Are you ready to visit the most magical place on earth? We’re here to help you organize your Walt Disney World family reunion! Because let’s face it, a trip to Walt Disney World is always better with a plan. In this guide, we will outline some of the best ways to know how to plan a family reunion you will never forget, including:
- Top lodging options
Make sure to book with Celebration Wishes Travel in advance, so you can spend every minute of your family reunion vacation soaking up the magic and fun!
Welcome to Orlando, Florida
If you’re flying into Orlando, you’ll feel the magic from the moment you land. The MCO airport is bright and brimming with gift shops and signage that will share some of the most popular attractions in the city. While Walt Disney World is the focus of this guide, keep in mind there are a variety of things for families to experience in this area, including:
- Universal Studios
- Lego Land
- Sea World
Photo Credit: Kin Li Unsplash
When is the Best Time to Go?
No matter what time of the year you plan to visit, be prepared to experience large crowds. Orlando is a popular tourist destination and stays busy year-round, not only because of its many attractions, but also because of the warm weather even through the winter.
Traditionally, September tends to be the least crowded month in the Disney Parks due to the back-to-school season. Wait until after Labor Day to avoid the highest peak of visitors for the month! Also, February tends to be a bit quieter, once the holiday crowds die down. However, while the crowds are inevitable, just a little advance planning can go a long way in making sure you’re still able to enjoy everything you want on your trip!
Photo Credit: Brian McGowan Unsplash
Top Disney Vacation Tips
- Invest in the refillable resort cups! If you’re going to be staying on Disney property for more than a day or two, the refillable resort cups will pay for themselves.
- Take advantage of free transportation! Parking at the various parks is $20 a day per car and will add up quickly if you’re going for multiple days. Guests staying on property at Disney resorts have an array of free transportation options at their disposal, such as buses, boats, and the new skyliner!
- Download The ‘My Disney Experience App.’ This app will be your in-pocket guide for the duration of your stay – holding fast passes, giving show and parade times, character meet and greets, and more.
Photo Credit: Lydia Turner Unsplash
- Book your fast passes in advance so you’re able to enjoy the attractions you want! The wait times at any theme park can get long and while we wish there was, there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything. By having your fast passes booked in advance, you can enter your park day worry-free. Fast pass bookings become available early for those making resort reservations in advance. Ask about the timeline when you book!
- Make dining reservations in advance! Just like ride times can get long, waiting for dining can be a drag when you’re really hungry. If you’re having a family reunion and planning for a large party, booking in advance is key!
- Bring a refillable water bottle to the parks to stay hydrated and cut down on spending. Just keep in mind, the tap water in Florida has a distinct taste that you may not be used to if you’re visiting from out of town. My key to dealing with this is to bring a Mio or other small flavoring for your water!
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Things To Do
Great for Young Kids: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
If your kids want to be immersed in some of their favorite Disney stories, make an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in either Disney Springs or The Magic Kingdom. Here, with the help of their very own fairy godmother in training, they will be transformed into a princess or knight and get the chance to walk in the shoes of royalty for the day!
Photo Credit: Amy Humphries Unsplash
Great for Teens: Wild Africa Trek (Animal Kingdom)
Teens can be tricky to please, but we’re sure the Wild Africa Trek in the Animal Kingdom Park will bring out their adventurous spirit. This VIP tour will let you and your family get up close and personal with various members of the animal kingdom.
Great for Adults: Boat Rental - Seven Seas Lagoon
If you want to enjoy the beauty of Disney property outside the hustle and bustle of the parks, consider renting a boat from one of the resort marinas and setting off for a sunny adventure in the Seven Seas Lagoon or Bay Lake. The pontoon boats available for rent are spacious, fitting up to 10 guests and will make for a fun afternoon exploring the beautiful resort area by Magic Kingdom.
Where to Stay
Great for Young Kids: Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s Art of Animation resort is one of the value resorts on property, meaning you’re able to enjoy the feeling of Disney Magic with a great price! Your kids will enjoy the larger than life versions of some of their favorite characters such as Simba, Ariel and Lightning McQueen which designate the different resort areas. This resort also offers family suites, sleeping up to six adults which could be a great option for larger groups.
Photo Credit: Piya Nim Unsplash
Great for Teens: Animal Kingdom Lodge
When you check into Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to Africa. With incredible detail everywhere you look, this stunning resort will provide everything you need for an unforgettable stay. Amazing restaurants such as Sanaa or Boma provide mouthwatering dishes inspired by the flavors of Africa and the real life lush savannas will bring exotic animals right to your window!
Great for Adults: Saratoga Springs Resort
Saratoga Springs Resort is relaxing and upbeat, popular not only for its beautiful grounds, but its proximity to Disney’s own shopping and dining district – Disney Springs. Just a quick walk or boat ride away, this resort provides access to a lively night of entertainment for your whole group! Plus, this resort is home to not only one of the luxurious spas on property, but also an award winning golf course!
Photo Credit: Heather Maguire Unsplash
Great for Young Kids: Chef Mickey's Character Dining
If you’re looking for a character dining experience on property then Chef Mickey’s is the way to go! This classic breakfast and dinner option is located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, so you can enjoy the fun of seeing characters without a park reservation for the day!
Photo Credit: Andrijana Bozic Unsplash
Great for Teens: Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant
Located in Hollywood Studios Park, this restaurant combines casual bites with quirky entertainment great for the whole family. You’ll feel like you’re truly at a 50’s style drive-in, when you check in at the hostess stand and are seated in one of the vintage cars. While you enjoy classic American bites like burgers and a shake, you’ll be able to watch old-school sci-fi clips and commercials on the big screen!
Great for Adults: California Grill
This classy, high-rise eatery sits on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort and overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon. Guests dining here can even catch a glimpse of the Magic Kingdom fireworks, complete with in-restaurant soundtrack, if they go at the right time! Plan to dress in a way that suits the upscale environment and enjoy top-notch cuisine and wine pairings prepared in the onstage kitchen.
Start Planning Your Trip Today!
We hope this helped inspire your trip planning with some fun things to see and do while visiting Walt Disney World. Create a travel registry today to help the rest of your family reunion group contribute and plan out the costs of different activities. Plus, book with Celebration Wishes Travel, so you can rest assured that every single detail of your trip will be handled with care. Fill out our interest form to learn more today! We hope you all have a magical time!