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Family Reunions and Magical Gatherings at Disney World.Disney World Family Reunion Fun Think of all the people who make you the happiest and imagine being with them right now. What would it be like? In no time, you'll be telling old stories; making up new ones; laughing until it hurts and feeling like everything is right. But in the real world, how often can any of us make these moments actually come to life? Walt Disney World® Resort is celebrating the special magic that happens when friends and family gather together - Magical Gatherings™.

Disney World has something for everyone of every age. Whether it's blasting off into outer space, teeing off onto a rolling fairway, dancing the night away or stepping into a fairy tale, there's special magic for everyone. This is your chance to make memories. Imagine an easy way to rekindle relationships, and remind each other what being a family is all about. When you gather in this magical place, the real world is left behind. Here, busy schedules are banished. And everything anyone could wish for is right at hand. So you have all the time in the world to concentrate on the people who are here with you. 

It's easier than ever for you to plan a vacation with the people closest to you, in the most magical place on earth. When you want to make it all happen, there's assistance every step of the way. Need help with pre-arrival planning? Want to arrange dining and lodging for larger parties? It's done. You can even arrange special magic just for parties of eight or more (ages 3 and older) staying at a selected Walt Disney World® Resort hotel - called Grand Gatherings. Imagine a dinner at Epcot® with storytelling for the kids and VIP viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth or a rambling sunset safari on the African savanna of Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Everything is dedicated to make the very most of your time together.

Just think of the people who make you happiest and imagine the magic multiplied. Created especially for the Magical Gatherings, Walt Disney World Resort launched its most spectacular fireworks show ever, "Wishes," above Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom. Must-see attractions for Magical Gatherings itineraries include the new Mission: SPACE at Epcot and "Mickey's PhilharMagic" at Magic Kingdom. And Disney's Pop Century Resort opened its doors to an exciting new value-priced resort experience celebrating the fads and fashions of the 20th century.

When you want to just kick back and unwind, the magic stays with you ‘round the clock at a Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel. Accommodations range from the luxury of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to the value of Disney’s Pop Century Resort. Indulge in legendary Disney-quality service while enjoying exclusive Disney Resort amenities available nowhere else. And with so much to see and do, vacation package plans offer the most flexibility to get the most value...and the most fun. Plus, there’s a plan – with convenient multi-day tickets and exciting add-ons - to suit every budget. With over 47 square miles of fun and something for everyone, it’s no wonder the Walt Disney World® Resort is the vacation of dreams and come true they do, just like magic Magical Gatherings is gathering steam. It validates the hot travel trend of "togethering," the growing tendency of leisure travelers to vacation as multi-household groups. Whether with friends or neighbors, classmates or cousins, more travelers are extending the family vacation beyond the immediate family.

In fact, momentum for this type of vacation is shifting into high gear, according to the results of a national survey conducted by Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, a marketing communications firm that specializes in the travel industry. According to Peter Yesawich, whose firm co-authors the widely quoted National Travel Monitor, "69 percent of leisure travelers are now 'very/extremely interested' in 'togethering' on vacation with family, extended family or friends during the next two years. And 42 percent of them identify Walt Disney World Resort as the destination they would like to visit," he said, "the top U.S. mainland destination for survey respondents."Disney World Family Reunion

"Spending quality time with family and friends has risen right to the top of the list of things Americans want to do on vacation," Yesawich said, "and the right destination makes the experience magical." One thing hasn't changed for Magical Gatherings guests: The "Disney Difference" -- including legendary guest service, magical surroundings, lovable characters, spectacular live entertainment and incredible attractions -- will continue to offer something for everyone, from toddlers to teens to grandparents. According to surveys, groups are increasingly looking beyond backyards and state parks for a more creative location which appeals to a majority of the attendees.

"With world-class theme parks, themed resorts in all price ranges, unmatched accessibility by air or highway, recreation aplenty from golf to water parks and the added plus of Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World Resort is ideal for the 'togethering' vacation," Weiss said. "And now with all the new value-added benefits for the group vacationer, a good thing gets even better."

What makes any Magical Gathering even more magical is all that's new across the 47-square-mile Vacation Kingdom. Mission: SPACE at Epcot takes guests where they've never gone before -- deep among the stars to a touchdown on Mars in a simulated space adventure. "Mickey's PhilharMagic" treats Magic Kingdom guests to an entertaining 3-D musical adventure with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and friends. And, created especially for the Magical Gatherings, Walt Disney World Resort has launched "Wishes," the most spectacular fireworks show ever to paint the sky above Cinderella Castle. On board Disney Cruise Line, guests can enjoy a sparkling new stage show, "The Golden Mickeys," a salute to Walt Disney and the animated films he created. And loaded with enough way-back memories for any Magical Gathering, Disney's Pop Century Resort is a new value-priced resort celebrating the fads and fashions of the 20th century with giant icons such as a Big Wheel, yo-yo, jukebox and Rubik's Cube.

Ready for a family vacation where dreams come true?  Disney has developed online tools to make your family reunion planning easier and  groups can enjoy some special entertainment experiences. Log on to the Disney site and search for "Magical Gatherings." If you have a group of 8 or more, you're classified as a "Grand Gathering" which means additional services and special vacation features -- such as special safaris, or character breakfasts-- are available (for an extra charge). Note that only kids aged three and older count in your group eight or more. To find out more check out
Content and images provided by Walt Disney World. Updated copyright 2014.
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