Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney


I’ve recently been traveling with a school group performing in Disney World and experienced the good and the bad of traveling with a large group. But whether it’s a school group, friend group, or family reunion, there are some important things to remember that will keep things fun for everyone involved.


Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney

Flickr cc: Atiq Nazri, adapted by Wandering Educators


1. Be on time.

Whether it’s a dinner reservation, a fastpass, or transportation, plan ahead and leave extra time for inevitable mishaps. Life happens, of course, and there’s no reason to get upset over a few minutes here or there. Tolerance is key. But making an effort to budget your time and keep up with the group will be appreciated.

Be on time! From Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney



2. Communicate.

Make sure to have everybody’s number – or in a really big group, at least the numbers of the organizers of the trip and those you are spending time with the most. Of course, being able to contact one another is useless if somebody’s phone is off, so make sure to keep your phone charged and on at all times. A simple phone call can keep wrong turns and minor slip-ups from turning into big ordeals.

Communicate! From Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney


3. Synched bands.

With the new fastpass + system, organizing a group has entirely new challenges. Make sure to leave plenty of time before the trip to sort out everybody’s schedule and synch the group’s bands. Also, those staying at Disney resorts can reserve fastpasses months in advance – take advantage of that! And remember  - synched bands also means any changes you make can affect the whole group. Although it is possible to switch fastpasses around during the day in the parks, it’s all too easy to click the wrong button and throw off everybody else’s fastpasses – something that will not endear any traveler to their group. There are employees at every fastpass + station to lend a hand.

Fastpass bands, Disney. From Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney



4. Compromise

The golden rule of group travel – or, really, group anything. It’s all about give and take. It can be difficult to make concessions when there is so much to do and so little time. But working to come to an agreement  - whether it’s suffering through a boring attraction, missing out on an interesting show, or even agreeing to split up for a while - keeps tension down. And who knows – you may stumble across something you didn’t even know you liked!

Compromise! From Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney

shake hands by Tim Green, on Flickr cc


5. Plan ahead

The sheer amount of entertainment and exploration at the parks can be overwhelming. The best way to manage it all is to have a general plan laid out – arrival time, fastpasses, must-dos. This will help reduce stress and time wasters.

Plan ahead! From Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney

Full Schedule by Dimitris Kalogeropoylos, on Flickr cc


6. Go with the flow

This may seem contradictory to the previous bit of advice, but, well, the best laid plans… Life happens, and it’s important to enjoy the time given and take the surprises in stride as they arrive.

go with the flow! from Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney

Dark Hollow Falls Stream - HDR by Nicolas Raymond, on Flickr cc


7.  Don’t pressure

The great thing about group travel is getting to share experiences with your family and friends. However, it is important to remember that not everyone has the same comfort zone. It is often tempting, especially with rollercoasters, to get those skittish of thrill rides to join in on the fun. Encouragement is one thing, but too often a day has been ruined when a party member is pressured or guilted into taking on a ride too much for them – sickness, arguments, tears – nothing good. So remember that while it’s great to try new things, it’s also important to respect people’s boundaries.

don't pressure! from Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney
Pressure Gauge by William Warby, on Flickr cc


8. Reasonable expectations

You can’t do it all – while true for all aspects of life, this especially applies to Disney World. With four parks, two water parks, several resorts, and countless other amenities, remembering that the parks themselves are each jam-packed with activities. The important things is to prioritize (I always like picking a top 3), and after that, let it go. There will always be disappointments and missed opportunities – instead, consider them experiences to look forward to when you come back!

Reasonable expectations. from Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney



9. Savor the moment

Remember the whole point of being there with a group in the first place. After days of close quarters and constant company you may be asking yourself why you supposedly like these people anyway. But remember that you’re in the most magical place on earth, sharing your experiences with your traveling companions. Hopefully there will be memories of shared thrills, laughs, magical moments.

Savor the moment. From Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney

Disney: Art of a million smiles by gwaar, on Flickr cc


10. Have fun!

Remember, the whole point of Disney is to have fun. With these tips, and a few more, you'll have a memorable trip. We went at Christmas time for our group event - it was awesome!

Group travel to Disney!  Ten Tips for Surviving Group Travel in Disney




Kathryn Blanco, a life-long Disney fanatic, is the Disney Editor for Wandering Educators. She loves Disney, and her website, DisneyAtHome.com, is a way to share how to bring your Disney experiences home with you.​

All photos courtesy and copyright Kathryn Blanco, except where noted