Edition 2: Pre-Planning Family Activities
Now that your Walt Disney World vacation is booked - the fun part of planning starts!! When travelling with a large group - the fun just expands! As each family begins to envision their "magical" vacation - you might find that each family has different ideas of what the vacation should look like.
After planning several Extended Clark Family Vacations - I have a few tips to make the process a little easier!!
Linking your “My Disney Experience” accounts
An easy way to proceed with large group planning is to link everyone’s “My Disney Experience” accounts together. Everyone with a separate reservation will need their own “My Disney Experience” account in order to customize their Magic Bands and link their reservation to their own account.
Once everyone has their account set up-- you can now “link” accounts together in order to allow everyone in the group to make common dining and Fast Pass reservations. This will be done by adding everyone to each others "Friends and Family" list.
To get to the "Friends and Family" list -- hover your cursor over the area in the top right hand corner of the site that says "My Disney Experience". A list will appear and you will choose the "My Family and Friends List" option (see image below) to get started.
When linking everyone’s “My Disney Experience” accounts together, there are a few steps to follow; calling Disney’s Technical Support for help is a great way to help make sure that everyone's account is linked correctly. A quick way to ensure that everyone is linked correctly is to have everyone go into their account --- you should see everyone’s names in each separate account.
EARS OF EXPERIENCE TIP!!! If you have booked your vacation through me, I will totally be able to help you with the entire linking process– no worries!!!
Once everyone is linked, I suggest choosing ONE person's account that you will work through. All group dining reservations AND Fast Passes can be made for everyone at the same time. If different families are planning on separate Fast Passes, or dining reservations - no worries! Even though your "My Disney Experience" accounts are linked - everyone is still able to make separate reservations!!!
NOTE: Although linking accounts makes planning large group dinner reservations and Fast Passes super easy – everyone will now see EVERYONE’S plans in their own accounts.
Pre- planning discussion topics
With everyone's "My Disney Experience" accounts linked, I totally recommend taking some time for everyone to "talk" - Text/ Face Time/ Snap Chat :) - together about what is important for each family while visiting Walt Disney World.
These are the questions that we take some time discussing when traveling all together:
Does everyone want to visit all the theme parks?
Walt Disney World has four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. If you are traveling with different ages of children – the older ones might want to spend some more time at Hollywood Studios riding the Rockn’ Roller Coaster while the littles are busy riding Dumbo at the Magic Kingdom. Take a moment to decide - in which park would you like to start? Do you want to split up and go to different parks on different days?
Does anyone want to reserve an “extra”?
Walt Disney World theme parks are so magical – but there is even MORE magic to be added! Does your princess want to dress up and have her make up done at the “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique”? Does your little man want to transform into a pirate at the “Pirate’s League”? Do grandma and grandpa want to take an afternoon golfing?
Who will be taking advantage of Disney's Extra Magic Hours?
Walt Disney World offers “extra magic hours”; each day a select theme park either opens early, or closes later for their guests staying on property.
I totally recommend finding out who is the night owl and who is the early bird BEFORE you arrive in Walt Disney World!! When you’re in your resort room – you never know when your 4 year old niece is waking you up at 5:00 am to get ready for the Early Magic Hours at the parks, while your family had planned to sleep in that day and go to the Late Magic Hours in the evening!!!
How many meals do you plan to eat all together?
Another great pre-trip conversation would be your dining options. Not only is this a good time to discuss which restaurants you would LOVE to visit – but also discuss how many meals everyone would like to eat together. Does everyone want to eat their Table Service meals all together, but go their separate ways for Quick Service?
Let me know when you are ready to take the whole family to Walt Disney World!!!
Monica Clark, your