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How do you navigate park days, choose accommodations, and handle a trip with toddlers and seniors? A Disney family vacation with multiple generations can be challenging. We are here to help give you some pointers to make your time magical.
You see big family groups with multiple generations all over Disney World. It's fun to share the magic of Disney with kids and grandparents. Grandparents get to watch the magic in their grandkid's eyes as they meet Mickey and Princesses and also recall the memories from past trips when they had the little kids (you!). As fun and bonding, as these trips can be, they sometimes have a few obstacles to overcome and choices to make that you don't have to consider when traveling with your immediate family only. Now you can enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind: A thrilling ride.
Where to stay?
You can choose any of the resorts and get two separate rooms, requesting that they are close in proximity. Depending on age and mobility, it may be wise also to request the first floor close to the lobby. Many of the resorts are very big, and somewhere like Coronado Springs can be a 10-15 walk from your room to the lobby or restaurants. If the distance is a concern, check out Port Orleans- French Quarters, the smallest size resort at Disney World. When traveling with three generations, the better option may be to choose one of the many resorts that offer suites and villas. Choosing the right stay will make your Disney family vacation memorable.
Both Art of Animation and All-Star Music offer Family Suites. They have a similar size and layout, with All-Star Music being more recently updated with a much better kitchenette option. You can get a family suite as low as $315 when they are running promos which is quite the deal for the generous space provided. However, the Art of Animation is fun for young kids with their larger-than-life recognizable characters from the Lion King, Cars, Little Mermaid, and Finding Nemo.
Coronado Springs offers stylish Casitas and suites. This huge resort is beautiful, with several unique dining options, pools, and a sandy beach. As stated, it can involve a lot of walking to stay here. This is the only Moderate resort that offers options for groups larger than five people.
Here are THE BEST DISNEY RESORT FOR KIDS AND TODDLERS You don't want to miss.
The Deluxe resorts are where you'll find great options for large families. This, of course, comes at a greater cost than those listed above. Let's check out a few here:
- Animal Kingdom Lodge has a handful of suites and villas for different size groups. These vary greatly in price, with the lowest suite options being one of the more affordable of the Deluxe category. Animal Kingdom Lodge is special and unique, but it may feel less fun to children 6 and under as it lacks other resorts' bright colors and flow.
- An affordable (in Disney terms of affordable) Deluxe option is the Villas at Old Key West Resort. This charmingly beachy resort may feel a little more fun to a child and have a laid-back vibe for Grandma and Grandpa to enjoy. It has 2 Bedroom Villas on their Disney Spring and Summer promo for $675.
- If money isn't an issue, then go big! The Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Riviera all offer high-end villa and suite options to WOW your group. At the Polynesian, you'll find every Disney World goer's ultimate dream stay, the bungalows directly on the water. Talk about a fireworks view!
How to manage your Disney park days with three generations
One good thing about traveling with seniors and young kids is that both groups and adults could use a little rest mid-day. Our best advice is to go early, hit some main attractions, and return for an afternoon rest or swim. The heat is often too much during mid-day when traveling between May and September. Another suggestion is to allow your group to separate occasionally. The grandparents may want to do Hall of Presidents when a toddler rides Dumbo or “It's A Small World” a second time. Staying together all day can be difficult and leave some feeling grumpy, keeping up with the crowds. Also, allow the grandparents to return to the resort earlier in the day if needed. A happy Disney family vacation goer that isn't overly tired or grumpy is the best Disney World companion. You may have the opposite, grandparents who can outlast their toddler counterparts. More power to them! Let them enjoy their magic while you help the littles get a rest.
Too many cooks in the MyDisney kitchen!
For seniors who last visited Disney World some time ago, the technology behind trip planning and park-going can be overwhelming. While it's always good to welcome opinions and share in the planning fun, we highly suggest having one MyDisney manager for park reservations, dining reservations, and anything involving Genie+. Too many people messing around with this same trip can sometimes cause unwanted snafus and planning miscommunications.
Lastly, take it all in! Three generations together in Disney World are such a cool thing to do. What a special occasion for you, the planner, to share such a magical vacation experience with your children and your parents or in-laws. I'm sure you've worked hard to plan things to make everyone happy, which is no easy task when your ages span 60+ years. Relax if it doesn't go exactly as planned because it's in these moments that fun memories are often made. Take pictures, be in the pictures, and remind your parents you remember being that little girl full of wonder and awe at the magic of this place! If you play your cards right, one of these kids will invite you along in 30 years too.