Family Reunions at Disneyland
After months apart, it’s time to start to plan your family reunion. The perfect family reunion will ensure that everyone has a good time, that you and your family return home feeling closer and having had the chance to catch up and renew those relationships. When you begin brainstorming family reunion ideas, the most common choices might occur to you immediately. You might consider a cookout, or going camping, or just hosting all of your loved ones at your home.
This year, why not consider something a little bit different? Don’t bog yourself down in the stress of hosting, or plan a reunion where everyone ends up bored and the kids get antsy and before you know it everyone is fighting. Why not consider getting together at the most magical place on earth – a family reunion at Disneyland?
Where should you start to put this plan together? Taking a smart approach will ensure that you don’t end up overwhelmed and overburdened. With our help, the toughest part of your planning will just be getting everyone to agree on a date, which is where we’ll start.
Choose a Date
Depending on how large your group will be, it can be very difficult to find a date that works for everyone. For this reason, we recommend knocking that part out first. Don’t get caught up in looking at all of the activities before you know when you will be going, because depending on the time of year, there may be extra special activities available. Knowing your date can also help you get a better deal.
Start out by considering your budget and interests. If you are looking to save as much as possible and your group has some flexibility, you may be able to visit Disney off-season, resulting in lower prices and fewer crowds. The date you choose may align with special events being held at the parks. Disneyland celebrates a number of holidays, and visiting during these times can add an extra sprinkle of magic to your event.
Then utilize a scheduling tool such as Doodle’s, found at doodle.com. All you’ll have to do is send the link to everyone who is planning to go and create a series of possible dates. Family members will select the dates that they are available, and you will end up with a common date.
Now that you have your dates settled, it’s time to book a hotel. You’ll want to get on this quickly, as these rooms tend to fill up early. Certain booking services, such as Get Away Today, allow you to reserve rooms up to an entire year in advance. Anaheim has hotel rooms fitting the needs of every visitor, so whether you are looking for a luxury room or to save money, you’ll be able to find a hotel that works best for you.
Because you’re working with group bookings, consider booking one or two-bedroom suites. Suites like these can accommodate as many as eight people, allowing you to put two families (or one large family) in one suite.
Before settling on a hotel, ask the members of your group what is most important to them when traveling. For some, it may be having a nice hotel gym. Maybe everyone agrees that a resort-like pool is most important, or a good breakfast. You likely will not be able to ensure that everyone’s requests are met, but this gives you a good starting point. Finding a hotel that has a free shuttle, free breakfast, and free parking can go a long way towards saving your budget as you plan out the details of your trip.
You probably will not eat every meal together throughout the duration of your entire trip, but take the time before you go to make at least two or three meal reservations in the park. Keeping how large your group is in mind, consider your budget. Disneyland has a variety of eateries ranging from value, to moderate, to deluxe. Not all of the restaurants will allow advance reservations, but you can go ahead and make reservations at those that do, and keep a list of the ones that don’t ready for when you arrive and are looking for somewhere to eat together.
To make your trip even more magical, book a Character Dining! The tickets are a little more expensive, but it is an all-you-can-eat-buffet with food choices for all ages, so everyone can enjoy something to eat.
Think about your age group and the interests of your loved ones. With this information, you can plan activities for everyone to enjoy. Disneyland has attractions that are large enough to accommodate a large group and will ensure you’re enjoying your trip as a family. Here are a few of these that you could consider:
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Grizzly River Run
- It’s a Small World
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Star Tours
- Jungle Cruise
- Splash Mountain
Make It Special
There are a few added bonuses you can include to make this trip extra special. Before everyone leaves, design and create matching t-shirts and/or hats to wear together at the parks. Not only will this be a fun memento and make for great group photos, but it will also help you to find each other easily in crowded areas.
You can also designate a couple’s night or an adult’s only night. Have someone babysit the kids so that the adults can enjoy a relaxing evening at the pool, or visit a nice restaurant in the dining area without worrying about the kids.
One of the beauties of traveling as a group is taking advantage of group package pricing! Work with our affiliate, Get Away Today, to enjoy massive discounts on your theme park vacation. They will ensure that you get the best price available, leaving you money leftover in your budget to enjoy! Purchase Disneyland Tickets at a discount here. This offer is not limited to Disneyland. Those planning group trips to Disney World can purchase discounted tickets here.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.