Five Tips for Traveling to Disney World with Friends and Extended Family

Going to Disney World with your friends and family can be a terrific experience. After all, many of life’s best moments are the ones that you share with others.  From celebrating birthdays to simply enjoying a good laugh together about something that strikes you as funny, almost everything is more fun with those you love.

However, as much as being with a big group of people can add spice to life, sometimes it can also add complications to life.

While Disney World is a magical place, it is not immune to people who are grumpy, have a difference of opinion, or don’t see eye-to-eye.

If you are planning to visit Disney World with friends or with extended family, follow these five tips to make the most of your time together.

1 – Plan Your Touring Strategy

Long before you arrive in Orlando, spend some times as a group discussing how you will approach your trip together. Don’t just show up at the entrance gate an expect everyone to be on the same page. Here are some items to discuss in advance:

  • What parks will you visit on which days?
  • What time will you go to the parks?
  • What time will you leave for the day?
  • What events, perhaps meals, are most important to share together?
  • How will you divide up the bills for meals, hotel rooms, and shared transportation?

2 – Realize that It’s OK to Split Up Sometimes

Closely related to the first item, realize that you don’t need to spend every minute together. It is OK, and even a good idea, to split up your larger group into smaller groups some of the time. This allows people to explore the parks at different paces and take in experiences that others might not be interested in.

Traveling to Disney with friends and family can make for some unique circumstances.
Traveling to Disney with friends and family can make for some unique circumstances.

3 – Wear Their Shoes

I don’t mean that you should literally wear someone else’s shoes, but rather that you should consider their viewpoints. Different people have different priorities and energy levels. While you are on vacation, they are too.  You should take into account everyone’s interests and abilities. It might make sense to schedule an earlier dinner so that grandma and grandpa can call it a day early. Everyone might need to suck it up and wait in line for 30 minutes for a group photo with Minnie Mouse if that is little Suzie’s favorite character. Give a little and take a little.

4 – Discuss Priorities

While some adults might have their minds set on trying a glass of wine in every country around Epcot‘s World Showcase, the teens might be anxious to check out the Rock N Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the little ones may want nothing more than to get the autograph of every character they see. Share your priorities and “must do” experiences, and learn about the priorities of everyone else in your traveling party. Discuss which of those items you should do together as a group and which you should enjoy separately.

Keep in mind that everyone has different needs.
Keep in mind that everyone has different needs.

5 – Be Flexible and Have Fun

For goodness sake, remember to not get too uptight! Be flexible. Remember that part of the joy of sharing a Disney vacation with others is the sacrifice of dealing with other people’s issues and priorities. When necessary split apart, take a deep breath, and remember that you want everyone to have a good time.

Do you like traveling to Disney World with friends or extended family?
What works for you? What caution would you suggest for others?