Disney Vacations can sometimes be a once in a lifetime ordeal for a large, extended family. And these types of trips aren’t a walk in the park to plan! Especially if Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins are all involved! Personally, I’ve been on multiple extended family Disney Vacations since I was a young child. Today I’m going to give you my top five biggest tips when planning a large family Disney Vacation.
#1 – Determine your budget.
The most important factor in planning a large, family vacation is the budget. You’ll need to decide if every individual family is paying for themselves. Or if there is going to be one large bill and you’ll split the bill. I’ve personally been involved in vacations using both techniques, and I will say that one is not better than the other. However knowing the overall, or individual family budget will determine what Disney Resort options you may have, as well as magical add ons.
#2 – Sit down and formally plan out who will all be attending and how many rooms you’ll need.
Not only is this important knowledge to know, but it will also help your Travel Agent when booking your rooms. This way you can know which family members will be staying in what room as well as if you’ll be needing connecting rooms. It’s best to know this information before booking. For example, if you book and then need to add another family to your party, there may not be available rooms left for your specific travel dates and Resort.
#3 – Link all members of your party together.
After you book your vacation, and all your ducks are lined in a row, make sure you take the time to download the MyDisneyExperience app! Here you can make Fastpass+ Reservations and Dining Reservations! The most important thing to do before any further planning is to link your parties Magic Bands together. Doing this allows you to book these FastPass+ and Dining reservations for everyone in your group at the same time, instead of just for yourself. This is very important to do with a large group! If you book through Travel With The Magic, we will be able to assist you in this step!
#4 – Invest in Memory Maker.
When having a large family, memory maker is hands down the best investment during your trip. If you have all the members in your party, linked to each other (tip #3) then every member in your party will be able to access Photopass photos from each other. This comes in handy if or when you split up, but want to be able to have a good collection of photos from your trip. Or for pure convenience. For example, If you’re getting a large group photo (like shown above) you only need to get one Magicband scanned for the entire family to have access to it. I recommend purchasing Memory Maker at the time of booking your trip. It costs $149 if purchased before you travel dates, and $169 if purchased during or after your trip. Anyway to save money! When you purchase Memory Maker you get free digital download of all your photos. And trust me, the price per photo adds up, so this is an amazing deal!
#5 – Remember not everyone will want to do the same things.
The most important thing to remember when booking a large family vacation is that people will most likely split up and go their separate ways during their stay. Not all family members will want to do the same things, and that is okay! My advice is break up into smaller groups, allow everyone to enjoy their day, and then regroup in the evening for a large family dinner or family activity! Trying to get six or more people to be happy doing the same thing is tricky.
And there you have it! These are my top five tips when planning a large, family vacation to one of the Disney Parks!
My name is Brittany Hughes and I am a Vacation Planner with Travel with the Magic. I specialize in Disney Vacations including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Adventures by Disney and the Disney Cruise Line. Email me today to help plan and book your vacation!