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  1. #1

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    Arrow Disney World Groupies

    Okay, so I don't mean those kinds of groupies.

    In 2009, maybe 2008, and because my wife's side of the family really enjoys doing this kinds of stuff, we're going to be taking a big chunk of her clan to Walt Disney World. At this point, it's looking like the very least we'll have in this caravan of love will be 8 people. I'm going to try to cap it off at 12 if it keeps growing.

    I know that this means I'm going to have to do more intricate planning then my usual trips to World, but from what my wife tells me, as long as everything is planned, her kin folk will just fall in line with whoever is the group captain and have a really good time when they do. Yes, I'm going to be group captain.

    I don't really foresee a problem with that, and I'm actually curious to see how well I can pull it off. I recognize that we're going to have to make reservations for each sit down meal, and carefully apportion the group so everyone gets to ride with someone. I think we're going to have a couple of wheelchairs in the group, so that might actually make the trip go smoother and nearly eliminate the need for FastPass. We plan on going in the transition period between August and September, our typical vacation time anyway, so crowds will be at a minimum. Especially right after Labor Day (Labor Day itself is pretty crowded).

    I figured I'd ask if anyone had done this before and see if there's anything I might not be thinking of. I kind of like the idea of doing just one trip on a schedule. I've done Disney World every which way imaginable, from Commando style where you try to cram it all in in one day, to laid back visits where we go at our own pace, to one day trips to all four parks. This is something new, and I seem to actually like taking people who've never been to Disney World and showing them around. (Well, truth is they've been to Disney World once before, but did it ALL WRONG. They cant seem to grasp that Disney can't be done like Six Flags and they waited till the sun went down and paid full price to get into the parks. When I took my wife and her mom for the first time, they had no idea any of the stuff I took them to was even there.) Part of me is looking forward to it. The other part is trying desperately to generate solutions to worst case scenarios.



  2. #2

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    Just remember with larger groups it means more time to allow to get from place to place.

    Especially if there are strollers involved.

    Other than that, I have to agree, it's so much fun playing travel agent.

  3. #3

    • Why can't you tune a fish
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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    With 8 or more your qualify as a magical gathering. See what can be done for you and your group

    -dave
    "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
    "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

  4. #4

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    I think it sounds fun! You have the trill of planning for a large group and the enjoyment of everyone experiencing Disney together.

  5. #5

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    If you are planning on staying off property look in to the vacation home rentals. we do this every year and you can get a 5 bedroom house for less than $200 a night. It also provides more time for "family bonding"!! Our group is always 11-14 people!!





    It's kind of fun to do the impossible- Walt Disney

  6. #6

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    I did that once and we all had fun, some tips:
    • Disney used to offer free planning help for large groups, even free web software during their "Magical Gatherings" promotion, call them and see if they still have that it will help organize the crew.
    • In lieu of that ask the Disney person for information on group rates and group planning, 8-12 you might get a (small) discount or perhaps a planner assigned to you to help out.
    • Keep the plans "loose" maybe breakfast/dinner plans but leave lunch open, we wound up having to cancel a lot of lunches that trip.. Just pick a park by the day and pick one or two eating times and let everyone do their own thing in between, that way everyone has their fun at their own pace.
    • Plan at least one "flex" day in there for the group to do whatever they want or go back to do things they missed after seeing all the parks.
    • Enjoy yourself and don't panic if your plan goes all to hell after about day 3 let it for the fun of the group... better than a full out crew mutiny!
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  7. #7

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    I think I'd enjoy being the "group captain" of a smaller gathering, say 4 people or so. But after years of storming the parks solo, I can't imagine trying to wrangle 12 people! Best of luck in your adventure!!!

  8. #8

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    Have a great time. Also keep in mind that some resturaunts will have to split up your party due to size. Maybe 2 - 3 tables instead of one. Reservations helps speed up the wait time. And again, have a great time!
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  9. #9

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    Quote Originally Posted by SummerInFL View Post
    Just remember with larger groups it means more time to allow to get from place to place.
    And for bathroom stops!
    I have learned that from MC meets
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  10. #10

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverNeverland View Post
    And for bathroom stops!
    I have learned that from MC meets
    I suggested catheters, but no one seems to want to go for it.



  11. #11

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    We're going in November with a very large group including some of my sister-and-law's extended family (totalling 13 adults and 9 kids). We're keeping it pretty loose and unstructured because it would be way too frustrating to keep all of those people together all the time. We are all staying in a big block of rooms at All-Star Music and I made all of our dinner reservations, so we'll all be meeting together at least once a day for meals. Other than that, we're keeping it where no one has to feel obligated to "stick together" all the time. Alot less stress that way.

    If the goal is to keep everyone together, I would just suggest planning each day at a much slower, "relaxed" pace then you might normally do. And I think booking meal reservations in advance helps provide some structure as well. Also, make sure everyone involved has a chance to voice their own priorities -- their "wish list" for their favorite attractions, etc. Then you can be sure and incorporate all of that into the final agenda.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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  12. #12

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    meals provide a great 'meeting point' - don't be afraid to let splinter groups go off and regroup at the set meal times.

    If its adults, evenings will be more relaxing to hang together, then the brutal afternoons.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


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  13. #13

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    Ordinarily, I'd say sure thing. In this case, well, we're dealing with folks who don't want to splinter off to do their own thing. This is small town folk who haven't really ventured out of the state much. Myrtle Beach (in the winter) was considered the big vacation spot amongst these folks. The sheer size of the parks intimidates them (now that we've explained to them that this is not the same thing as Carowinds). And this is part of their family ritual. Because they expect someone to be the group captain, they will not plan on their own what to do. They will expect the group captain to lead the way and any suggestions to do their own thing (as I learned with her parents) will be met with blank stares. The only one who wants to do her own thing is my mom, who's coming from a completely different sensibility.

    From what my wife tells me, these kind of vacations in the past worked great, as long as the group captain had everything planned well. When whoever was in charge played it too loose, everyone just sat around staring at each other until someone got mad. I don't get it myself, but I can play along.

    I'd forgotten about Magical Gatherings and potential group discounts. I'll look into that. Thanks for all the suggestions so far.



  14. #14

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    Quote Originally Posted by SummerInFL View Post
    Just remember with larger groups it means more time to allow to get from place to place.
    A LOT more time...



    do check out the magical gatherings though
    Marquis d'Bod of the RCMC... always and forever



  15. #15

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    Re: Disney World Groupies

    I wouldn't discount fastpasses so quickly. A lot of standby lines are accessible to guests in wheelchairs, so there's no particular entrance for wheelchairs, and the ones that aren't usually allow a limit of six per group. Fastpasses could probably make your life a lot easier, actually!

    Enjoy your trip!
    They are the Disney Princesses and their goal is world domination. -Mary McNamara | LA Times / AP

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