Kids being silly on Main Street
  • On Aug 3, 2019
    Ashlyn from IN Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    I am wanting to take a big family trip with 7+ people, how should i go about planning it?

    Hi Ashlyn,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, and greetings from a fellow Hoosier! I'm thrilled to hear that you're planning an adventure to "The Most Magical Place on Earth" with lots of fellow Mouseketeers! As the mama to five kiddos myself, our immediate family is quite large so I'm used to planning Disney vacations for lots of folks and would be happy to help you as you get started!

    I'm glad to see that you're thinking about your trip already. Since it's more than a year away, you'll have plenty of time to familiarize yourself a bit with all that a Disney vacation entails. I'd recommend watching some fantastic planning videos and reading the Disney Parks Blog, the Walt Disney World Resort website, and some of the other answers here at the Disney Parks Moms Panel. The more planning you do ahead of time, the more comfortable and prepared you'll be when you pass through those magical welcome gates and your Disney dreams begin coming true. A big piece of the planning puzzle is figuring out where you'd like to stay. The great news is that you'll find a Disney Resort hotel to fit every budget, and with wonderful perks like early FastPass+ planning, complimentary MagicBands, and access to Extra Magic Hours, I'd definitely recommend staying on-site. Here are some of my thoughts on where to stay with a larger family. You'll also want to consider how long you'd like to stay and how many days you'd like to visit the theme parks. If you can, I'd recommend spending at least one day at each theme park, and possibly two days each for Epcot and Magic Kingdom Park. I wouldn't recommend doing a park every day, though. My family loves taking a day "off" in the middle of our visit to sleep in, enjoy all of the great amenities our Disney Resort hotel has to offer, and slow down a little before jumping back into the magic and fun of the theme parks.

    There are a few planning milestones you'll want to make sure you don't miss along the way. Dining reservations become available to book 180 days in advance, and believe it or not, many restaurants are quite popular and fill up really early. If you already have your Disney Resort hotel booked, you'll be able to make selections for the entire length of your stay, up to 10 days, at that 180-day point. Your other big planning milestone will be closer to your trip. Beginning 60 days before your check-in (if you're staying at a Disney Resort hotel), you'll be able to make three FastPass+ selections per day for the entire length of your trip, up to 14 days. If you stay off-site, you'll still be able to make three FastPass+ selections per day, but you'll make them one day at a time, 30 days in advance.

    I know it can feel a little overwhelming, so please feel free to come back and see us again when you have more questions or if you'd like recommendations on certain Resort hotels, places to eat, things to do, etc. We're always here and happy to help! Ashlyn, I hope that you have fun planning and that your entire family has a truly magical vacation together!

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Meet the Panelist: Missy, Virginia

Hi!  I'm Missy, a homeschool mom originally from Indiana, but recently transplanted to Virginia.  With a husband and five kids, I understand what busy family life is all about and how important it is to get away and create magical moments with your loved ones.  I also believe planning is half the fun, so I'd be honored to help you plan your Walt Disney World Resort vacation! Learn More About Missy

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