Category Archives: Disney for Seniors
Walt Disney World is a magical place to vacation and if you do most things correctly it is difficult to not have a wonderful time. Some people are planners and some are not but some planning is essential. Every traveling group has a definite dynamic and there are travelers within each group with different abilities and needs. The magic of Walt Disney World can overcome most things but there are a few things that MANY, MANY visitors do that can defeat even that magic. Let’s look at five things that can derail an otherwise incredible visit.
- OVERPLANNING: An awful lot of people get carried away with the planning portion of a visit. They try to plan every minute of every day and more often than not they suffer some disappointment because of the dreaded “Disney variables”. Although there are a lot of sites around that do a good job of predicting crowd levels, none of them are always accurate. You must allow some spare time to account for unexpected crowds and other things like an attraction going down because of a malfunction – it happens!! If you find yourself asking how long it takes to walk from attraction A to attraction B so you won’t miss anything, you are overplanning.
- THE DOMINANT PERSONALITY: As I mentioned in the introduction, every traveling group has a dynamic which includes a dominant person in the group. If you don’t recognize who that person is in your party, it’s probably you. I speak from experience here because I am generally the dominant personality. I have learned over time that I have to step back and let the other members of the group take the lead. When I find myself taking over the group I have to say to myself – it’s not all about you!! Let your family and friends make some touring decisions.
- GOING COMMANDO (NO RESTING): It always amazes me the number of visitors who feel that they have to be on the go and hitting attractions every minute of every day. They are easy to spot because they are the ones in full meltdown about half way through their day. I’m not just talking about the kids either, grownups have meltdowns too. Kids cry and grownups yell or grimace at each other. Do yourself a favor, relax your pace and make every attempt to get out of the park for an hour or two each day. Take a nap or a dip in your resort pool and if you are not staying on site go visit one of the beautiful Disney resorts to just sit down for a snack or a cold beverage – you will not regret it.
- NOT LISTENING TO YOUR BODY: Your body knows when it needs something!!! When it’s tired it needs rest of one type or another, when it’s hungry it needs nourishment. and when it’s thirsty it needs fluids. One of the worst things you can do to yourself at Walt Disney World is to not stay hydrated. You get caught up in the excitement (happened to me in October) and you don’t drink as much WATER as you should. Dehydration is the quickest ticket to feeling just plain miserable and is the easiest thing to prevent – water, water, and more water!! Don’t worry, there are plenty of restrooms at Walt Disney World and they are generally spotless!!!!
- WINGING IT (ZERO PLANNING): I did this once and believe it or not, this is worse than overplanning. Walt Disney World is huge and very complicated so if you don’t do any planning I can almost guarantee you will spend a significant portion of your vacation standing in line for attractions. Equally as important, one of the easiest ways to rest is at a table service restaurant but if you don’t pre plan at least some meals and make the appropriate reservations you are very likely to be disappointed. The internet is a gold mine for research and any planning you do (just don’t overdo it) will be rewarded.
It’s very tough to ruin a vacation to Walt Disney World but if you do some of the things I mentioned above you are on your way. I learned most of the things I talked about through many, many visits over the years and I hope reading about them will help you maximize your visit. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- Changes Coming to Disney World in 2013 (chipandco.com)
- NEW! Disney Attractions+ now available at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. (chipandco.com)
As science and medicine progress, it is being found that many more people than were previously thought have food allergies or sensitivities. There are also many food issues among folks with chronic diseases. This issue runs the gamut from the very young to the elderly. Disney takes these food issues very seriously and offers solutions at the large majority of their restaurants so their guests will not be subjected to the problems that can happen as a result of these allergies/sensitivities.
Let’s take a look at what some of the major food allergies are:
- gluten or wheat
- lactose or dairy
- peanuts and tree nuts
The best way to avoid problems with these types of allergies/issues is to note them when you make your table service reservations or if you prefer, discuss them with the Chef or Restaurant Manager upon your arrival. These things can generally be handled quite easily.
Disney lovers are a special breed of people. We speak a different language and we understand one another. We know the thrill of planning a trip, the anticipation of waiting for it, and the sheer joy of being home again. The Disney community is a tightly knit group. We have respect, regard and a genuine concern for each other. Our group at Chip & Company is one example of such a group of Disney lovers who truly enjoy sharing all we know with everyone out there in order to try to make your Disney experience better, share our memories with your memories, and reach out whenever help is needed.
If you have been a fan of Chip & Company for a while, you know that we lost a treasured friend and a great writer this year. Today is his birthday so I hope you will indulge us an opportunity to share Ken Brown with all of you – especially those of you who never had an opportunity to know him.
Ken was with Chip right from the beginning. He was one of the original writers and Chip has said that when no one else even knew about C&C, Ken was his #1 fan. He was not only a contributor here, though, he was also a very supportive friend and confidant. Ken wrote a special series called Disney for Seniors, but he liked to call it “Oldies but Goodies” for fun. I hope you will take a little time to read his posts as he was an awesome writer with a fabulous sense of humor and he posted very valuable, well-presented information about Disney.
The Chip & Company Family learned today of the passing of our great friend Ken. Ken was one of the founding writers for Chip when he started the site, and had over 41 PAGES of articles that he wrote for the site! Ken loved taking his wife Helen to Disney World, as you can see in this photo taken in front of Cinderella Castle!
The unfortunate part of being a blogger on such a big site as Chip & Company is that we are all located across the Internet. As a result of this, I never met Ken, but I think it is safe to say that I did know Ken. He and I worked together in the Week in Review, and Ken was always ready to lend an ear or offer up a piece of advice whenever I needed some assistance with anything.
Ken’s primary focus was on Disney for Seniors, in which he gave his views on how Seniors like himself could get the most out of their Walt Disney World vacations. Out of that series of articles was born the Facebook Page Disney for Seniors.
Another part of Ken’s writing that really stands out is his genuine love of Disney, but even more so, his hysterical sense of humor. In his first post for Chip and Company, Ken wrote about how Seniors at Disney are a slightly different species, with the Latin name “Oldius Goodius” (Oldies but Goodies!) I think it is the sense of humor that I will miss most about Ken, and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife at this most difficult time.
At this time, I’m sharing with you some of the thoughts of the other members of our family. We all miss Ken in our own way, and this post is written by all of us, straight from our hearts.
Kristin had this to share about Ken:
Ken was so sweet to me when I first joined Chip and Co as a writer. He was such a Disney addict and one of the kindest men I’ve ever met. He was an inspiration to me as a writer and a dear dear man. Thank you Ken for inspiring the Disney lover in me to stay forever young!
Our friend Brenda had this to share about Ken:
Back in early 2011, Chip gave all of us an assignment – to write about the “And Company” and post personal info about ourselves in a post. I read through each of them to learn about each of our writers and I was really surprised to find out that I had the most things in common with Ken. Ken had a Disney home office, most of his clothes were Disney, and he collected snowglobes which he kept in a large china closet in his dining room; all just like me. I will never forget his answer to the most important question Chip asked of us. The question was, “What is your first Disney memory.” Ken’s answer was the very best of them all and it was this: “Walking down Main Street USA and thinking “I have finally found MY place!!“
Ken was very kind and funny. I absolutely loved the way he and Chip and Lee and Mike would feed off of each other and it would crack me up. Ken was also very patriotic, fair and honest. I believe he fought for our country and he carried that patriotism proudly. He was so excited to have his own site called “Disney for Seniors” and I am so grateful to all of you who helped him with that gift, especially you Chip for actually developing the site for him. He was always so thankful to get a card or a postcard. He was a very appreciative person and I always heard from him right away, which is actually why I have been so worried. I sent him a postcard from Disneyland during my trip on Feb 22-25. He never wrote to me to say he received it. It turns out the day I sent it was the day he died. He will be sadly missed.
One of our Disneyland experts, Jessica, wanted to share with us these thoughts about Ken:
I’m so lucky to have gotten the chance to know Ken. Unfortunately I never got to meet him in person. I liked calling him Grandpa Ken because that’s what he was to me. He was like having another grandfather. I’m truly going to miss him. He was always so sweet, kind, and silly. What a perfect combination. I’m going to miss you, Ken.
My North of the Border Buddy Lee had this to say regarding Ken:
Ken was a good example of how to face things with dignity and humor. I hope I can be half the man when it’s my turn.
Aljon from Sorcerer Radio, and a writer for Chip, had this to say:
What a great man. He will be missed. God bless him and his family.
Our resident Marvel guy, Patrick, had this to say about Ken:
I didn’t know Ken for very long. I’d just gotten to know him over the last several months when I started writing for Chip. But Ken’s happiness and humor was infectious. He has just such a great outlook on life, always looking up and enjoying it, never dreading it. He knew how to make the best of situations, and he was always there with a witty joke or some little anecdote that just made your day. He was just an all around great man, and I for one hope my life can be nearly as happy and fulfilling as his. I’ll miss you, sir.
Our writer Jess had this to share about Ken:
RIP Ken. I was just reading the email he sent when I started writing for Chip. What a warm and caring soul. May his journey to the above be filled with dole whips, park hoppers, and lots of photo ops with the Queen of Hearts!
Finally Chip who broke the news to us yesterday had this to say:
Ken was with me from the beginning. Our love of Disney and Politics would lead to some very interesting emails. I met him back in 2008 in the Passporter Forums when he would like and discuss my articles. Back before anyone ever looked at the site he was my #1 fan. Over the years I learned so much from him and hope when I am a Disney Senior I will be able to take on the parks like him. Ken was a fighter till the very end and we will all miss him dearly.
will be are missed.
When we, as Oldies, visit Walt Disney World we approach it a little bit differently from our younger friends. For example, after getting up at 4:00 AM and catching an early flight we then spend a good portion of the day getting to our happy place. After a long day of travel and getting to our resort hotel, I don’t know about the rest of my Senior friends but I’m ready to rest for a bit. For that reason our arrival day is always an easy one. We generally get checked in and have dinner after which we walk the resort. Occasionally, if we are staying at Port Orleans, we will take the boat to Downtown Disney and then take it right back again. It’s a great way to unwind so you can get to bed and sleep well to be ready for your first day. Many of our younger friends head for a park or go to one of the entertainment areas for some clubbing, not us!!!
In talking to other Oldies we have found that most of them spend 7-9 days on site not counting travel days. This calls for pre-planning your day to day park visits before you arrive. Pre-planning your park visits also allows you to make Advance Dining Reservations (ADR’s) based on where you will be each day (that’s a lot better than planning your park days based on which ADR’s you have). I always use one of the subscription websites that produce charts indicating what crowds will be like each day in each park for planning purposes. Both Touring Plans.com and Tour Guide Mike do a good job of this but my preference is and has been Tour Guide Mike. The accuracy at that sight is always spot on and I rely heavily on their recommendations.
Just a few quick hints, make sure you allow enough park time in your favorite park. Ours is Epcot and on a 9 day visit we spend at least 2 1/2 to 3 days there. We then divide the majority of the rest of the visit between the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios with just a short half day visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for our favorite attractions. The most important thing that we Oldies can do is to plan a rest day somewhere towards the middle of your stay. On this day you can sleep in, spend a bit of time by the pool, visit some other resorts (to plan for future visits), play some golf, do some shopping, etc. You should just do something that gets you away from the pace and intensity of the parks. As much as we all love the theme parks, they can be exhausting. Please don’t ignore this, it will make your entire visit much more fun!!!
This is nothing more than a few suggestions to make sure you get the most out of your visit without exhausting yourself and perhaps endangering your health. Nothing is worth making yourself sick trying to enjoy yourself too much. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- Top Five Walt Disney World Resort News Stories in 2011 (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Quick Tips – Don’t Visit Walt Disney World Through A Viewfinder (chipandco.com)