Why does Disney make it hard for larger families?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Mark Vines, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. ChaseTheWind

    ChaseTheWind You are valued.

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2017
    Messages:
    68
    I don't have any advice or suggestions for you, but I just wanted to offer you some warmth and support as I know some of the challenges a large family brings.

    I am one of six children myself, and my youngest brother was a foster child who my parents eventually adopted. I distinctly recall the occasional side-eye and the infrequent but no less painful comments from waitstaff, hotel clerks, and others when we informed them we needed seating for a party of eight. That's to say nothing of what my parents quietly went through to make sure we wanted for nothing and were even treated to vacations and other activities.

    If they are anything like me, your children will have countless amazing memories of the time you spend together whether you can find a way to stay on Disney property or not. My family could never swing an on property stay, and I only recall going to the Magic Kingdom once as a child, but darn if I don't have a picture perfect memory of the day I got lost in the crowd, separated from my family as everyone in the whole park seemed to be wearing identical yellow ponchos in the rain at dusk. I was certain I was doomed, only to be rescued by Peter Pan, who almost magically led me back to my frantic mother. I think that memory and nothing else from that trip has stayed in my mind for thirty years because it tells me so much about who I am, where I belong: with my family, no matter what.

    I know it's a struggle: much of the world doesn't seem built for big families. But big families learn to build the things that matter - the joy, the memories - for themselves. Best wishes.
     
    MandLBee, jods, lorenni and 10 others like this.
  2. AshleeH

    AshleeH DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,144
    We traveled as a group of 9 on our last trip and ti was great. My husband and I are DVC members, so we booked the room we usually have (occupancy of 9) and invited our friends to stay with us. They paid us some money, but it ended up being a steal for them for location, and it broke down to the money they gave us paid for our Dining Plans, so it was a win/win (especially since we would be staying in that room regardless).

    I would recommend renting DVC points through a reputable broker.
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  4. Cadiewampus

    Cadiewampus DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    592
    Cause it makes them more money
     
  5. kamerino

    kamerino Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    130
    My daughter and I took a trip to Disney a few years back with my ex and his 4 kids. All together, there were 3 boys aged 18, 16, and 10, and 2 girls aged 7 and 4. We booked 2 connecting rooms at ASMovies, and ends up having a truly fantastic time. The boys slept in one room, and we slept in the other with the girls, who shared a bed. It was a cheaper option than renting DVC points, and certainly less expensive than the larger suites in any other resort. It worked well for us, and the trip was as smooth as it could have been with 5 kids! :)
     
    PollyannaMom and DisneyOma like this.
  6. 2Pirates2Princesses

    2Pirates2Princesses DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,830
    Family of seven here. We will soon embark on our third trip to WDW. I think Disney is a lot more large family friendly than the other places we've vacationed. It's not the most budget friendly place we've been (the park ticket prices alone are a small fortune for my family of seven);but definitely the most accommodating. If you stay onsite, a child under the age of three isn't counted against room occupancy which many other hotels won't do. Disney has family suites that sleep up to six (we stayed in one on our first trip), cabins that sleep six, moderate and deluxe rooms that sleep five, DVC villas that sleep nine, and a lot of resorts with connecting rooms if you go the two room route which is what we are doing on our upcoming trip. We know that connecting rooms "aren't guaranteed", but we picked a resort with a lot of rooms (Pop), made this our only request, and are going at an off peak time so we know we will more than likely get our connecting rooms. Also, staying offsite is also a practical option. We've done that too and had a great experience. There are a plethora of awesome condos and rental houses available at competitive rates that are an easy drive to the parks. You just have to do your research and definitely have your own vehicle. In the parks, Disney has the baby care centers and rider swap. Disney also lets you bring in your own food in the parks if you want to save money by packing snacks or a lunch which a lot of other theme/amusement parks don't allow. Happy planning!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    MiracleCream, DisneyOma and maxiesmom like this.
  7. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    30,918
    Disney doesn't make it harder, they have some great options. Will it cost more having a larger family than a smaller one? Yes of course it will. The same as in any other part of your life--food, cars, electricity.

    I know of no other venue like WDW that lets you bring in your own food. Or one that lets you have so many people on one camp site. They seem to make it easier than most places to have a large group.
     
    DisneyOma likes this.
  8. FamilyGuy

    FamilyGuy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    506
    My first thought was 2 adjoining value rooms. Renting a DVC 2BR or an offsite villa may be another option. With all the great help here, you'll figure it out!
     
  9. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,421
    I am bringing my brother and his family in the summer (6 disney adults and 1 child). I priced out a cheap offsite villa. After crunching ALL the numbers (including cooking sometimes in the villa), the cheapest was 2 values with free dining. I also considered upgrading just ONE room to DDP to share the credits with both rooms. This would be about $7k for 2 weeks, incl tix and everything.

    In the end, my DH really really wanted to splurge so we upgraded resorts to get the full DDP for both rooms. Its costing us about $10k now. Its a lot...but it is 2 whole weeks.
     
  10. KrazeeK120

    KrazeeK120 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,150
    For an immediate family, they would likely want connecting rooms (not adjoining), however, this is just a request and is not guaranteed.
     
    FamilyGuy likes this.
  11. FamilyGuy

    FamilyGuy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    506
    Thank you for correcting, I actually meant connecting, and not adjoining, I forget the difference sometimes. . .
     
  12. rideswithchrist

    rideswithchrist Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    388
    We are a larger family (now) too. Our last trip, we were a family of 5 at Pop Century because the 2yo didn't count. This time we will be a family of 6.
    DH will not stay offsite. (He did as a kid and said it was not worth it). I priced out getting 2 rooms at POP and hoping for connecting vs camping with our popup.
    It saves us almost $1100 to camp! Even without free dining, we eat cheap because I have quick breakfasts in the room (yogurts, etc) and we bring lunch in because we are "I need to eat right now" people. If we ended up eating lunch in the park, then our bagged lunch was dinner.

    If you look at the boards on camping, Fort Wilderness is pretty awesome if you can get a camper that sleeps 8. It may or may not be cheaper though, price it out and see.
     
    PollyannaMom likes this.
  13. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    24,414
    I have issues with this kind of post. First, as adults we all make decisions in regards to the size of our family, how we budget, and that includes how we budget for vacations, the compromises we then want or need to make in order to accommodate our vacations choices. No business is required to provide lodging choices that meet any specific family size while remaining within that family budget. It is silly.

    I had three children, a nephew who lived with us for several years, and traveled with my sister and her family as well as the rest of our nephews and nieces because their parents could not join us. We made choices that fit our budget, compromising on either lodging choices, length of stay and destination. We did not expect any business to manage our needs, if we decided the compromise was not worth the destination we chose someplace else.

    Our personal choices today reflect our priorities. I drive a 2004 vehicle, have not bought new furniture in forever, and very rarely do we take long weekend vacations or eat out. We do plan extended family vacations, rent the number of rooms we need to accommodate the size of our group, and do not expect that resort to reduce the cost because we have so many people in our family. The business can make as much money as they want, and if I choose to add to their coffers I will. If I think that the cost does not justify my return I do not.
     
    GinnyBear's_mom and maxiesmom like this.
  14. Cadiewampus

    Cadiewampus DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    592

    So what does all that have to do with my post? I simply said that it makes them more money as it is now so that's why they do it. As an adder they are well within their rights to do so. What is there to take issue with?
     
  15. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    24,414
    I honestly do not think that their setup with regards to resort occupancy is out of line with most other resorts lodging. Suggesting that Disney "makes it harder for larger families" in order to "make more money" when there are options available that are readinably priced, but that not be the ideal option for those larger families makes no sense to me.

    The number of value rooms available, when coupled with a good faith attempt to assign connecting or adjoining rooms when possible, indicate to me that Disney tries to make it easier to stay onsite.

    Now, I agree that if those larger families do not want to make concessions in regards to sleeping arrangements it will be either more expensive to stay onsite or more difficult for them if they choose offsite accommodations.
     
  16. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    30,918
    I totally agree with you! I traveled quite often with my sis and her family when her 3 kids were very young. I shared a room with them to save money, but I never felt any resort somehow owed us a room at a certain price point.

    Btw, my car is a 2003. :thumbsup2 I too sacrifice a bit there in order to enjoy my Disney trips.
     
    Nancyg56 likes this.
  17. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    24,414
    Between you and me, the old car is no hardship. I love that car. It is a bone of contention between my DH and me, he hates it and keeps threatening to get me a new one! NO!!!!! I find it odd that he wants to do that when his "new" truck is a 2001, and his go to vehicle is a 1984!! LOL!

    I used to go with my sister when she took her children on vacation and would be alone. SHe had 4 children, so finding lodging that accomodated us in one room was not easy, and was usually impossible. We sometimes rented a condo when it made better sense. You just do what you need to do, save and compromise.
     
  18. mom25kiddos

    mom25kiddos Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    191
    We have five children, now, all over the age of 'free' (3). We actually choose WDW for family vacations because we find it easier (not necessarily cheaper, but easier). We stay off site, because we can rent a huge house for what a hotel room would cost us elsewhere. When we look at going somewhere else in the world it is a huge struggle to find accommodation that works for us without costing a small fortune. The tickets are expensive, for sure. Like others, we choose to eat breakfast before we go, bring our lunch most days, and share meals at restaurants. We have become very efficient at ordering at restaurants and serving the food family style rather than each individual having their own plated meal. It also reduces a crazy amount of waste (I can't handle buying five kids meals at $7-10 a pop and throwing half of some of them away). Also, when we do eat out, restaurants in the Orlando area are used to kids and usually cater to kids, so it isn't such a big deal to get a table etc. So, we are able to book a timeshare or VRBO for cheap, our food costs are somewhat higher than at home (because we will go out to eat a few times that week we are away), but otherwise we have to buy groceries at home, we typically book our travel on points when we can, so our one big cost is park tickets. It is a big hit to the pocketbook, but we have found ways to keep the other costs down (and we don't park hop or buy upgraded tickets), so it has been a great option for our family.
     
    Nancyg56 likes this.
  19. Justabaseballmom

    Justabaseballmom Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Not sure if it's been mentioned but there are a lot of timeshares right outside of Disney and vacation homes. If you search you can find some good prices for accommodations that would sleep all. The pros: would have more room to spread out, have full kitchen to cook or keep snacks, most have laundry right in units. The cons: don't have the Disney magic every day, pay for parking which is expensive, no dining plan, etc.
    In my opinion you need to figure out what arrangement works best for your family. Is everyone ok staying a little cramped in hotel rooms, you probably won't be at your room much anyway other than sleeping. Do you have little ones that will need to nap or goto bed earlier than the other kids. Staying on property is magical but you don't want anyone grouchy because they are so close to each other for a week. Thinking siblings.
     
  20. chloelovesdisney

    chloelovesdisney DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    7,438
    We usually stay onsite but have also rented a house in a nearby community when traveling with extended family. We enjoyed the offsite trips just as much, you do whatever works.
     
  21. lindsay0526

    lindsay0526 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    59
    We are a family of 5, and while not a super large family, it does bump us out of the max occupancy 4 rooms. When I look at the pricing, and location of many of the resorts that we would them qualify for, it just isn't what I envision for our vacation. I should preface that growing up, my parents (with 3 kids) always vacationed in condos, so that is what I am used to... Plus, at this point, we have only ever driven to Disney so we always have a vehicle.

    We have stayed at Lake Buena Vista, rented a private house at Windsor Hills, and for our upcoming trip, we are staying at Floridays. Even though we are going for 10 nights, we will only have 5 park days, spend 1 day at Disney Springs, and have breakfast at 1900 Park Fare one day- so 7 days doing Disney things. The other days we will be hanging out, maybe going to Seaworld, swimming, etc.

    For us, the most expensive things are food, tickets and lodging. If we stay at Disney, we aren't able to prepare our own meals (DH doesn't like to eat out all of the time), plus all of us are in one.room.together. Not our cup of tea. Plus, I get to do laundry and leave our vacation with suitcases of clean clothes. So we just budget in parking every day, which is a pain, but it is what it is. It takes us about 20 minutes to drive to the parks, which is about the time we would spend using the bus transportation anyways.

    If you are flying and don't want to lug car seats and rent cars, then the value resort may be your better bet.
     

Share This Page