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Grandmother and Granddaughter
Credit: Tripster

A Granny’s Guide to Doing Disney World

If you haven’t realized it by now, vacationing at Walt Disney World Resort isn’t just for kids. In fact, for some older Guests, a visit to Disney World garners, even more, to be appreciated, as the experience brings about a rediscovery of magic and a renewed sense of feeling young again. From iconic classics in the way of attractions that know no limitations to age and interest, to all those extra enchantments forever emerging on the scene here, we’re offering up a 12-point grandparent-friendly guide of options for the young at heart to have on hand when exploring all that Walt Disney World has to offer.

Grandfather with kids
Credit: Disney

Related: Best Experiences For Grandparents And Grandkids At Walt Disney World Resort

12. Take a Self-Paced World Tour

EPCOT’s World Showcase offers up the perfect way to conveniently visit 11 different nations all in a single day. What’s more, each of the representative pavilions is done up with such meticulous precision and authenticity that it makes for an excellent alternative to going on an all-out world tour with all that pomp and circumstance—especially if you’re not as young as you used to be. Sure, you may be thinking that it’s still a lot of walking, but when you consider the fact that you can go at your own pace all while stopping and starting accordingly, it really is an excellent way to spend a good portion of the day. And don’t forget about all those entertaining elements featured at each and every pavilion as well, including several attractions of both the ride and film variety.

Germany Pavilion
Credit: Disney

Related: Epcot’s World Showcase – 10 Things You Need To Know Before Your Journey Around the World

11. Unwind with Low-Key Resort Relaxation

When you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort, you’re in for dozens of onsite perks and amenities. And many options around your own accommodating premises can both bring you joy and help to restore you to a more relaxed state of being. To start, consider taking a lazy day by the pool—a much-deserved endeavor for many. Then there are all those other onsite extras in the way of recreations for whatever strikes your fancy. Another option you’re never too old for is Movies Under the Stars. Not only can you take in a complimentary outdoor movie, but it’s also a great activity to join your kids and grandkids for.

Coronado Springs pool
Credit: Insider/Tripadvisor

Related: Making the Most of Walt Disney World Resort Recreations

10. Take Your Tee Time

Walt Disney World Resort is host to four championship golf courses as well as two excellent miniature golf offerings. So, if you are a diehard golf fan in particular or you’re just looking for a low-key alternative to pursue, you may just want to consider taking a little tee time.

Golf
Credit: Disney

Related: The Golf Lover’s Guide to Doing Disney

9. Pamper Yourself with a Spa/Salon Day

Perhaps you need a little self-pampering while on vacation. Well, then you’re in luck because Disney World is also host to a number of world-class spa and salon services. Many venues can be found right onsite at various Resort properties. From soothing away your aches and pains to getting groomed into a new style, Guests of all ages can embrace the benefit of these relaxing, indulgent services.

Spa services at Disney World
Credit: Kent Phillips/Disney

8. Go on a Boat Ride

Among the many Resort recreations to enjoy onsite, motorized boat rentals make a most befitting option at any age and for anyone looking to relax along the calming water. Disney World marinas all around offer up pontoons and a number of different watercraft rentals to fit your particular sailing satisfactions. So go on and take some time out for a much-needed excursion by boat—a little me time and sea time combined.  

Pontoon boats
Credit: Disney

Related: A Boat Lover’s Guide to Staying Afloat While Visiting Disney World

7. View Dazzling Nighttime Spectaculars

Nothing says Disney quite like fireworks, and firework displays have proven to be a time-tested classic to take in at any age. While offerings within the various Parks have been known to come, go, and change up a bit, you’re always guaranteed a breathtaking nighttime spectacular at any given time you visit Disney Parks just the same. Two delightful displays you’ll currently find offered nightly include Enchantment at Magic Kingdom Park and Harmonious over in EPCOT. And for seekers of other nighttime spectacles, another underrated, albeit classic enjoyment to take in is the Electrical Water Pageant—a feel-good twinkling lighted display that crosses over Seven Seas Lagoon (within the Resort area) every evening. On an additional note, another welcome bit of news to share is that the one and only famed stage show of water and fire—Fantasmic! is soon to return to Hollywood Studios.

Harmonious
Credit: Disney

Related: Fantasmic Showtimes Confirmed Ahead of Its Return to This Disney Park

6. Opt for Gentler Rides

Perhaps you still have a lot of spunk left in you and gladly admit to having the need for speed, thrills, dips, and nonstop action. If this describes you, then you really have no limitations to what you can ride at Disney World. Other seniors may prefer to take things at a gentler pace, though. But that doesn’t mean there’s ever a need to settle for anything less. Some of the greatest Disney rides are designed with all ages and levels of mobility in mind, much to the delight of young and old alike. Here are just some options from a long list of awesome ride considerations to keep in mind:

Magic Kingdom Park:

  • “it’s a small world”
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Jungle Cruise
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Grandmother and Granddaughter
Credit: Tripster

EPCOT:

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Living with the Land
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Soarin’ Around the World
Soarin'
Credit: Disney

Hollywood Studios:

  • Alien Swinging Saucers
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Toy Story Mania

Animal Kingdom:

  • Wildlife Express Train
  • TriceraTop Spin
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
Safari
Credit: Disney

5. Embrace Non-Ride Attractions

Because not all great Disney attractions take the form of rides, there are plenty of other in-Park delights to strike your fancy. These include sights, shows, and even iconic parade processions. In getting back to shows in particular, there are a number of both stage offerings (live and animatronic-based) as well as 3D experiences to consider. Here are just some of the many options to keep in mind:

Magic Kingdom Park:

  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
  • The Hall of Presidents
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
PhilharMagic
Credit: Disney

EPCOT:

  • Awesome Planet
  • The American Adventure
  • Turtle Talk With Crush
  • Reflections of China
  • Beauty and the Beast Singalong
American Adventure
Credit: Disney

Hollywood Studios:

  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Walt Disney Presents: One Man’s Dream
Muppets
Credit: Disney

Animal Kingdom:  

  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch (Affection Section/Conservation Station)
  • Feathered Friends in Flight
  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond (coming soon)
Lion King Show
Credit: Disney

4. Content Yourself with Concert Offerings

Sometimes a little relaxation set to some soothing music is just the thing to look for. Fortunately, you’ll find all of that and more throughout Walt Disney World Resort at various venues. Some Resort locations even have live performers onsite at varying times. There are also many improvised Park happenings to find delight in as well. Then there are even actual ongoing concerts and entertainment that follow a regular schedule. You’ll be content in listening to the famed Voices of Liberty a cappella group, which can be found making rounds within EPCOT’s American Adventure Pavilion.

Also, take note that this pavilion, in particular, is home to the American Gardens Theatre—a known venue for regularly scheduled concert performances often featuring big names. Some of the most popular entertainment in Other great options for where to find enjoyable, low-key musical happenings include the various outdoor venues throughout Disney Springs. There are also featured lounge and restaurant entertainments at this location as well.

Rock Concert Series
Credit: Disney

Related: Where to Find Live Entertainment at Disney World Beyond the Parks

3. Visit Tri-Circle-D Ranch

There are many excellent venues to visit for finding Disney magic independently of the Parks. And perhaps one of the most charming extras to venture to is Tri-Circle-D Ranch. On location of the grounds at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, this working ranch is the permanent home to Disney’s beloved horses when they are not performing. And there’s just so much to see and do here, from taking a self-paced tour on your own to even participating in some of their exceptional offerings, like carriage rides (also located at Port Orleans) and horseback riding. There are indeed plenty of ways to horse around!

Horses
Credit: Disney

Related: All About the Horses of Walt Disney World Resort

2. Treat Yourself to Happy Eats

You don’t have to be a young foodie to know that Disney boasts a phenomenal food scene. From highly decadent snack options to exceptional dining venues that go above and beyond, stellar chefs who are masters in culinary arts to eats that come with a side order of entertaining experiences. There’s just so much to consider in the way of eats and treats here. Even if you don’t let yourself get carried away too often, just remember that you are at Disney! You’re young again…at least for the moment. So be a kid once more and have fun with your food. Eat the sweet treats you may normally limit yourself to or omit entirely. And because you do happen to be of age, you can also delight in drinks and specials as well! Who says character dining has to be reserved exclusively for kids? Go on and eat, drink, and be merry!

Kitchen Sink
Credit: Disney

1. Rediscover Old Acquaintances

Character dining is only one of many ways to get up close and personal with some of your favorite Disney characters, but it isn’t the only option available to you. For those who are still young at heart, the magic of Character Meet and Greets never runs out. From those mainstay classics you grew up knowing and loving so well to newer friends you’ve acquainted yourself with through Disney Entertainment in more recent years, Character Meet and Greets are cherished magical moments to take in, and are considered essential must-dos for any visit to Disney Parks, whatever your age.

Meet and Greet with Belle
Credit: Tripster

We’ve supplied you with a host of general interests that we feel are most relevant across the board for Disney Guests of a more mature nature, but it’s also equally important to evaluate your own tailored interests when considering what you are or are not up for. The beauty in the versatility to be enjoyed within Walt Disney World Resort is that there are truly no boundaries or limitations to the magical possibilities awaiting you, however many years young you happen to be.

About Laura

Laura Catherine aka “LC” is a writer who resides in Maryland with her family and several pets. She visits Walt Disney World whenever she can. Additionally, she is a published author of three novels, a children’s book, and has a passion for gardening.