Planning a Disney World multigeneration trip with extended family can be daunting, even if you have gone several times alone. Skills as a guide will help, but pacing and more diverse interests of a multigenerational family make pulling off the perfect family trip tough. Thankfully, Disney World is one place designed for everybody to be able to have fun and be entertained together.
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Here are our tips so you can have the PERFECT DISNEY WORLD VACATION AS A MULTIGENERATIONAL FAMILY!
Tips For Magic Kingdom
Of all the parks, Walt’s vision of family togetherness is most evident in Magic Kingdom. This more than any other park is the one place everyone should be able to have the most fun together. Some attractions like Big Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain may have relatives choosing a bench and ice cream. However, most experiences are great for the whole family.
Tomorrowland and Fantasyland
Pay careful attention to Parade times when you want to be getting around Frontierland/Liberty Square. That’s the parade route. If you get there early enough in the day, I recommend taking this park on in a counterclockwise circle. In Tomorrowland, The Laugh Floor, People Mover, and Carousel of Progress are great attractions for all. As you enter Fantasyland you can pretty much go wild. The Mine Train and the Barnstormer have height requirements. Also, toddlers won’t get much out of Mickey’s Philharmagic, but Fantasyland is full of great experiences for everybody.
Frontierland and Adventureland
In Liberty Square and Frontierland are mostly scenic, but The Haunted Mansion, Hall of Presidents and Country Bear Jamboree are not to be missed. Also parents can relax while kids burn energy on Tom Sawyer’s Island, so consider hopping on a raft. For Dining I recommend Pecos Bill’s because it is more accommodating to diverse palates and you get a better value for your food, plus there is a lot of seating.
Around the corner into Adventureland you wind your way back to civilization passed Pirates of the Caribbean, The Enchanted Tiki Room, The Jungle Cruise, Aladdin’s Flying Carpets, and the Swiss Family Treehouse. The first three of those attractions are mandatory. Everyone will love stopping at either Aloha Isle or Sunshine Tree Terrace for sweet treats.
Tips For the Other Parks
The circular path approach works well with the Epcot and Animal Kingdom too. Sometimes Fast Pass times may disrupt this flow, but it is a great way to get more done while conserving energy which is a great idea when you are on a multigenerational family trip!
Animal Kingdom’s Kilimanjaro Safari is fun for everyone. Kids love the Affection Section (petting zoo) and Dinoland USA. The latter is basically made to resemble a cheap Dino themed roadside attraction to capitalize on the Dinosaur findings at the neighboring Institute. Most of the rides in Animal Kingdom are more thrilling, but there are great shows for everybody including Finding Nemo and Festival of the Lion King. I recommend Character Dining at Tusker House to entertain kids at lunch. The rest of the park is animals in really well themed African and Asian environments, so it’s really great to explore at your own pace.
Epcot is another more mature park. It emphasizes world cultures and cuisine. Children are not forgotten in this park, but you have to look for things for them to do them to do. One of the best places in Epcot for the Whole Family is Future World West. That’s where Pavilions devoted to Nemo and Friends, The Land, and Imagination are located. In The World Showcase Mexico and Norway on the left as you approach the lagoon are the most fun for families. China, France, and Canada all show films as an attraction, but with the exception of Impressions de France, the shows require standing.
There are some exciting rides, too, but mostly it is a leisurely park that accommodates and even rewards a slower pace. Even so, I recommend spending a couple of days here if you have time.
Toy Story Land is coming soon, which is something great for the kids. Hollywood Studios has an unclear layout and unfocused demographic. It may be difficult for everybody to have fun together. There are a few thrill attractions, lots of shows, and dining. Unless you all want to see every show, this park doesn’t need a full day. In this case, I’d recommend a park hopper ticket because you may get more out of your day if you split it between parks. There are two really good options. Animal Kingdom is only a half day park for some people, so it’s a good split. On the other hand Epcot is just a water taxi away with a couple of brief resort stops.
Outside the Parks
It’s really important not to push too hard for too many days. I recommend scheduling days that give you a break from the parks and let you explore your resort, visit some others, or go to Disney Springs. Miniature golf, bowling and AMC Theaters are available. You can also rent boats, bikes, or ride a carriage or horse.
Make sure to also check out these other Disney articles to help plan your trip:
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