Planning a Disney Trip for a Big Family- Resources to Use

Main Street Confectionary

If I could be transported right into Disney World, I would choose that spot right there in the middle of the Main Street Confectionery.  One sniff of that beautiful, sweet smell and the magic begins!

Our next Disney trip is getting closer and I’ve started into planning mode.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned when traveling to the happiest place in the world with 13 people, it’s this –  have a plan!

Not having one would mean all of us getting hot, tired and hungry looking at each other asking, “What next?”  That’s just frustrating and time wasting.

To make sure that doesn’t happen hardly at all, we go with a plan.  We stick to the plan.  We don’t second guess the plan.  And we have a blast!

(When we travel with fewer people, we have less of a plan.  And when we’ve gone with just two of us, we go with no plan at all.)

In the past, I’ve put together small booklets with our itinerary for each day listed out.  I add other useful info to the booklets too.  Each family gets a copy (my parents, my sister’s family and my family).

This year, I thought about doing the whole thing as a digital version to use on our phones, but I think I’m going to stick with the physical copies.  Not everyone in the family has a smart phone.  And I honestly think I like using the physical copy better anyway.

Once I have ours put together, I’ll share them here on the blog.  Just in case anyone else out there is as much of a planning nut as I am!

Below, I’ve added a few resources I use for planning Disney trips.  

For Great Disney Deals

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For Nitty Gritty Itinerary and Park Plans

I’ve been using Easy WDW for a lot of my planning this time.  Josh publishes crowd calendars and also which days in each park will have the fewest visitors.  I plan our park visits around the “green” days, when the smallest crowds will be there.  We’re going during the busy summer season, so all the parks will be crowded, but people tend to go to certain parks on certain days.  We’ll try to avoid those crowds.

Easy WDW also has “cheat sheets” for each park, so we can determine the order we want to do things.  We’ll be at the parks before opening so we’re ready for rope drop each day.  I plot out our ride order (it’s all in those little booklets, so we’re all in the know) to hit the rides that build the quickest lines first.

We used to be able to avoid nearly all lines that were over 15 minutes.  Now with Fastpass+ I’m not so sure this will be as easy to do.  But I’m going to try!

We also take a break every afternoon.  An afternoon nap and swim is needed after an early morning in the parks.  And it sets us up to enjoy our evening too.

For Restaurant Menus

I use The Mouse for Less for dining menus.  This not only helps us decide where to eat, but it makes ordering really easy too.  A few years ago, my sister had the idea to record her “order” in her info booklet so that when she got to the restaurant all she had to do was read it off to the cast member.  This has worked great for us!  It saves me from having to think about what we want or how much food to order.  And it keeps us on budget too.

This trip we’ll be eating at ‘Ohana, something we haven’t done for a long time.  We can’t wait!  Did you see my slow cooker version of ‘Ohana’s Bananas Foster Bread Pudding?

I could talk Disney all day, but I don’t want to carry on too much.  If you’ve got questions, suggestions or comments just leave them below!

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  1. I could talk Disney with you all day, too. Your bananas foster and this post are making me very jealous! Have a great trip.

  2. I’m planning my vacation for January 2016. I’m looking forward to seeing more posts on planning your Disney trip so I can get some good ideas! I hope you post pictures of the booklets you’re making; that sounds like such a cool idea.

    Have fun!

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