View Full Version : Advice Please; Two families with Kids Traveling Together

09-20-2008, 07:30 PM
OK, I need some help here. What's the best way for two families to visit Disney together and have everyone get what they want out of the vacation?

Here's our group:
Family #1; Experienced Disney travelers; we open and close the parks with a break in-between
DH, 44
DD, 12
DD, 11

Family #2; Have only visited Disney once. Missed a lot of stuff because they couldn't drag the kids away from the pool.
DH, 45
DW, 42
DS, 11
DD, 7

We're doing a Land/Sea trip. We've traveled before and hang out a lot, but never for this long or this kind of trip. I need some sort of system so the kids don't fight about rides, etc. I was thinking about letting each person list their ride/show they MUST see/do for each day (we'll be 4 days in park and a 4 day cruise). I'm OK with splitting up if we need to, but I think the rest of them really want to stay together. I think their thinking is that we're the Disney Park Pros of the trip and we know how to get around quicker. But, I want to please everyone. HELP!

09-20-2008, 07:38 PM
I think you need to talk to the other family now about seperating, doing your own thing, and meeting up for lunch or dinner. Or deciding what area you want to do first, do it together, and then meet up later for dinner, etc. Believe me from experience, it will be better to agree on it now, rather than standing in the middle pf the park with the kids argueing(sp?) where to go next. Have a great trip- whatever you decide.:goodvibes

09-20-2008, 07:46 PM
Thanks, but here's the problem.

DH of Family #2 knows that if they don't stick with us his family will opt to spend the entire day in the pool. They're not as energetic as our family, even when our kids were younger. I think the whole reason DH of F#2 wants to stick with us is to ensure that his family will ride the rides, see shows. Their first trip was disasterous because they would sleep in and not get to the park until 11, leave at 1 and then never go back. Our kids are so close that he knows that if our kids are sticking it out, his will, too.

We take a break mid-day, but we get to the parks at rope drop, too. And, we go back in the evening.

I'm still wishing for a split and then meet up later, but I don't think that will work because the kids will want to stick together.

09-20-2008, 08:11 PM
We always do Disney trips with other people for some reason.:) This past trip we (and our 2 daughters) went with my sister-in-law, my best friend and her daughter, and another friend, her husband, and two sons. When I go with other people, we usually split up and meet for dinner, but since this was a first trip for my sister-in-law and my friend and her family, all eleven of us stuck together the whole trip. You know what? It was awesome!

Since my husband, my best friend, and I are disney veterans, the others trusted us to lead. Since we know the parks well, we were hit most of the highlights without any major issues. It really went well! We also tried to be flexible. For example, if one person wanted to do something that the others weren't interested in, we would plan to meet up at a certain place and time. We all kept cell phones for just that purpose. My sister-in-law hates roller coasters, but loves animals so she took pictues of the animals in The Oasis at AK while we rode Everest. We then met up at Nemo.

Good luck with your trip. Everyone in our party was pretty easygoing and flexible so our trip may not be the norm.

09-20-2008, 08:49 PM
Maybe you could explain what your family plans to do each day before you go on the trip and tell them any day they feel they want to do something different your family will be happy to meet up with them after the noon break or after dinner. If they do decide to go with you have everyone list their favorite thing or ride they have to see or do that day at that park. Find out in advance and then you can then map out a plan at that park. Make a big deal out of saying o.k. now we are going to do the ride so-in so wants as you go down the list. Hopefully everyone will be happy.:banana:

09-20-2008, 08:55 PM
I think the best approach is that everyone gets a choice each day. I'm an itinerary person; I go with a plan and pretty much stick to it. The other family didn't go in with a plan on their first visit and I think that's why they missed a lot.

This could end up being the best trip ever or the worst. I'm determined to make it the best!

09-20-2008, 10:03 PM
My first thought, with the kids the age they are, are they mature enough to maybe let the kids pair up and roam a little? At least the older ones, although then the 7 year old would be "stuck" (for lack of a better word) with the parents. Kids nowdays I see have cell phones at younger ages (my kids are barely out of diapers-so not sure how young they get a phone) so maybe they could roam for an hour or two in the am and meet for lunch then an hour or so in the pm and again meet for dinner. This may help. Kids are less likely to fight if they are in a smaller group (at least when I was younger).

If that isn't an option, then yes I think you should get them together to kinda map out an itinerary of important stops. ENJOY your trip.

My brother took his best friends family with them last year, and it was HORRIBLE for them. This family had never been before, brother's family is a from sun up to sun down lets be in the park, this family likes to relax on vacation. But they had HUGE age differences with kids too. The other family has a 9 year old and 16 year old, my brother had a 3 and 4 year old. So I think that would be much more difficult. One the stress of go, go, go, and two having to cater to younger children. Well anyway, I must say I am jealous, I haven't gotten to do the cruise and so want to. But one day...

09-20-2008, 11:00 PM
This is what worked for us on two group trips. One with one other family and the other with 18 other people.

Since I was the one with experience, I planned my families trip and emailed the itinerary to all others. We met once to discuss dining choices and I called to schedule the ressies. It worked well. On the trip with one other family we stayed together for all but one afternoon. Everyone had fun and went back for the large group trip this past summer.

Everyone understood that it was fine to opt out at anytime and no one would be offended but by the same token there would be no waiting around. If anyone decided to sleep in or do something different then they could simply contact us by cell phone later if they wanted to meet up.

09-21-2008, 07:36 AM
We travel with our best friends all the time and they are still our best friends.:goodvibes What works well for us is COMMUNICATION. We always have at least two planning sessions ahead of time. We book things early and then plan out each days plans a little later. We compromise a lot too. We are EARLY people but their DD is not so we plan at least one day to start a little later. We plan some pool time too as well. We eat all meals together and do most all things together though we do split up in all different type groups (families, couples, guys, whatever) as interest dictate. We are heading out to our local theme park today together and as always expect a great day!!!!!!!!!!


09-21-2008, 08:43 AM
I agree with the previous two posts. You have the experience, set up a couple meetings with the families to discuss what everyone wants to see/do/eat. After you have everyone's input, you can schedule ADR's and plan out your day in each park. E-mail a copy of the itinerary to the other family and tell them, "This is what our family is planning on doing. If you decide at anytime it's too much feel free to sleep in, hang out at the pool, or whatever and just meet up with us later." I'm sure they'll understand that it's your vacation too and your not going to waste it waiting around for them all morning to wake up.

09-21-2008, 09:46 AM
I'm certain that I'll be in the minority here but....it sounds like you might be allowing the responsibility for that family to have a successful trip to become your family's problem. On vacation, it is enough to compromise with the immediate family, DH, DW and kids to make sure all have a good time...but when you put another family in the mix, it gives your family much less flexibility. I know this sounds selfish, but a disney trip like this one is a HUGE monetary and time investment. Vacation time is precious and valued time to spend reconnecting with my immediate family.

I would plan my family's itinerary and let the other family know the plans and arrange perhaps to meet for dinner or lunch. This is very easy to do on the ship. We have found it much easier to go with another family on a cruise than on a the land trip. The cruise is the perfect time to do what you want during the day and then have a great relaxing dinner together reviewing the day's events.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

09-21-2008, 02:56 PM
Actually, I agree with a lot of what you're saying. I should be a little selfish here because this trip is taking two years to save for.

I'm going to take everyone's advice and just let them know our plans and if it's too much for them, they can opt out. I know DH from Family #2 won't be happy with his family if they always stay at the hotel (like their first trip). I think the cruise portion will be much easier. We're all swimmers so we'll probably spend our Nassau day at Aquaventure (by way of Comfort Suites) and then Castaway Cay just milling around. It's the land portion that has me stressed!

09-21-2008, 03:23 PM
Sounds like he wants you to parent his kid. I would say "this is what we are doing, hope you can join us". don't let him make you be the "bad guy".

If I saved 2 years for a trip, I would keep a buffer between myself and this other family, sounds like they could ruin it for you.

09-21-2008, 03:27 PM
Is the land first or the sea. Hopefully, the sea so the kids can get their fill of swimming first.

I would plan each day and then invite them to join you. I would not wait for anyone to wake / get ready/ etc. I would go about my plans and If they wanted to participate great.

Maybe they could spend the am with you and keep going if they felt up to if. If not, they could go back to the hotel to swim and you could meet back up for dinner.

I say get there when the rope drops, you can get so much done first thing in the am.

09-21-2008, 04:02 PM
We went with another family. We made supper plans with them. We let them know which parks we were going to which days. We were not joined at the hips, thankfully. We have been before, they had not, and we plan to return, so we don't have to go commado. I think it went OK, and we are planning to return 2009 with them. Again with the same expectations. We had cell phones which helped a lot. They got up earlier then us and stayed later then us, their daughter was not feeling well and did not ride too many rides and got whiney (her words) she chose NOT to do BBB with our daughter the first day! I would definitely know what my family wishes to do, I would plan accordingly. If something they want to do interests you and your family,plan it in. If not make sure they are aware not will not be joining them, you will be __________.(insert park). Disney vacations have lots of time(enjoyable) spent planning them and lots of money involved and I would be Grumpy if I felt I was wasting my time waiting for others to get a move on. Definitely discuss with them pool time which it does sound like that they enjoy, plan it in their plans & the kids would probably be happy cause they know a day is planned.

09-21-2008, 04:36 PM
Land is first, then the sea portion.

We get to the parks at rope drop- in my opinion, it's the only way to do it. We take a break around 1 or 2 p.m. and return around 5 or 6 p.m. to close out the parks.

I'm thinking that since our kids are super close, their kids will be more likely to stay in the parks longer like our kids. Part of me would like to spend the extra $ for a deluxe resort so we have easier access to the parks (we won't have a car), but on the other hand I don't want to spend that kind of $ when I know I won't be in the room except to sleep.

I'll have to give a full trip report after we return. I have 9 months to plan and plot. Wish me luck!

09-21-2008, 04:50 PM
I'd start planning now. Do as you suggested and have everyone choose a must have everyday. Map our your schedules including when you will come/go to the park. If anyone decideds to deviate from that and "seperate" that is fine but you and your family do what is best for you. If you map it out and plan it now hopefully you won't have many issues when the time comes. This way everyone knows the plan.