Family trips to often evolve around the holiday dinner table. When generations get together (and wine and food may be involved), traveling together sounds like a fantastic idea! But there are a lot of factors to consider when planning the perfect multi-generational family trip to Walt Disney World.
Budgeting the Multi-Generational Trip
Money is never a comfortable topic for families to discuss. But it is important to clarify who will be responsible for what on your trip. If Grandma and Grandpa are taking the family to Walt Disney World, does that include tickets and dining as well? Or will each family be responsible for their own costs? In which case, each family may have different budget restrictions.
This is where a Travel Planner can be helpful. Each family can discuss what they want with the Travel Planner, keeping their business (and budget) private!
Choosing A Resort
There are many different resorts to choose from at Walt Disney World. (Sharla has written a series on choosing Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa Resorts.) When traveling with extended family, it can be tempting to want to stay “together.” To some families this means just all staying at the same resort, to others it means getting Suites or Villas that can accommodate multiple families!
While the thought of late nights hanging out playing games or enjoying each others company sounds idyllic, I would suggest that this vision is better suited to a beach house or lake cabin rental vacation. A Disney vacation is chock full of activities and stimulation. Many guests fall asleep much earlier than they do at home from sheer exhaustion!
Having individual rooms or suites for each family gives you the privacy to unwind and relax at the end of the day. And if some of the more energetic family members want to keep the party going, there are plenty of common areas at each resort to meet up and hang out! (This is especially true if you choose a Club Level room! The Concierge Lounge is the perfect place to hang out.)
Divide and Conquer – Itinerary Planning for a Multi-Generational Trip
When traveling with extended family, chances are good that you will have many different levels of energy and interest in different activities. This is OK! In fact, it is fantastic. There is such a thing as too much togetherness!
When planning your days at Walt Disney World, I suggest dividing into groups based on level of interest in attractions. Have some thrill ride junkies in your group? That is one group! Have others who would be happy riding “it’s a small world” all day? That is your second group. Then there is typically a group who is in the middle.
A good plan of attack is to spend the morning in your “ride” groups. That gives you a way to prioritize your FastPass+ planning. Meet up mid-day, and regroup!
The Disney Dining Plan
I recommend that families traveling together take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan when possible. Having your meals paid for in advance means no fighting over who picks up the check! (My mother-in-law and I are locked in a decades long struggle over who can grab the check faster. Anyone else?! The woman has reflexes like a ninja…)
Do Less, Enjoy More
I have extolled the virtues of the “Do Less, Enjoy More” philosophy in a previous post. But it is more important than ever with a family vacation! What is the point of a multi-generational trip if no one ever has a chance to catch up with each other?
Keep varying levels of energy and interest in mind. Flexibility is key with any Disney trip, but it is especially important for a multi-generational trip. Be willing to adjust your plans if a member of your group needs a break! My Disney Experience is super helpful with this since you can adjust FastPass+ and dining reservations in the app while in the parks.
Take The Trip
Whether it is to Walt Disney World or another destination, take the trip. Family memories will be created that will be talked about for years to come. Shared experiences are priceless!
Did your family take a multi-generational trip to Walt Disney World? Tell us your favorite memory in the comments!
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