Brad and I have often traveled with other families, especially to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. We have enjoyed doing multi-family trips to Disney, and I imagine this will continue as Emmett grows. Throughout all these trips, I’ve discovered tips for what can help make these trips successful.
Tips for A Multi-Family Trip to Disney
Complimenting Travel Styles
Before you even start planning, make sure that your traveling styles compliment each other. When I visit Disney, I expect to set an alarm and get there as the park opens (or even before, like when we did Early Morning Magic). This is especially important if you’ll be staying off property.
When we visited Walt Disney World in the past, we stayed off property at a timeshare and would drive to the parks on the days that we were visiting (we did other things around Orlando as well). Since both of those trips were four adults and one child, we were able to fit in one car. If you have multiple cars, then groups could come and go on their own schedule.
Set expectations of spending on extras. Do you want to do character meals daily, or spend as little on food in the parks as possible? These sort of things should be discussed while planning the trip. Of course, the budget discussion will also come up with things such as how many days in the parks and hotel location.
Along the lines of budget, this is also a great time to talk about special meal events. Brad and I like to do one special event each trip – such as Oogie Boogie Bash, or the Happily Ever After Dessert Party.
Make Fast Pass Plans
This is one area where Disneyland and Walt Disney World are different. Since Fast Passes are made in advance, the best plan is to have one person responsible to get them for the entire party each morning as they become available.
Having discussed the itinerary and ride priority with the group, the responsible party will know exactly which rides to target each day.
For Disneyland, I highly recommend getting the MaxPass so anybody in the party can make reservations throughout the day. In the past, we haven’t utilized parent swap, because we’ve had multiple parents who could watch the kids; however, I think we’ll start using it soon since it is a great way to supplement fast passes.
Plan Separate Events Too
Not everything has to be done together. Sometimes it is nice to separate into smaller groups. On our last trip, Brad and I took some photos (aka Emmett Disneybounding as Baby Yoda) while Kevin and Renee took the boys to do a few more rides.
A couple times, Renee and I left the boys with the kids to go ride the Incredicoaster by ourselves. Brad and Kevin would go meet some characters or get a snack while we did a couple rounds of the ride.
Since we were staying on property for our most recent Disneyland trip, we didn’t have to be on the exact schedule. Emmett would wake up early so Brad and I would head to the park as it opened, and then Kevin and Renee could walk over once their boys woke up.
Utilize PhotoPass Photographers
Despite spending 4 days together, we have very few photos as a group (as in I think there is one). We had access to our PhotoPass photos; but didn’t get a chance to take photos as a group. Next time, I’ll be sure that we take photos as a group in addition to each family. With so many PhotoPass photographers around the park, this should be an easy goal.
For ideas on what to buy before your trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, make sure to check out the “I’m Going to Disney” list in my Amazon Storefront.
What tips would you add for traveling with multiple families or a large group at Disneyland or Walt Disney World?