What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Disney vacation? You may think of it as a family vacation or a trip that is geared toward kids. It’s true that kids will love Walt Disney World and it is a perfect vacation for families; But it is not only for families! Let me share with you a few tips for adults, teens, children, and even those of you traveling to Disney without children in tow. I think you will easily see why it is truly a vacation to be enjoyed by all ages.
Adults without Kids:
“Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” – Walt Disney
An adult-only vacation to Disney is a completely different experience than one with kids. It will give you the chance to do Disney in a way you wouldn’t with a family. You can slow down and take in all the details of the parks and resorts you may overlook while keeping pace with children. Enjoy sleeping in or lounging by the pool during the day. With the Extra Magic Hours available to resort guests, you can wait to head to the park later in the day and still get plenty of park time. I recommend staying at one of the Deluxe Monorail Resorts to be close to Magic Kingdom or try the Yacht/Beach Club or the BoardWalk Inn to be walking distance to EPCOT. Make time to spend an evening at Disney Springs and enjoy the nightlife. No worries, just because you aren’t vacationing with kids, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it like a kid! Grab your favorite pair of ears, ride Dumbo and live it up, if you’d like!
Dining Suggestions: California Grill, Jellyrolls, Raglan Road, Yak & Yeti
Resort Suggestions: BoardWalk Inn, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Port Orleans French Quarter
Extra Magic Suggestions: EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival, La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil
For those who love Disney, this is the obvious choice for your Honeymoon! I honeymooned at Disney World and on a Disney Cruise. It was amazing! With beautiful resorts to choose from, a variety of attractions & rides, special events and dining, it is a fun and romantic getaway. Did you know you can set up a registry for your Fairytale Honeymoon? Your wedding guests can gift you park tickets, carriage rides, dining experiences, spa services, accommodations at your Disney Resort Hotel and so much more. This is a good way to enjoy your Disneymoon to the fullest and splurge a bit without having to pay extra out of your pocket. Make sure to let everyone know you are celebrating being newly married and pick up your “Happily Ever After” buttons at Guest Services. Also, if you love wearing Mickey Ears, Bride and Groom ears are available to purchase.
Dining Suggestions: Le Cellier, Narcoossee’s, Victoria and Albert’s
Resort Suggestions: Grand Floridian, Polynesian Bungalow, Port Orleans Riverside
Extra Magic Suggestions: Massage for Two at Senses – A Disney Spa, Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise, Carriage Ride
Seeing Disney World through the eyes of your children is so magical! Whether you bring your child for the first time when they are an infant, young child or teenager, the memories are priceless. While I recommend staying at a Disney Resort Hotel to everyone, for families with young children, it is especially important. This gives you the flexibility to take tired little ones back to your room to nap or take a break to relax. Also, one parent can return for younger kids to go to bed, while older kids can stay later with the other parent to enjoy the night.
Children 3 years or younger:
Enjoy the perk of taking your child under the age of 3 years and their admission is FREE! They can eat off your plate for free too! Don’t worry, if you are a Disney resort guest, they still get a MagicBand, just like all the other family members. Little legs get tired, so remember to bring or rent a stroller for the parks. Add something identifiable to the stroller, like a bright ribbon or sign with your last name on it. Sometimes strollers may be moved by Cast Members and this will make it easier to locate.
Dining Suggestions: The Crystal Palace, ‘Ohana, Tusker House
Resort Suggestions: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, Polynesian
Extra Magic Suggestions: Schedule your child’s 1st haircut at Harmony Barber Shop
School Aged Children:
My kids were in this age category for our first family trip. This is a great age to take a family vacation because most school aged children will meet the ride height requirements. They are still young enough to enjoy the magic, but old enough to experience most of the rides and attractions.
Dining Suggestions: Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, T-Rex Cafe
Resort Suggestions: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach
Extra Magic Suggestions: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, The Pirates League, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Choosing to take your vacation when you have teenagers, gives your kids the opportunity to be part of the planning process. They can give their input on favorite rides, resort and dining. My kids love being able to help decide what we will do on our vacation. At this age, most teens are able to endure longer hours, so you can stay late to get in more park time.
Dining Suggestions: Be Our Guest, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, Whispering Canyon Cafe
Resort Suggestions: Pop Century, Port Orleans Riverside, Wilderness Lodge
Extra Magic Suggestions: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon
While I love to make magical memories with my family, I look forward to the day when I can return to Disney again as a couple. It’s a great to time to enjoy the slower pace again and reminisce of the many fun trips you have taken over the years as a family. Now that it’s just the two of you, go all out! Stay at a Deluxe resort and make reservations for fine dining.
Dining Suggestions: California Grill, Jiko, Any of the World Showcase Restaurants
Resort Suggestions: Beach Club, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Port Orleans French Quarter
Extra Magic Suggestions: EPCOT’s International Flower & Garden Festival and International Food & Wine Festival
This stage could possibly be the most magical of all ages! It will be so fun to share my love for Disney and experience the wonder of this place with my children and grandchildren. The possibilities are endless as to what you can do with your family. Offer to take your grandchildren for the day and give your kids the day off from parenting to enjoy some alone time. Spoiling your grandchildren Disney style, what could be more fun? If you would like to stay together as a family, this is a great time to enjoy the accommodations of one of the Deluxe Villa Resorts. They sleep up to 8-9 adults and a select few sleep 12.
Dining Suggestions: Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, ‘Ohana (All your family favorites)
Resort Suggestions: Animal Kingdom Lodge Deluxe Villas, Art of Animation, Beach Club Deluxe Villas
Extra Magic Suggestions: Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, The Pirates League
Now that you know Disney World is a great vacation at any age, are you ready to start planning your magical getaway? I would love to help and my services are free to those that book their vacations with me!
Melanie Gifford, Disney Vacation Planner affiliated with Travel with the Magic
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