13 People, 28 Magic Bands and 6 nights at the Boardwalk!


#1

I think this will be more of a review and commentary of sorts than a real report because I can’t remember the details of what we did day to day but I did want to post something.

[B]Background:[/B] We took a trip with extended family in 2011 staying at Kidani using my parents’ points. There were 15 of us all together. We had a great time (better than we even expected) and decided to do it again. We had some back and forth about what time of year to go this time. The first time we went the week before Easter which was also school vacation here in Massachusetts. Airfare was insane, crowds were big and point values for staying at DVC were high. After much debate, we opted to go when school got out this time around (we have 2 school teachers in our family so they can’t go anytime other than school breaks or summer). One of the family groups opted not to go this time around due to other trips they had percolating so we were a smaller group this time. Because of the smaller size of our group and the non-peak travel time, we had enough points to stay at an Epcot area resort which was exciting for everyone.

We had a last minute addition to our trip when my dad’s godson from Ireland informed us in late May that he was coming to visit Boston and Chicago during the time of our vacation. (Long story - essentially my dad’s fault for not communicating better with his godson) Anyway, at first my mom was going to have my dad change his flight and meet us in Florida later but I suggested that we just bring the godson with us to Florida if he was up for it. He was so he spent 3 days in Boston, about 4 in Disney World and then headed off to Chicago for the rest of his trip. He lives on a dairy farm in the Irish countryside so you can imagine his impressions of Disney World! :laugh:

So we ended up being a party of 13 for the majority of the trip, ages 5 to 74. We were in WDW from 6/27 through July 3 and we stayed at the Boardwalk. We were on the Inn side for the 1st night and then moved to two 2 Bedroom Villas for the rest of the trip.


#2

I love your title, I planned a similar title for my upcoming trip report. You beat us on the number of magic bands and people but we took you on days and the number of resorts. :laugh:

I can’t wait to hear more about your trip.


#3

Yeah- Didn’t you love the magic bands? Thought it was the coolest thing ever. My teenager could just go get a drink if she wanted while I put the little one in a stroller, etc… it was very handy to have it. No digging for your keys/card, etc.


#4

Love reading TR so far. Can’t wait to hear more of Godson’s reactions!


#5

I’ve given up on day by day reports. I’m good for maybe the first two days, after that everything gets blurred. I’m really impressed when someone does “we ate at Pecos Bill, chicken fingers $9.57, soda $2.89…”.

Looking forward to more.


#6

Wow, big group! Bring on the details.


#7

YEA a TR! I can’t wait to read more. That’s ALOT of magic bands!


#8

The Planning

I was pretty nervous about planning this trip because it would be the first trip I planned with Magic Bands and FP+ completely rolled out. I had used the Magic Bands previously during testing but only for 2 people and on a trip where attractions were not our priority.

Because we had a split stay, we ended up with 2 Magic Bands for everyone. I am also an AP holder so I have the AP Magic Band they sent me. Plus my AP was linked to the Magic Band from a trip last fall so that is how we ended up with enough Magic Bands for a small army. It was slightly insane. I had most of the MBs sent to me so that I didn’t have to worry about anyone forgetting them and it was an endless stream of small boxes left on my doorstep.

Because we stayed at an Epcot resort, I planned most of our “together” activities earlier in the day and left a lot of the evenings open for exploring the Boardwalk area, the pool or heading over to Epcot. This worked out well for our group and I would do it again.

We did a good portion of our meals together with two character breakfasts, two TS dinners and two TS lunches. Because we were in the Villas we also ordered a fair amount of groceries for breakfasts and some small meals in the room (sandwiches, hot dogs, mac and cheese, etc). My mom also packed an entire suitcase of snacks and food. She is nuts. She did the same thing last time. One of the biggest jokes of our trip revolved around the EIGHT cans of tuna she brought from home. EIGHT! She originally planned to bring 6 which I said was too much and then she snuck in 2 more cans at the last minute. In case you are wondering, 2 cans were actually consumed. :whistling

I was most nervous about getting FPs for so many people but had great luck with that. I did stay up until midnight on my FP day to log on and get everything as soon as possible. I did get some FPs for things I wouldn’t normally use FP for but I knew they were things that everyone could do so I thought it was a good use of a FP for us on this specific trip. The FPs we ended up with were:

Star Tours
Muppets (this was the only waste of a FP)
Toy Story Mania
Big Thunder
Buzz
Peter Pan
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Soarin
Seas with Nemo
Turtle Talk
Safari
Kali River Rapids
Everest

and the 2 most coveted:

Seven Dwarves Mine Train and
Anna and Elsa

Because we added my dad’s godson after all the plans had been made, I worried about adding him to our FP plans. It was not an issue at all with the exception of Seven Dwarves. I was still able to add him but at a slightly different time. We ended up with a 10 minute window where his FP and everyone else’s FPs were valid at the same time. It worked out fine but I had to make sure that we were on track to be there for the 10 minute window.


#9

[QUOTE=DisneyTeacher;1919093204]I love your title, I planned a similar title for my upcoming trip report. You beat us on the number of magic bands and people but we took you on days and the number of resorts. :laugh:

I can’t wait to hear more about your trip.[/QUOTE]

It was a lot of fun trying to explain our “split stay” to the rest of the family since we just moved from the Inn side to the Villas. They had trouble understanding that were just going to walk down the hall to check out and check back in at the same desk and then go in the opposite direction!


#10

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Magic Bands. I will get into that more later in the report/review but they worked really well for us.


#11

He was such a good sport. He was up for almost every ride and he was like my pack mule. I missed him when he left us for Chicago and I had to go back to carrying my own water bottle and poncho. Ha.


#12

[QUOTE=jo-jo;1919093214]I’ve given up on day by day reports. I’m good for maybe the first two days, after that everything gets blurred. I’m really impressed when someone does “we ate at Pecos Bill, chicken fingers $9.57, soda $2.89…”.

Looking forward to more.[/QUOTE]

I have a pretty great memory but I lose track of what all 13 of us did so this is an easier approach for me! I do always enjoy the minute by minute reports though “We got to Soarin at 12:07 pm…”


#13

I feel like a big group pro after my second trip with more than 10 people!


#14

I have a photo with about half of the MBs and all their packaging somewhere. It was insane. I will have to try to find it to post.


#15

My mom also packed an entire suitcase of snacks and food. She is nuts. She did the same thing last time. One of the biggest jokes of our trip revolved around the EIGHT cans of tuna she brought from home. EIGHT! She originally planned to bring 6 which I said was too much and then she snuck in 2 more cans at the last minute. In case you are wondering, 2 cans were actually consumed. :whistling

Hey, I think your mom is brilliant!!!

Of course, I did the same thing (but no tuna). Since we don’t pay for bags on southwest, I figured, why not. We had ordered food from wegoshop, but I did bring snack stuff that I had been buying on sale for several months. We used wegoshop for mostly fresh/frozen foods.

How did you get everyone to show up together? When we’ve done trips with our family, it seems we spent half the trip waiting for people to show up.


#16

Jo Jo, we have the rule “this is the time we are showing up at this location. If you aren’t there, call us and you can catch up to what we are doing when you arrive.” Otherwise, I would be mad my entire trip.


#17

I am so used to going to WDW with just the 2 of us—I may never be able to adjust to a group of people there again!! I am so spoiled—it is so easy with 2 adults.


#18

Last trip, my DH and I went a few days early before the rest of family. My DH said “I like the trips by ourselves, there aren’t any problems except me”. :laugh:


#19

WOW! I don’t think I have the fortitude to manage such a large group!


#20

Thanks for sharing. Our family of 12 are going to DW for Thanksgiing and I hav no idea how the magic bands work and we have a split stay too! Can wait to read more.