California Grill
  • On Apr 19, 2021
    Lindsey from NE Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I am charged with planning an October 2022 multi-family vacation. Includes grandparents, family of 4, family of 4, and family of 5. We hope to stay at the contemporary. When would you suggest we start planning and reservations?

    Hi Lindsey,

    Welcome to planDisney!

    First, let me congratulate you on your status as lead planner of the family! I typically start planning about one year in advance. I first check the vacation package prices for the same dates the year prior to our visit just to get an idea of the pricing. Doing so gives us a target savings goal for the next year even though we understand the price for our actual dates could be different. I also review the Special Offers the year prior to see how they affect the prices. 

    Once I have an estimate for the vacation package, I also estimate food costs. I create a chart to plan each day of our vacation, and we choose the restaurants for each meal period on each day. Then, I check the web pages of each restaurant and review the menus by clicking on View Menu. Using the prices from the menus, I add an estimate for taxes and gratuity to get an estimated total cost for each meal. Finally, I factor in airfare costs. Once you have your estimated cost of the trip, everyone can plan or save accordingly. 

    Once you are ready to book your trip, create a My Disney Experience account if you do not already have one. I recommend that at least one person in each family group have a My Disney Experience account. Once you reserve a vacation package, you will link that package in My Disney Experience. And, you can connect with the other folks using My Family & Friends in My Disney Experience.

    When you make your reservation, also check to see if you will need to make Disney Park Pass system reservations. If so, make those as soon as possible after booking your vacation package. My family also makes advanced dining reservations. Given the size of your party, you may need to make reservations for the same general time period with separate family groups (instead of trying to find a reservation for the entire group). For example, you could try making advanced dining reservations for each family between 7:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. and then, when arriving at the restaurant, ask if they could seat you together. Although not guaranteed, Cast Members have always tried to work some magic for us!

    Lindsey, I am so excited that you are planning well in advance. Disney's Contemporary Resort is one of my favorite resort hotels. We love to dine at Chef Mickey's and California Grill. And, the walking path to Magic Kingdom is glorious!

    Magic and memories,
thumbnail image for Donyell

Meet the Panelist: Donyell, North Carolina

Hello from North Carolina! I am a mom of twin girls, wife, and university professor who has been inspired by the creativity of Disney for a lifetime. Since my first Disney visit when I was 12-years-old, I have been drawn to the adventures crafted by Disney Imagineers. Planning Disney vacations helps connect me to families who will find in Disney the kind of joy my family has experienced over the years. Allow me to help you map your own Disney journey so that you, too can create the memories of a lifetime! Learn More About Donyell

Related Video

  • thumbnail image for Quick Tip | Memory Maker

Didn't find what you were looking for? Click the Ask a Question button to open the Ask a Question dialogue box. If you are not logged in a dialogue box will appear to signin in order to ask a question.

To submit your question, please sign in now if you have not already done so.

Ask a QuestionOpens the Ask a Question dialog box.

Update Browser

For a better experience browsing this website, please download an updated version of Internet Explorer.

Or you can continue browsing without updating.