Vacation Planning Tips & Tricks Discuss Magical Gathering Advice in the Vacation Planning forums; I would like to plan a Magical Gathering for my family to probably occur in 2008 or 2010. Has anyone here done that? I have family all over the midwest ...
Magical Gathering Advice
I would like to plan a Magical Gathering for my family to probably occur in 2008 or 2010. Has anyone here done that? I have family all over the midwest and then in Scotland, and I want to know the best way to let them all know.
What is the best way to find a time for the whole family to meet? How does it work through Disney, is it a block of rooms or do we need to request that?
Any light to be shed would be great!!
Our June trip is a Grand Gathering so this is the first experience we've had with it. Once you book your rooms they give you a Grand Gathering booking number which allows everyone who is involved in your Grand Gathering to sign on to a special site. You can do instant messaging, create polls, individually put in your favorites and add your entire itinerary. Our family has really enjoyed it.
Two parts of group are staying at the same hotel, the other is staying at a different hotel. When my SIL and I booked our rooms we both requested that we had connecting rooms or at least as close to each other as possible. The CM said that they try their best to accomodate guests who are in a Grand Gathering first.
So...I would suggest that once you have enough people interested for a Grand Gathering to go ahead and send out invites to the Grand Gathering site you create. That way they can make a decision if that time works out for them and whether they are interested in attending or not.
Good luck! Hope it all works out for you!
we have GG in june also .Disney helped set it up
they gave us a number to call and a number that all of use to make dinning
that way we all know what the other is doing its working out very well .so far
How did you GG go? I am working on one for the beginning of June next year. Is it worth doing the Gathering, or just make individual reservations? We're looking at either POP or POR for the resort and we'll have 6 adults and 5 children (4, 3, 2, 2, infant). I'd like to hear your input on the Gathering.
do you guys know if gg works internationally?
Originally Posted by JMSuperHeroTeam
not positive....but it certainly should! You could pretty much add anybody to your site that has an email address.
Let me start by saying I'm a travel agent. That's just so you can decide to take the advice or not according to your own preferences. ;-}
A grand gathering is a great way to go. They cross reference all your records. That way the hotel does it's best to put you all together. If you are going to say the Caribbean Beach Resort, they will get you all in the same village. You can make dinner reservations, event reservations, buy all your extra event tickets, etc all at the same time. Or all at different times if you like.
When they first started it, I thought it would not matter unless you wanted to do the extra events that are strictly for Grand Gatherings. That's not true. It helps in lots of ways. There is even a printed information piece you can get that helps the travel planners. I have done lots of them so far this year and the whole system seems to work very well. I am going on one myself in September so I will share my experience when I get back.
Does a grand gathering have to be a certain amount of people? Do you have to stay at the same resort?
Can you do a grand gathering and a golf package?
A Grand Gathering is merely 8 or more people. That is the whole deal. If you go through a travel agent, they will help you with all the details. If you do it on your own, Disney will book a block of rooms for whatever size you think you will need. Then the rest of the folks in your prospective party have two weeks to call in and make their reservations. They use their own credit cards or whatever to pay for their reservations. As the rooms are used up, Disney will update your block. At the end of two weeks, any rooms not spoken for will be released.
If you want to add extra events like golfing or dinners or whatever, all those arrangements can be made either through your travel agent (are you sensing a theme yet ;-} ) or through Disney directly. There are different rules for lunches and dinners for large groups so be aware of that. Any group size over 12 can only be seated early or late. My groups just have a late breakfast and an early dinner. Then they use their snack late at night. It works really well and they can use their dining plan. Most groups only get together everyone together a couple of times during their stay. The rest of the time smaller parts of the group will get together at various times. All those meal reservations can be made in advance as well.
Any place you really, really want to eat, you should make reservations in advance. You can do that up to 6 months prior now. Why risk not being able to go to the Nine Dragons for Lemon chicken?
I have a VERY stupid question, I'm sure...
I have never once used a travel agent. How does that work? Does it cost extra?
I feel dumb asking it, but the curiosity is driving me nuts.
TIA for not making me feel stupider!!
It is not a stupid question. There are lots of folks doing lots of things I have no idea about. The only way to find out is to ask. Travel agents work for clients doing a million things. At least I do. They generally do not charge a fee for vacation planning. The tour companies pay the agent a fee to process a transaction. In case you think that would make your vacation cost more, that is not true. In fact a good agent can save you a ton of money. They can keep you from making expensive mistakes. And if nothing else, your trip will cost the same as if you did it yourself. For instance, when I help folks with their Disney packages, the price is usually exactly what they would pay if they did themselves. But I handle all the details so you don't have to. I make reservations for dinners, shows etc. I point out special events that the client may or may not be aware of. I try to share my experiences as to how to visit the parks effectively. Maybe point out strategies for traveling with children or grandparents or both.
There are lots of things that seem simple once you have done something several times, but are incredibly intimidating if you have never done them.
If you decide to use an agent, you can ask your friends for a recommendation. Or you can ask me ;D
Once you decide who you are going to work with, let them know what it is you would like to do. They should ask you things like who is going and their ages. How long you want to be gone and sort of what your budget is. Many times folks have no idea how much it costs to do something. How can you plan a budget for a trip if you have never been? That is another area a good agent can help you with. They can give you a range of what you can expect to pay for a particular trip. If it's way too high, you know you may have to save a little longer. Or they can offer ideas of how you can make it work within a given budget. Shorter stay, less expensive hotels, inside cabin on a cruise ship and the like.
I know my clients pretty well and I try to learn as much as I can about new clients so they have a great time on their trip. It is rarely just about the cost and almost always about the value. I've had clients spend as much on a trip as others would spend on a car. But eventually the car is gone and the memories of a great trip stay forever.
In any case, you should find a travel agent that is willing to spend the time and effort required to make sure you get the best value for your time and money.