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Old 09-07-2012, 10:53 PM   #16
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We're going with a huge crowd (They're all family) and there will be 13 of us. My family has gone once before and the other 3 families have never been. We've told them point blank. We'd like to be in the same park with them, we'd like to do dinner with them (We do this once a week as it is so no biggie for us, except the logistics of 13 people at the same tables) but other than that they're on their own. My kids will be 6 and 8, my sister's kids will be 13 and 11 and 21, my oldest niece's daughter will be 1 and then we have my husband and I my sister and her wife, my niece's fiance, and my parents.

I say let her know you want some family time with just the 3 of you.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:45 AM   #17
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We went with 12 ppl

2 years ago we went with my side of the family. My brother his DD10, My Sister her husband and 3 boys, 12, 11, 9, my Mom and then my DH, DS18mo, DD4. We ate Dinner every night together, although we were in the same park for the trip we didn't do the rides together. My mom took turns each day being with a different family, while we split up to do things age app. For our children. My brother and Sister stayed together just because their kids are the same age. There is a big gap with mine.
It's a must to have your ADR for the restaurants we did The Story Bookdinning, liberty Tree(which was one of my favs,) and 50s Cafe. We did three nights then did a cruise)

I love my family but there was no way we could do everything together to hard and complicated. We tried to do AK together the first day and my kids didn't experience anything that day. So we learned quickly to split up and regroup at dinner.

I would suggest to tell the family members who are always late that the ADR are 30 prior to what they really are. My brother was late one night and we had to wait over hr because they gave our table away. That or tell them your entire party is aleady here. 1 place we did two separate tables that was at story book dinning we were right next to each other and it felt like we were at the same table, but we weren't. Even the boys liked the princesses they liked taking their pictures with beautiful ladies.

It was important to my DH and I for just family time as well. My sister and brother also split up every once in a while. You just have to when traveling with a big group. We take a big family vacation almost every year, we know when we need a break when us older siblings are snapping at each other. Over the years we have learned to try to do something with just our kids and spouse at least every couple of days, it makes everything smoother. No one feelings are hurt if you just say we wanted to have some alone time with our family. There was even a night where my DH and I got to experience Disney alone together which was needed as well. My mom took the kids back to the resort.
Even away on vacation you need to balance or it will end up stressful and won't feel like a vacation at all.

Last edited by Ccann; 09-08-2012 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Forgot to add something
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:15 AM   #18
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Definitely make plans to spend time apart!
We took a trip last year with my parents and it's hard not to feel responsible for everyone's happiness the whole time, especially with first timers, and it can get a bit overwhelming!
In the end we left a couple of days free for my parents to do things by themselves and we did things just for our little DDs (like H and V breakfast whilst they went to Kennedy Space Centre). And on those days DMom picked out where they wanted to eat (by looking through the guide books, all ears, etc with me). And then all I had to do was let them make there own mistakes There were a couple of times when I offered a bit of advice, mom and dad had their own ideas and went with it and everyone was better for it!

With a mixed group I think you might really benefit from a whole day 'free' from one another, with no constraints on either party's time.
Hope that helped!
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #19
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We have gone on many vacations with large groups (WDW and other places).
We definitely do not stay together 24/7. With a large group it's hard to do and see everything everyone wants to do if you keep as a group.

I don't think it would be a big deal at all if you go to a different breakfast. Esp if you plan to eat all other meals together.

Even though you gave your CC, they only use that to hold the reservation. They won't charge the meal to your CC.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:04 AM   #20
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I think you're upside down....rather than planning all the time together with short times apart- you should be planning two or three groups to be mostly separate with occaisional times to meet up.
The bottom line is: Disney is for the kids. You can't expect kids of those diverse ages to spend all their time together- they won't want to do the same things. If you have enough adults, the kids should each be allowed to make a list of what they most want to do- based on that, split them into groups based on interest. Plan a few times to meet up- but you've got to let the kids do what is fun for them or everyone will be miserable.
Don't feel bad that you want your niece to enjoy herself!! Isn't that the point of the trip?
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:43 PM   #21
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My brothers family may be joining us on our trip next year. We plan on having 1 or 2 planned meals together and that's it. It will be way too hard and stressful to try to arrange daily plans that include 11 people.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #22
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I've been there, done that, and trust me when I say you definitely need your own family time!

We went with DH's ENTIRE family in 2004 - 19 of us. My SIL planned the whole thing and the rest of us were clueless and just went along. We stayed in 3 cabins at Fort Wilderness, went to every park together, had every meal together, etc. etc. It was awful. WAY too much family-togetherness. And we wasted a lot of time as we were always waiting for this to one to use the bathroom, or that one to grab a drink, or waiting while one kid was having a meltdown, etc.

Last year, we went again with my BIL and his family and agreed ahead of time that we would NOT have a repeat of our prior Disney vacation. We planned a couple meals together and stayed in the same resort, but that was it. If we wanted to meet up at a park, we did. If one family wanted to eat here or there, they did. Some nights we met in our resort (BWV) for some evening drinks. It made for a 100% better experience all around for everyone

Definitely have this conversation before you go. I would also encourage you to tell her to do her own research on the parks, restaurants, rides, etc so she isn't expecting you to plan every day for her. While it's great going with a Disney expert, that can be very stressful on you if your plans don't meet their expectations. And not fair to you at all. You need to enjoy your vacation too!

Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:20 PM   #23
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So agree with everyone else, you need a lot of separate times. I would almost suggest only getting together for a few meals and be separate other times.

It really bothers me that they asked you to watch their kids but didn't offer something in return. We lost my DH's best friend because he kept asking us to watch his son but never wanted to do anything with us. He'd literally say "hey, what are you doing Saturday?" in a tone that made it sound like he wanted us to go out - then when we'd say "nothing, you want to do something?" he'd say "yes, can you watch my son?"

Even so, being on vacation is stressful and everyone will want to do separate things. Plus, only getting together for meals means you have something to talk about at dinner. Otherwise, you're just talking about things everyone experienced.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:35 PM   #24
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Ok. You need to have time for your family alone. BUT..I bet the 9Y/O "Tom boy" might surprise you and her mom. Ask her to do some princess things with your niece and you and have the boys go do some other things. My daughter has a friend (9yo) who would NEVER be caught dead in pink or a dress. Except when they went to a princess breakfast. She was so excited to meet Cinderella. Her mom was amazed.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:33 PM   #25
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I think you should 100% take time for just the three of you. I also think you should set that expectation before leaving.

I've been with a big group of families, and we didn't discuss time together vs apart until we were there and doing things. People had different ideas and there were for sure hurt feelings and some frustrating parts of the trip. I actually won't travel with some of those people again because it was so rough.

Take the time for yourself and your DN and enjoy it. It's your vacation too
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:27 AM   #26
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Hi Everyone! I am so sorry I have not responded yet, but things have been pretty crazy. I have read and thought about what everyone has posted and I did talk to my friend. I told her how I felt and that I am looking for a Princess meal. She was okay with this and with us having our own time away from them. Our families are very different and we were both kinda worried, but neither had said anything.

So, that being said I have been on the lookout for a Princess meal since then and have been having very little luck. But here comes the kicker, DF now is thinking of doing a Princess meal with us, however, I cannot find one for just us, let alone all of us. So things seem to be okay and we may be splitting up for a few more meals since WCC is changing their menu to skillet only and DH and I are not big fans of it and DN is not really into BBQ.

I am also going to talk to DF about switching a few more of our reservations as I am not to happy with Le Cellier, even thought that was my choice and thinking about changing to Via Napoli and seeing if they want to join us or not.

Thank you everyone for your advice, it is very much appreciated!

Here we come May 2009! Me DH DMom DDad

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Old 09-20-2012, 03:04 AM   #27
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Gong 3 times now we have always gone with family and or friends and alaways planned on 1/2 day with others and 1/2 day just 5 of us. Worked great for us.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:50 PM   #28
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I think you're overplanning to be w/ your friend and her family and making sure they have a fantastic time. Plan two or three dinner/lunches and leave it at that. BLOT: STOP PLANNING to spend every waking moment with her. I believe you're setting yourself up for disappointment. "X" your plan except for two or three dinners and go and enjoy your DH and DN. If you happen to cross paths w/ DF, cool. If not, no worries. You're concentrating on pleasing DF instead of DN. Flip the script. Put DN first and purchase the passporter for DF and go and have a good time.

I'm going with my family this summer for a week to Disney. There will be 11 of us ranging in age from 70 to 5. 3 of us have been to Disney. These are my plans: two family dinners. Yep, that's it. I'm sure we'll hangout and be together more but I'm stressing this is YOUR family vacation. Enjoy your family. We're flying into MCO and renting two cars. Renting two condo/townhouse w/ a shuttle to the Disney Parks that way we'll have an early shift, late shift and fly by the seat of your pants shift but everyone will be able to get around whenever they want to go to the parks.

Seperation is a good thing. So you can enjoy the times when you're together.
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