This audio is from our free course that helps you plan a vacation to Disneyland. In this module, we cover considerations for deciding who you want to invite (or skip inviting) for your trip to Disneyland.
There are advantages and disadvantages to different-sized groups for vacations.
Before we can start picking dates and booking airfare, the first thing we need to think about is who do we even want to bring on this vacation? Because size doesn't always matter, but it does when it comes to planning a Disney vacation.
Size Matters for Disneyland Vacations
Now, just to give you a little background, I've taken groups of up to 150 teenagers to Disneyland all at one time. Not fun to get 150 teenagers all on the tram at the same time. And I've also gone to Disneyland all by myself many times. So when it comes to going to Disneyland, I've gone with pretty much every size, from 6, to 8, to 20, to 50 people. I've done it all. And so I will tell you from my experience, I generally prefer groups of 6 or less.
And let's talk about why I like that size of a group. But that doesn't mean that you can't go with a much bigger group. We see groups of 20, 30, 40 at Disneyland all the time, and they are having a great time.
Advantages of Keeping Your Group Small
So let's talk about the advantage of keeping your group small. Do we want to invite grandma and grandpa? Do we want to invite aunt and uncle? We want to think about the kind of trip that you want before you start inviting people to your trip. The advantages of keeping your trip small, 6 people or less, is that it's easier to establish and maintain a group leader. Once you start mixing a lot of different families, a lot of different groups, it can be difficult when several people all want to be the leader or all want to decide what you're going to do next. And so that can make it more difficult to be able to determine what we're going to do next.
It's also easier to focus on the must-dos of a smaller group. So if you really want to focus on making sure that your daughter who's never gone to Disneyland gets a chance to meet all of her favorite princesses, and you want a picture of her on the Teacups, and then you also want to watch the fireworks; if you invite your brother and sister to come and they bring their teenage daughter, then they are now going to want to ride a lot of roller coasters, which can make it more difficult for you to focus on the things that you wanted to do.
If you have specific things that you want to do, then it can be easier to focus on those activities with a smaller group. It will also be much easier to get dining reservations if you know you want to eat at Blue Bayou, you know you want to do a character meal, the really fancy princess dinner that they have at Napa Rose. Then you want to go with a smaller group or break up those reservations into smaller groups. It is possible to get reservations for 6 or 8. Once you get past 6 or 8, it is much, much harder to get dining reservations. And the biggest thing for me, actually, is I don't like waiting. In a big group, you're going to spend a lot more time waiting for the bathroom, waiting for people to get their backpack, running back to lockers, so you just end up moving a lot slower through the park. Again, that's not a bad thing, it just depends on what you like.
Advantages of a Larger Group
Now, there are some advantages to going in a bigger group too. The first, of course, is you're going to get to make memories with this much larger group, and it can be a lot of fun. I find that bigger groups work better if you have the ability to splinter off and break apart into smaller groups during some portions of the day where people who want to ride roller coasters can go ride roller coasters where grandma and auntie, that don't like roller coasters can hang out with the little ones and ride Casey Jr. and some of the rides that maybe the adults don't really want to go on, but they go on because they want to make sure that their kids get to experience them.
The other advantage of a bigger group is that you can sometimes break up into smaller groups where you can divide, and people who don't like coasters can hang out with the little kids that are too short to ride some of the coasters.
The advantage of bringing grandma or grandpa along as well is that it gives you the opportunity to be able to ride coasters with your spouse and be able to do those things. Maybe go get a drink at Trader Sam's, have the kids still be well taken care of.
If you don't have grandma and grandpa available, there are sitting services that are available around the parks and in some of the hotels. So if you did want to go for a nice meal or to get a drink, or even spend one day in the park without the kids, that is something that is doable.
Going as a Single or Solo Parent
One of the questions that I see asked quite a bit is, can I go alone as a single parent with my kids, especially if they're little? I will tell you that some of my favorite trips to Disneyland I've ever taken were by myself because my husband wasn't able to get the time off and we went to Disneyland just by ourselves. I had a little one, probably about a year old and about a 4-year-old, and we had the best time. And so it is very much possible to do that. You're just going to have to stick to the rides of your shortest member. So you won't be able to split off, unless you have at least one child that's over the age of 7. But it's still very doable. You can have a really fun trip. It's just a little bit of a different trip than if you have grandma and grandpa, or your spouse is able to come.
Now that you know who you want to invite, it's time to go ahead and start picking our perfect park dates.