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How to Successfully Manage Disney with a Large Group

Walt Disney World is a fantastic place for large groups to visit together. Grandparents and grandkids can all enjoy the magic of Disney. Because of this ability, many families head to Walt Disney World together. This can bring many memories and magical moments but also frustration if you don’t plan.

We have tips for successfully managing Walt Disney World with a large group. Use these tips to set everyone up for success during your trip.

Generations at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Have One Leader

The expression too many cooks in the kitchen applies to this situation. When traveling with a large group, we recommend designating one person to be in charge. This will be your leader who keeps everyone on the same page.

Having one person in charge provides a central location for all the plans to be collected. The leader is the one who will make sure flights, hotel, dining, and Park reservations are all linked and ready to go.

Being the group leader isn’t an easy job, but it is essential. If you don’t have one head person, you will probably end up with no one in charge. Without anyone in charge, you will probably spend a lot of wasted time trying to determine what is going on or have frustration when part of the group didn’t make their reservations like everyone else.

If you are the leader and reading blogs, consider creating a document to keep track of all the information. Use something such as Google Docs where everyone can access the information. This can be a great way to keep everyone together.

Donald Frustrated Planning
Donald Frustrated Planning

Create a Plan

When traveling to Walt Disney World, it is always essential to have an overall plan. This becomes even more important when traveling with a larger group. Take time before you arrive at Walt Disney World to create a list of must-dos. This list could include attractions, dining, snacks, or evening pool time.

Allow everyone to voice their one or two must-dos for the trip and use that to create an overall plan. Creating the plan ahead of time keeps everyone focused on the daily plans and lets everyone know when their favorite ride is on the schedule.

Having a plan before you arrive at your Disney Park for the day is vital so you don’t waste precious time trying to make a plan. Having the plans on a document or shared app where everyone can access it can also help with communication.

Credit: Disney

Split Up

As you are making plans, be okay with splitting the group up. This might allow each family to do some experiences together at the Park. Another way to split up is by experiences. Allow the thrill seekers to all head to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind together while others take time to walk around and enjoy the World Showcase.

When you have a large group of people traveling together, don’t try to do everything together the whole trip. That can get overwhelming and frustrating trying to keep everyone together. Instead, allow for time to be separate. Having time apart allows you to come back and share your experiences.

Don’t be offended when people need some alone time during the trip. This is also important as it helps people refresh and reset before enjoying more of the magic.

family refresh
Credit; Disney

Group Activities

Just like it is essential to allow for splitting up, it is also important to plan for some group activities. As you go through your plans, consider what the whole group wants to prioritize together.

Are there specific rides, shows, or meals that everyone wants to experience together? Talk about those expectations and create a plan to make sure they happen. Use Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes to help. These can allow you to all experience specific rides with lower wait times.

Shows are also great experiences to do as a large group. Shows have a lot of seating, making it easier for a larger group to stay together.

Finally, think about nighttime shows. These are truly magical, but if not everyone wants to stay late or wants to be in the crowds, don’t force these to be a whole group activity.

Look at your must-do list and see what experiences are the most popular. Consider doing those all together as a whole group when possible.

Hoop Dee DOo
Credit: Disney

Dining Plans

Finally, when traveling with a large group, make food plans. Consider locations with larger accommodations if you want to go to table-service restaurants. In EPCOT, Biergarten and Via Napoli have large tables like Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness. Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort has some larger tables.

If you don’t prefer those options, you might need to split your group into smaller parties. Book reservations simultaneously and then ask the host if they can put everyone near one another.

Showing up at Walt Disney World without a food plan is a major mistake. With a large group, this can be an even bigger mistake. Make sure you discuss what everyone wants to do for meals and plan accordingly. Remember, dining reservations open 60 days before check-in.

Traveling to Walt Disney World with a large group can be highly magical. Taking these steps is essential to ensure you can manage the experience successfully. It is key to have conversations about goals and expectations before the trip so everyone is on the same page. By doing so, you set the group up for success and a lot of magical moments together.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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