Thursday, May 17, 2012

Survival at Disney in a Large Group

Twenty people is the largest number that I have ever spent time with at Walt Disney World.  This includes three generations of the same family.  The youngest member of the group was a toddler and the oldest members were in their sixties. 

Traditionally, we have an Advanced Dining Reservation before we leave for Walt Disney World.  In the past few trips, we have also stayed on property.  One of the benefits of staying on property aside from the proximity and theming, is the option to be able to travel by Disney transportation.  This includes the buses, monorails, and the boats.  From each of the resort hotels on property you have the option of taking one of these forms of transportation to any of the four theme parks, the two water parks or Downtown Disney. 

The reason that the transportation is important is that it allows guests with different interests to spend their vacation enjoying different parts of Walt Disney World.  A group as large as twenty encompasses many different needs.  There might be people who need to nap, simply get out of the sun, or a request for a mid-afternoon swim back at the hotel.  Some people in the group might also want to head to different parks to enjoy different types of rides. 

When making the reservations for meals, it is important for everyone in the group to be able to understand where in Walt Disney World the restaurant is.  For example, when dining within the World Showcase at Epcot, a guest needs to leave time to travel to the park, wait to be admitted and then walk around the World Showcase Lagoon.   It is worth leaving at least an hour to get from a hotel to the Advanced Dining Reservation if you need to take transportation to get there. 

Meeting up at the location of the Advanced Dining Reservation allows everyone to move through the resort at the pace that best fits their needs.  People have the option to either get up for a particular park’s rope drop or get a slower start into the parks.  Being on vacation allows everyone to do what they want to do as opposed to real life when you are told when to be where for work or school. 

When the Advanced Dining Reservation is for dinner people have the option to stay together for a night performance, fireworks or a parade or head back to the hotel for an early night.  Freedom and flexibility allow a large group to keep the peace throughout the entire trip. 

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