Challenges for groups going to Disney World – PREP105

In this episode, I discuss challenges often faced by groups going to Disney World, including picking when to go, where to stay, places to eat, and touring.

I also have a quick tip about the dining plan, recent news, and a featured company.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Challenges for groups

Groups going to Disney World should consider not doing everything together, assigning 1 person to manage My Disney Experience reservations, sharing responsibilities (such as food or Tinker Bell gifts), and getting Memory Maker.

Some areas where challenges often come up include:

  • Trip dates - going when everybody can go often means being at Disney World during busier and more expensive times
  • Deciding where to stay - everybody has different budgets, many Disney resorts only allow 4 per room (read my post about rooms that allow 5+), and many people may decide to stay offsite. People who stay onsite and have 2+ rooms should call Disney and ask for a "travel with" number to link the reservations which will allow room requests for the group to be granted before everybody else at the resort.
  • Finding places to eat - buffets are good, but also consider places like Ohana, Whispering Canyon Cafe, Garden Grill, and Liberty Tree Tavern which will appeal to a wide range of people. Making reservations for a group online can be a challenge since restaurants have maximums, but you can split it into 2 smaller reservations and just let the restaurant know when you're checking in that you're together. Remember that 18% gratuity will automatically be added for groups of 6 or more.
  • Touring as a group - I'd recommend splitting into smaller groups based on individual families, age, or interest to make it easier.

News

  • Star Wars Half Marathon - the Dark Side was announced and will feature kids races, a 5K, and a 10K in addition to the half marathon. The race weekend will be April 14-17, 2016, and registration opens on September 22, 2015.
  • The My Disney Experience app was updated and now shows PhotoPass pics.
  • The Blizzard Beach closure will now begin on October 4 instead of in late October.
  • Eat to the Beat concerts, which take place during Food and Wine Festival, now offer a tier 1 FastPass+ option
  • People traveling to Disney World September 29 and later will receive luggage tags with their MagicBands. The luggage tag you get will depend on which color MagicBand you choose.
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Quick tip of the day

Adding a Disney Dining Plan to a reservation is usually something you can only do if you purchase a package, but you can add it to a room-only reservation if you call Disney or book through a travel agent. People who rent points can also add a dining plan to their reservations.

Featured company

Today's featured company is Mom Approved Costumes who has washable, glitter free, non-itchy, packable costumes for kids. Use code "wdwprep" at checkout to save 10% on purchases.

wdwprepMACad11 - Challenges for groups going to Disney World - PREP105

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Zoe

The magic bands for my December trip just arrived, but there were no luggage tags included – are there restrictions as to who can get the tags?

Maria

I read somewhere that the tags are underneath the bands in the box. Not sure if it’s a tray type box….

Amy J

I didn’t get the luggage tags either. Had a complete package and travelled in late October.

SweetCaroline

Traveled January 2016 with a full package and we were given our tags at check-in (traveling from Canada, we receive our bands at check-in, they’re not mailed to us). I mentioned to the cast member that we used to receive the old version of the tags (not color-coordinated to our bands) by mail before traveling, and we don’t really need them once we reach our destination and she didn’t appear to get what I meant. She replied ‘You’ll have them for next time!’ Oh well! 🙂

Michele

Do many people stay the after marathons? Just worried that the star wars mini marathon will make the parks busy for our trip 🙂 we head to Disney April 18th

Michele

Just listened to the podcast, and I rewound 3 times and still can’t make out what you said about Whispering Canyon Cafe. Sounds like “complete honor-y ness”?

Emily

I think it may have been “complete orneriness”, but I might be wrong.

Buffi

I agree with Emily. Something about orneriness, like the wait staff will be feisty with you, all in fun of course.

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