This is a guest post by my friend Alexia. Alexia is a Disney Vacation Specialist with Destinations in Florida. When she is not helping plan magical vacations, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Click here to contact her and she’ll help you find the best rates for your magical vacation!
Some of the best memories at Disney World are made during multi-generational vacations. My family had the privilege of having my dad travel with us on our girls’ first trip to Disney World in October 2012. He will be traveling with us again in October 2014. Traveling with senior citizens can be challenging, especially at a place like Disney World that is large and very spread out. Here are some tips for traveling to Disney World with senior citizens:
- Request an accessible room. All Disney resorts have handicap accessible rooms. These rooms are closer to the front and are wheelchair and ECV accessible. The doors are a little wider, the bathrooms are larger, and the bathtubs are designed for easy access in and out. If you will need one, request one in advance.
- Rent a wheelchair or ECV. If you don’t already have your own, consider renting a wheelchair or ECV for seniors with mobility issues. You can rent a wheelchair or ECV from the parks; however, they are only available on a first come, first serve basis and must be returned before leaving the parks. There are also several rental companies that will rent you a wheelchair or ECV for the length of your stay. Many of these companies will also deliver the wheelchair or ECV to your resort and show you how to operate it as well as pick it up before you check out.
- Take precautions against Florida weather. Make sure everyone in your party stays hydrated and wears sunscreen. Young children and seniors are the most susceptible to the heat, so make sure to check on them frequently.
- Read the posted precautions for the attractions. There are some medical conditions that can be aggravated if you go on the ride. Please take the warnings seriously.
- Take frequent breaks. Parades and shows are a great way to take a break and relax while still experiencing some Disney magic. Try to find a shady spot to sit under for outdoor events.
- Familiarize yourself with your loved one’s dietary needs. If you read my article about dining at Disney with special dietary needs, you already know that Disney is amazing about accommodating special dietary needs. Familiarize yourself with your loved one’s needs and be sure to contact the restaurants where you will be dining in advance.
- Take time for the Flag Retreat at the Magic Kingdom. This is my dad’s favorite thing to watch at the Magic Kingdom. Every day at 5:00 pm, the American flag is ceremonially lowered, removed, and folded. It is sometimes performed with large college marching bands, sometimes with a smaller Disney band. A veteran in the park is always selected to assist with the Flag Retreat and is presented with the flag.
Do you have any tips for traveling to Disney World with senior citizens? I would love to hear them!
Mommy Octopus Note: Our last trip to Disney, we took my 89 year old grandfather before he passed away. It was a great trip and he enjoyed it very much. Mainly he loved just watching the kids have fun, but he also enjoyed the People Mover, It’s a Small World, and more. Don’t hesitate taking your older family members with you on your trip. This ended up being a super special trip as he was diagnosed with Lymphoma and passed away shortly after. We had been going to Disney with him since I was a baby. Lots of great memories.