Traveling to Walt Disney World with a large group can be exciting, but it can also be a challenge! Whether you’re traveling with several generations in your family, a large group for an event, or a girl’s trip to Walt Disney World, there are things you should know to help your trip go smoother. Read for all of our tips for large groups at Walt Disney World.
Traveling with a large group to Walt Disney World
Traveling to Walt Disney World in a large group can be a lot of fun! But it just requires a little extra planning. Use these tips to help you plan your next group trip to Walt Disney World. Maybe this is the family trip you’ve been wanting to take for years. Maybe you’re celebrating a relative’s college graduation. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to take your grandmother and now you can! No matter your reason for traveling with a large group to Walt Disney World, we know these types of trips can get tricky sometimes!
Deciding where to stay for a large group at Walt Disney World
First and foremost, you’ll likely want to start with a budget. Since a large group can contain so many different people. all with their own budgets, that’s a great place to start. Find out what everyone is comfortable spending and go from there. Decide how many rooms you’ll need. And if you’ll want to all be together in the same room, or have separate ones. Family Suites at Art of Animation and All-Star Music can fit up to 6 people and are usually pretty affordable. But if your budget has a bit more freedom, 1-, 2-, or even 3- bedroom villas at deluxe resorts can be a bit more comfortable.
Alternatively, if you’re ok with the group being split up, sometimes two separate rooms are actually a little cheaper than one large one. If you do book separate rooms, you can request connecting rooms. Or you can call afterward and let them know you’re traveling together and would like to be placed near each other. They only guarantee rooms right next to one another if you have minors in each room. But they can usually try to at least get you on the same floor, or in the same building.
Dining Reservations for large groups at Walt Disney World
Dining Reservations are where things can get really tricky when it comes to larger groups. Not only are dining reservations at Walt Disney World particularly difficult to get right now, but trying to get reservations for a larger party can be downright confusing. First of all, most restaurants won’t show availability for parties over 6. Secondly, depending on which restaurant you want, they may not even be able to take more than 6 people per table. That’s usually not the case. But at some restaurants, for example, those with booths, they can’t take more than 6 or 8 people. Some restaurants, like Via Napoli, feel like they were just meant for large groups at Walt Disney World. Others, not as much.
The best way to approach restaurants at Disney with large parties is to make multiple reservations for around the same time. You’ll likely want to do this using two separate accounts, or more if you have more than 12 people, so pick two parties who are willing to be “in charge” of each reservation, and assign one reservation to each group. Get the reservations as close together as possible in regard to time. You usually only be able to find reservations for the exact times, but you can usually get pretty close.
When it’s time to eat, try to arrive around 15 minutes or so before your reservation time. And ask to be seated together. There’s no guarantee that they will be able to accommodate you. But as with all things Disney, they will when possible. Dining reservations for large groups at Disney can be tricky, but Disney will always accommodate when they can!
Spend some time apart
Listen, this tip could easily save your trip. Yes, you are there to make memories together. That doesn’t mean everything you do has to be together. We could easily make a TV show out of anecdotes we’ve witnessed at Walt Disney World of families who clearly have had too much time together. Plan some time apart. You don’t have all be apart, but you shouldn’t all be together the entire time. Even if you just take a few hours apart each afternoon to recharge at your resort, or take a nap, you’ll appreciate having the time apart and it’ll help you enjoy your time together more.
Maybe this means a few people go to Disney Springs, while others hang back at the resort pool. Maybe this means not having all of your meals together or splitting up for one day. Or maybe it just means taking a midday break each day so everyone can recharge however is best for them. Don’t underestimate the value of even just taking a quick hour break and meeting up after for food or more park time. You want to enjoy your time together, and sometimes this means spending a little time apart. And that’s ok!
Link your Friends and Family in the My Disney Experience App
To make sure that you’re all able to get park reservations together, dine together, and ride the same rides together, you’ll want to make sure everyone is linked in My Disney Experience. This is easy to do and usually just takes a few minutes. Connect your friends and family via email and the rest is easy!
Make a list of priorities
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to do everything on your list. Even the most experienced Disney goers struggle with that. So, have each person make a list of priorities. Whether it’s rides, food, characters, experiences, or whatever you want to do, have everyone pick 3 things for each day. Find which things the people in your group have in common and put those into a “must-do” list. This will help you keep track of which things are most important for the group. And it’ll also help you see if there are certain people who enjoy the same things and others who might not.
Do you have a Haunted Mansion fanatic in your group, and also someone who thinks the ride is too scary? Or maybe a few roller coaster fans that are super excited about TRON, but also a few who get motion sickness? This is a great time to address these conflicting interests! Maybe one group can ride TRON while the others check out the People Mover or Carousel of Progress. You get the picture. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll be able to plan your Disney Days.
Choose one or two people to plan for the group
Now obviously, this person or these people don’t need to make all the decisions. You know the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen”? That applies to Disney trips too. Everyone should have a say. But when it comes to the details that probably most people don’t care about, like airport transportation, or which parks you go to on which day, one or two people are sufficient to handle that. Too many opinions about small things can lead to indecision, which then can sometimes lead to no decision being made at all.
Have you ever traveled to Walt Disney World with a large group? Let us know your best tips!
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .