How far out do you plan??

Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by dana1003, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. dana1003

    dana1003 DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2006
    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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  3. JavArmy

    JavArmy DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2012
    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! :scared1: The planning is the best part!
  4. Lisa71

    Lisa71 Adoption Rocks!

    Aug 7, 2011
    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.
  5. dana1003

    dana1003 DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2006
    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
  6. WMorganS

    WMorganS Flapping My Ears

    Feb 4, 2013
    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.
  7. Snow Shoe

    Snow Shoe What time is the 3 o'clock parade?

    Nov 15, 1999
    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.
  8. Tinkerbellfan25

    Tinkerbellfan25 Earning My Ears

    Feb 2, 2013
    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. :)
  9. TheShea's

    TheShea's Mouseketeer

    Apr 3, 2010
    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.
  10. deserrai

    deserrai DIS Veteran

    Feb 3, 2012
    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.
  11. jkc0325

    jkc0325 Mouseketeer

    Mar 2, 2011
    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!!! :)
  12. WMorganS

    WMorganS Flapping My Ears

    Feb 4, 2013
    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!
  13. baboo800

    baboo800 Earning My Ears

    Feb 14, 2013
    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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  14. mickeysbestfriend

    mickeysbestfriend DIS Veteran

    Dec 3, 2005
    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!
  15. momto3gr8boys

    momto3gr8boys DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2006
    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!

    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 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.
  16. AshleeH

    AshleeH DIS Veteran

    Sep 10, 2011
    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.
  17. growinupdisney

    growinupdisney DIS Veteran

    Nov 4, 2007
    how many individual families??
    for ex.
    Your parents
    Your family(dh and kids)

    Go to each "head of houshold" and explain the ADR situation, with that you should atleast get an idea on what types of food or restaurants to avoid. or if any have been to WDW before any place they want to go or don't want to go.
    Then ask if they all want to eat every meal together or have some individual alone family time.( which I would do) Plan maybe a meal a day together and thats it, if certain people want to stay together for the day they can and if they dont its ok. I would go with your educational experience whether it be the dis, touring plans, etc. to plan yur park days.
  18. dana1003

    dana1003 DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2006
    Thank you for all the replies...hard to plan sit downs cause I'm not sure what everyones budget is for food? I'm going ahead an making ressies on what I think would be best for kids and priced fairly..come July if they don't like it oh well :{
  19. msp2mco

    msp2mco DIS Veteran

    Feb 16, 2009
    We have also gone with groups that didn't really want to plan, in part because they weren't familiar with WDW. So, we sent everyone that was going a fun survey for them to complete by a certain date (don't give them much time). The survey was pretty comprehensive, and our guests thought it was hilarious. It turned out that almost everyone returned the survey, and we were able to take everyones input and plan the trip. If you want a copy, you can PM me.

    As others mentioned, you can get ADR's for 10 people; we were willing to split into 2 groups, so that made it easier too.

    Also, we find it easiest and most enjoyable for everyone to not stick together the entire time. We usually get to the parks together and ride a few headline rides together. Then we split into groups and meet again for lunch or something.

    You can take a lot of time to plan, but if it bugs other people, they don't need to know what you are doing. Send out a tentative itinerary in July, and most likely, everyone will be impressed by the trip and excited to go.
  20. BDL

    BDL DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2010
    We already started spitballing ideas for a Dec 2014 trip, by Day 3 of our Dec 2012 trip. :yay:
  21. ZoZo

    ZoZo DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2005
    I plan at least my airline reservation a year in advance, if possible. There are very few non-stop flights from Seattle to Orlando, and if you want a seat on one of those flights, you have to book waaaay in advance.

    Other stuff can wait a bit longer.

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