One of the many wonders and accomplishments of Walt Disney World is the fact that it can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. All a visitor need do is to stand on Main Street U.S.A. to appreciate the varied ages of the “guests” all enjoying the sights and sounds that are Disney.
Although you may spot a young honeymoon couple from Ohio, a family of four from New York, and a retired couple from Florida all headed down Main Street, it must be understood they will not be drawn to the same attractions.
Although they may not enjoy the same rides and attractions all of the Disney theme parks have as much to offer the honeymooners as they do the mature couple. It is also worth mentioning that seniors have been found to enjoy a visit to Walt Disney World more with a group of other seniors then with the kids.
But if you are planning a trip to Disney with the kids it has been recommended that Seniors would be well advised to do a little research and planning.
The following letter says it best:
The main thing I want to say is that being a senior is not for wussies. At Disney World particularly, it requires courage and pluck. Things that used to be easy take a lot of effort, and sometimes your brain has to wait for your body to catch up. Half the time your grandchildren treat you like a crumbling ruin, and then turn around and trick you into getting on a roller coaster in the dark. What you need to tell seniors is that they have to be alert and not trust anyone. Not their children or even the Disney people, and especially not their grandchildren. When your grandchildren want you to go on a ride, don’t follow along blindly like a lamb to the slaughter. Make sure you know what the ride is all about. Stand your ground and do not waffle. He who hesitates is Launched!!
Source: The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World, Bob Sehlinger
The following is a list of attractions that you may want to think about twice before attempting. Seniors like people of any age are all different. Different tastes, levels of tolerance, and limitations, so don’t eliminate a attraction without evaluating it for yourself.
The Magic Kingdom
- Space Mountain. Roller Coaster type ride experienced in the dark. Lots of teeth rattling jerks and turns.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Roller Coaster type ride as with Space Mountain lots of quick turns and jerks only this time you get to see them.
- Splash Mountain. One of Disney’s best. One big drop at the end. You may get a little wet but I bet you ride this one twice.
- The Swiss Family Treehouse. A lot of climbing, walking and hanging on.
- Body Wars. Possible motion sickness
- Star Tours. Possible motion sickness. Not as pronounced as Body Wars, but definitely not a after lunch kind of ride.
- Tower of Terror. A hard to describe and soon not forgotten thrill ride.
If walking is exercise, what is this?
As much as the Main Street Railroad, Cinderella’s Castle, or Dumbo is a part of a visit to Walt Disney World, so is walking. In fact, a Disney guest will walk somewhere between four and eight miles while visiting one the three major theme parks over a seven hour period.
If that seems like a lot of walking (and it is) the ever considerate Disney folks have provided the answer. Pick yourself up a rented wheelchair (the Magic Kingdom and Epcot have electric “convenience vehicles”) and allow a younger member of the party push you around. Before you start with the I can do it if I have to’s remember you don’t have to.
Relax enjoy yourself besides don’t forget the special boarding privilege granted guests and their party who use the special entrance for wheelchairs at some attractions. If you do opt to rent a wheelchair hang on to the receipt it is good for a replacement wheelchair later the same day at any of the parks.
What’s a senior to do?
EPCOT offers some really excellent and enjoyable guided walking tours:
- Hidden Treasures of World Showcase: explore the architecture of the international pavilions in EPCOT Center
- Gardens of the World: explore the horticulture, and landscaping of Walt Disney Worlds gardens.
- The Greenhouse Tour: will take you behind the scenes to tour the vegetable gardens in The Land Pavilion of EPCOT Center. Requires same day reservations made at The Land Pavilion.
The Magic Kingdom
Behind the Scenes Tour of The Magic Kingdom. Innovations in Action. A behind the scenes look at the technical and operational aspect of the Magic Kingdom. Cost $60 per person about four hours long. No children under 16 years of age permitted. For more information call (407) 824-7997
Flag Retreat. Daily at 5pm in Town Square, located just past the entrance. Done with varying degrees of fanfare, always fun to watch.