Disney Travel Tip Tuesday – Planning a Multi-generational Grand Gathering

Sharing weekly tips that will save you time, money or simply make life easier on your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation.

Traveling with my Mom – 2007

Laura Spencer said, “One of the things I love about Walt Disney World that it is a wonderful destination for families with people ranging in age from 2 months to centenarians. My most cherished memory is a trip I took with four generations of Princesses that included me, my mother, my grandmother and my brand new baby daughter.

Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Kaylene J, travels with many generations too, but as the mother of five, she often plans for large groups as well. Vacations at Walt Disney World Resort with many generations of your family can be some of the most magical. Here are her tips to creating that magic”:

Traveling with my in-laws – 2010

1) Book your Advanced Dining Reservations 180 Days in Advance – Securing seats is particularly important for large parties, where sitting together is half the fun. Tip: If you split up in the Parks, be aware that restaurants won’t seat you until the entire party is present, so make sure everyone arrives on time for your reservations.

2) Designate one person as your “Travel Planner” – Have everyone share their top 3 attractions that they must see and add them to the agenda. You’ll never do everything there is to do at Walt Disney World, but this way everyone gets to experience one of their favorites.

3) Don’t Over-plan – Have a general idea of what you’d like to do each day, but be flexible. This will allow for plenty of magical moments to happen and for spontaneity. For example, if Grandma and her 13 year old grandson are enjoying watching the meerkats in Animal Kingdom together, that is magic worth slowing down to experience.

4) It’s OK to Separate -Teenagers might want to ride a thrill ride and the toddlers may be enjoying a playground. It’s a good idea that when you do separate, to all remain in the same theme park.  Navigating a park with large groups can be done with simple organization. Have a set time and place to meet at several times during the day and supply each group with a cell phone or long-range walkie talkie.

5) Be a Kid Again – Once you enter the gates of the Magic Kingdom and catch your first glimpse of Cinderella Castle, everyone magically becomes about aged 8! Don’t fight it! Skip down Main Street USA holding hands while wearing your Mickey ears. Ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror with your 5 year old granddaughter and holler the lyrics to “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” while riding Splash Mountain.

One of many Disney trips with my Dad – 2011

From a Disney Parks Blog post on November 17, 2010

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