My husband and I are travelling to WDW in late September and we were finalizing our plans when I was talking to my grandmother and she said she’d always wanted to go to WDW but my grandpa and my mom were never interested. My husband and I decided to change up our plans a bit and get her to come with us. She’s in her mid-60s and is in excellent health. Any reccommendations on things to avoid or things that might appeal to her? She does like rollercoasters (especially the tamer ones at WDW) and I know Epcot & AK will be right up her alley. My husband and I are also pretty fast-faced vacationers and don’t slow down often. I’m building in more breaks to our routine & we’re staying on-site, so she can bus back for a break or we could do EMH while she relaxes.
Any other thoughts from people who’ve vacationed with grandma or grandpa? Also, any senior discounts she might be be eligible for?
My father came with us to WDW for his 70th birthday. He had been many times in his “prime” and had loved Space Mountain, so when he saw it on our plan for the morning, no one could talk him out of it. He spent the rest of the day in a shady spot in Adventureland, because he ended up nearly being sick and with a mild case of vertigo.
So what grandma could do once, may not be what she can do now in terms of roller coasters. Vary them around so she can choose to sit them out without sitting out a huge block of time. Also, if she does go on them, it will give her time to ‘recover’.
My mom loves Small World. She also enjoys Buzz Lightyear, but mostly because she gets the lowest score and then the kids don’t feel so bad about their scores.
Also, my mom likes to look in the shops on the way out, so if grandma is a ‘shopper’ give her time for that, too. It’s not all about the rides.
Oh, if you’re buying a Memory Maker, make sure to get a picture of grandma on her own, as well as one with the kids and your family. It’s the little touches that will mean extra to her.
We took my 75 year old in laws to Disney. First time Mum in Law had flown - nine and a half hour flight- awesome!
They loved Disney. As A said above take plenty of photo’s. There health has deteriorated since we went and they will probably never go again but they love looking at the pictures scrolling on the photo frame.
Mum in law has to use a wheelchair as she was only able to walk a few steps.
It became apparent very quickly that they could not keep up with our rather hectic pace and so we came to a compromise. They tended to spend a quiet morning getting up later, pottering in the pool whilst DH and myself went to the parks and hit the big rides. We would then head back to collect them and head to a park for a more leisurely approach.
What amazed us was the amount of shows and quieter attractions that we had missed in the many previous trips we have had to Disney. We saw shows we didn’t even know about and DH and myself really enjoyed seeing this other side of Disney rather than spending all the time hitting the big and must do rides.
Your Grandma sounds in better health and mobility than my in laws but I still suggest that you plan some shows etc into the mix. As I said we were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed this
I had my children late in life (2 x DD’s now 12 &14) which makes me 62 this year and I do everything with them even when my DW (12 years my junior) sits the odd ride out. We’ve done the trip 7 years in a row now and from the UK we also stay for 14 days. The children are often the ones wanting a rest, however the odd ‘boring ride’ in aircon is good for us all
I would be careful not to make too many adjustments as she may outrun you all!
We took my mom on numerous Disney trip. My mom had been sick for years but was able to do everything but the fast paced rides. I understand that she is excellent health but as we age we also get a bit off balanced. An anti-slip shower mat can be provided by Disney. Perhaps a handicapped accessible room. The grip bars are good for getting in and out of the tub/shower. Be mindful of curbs. We witnessed a grandma stumble stepping off a curb in England. Treat her as a vital thriving part of your family. She may be in her 60’s but it sounds like she is a young 60. Remind her of the things that you would do: Hydrate, eat as nutritious as you can at Disney, rest when you need, play hard when you can, proper broken in footwear, and sunscreen.
I was surprised that my mom loved Soarin. Look at her interests and pick rides or shows that you feel would be good ie Carousel of progress, World Showcase, and The Great Movie Ride. Have Fun! Take lots of pictures.
I do not know of any discounts…check with AARP.
If her health is good - treat her like anyone else. My wife and I have parents in their 70s but the experience is VERY different with each set. One set is GO GO GO and wanting to do everything - the other not as much. So if she can do it - treat her like anyone else and the fact that as a 60 yr old she wants to go to WDW - she probably wants to act like a kid so treat her like one! Do all the rides etc as you normally would. If she feels she can’t / shouldn’t she can just sit it out at the last minute.
How nice! I’m not sure where you are from but if she isn’t used to the heat be aware of it. My mom is 78 & last time - 10 years ago - we wanted her to use a scooter and she refused. This time we told her that was our one condition, she had to use a scooter. She knew that even though she was in good health she wasn’t accustomed to walking that much at one time and in the Florida heat. To prepare she practiced with the ones they have in the supermarkets.
She said it made a world of difference and she admitted her trip would have been so much more enjoyable 10 years ago.
I want to make it clear she is very mobile at home & drives a Jeep! She’s not your typical “old lady”, lol. It was nice to be able to park the scooter at one attraction and then walk around a bit then when we were leaving that general area we would go back and get it. We were only in the parks 4 1/2 days and by day 4 she was in that thing almost constantly as she was tired from the previous days! All of the bus drivers was super helpful too.
She loved Splash Mountain, tried Test Track (one & done!), FOTLK was a big hit, she’s still talking about it a month later! She really got a kick out of Carousel of Progress. She enjoyed Dinosaur but admits she “felt the bumps more” than she did 10 years ago. She still loves Buzz but admitted TSM was much better. She rode many things, but not any of the bigger thrill rides or stuff that really spins.
As for senior discounts, Disney did not offer any whenever we asked.
Indeed, don’t underestimate anyone, particularly those who are older. The lady in front of us at Test Track had a ball of wool and a set of knitting needles that she used while standing in line. But she had no trouble enjoying Test Track, as much as her knitting.
Scooter, yes. Or, maybe a walker. My mom uses a walker for the same reason, its a lot of walking and standing. She has back issues and may be quite mobile, but Disney is extreme. The walker gives her a place to rest while in lines.
Although we are going to be on a WDW hiatus for a while - do look forward to going back with our kids and grand kids. Families vacation differently. My wife and I are all about - family fun time together AND apart. We don’t all have to travel together to have a good time. Last trip my son and I went to Epcot while my wife and daughter did Animal Kingdom. It was so fun afterwards swapping stories (OK so my daughter loved her “adventure treck” at AK and my son complained that I made him do “living with the land” with me) but still everyone did what they wanted, had fun and then we had fun reliving it (and mocking dad) at dinner.