling with a large group overall just takes longer. Traveling to and from the parks, dining, and overall movement through the park will take you longer than you expect. Give the group extended time to move around Walt Disney World. By planning extra travel time, the group won’t feel as rushed and stressed getting from place to place.
6. Split Up into Subgroups
One of the biggest tips when it comes to traveling with a big group is to allow the group to split up. It isn’t logical to be together all day every day of a trip. Allow the group to break into smaller subgroups then tour on their own for a while. Doing this makes is easier to navigate the parks and allows everyone to see more of what they want.
7. Sit Down Meals
Eating Together: If you are really wanting to all eat together, consider locations that offer larger accommodations. Places such as Ohana, Via Napoli, Trails End offer the ability to seat large groups in the same restaurant. Other fun options could be Spirit of Aloha or Biergarten in Germany.
Separate: If you have a rather large group, consider splitting the group up to eat at different times or even different restaurants. This gives you more flexibility within your group.
For families traveling together, it is nice to have one-point person when it comes to fastpass planning. In the My Disney Experience friends and family section, you will want to make sure the point person has the ability to make all fastpasses for the group. When doing so, remember that you can overlap times. For example, if you can get a group of four for Splash Mountain from 10 am to 11 am, look for another group of four from 10:15 am to 11:15. This still allows the whole group the ability to ride together.
9. Share Memory Maker
When traveling with a large group, only one person needs to purchase Disney’s Memory Maker, but everyone linked in Disney’s Friends and Families can take advantage of the Memory Maker. This means that they all will be able to get their ride photos or stop in front of the castle to take photos. This is a great advantage as not only does it save money, but it also gives everyone the flexibility to take photos whenever they want. The key is the one person that controls the Memory Maker will need to download and share with the group following the vacation.
10. Be Flexible
No matter how many plans you make, how many times you go over them with the group, you will still need to be flexible. Allow plans to adjust, change and canceled all together. It is important when traveling with a large group to allow yourself flexibility in your plans. By doing this, it will allow everyone to enjoy the trip and the magic.
Traveling with a large group to Walt Disney World can be both magical and stressful. To help alleviate some of the stress, try to follow some of these suggestions.