Big family or group trips to Disneyland can produce fantastic memories, but it takes a little effort to pull it all together before those memories can happen.
Group text. One person can make the reservations, but everyone needs to agree on the specifics, especially the dates and where to stay. A group text with a few of the main players can make those decisions move faster without everyone waiting on email or a face-to-face meet up.
Set group priorities. Is hotel location a key point for people? When traveling with grandparents and little kids, proximity matters. Does getting to the resort as a group matter? For us, we all traveled to Disneyland separately, leaving the driving or flying details up to the individual families. Once checked in, what rides, shows or meals are important for everyone to be together?
Have a place for retreat. We loved our decision to stay in a suite with plenty of room for all of us, but we made sure every family had their own room, which allowed people a place to get away from the group, as needed. Being able to close the door for some quiet was worth it.
Don’t be afraid to break up. Ages and interests will vary, and naturally people will want to do different things. The little kids on our trip couldn’t do California Screamin’ obviously, and the big kids only wanted to spin on the carousel once. We would do our own thing, then check in by group text to see where people were, then we’d either meet up for some rides together or stay on our own. This way, everyone got to do their thing. We had identified some things to do as a group, like the parade and fireworks and lunch at Goofy’s Kitchen, but otherwise, we stayed flexible. We ate most meals together, but that was less about planning and more about happenstance.
Identical group t-shirts? We were a unanimous no on this one. It may be easier to spot people when you’re dressed identically, but not one member of our group wanted in on this. Take a vote before you order or make matching shirts.
Starbucks for breakfast. This was an easy decision that worked for everyone. We didn’t stop at Starbucks for every breakfast, especially on those earlier Magic Mornings where we’d hurry into the park for a few rides before getting a bite to eat, but Starbucks at the Disneyland Resort makes life much easier. Everyone knows what they want, it’s fast, and there was always plenty of places to sit. There is a Starbucks in Downtown Disney and one inside each Disneyland and California Adventure.