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Old 04-06-2013, 05:42 PM   #1
starsweeper
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Planning rooms/trip for up to 20

I could really use advice on planning rooms and cost for a WDW trip for up to 20 family members. My mom has always wanted to take her two sisters and their families to WDW (they can't afford this for themselves). However, my mom has struggled with breast cancer for a year and her time with us may not be long. If she were to recover some strength, she would like to do this. If not, I would like to fulfill this wish in the next 1-2 years. My mom is leaving an annuity to my brother and myself that I could use to make this happen. I would like advice on affording rooms for a group this large, combinations we could try to cut cost, etc. We would likely stay 5-7 days and prefer on-property.

Here are the parties:
Our family - 2 adults, 4 kids (6, 6, 2, 1); my mom and dad; my brother (33)
Aunt #1 - aunt; 2 adult sons (43 & 38)
Aunt #2 - aunt; son, wife, 1 kid (7); daughter, husband, 2 kids (9, 5)

Possible rooms:
#1 - our family of 6
#2 - mom and dad (and possibly my brother if a suite)
#3 - 2 aunts
#4 - 2 aunt's adult sons (and possibly my brother)
#5 - aunt's son, wife, 1 kid
#6 - aunt's daughter, husband, 2 kids
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Disney Vacations:
Aug79 - PR, Apr85 - Golf Resort, Apr88/Apr91 - Offsite, Jun97 - Offsite (Mom & me), Nov06 - CBR (DH & me - F&W), Feb09 - PCR (1st w/kids), May10 - Mariott OWC (Mom & Kids - F&GF), Oct13 - PR (1st w/4 kids - MNSSHP), Oct14 - GF (MNSSHP)

Other Family Vacations:
Jun13 - Outer Banks NC, Jun15 - Yellowstone/Grand Teton Parks

Last edited by starsweeper; 04-06-2013 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
bstarprincess37
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Renting DVC/ Family Suites?

Have you looked into renting DVC points. I know there is a rent/trade DVC board on disboards you could look around there. I am not sure how much of a cost savings it would be versus each group in your family staying in a separate value resort rooms, but it would add up to a great cost savings versus staying at a deluxe or possibly moderate resort. Plus then you have the option of all of your family staying in one unit not separate rooms...You could also try the family suites at AoA - if you can get a discount on your dates maybe that work work.

If you are open to off site you could try Bonnet Creek. It is still really close to Disney, and I believe there are alot of threads on disboards about staying there or renting a timeshare from owners.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:35 PM   #3
letsgoreds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starsweeper View Post

Here are the parties:
Our family - 2 adults, 4 kids; my mom and dad; my brother
Aunt #1 - aunt; 2 adult sons
Aunt #2 - aunt; son, wife, 1 kid; daughter, husband, 2 kids

Possible rooms:
#1 - our family of 6
#2 - mom and dad (and possibly my brother if a suite)
#3 - 2 aunts
#4 - 2 aunt's adult sons (and possibly my brother)
#5 - aunt's son, wife, 1 kid
#6 - aunt's daughter, husband, 2 kids
Off property condos/houses will probably end up being half the cost, but try pricing out renting DVC points (David's assumes $13/point, but with an individual, you can find $11-12/point).

We prefer Kidani for the third full bathroom, but there may be lower cost options. Can the aunt's share a bed? How old are the other kids?

Dedicated 2br - Master BR (Mom/Dad), 2BR (aunts), Family Room (2 adult sons + brother, or toss one into the 2BR)
Dedicated 2br - Master BR (#5), 2BR (your family), Family Room (kids that don't fit into the bedrooms, your 6yo would be fine + one more)
Studio - Group #6

The benefit to going the condo route (onsite DVC, or offsite) is that there will be a communal area (family room) to hang out it. The other option is probably 6 separate value rooms, and everyone split up.

Good luck! I would start looking at houses with a group that big or offsite condos that offer shuttle. Or maybe Ft. Wilderness cabins?
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:01 PM   #4
sunsetbeachgal
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First of all, my prayers and good wishes for your mom in her cancer fight.

Whatever you decide on, I would be sure to book something that has the flexibility to cancel or adjust the size of the group. With 20 people, especially if any are seniors or have any health issues, odds are very good that someone or one of the families will have to cancel out. If you do not have the ability to cancel rooms or adjust the size of the group, you will lose money. I have never rented points, but I have read that Once the unit is reserved for you, it cannot be cancelled. I like the flexibility that Reserving resort rooms provides.

Good luck to you and to your mother. It is a lovely gesture for her to provide for this trip.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
Kristibo42
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We have taken two large trips first one with over 40 people with 13 rooms, next one over 20 people with 10 rooms. One the first trip we stayed at Pop Century the second one All Star Sports. Are rooms were all together that was really nice. We went though Disney directly. We had a larger family that got connecting rooms to use for 7. That worked out great for them and was cheaper then a suite. We also had the dining quick service that was nice not having to pull out the wallet all the time. Another good thing to have is the park hopper passes.

We only did a couple things as a group. We had a character meal on both trips. We all went and road the Safari at Animal Kingdom together. On the first trip we had rented a deck and had a private Dessert Party over looking the Fantasmic Show in Hollywood Studios. Just to let you know we also had 2 scooters, 2 wheel chairs, and my autistic niece as we had a couple of special need people. The only problem we had was waiting for the bus to take us to Hollywood Studios for the Dessert Party. We all wanted to be on the same bus so we let people go in front of us until we could. We had one guy that was real nasty about because after loading the scooters the driver let the rest of us enter thru the back. All of the adults in our group stood as not to take up seats for the ones that needed to sit. When the guy entered the bus he sat (he would not give up his seat for anyone). He ran his mouth the whole time. The driver even said something to him. As he helped us off the he ask us we had any other things we need to go to as a group. Two days later we were going to Animal Kingdom for our safari ride and then to Chef Mickey. We didn't think anything about him asking. The next day we got a call from the front desk. We needed to call transportation. Upon calling them we found out that that driver went back and told them what happened. On the day we were to go to Animal kingdom we got to the bus line and there was a bus with our names on it. It was the same driver!!! He took us to Animal Kingdom waited for us and then took us to Chef Mickey. We then were all going to Magic Kingdom afterwards. He gave us his number to call him when we were done eating and he came back to pick us up even though we told him we would walk over or take the monorail. After dropping us off at the front of MK he then sage us another number to call when we were done for the day and another bus would pick us up. Lets just say what a day we had. We never expected for the whole group to stay together for the day it was great made us all feel likes we were celebrities. We are planning another big trip in a couple of years this time with almost 60 people. We will not be using Disney as we found the best TA ever (can't say on here will get my hands slapped) we have used her several times. We will be staying at a value hotels again as we are not in the rooms alot.
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Next trip July 2016 POP and AOA about 70 people
Dec. 2013 Pop Century to celebrate 25 anniversary Adults only
All Star Sports family trip 25 people Feb 2011
Pop Century September. 2009
Pop Century Adults only 20 year anniversary Dec 2008
Pop Century Big family trip 42 people July 2007
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
Marthasor
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The most affordable way to stay on-property would most likely be staying at ASMu with your family of 6 in a family suite and the others staying in regular rooms.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
starsweeper
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bstarprincess37: I know we could do off-property cheaper, but this will be once in a lifetime trip for most people. I want the extra magic of WDW theming, and a few adults are intimidated by driving in the area so WDW transportation would be great. DVC rental units is definitely something I'll have to investigate.

letsgoreds: Interesting idea. I'll have to look into the Kidani or similar units and see how that would likely work for numbers and personalities.

sunsetbeachgal: Thank you for your prayers. We continue to pray for a miracle. I agree with flexibility in booking with such a large party.

Kristibo42: What a wonderful story! I can't imagine planning a trip for 40 or 60? Wow!
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Disney Vacations:
Aug79 - PR, Apr85 - Golf Resort, Apr88/Apr91 - Offsite, Jun97 - Offsite (Mom & me), Nov06 - CBR (DH & me - F&W), Feb09 - PCR (1st w/kids), May10 - Mariott OWC (Mom & Kids - F&GF), Oct13 - PR (1st w/4 kids - MNSSHP), Oct14 - GF (MNSSHP)

Other Family Vacations:
Jun13 - Outer Banks NC, Jun15 - Yellowstone/Grand Teton Parks
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:33 AM   #8
patty57
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While I love renting points for DVC (you cannot beat the price even with WDW discounts), I would be afraid with that many people. There is no flexibility and no ability to cancel. With that many, it seems the odds of people dropping out due to unforeseen circumstances is just too high.
The All Star suite and regular rooms seems like it could work for you.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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You might also check Swan and Dolphin. While on property, they are run by Starwood Hotels. Swan is a Westin and Dolphin is a Sheraton. They run some great specials for teachers and members of the military. If you have a Starwood American Express Card, you can book on points. These are deluxe resorts with more moderate prices.

You can sign up for their recipe club and receive notice of special pricing with a fabulous recipe. I've seen them run some really incredible deals.


With someone who may not be all that strong, it might be nice to just wheel a rented ECV up to the gate and not have to take buses or other transportation to Epcot or Studios.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristibo42 View Post
We only did a couple things as a group. We had a character meal on both trips. We all went and road the Safari at Animal Kingdom together. On the first trip we had rented a deck and had a private Dessert Party over looking the Fantasmic Show in Hollywood Studios. Just to let you know we also had 2 scooters, 2 wheel chairs, and my autistic niece as we had a couple of special need people. The only problem we had was waiting for the bus to take us to Hollywood Studios for the Dessert Party. We all wanted to be on the same bus so we let people go in front of us until we could. We had one guy that was real nasty about because after loading the scooters the driver let the rest of us enter thru the back. All of the adults in our group stood as not to take up seats for the ones that needed to sit. When the guy entered the bus he sat (he would not give up his seat for anyone). He ran his mouth the whole time. The driver even said something to him. As he helped us off the he ask us we had any other things we need to go to as a group. Two days later we were going to Animal Kingdom for our safari ride and then to Chef Mickey. We didn't think anything about him asking. The next day we got a call from the front desk. We needed to call transportation. Upon calling them we found out that that driver went back and told them what happened. On the day we were to go to Animal kingdom we got to the bus line and there was a bus with our names on it. It was the same driver!!! He took us to Animal Kingdom waited for us and then took us to Chef Mickey. We then were all going to Magic Kingdom afterwards. He gave us his number to call him when we were done eating and he came back to pick us up even though we told him we would walk over or take the monorail. After dropping us off at the front of MK he then sage us another number to call when we were done for the day and another bus would pick us up. Lets just say what a day we had. We never expected for the whole group to stay together for the day it was great made us all feel likes we were celebrities. We are planning another big trip in a couple of years this time with almost 60 people. We will not be using Disney as we found the best TA ever (can't say on here will get my hands slapped) we have used her several times. We will be staying at a value hotels again as we are not in the rooms alot.
Wow what an incredible story! Before I joined DIS, I used to hear that nobody at Disney really enjoyed their jobs. :

Now, I hear story after story of CMs who clearly enjoy coming to work every day, and who will go above and beyond all expectations to make a family's stay more magical! :
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:07 PM   #11
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As a DVC owner who has done several grand gathering events where I was picking up the tab, I would not consider doing DVC rentals with this large and diverse of a group. There is little wiggle room in cancellations on DVC and you would be paying in full months in advance with no option for refund if one or more groups cancel, for any reason.

Additionally, I have had no success in getting DVC rooms close to one another even when linking or registering as a grand gathering. We haven't even been on the same floor, let alone the same area of the resort. You will have better success with this at a hotel where the rooms are all the same.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:35 PM   #12
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I've consider renting DVC points for a group about this size. As long as you are okay that someone might cancel but you are still paying for the room, I'd do it. I'd suggest 2 two bedrooms at akv and a 1 bedroom. If you booked savanna view and request Pembe savanna, you have a chance of being in the same part of the hotel. No guarantee, but that savanna area is not huge, so you shouldn't be too far apart. But yes, renting has it risks, but if this is a trip of a lifetime, you can make it special!
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