In a little over two months, we are heading down to Walt Disney World for our winter getaway. This time, we are bringing my husband’s entire family, and while planning for a Walt Disney World Resort vacation for a large multi-generational family may seem quite daunting, it doesn’t have to be. So here are some of my top tips, not only to keep everyone happy but also to ensure everyone has the most magical time ever.
1. Stay on property:
Okay so, truth be told, this is my favorite tip for anyone regardless of family size. But with a large group staying on property is absolutely amazing. Not only are there some great accommodations to meet everyone’s needs, but the benefits to staying on property surpasses those off property. Just think, that Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom Park means that much more time showing your parents what its like to be a kid again!
2. Plan at least one table service meal a day:
We tend to get so caught up with the day’s events that we forget to talk about it! If you include at least one table service meal a day, it allows for you and your entire family to really reconnect with one another. And let’s not even mention, those sit down restaurants are pretty incredible. Want to make it even more magical? Make sure you book a character meal in your plans. Believe me, I absolutely love seeing my parents face light up watching my kids interact with their favorite Disney friends.
3. Break up the group:
We all love family. But lets face it; at times spending 24/7 with everyone can be a bit draining. And just because you love Space Mountain doesn’t mean your brother does. Sometimes that is more than okay. So break up your group from time to time. While some may take advantage of the more thrilling attractions, let those that aren’t relax by the pool for the afternoon. Believe me, you will appreciate the time together that much more if you do so.
4. Take advantage of PhotoPass:
There is always one person in every family that never gets in any of the photos because they are always taking them. You know who you are. Just remember, you are here to enjoy the vacation just as much. And yes, you are part of the family. If you have never taken advantage of the PhotoPass photography services, now is your chance. It’s a great way to capture all those memories for years to come AND get everyone in there! While you are at it, add on Memory Maker to your package! That way every single photo is on your account and easy to download!
5. Be flexible:
Yes, you booked all your Fastpass+ selections and made all your advanced dining reservations. But things happen. While it is great to have a plan, allow yourself some time to be flexible. There will be meltdowns and long days. Things happen, so let them and know that you can always change your plans if need be.
6. Just enjoy it.
Really do I need to say more? Years from now, it won’t matter that your little one had a meltdown in the middle of Main Street, U.S.A., or that your outfits didn’t exactly match. Don’t focus on the trivial things. Rather go and enjoy each and every moment. Smile. Take that photo of your kids holding their grandparents hand around Fantasyland. In the end, it will be these memories that you will talk about for years to come.