A Little Something For Everyone: Disney Across the Ages
As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, Walt Disney World holds a lifetime of happy memories for me. My parents themselves had gone to Disney on their honeymoon, and I guess were bitten by the "Mouse Bug", because they first took me to the parks in 1984, when I was a mere 2 years old. I was enchanted by Snow White, Cinderella, Mickey, Goofy, and Donald. I was especially fond of this little purple guy named Figment, who had his own ride in Epcot - Journey Into Imagination. This photo, taken in 1986 when I was 4 years old, shows me squeezing sweet Figment's hand, along with his pal, Dreamfinder (who is no longer a part of that attraction).
Even as a child, Epcot was always my favorite park. I was always the weird child, because most adults preferred Epcot, while the kids loved the Magic Kingdom (there were only two parks at the time!). I guess it's telling that I went on to get a degree in French - I always loved learning about other cultures and foreign lands - it was like the world's best natural fairytale for me. Of course, Epcot has evolved greatly since then and I've never had to convince Audrey Grace to go to Epcot - she is always excited about Spaceship Earth, Journey Into Imagination, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, and now that she is tall enough, Test Track and Soarin'.
What I'm trying to say, is that there is something for everyone at the Walt Disney World resort. Here are my top picks for 4 different age groups. Note that adults will love all of these attractions and suggestions, though kids may not be old enough or tall enough to do the things that the adults or teenagers can do.
But first, a few more gratuitous photos of me in Walt Disney World as a child. I went digging though a closet in my mom's house for about 2 hours for these, so I'm throwing a few more in here for good measure.
Top 10 Things to Do With an Infant or Toddler in Walt Disney World
1. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Magic Kingdom
2. Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom
3. The Seas With Nemo and Friends in Epcot
4. Dumbo the Flying Elephant in Magic Kingdom
5. Disney Junior, Live on Stage! in Hollywood Studios
6. Meet the Characters at one of the many Character Spots - all 4 parks
7. Journey Into Imagination in Epcot
8. It's a Small World in Magic Kingdom
9. Peter Pan's Flight in Magic Kingdom
10. Spaceship Earth in Epcot
Top 10 Things to Do With Grade School Aged Children in Walt Disney World
1. A makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for girls, or the Pirates League for boys (Magic Kingdom)
2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Magic Kingdom
3. Test Track in Epcot
4. Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom
5. Soarin' in Epcot
6. Festival of the Lion King in Animal Kingdom
7. Toy Story Midway Mania in Hollywood Studios
8. Mad Tea Party (also known as simply the "Teacups") in Magic Kingdom
9. Character Dining - try the Crystal Palace, Chef Mickey's, or Cinderella's Royal Table
10. Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios
Top 10 Things To Do With Teenagers in Walt Disney World
1. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Hollywood Studios
2. Space Mountain in Magic Kingdom
3. Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom
4. Mission: Space in Epcot
5. Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom
6. Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom
7. Animation Academy (in the Magic of Disney Animation Tour) in Hollywood Studios
8. Disney Quest Interactive Theme Park in Downtown Disney
9. Anything at Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon
10. Rock 'N' Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios
Top 5 Things for Adults To Do in Walt Disney World
1. Visit during the Food and Wine Festival that takes place in Epcot
2. Enjoy a nice dinner at Victoria and Albert's or Citrico's in the Grand Floridian
3. Catch the Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba, at Downtown Disney
4. Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios
5. Relax at one of the many resorts, like the Grand Floridian or Disney's Yacht and Beach Club
You'll notice that I only listed 5 things for adults - that's not because there isn't plenty to do, it's just that I didn't put any duplicates on this list, so I know the adults will be riding all of the rides, meeting the characters with their kids, and splashing around at the water parks. That is the best part about a Walt Disney World vacation - no matter how old you are, it is always magical. Being a guest of Disney can bring out the biggest kids in all of us, and it's why so many people come home refreshed, destressed, and laughing - a Disney vacation takes away all of the stress and replaces it with, well...Pixie Dust!
Either way, I hope you can see that there are so many ways to make memories at Walt Disney World but that it's all about what is best for your family. Here's to your planning, and to making memories that last a lifetime!