Planning a Disney vacation for the whole family can be an exciting, and sometimes overwhelming task. This may especially be the case when you are traveling with a large family. This is your complete guide to Walt Disney World for large families.
Traveling with a Large Family
A large family can mean any number of things. For the purposes of this guide, I am referring to families that are traveling with more than 5 guests, whether you are staying in the same space or not. This could refer to your immediate family, In my case, I am the proud mom of four kids! Sometimes, that takes a bit more planning when we go on vacation because not all destinations offer accommodations that will fit all of us together.
This could also mean extended family. For many people, a Walt Disney World vacation is a bucket-list item with many opportunities for magical moments and memories. Multi-generational trips are a great way to make memories with the whole family. When one part of the family starts to plan a visit, it’s not at all uncommon for the grandparents or other extended family members to want to join in and be a part of the magic.
That being said, how do you do that seamlessly? Whether it’s finding accommodations, making travel arrangements, coordinating meals, etc., there are several factors to consider as you are planning your trip. However, it can be done successfully when you keep some things in mind.
Where To Stay
Once you decide who all is going on your trip, the next step is to figure out where to stay. There are a few questions to ask as you begin planning:
- How many guests are traveling?
- How old are the kids? In addition to the room capacity, one child under the age of 3 is permitted
- Do you want your whole party to stay together or are you looking for separate rooms?
- Do you want to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel?
At the Walt Disney World Resort, there are several great resort hotels that offer accommodations for large families. These options include:
Two or more rooms at any resort hotel
- If there are several families traveling together but prefer their own space, it’s always possible to get more than one room. Requests can be made to the resort so that the families are close together. It is important to note that these are requests, not guaranteed. The exception would be if there is one party with more kids than adults traveling and two rooms are needed (e.g. 2 adults and 4 kids). In that case, two connecting rooms may be provided.
- There are two value resorts that offer family suites, which accommodate up to 6 adults and one child under age 3.
- If you would like to stay at a moderate-level resort and have more than 5 guests staying together, there are two options. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has the Casitas – Executive Suite that will sleep up to 8 adults. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort sleeps up to 6 adults and includes a fully-stocked kitchen.
- Several of the Deluxe resorts accommodate up to 5 adults plus one child under the age of 3 in the standard guest rooms. In addition, there are also suites available at many of these resorts that hold 6 or 8 guests.
- The Deluxe Villas offer accommodations for travel parties of all sizes. There are deluxe studios available, as well as 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom grand villas. Many of these options include fully equipped kitchens and living space as well.
Other Great Options
- If you would prefer to explore other options such as vacation rentals or partner hotels, there are plenty to choose from. For example, the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve recently opened and is located in the EPCOT area. This brand-new hotel is adjacent to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and includes suites that accommodate up to 10 guests.
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, traveling around the resort will be relatively easy, regardless of your family size. There are many different methods of transportation around the resort to help you get where you need to go.
If you plan to fly, there are several options available to get you from the airport to your resort hotel too. Although Magical Express is ending, the new Mears Connect is available to take guests to their resort hotels, along with the Sunshine Flyer.
Rental cars or a ride share service are also options but depending on your travel party, may require more than one vehicle. In addition, there are many companies that offer private transfers with a meet and greet service included at baggage claim.
If you want to have any sit-down dining experiences, including character meals, dining reservations are a must. While some locations offer walk-up availability, this may be limited and is not recommended for large parties.
Dining reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance. Keep in mind that with large parties, you may need to contact Disney or the restaurant directly. This depends on the number of guests dining at the restaurant.
As you are planning your vacation, there are some important tips to keep in mind as you get closer to your trip and also once you have arrived.
1.) Use a travel advisor.
- A travel advisor helps ensure all of your plans are seamless. Whether it’s the resort accommodations, transportation, or navigating the parks, your travel advisor is a good resource. Often, travel advisors are well-versed in working with large families and groups. It is their job to help you organize your plans so that you have the best vacation experience possible and it’s at no additional cost to you!
2.) Book early and make those theme park reservations.
- The planning timeline for a Disney vacation looks different than it did before. However, it’s still important to book early for the best choice of resorts. Plus, theme park reservations are required, at least for the foreseeable future. These reservations are subject to availability so it’s always best to get them set up as soon as possible. They can always be modified if plans change.
3.)Share plans on My Disney Experience.
- This can be a bit tricky if you have multiple accounts and resort reservations. It’s important to make sure everyone is connected who will be making plans together. Doing this will ensure that you can make your dining reservations together, select your Lightning Lane return times, and more. Plus, if you have Memory Maker, this is the way to share your photos with the whole family. This is an example of something your travel advisor can help with!
Walt Disney World for large families may seem a little challenging but with a few extra considerations and tips, you can have a magical trip with the whole family!
Are you considering a trip? This is a great time to plan your perfect vacation! Having a travel advisor means someone there to have your back in any occurrence. There is no additional cost to you and you have peace of mind knowing that your vacation is in good hands. Contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.