• On Apr 16, 2009
    Melinde from TN Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    This will be our first time at WDW, and there is going to be 8 adults, and 8 kids, ranging in age from 18 months to 14 years, I wanted to get some info on anything and everything that somebody would think would help. Dining, rides, things like that. Thanks


    I've planned several Magical Gatherings, and I can tell you that you've taken the right first step: seek advice!  There's one thing to go to Disney with just your immediate family, but it's quite another to be the travel guide for 16 people! 

    To get started, I'd recommend spending time visiting our archives here at the Mom's Panel, specifically under Planning Section/Larger Traveling Parties.  There will be questions--and thankfully, answers--you may not even think to ask!

    Next, invest in a Disney travel book.  Although my personal favorite is the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, each of the moms here on the panel have his/her own favorites, like Passporters and the Complete Idiot's Guide to Disney by my fellow panelist, Disney Dad Doug.

    Just to hit the highlights, here are my TOP 3 Tips for larger parties:
    • Plan one park per day.  Save the money on park hoppers and create enough of a schedule to help everyone from going in a million directions and wasting time asking, "What do we do next?" 
    • For park touring and rides, consider breaking up the group into smaller units around the kids ages like pre-schoolers, elementary-age and teenagers.  You'd be surprised how much more territory can be traveled when everyone has similar interests. 
    • Eat one meal together each day.  Let this be your time to visit and share memories.  Your best bets are the buffet meals.  Personally, I like Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom, Biergarten in Epcot, and Hoop Dee Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness.  If you can afford it, get the dining plan, so you won't have to worry about who's picking up the check!
    If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me via my bio page!

    Wishing you a magical vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Whitney, Mississippi

My family of 6 appreciates Disney's value! Although Ft. Wilderness is our second home, we've enjoyed the resorts for business, reunions and romantic getaways. For me, Disney also means dining: last count, I'd eaten at 55 restaurants around the World! Learn More About Whitney

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