What started at Walt Disney World has a way to encourage larger groups to travel together, Grand Gatherings will be unceremoniously discontinued as of January 28, 2012. The Grand Gatherings concept exists of two separate parts, a group reservation at Disney World consisting of eight or more people (which guaranteed that your rooms would be close to each other) and the Grand Gathering experiences, extra events that only Grand Gathering groups could book.
Disney will continue booking resort reservations together, but they will just be linked in the Disney system with no special designations. The Grand Gathering events have all been cancelled, and will not be available to book for travel after January 28, 2012. All experiences are still available to experience up until that date.
When the news first broke of the discontinuation a few weeks ago, we were hoping for several of the events to stay around for general booking. This appears to not be the case, possibly capacity was too low to offer these to everyone, possibly the profits were not there. We are sad to see many of these events go, hopefully Disney World starts offering some additional tours and special events throughout the parks.