Disney with a LARGE group

So, I’m not sure if anyone knows this, but I just came back from a family reunion in Disney World.  There was a LOT of people!  25 to be exact.  Was it fun, YES.  But boy is it complicated.

As you can imagine, it’s not easy to wrangle 20+ people into the same location.  So, we were ALL together only once.  For the most part, it was me with my immediate family (which in it of itself is no small feat as there are 10 of us).  On a few occasions we had dinner as a group of 22 (the 3 others are Orlando locals and were unable to join us for dinner-they did, though, join us in Epcot one afternoon).  Here are some interesting things that I learned through this journey.

  1.  Plan as far ahead as you can!  Disney allows you to book dining reservations 180 days in advance and fast passes can be booked 60 days prior.  I began planning this epic event earlier this year (I believe it was April); and, trust me when I tell you, I’m GLAD I did.  The 10-23 of us would NEVER have been able to do much of anything together had I not planned it out so far in advance.  Honestly, I wish I had started even sooner, because the full 180 days would have made the reservations a bit easier to come by.  It’s not that we didn’t get reservations, there were a few instances where we didn’t get the location or times we wanted.
  2. The dining plan is WORTH it!  It’s around $65 a day, per person; and, with it, you get 2 meals (1 sit-down and 1 counter service) and a snack.  Without the plan the sit-down meals are $50+, the counter service meals are easily $20, and the snacks are around $5-10.  As an example, one evening our bill (for just 5 adults) was almost $500.  These sit-down meals are often all you can eat, so trust me, it REALLY is worth it.
  3.  Do research before making fast pass selections.  Make sure you’re fast passing the rides that often have a long wait.  You only get 3 per month so don’t waste them.
  4. Disney truly does abide by their “Happiest place on Earth” motto.  After going on a ride, my 4-year-old nephew cried because he wanted to go again.  One of the workers on the ride gave him another fast-pass (for ALL 10 of us)!

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