Thank you to this board, but our upcoming group trip will be one and done!

JakeAZ

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
I know that you are over it, but if you ever decide to return, look at historical data. I use it a lot to figure out if parties, etc happened on specific nights. That way, I can also see events that have occurred in the past and decide if I want to think about them for my group. Also, if you are determined to dine as a large group, think about prioritizing which meals are must do meals together, and then book them.
I really tried to do that haha. Last year there were not any DAH the week before Easter. All I've done so far, is book one TS meal for the group per day. Every family is on their own for whatever else they want to do. We just want to meet up once a day. I won't be able to make AK DAH work. Hopefully if they announce a HS DAH, we can make that work.
 

JakeAZ

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
The guests have decided they want 180 days in advance. When I first started going to WDW the PS (ADR) was at 90 days out. Folks asked for more time, so 180 days out was implemented
Just curious (I really don't know the answer). Was this before FP+? I'm assuming it was before all the add-ons (desert parties, EMM, DAH, etc).
180 days may have worked just fine then. But now IMO it just doesn't jive with everything else.
 

Nancyg56

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Just curious (I really don't know the answer). Was this before FP+? I'm assuming it was before all the add-ons (desert parties, EMM, DAH, etc).
180 days may have worked just fine then. But now IMO it just doesn't jive with everything else.

Oh gosh, you want me to remember! LOL! I think it was prior to, however I am not sure. I dont think Disney can win this one, no matter the system. SOme folks like to have their dining written in stone, I am one of them, and others want all the info released before hand. I dont think they woudl wait for the 60 day mark to book dining, and I don't see FP being released much earlier. Events are not always released in a timely manner, and park hours fluctuate.

I know you thought folks might be critical when they told you you managed a lot given the size of your party, but they were kind of right. You prioritized dining I think, as do i, bu tthat means if something is released after, you have a huge decision to make. It's tough to be there, which is why many of us try not to worry too much about the "one that got away" because it can really be devastating if you let it bother you.
 
  • Spunky946

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 9, 2011
    Just curious (I really don't know the answer). Was this before FP+? I'm assuming it was before all the add-ons (desert parties, EMM, DAH, etc).
    180 days may have worked just fine then. But now IMO it just doesn't jive with everything else.
    It’s been 180 days as long as I can remember at least since 2013, probably before that, They after hours events have only been the last couple of years.
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    I dont think Disney can win this one, no matter the system. SOme folks like to have their dining written in stone, I am one of them, and others want all the info released before hand.
    Right, and that's what makes me not follow along with all the complaints that people gripe about. WDW is in a completely zero win situation, and it's completely due to the guests. People are complaining and seeming blaming Disney about a situation they (collectively) created themselves. There is no answer that will satisfy everyone, not even close. So they'll make the best decisions they can and everyone just has to live with it. For example, as an offsite AP holder, I'm limited to no more than 7 days worth of FP+ in a 30 day window. Do I like that? No. Do I wish it were different? Sure. However, I understand why and have made the best of it. Not going to blame Disney for it.
     

    maxiesmom

    The Mean Squinty Eye Works
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2004
    It makes me laugh too when people start the Back in the day you could walk into a park and make dining reservations. Yeah, I remember walking into Epcot and having to go wait in line and hope I could find someplace in Epcot to eat that day. It was far from a perfect system. Worked great...if you were flexible and had no expectations of eating at a specific restaurant.
     
  • Rory607

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2016
    I’m sure it’s been said, but planning for that many people is not very much fun. I did it a few years ago and it was stressful. I don’t think I would do it again. I enjoy the planning process so much more when it’s just our immediate family. And the trip, honestly! It’s hard to coordinate that many people. I would suggest taking just your family back another time in the future. It’s so much easier to plan and execute a trip for 4-5 people.

    And let’s be honest, Disney wants you to come back. They know you can’t do everything and will then, hopefully, plan more trips. We’ve been a lot and still can’t do everything. The kids are always growing and wanting to try new things and Disney keeps adding more. It’s just the way it goes.
     

    LSUmiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2014
    I’m sure it’s been said, but planning for that many people is not very much fun. I did it a few years ago and it was stressful. I don’t think I would do it again. I enjoy the planning process so much more when it’s just our immediate family. And the trip, honestly! It’s hard to coordinate that many people. I would suggest taking just your family back another time in the future. It’s so much easier to plan and execute a trip for 4-5 people.

    And let’s be honest, Disney wants you to come back. They know you can’t do everything and will then, hopefully, plan more trips. We’ve been a lot and still can’t do everything. The kids are always growing and wanting to try new things and Disney keeps adding more. It’s just the way it goes.
    I do think this is part of the strategy. Every new trip I try to tweak things that didn’t work. I also come here & learn new things. I know a lot of ppl who do this too. So, essentially we keep coming back b/c we think if we just fix these few things it’ll be more enjoyable. But it’s a constant endeavor.
     

    scrump

    <font color=royalblue>so the decision has been mad
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2003
    My last trip was (omg) 16 years ago - but I am now in a position of planning a couple of trips for 2020. It was quite an adjustment to have to learn about FP+, magic bands, ADRs 180 days out and my favorite - "there is no value season anymore." It got to the point where I honestly thought jeez, am I still doing this? And the answer is, yes...yes I am.

    I remember 16 years ago, my friend and I had done our best to secure ADRs (or were they Priority Seatings?) at the appropriate time out (not sure - 90 days at the time), and we couldn't get anything on our Epcot night. We just went hoping to get "anything but Nine Dragons." We are from NYC and LA and the last thing we wanted to eat was Chinese food. That night while at Epcot, I called the WDW reservation line (likely from my cell phone or perhaps from something called a "pay phone") to find any last minute openings and the only thing open was...Nine Dragons. I said, "we'll take it," and we hurried over and had one of the best meals in our WDW memories. No real point to this story except that I agree with the OP that WDW is a little off the charts nuts right now. You just have to do whatever preplanning you can and then jump in and hope for the best - with the mindset that everything will be fine. I know I will love both my trips next year! They may be my last two trips, but we'll take it one day at a time! LOL
     

    Paula25

    Disney Dreamer
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    It's all about expectations, I think. There is so much advice (both great and some not-so-great) on this site and others giving strategies to get the "best" ADR and not-to-be-missed fastpass. It makes you think that if you don't get everything you want 11, 7, 6, and 2 months in advance, your vacation will be a sad disaster. That's such a crock, but I fall for it too.

    We do go often, and I've planned trips for groups of 6 to 20 and more. I enjoy the planning, so I do it. And it is scary when Disney changes something because I'm not sure how it will impact my own "strategies". So I do experience the same stress that OP has gone through, and to an extent, the same frustrations.

    With the advantage of having gone several times, I can tell you with full confidence that the ADRs you didn't get and the rides you didn't ride and the shows you didn't see will not be what you remember about the trip unless you want them to be. Instead, you'll remember how exciting it was to see that WDW sign above the road as you arrived, the courtesy and friendliness that surrounds you and makes you want to be courteous and friendly too. The look on that young one's face when they first see the castle, the pictures you took that were completely goofy - but everyone was smiling, and the sweet togetherness of sharing a sit down meal (at your third choice restaurant) when everyone is pleasantly (ok, that may be a little sarcastic) exhausted from walking 8 miles so far today.

    You'll also remember (and hopefully be able to smile about) the complete meltdown the toddler had at Animal Kingdom, the blisters on the back of your heels from those new shoes, the wasp sting that put your 10-year-old out of commission for the whole day at Typhoon Lagoon, having to call your pediatrician to call in an Rx for a rescue inhaler to the pharmacy in Orlando because you forgot to pack it (mommy guilt still alive and well), having the construction crew run into your rental car in the parking lot, and oh yeah, the snake in the room.

    All these things have happened on our Disney vacations - and yet, what we remember is the time together, enjoying ourselves as a family.

    OP, what I hope for you is that in the end, whether you decide to visit WDW again or not, is that you decide to place the most importance on enjoying the time with your family while you are there. All that advance planning doesn't sound like your cup of tea - and that's completely okay. But now that you've done it, I hope you are able to relax once you get there and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Have a fabulous vacation!
     
  • Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    It's all about expectations, I think. There is so much advice (both great and some not-so-great) on this site and others giving strategies to get the "best" ADR and not-to-be-missed fastpass. It makes you think that if you don't get everything you want 11, 7, 6, and 2 months in advance, your vacation will be a sad disaster. That's such a crock, but I fall for it too.

    We do go often, and I've planned trips for groups of 6 to 20 and more. I enjoy the planning, so I do it. And it is scary when Disney changes something because I'm not sure how it will impact my own "strategies". So I do experience the same stress that OP has gone through, and to an extent, the same frustrations.

    With the advantage of having gone several times, I can tell you with full confidence that the ADRs you didn't get and the rides you didn't ride and the shows you didn't see will not be what you remember about the trip unless you want them to be. Instead, you'll remember how exciting it was to see that WDW sign above the road as you arrived, the courtesy and friendliness that surrounds you and makes you want to be courteous and friendly too. The look on that young one's face when they first see the castle, the pictures you took that were completely goofy - but everyone was smiling, and the sweet togetherness of sharing a sit down meal (at your third choice restaurant) when everyone is pleasantly (ok, that may be a little sarcastic) exhausted from walking 8 miles so far today.

    You'll also remember (and hopefully be able to smile about) the complete meltdown the toddler had at Animal Kingdom, the blisters on the back of your heels from those new shoes, the wasp sting that put your 10-year-old out of commission for the whole day at Typhoon Lagoon, having to call your pediatrician to call in an Rx for a rescue inhaler to the pharmacy in Orlando because you forgot to pack it (mommy guilt still alive and well), having the construction crew run into your rental car in the parking lot, and oh yeah, the snake in the room.

    All these things have happened on our Disney vacations - and yet, what we remember is the time together, enjoying ourselves as a family.

    OP, what I hope for you is that in the end, whether you decide to visit WDW again or not, is that you decide to place the most importance on enjoying the time with your family while you are there. All that advance planning doesn't sound like your cup of tea - and that's completely okay. But now that you've done it, I hope you are able to relax once you get there and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Have a fabulous vacation!
    My husband just told me this recently. I have a trip planned with two 13 YO girls, and my sister. I want the experience to be "perfect"and have given myself stress about things that I normally do not ever worry about. DH finally told me that the girls won't know what they don't know so they will not worry about anything they missed. He said go, have fun, and enjoy them during the Holiday season. Stop worrying about attractions, FP, meals.
     

    JakeAZ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2018
    OP, what I hope for you is that in the end, whether you decide to visit WDW again or not, is that you decide to place the most importance on enjoying the time with your family while you are there. All that advance planning doesn't sound like your cup of tea - and that's completely okay. But now that you've done it, I hope you are able to relax once you get there and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Have a fabulous vacation!
    Couldn't agree more. It is about spending time with family. After finishing the planning, I will be able to let go. I understand there is only so much I can do with the system the way it is. I'll do my best to line up what I can. In the end, I have no doubt everyone will be able to look back and say they had a good time (with everything, good, bad or otherwise that will happen).
     

    JakeAZ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2018
    DH finally told me that the girls won't know what they don't know so they will not worry about anything they missed
    I get this too. Most of my group won't know what they are "missing". My main concern is just maximizing our time. I am doing all of this planning so that we aren't stuck in Spring Break ride lines all day / keeping our fingers crossed TS reservations will open up. What everyone decides to try and experience is up to them.
     

    Mome Rath

    3 Decade Disney Traveler
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2014
    I think the reason why some of us respond is that we realize people are coming here and reading all these threads, and it just helps to have a balanced view out there, it's not always "against" what the OP has said... at least IMO. What has stood out to me in this conversation is how it is kind of implied that having gone to WDW for a long time/many times somehow makes one's POV less informed (or blind) than someone who has only recently gone.

    Having gone over a long period of time, I've got to experience pretty much everything (except the ticket book, but my dad got to do that when I was a youngling and share the experience with us). And, in that experience it includes pre-FP trips, paper FP trips, a solo trip, a trip with over 12 people, FP+ trips, planned out trips, and literally night before jump-in-the-car-and-go trips. The reason why many vets like me like to hang out here is to help people not feel so stressed about their Disney trips, because we seen and experienced so much of it, we can help teach people how to do a trip that fits them and their family/group, even if they don't have 180 days to plan for it, and within the needs of that particular poster.

    One of my own comparisons that always cracks me up; I waited 120 min for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (if you never got to experience that cheesy goodness I pity you... ugh I hated that ride lol) in full sunlight, no cell phones, no video games, no nothing, when I was a youngling. People are aghast at waiting 120 min for FoP in an air-conditioned entertaining queue with access to water, and even a bathroom break if needed, and that's if you can't get a FP, or get there for rope drop, or get there right before park close. Pre-FP most rides were that way... I prefer FP+ for sure.

    But the point is; because I've experienced all those changes I can help figure out how not to stand in line for 2 hours, even if you are going down to WDW tomorrow. Now, is it much more tricky at Spring Break, yes. It's more tricky with 12 people too... but it could be done as long as people in the party could or would cooperate. I'm not a Disney cheerleader; a big chunk of years we quit going because the park started resembling the local theme park in cleanliness because of the huge influx of people and the changing norms (like people throwing trash in the street) and Disney had not adapted. When Disney fixed it, and they did, we came back.

    The neat thing about boards like Disboards is that the knowledge is all here to help set up a trip that works for the planner and their crew... but sometimes it's that huge amount of knowledge being presented that overwhelms a person. Some plan and hate their trips, some plan and love them. Some don't plan and hate their trips, some don't plan and love them. I just think there are a lot more variables than just Disney's flexibility or lack thereof.

    What I hope for the OP's trip is that the planning, and the opportunity to plan, is worth it... and that you have an awesome trip! If you then ever decide to go back, the planning is easier if you decide to plan it all out again, or you may decide to wing it, and still have a ball!
     

    JakeAZ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2018
    I think the reason why some of us respond is that we realize people are coming here and reading all these threads, and it just helps to have a balanced view out there, it's not always "against" what the OP has said... at least IMO. What has stood out to me in this conversation is how it is kind of implied that having gone to WDW for a long time/many times somehow makes one's POV less informed (or blind) than someone who has only recently gone.

    Having gone over a long period of time, I've got to experience pretty much everything (except the ticket book, but my dad got to do that when I was a youngling and share the experience with us). And, in that experience it includes pre-FP trips, paper FP trips, a solo trip, a trip with over 12 people, FP+ trips, planned out trips, and literally night before jump-in-the-car-and-go trips. The reason why many vets like me like to hang out here is to help people not feel so stressed about their Disney trips, because we seen and experienced so much of it, we can help teach people how to do a trip that fits them and their family/group, even if they don't have 180 days to plan for it, and within the needs of that particular poster.

    One of my own comparisons that always cracks me up; I waited 120 min for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (if you never got to experience that cheesy goodness I pity you... ugh I hated that ride lol) in full sunlight, no cell phones, no video games, no nothing, when I was a youngling. People are aghast at waiting 120 min for FoP in an air-conditioned entertaining queue with access to water, and even a bathroom break if needed, and that's if you can't get a FP, or get there for rope drop, or get there right before park close. Pre-FP most rides were that way... I prefer FP+ for sure.

    But the point is; because I've experienced all those changes I can help figure out how not to stand in line for 2 hours, even if you are going down to WDW tomorrow. Now, is it much more tricky at Spring Break, yes. It's more tricky with 12 people too... but it could be done as long as people in the party could or would cooperate. I'm not a Disney cheerleader; a big chunk of years we quit going because the park started resembling the local theme park in cleanliness because of the huge influx of people and the changing norms (like people throwing trash in the street) and Disney had not adapted. When Disney fixed it, and they did, we came back.

    The neat thing about boards like Disboards is that the knowledge is all here to help set up a trip that works for the planner and their crew... but sometimes it's that huge amount of knowledge being presented that overwhelms a person. Some plan and hate their trips, some plan and love them. Some don't plan and hate their trips, some don't plan and love them. I just think there are a lot more variables than just Disney's flexibility or lack thereof.

    What I hope for the OP's trip is that the planning, and the opportunity to plan, is worth it... and that you have an awesome trip! If you then ever decide to go back, the planning is easier if you decide to plan it all out again, or you may decide to wing it, and still have a ball!
    Thanks for the post.

    Just for the record, I do not think you "Disney vets" are less informed / blind at all! On the contrary, I am very jealous you've been able to take this current system and use it to your family's advantage. I do believe it takes multiple visits to get to that point though.

    Just like I said in my original post, these boards have been IMMENSELY HELPFUL! There is no way I could have done what I've already done, without them! I appreciate all the comments (whether I agree or not haha). I've also posted other questions about smaller details of planning and the responses are awesome. You guys really know your stuff and it is very much appreciated that you are so willing to share your knowledge.
     

    Mome Rath

    3 Decade Disney Traveler
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2014
    I really do hope your trip is awesome, and that everyone appreciates the planning you've done!
     

    mrd7896

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2018
    Read through a lot of these pages (not all..let's be honest) and i appreciate OP's candidness in his opinions. I do also appreciate the varied perspective and responses.

    I'm a 'millennial' that has had the opportunity to go to Disney about every 12-18 months for the past 20 something years- I obviously don't remember every trip but have been lucky to travel quite a bit.
    Now that i am of the age where I am able to pay for trips myself, go with friends, significant others, etc. the 'planning' aspect is SO DAUNTING. I'm a little OCD so i think it is fun at times, but the pressure to plan a perfect trip (that is impossible) can be a lot.

    Last year I went over thanksgiving (first mistake) with my DBF that has never been (he needed to be shown the craziness) and I planned out wayyyyyyyy too much of our trip almost down to the hour.
    We were still able to grab additional FP's at times and i made some good FP's at the 60 day mark to have a good base.
    We weren't able to do everything. Or even close to everything.
    But he had no idea because he's never been. What he did do-he loved. What he didn't-he has no idea.

    I WAS THE ONE THAT WAS UPSET ABOUT WHAT WE MISSED. He doesn't even know that Jungle Cruise, Dinosaur, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular exists.

    While we were there, I underestimated the amount of time we'd spend at Epcot and we missed the boat over to DHS (500th mistake) we sped walked over to DHS which he was NOT happy about to make our ToT FP in time and then over to our Sci-Fi dining reservation.

    I don't think we spoke to one another for more than 45 minutes, until we got to Sci-Fi and sat down at our table.
    To this day-we still laugh about that experience. I'll randomly say "Hey remember that time i made you walk from Epcot to Hollywood Studios" and we crack up.

    We look back at our Disney trip with such fond memories, still geeking out over our pictures, talk about how we walked around Universal for hours with our wands, how we watched the fireworks at MK and not even remembering about the long lines we waited in or having to get up early to take advantage of the hit attractions.

    I just hope you are able to stop and smell the roses while you are down there. I see you are doing all this pre-planning to try and have everyone as happy as possible and all you are doing and all the stress or frustration you feel won't be for nothing. I also hope that even though you may not want to go with a large group ever again (i'm going with a group of 9 next year and have my...hesitations) you will return to WDW someday! Even though you don't agree with some or all of their systems (i for sure don't) the memories you make will be amazing, and i know you will see that!

    But also, if you really do come out of this and say the planning, stress, MONEY, etc wasn't worth it. You are absolutely able to have your own opinion.
     

    Tyra1276

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2019
    I 100% agree with you. Every word you have written.

    I am planning out trip with just 4 adults and a 2 year old, and I am frustrated. Trip is in 33 days. I can NOT wait to get there, and experience it all, especially through my 2yr olds eyes. But all of the hoops you have to jump through ahead of time... just crazy.
     

    scard192

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2009
    My husband just told me this recently. I have a trip planned with two 13 YO girls, and my sister. I want the experience to be "perfect"and have given myself stress about things that I normally do not ever worry about. DH finally told me that the girls won't know what they don't know so they will not worry about anything they missed. He said go, have fun, and enjoy them during the Holiday season. Stop worrying about attractions, FP, meals.
    OMG, my daughter said pretty much the exact same thing to me.
    I am taking my DD, DSIL and 2 DGDs in April. We have not been since November 2016. I am stressing about wanting to give my grand daughters ( 9 + 14) a "perfect trip". I have been able to pay for the last 3 trips for my family and am retiring in March and this is the last time I will be able to do that with Disney and airlines prices rising so much. May be our last family trip.
    My daughter pointed out that the girls won't even know if we don't do all the things I want so badly for them to experience and not to worry, they will have a wonderful time.
     

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