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

LSUmiss

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 8, 2014
Yu can still be flexible. But you can't be totally flexible and expect to walk on all the rides or walk into the most popular restaurants. The flexibility has to be on your part too.
I found very little room for flexibility last 2 trips.
 

JakeAZ

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
I think the majority of people who are okay with that flexibility are
i) people who go to Disney often, therefore they are okay with missing out on the top attractions/restaurants bc they will just do it next time
ii) people who do not really care about Disney, therefore couldn't care less what rides/restaurants are missed
I've had the same thoughts as this thread has developed. There is definitely a difference of opinion between those that go a lot and those of us who don't. And that's OK. I get where they are coming from. All of these changes to planning were introduced over time, across multiple trips for them. They learned to adjust and made things work for their families. More power to them.

This situation reminds me of the boiling frog story. If you turn up the heat (restrictions) slowly, it won't be such a shock. But for those of us just jumping in, we notice the water is quite hot!
 
  • Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    I think the majority of people who are okay with that flexibility are
    i) people who go to Disney often, therefore they are okay with missing out on the top attractions/restaurants bc they will just do it next time
    ii) people who do not really care about Disney, therefore couldn't care less what rides/restaurants are missed

    If you don't fall into either of those categories (like me- love Disney but will not go back for a long time.. maybe 10 yrs), you cant afford to be that flexible and take the chances. So I'm not sure what % of the Disney crowd are considered 'repeat customers', but for those one-and-done groups, I do think it is difficult. Unless again like I said, you just don't care about Disney (like my friends- they don't even know FP exists because they've done zero research hahaa. but they'll go for a day if they happen to be in florida for other events)
    You should probably add a 3rd category:

    3) People who don't all have the same priorities

    We don't go often (about every 6 years to WDW). This year was a HUGE fluke with DLR. My husband is in LA on a project so we have been able to take advantage of that twice this year (and it's still pretty pricey even with things here and there being paid for by his company). We don't plan on going back to DLR at least not in the foreseeable future.

    We care about Disney but we don't place eating at TS as a priority; we're more go with the flow there and are perfectly fine with QS even having had those 3 TS in 2017 at WDW. In general we like being able to just decide what time we want to eat and where we want to eat based on when we're hungry and what we're hungry for.

    We don't want to miss rides either but if it's a ride we really want to go on we're not normally going to pass it up which means SB. Now we got incredibly lucky with Irma but we had our own experiences out in DLR. That said park hoppers are pretty much a must for us. Locking in (even if removing FP and ADRs entirely) to one park per day means I'm itching with the thought of "but what if I want to go back to X park".

    You're totally right with the once in a lifetime trip folks. That in itself though can place unrealistic expectations and tons of stress to get it "just right". But I often experienc that on my trips in general. I always approach each of my vacations as if I'm not going back because there's a strong liklihood that I won't be.
     
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    I've had the same thoughts as this thread has developed. There is definitely a difference of opinion between those that go a lot and those of us who don't. And that's OK. I get where they are coming from. All of these changes to planning were introduced over time, across multiple trips for them. They learned to adjust and made things work for their families. More power to them.

    This situation reminds me of the boiling frog story. If you turn up the heat (restrictions) slowly, it won't be such a shock. But for those of us just jumping in, we notice the water is quite hot!
    How many trips someone has been on can be deceiving. There are folks like me that went as kids growing up. When you go as an adult things can be different. My pre-1994, 1999 and 2005 trips were all when I was under 18. Memories can be fuzzy because of that.

    I think there are a variety of tourists and a variety of theme park people and a variety of Disney theme park people. The trip my husband and I had in 2011 (when he was my boyfriend at the time) mirrors quite closely our 2017 trip. In 2011 my husband hadn't been in many years and I was going for the first time as a full adult with no other family obligations to attend to. We just had our own priorities that we agreed on. Whether we went next year or whether we went 5 years from now for the most part that stuff will stay the same (with exception to the next below paragraph).

    That said life events can change touring patterns. Going as a couple may be different (quite different too) than going with young children, which may be different than going with teens which may be different than going with immediate and extended families. Having a few trips under your belt may or may not help with that.

    I can for sure tell you that those uber kiddie rides my husband and I have avoided because we're not interested in them...well now of a sudden those may become more important than Rock N Rollercoaster if/when kids come along for us. That parade that we're not too interested in seeing may suddenly become the way to give the child a break from running around. And so on. Experience with the parks will only help for so much in that arena. Watch us go with a kid and see how much back to square one we'll be :upsidedow (that said I'm not giving up my park hoppers lol and we'll still probably be QS focused).
     

    DisneyKoyote

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2019
    You're totally right with the once in a lifetime trip folks. That in itself though can place unrealistic expectations and tons of stress to get it "just right". But I often experienc that on my trips in general. I always approach each of my vacations as if I'm not going back because there's a strong liklihood that I won't be.
    Yep that’s what I’m like too. I live in the USA so chances are I’ll go again once I have kids that are at a reasonable age. But I assume I probably won’t go to Disneyworld more than 3x my entire life (there’s just too many other places on my bucket list!).
    I don’t know how much of the Disney crowd is part of that once in a lifetime group. I would assume probably at least 1/3? Especially if they’re coming from overseas.
     
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    Yep that’s what I’m like too. I live in the USA so chances are I’ll go again once I have kids that are at a reasonable age. But I assume I probably won’t go to Disneyworld more than 3x my entire life (there’s just too many other places on my bucket list!).
    I don’t know how much of the Disney crowd is part of that once in a lifetime group. I would assume probably at least 1/3? Especially if they’re coming from overseas.
    I'm not sure just how many are either. The overseas crowd is def. interesting. You've got the 15s, international Tour groups, etc.

    I'm not entirely certain what, if any, ticket or package deals are available to them but I know for the UK they can get 7,14 even 21 day tickets. They often stay longer but if you're getting 14 or 21 day tickets you're probably going to be able to get quite a lot done; I'd hazard a guess more than the average U.S. visitor as our trips are usually quite a bit shorter (would take several trips to match that amount of park days on average).

    My husband and I like variety in our trips. There have been a few repeats and a few we'd like to eventually get back to (and we know we'll get back to WDW just don't know when especially if kids come along that could delay it) but most of them are one and done just because there's so many other places to visit like you mentioned.
     
  • GPC0321

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2015
    I grew up 20 minutes from DL. Been there many times and have always had a blast. I knew DW was a different beast going in, but it really is night and day.
    But I get it, they can’t have the exact same systems. One counts more on locals and 2-3 day visits, on average (I would imagine). The other is a beast people plan multiple week stays to.
    I think part of the problem with a lot of people who get frustrated either with all of the planning or with their actual visit, is that they don't understand that a visit to WDW isn't just a visit to a theme park. WDW is the same size as San Francisco. It's a city. A city with four gigantic theme parks, two huge water parks, an extensive shopping, dining, and entertainment district, and lie 30 resort properties. And it's the most popular vacation destination in the world, which you will be visiting with a large group of a dozen people during one of the most crowded weeks of the year.

    Imagine taking your same group of 12 people to a popular city for a week, and expecting to see and do almost everything that city has to offer. Shows, shopping, dining, sightseeing, etc. It would take a lot of planning to make that happen for a group your size. WDW requires at least the same amount of planning as preparing to visit a (very) popular city, with the added challenge of this particular city having lots of rides that you want to do on top of the shows, dining, shopping, and sightseeing.

    I hope you and your family have a blast though. It's my favorite place in the world, even with all the planning and craziness that often goes with vacationing there.
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    But I'm sorry, DW is not flexible. If I have 3 FP at say MK and my kids would rather go to AK, I'm going to do my best to convince them that is a terrible idea. Remember, we are going the week before Easter.
    I totally agree that WDW is not flexible. It is NOT the place to go if you want to be able to go with the flow. I totally understand your stress. Planning almost ANY sort of trip for 12 people is hard. Then you throw in WDW trip planning on top of that and holy cow!
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    We just want the ability to wake up on a "MK day" and say, "Wouldn't it be nice to go to AK today, instead of MK"
    You absolutely can. We do it all the time. I would say that roughly 50% of the time, we wake up and decide the park that we had FP+ in isn't the park we want to go to. We switch FP+ that morning and have zero issues.

    We don't use ADR, so I can't speak to that, though I am aware they can be hard to get.
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    Planning a multigenerational trip for 12 to WDW probably feels like planning the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

    We went to Disneyland this past spring with my MIL (who was in a scooter), so it was just a total of 5 of us and I found THAT to be overwhelming. Why? Mostly because while I knew my immediate family's preferences and even though we had discussions w/MIL beforehand about stuff she wanted to do, places she wanted to eat, etc., I KNEW that last minute stuff would come up and sometimes changing plans on the fly can be hard.

    So case in point:
    We were there for 3 days with her. In the evening of day 2, she said that she wanted to do a little bit of shopping. Great, my DH took her to go to that. Oh no, we found out on the drive home that what she REALLY wanted was for ALL of us to spend a few HOURS strolling through multiple stores with her while she window shopped. AAAHHH! She never spoke up about what she REALLY wanted. Never said that she wanted to go into the New Orleans Square stores...she said in the moment that the Main Street shops were fine.

    I also found it to be really stressful because it felt like I constantly had to check in w/her and make sure that she was ok, did she need a bathroom, did she need a rest, etc. because she won't speak up for what she needs. AND Grandma is hard of hearing, so we all had to shout at her the whole time. And she drove a scooter...and promptly ran into so many people that I lost count. One time, she even accidentally stole somebody else's scooter. It was exhausting.

    The best parts of that trip were when I finally threw caution to the wind and got the attitude of "Forget it! It doesn't matter what I do...someone is bound to get irritated, annoyed, etc. There's not much I can do about that. I've done the best I can and whether or not the person chooses to have a good time is NOT my responsibility."

    Splitting up was definitely a big plus. Parking tired grandma on a park bench while we went on a thrill ride was also a good move. We did that a few times. We also went in with the attitude that it was ok to change our plans on the fly so if somebody didn't want to go on a particular ride or whatever, that was fine, but that wouldn't mean that the rest of the group had to sit it out, too.

    I think that you should consider having every person in your group pick just ONE "must do" for the entire trip. Then try to get their "must do" accomplished in the first part of the trip. And everybody needs to have the attitude of "everything else in addition to that is icing on the cake."

    Don't require everyone to rope drop. It probably won't happen.
    Don't require everyone to spend every moment of the day together.
    EXPECT that you all will get annoyed with each other. PLAN for down time away from each other EVERY DAY.
     
  • Hikergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2016
    You absolutely can. We do it all the time. I would say that roughly 50% of the time, we wake up and decide the park that we had FP+ in isn't the park we want to go to. We switch FP+ that morning and have zero issues.

    We don't use ADR, so I can't speak to that, though I am aware they can be hard to get.

    It is easy if
    1) you aren't a party of 12
    2) you aren't going during one of the busiest weeks there
    3) you don't care if you risk losing your FP opportunity for a top attraction at the park you decided to go to on another day
    4) you don't care that you may only get FPs for rides that aren't your top in the park you switched your day to
    5) you have no preference of what restaurant or time you eat
    6) you've already visited 20+ times and have plans to continue to visit WDW year after year.

    My family has no problem waking up and deciding what park to go to that morning, but I would never claim the OP can do it and be happy doing it just because my family does.
     

    JakeAZ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2018
    It is easy if
    1) you aren't a party of 12
    2) you aren't going during one of the busiest weeks there
    3) you don't care if you risk losing your FP opportunity for a top attraction at the park you decided to go to on another day
    4) you don't care that you may only get FPs for rides that aren't your top in the park you switched your day to
    5) you have no preference of what restaurant or time you eat
    6) you've already visited 20+ times and have plans to continue to visit WDW year after year.

    My family has no problem waking up and deciding what park to go to that morning, but I would never claim the OP can do it and be happy doing it just because my family does.
    This 100%!!!
     

    JakeAZ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2018
    Imagine taking your same group of 12 people to a popular city for a week, and expecting to see and do almost everything that city has to offer. Shows, shopping, dining, sightseeing, etc. It would take a lot of planning to make that happen for a group your size. WDW requires at least the same amount of planning as preparing to visit a (very) popular city, with the added challenge of this particular city having lots of rides that you want to do on top of the shows, dining, shopping, and sightseeing.
    I get it, but it's really not a fair comparison.

    If I'm visiting a city, I can book some dining reservations at any point, not a certain number of days in advance. I can also book tours or buy event tickets at the same time. Coordination is so much easier.

    Is it still more difficult to plan with 12, yes, but IMO DW puts unnecessary restrictions on too many aspects of the process.
     

    QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    Planning a multigenerational trip for 12 to WDW probably feels like planning the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
    I always compared it to the invasion of Pearl Harbor, but, same thought!

    I haven't commented much because we used to do this, back in the days before fastpass (which adds a 'nother level of crazy, IMO). MIL generously paid to take both sons, spouses, and all grandchildren for a week on what was then the Premium Plan, I think? All meals included (with fancy drinks but not alcohol). There were 11-12 of us, ranging in age from toddler to over 70. That was tricky enough--you had such a wide range of ages, interests, and tastes. We developed a system--BIL would get input from his family, I would get input from ours. All MIL ever wanted was a meal at Coral Reef. Then, BIL and I would go into a room and hash everything out. No interruptions allowed! He and I could negotiate what parks and meals--neither side got everything they wanted, but both sides got enough to be happy. Then he and I would go back to our troops, show them the plan, and then come back for any final tweaks. BIL could manage to do this without killing each other--always a plus. We eventually settled on which park, which day, and backed off to having one meal together each day. We found we wasted way too much time, going from character breakfast to TS lunch. So, even though we were entitled to 3TS meals per day, we didn't use them all. His family slept in, mine was rope-drop but with an afternoon break.

    All this was before the fastpass stuff, as I mentioned. I could see where fastpasses would make it exponentially more difficult. I should also mention that we went before you had to do 180 day ADRS (except for Cindy's--that's always been a thing).
     

    North of Mouse

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2011
    Op, I get your frustrations and understand your dilemmas. And, for that very reason I will never be in your situation. I will never go with anyone other that our immediate family - no extended relations. We have been going long enough that we can go with very little advanced planning and do just great. Didn't read all the responses, and don't know when your planned trip was/is, but I hope you have an enjoyable trip.
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    It is easy if
    1) you aren't a party of 12
    2) you aren't going during one of the busiest weeks there
    3) you don't care if you risk losing your FP opportunity for a top attraction at the park you decided to go to on another day
    4) you don't care that you may only get FPs for rides that aren't your top in the park you switched your day to
    5) you have no preference of what restaurant or time you eat
    6) you've already visited 20+ times and have plans to continue to visit WDW year after year.

    My family has no problem waking up and deciding what park to go to that morning, but I would never claim the OP can do it and be happy doing it just because my family does.
    Sure, I agree. My point was that OP specifically said "We just want the ability to wake up on a "MK day" and say, "Wouldn't it be nice to go to AK today, instead of MK" Made it sound like it's not possible to change parks morning of. I'm simply saying that yes, you can. You're points are certainly valid, especially (from what I understand) the part about eating). For FP+, using refresh, even on the busiest week of the year you'd be surprised what you can get. Being a party of 12 certainly makes it more of a challenge.
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    Do any of you guys remember the Full House episode where they went to WDW and the "clipboard of fun"? This thread totally reminds me of that. :-)
     

    DSNY4ever

    I am going to keep hunting
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2008
    I have to say I very much agree with the original poster. It has gotten sort of ridiculous. That doesn’t mean I am not still VERY much looking forward to our upcoming trip, but we haven’t been in 4 years and we know this is our last trip for at least the foreseeable future. I am certain we will have fun, but it won’t be much spontaneous fun 😆. I hope to go back someday, but it is a lot of work and it has become a bit much in price, planning etc. We will visit other places and take a break. PS it is so much worse planning for multiple families or large groups...so much easier just our immediate family- it slows for at least a hint of flexibility! I hope Disneyland keeps it’s more flexible nature 🤞
     

    TammyLynn33

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2008
    I agree a ton of planning but I think it allows/ensures the trip is somewhat successful . If you put your time in doing research you get rewarded with getting to do the majority of what you want.
    We used two EMMs to help pound out what we wanted at MK and TSLwhwn you factor in breakfast pricing isn’t that bad ..
    Oldest son and I went to Cali this summer and DL is a totally different experience . So
    laid back with max pass day of booking fastpasses and ADRs are so much easier to get. Totally different relaxed vibe .
    Hope you have a wonderful trip and it’s all worth in the end for you

    I have to say I very much agree with the original poster. It has gotten sort of ridiculous. That doesn’t mean I am not still VERY much looking forward to our upcoming trip, but we haven’t been in 4 years and we know this is our last trip for at least the foreseeable future. I am certain we will have fun, but it won’t be much spontaneous fun 😆. I hope to go back someday, but it is a lot of work and it has become a bit much in price, planning etc. We will visit other places and take a break. PS it is so much worse planning for multiple families or large groups...so much easier just our immediate family- it slows for at least a hint of flexibility! I hope Disneyland keeps it’s more flexible nature 🤞
     

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