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Taking the whole family on a ‘grand’ vacation to Walt Disney World


It began around the Millennium Celebration, Walt Disney World finally recognized that multi-generational families were a larger market segment. They started to build more rooms that were capable of sleeping more than 4 and even started showing more multi-generational families in their marketing. The call them “Grand Adventures”

This has been taken to another level when the Disney Mom’s Panel added its first panelist who was also a grandmother. Here are her six tips for having grand adventure at Walt Disney World

1. Take advantage of the rooms that can sleep more than 5. There are lots of choices now including: Any DVC resort (you can rent points if you’re not a member) has larger rooms, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Port Orleans, Art of Animation Suites, and the cabins at Fort Wilderness.

2. Plan group experiences in advance. This is made both more difficult and easier by Fastpass+. If you can get everyone on the same reservations via My Disney Experience, then you can usually plan a few attractions the whole family will love. However, if some of your party aren’t staying with you at the hotel, it can mean having to juggle fastpass+ with annual passholders or cast members who can’t reserve their fastpasses as far ahead as resort guests. (Disney needs to fix this, btw).

3. It’s okay to split into smaller groups. Grandparents love to have that 1 on 1 time with the grand children and adults get some adult time.

4. Discuss limits on souvenirs so the kids don’t get spoiled. This can be accomplished by giving the kids a Disney gift card with a preset amount that they get to spend while at the parks. Alternatively, a trip to a nearby Disney outlet can also help you keep limits on spending while still resulting in fun souvenirs.

5. Plan ahead using My Disney Experience (see #2 for some limitations). This is also a great way to explore the park via it’s Maps and to make sure you’re visiting a park when you can take advantage of Extra Magical Hours, or avoid it, as the case maybe. I also recommend checking out the menus for restaurants on the website ahead of time.

6. Plan character meals with the whole family. This is a great opportunity to make sure you’re creating shared memories and there’s usually a group photo opportunity before or after the meal.

What other advice do you have for traveling as a multi-generational group?

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