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Old 01-06-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
minerva78
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Traveling with extended family - considering split stay

I'm in the beginning stages of planning (and saving) for a Disney trip in June 2014. It will be me, DH, and our DDs who will be 5 and 6 at the time. I want my inlaws to come with us as well, and if they come it's likely that my DH's four nieces will come too, who will range in age from about 8 to 15. There is also some talk of DH's grandmother and one of his teenage cousins too! The problem is that none of this is certain right now, because I think all of this extended family coming will depend on if everyone has the money to go. So I am trying to plan a trip when I honestly have no idea how many people will be coming.

I told my MIL that we would pay for a house to stay in if she contributes most of the food. Since this will have to be a budget trip, we would stay in a rental home and probably eat most of our meals there. I am considering telling her that I can pay for a place that can sleep up to 10 people, but that is all I can do. I do not want to plan for 12 or more people coming when there's probably a 50/50 chance people will have to cancel at the last minute. But I've found enough 4 BR houses in my budget, that wouldn't be much more than a 2 BR condo, so I figure I can do that.

The problem is that I've been reading these boards A LOT lately, and so many people have recommended not going with extended family. I have not been to Disney since I was a kid in the early 90's, and this would be the first trip for everyone else, so this will be new for all of us. I am a big type-A planner though, so I am up for the challenge of Disney! One suggestion I did read that I am strongly considering is extending our vacation by spending just a few days of just the 4 of us. Now I'm thinking of taking that even further by spending 6 - 7 days offsite with extended family while spending 3 days onsite with my DH and DDs! I still need to keep this a somewhat budget trip, but I am thinking of either staying at a LM room at AoA, POFQ, or a royal room at POR, knowing AoA will probably be the cheapest and give me the most "Disney" experience for my girls. I might even consider the dining plan, and scheduling several character meals then instead of trying to go to some on our own while with extended family.

Has anyone ever done an offsite/onsite split stay like this before? Do you think it's a good idea? Or do you think I should just not worry about spending this extra money and just do the week offsite? DH thinks it may be overkill because he thinks we'll probably be on this trip by ourselves anyhow! I am trying to feel more positive about the rest of the family being able to come. Any suggestions are helpful!
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
jmkjr72
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we do a lot of extended family travel alwasy been onsite only
but what we have found out is to plan 1 thing a day for the whole group to do together and then let them go after that or meet up some where for that one thing
we have had time without our son we have also had time when we had all our neices and nephews with us doing things
but when you have the other kids make sure you know in advance who is going to spot the meals or spending money
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
chris31997
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I would also recommend setting a deadline for them to save and give a yes/no.

You can plan it all out and than have a "meeting" or mail the info to everyone who might go. Than tell them you have to know by 6/2013(set whatever date you want ). If they can't decide by then; then they have to book and find accomedation for themselves. They are on their own.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
AshleeH
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I would travel with extended family as long as it was well stipulated before hand that we would not be doing everything together. Like a PP said, plan one event a day (meal/attraction/DTD/whatever) and be happy with that. Trying to plan vacations for everyone would be a nightmare, so let the adults take care of themselves and worry about your own family to make sure they have the best vacation possible.

We've traveled with my in-laws in 2011 and my parents last year - on both trips, we each figured out how to get to Orlando, chose our own arrival days (the grandparents - both sets - didn't want to stay all week), chose our own different hotels, and made our own eating arrangements. They enjoyed following us around the parks and going to MNSSHP, but we would only grab CS meals together - except for one TS meal we lucked into on the 2011 trip.

We all had a great time because the stress was very low. They chose to follow us around and it was never a problem, but we made sure they knew they were free to do whatever they wanted.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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I wouldn't plan anything until I knew for sure who was coming. I plan all of my Disney trips within 6 weeks of going. I know that's not even close to enough time for most people but it works for me. If you are going in early June, that is a relatively quiet time so you should have no trouble booking either a house or a hotel with 6 months lead time or less. I would just tell everyone you need to know if they are in or out by a certain date, say 12/1/2013. I just think you are stressing about something that is very far in the distance and may or may not happen. There are just way too many what-if's at this point to really start making any decisions.

The 4 nieces seem like a lot of extra work, possibly for you. Are their parents planning on coming too or are your in-laws going to be in charge of them for the trip? And who is going to foot the bill for them? There are a lot of "incidentals" that come up on a trip to Disney so I would make sure those are all covered as well if their parents are footing the bill but not traveling with you.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katie111 View Post
I wouldn't plan anything until I knew for sure who was coming. I plan all of my Disney trips within 6 weeks of going. I know that's not even close to enough time for most people but it works for me. If you are going in early June, that is a relatively quiet time so you should have no trouble booking either a house or a hotel with 6 months lead time or less. I would just tell everyone you need to know if they are in or out by a certain date, say 12/1/2013. I just think you are stressing about something that is very far in the distance and may or may not happen. There are just way too many what-if's at this point to really start making any decisions.

The 4 nieces seem like a lot of extra work, possibly for you. Are their parents planning on coming too or are your in-laws going to be in charge of them for the trip? And who is going to foot the bill for them? There are a lot of "incidentals" that come up on a trip to Disney so I would make sure those are all covered as well if their parents are footing the bill but not traveling with you.
I wish I could book closer to the time, but I'm looking at the end of June, after both of my girls will be out of school, so I know I'll need to book something sooner. I think I may give a deadline of July 2013, so I can hopefully book a less expensive house early on. I am pretty sure we'll end up booking a house regardless, but having a few sets of friends in mind who maybe could come last minute if it looks like family won't be able to go, who could contribute a little to the cost of the house. If they don't have tickets bought by about 2 months before, we'll probably go to plan B of asking other friends.

Yeah, figuring out finances with my nieces is going to be interesting. My MIL is planning to pay for everything for them, we are not responsible for them at all. And that's what worries me, because I think this may be more than what she is anticipating, because of how expensive Disney can be. I'm already working on my savings/planning because I am determined to go, but I know not everyone is as anal as I am when it comes to planning!
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