We agree that Disney World is the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” but sometimes, it can also be the most stressful!
The property itself is massive, and there’s so much to do that you could stay for weeks and not conquer it all. There are apps to download, planning tips to learn, and theme parks to navigate, and it can all be a little bit overwhelming . That gets even more complicated with large parties, so what do you do when you’re traveling with a big group? Well, we’re breaking down our best tips!
Splitting up is okay
The first thing we need to talk about is splitting up! It may seem counterintuitive when your group likely all came to spend time together, but trust us — sometimes it’s definitely worth it. The larger the group, the more opinions, and it’ll be near impossible to make EVERYONE happy at once.
Especially if you’re traveling with a variety of ages, it can be challenging for everyone to go to the same rides or attractions, so divide and conquer. The little ones can enjoy a spin on Dumbo while the “big kiddos” go over to Space Mountain. You guys can all meet back up together later, and everyone will be a lot less cranky after they got to do what they wanted!
Dining planning is complicated
If you’re all hoping to eat together, you may face some challenges. It can be difficult to find reservations at table service restaurants for large parties, so you may need to split up into smaller groups or call Disney to get those sorted out the way you like. And this is another instance where it’s perfectly okay to split up if your group has different priorities! (Not everyone may be interested in a character meal.)
If you’re heading to eat at a quick service spot, make sure to look for a place that will be accommodating. You’ll need somewhere with a varied menu for all the different palettes, but you’ll also need to find a spot where there’s plenty of seating for your group. Each of the four theme parks has at least one restaurant like this, so we recommend spots like Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Connections Eatery, ABC Commissary, or Flame Tree Barbecue.
Talk About Budget
Ahh, budget, one of the most uncomfortable conversations, but also a necessary one. When you’re traveling with a large group, everyone may not be prepared to pay Grand Floridian prices for rooms, shell out cash for Genie+ every day, or eat at the fanciest restaurants. You’ll need to decide before your trip where you stand on these issues so that no budgets, or hearts, are broken!
Research. Research. Research!
Going to Disney World as a novice is challenging enough, but it gets even harder when you’re a newbie in a group full of other newbies! Make sure to check out the list of rides in each park, the dining options, and the basics of planning a Disney vacation beforehand. If you’re trying to figure everything out “on the go,” then it’ll take you twice as long to get anything done. And we probably don’t have to tell you — time is a VALUABLE asset when you’re in a large group because everything seems to move slowly anyway!
Make a list of priorities
After you’ve done all that research, make a list of what’s most important for you to accomplish. Are there rides you want to do and shows you want to see? Write them down! Make sure to get opinions from as many people in the group as possible so that you have a good sample of what your trip should look like.
Making that list of priorities will help you decide when to split up and how to plan your day. As we mentioned above, if you’re standing around making decisions, you’re wasting precious time in the parks. Plus, taking suggestions from the group ahead of time will make everyone feel like their opinions have been heard — and that’s a good start for keeping up morale!
And our final tip may be the most important of all! When you’re traveling with a large group, it’s easy for things to get lost in translation or for some members of your group to miss important messages. Having a clear method and system for communication will save you so much stress in the long run.
It’s also good to make important decisions together, like establishing a meeting spot in each park and deciding who’s responsible for watching children (if you have little ones in your group). Keeping a text group between the adults can be extremely helpful for these purposes.
Above all, remember to be patient. This trip will likely not progress as quickly or as smoothly as it would with a smaller group, and as long as you know that going in, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself and relax. Keep in mind — it’s still a vacation, so treat it like one!
For more tips on how to navigate the Disney World parks and plan your upcoming trip, stay tuned to AllEars. We’ve got you covered!
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Are you planning a trip with a large group? Tell us in the comments!