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Old 08-28-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
lemonsours
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Our family vacation is now--a Grand Gathering?

I mentioned to my mother that I was planning a family trip for October 2010. Last time we went in 2007 for my daughter's first trip, she was able to meet us there for a few days, and we had a wonderful time. This time, she wants to treat me and all my siblings and their families (there are seven of us) to a Grand Gathering as our Christmas presents. I am excited, we all get along and have a great time together. But the logistics of 16 adults and 11 children (aged 7 months to 9 years) is mind boggling. I am the type of person who wants to plan everything out beforehand, call for our ADR's 90 (or 180) days out, etc. I already know we want to stay at POFQ. My husband is the same way, in fact, he's pretty set in his ways and gets very agitated if things don't go the way he is expecting. And with so many people involved, it is bound to be a mess. Does anyone have any experience with grand gatherings? Suggestions? Words of consolation? Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for my mother, and realize how lucky I am that she is able to do this for us. But, help?
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:32 PM   #2
AJA
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What a great experience (at least for the kids ) I do understand the stress involved with such a big party. and I'm like you, planning is one of my favorite parts of the trip lol.

Since it's your moms treat I would go with the attitude that this is a bonus trip, even go as far as having your next solo family trip planned out in your head even if you're not totally sure when it will be, go ahead and have a running dialog of "on our trip we can come back and do this or that" -insert your family's favorite thing but something the big group can't agree on.

If the rest of the group would like to plan some meals ahead of time you could always do that, but if not don't worry too much you wont go hungry at disney even if don't get to make reservations kwim?

Don't go with many preplanned expectations just take it one day at a time and think of it more as a trip of memories for Grandma and the grandkids.


....now start planning your next solo family trip.
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:49 AM   #3
mickey317
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On our last trip to WDW our trip overlapped 2 days with my SIL & family - after all the planning and fun things I had planned for the whole week - my kids LOVED the day they had in AK with their cousins!! It was great - as a matter of fact, we are going this year with both SIL's & families.
I am feeling a little under pressure doing the grand gathering planning & would love to find another person to share their experiences but so far so good
Just think Disney a big place - you could always do your own thing a couple of days or meet up with everyone just fo the meals.
I totally agree with the previous poster...
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:38 AM   #4
starann
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With that many people ADRs might be tricky. Tricky in the fact that most places will sit you at separate tables. WE were a party of 7, and they told us when making ADRs that some resturants would put us at 2 tables and they could not gaurentee that they would be together. NOW, most of the time they were, but we were a much smaller group!


I also suggest planning activites each day for everyone to enjoy, then alone family time for everyone to enjoy. This way those with the older kids can go on 'older kid rides' and those with younger can go on the more 'baby rides'. Maybe meet and go on 3 rides together each day, then separate and meet for meals?


The most we went with was 12, but 4 of them were kids under the age of 3! Good Luck!
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:09 AM   #5
lemonsours
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Thanks for the encouragement. Does anyone know of any online resources for planning for such a large group? All the Disney website says is that they have planners available to help. Any special activities to recommend? Has anyone else gone with this many people before?
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:18 PM   #6
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My sister and I have planned for a GG of 12 for this Sept/Oct, and thankfully everyone in our group listens to our suggestion and lets us do all the work (thankfully)! We usually ask each family group to tell us what their must have dinner reservationsare, and hotel.they prefer. We also planned for a couple of days off during our 12 night vacation, that way people can decide to just stay the hotel or go the parks. We also planned for a spa day for just the women at GF with a tea lunch afterward which may be a great option for the women in your group to bond. Hope everything works out!!
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:43 PM   #7
lemonsours
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Thanks. I did find the info about the different Grand Gathering dinners on this website, so I'll have to mention that to everyone. The AK safari dinner sounds especially appealing since I know the last time we went we got fastpasses and still waited 45 minutes in line for the safari. I would hope they would have the ability to seat us all together at a dinner specifically for Grand Gatherings. The spa sounds like a nice idea, but we all have small children and I don't know if the men would be comfortable baby wrangling while the women disappeared. Not such a big deal at home, but might be different story in Disney.
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:06 AM   #8
mickey317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPNmom View Post
My sister and I have planned for a GG of 12 for this Sept/Oct, and thankfully everyone in our group listens to our suggestion and lets us do all the work (thankfully)! We usually ask each family group to tell us what their must have dinner reservationsare, and hotel.they prefer. We also planned for a couple of days off during our 12 night vacation, that way people can decide to just stay the hotel or go the parks. We also planned for a spa day for just the women at GF with a tea lunch afterward which may be a great option for the women in your group to bond. Hope everything works out!!
Have you had a grand gathering before? For the must have dinner reservations - do you book for all 12 of you? or do you have a night where you all go separately? Maybe whatever all day and meet for meals?
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