Potentially planning a coworker trip (large group)

Welp, when you boast about your Disney planning skills enough, it eventually comes back to you. Over multiple post work HH discussions, my coworkers are trying to convince me to plan a Disney trip (not company sponsored). I don’t even know where to begin. Has anyone planned a large trip of non-relatives before? (some folks might bring SO’s) If it matters: I work for a CPA/financial services firm in DC.

I want to make this cost effective, but fun. My ideal situation is staying at a moderate resort and having some areas with tight planning and some with loose planning. i.e. we are doing dinner at Biergarten at 7pm, be there.

Date: It will likely have to be in the Fall due to enough planning time and our busy seasons. What months are the best? I know, most asked question there is…this would be a good group for Food & Wine.

Length: I am guessing we would do 3-4 nights, maybe some stay longer, like myself. OR, we could even combine with Wine & Dine race weekend, as my company is very into wellness and would pay for our entry fees.

Resort: ugh, I don’t even know where to begin. I have only stayed at Deluxe resorts and once off property. I am staying at All Stars Movies for a night when I fly in next month and it was $125/night just for myself (cheap!). I will have to get everyone’s budget and perhaps send out a poll where they click what they want to spend. I’d like to provide some options though: maybe two values, two moderates, and the Swan/Dolphin (some of our auditors that travel a lot might have points). Which resorts would you recommend providing? And now they have those perks at the non Disney hotels over by Disney Springs. I am honestly not sure how many people will be in a room, it could be 2, 3 or 4, it just depends on who signs up. OR, maybe some decide they want a value and some want a moderate or deluxe (some of these are Staff/Associates and some might be Senior Managers!)

Dining: I would probably make a reservation dinner or two (places that are easy for larger groups), but if we go during Food & Wine, that really helps. & we can always split up.

Tickets: probably park hoppers. Again, I don’t even known where to begin!

The perfect day would be: MK EMH RD, back to resort for a swim/nap, Epcot for Food & Wine, dueling piano bar at the Boardwalk and in bed by 11:30pm. I guess first I need to figure out dates and budget. Reminder: these are mostly CPAs I am dealing with, so I am going to need to be as precise as I can be.

I think this sounds like so much fun! I would highly recommend working with a travel agent to get the best prices and also to get some special dining reservations for a large group. Our travel agent booked us Be Our Guest dinner for 19. Granted, the reservation was a 4:00pm, but we all got to dine together for our first dinner of our trip and it was wonderful. She was also able to score us Chef Mickeys for 19 on our departure day, so we had an opening and closing meal with all of us there. I highly recommend that. You could narrow down dining locations for large groups, send your coworkers the menus and have them rank which they would prefer. This might be a good way of narrowing things down.

I would also recommend having a group meeting where you go over at a high level all-things-Disney. What is an ADR and when they can make them? What is a FP, when can they make them, things to consider when planning. What are the pros and cons to the meal plan. It might be a good idea to also talk about expectations for the trip…do we want to connect each day over a meal? do we want to just do one or two meals together? do we all want to take over the Dumbo ride and be on there at the same time? I think everyone having an understanding of what each other is expecting will help with any potential conflicts.

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I would recommend September or early October. Food and Wine will most likely start sometime around then (2016 started 9/14, 2017 started 8/31).
Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin are all within walking distance to EP and HS which would be good for a group. A moderate you might want to consider is Coronado.
I would definitely get park hoppers for a large group. Will help with flexibility!

Totally get a Disney specialist travel agent involved. You don’t pay for their services, so why not? Tell them that while you are an experienced WDW tourist, you need help pulling this together for everyone. (S)He should be able to give you options and pricing, but also walk you through the types of questions you need to settle with the group.

Don’t try to do this all yourself. People get paid to do it and so why shouldn’t you use their services? That way, any mistakes aren’t all on you.

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I would recommend running away from this as quickly as possible. Seriously. Trying to plan for a large group is a thankless task.


^ This! :slight_smile:

Agreed. Give them tips yes, plan the whole thing- nope not a chance

Good luck planning for a group. Like herding cats. P.S -Diz is my DD and we have a trip planned in 3 weeks!

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OK OK I’m not going to lie, I did a little planning. And because I started getting my brain churning I ended up doing a quick spreadsheet for them and the more I did it, the more I realized how desperately I want to go and do Wine & Dine. So, really this could be MY trip and if my coworkers are there, that’s grand. IF more than a few folks end up wanting to go, I will 100% get a travel agent involved.

In an ideal [Disney] world, My Dad (@BenF12400) and I will go down Oct 30/31 for Halloween, as he will already need to auto train to FL for a south Florida wedding that following weekend. AND we are HUGE Halloween fans and have never been to the world during that time. Do a couple of days, MNSSHP, then he will drive down to southern FL, and I get some coworker friends to link up on the weekend and we stay in a value or moderate and do W&D half.


I think the Swan/Dolphin makes the most sense for your Epcot heavy trip. Some of your coworkers are likely to have Marriott/SPG points (or they’d at least be earning them) and it’s in a great location. Plus, more nightlife in that area anyway for a non-child centric trip.

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