Visiting Disney with Senior relatives

Florida Guide > Disney Parks

As villa owners we are frequently asked what do we do in Florida as we go there so often. When we first travelled to Florida we did not have children and we used to enjoy the beaches and parks as ‘big’ kids ourselves. As time went on we had our family and each visit bought new adventures and things to do through their eyes and their changing needs as they grew older. However when our parents join us on vacation we do have to do a little more planning, considering their requirements that are different from our own. Obviously on the way out we have to ensure they have adequate medical insurance and travel with any prescribed drugs in their hand luggage. They may also need assistance with the airline and their travel operator, or airline, can help to organise this with them.

For travelling around the parks we plan ahead – just like we did when our children were younger! At busy times, particularly in the summer season we allow more time to walk or travel around. It can be helpful to go earlier in the day when it is cooler and less crowded. We tend to go earlier in the week avoiding Friday and weekends when there may be more visitors from local areas. Remember to take sunscreen and drink plenty of water as many do not realise just how much exposure to the sun and heat they enjoy whilst at the parks.
We eat earlier (we are often ready to eat earlier as we got there early! ) to avoid crowds and we eat where we can find a seat easily. For example in Magic Kingdom we enjoy the Mexican near Pirates of the Caribbean or Columbia Harbour House. Remember you can always leave the park and visit the peace of the Polynesian or Contemporary Hotels, for example, and have a quiet leisurely lunch and then return later as the day becomes cooler. In Epcot we enjoy the French, Mexican and German eateries . . . and of course the English Rose and Crown! In MGM studios we like Prime Time. It can be a little noisier but the 1950s décor and TV programmes can delight in bring back memories and nostalgia. Animal Kingdom offers a variety of flavours and choices Yak and Yeti and Tusker House whilst for faster food try the Flame Tree Barbecue.
It’s estimated that you can walk up to 10 miles during a visit to a park. Obviously this varies from person to person but if anyone in your party may have difficult consider renting a wheelchair …and you’ll see plenty of scooters too. These can be organised at the entrance and Walt Disney World are well organised to ensure your visit is as great as it can be. Call ahead if it gives reassurance.
Visiting the shops offer an air conditioned break during the day. Rides such as Mickey’s PhilharMagic, It’s tough to be a Bug and Aerial offer seated shows to enjoy at a leisurely pace.
One thing we have learned is that no one is ever too old to visit Disneyworld! Just think ahead and plan your day.

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Page added on: 23 April 2013
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