Family With Medals
  • On Jun 3, 2013
    Shirley Asked

    Approx. 20 Family Reunion members will be WDW soon. I want to be sure the children as well as adults get the absolute most out of this vacation. Can you give us some tips? Is the map free? We're staying at the Coronado hotel.

    Hi Shirley,

    How fun! I absolutely love planning Grand Gatherings at Walt Disney World. There simply is no place that is more magical to bring your whole family!

    Park maps are free. As soon as you enter each park, pick up a map and a "Times Guide". The times for the parades, shows and specific character Meet & Greet locations will be listed on there. Little ones will definitely want to meet the characters so be sure to make this a priority in your day.

    Staying on property is great as the free onsite transportation will make it easy for some people to head back to the room early if they are tired.

    Have you made Advanced Dining Reservations yet? I highly recommend that you all meet up for a few Table Service meals together. These allow for great conversation, delicious food and a chance to simply recap your day and enjoy each others company.

    I've done Grand Gatherings both ways: Staying together in the parks the entire time and splitting up into smaller groups. I personally prefer staying together as much as possible because splitting up somewhat defeats the purpose of traveling together. However, I do know that tired kids, independent teens and other situations can make this difficult at times. In those cases, be sure you have a predetermined time and place to meet back up. I advise that you choose something other the obvious spots that most people choose. In other words, avoid "meet me in front of Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life and the Sorcerers Hat". Those giant icons are too common and therefore tend to have a lot of separated groups searching for each other in the same spot. Choose a smaller attraction on your park map as your meeting place.

    I'm out of room, but if you need further help please send me a follow up question.

    Wishing you a wonderful vacation,

    Kaylene
thumbnail image for Kaylene

Meet the Panelist: Kaylene, Massachusetts

I'm a blessed Mom of five fabulous kids, a Disney Vacation Club member, and an Annual Passholder. I've stayed in every Disney Resort on property, and I've traveled to Walt Disney World Resort with infants, toddlers, tweens, teens, grandparents, and on countless multi-generational family vacations! Learn More About Kaylene

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