My family and I recently visited Walt Disney World Resort and sailed on the Disney Dream as part of Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. As an invited participant, I paid a fee to attend and received promotional items from sponsors. This fee covered my stay at Walt Disney World Resort, theme park passes, most meals and a sailing on Disney Cruise Line. Although reporting as a Disney Partner, all opinions are my own.
Multi generational family vacations have been a ritual in my family for as long as I can remember. When I was a young child, they included my parents and grandparents. Now they include my children and grandchildren, and quite often my mother too. Four generations sometimes traveling together. Three generations always traveling together. Where do we go? Well, Walt Disney World, of course! Several times a year three or four generations of us head to the most magical place on earth. It was only natural when I received my DisneySMMC invitation that at least 3 generations of us would be going. After all, when it comes to Disney – the more the merrier!
We are a Disney family for sure! It’s almost as if Disney is in our veins! At one my grandson is getting ready for his third trip to Walt Disney World. Walt Disney World is totally different from my youth, totally different than the Walt Disney World I took my kids to. Constantly changing and growing gives the entire family a chance to experience new things together. What other vacation destination can you go to that will entertain you, your children and grandchildren at the same time? There are so many choices at all the parks that we never have any trouble finding age-appropriate activities for everyone.
In typical Disney fashion much was planned for the conference that definitely created excitement and enjoyment for each generation of our family. There were meet and greets for the kids, great food for the adults and most importantly – family time.
Several times a year, when I take on the task of planning our next trip to Walt Disney World I’m sure to include something special for each generation. One of my “must do” attractions will always be a voyage on “it’s a small world,” and fortunately, my granddaughter agrees! As our family has grown, each member has a different “must do” and we make sure to fit everyone’s in on each family trip. For my mom, it’s a trip through the jungle on Jungle Cruise; my kids can’t miss a ride on Expedition Everest; my husband a spin in the “doom buggies” of Haunted Mansion; and, my daughter-in-law won’t leave without taking flight on Soarin’. One “must do” we all always agree on is seeing Tinker Bell fly!
The youngest member of our gang at one year old, discovered Goofy for the first time on this trip. He was so excited – just like a pre-teen fan girl at her first boy band concert!
Having our trip mostly planned for us this time around made things a bit easier, but I can honestly say that planning a multi-generational Walt Disney World trip is pretty easy. Here are some of my tips:
Pre-Planning is an important part of several generations traveling together. Know what each member of the family wants to do and anything special they may have on their wish list this trip. Have at least one family meeting to give everyone a chance to give you their ideas. Know what each family member wants to do. I’m a huge pain in the behind when it comes to making sure everyone gets to do what they want to do at Disney.
Accommodations are important when visiting Walt Disney World with several generations or with a large group. Each little family unit needs their own space. Depending on availability when I book I sometimes end up with 3 rooms (2 connecting and the third right next door). However, ideally I like to have a 2 or 3 bedroom unit with a kitchen so that we can at least have breakfast before heading to the park a few times during our stay.
I try to make at least one reservation per trip for my son and his wife to have dinner alone for a date night. This also gives me the opportunity to have a fun night with my grandchildren! I always include Chef Mickey’s for my grandchildren. We are slowly working our way through each restaurant in Epcot to expose the kids to different varieties and nationalities of food.
Plan a Park Free Day
This gives everyone in the group a chance to go off and do whatever they choose – even if it’s the entire group swimming in the resort pool together!
Split Up/Stay Together
There are times everyone will want to stay together. After all, everyone wants to see the little ones get excited about a parade or a character. There are also times that two of you may want to head to Space Mountain while three others may want to go on the Carousel of Progress. Flexibility is crucial when three or four generations travel together. Just always be sure to set a clear meeting point and time.
Fit in Some Alone Time
Fit in some alone time for individual groups or families. As I said earlier, I try to be sure my son and his wife get to have at least one dinner alone without the kids. This also gives me the chance to spend time alone with my grandchildren. My son and daughter will often go off on their own together to do things they did when they were kids at Disney. When several generations travel together, there is always more than enough babysitters for everyone to get some alone time.
Memory Maker is super important for a multi-generational trip. Everyone wants to be in the picture. No one wants to be left out when they have to be the one taking the photos.
Add Some Extra Magic
I also try to add something extra. One trip I had my granddaughter proclaimed a princess during breakfast in Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion. You can do this through Disney Floral and Gifts – I included all the information in a post afterwards – My Storybook Moment – Princess – From Disney Floral and Gifts. On another trip, I reserved a specialty cruise just for my family! It was a wonderful experience – Our Wishes Specialty Cruise was More Fun Than I Ever Imagined! It was actually so much fun, we are doing it again this June!