Traveling to Disney World is wonderful for all ages, especially for Seniors. My last trip to Disney World, I visited the parks alongside my daughter, son-in-law and 2-year old granddaughter. I had a splendid time but I did find keeping up with the youngsters a bit challenging at times. But don’t worry, a little thinking and planning ahead of time will help make your trip a great success! Disney is wondrous and inspiring but it can also be quite taxing even for the most energetic visitors. Below are a few tips to help you or the more experienced folks in your party get the most out of visiting Disney.
1. Know Your Limitations
Still enjoy the rides? Then go ahead and enjoy but choose wisely. No upside down, violently jerky rides that might strain Grandpa’s neck or give Grandma vertigo!
2. Beat the Heat
If you can only visit WDW in the summer, please pack your tote with sunscreen, wear sunglasses, a hat, and drink frequently from your refillable water bottle. Stop and rest in a shady spot now and then.
3. The Necessities
Be prepared ahead of time and locate all restroom areas!! No, you will not be the only one. My motto is,”if you see a restroom sign, stop and go!” Also, keep up your energy level by eating small portions more often rather than one large meal at lunch or dinner. Be warned about the buffets – try not to overindulge!
4. Be Prepared for a Lot of Walking
Wear your walking shoes and make sure you pack an extra pair. Swapping out your shoes each day may cut down on the wear and tear on your feet. They have a long way to go – maybe 4-8 miles a day. Sit down and rest when you can.
5. Motor around the Park
If you require a bit of assistance getting around the park – Disney rents electric scooters to park guests. There are also independent scooter rental companies in Orlando that will deliver a scooter right to your hotel, both on or off Disney property. Don’t let mobility issues keep you from enjoying the parks. Grandma/Grandpa will be carrying all the souvenirs on her cool ride by the end of the day.
6. Be the Tortoise – Not the Hare
Determine in the beginning to stroll at your own speed. Let others run ahead and meet them there. Stop, and enjoy the hum of Disney all around you. Chat with a stranger from another country, enjoy the beautiful landscaping and water features. Better yet, watch a child experience WDW for the first time. Bottom line, do Disney at your own pace and soak in the details.
7. Avoid Long Wait Times
Save your feet and limit standing in lines. Come to the park early at opening to see your favorite attraction first or use FastPass+ for special attractions to cut down on wait times. Make meal reservations when you can and eat early or late to avoid crowds. You can also arrive early for the shows you wish to see.
8. Take in the Sights
Stroll down Main Street USA and wonder at Cinderella’s Castle. Just for old time’s sake, ride It’s a Small World. Walk on over to Liberty Square and visit the Hall of Presidents. Relax and be amazed on “Kilimanjaro Safari Rides” in Animal Kingdom – the wait is usually long but you’ll wait in the shade. Spend some time in EPCOT and ride “Soarin”. At Disney, there’s so much to do and so little time – so pace yourself and realize it’s impossible to fit everything into your schedule.
9. Take a Special Tour
The Keys to the Kingdom Tour is something seniors will love! A five hour walking tour that takes you behind the scenes and under the streets to see how Disney functions out of sight. Lunch is included and reservations are necessary You must have a park ticket and the tour price is $84 (subject to change.) You may also enjoy a behind the scenes look at the Steam Engines at Magic Kingdom. Browse Disney’s website for more behind the scenes tours.
10. Hearing Impaired?
Disney’s got you covered. Pick up your handheld device at Guest Services and enjoy the captioning device free with a refundable credit card charge upon its return. You can even hang it around your neck for convenience.
11. First Aid Stations:
Disney First Aid Stations are are available in each of the four parks providing immediate emergency help if needed. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Pick up the “Guide for Guests with Disabilities” for more info at guest services.
12. Have Contact Information Available
On your person, carry your list of meds and health issues, health insurance cards along with people to contact in case of an emergency. The address where you are staying at Disney might be helpful as well.
13. Enjoy the “Greatest Place on Earth”
Magic Kingdom is the cleanest, best-run, friendliest, most well-known, most fun, most delicious, one-of-a-kind place in the whole world! Whether you’ve visited often or this is your first trip to this magical destination, leave all your worries behind and enjoy the trip! You may be a senior on the outside, but remember, everyone is a child at heart especially when you’re at Disney World! Oh, and remember, Walt Disney, the guy who started it all was a senior too!