When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! — Jiminy Cricket
Q. We are planning a Disney trip which enables us to be part of a Grand Gathering. Are the Grand Gathering meals (The Safari Celebration Dinner, The Illuminations Dinner, Dessert Reception and The Good Morning Gathering at Tony’s Town Square) really worth it? It is hard to find information on the Walt Disney website. Do you have any details on these options and do you have any preferences? (Submitted by Jennifer C.)
A. How exciting to be planning a trip for such a group!
For those who are unaware, to qualify for a Grand Gathering, you’ll need eight ticket-holders (any one under 3 doesn’t count, although they can participate). In addition, at least 80% of your group needs to be staying in on-site Disney accommodations. It doesn’t matter what Disney accommodations you choose – Deluxe, Value, a campsite at Fort Wilderness; it’s all good. Also good to note is that everyone in your group does not have to be in the same resort – Grandpa Jones can save and go with All-Stars, while Cousin Alexander swanks it up at the Grand Floridian. DVC members or renters are also eligible to participate. In addition, you all don’t have to be related to qualify for a Grand Gathering. If you are taking a trip with 7 of your closest friends that counts too!
People sign up for Grand Gatherings because it allows them access to special events only available for Grand Gathering guests. Please take note that these events are not free.
In a nutshell, the Safari Celebration Dinner takes guests on a special ride of Kilimanjaro Safaris (meaning, not the typical storyline). To make the ride more special, an animal handler will be onboard to serve as your guide. Then you’ll make your way over to Tusker House for an African-inspired meal.
The International Dinner and Illuminations Dessert Reception will have your dinner take place in the Odyssey building, where you will be served a family-style dinner of international cuisine. The evening ends with a special VIP viewing area for Illuminations, punctuated by a special dessert party.
The Good Morning Gathering sits you down at Tony’s Town Square for a family-style meal. Tony hosts the event, and brings along some friendly characters for a meet and greet along the way.
If you would like more information about any of these events or about how Grand Gatherings work, visit here: http://www.themouseforless.com/tripplanning/wdwmisc/grandgathering.shtml
As far as our expert recommendation, we lean more towards the Safari Celebration Dinner and the International Dinner and Illuminations Dessert Reception.
One word of caution; these events become a part of your resort reservation and they do have a firm cancelation policy.