Wishes in the Magic Kingdom
is a great way to end the night.
Designate a Planner:
Bay Lake Tower.
Some of the thorniest problems can be money related, exposing potentially uncomfortable differences in lifestyles between groups, especially when family members are involved:
- Make sure everyone knows up front what their financial responsibilities are.
- While convenience might dictate that one person pays for everything and is then reimbursed, this can lead to some awkwardness. You can pay for your Disney reservation with multiple cards, so if that's easier, try this option.
- Many groups choose not to stay at the same resort, so if someone in your group has a bigger budget and prefers the Grand Floridian while everyone else stays at Pop, that's fine. I've never seen this turn into a major issue, although I've seen lots of worry about it ahead of time.
- Don't get your feelings hurt too easily. Sometimes you have to be the bigger person when you're dealing with a large group of people. It's almost always better to take the higher ground and not let little things get out of hand. If your brother-in-law (that party pooper) doesn't want to wear matching shirts, let it go.
- But, remember that it's your vacation too. Carve out time for the things that are important to you.
- Forget perfection. Traveling with a large group can be big and messy: Kids get sick, couples have spats, and some people just aren't interested in a visiting Animal Kingdom! There will be times when you have to forget the plan and just enjoy the day.
2. Meals can be tricky. When you're traveling with a large group, it's sometimes better to decide on a few big meals together rather than having every one together. Try a welcome dinner someplace like Crystal Palace and then a big celebration meal on the last night at Ohana's. Both accommodate large groups and have something for nearly everyone to eat. You could also do a special meal for all the little girls and moms in the group at Akershus while the boys try a pirate cruise.
3. Try a private event for your group. Private events are an easy way to get the entire group together in a low-stress way where everything is basically done for you. Illuminations dessert parties and Wishes cruises on Seven Seas Lagoon are easy to organize and surprisingly economical for large groups. Best of all, they take place in the cool of the evening when most everyone is relaxed and happy.
4. Meet up at night. If your group is split up during the day, try designating a meeting at the end of the night. If it's not dinner together, try meeting at the pool and having drinks or even gathering at the parks for a ride on a certain attraction. Try to pick one that even the smallest members of your group can ride. I had a friend who had a casual wedding at Walt Disney World a few years ago. One clever thing she did was invite everyone to "take the plunge" with her and her groom on Splash Mountain the night before her wedding.
5. Trying giving a job to those who want it. It can be as simple as having one person in charge of fastpasses or in the planning phase, one person who makes dining reservations.
I think group vacations can be one of the most rewarding, fun ways to see Walt Disney World. I love seeing a big group with grandparents at the helm or a large group of friends enjoying the parks. Don't be afraid to put together that large group. Just put in a little bit of time and work and you'll be rewarded with an incredible experience in the end.