Category Archives: Disney for Seniors
There are a lot of us Oldies who love to ride every attraction every time they visit Walt Disney World and I am one of them. I plan on doing this as long as I am physically able. There are, however, lots of things you can do aside from the parks that are not just pleasant diversions but also can bring fun, romance, or excitement to your visit (especially for the Senior crowd, my Peeps!!) Here are just a few that my wife and I have experienced, you pick the ones you want to try!!
- Dinner At Victoria & Albert’s – The premier restaurant at Walt Disney World and arguably in all of Central Florida is Victoria and Albert’s in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. No matter which experience you choose you will enjoy a marvelous multi course meal and impeccable service, after all it is a Five Diamond award winner for the last eleven consecutive years. There are basically three different experiences – the Main Dining Room, the Queen Victoria Room, and the Chef’s Table. The number of courses (and of course the price) goes up with each experience. Is it worth it? Absolutely YES!!
- Characters In Flight - This is one of those things a lot of folks might be apprehensive about but really should not be. It is a tethered (which means you won’t drift off to OZ) helium filled balloon that will take you about 400-450 feet above Downtown Disney and allow you to see for miles and miles. I personally have height issues but convinced myself to give it a try and I will be doing it on every visit. The staff is caring and professional and the whole operation abides by the strictest of weather safety rules. Go for it my friends!!
- Illuminations Cruise - Enjoy a leisurely cruise and finish with a “best seat in the house” unobstructed view of Illuminations at Epcot. These cruises are very popular so book it early. One hint, ask your Captain to head for Illuminations about 15 minutes earlier than he/she normally would and you will be right up front to see the show.
- Wishes Fireworks On The Beach At The Polynesian - This is one of two suggestions that is absolutely free. Just catch the Monorail, boat, or bus to the Poly about an hour ahead of time and head for the beach to watch Wishes at the Magic Kingdom across the Seven Seas Lagoon. You get an entirely different perspective of Wishes from that location, it’s beautiful.
- Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba – If you have never seen a Cirque du Soleil show you need to give this one a try. La Nouba recently had their 6000th performance at Walt Disney World and it has just gotten better and better each time we have seen it. You will be absolutely mesmerized by the skills and artistry of the clowns, acrobats, high fliers, jugglers, etc. etc. etc. It is a 90 minute show with no intermission but when the show is complete you simply will not believe 90 minutes has passed by. You have got to see this show!!
- Walking World Showcase After Illuminations – This is not only the other freebie in the list but is one of the most romantic things you can do at Walt Disney World when you do it with the one you love. IMPORTANT- do not join the thundering herd at the entrance to the World Showcase from Future World. They are there not just to see Illuminations but to make sure they are among the first to be able to stand in line to wait for transportation. After you watch the show from somewhere in the World Showcase (hint, try the Italy area) and the crazies are running so they can stand in line just take a leisurely stroll in your favorite direction and enjoy World Showcase as few have seen it – nearly empty!! Very nice and incredibly romantic. Take your time, they won’t kick you out.
Whether you are a lunatic senior like me and ride every attraction you can or you prefer a more laid back approach, try some of these things. I can honestly say you will not be disappointed. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- 2012 Walt Disney World Moms Panel Accepting Applications Beginning Sept. 12 (chipandco.com)
- Top Five Places to Hide Out at Walt Disney World. (chipandco.com)
When traveling to Walt Disney World, you may be surprised to learn that we Oldies look for different things in a resort than a lot of other groups. Most of us have spent many, many (did I mention many) decades working very hard to get to this point in our lives and we expect to be well treated. Also, in most instances, we are willing to pay what it takes to have our expectations met. With Disney, you generally find the service you need but a lot of what you have learned to expect from your visit stems from your surroundings. Let’s take a look at what Seniors think is most important in a resort:
- Relaxing Atmosphere: We go on vacation to relax. Certainly we love being in the parks but when that is through each day we do not want to come back to a resort where chaos reigns (provided by some guests of course). I love children as much as anyone but when you get to be our age you need peace and quiet to recharge for the next day.
- Convenient Transportation: I’m a huge fan of the Walt Disney World transportation system. When you consider how many people they move every day of the year it works remarkably well. I love the Monorail but I think boat transportation is at least as good and there are a lot more options. I even like the bus system and would never even consider renting a car. I did it once and we spent $250 for transportation to and from the airport, the rest of the trip the car was parked.
- Good Dining Options: This is where the Deluxe category has the advantage hands down. Oldies can only eat so much counter service food (although WDW has some excellent options here) and there are times when we leave a park early so the only option is to travel to another resort or head back to your own resort for a relaxing meal and a stroll. Good dining options are important!! We have stayed at quite a few resorts and have recently found that the Moderate category also has good table service options in several cases. For us, good food = good visit!!
- Well Maintained Grounds: A leisurely stroll in a beautifully landscaped area can do as much to refresh a senior as a nap (although I have nothing against a good nap). Depending on your tastes, from tropical to the bayous of the south, Walt Disney World has a place that will meet your needs. Do some research and find the style that suits your style! One thing you can count on is that Disney does it right.
- Pool Options: All Disney resorts have delightful pools but many of the main pools do not meet a senior’s needs in that they are often crowded with very active people. Many resorts not only have that main or feature pool but they also have some quiet pools scattered around the grounds. Oldies like quiet pools – it gives us a chance to cool off and prepare for the rest of the day/week!!
I’m not sure if everyone will agree but these are the things that are important to me as a Senior at Walt Disney World resorts. I believe a lot of Oldies look for similar things and enjoy them when they find them. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- Disney World Resort Pools Offer Splashtastic Fun. Which is your favorite? (chipandco.com)
- Seniors At Disney World – What Are Some Of Our Concerns? (chipandco.com)
Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney area is a lovely place to get away from the theme park madness and just do a few things to relax. This is especially important to us Seniors as that constant go-go-go of the parks will wear anyone out particularly Oldies like us. There are a number of things to take advantage of that allow you to have new experiences but at a relaxing pace. These Top 5 items are in no particular order and the numbers are there just to show you I didn’t lose count!!!
- Cirque du Soleil - This is one of my true favorites. It’s a different type of circus performed on stage but there are no animals used in the show. It has everything including clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and dancers. It also has dramatic lighting effects combined with beautiful music. After the performance the word you will hear most as you exit will be WOW!! It’s ninety minutes you will never forget.
- Characters In Flight – I’ll start by saying that I have a fear of heights but I also crave new experiences hence my try at Characters In Flight. The attraction is a tethered balloon that will take you around 400 feet in the air for views of Walt Disney World that you can not get in any other way. The picture of the Cirque du Soleil building above was taken by me on our last visit. Give it a try, it’s currently around $18 for adults and yes it is perfectly safe.
- AMC 24 Theaters Complex – I wouldn’t normally recommend taking in a movie while at Walt Disney World but as of May of 2011 you can not only see the movie but have a casual meal including beer, wine, and your favorite cocktail. It’s kind of unique and a great way to relax. Sorry teens and tweens you either need to be 18 or accompanied by an adult to do this. Reserved seating is available.
- World Of Disney Store – The best word to use when describing this store is HUGE!!! They have everything you could possibly imagine in the way of Disney Stuff. If you saw it somewhere in the parks and forgot to buy it you can probably find it here. I’m not a huge fan of shopping but it makes my wife happy and it does relax me because I looooove to just wander around the store. Besides, we all know that is she is happy we are both happy!!!
- Dinner at Fulton’s Crab House - You can’t miss the paddle wheel steamboat that is Fulton’s Crab House. It’s a magnificent way to end a day at Downtown Disney with a relaxing and I might add fabulous meal. The seafood items are as fresh as can be in that they fly it in daily. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but after all at our age we deserve a little pampering. Give this one a try, you wll not be sorry.
Hopefully, you will giveDowntown Disney a chance. If you do I’m sure you will find that it is a pleasant diversion and will make time for it on your future visits. There is certainly plenty to do. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
When we Seniors travel to Walt Disney World we have concerns that the majority of younger adults and kids simply do not have. We need to face it – as we age we have different priorities when we travel and many of these center around our own well being when we are away from home. Walt Disney World is a very public and often crowded environment and in most cases we are hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the environment in which we are most comfortable. That can be, and often is, very disconcerting. Let’s look at just a few of these concerns and see if I can make you, my fellow Seniors, feel better about your visit.
- Is Walt Disney World A Safe Place To Be – There are few places on earth that have less crime or violence than Walt Disney World. When you figure that there are hundreds of thousands of people in this 47 square mile area every day of the year and that there is virtually no person to person violent crime it is truly remarkable. Walt Disney World is a totally controlled environment and you can be confident that your personal safety is in good hands.
- I Have Dietary Restrictions, Can They Handle Them – The simple answer to this question is a resounding YES!! Disney has the ability to deal with almost every dietary issue quite easily but it does involve a bit of effort on our part. You can find the ins and outs here at the Special Dietary Requests page of the Walt Disney World website.
- I Have Mobility Issues, What Is Available For Me – The options here are endless. Rather than get into great detail here I will direct you to an article that will answer many of your questions. Check out Mike’s article about his own experiences with a mobility issue. Remember, all Disney transportation is accessible.
- My Meds Need To Be Refrigerated – Most Disney Resort rooms have a small refrigerator but if you happen to be in a Disney resort that doesn’t have them in all rooms you have a couple of options. You can call the front desk and they will deliver a small refrigerator to your room and since it is required to preserve medications, it will be free of charge. If you would prefer, you will most likely be able to leave those delicate meds at the front desk for refrigeration. One caution here – LABEL-LABEL-LABEL!!
- I Can’t Live On Burgers And Hot Dogs – Sure, you can get burgers and dogs at every major venue in Walt Disney World. Many Seniors are first time visitors and are traveling with a multi generational group. This is a wonderful experience but typical amusement park fare does not generally serve us, Seniors, very well. Please rest assured my fellow Seniors, you will have no trouble finding food to your liking. Restaurants vary from the theme park churro (YUM) stand to a 9 course meal at Victoria and Albert’s in the Grand Floridian (another big YUM!!). Please make sure that whomever in your group is doing the planning is aware of your feelings and makes the appropriate number and types of Advance Dining Reservations (ADR’s).
These are a few of the concerns we Seniors may experience when visiting Walt Disney World but certainly not all of them. Yes, I’m a huge Walt Disney World fan but I’ll make this statement from fact rather a pro Disney prejudice – If you have a special need or concern, no matter what it is, the Cast Members at Walt Disney World can most likely deal with it and they will!! As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
Attention Seniors won’t you join me over on my all new Facebook Page Disney for Seniors. Just click the link in my signature below.
Seniors have different expectations from Walt Disney World than the hordes of younger visitors that visit the parks daily. We look for things that we can sit back and enjoy rather than have our bodies bounced around and exposed to G-forces. Your choices at the Animal Kingdom may be different from mine but if you are a senior I think in most instances you will at least enjoy the ones I suggest.
- Festival Of The Lion King – Perhaps the best stage show at the Walt Disney World resort. It’s more than a show, I’ve actually seen it called a pageant. This show has it all including singers, dancers, amazing acrobats, and some of the most beautiful floats I have ever seen. There is audience participation and a level of excitement that makes this show stand in a league of its own. Don’t miss it!!
- Finding Nemo – The Musical – Yet another outstanding stage show. This one is enhanced by the very artistic use of puppets and puppeteers working together as one on stage. The sets are magnificent and the show itself is wonderfully entertaining. This is another do not miss!!
- Maharajah Jungle Trek – If you love animals and have any interest in Asian culture, this is the attraction for you. It’s a walk through where you can set your own pace and enjoy the beauty of the staging as well as the magnificence of the animals. There are several walk through attractions in the Animal Kingdom, but this is the best one.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – You may get bounced around a little in this motorized tour of the African habitat. The ride vehicles were built for durability not comfort. BUT – the exposure to all of the animals roaming free (there are invisible barriers) in a very natural habitat makes this attraction well worth the time (and a little bouncing).
- It’s Tough To Be A Bug – O.K. this one is just plain fun and it will return you to the land of fantasy that we all appreciate in all things Disney. This is a pleasant (air conditioned) place to relax and enjoy a fun show while relaxing after a long (and likely very hot) day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I recommend it either in the middle or at the end of your day to help you rejuvenate.
These are my favorite Animal Kingdom attractions. We don’t spend a lot of time here but when we do visit we always takein these attractions. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- Walt Disney World Quick Tips – Slow down and pay attention (chipandco.com)
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Top 5 Attractions For Seniors (chipandco.com)