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17 Best Big Family Tips for Visiting Disney World

    Disney World Tips for Big Families

    When we asked our big family Facebook community for their tips for Disney World, we had a huge response. To make it easier to peruse these fantastic tips, I’ve arranged them by subject. Hope this compilation aids your Disney planning.

    Big Family Disney World Accommodations:

    Brenda C. -We were there with 7 (2 adults, 5 kids) last fall. Staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek is the best advice I can give you. It is a timeshare place, but you can rent from owners or through brokers. We got a two bedroom condo that slept eight for a price that I won’t post here, but it was cheaper than staying at the lowest price Disney resort, plus we got a kitchen and 1800 square feet and it was right there by everything, inside of the “Disney World” boundaries.

    Mary Kate D – 2 years ago, my husband and I took our (then!) 6 kids, ages 17mos-15yrs, to Disney World. It was the best trip we’ve ever taken! We flew Southwest and stayed at a wonderful condo in Mystic Dunes Resort. We rented 2 cars so that we could have some flexibility in coming/going. Our condo was literally 10-11 min from every parking lot at all 4 parks. In hindsight, staying off-site was a great idea. We had 4 awesome pools, a spacious condo and a lot of flexibility ( no waiting for a resort bus while your toddler has a meltdown!) for a fraction of the cost!

    Stacy A – We camped at Ft. Wilderness in our RV w/ 8 kids (I was preg. w/ #9) we did the meal plan and it was WONDERFUL!

    Marcy C – Villa Direct. We have put our Disney vacations on layaway before through them. You can add attraction tickets too, and there’s no extra cost!

    Amber Y – There are so many perks for staying on Disney property that it’s more than worth it. You get free transportation from the hotel to park and all over, and not having to drive or find parking was wonderful! We loved it and can’t wait to go back!

    Remember, SixSuitcaseTravel lists 150+ Disney World Big Family Hotels that Sleep 5, 6, 7, 8.

    Cutting Costs for Disney World:

    Shelley M – We’ve done it twice with the same size family. I recommend the dining plan – we ate well and it was so easy. Also if you fly, use the shuttle and stay on Disney property. We had a fabulous time.

    Kim  L – The youth education (YES) individual enrollment saved us almost 1/2 price on our tickets. My 6-year-old took a 3-hour class with my husband on 3D animation and the whole family got discounted tickets. Our original 7-day park hoppers for a family of 6 (1 was an infant) were going to be over $1600 and we ended up paying $995 just for her taking the class.

    Barbie C – we stayed on property to get the dining plan, the only thing we didn’t quite realize was you have an automatic gratuity added to your bill if you are 6 or more. And tip was usually 70$ or MORE! A huge chunk of our budget was used on tips for not great service.

    Robin B –  If staying off-site go with a house. we stayed in a beautiful rental home with a My complaint with this is you have to get a rental car, unless you drive, which will save you money on airfare, and you have to cook, but it does cost less.

    Cathy F – We have 6 kids and usually get a 2 bedroom and one of the DVC resorts such as Old Key West, Saratoga Springs or Boardwalk. They have a full kitchen and we make a Walmart run. I have to major cooks such as 2 huge pans of baked ziti or lasagna and a 6 lb meatloaf. 1 in the beginning of trip and 1 in the middle then they can reheat and eat. Then of course cereal etc for breakfast and we eat lunch in the park or wherever. It works out really good because with such a large family eating out every meal gets very expensive. 1 may pic 1 and/or 2 nights or mornings though where we eat at some place like Chef Mickeys or Trails End (buffet that is not as expensive)

    Kathleen H – Our first five trips were not with the free dining plan. Food adds up quickly. Check out for menu prices so you can budget food costs.

    When to visit Disney World:

    Brenda G – October is the cheapest (and least busy) time to go and we LOVED it.

    Barbie C – We have been every month of the year as well and October or week after Labor Day in September is the best time to go.

    Helpful sites/guides: 

    Mary Kate D – The best tip I can offer is to buy The Unofficial Guide to Disney; it answers ALL of your questions, has reviews, ride plans and tips, everything.

    Brenda C – My other advice is Between their book and their app, I was prepared for anything Disney could throw at us. We had an incredible trip, and this is from someone who never, ever, ever wanted to go to Disney. I only planned the trip to make the husband happy.

    Robin D – has great info on saving money there.

    Other tips:

    Dawn P –  One suggestion that I would make is that while staying onsite is great, I would not advise the use of the bus system with a large family. Due to cutbacks, the buses are crowded and slow, and many times we would wait long periods for a bus to arrive, only to find that there was not enough room for our group. And waiting an hour or more at the end of a LONG day with tired little ones is miserable. If you drive or can rent a vehicle, it’s worth it.

    Love these tips? Join our Facebook big family travel community!

    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen is a mother to four children including twins. She recognized the necessity for a comprehensive resource of hotels that cater to big families with rooms and suites for 5, 6, 7, or 8 people in a single room while traveling with her own family. In 2008, she established SixSuitcaseTravel to compile a database of such hotels. Over time, the website has grown to include travel advice, itineraries, road trip suggestions, national park guides, and more. Theresa takes pleasure in assisting other big families in creating unforgettable travel experiences.