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Doing Disney Vacation with a Large Family: Tips and Tricks!

A Disney vacation is always memorable and fun but not always easy to plan and budget with a large family or group. We recently took the plunge with our family of 11 and are excited to share some great tips and tricks for making the most of your large family Disney adventure! With the right planning and preparation, your Disney vacation with a large family can be stress-free and seamless.

Family of 11 standing for photo at Disney World all in matching purple shirts.

One of the most important things to consider when planning a Disney vacation with a large family is the accommodations. With so many people, it can be difficult to find a place that can comfortably fit everyone and having enough good beds and bathrooms is essential!

Luckily, many Disney resorts offer rooms and suites that are perfect for large families. With toddlers in tote, the number of bathrooms and a kitchen was highly important. We found a lot of the Disney resorts could accomodate the sleeping arrangements, but we also wanted the kitchen and refrigerator along with an extra bathroom. We found a great alternative we’ll share that made our large-family Disney vacation extra magical (read on…)!

Piglet with husband and wife and two young daughters at character breatfast at Disney World

Family Scheduling

Another thing to consider is how to keep everyone entertained during your Disney vacation, especially when there is a wide age-range. With so many different attractions and activities available, it can be tough to decide what to do especially when not everyone is able to do the same things.

One option is to split up into smaller groups so that everyone can do the things they’re most interested in. There is an awesome “ride-switch” option if you have a child in a stroller or family member in a wheelchair. Both parents can ride an attraction that their child(ren) may not be able to go on. The first parent waits in line and rides, and then the second parent “swaps” and rides without waiting in the regular queue. You can use the ride-switch as small groups also so one person doesn’t have to go solo.

Family smiling on a ride at Disney World

Disney Park App

Another option is to plan ahead and make sure you have a schedule that works for everyone. With a large group at Disney, the best advice is to remain flexible! The Disney park app is the best way to coordinate your days. Here are our tried and true “best tips” to help you plan your Disney vacation with a large family!

Choosing the Right Accommodation

Choosing the right accommodation is crucial for a successful Disney trip for a large group. Disney offers a variety of accommodations, including Deluxe Resorts, Value Resorts, and Deluxe Villas. If you have a larger family or group, Deluxe Villas may be the best option as they offer more space and amenities. A few also allow for pets if you’re planning on bringing the furry family members along!

Travel Tip: If you are traveling with pets, please note that MOST Disney resorts do not allow pets. We found this policy is always changing so be sure to call and verify before you book. This is one reason we opted for an extra accommodation outside the resort!

two princess beds

We were 11 strong for our Disney vacation, two toddlers included… and Honey the cat. For staying at the parks, we were looking at needing three rooms or two deluxe suites for our five-day stay which gets costly. In considering the bathrooms weighed against the amount of people and really wanting the amenities of a kitchen, we found a great compromise of booking an off-site rental home (less than 2 miles from the park). This allowed us to stay within budget, have plenty of space for everyone and gave us the luxury of a full kitchen.

Finding nemo pool

There are incredible Disney-themed rental homes with-in a couple miles of the parks that are not only fun, but have a lot of space for everyone to be comfortable. We found a home with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 13, with a beautiful princess room, Pirates of the Caribbean room, Winnie-the-Pooh bedroom, Nemo…, every room was decked out!

There were two pools, a large yard with swing sets and toys, every amenity you would need, including a large kitchen to make sandwiches and snacks ready for the days at the parks! The cost was much less than booking at the Disney hotels.

Pirates of the Caribbean bedroom

To get the perks and convenience of the Disney resorts, we booked a single room at Disney Swan for our stay. This allowed us to book our activities and passes early. We also were able to take advantage of parking a car and taking the Disney provided transporation from the Swan to the different parks. The convenience of having a place to rest during the day onsite was huge, especially when traveling with young ones!

Utilizing Disney Vacation Club Resorts

We are not part of the Disney Vacation Club but know that utilizing Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Resorts is another great option for large groups. DVC Resorts offer spacious villas with kitchens and laundry facilities, making them ideal for larger families or groups. You can also use DVC points to book accommodations, which can be a cost-effective way to stay at Disney.

Managing Park Tickets and Reservations

Disney app home page

Managing park tickets and reservations is essential for a large group Disney vacation. You can purchase theme park tickets in advance and make park reservations using the My Disney Experience app or website. We used this to its fullest and highly recommend the tools this app offers.

The app helps ensure that everyone in your group can enter the parks on the same day and at the same time, plus it helps keep track scheduling, wait times, restaurants in close proximity… a ton of valuable features!

Due to the costly investment of a Disney vacation, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance for a large group Disney trip. Some ticket re-sellers, such as Undercover Tourist, have a refund policy if you purchase through them. Not only did we get great pricing on our tickets through Undercover Tourist, I over-bought by one, I guess I was having a moment, and they refunded me, no questions asked!

Travel Tip: Undercover Tourist usually has some great deals on park tickets. You can purchase three or five day park tickets at child’s ticket prices, or purchase park tickets that are fully refundable, like we did. You can find information on their refundable ticket options here.

Buy 3 Days, Get 2 Days FREE when you buy through Undercover Tourist.” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollow”>three or five day park tickets at child’s ticket prices, or purchse park tickets that are fully refundable, like we did. ClickDining with a Large Family at Disney

When it comes to dining with a large family at Disney, there are a few things you should keep in mind. From navigating table service restaurants to maximizing meal plans and reservations, here’s what you need to know.

Navigating Table Service Restaurants

Disney World is home to a wide variety of table service restaurants, ranging from casual to fine dining. If you’re traveling with a large family, it’s important to choose restaurants that can accommodate your group. Be sure to check the restaurant’s capacity and make reservations in advance.

Inside Oga's Cantina at Disney World Resort. Large family with drinks around a table inside the cantina.
Taking a break at Oga’s Cantina at Disney World

We often had to make two reservations as the max of allowed people to a reservation in many restaurants is eight. We always called in advance to let them know it was two reservations, one party, they were very accomodating and made sure our tables were together. Again, go with a flexible attitude!

Maximizing Meal Plans and Reservations

If you’re on a meal plan, it’s important to make the most of your credits. Consider using quick service credits for breakfast and lunch, and saving your table service credits for dinner. This will allow you to enjoy more expensive meals without breaking the bank.

When it comes to making dining reservations, be sure to book in advance. Disney’s Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) can be made up to 60 days in advance, and popular restaurants fill up quickly. If you’re traveling with a large group, it’s especially important to make reservations well in advance.

Tip: We found that even when we booked on the first day of our 60 day advance period, there were still several places that could not accomodate us. So book as early as you can! It’s easier to cancel a reservation than get a new reservation with a big group!

Enjoying Character Meals with Big Groups

Priness breakfast at Disney World with diners eating and princesses walking around

Character meals are a great way to meet your favorite Disney characters while enjoying a meal. If you’re traveling with a large family, be sure to choose a restaurant that can accommodate your group. Many character meals take place in larger dining rooms that can accommodate large groups.

Pastries and fruit plate

One popular character meal is the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot. This all-you-can-eat breakfast features Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel and Princess Aurora. Another popular option is the Crystal Palace. This character buffet in the Magic Kingdom was a favorite of our crew. Here you’ll get to visit with Winnie the Pooh, piglet, Tigger and Eeyore.

Sausage, bacon, eggs and hasbrowns on a platter

Overall, dining with a large family at Disney can be a fun and enjoyable experience. By choosing the right restaurants, making reservations in advance, and taking advantage of meal plans, you can make the most of your Disney vacation. And don’t forget to try a Dole Whip while you’re there!

Exploring the Parks with Larger Families

When you’re planning a Disney vacation with a large family, visiting the parks can be a daunting task. However, with a little strategizing and preparation, you can make the most of your visit to the parks. Here are some tips to help you explore the parks with larger families.

Strategizing Your Visit to Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is arguably the most popular park in Disney World, so it’s important to strategize your visit to make the most of your time there. One way to do this is to arrive early and head straight to the attractions that are most important to your family. You can also use FastPass+ to reserve your spot on popular rides. Get your passes early as they do sell out quickly and they are only for limited rides!

Another tip is to take advantage of the park’s entertainment options. Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo are two shows that are perfect for all ages, and they provide a great break from the crowds and heat. The park’s parades are also a must-see, so make sure to check the schedule and plan accordingly.

Disney parade float with cinderella's dress on one float and Elsa and Ana on another

Discovering Entertainment for All Ages

Disney Parks are designed to appeal to guests of all ages, so it’s important to take advantage of the various entertainment options available. Hollywood Studios is a great park for families with older children, as it has plenty of thrill rides and shows like Fantasmic! and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.

Young girl smiling on a merry-go-round

For families with younger children, Small World is a classic ride that’s sure to delight. The park’s water parks are also a great option, as they provide a fun way to cool off on a hot day. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach both have attractions that are perfect for all ages, so make sure to add them to your itinerary.

Ensuring Easy Access to Attractions

One of the biggest challenges of visiting Disney Parks with a large family is ensuring easy access to attractions. However, there are several ways to make this easier. First, consider renting a stroller or wheelchair to help transport younger or older family members around the park. The rentals are very reasonable at around $15 for a full day.

Family of 11 standing in Disney World

You can also take advantage of Disney’s Disability Access Service, which provides assistance for guests with disabilities. This service allows guests to schedule a return time for attractions, so they don’t have to wait in line. Another option is to use Rider Switch, which we mentioned earlier.

Overall, exploring the parks with larger families requires a little extra planning and preparation, but it’s definitely worth it. With these tips in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Disney Parks and create magical memories that your family will cherish for years to come.

Accommodations and Comfort for Big Families

Walk Disney World's Dolphin Hotel exterior photo
The Disney Dolphin/Swan Hotel

Benefits of Full Kitchens and Living Areas

Consider booking accommodations with full kitchens and living areas, which can be especially helpful for large families. Having a kitchen allows you to prepare meals and snacks, saving you time and money. Living areas provide a comfortable space to relax and spend time together as a family.

Considering Deluxe Villas and Themed Suites

For even more space and luxury, consider booking a deluxe villa or themed suite. These accommodations offer extra bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas, as well as unique theming and decor. Some popular options include the 2-bedroom villas at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

When planning a Disney vacation with a large family, selecting accommodations with extra space, full kitchens, and living areas can make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable. We chose a great rental home less than two miles from the park along with booking a room at The Swan. This was affordable and a perfect combination for our group.

Logistics and Tips for Enjoyable Disney Experience

Planning a Disney vacation with a large family can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and organization, it can be a great time for everyone.

Family standing with Stitch from Disney

Effective Communication Within the Group

Effective communication is key when planning a Disney vacation with a larger group. Utilize the Disney app. It has great features, is a great way to book reservations, keep track of ride time and manage your group. Assign a team leader to be the point of contact for any questions or concerns that may arise during the trip. This will help to ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening and when.

Packing Essentials for the Whole Group

When packing for a Disney vacation with a larger family, it’s important to pack essentials for everyone. Water bottles are a good idea to keep everyone hydrated throughout the day. Make sure to pack comfortable shoes and a change of clothing for everyone. Sunblock and snacks are a must! If you’re staying in a hotel room without a kitchen, consider bringing along some snacks and breakfast items to save money and time in the morning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top Disney resorts for accommodating families of 6 or more?

Disney World has several resorts that are perfect for accommodating families of six or more. Some of the best options include Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. These resorts offer spacious family suites that can sleep up to six people comfortably.

How can a large family stay together at a Disney World Resort?

If you want to stay together as a large family at a Disney World Resort, you can request adjoining rooms or a family suite. Adjoining rooms are two separate rooms that are connected by a door, while family suites are larger units that can accommodate up to six people with separate bedrooms and living areas.

What are the best Disney World ticket options for big family groups?

Disney World offers several ticket options that are perfect for big family groups. One of the best options is the Park Hopper Plus ticket, which allows you to visit multiple parks in one day and includes access to the water parks and other attractions. Another great option is the multi-day ticket, which offers discounts for longer stays.

What Disney World packages offer the best value for large families?

Disney World offers several vacation packages that offer the best value for large families. Some of the best packages include the Disney Dining Plan, which includes meals and snacks at select restaurants throughout the park, and the Magic Your Way Package, which allows you to customize your vacation with hotel accommodations, tickets, and more.

How much should a large family budget for a trip to Disney World?

The cost of a trip to Disney World can vary depending on the size of your family and the type of vacation you want to have. On average, a family of four can expect to spend around $4,000 for a five-day vacation. For larger families, the cost can increase significantly. It’s important to set a budget and to look for discounts and deals to help save money.