TouringPlans is pleased to welcome guest author Amy Schinner.
Disney Parks are a great place to travel with groups because there’s something for everyone. Sometimes, that can be exactly the problem… there’s so much to do and everyone has different wish lists.
We touched on this in the planning article of this series, but it’s really hard to stay as a big group every minute of the vacation.
Before the vacation even begins, check with everyone about what they are most looking forward to. Make sure you get that list for each park you will be visiting. There’s no way to do everything, but everyone should have a chance to do their favorites. This will also help in choosing subgroups, and the subgroups might surprise you.
TIP: Carefully measure anyone that might not meet height requirements. It would be heartbreaking to learn at the park that you are too short to ride Slinky Dog Dash.
The easiest times to be together are meals. If you didn’t plan on sit-down dining, make plans to meet at a specific restaurant at a specific time and place your mobile order. I suggest you have this planned before you leave but AT LEAST by morning before the parks open. Mobile order times fill up, so trying to get a large group in at mealtime could be a challenge.
Not everyone has the same thrill levels. Make up subgroups based on age, abilities, and adult supervision. Do some rides together each day and then let the adventurous group head to Space Mountain while the guppies check out Little Mermaid.
TIP: Just like everyone has a different thrill level, they also have a different level on the Star Wars Geek spectrum. If this is true in your group I suggest everyone visit Galaxy’s Edge, get some pictures and experience the attractions, then let the geeks immerse themselves the details and the earthlings head to the Lightning McQueen Racing Academy for some laughs.
Choosing subgroups can be tricky. If you are a little cousin who is thrilled to be with the big guys, then separating can be tough. Be sure to tell everyone the plan before the trip and coach the older kids and favorite uncles and aunts to sit with people not in their subgroup at meals. At the rides you experience together ride with different people. You know Grandma wants to ride Dumbo with the 16 year olds! If you do any “out of the box” activities, split up the typical subgroups as well.
When you divide and conquer like this everyone gets to do what they are most looking forward to and maybe get a little bit of breathing room.
Up next: “out of the box” activities that make a trip extra special and create fun “group time”.
What are your best tips for traveling with a large group? Let us know in the comments.
Amy Schinner is a lifelong fan of Disney, a mom and an advocate for people with special needs. She loves spinning in teacups, screaming down Mt. Everest and exploring all of it with her family. Her joy is helping families vacation and create memories together because everyone deserves some pixie dust! Visit her at www.mouseearsforeveryone.com on Twitter @amy_schinner or on Facebook.