Help me plan a First Trip to the World for age 60+ first-timers?

Hi Gang!

I love, love, love introducing people to our 'other home', aka The WDW.

I have two friends of the the family who are in their early-to-mid sixties that have never set foot on WDW (or DL) property. They have recently taken some interest in it (due at least in part to my very frequent visits over the last few years).

Anyhow. They kinda-sorta want to go. They at least want to "try it for two days". But, they stress that they:

  • dislike crowds
  • dislike long lines
  • dislike 'touristy' things

I'm trying to plan the best trip possible in order to introduce them to The Magic in a 2 day period.

They love:

  • walking
  • long drives
  • books, books, books
  • interesting foodstuffs!
  • movies and tv (British comedy is high on their love list)

As this trip may be a make it or break it, I want to give them a brief (2 day) sample of the best that WDW has to offer, in order to entice them to come back and try some of the rest!

I'm thinking:

  1. Day One: Epcot, with a focus on World Showcase.
  2. Day Two: Magic Kingdom, with a focus on the classics.
  3. At least one really good Disney non-character meal.

Anyone have any thoughts? Tips?

Has anyone ever been the one to introduce Disney World to a rather "difficult customer"?
Has anyone ever planned a first trip for friends/family over 60?

Would love to hear all you guys have to share.

--Benny / roguepixel

Whew! I read the topic as you were taking over 60 first time visitors at once not two first time visitors that are over 60 lol.

I think you've already got a great plan. I was going to suggest start with World Showcase, plan a nice long day there to spend time in each country, Get to know the top rated foods for each country and suggest sharing so they can try more. Magic Kingdom can be dicey for crowds so if possible take advantage of early EMH to have the lowest possible crowds.

Since they like books maybe get them a copy of the hidden mickey's book so they can be ready with a list of things to find.

Maybe the end of your Epcot day could be a signature where they can see the fireworks. Like CG or Narcoosee's? Since they are at least interested you might be surprised how those sexagenarians can turn into adolescents when they walk into the park the first time.

Thank you!

I'm hoping that stepping over the border into Disney World turns them into kids. I suspect it will; just want to have a great day or two lined up to ensure Magic / pixie dust / sprinkles / cupcakes / dole whip.

While in Epcot, I'd also suggest having them take time to do Spaceship Earth (as it is narrated by Dame Judi Dench, which will appear to their BritCom sensibilities) and Living with the Land (which is a great "all ages" type of attraction). If you can get them on Soarin' as well, that's something that has the unique wow factor, especially for a first-timer.

Even before I read "your plan", I had pretty much come up with the same thoughts. For EP, I would get an early FPPs for Soarin and SE. I would then skip the ride at Seas and take them in to see the aquarium.I would skip TT, MS, and Imagination entirly. They might enjoy the educational aspects of Energy; don't know them, so don't know. I would head to WS shortly after it opens and plan on spending the bulk of your day there. Definately plan on lunch at one of the WS countries; ask them what they would like to eat. Make sure you hit the movies in China, France, and Canada, and DO NOT miss the American Adventure. Plan on dinner in WS (Le Cellier or Monsieur Paul if you want "upscale", R&C if you want to try to time it with Illuminations, or whatever sounds good to them). Leaving EP after Illuminations is going to be a crowd. Best way to avoid it is to hang out in WS (it's beautiful at night) for 30-45 minutes, then make your way back through FW. If you're staying at a BW area resort, the crowd situation will be much more managable.

For MK, I would definately try to do an AM EMH. I like the idea of focusing on the classics. I don't know if they have any interest in any of the coasters, but 7DMT is very mild, short, and has a lot of visual appeal. If you're not worried about the "mountains", I think you can have a relatively rlaxed touring day. The perfect end to a MK day would be dinner at CG to watch Wishes and have one of the best meals available in WDW. Recommend watching MSEP from the Train Station, and then walk or mono to the CR. ADR timing will depend on MK schedule for that day.

IF they decided that a 3rd day would be "OK", I'd recommend AK over DHS.

To add on to @bswan26's comment about the American Adventure, also make sure they get to see Voices of Liberty.

If they are interested in LwtL you might also consider the Behind the Seeds tour. It's very inexpensive and won't eat up a huge chuck of your touring day.

Thanks @mascardofamily. Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, and Soarin' are all must-do attractions for this trip!

@bswan26: Awesome list. Thank you! Electrical Parade is a must. Great idea about lingering after Illuminations, too.

@Outer1: Good idea! Not sure if we will have time on this trip. I'll have to ask a few poignant questions and see if they're interested in tour as well.

I think it takes about an hour, and you usually get to sample some of the stuff they grow.

I suggest making sure they know that they always have options for resting or taking a break. Maybe explain the buses and travel time realities, so they know what's involved if they want to go back to their room for a rest. Supplement that information with a short list of good options for resting and recharging in the parks. I know my parents worry about going to WDW with us someday because they're afraid they'll hold us back or not be able to slow down when they need to. If you give them lots of tools for doing this whenever they need to you'll all be happier.

I'll be introducing 3 60+ians to WDW in June @roguepixel so i'm on the same boat. My DM, also over 60, gave me the following tips: allocate lots of time for meals and schedule them on time. Don't bother too much with ADRs, QS is fine and less hard on the stomach (most of the time) than spicy foods. AK is her favorite park, she would recommend it over MK because of the attention to detail and lushness. Try to take them in September (no crowds whatsoever) or early November (low crowds, no heat). SE is not to be missed. Stay away from MS, not even the orange team. BTMR is way too jerky and rough. Hope it helps!

I'm getting close to 70(though over 30 trips to wdw), but here's some thoughts that might apply-

since are readers (as I am) maybe lend or buy them UG. that way they could choose attractions that suit them personally. not all seniors would like same rides etc. for instance, I am still a roller coaster girl, so cant generalize according to age I guess.

if at all possible, they would have a more relaxing trip by staying onsite. that way, could be easier to take midday break. especially in hotter weather, I wouldnt dream of being in parks afternoons.

unless you are driving, probably more relaxing for them to use disney transportation. those roads can be a challenge, even to those of us who go frequently.

they'd probably enjoy some of the quieter, less children attended ts restaurants- thinking such as artist point, jiko or brown derby. that's as long as budget allows, as they are more expensive than other ts.

defintely help them with tp or even better ptp. I was able to avoid all lines mid august this year b/c ptp was so fantastic. thats one of the negatives I hear from people who have visited wdw and dont realize standing in long swelteriing lines doesnt have to be part of the vacay.

and maybe most of all, disney may just weave its magic on them, and we have new mouseketeers added to the fold!

When traveling with my parents, who have now passed the 60+ age bracket, breaks are important. My mother likes to spend some time relaxing at the resort, so she typically doesn't join us until lunchtime. My father is an early riser and likes to be in the parks first thing in the morning. For those who want to avoid lines, those early entries are important, though maybe less so if you're not hitting a whole lot of headliner attractions.

Most important from my limited experience is pacing yourself. You know you're not going to hit every attraction, so don't even try to do that. Enjoy some of the movies in World Showcase (particularly in France, where you can sit down), grab a drink in France and sit on a bench near World Showcase Lagoon and just people watch for awhile. Watch Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents, and similar attractions to get out of the sun and sit for awhile. During your Magic Kingdom day, consider a break to visit the monorail resorts (my parents enjoyed afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian + those resorts may be a great place for dinner).

Last thing to think about is when to go. If you can visit during the winter (and not too close to Christmas and New Year's), then taking time to see the decorations in the resorts will be great. If you're visiting in the spring, then take time to enjoy the Flower and Garden Festival displays and food. If you're visiting in the summer, then best of luck.

Don't really have any advice to add - everyone has already been really helpful - lots of great advice been given in this thread.

Just wanted to say that I totally agree with @staza about not generalising about liking or not liking certain rides according to age. I took my mother to WDW and Universal back in January - she is 63.

She's like me in that she loves all the super gentle WDW rides for the fantastic theming, storylines etc, but her favourites at WDW were Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Buzz lightyear, Tower of Terror and Soarin. Favourite overall was the Hulk Coaster at Universal IOA which is about as intense as it gets - if you're in good health and your back etc can take it, no reason not to give things a go because you're a bit older.