Theory about Large Parties


I have noticed that touring in a small group (or even solo) is far more efficient than traveling in a large party. I have a theory that for every person added to a solo party, you need to add one minute of touring time per hour. For example, if you have a party of four - you need to add in a 3 minute break per hour to catch up for inefficiencies. If you are traveling in a party of 10, you need to add in a 9 minute break per hour to catch up for inefficiencies. Obviously, this breaks down if traveling in a group of 60 - you’d accomplish nothing!! LOL It may not occur every hour, but over the course of a park day, I think you accomplish less with a large group. (Longer meals, extra restroom breaks, waiting on a group after you split up for a ride, etc.)

I was thinking you might need to add 2 minutes per hour per small child, elderly, and individuals with special needs.

I always mark the slowest walking pace, but that still does not seem to account for all the diversions of traveling in a large group. What do you all think? Help me refine my theory.


I think, to account for the large case of 60, you need more of a logarithmic time added in, rather than a fixed 1 minute per person! Maybe 1 minute for the first person, but each person after that adds 1/2 ^ n minutes, where n = total number of added people - 1 (so, n would be equal to 0 for 2 people, and 1 for 3 people, etc.)

So, you have a summation where time = SUMMATION(1/2 ^ n) over n where n = total number of people in group - 2.

That would need to be refined. It is just an example. (Probably the value of 1/2 needs to be calculated out from take sample sizes.)

Of course, there are other complexities to consider. Like-mindedness of the group, for one. For example, I’ve been to Cedar Point with groups of 6 people in multiple occasions. In one occasion, however, we didn’t, up front, determine if we all liked the same kinds of rides. As a result, we were all miserable and spent a great deal of time just arguing over what to do next. But in another case of 6, all coaster enthusiasts, we were kind of synergistic. We all were like, “That was awesome! Wanna do MF next?” “Yeah!” Then we all run off together.

Ideally there would need to be a way to quantify the penalty a given person would add to a group.

This sounds like an interesting scientific study that needs to be undertaken. I’ll volunteer to do all the trips with various group sizes as long as the scientific community pays for my trips. How about it? :wink:


I must admit the only reason I clicked on this thread is when I saw “parties” in the title I thought the ‘r’ was a ‘n’.


I hear what you are saying about like-mindedness. Small groups of adults (or even teens) that all love the same thing don’t seem to have the inefficiency issue. It’s the large multi-generational family groups that go to Disney that I see this with the most. (10-15 people from grandparents, parents, and toddlers)

I’d love to see this tested at Disney! I think a “how many people in the party button” would be a nice addition to a Touring Plan. It makes it more realistic to accomplish.






I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours!

(No. Seriously. I have a thread all about my underwear over in La Cava!)


We always choose the slowest walking pace and add in a 10-15 minute break, every 2-3 hours unless we have a planned meal/snack/break. Our kids are 16, 8, & 6. So far this has worked out well. For example, on July 1, we arrived at 8 am, planned 10 min break at 10:30am, lunch at 12:30pm, left for resort/naps at 2:30pm, back at MK at 6:00pm, break at 8pm. With this plan plus SDFP, we got much more done that planned.


We will be testing this in December, 10 people age ranges from 18 months to 71 years…I also set everything for slowest pace and added in breaks just as a buffer. Should be interesting to see how well my plan holds up to reality :slight_smile:


I have to herd the five of us but have been doing it for a long time and can anticipate potential problems a bit.

I do agree that it’s best to have a little extra time rather than not enough. But instead of planning to move along more slowly, I just have failsafes, i.e. attractions we can skip or shorten if necessary. Foregoing an attraction to avoid a melt-down or loss of a bigger event is a pretty fair trade most of the time. Plus, sometimes the delay isn’t due to a person, but an unforeseen occurrence. So having chunks of time available works better in those cases, rather than planning for a steady but slower pace.

And the whole plan might just work like it’s supposed to, in which case we get to see it all.


It sounds like you are already planning better than I have. I just trusted the touring plan…but didn’t add any additional breaks. I get behind when traveling with others. No one appreciates my TP! :joy:


I like the idea of adding an attraction that you are happy to skip. That makes a lot of sense to catch up.


I typically bracket an ADR or FP with attractions like that. Shorter shows like Tiki Room are great for filler time. Often you can catch them later on, too.

We don’t like to shop nor do we visit Disney often so so having a gap isn’t desirable. This way, we at least have the potential to see everything, and if not, we’re triaging in a way that saves the things we really want.