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Old 02-16-2013, 09:28 AM   #1
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How far out do you plan??

We are going this August ( haven't been in 5 years!!so I am very excited) dh is not a Disney fan but is going because its a group of 10 of us- all family. Prob is- I am planning with a family member and we are trying to plan meals , which park on which day, airfare.. Etc but when I try to ask hubby or my parents who are also going, they tell me they don't want to talk about it till July?? So what do I do?? Wait? LAN it all myself??
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:40 AM   #2
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I would look into what you think would be a good plan, give sugguestions to your family and book reservations. Come July, if he decides to wait until then, and he doesn't like your plans, you can always cancel them. That way you have a safety net of sorts.

I'm with you. I can't imagine wating that long to plan! The planning is the best part!
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:06 AM   #3
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You need to plan now to get the best flexibility ...and then you can just tell them they can call and get dining reservations themselves if they want a change.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:17 AM   #4
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Yes. My adr's open up next week so I'm going to make the decision I think is best for all of us. Anyone have any suggestions on places that can seat 10?? I like garden grill but I don't think those booths hold that many
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
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There's just a couple of key things you really must do now:

#1 Figure out if there are any non-EMH mornings that you want to spend at MK. If so, book CP for 8am on those mornings the moment the phones open on your ADR day.

#2 Figure out which evenings you MIGHT want to spend at MK, and BOG for those evenings.

There's other stuff, but those 2 things are really critical if you want to do them.

I think most WDW restaurants can seat 10, but not if you wait.

Last edited by WMorganS; 02-16-2013 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:45 AM   #6
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Planning for a large group or small one, is important for a Disney trip. People who haven't been to Disney don't understand that carefully planning the vacation is all important to having a wonderful trp experience.

I feel that you need to take the bull by the horns and just make your plans based on what the family has told you, or just make decisions for them. There are things that need to be done now and all along the way to departure date. One big thing is that you are currently within the 180 mark for making ADR's for early August already. Dining times may already have become limited for your large group.

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Old 02-16-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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Im going in late Aug. as well and I have been planning since I found out we were going in Dec, and there is only 2 of us going. I would get a jump on things now since there are so many of you but thats just me. I find it fun to plan and find tips on making everything run smoother on-line.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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We're going in mid August as well and we're just under 180 days out. We've planned all of our character breakfast and dinner reservations. Lunches we'll leave open as we don't know where in the park we'll be so we'll just grab a counter service. Even the dinner reservations are subject to change depending on what we're doing or where we are.

Some of the dinner times we tried booking at some of the finer restaurants were booked so I'd get planning & making ADRs sooner rather than later.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:19 PM   #9
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Just plan it for them, but be prepared to make changes if anyone has a strong opinion. If they don't want to discuss it until July, they probably will be happy to go with whatever you have planned.

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Old 02-16-2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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My dh loves Disney, hates planning stuff. We have a deal, I do the planning, run it by him in case he HATES an idea and then he sits back and reaps the benefits of all my planning. He is not allowed to come back after the fact and complain about something or say I should have done something differently. Being the smart man that he is, he usually says "thanks so much for all your work planning us an awesome vacation!" My part of the deal is that I have to remain flexible once we get there so that if everyone is not up for something I planned I don't take it personally. We do not skip out on ADR's though, ever. So far it's worked really well for us.

I'd explain to your husband that if you wait til July to plan, you won't get any ADR's that you might want and it has to be done early. That's how Disney works. You'll run things by him but if there is anything he absolutely wants or does not want to do, he needs to tell you NOW.

Good luck!!!
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:44 PM   #11
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LoL! My wife hates planning too ;-) I usually plan the whole trip, and she finds out the TRIP when we start nearing the cancellation deadlines!

Just make back up reservations too. You can always cancel those once he's had time to understand why you've booked what you have.

Don't wait.


I just re-read your post... and if I read you right, you might want to reconsider going to WDW if those 10 people that aren't into it. That could be a bad mix that haunts you in a bad way for years to come!

At least keep these things in mind:

- These trips are expensive, and among 10 people there will be some for whom it's not "easy".
- You can't get great lodging or airfare if you wait till July.
- 10 people probably can't all do parks together any day, and certainly not most days. Different people have different styles of travel.

If you try to make this happen, make sure you have at least enough others that are into it. And for "togetherness", your best bet may be to meet up for a few key ADR's, which you can book now.

Good luck!

Last edited by WMorganS; 02-16-2013 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:25 PM   #12
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usually book flights 6 months before,hotel about 4 months before and usually don't boom and restaurants(signature or otherwise)

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Old 02-17-2013, 10:19 AM   #13
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We are DVC members

and can book accomodations 11 months out and for some stays we do.

My wife leaves all the planning to me. I book the rooms, buy the airfare, make dining ressies (you definitely need to do the ASAP) arrange Magical Express and develop our park plan. I run the dining reservations by her to see if there are any major objections (she only has a few she doesn't like).

As far as where to eat my suggestions are:

50's Prime time (Hollywood studios)
Hoop Dee Doo (Dinner show with all you care to drink adult beverages) Fort Wilderness
Liberty Tree Tavern (we prefer lunch-Magic Kingdom)
Crystal Palace (buffet-Magic Kingdom)
Biergarten (non character buffet) (Epcot)
Chefs de France (Epcot)
Captain's Grille Yatch Club
'Ohana (Polynesian)
Earl of Sandwich (DTD) inexpensive but good soups sandwiches and salads)
Flame Tree BBQ (Animal Kingdom)

I'd make ressies for the whole party and if someone doesn't want to go you can adjust ressies.

Our two cents!

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Old 02-17-2013, 10:45 AM   #14
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I have planned anywhere from one week to almost a year out, but for me the planning is just as much fun as the vacation is!

Originally Posted by dana1003 View Post
Yes. My adr's open up next week so I'm going to make the decision I think is best for all of us. Anyone have any suggestions on places that can seat 10?? I like garden grill but I don't think those booths hold that many
You can eat anywhere with 10 people, you just need to be flexible on your times. We went with a large group a few years ago in July. There were 19 of us. The planner in charge (not me) has been bringing family and friend groups this size for years, so she knew exactly what she was doing. She sent out a list of the ADRs she was planning on making for the group, and asked if there was anything not on the list anyone was dying to try. Then she proceeded to make them 180 days out. The key to big groups is that for breakfast you need either first or last seating and dinner you need to eat around 5-5:30. We were not all siting at one big table, but instead groups of smaller tables...at HDDR I think we had two big tables.

I say go ahead with the planning and let the challengers fix it themselves in July. But, I would be open to allowing the group to go off in separate directions and arrange to meet at meal times.
Christine DWDS(18) DS(16)DS(13)Picasso

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Old 02-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #15
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I plan as far out in advance as I can.

We get a tentative estimate of when we will be back before we're out of the Disney parking lot as we're leaving our current trip.

As of now, we're looking at fall of 2014 and I'm planning the most basic details now (what time will we leave? Will we stop for the night since we'll have a one year old? Will we drive through the night? Are we planning on our favorite resort or a new one?).

We'll book our dates as soon as 2014 opens up and I'll start planning our dining reservations at that point - getting the opinions of the "must do" restaurants from my family members (I know what they are now, but they might change by then, so I always ask again so everyone gets their favorite). I usually throw in one new restaurant for variety and new experiences. At the 180+10 mark, I'll start finalizing reservations and that's about the time I start breaking down which parks will work for us on which days (those are finalized after seeing the official EMH days for which parks).

We are not structured once we get to the parks, but we know what ADR's we have and base the day around that. For the parks themselves - we wing it. For MK, for instance, we've discovered it's easier to split up. My oldest DS likes the thrill rides and younger DS loves the Fantasyland/Tomorrowland rides. Usually I go with oldest DS (except for this past trip - found out I was pregnant right before leaving, so got to experience Disney in an entirely different way and had more special time with my little guy) and splitting up works for us. Same with Epcot (although we do World Showcase together as a family/extended family) since DS9 likes going to Test Track, etc. so little DS and I always head to Nemo. It's a perfect blend of getting what we all want with family time with all of us.

I have done spur of the minute trips (30 days out), but I thrive on planning and I enjoy every aspect of it.
DH - ~ Me - ~ DS11 - ~ DS7 - ~ DD1

1985 - Disneyland; 1990 & 1994 - WDW; 1997 - Disneyland Paris; 2003 - WDW; Oct. 2010 - WDW (Animal Kingdom: Kidani Village); Oct. 2011 - WDW (Contemporary/Wilderness Lodge); Oct. 2012 - WDW (Bay Lake); July 2013 - Disneyland (Grand Californian); Oct. 2014 - WDW (Bay Lake)
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