Many seniors feel that they are simply “too old” for Walt Disney World. After all, the commercials are seemingly geared towards families with young children. Smiling girls hug princesses and boys play pirate, while indulgent parents watch benevolently. Seniors may consider Disney as a possible place to take the grandchildren, but cannot fathom the idea of visiting independently.
If you are a grandparent taking your grandkids to Disney World we suggest renting a Kissimmee vacation home near Disney World . These homes will provide you more space and more amenities than any hotel or condo in Orlando.
In actuality, Walt Disney World was carefully planned to appeal to all ages. Walt Disney wanted to build a different kind of park, one in which adults could join in on the fun, rather than being relegated to bench-sitting while their families played. From Broadway-quality shows, to world famous dining, to rides that run the gamut from thrilling to sedate, seniors are bound to find something that appeals to their tastes. If walking long distances is a concern, both wheelchairs and ECVs are available to rent at the front gate. Dietary restrictions are easily handled at any of the restaurants, and guests are allowed to bring both water and snacks into the parks.
The Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney World’s flagship park. Modeled after the original Disneyland in California, this is the park most people think of when they hear the words “Disney World.” The park is divided into seven themed lands, each of which holds attractions that may be of interest.
Main Street, USA
This re-creation of an early 20 th century town serves as the main entrance area to the park. The shops of Main Street are an excellent source of everything from souvenirs for the family to rare and collectible Disneyana.
*Tip* If you can get reservations, or get in on a walk-in basis, do not miss the Character Meal at the Crystal Palace. The building is of Victorian style and beautifully appointed. The food is excellent, and the characters from Winnie the Pooh will spend time with adults as well as children. Many adults claim that this is the best character meal in the parks.
*Tip* Take time to notice the names inscribed on the second story windows. The major Imagineers who designed the park are all named. See if you can find Walt Disney’s name. Note the red walkways, designed to resemble a red carpet. Also notice the forced perspective, making Main Street appear miles long on your way into the park, but only a few feet long on your way out.
*Tip* For a dose of nostalgia, grab hot dogs at Casey’s Corner and find a spot to watch the barbershop quartet, the Dapper Dans.
*Tip* Tony’s Town Square Restaurant is based on the Italian restaurant where Lady and the Tramp first fell in love. Take a look inside even if you do not eat there
This area pays homage to exotic lands. Pirates of the Caribbean was recently re-done to incorporate Captain Jack Sparrow and his archnemesis Barbossa from the popular film series. Most fans agree that the addition was tastefully done. Take the ride whether or not you have seen the movies.
The Jungle Cruise was the favorite attraction of Walt Disney himself. The ride is best at night; however, the corny jokes are fun no matter the time of day.
This area will take you back to the days of the Wild West. Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are considered thrill rides, but both are of the decidedly family-friendly variety. If you meet the health requirements, strongly consider both rides. The storylines are fun and the rides are fairly tame.
Do not miss Tom Sawyer’s Island. Based on the writings of Mark Twain, the Island hearkens back to childhood, complete with forts to explore, guns to “fire,” and swinging bridges to bounce across. Or if more sedate activities appeal, grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from Aunt Polly’s and enjoy a game of checkers on a barrel top board, then relax in a rocking chair and let the world go by.
*Tip* Ask a Cast Member about the paint brush game. The prize is a Fast Pass!
Cool off and rest your feet at the Hall of Presidents, featuring audio animatronic replicas of every US President. Though the show is a bit dated by today’s standards, it is a nice tribute to our nation’s leaders. Some of the later presidents recorded their own voices for the show.
*Tip* When strolling through Liberty Square you cannot miss Liberty Belle Riverboat . This old fashion steamboat is so much fun to ride.
The Haunted Mansion is one of Disney’s most legendary attractions. Join 999 Grim Grinning Ghosts for a fun ride through their final resting place. This one is especially fun at night, particularly if you take the last ride.
This is Disney’s tribute to the dreams of childhood. Before writing it off, however, remember that most of the classic attractions are housed here. Fly with Peter Pan , marvel at the singing and dancing dolls in It’s A Small World , or meet the dwarfs with Snow White. The rides are silly but fun, and may touch a wave of nostalgia for a simpler time.
*Tip* Do not miss Mickey’s Philharmagic. This 3D show is spectacular.
*Tip* Winnie the Poohs Great Adventures is an awesome attraction for kids of all ages.
*Tip* Enjoy lunch at the Pinocchio Village Haus. Some of the tables overlook It’s a Small World, where you can wave at people on the ride.
Mickey's Toontown Fair
Mostly housing character greeting locations, this is a great land in which to enjoy a break. An excellent produce stand and plenty of empty benches make this a wonderful area to people-watch.
This land pays tribute to “the future that never was, and always will be.” Offiering a look back at science fiction through the ages, Tomorrowland offers two attractions of particular interest to seniors.
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority is a slow moving aerial ride through Tomorrowland. Rarely crowded, this attraction can often be ridden twice back to back. If you are lucky, you may catch a ride during Space Mountain’s downtime, allowing a rare lights-on look inside.
The Carousel of Progress is probably the ride most closely identified with Walt Disney himself. Originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair, the Carousel provides a look at an average family from the 1800s through today. See if you can spot Walt Disney’s picture in the ride.
The Magic Kingdom is a wonderful place for guests of all ages. Take your time to enjoy the amazing details as well as experiencing the rides. Some of the best touches are off the beaten path, yet fully accessible to those who take time out to notice. Allow yourself to suspend disbelief and take in the full experience. You may just find that the Magic Kingdom becomes truly magical for you.