1. Be flexibleIt's always great to hear the successful trips with so many little kids. Great job! Do you have any tips for other families who will visit WDW with a large number if little ones?
2. Don't be afraid to split up. My husband took the boys on a ride while the girls were in a FP for meeting princesses. You can't always do everything together. 1st trip we stayed together the whole time and it was hard as boys didn't want to do what girls did and vice versa. Made for more cranky kids.
3. You can stay at the parks even if one falls asleep- last trip my 5 year old fell asleep in the stroller. I still bring it just in case someone gets tired. We went to the park for 7 pm and stayed til midnight. He was asleep at 9 that night and slept comfortable in the stroller. My husband and I got to enjoy walking around and talking, but when it came to the rides we took turns going with the kids and someone stayed with my son asleep in the stroller.
4. Relax. Our first trip my husband said I drove him nuts, I wanted to go on so many rides & see shows as I felt the kids needed to do alot. Next trip I had them each pick 2 must do things and anything else was a bonus. You can't see everything in 1 trip and it's okay if you miss things. We watched rides and shows on you tube to see what they would like best.
5. try to plan things in same part of parks. For example older kids love space mountain my younger ones aren't tall enough. we did speedway together than while they went on space mountain we went on buzz and people mover. When older ones came back they felt they missed out on people mover so we scheduled for another day, but they have to know they can't do everything so they have to pick what is most important.
6. take time just for resorts. Very relaxing by the pool, doing activities at the resorts are great, relaxing and free. Don't feel like every minute has to be at the park. Last trip we went to parks at 5pm or later each night and did the resort all day. Had a blast at the resort and the parks weren't busy at night so we always did what we planned. For example one day we did 11 rides from 7-midnight. Previous trips we went in afternoon and spent the same time frame and only did 1/2 the rides.
7. Make the best of situations you can't control. If it rains go see indoor show, use that time to shop etc... Don't give up and leave the park, some rides are covered and most people leave with rain so parks slow down some.
8. Use the baby swap to your advantage. Rock n Roller Coaster only had a few kids tall enough. They were dying to go on rides and with so many too short we got us all fast pass and asked for baby swap since half kids couldn't go. So adults were switched and kids got to go two times in a row. That saves time versus going on the ride two different days. While they did this ride I took little ones to Beauty and the Beast show. We were covered by the canopy so it didn't feel hot and ate while we watched the show, 1 kid even took a nap.
9. Take your time to enjoy other things besides rides and shows. I remember my 6 year old asking to just pose near the landscape at Epcot. Spent 20 minutes going to different spots so she could pose and take pictures. She loved it, even though it wasn't my ideal fun her enjoyment was why we were there. Sometimes parents get caught up in trying to do what they think their kids want they don't ask them and do something that they kids might enjoy. Same went for doing Animal Kingdom badges. I thought it would be boring but I mentioned it to my kids as a alternative to rides, they had a blast and can't wait to go back and get more badges.
We went to Disney twice last year so I think I was relaxed knowing I had more opportunities and in the past when I went once every 24 months I felt more stressed. Sometimes we as the adults need to just relax. Our kids sense our tension and when we rush them that makes for a hard day.
We had so much fun next trip we added another family with 3 more kids. 1 is a baby (I've gone a few times with babies and already game them tips)
Hope this helps everyone. I have always felt that the more kids we bring the more special we are treated. I only say this because back home we can never go out as such a big party without dirty looks, in Disney all we hear is "Welcome Princess, how is the Prince doing today? etc...) Makes us feel special and so do the kids.