One of the great things about Walt Disney World is that its four theme parks were built with multiple generations in mind. As a grandparent, you don’t just want to watch your grandchildren having fun at the parks. You want to join them whenever possible. While all of the Disney parks are good for this, here are the two best places to make it happen:
The Magic Kingdom is modeled after Disneyland, which Walt Disney specifically designed to be a place where adults and children could enjoy the attractions forever. He hated having to watch his two daughters have fun on the carousel at Griffith Park in Los Angeles without being able to join them. Thus he created a place where kids, parents,and grandparents can all join together and enjoy many of the rides as a family.
Perhaps the best parts of the Magic Kingdom in which to accomplish this are Fantasyland and New Fantasyland. Most of the rides are gentle and scenic, so you can hop on board with your grandchildren even if you don’t like rough or scary experiences. You’ll glide under the sea watching the story of the Little Mermaid, soar above London on your way to visit Peter Pan and Wendy in Never Land, gently bounce with Tigger and Winnie the Pooh, fly with Dumbo the Elephant, and take a boat ride around the globe in Its a Small World. You might even be able to brave Goofy’s roller coaster or the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. They pack a bit of a punch, but they’re still very family friendly.
The Magic Kingdom has other family-friendly rides, like the People Mover, the Astro Orbiters, the train, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Jungle Cruise. Even the Haunted Mansion’s ghosts are mild enough for you to take your grandchildren on a spooky adventure.
The park is also home to numerous shows, like the Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress, and stage performances that you’ll find listed on your park map. Your grandchildren will love the Festival of Fantasy parade in the afternoon, and if they’re old enough to stay up late, be sure it stick it out for the fireworks.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a park with a slow pace and plenty to see. Take your grandchildren by the hand and stroll down the walking paths, where animals like meerkats, bats, gorillas, and tigers are all on display. Imagine seeing the delight on the grandkids’ faces as they see live tigers frolicking in a pool of water or get face to face (through the glass of course) with a gorgeous gorilla.
If you get tired of walking, hop aboard Kilimanjaro Safari and head out to the savannah, where lions, rhinos, elephants, hippos, giraffes, and various other animals are on display. You can appoint one of your grandchildren as your group’s official photographers to grab photos of the wildlife.
While Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some rides with a wild streak, like Dinosaur, the Expedition Everest roller coaster, and the Kali River Rapids raft ride, it also has some tame entries that multi-generational families can enjoy together. For example, TriceraTops Spin is very much like Dumbo, but with a dinosaur theme. There are also plenty of shows, like Finding Nemo: The Musical and It’s Tough to be a Bug, that delight youngsters and the young at heart.
If you’re feeling energetic, join your grandchildren on the quest to be a Wilderness Explorer. This free activity at Disney’s Animal Kingdom lets them earn sticker “badges” for completing a number of fun activities. You can help them find the right spots and decipher the clues to successfully finish each assignment.
Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are great for multiple generations, too, but the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are the best of the best. You won’t feel like you’re just a spectator to your grandchildren’s fun. Instead, you’ll be right in the thick of it along with them.