Planning for a Large Group: Thinking Outside the Box

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TouringPlans is pleased to welcome guest author Amy Schinner.

This is part 3 of Amy’s series on travel with large groups. Make sure to read part 1 (planning) and part 2 (touring tips) as well.

A group vacation at Walt Disney World is a lot of fun. The parks are the obvious attraction, but if everyone splits up and does what they want to do (which I highly recommend) then when do you spend time together as a group?

Here are some ideas of what is easily available as well as some fun ideas that will take a little prep work.

Resorts

Stormalong Bay

Let’s start with the easiest way to spend time together: at your resort. Carve some time to spend at the resort that isn’t just naptime. There are activity time guides available at all the resorts. Here’s just some of what may be available.

  • Swimming
  • Movies on the lawn in the evenings
  • Sports (volleyball, foosball, etc. — plan your own tournament!)
  • Campfires
  • Pontoon Boats – rent watercraft including a pontoon boat for up to 10 people for $45 per half hour. Other boats are available at different price points. You can rent them at The Contemporary, Grand Floridian, or the Yacht Club, but you do not have to be a guest at that resort to do it.

Miniature Golf

Mini Golf
©Disney

It’s Florida, so of course there’s miniature golf! As a matter of fact there are two courses.

  • Fantasia Gardens is obviously themed with dancing hippos and other Fantasia favorites. It is located by the Swan and Dolphin hotels but is not accessible by Disney transportation.
  • Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is classic mini golf with summer on one side and winter on the other. This course is located by Blizzard Beach. You can use the bus to access it during Blizzard Beach operating hours.

Fort Wilderness Campground

If you are an outdoorsy group, there are many activities at the campground. You don’t need to stay there, just make reservations for each activity. You also want to make sure you can get there easily before you book. It’s easiest if you have a car or take an Uber, but you can also take a boat from Magic Kingdom. Here’s just some of what is offered:

  • Canoe Rentals
  • Archery Experience
  • Horseback Riding
  • Horse Drawn Wagon Ride
  • Kayak Rentals

Scavenger Hunts

EPCOT has a ready-to-go scavenger hunt in the World Showcase during festivals (which is the majority of the time).  This is an easy one that the whole family can work together to fill in a map with cute stickers and win a prize.

If you want to break into smaller groups, sorted to make all teams as equal as possible, you could have a competitive game. Here’s some other ideas for scavenger hunts:

  • The Seas at EPCOT: Have a list of sea creatures, either with pictures or elevate the degree of difficulty and just list the scientific names. See who can find them all first.
  • Animal Kingdom: Look for animals in the Tree of Life. I would definitely put a time limit on this, there are trails all around, with carvings. Any group that finds all of them deserves a special prize!
  • Animal Kingdom: Look for animals throughout the park, not just on the Safari.
  • Hollywood Studios: If everyone is on the same area of the Star Wars fan spectrum, this could be very fun! Don’t forget the Star Tours Area too!
  • Magic Kingdom: A nature hunt on Tom Sawyer Island would be fun and different.

You can also plan a multi-step challenge similar to Amazing Race that has park-appropriate challenges. My family still laughs, and debates, about ours!

Whatever you choose, super easy for a quick addition to your day or an Epic Battle, remember to require pictures, include bonus points for finding Hidden Mickey’s and have fun!

Hopefully this has helped you think of ways to include multiple generations in the same activity. These are the memories that last a lifetime!

What sort of activities do you do as a group when you’re at Walt Disney World? 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.

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