8 Rules to Surviving Walt Disney World with a Large Group
by Erin Sistar
It’s story time again my friends. Way back in 2016, my whole family decided we wanted to take a trip down to Walt Disney World. Now, I have been planning my family’s trips long before I became a Wizard. I sat my mom, my older sister, and my little sister down for a talk. If this was going to work, we needed ground rules. There were 13 of us going. The 5 children ranged from the ages of an 11 year old down to a 1 year old with 8 adults in tow. I was told that I was in charge. They didn’t care what I planned as long as it was fun and we were together. For a year, I hand picked every restaurant for every meal, arranged all 13 of us on 1 my Disney experience account, had matching t-shirts made, and planned all the fastpasses for all 4 theme parks. On paper, it was perfect. Everything was in place and mapped out. All “t”s had been crossed and all “i”s had been dotted, until our first day at the Magic Kingdom. All of a sudden, everyone wanted to be the leader and the boss. For months when I had asked for input and opinions, I was told that whatever I thought would be fine. Now, they were singing a different tune, and we ended up breaking into 4 different groups and doing our own thing. After that experience, I came up with a list of suggestions on how to handle a large group.
- Pick a Disney Planner: If you or your family doesn’t have the experience or knowledge of planning a huge family vacation, then DON’T go it alone. Call your favorite Wizard and let us help.
- Choose a Family Captain: With some many voices talking all at once, it’s really difficult to get anything done. Choosing 1 family member to work with the planner will make it easier to coordinate and get everything taken care of for your vacation.
- Take a Poll: You want everyone to feel like they have been heard, so take a poll of what everyone would like to see, do, and eat while at WDW.
- Pick your Top 10 Attractions: Now simply narrow down into a top 10 list. I know this can be easier said than done. Hopefully most of the group will want some of the same rides and attractions.
- Pick your Top Restaurants: This one can be tricky. Really think about what kind of restaurants might make most of the group happy. Remember you can’t please everyone, so aim for most of the group. Think about looking up menus or pictures for certain restaurants you are thinking about.
- Mark your Calendar: It is super important for you and your planner to know when your dining, fastpass, and final payment days fall. You want to make sure you are able to get everything you want, so that means being on top of it. However, knowing my fellow Wizards like I do, every one of us is 100% on it.
- Make a Game Plan: Itineraries can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be your greatest enemy. Between dining reservations and fastpass times, it creates an itinerary. Make sure that you aren’t running all over the parks to get from fastpass to fastpass. Pick a direction and give yourself time to ride other things while you’re in each area. Think about having a loose itinerary and remember things happen, and that’s okay.
- Remember who your Captain is: It is very important for the group to remember who they picked to work with the planner. So, next to your Wizard, your Captain knows the most about your trip. Let them be the leader.
There you have it. I hope you find this list helpful. It can be truly overwhelming to plan and travel with a large group. Too many cooks in the kitchen is never a good thing. Just keep calm, be patient, and have fun. No matter what happens you are still on vacation at Walt Disney World and that beats any day at home.
Remember Friends don’t let Friends book alone. Call your favorite Vacation Wizard today.