Dec 022015
 

By Ann Dunnington

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For most families, vacations are a time of fun and excitement. For those of us who have to navigate the tricky world of food allergies, vacations can be more stressful than relaxing. Figuring out where to eat, what to eat, packing foods that are safe but also travel well… it’s a lot to keep track of. After spending 6 magical days at the Walt Disney World resort this past week, one thing has become very clear. Disney is taking GREAT strides in better accommodating their food allergy guests in a way that is “mainstreamed”.

So much so, that nearly every restaurant on Walt Disney World property now offers an allergy-friendly menu with food modifications that you can order without needing to talk to a manager or a chef. Don’t get me wrong, speaking to the chef about our allergies in the past did give us a sense of security. Knowing that they understood how to accommodate us (and doing so is still an option if necessary) was a welcome sigh of relief, but that would pull the chef away from what he was doing and unintentionally make us feel like we were being “high maintenance”, especially when non-allergy diners were eating with us, too. The addition of the allergy menus really helps to make allergy diners feel comfortable and “normal”, which is a treat!

Many of the gift shops are now even offering Disney’s own private label “allergy-friendly” snacks. In years past, this was my biggest complaint… the serious lack of allergy-friendly snacks in the gift shops was always a frustration. Apparently I wasn’t alone in thinking that this was needed, and Disney is really stepping up to the plate. Let’s take a look at a few of the new allergy friendly snack options that I found in numerous gift shops around the hotels and parks.

 

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These chips are made by Way Better Snacks, and are free of the top 8 allergens, but are produced in a facility that also uses milk and soy. They are delicious!

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These cookies are produced by the WOW Baking Company, and are made in a dedicated gluten free facility. Normally I can only find these at Target stores in my area, and I was so excited to see them at Disney World!! They’re soft, chewy, and a really fantastic treat.

The chocolate bars, ‘granola’ bars, seed/fruit mixes, and cookies are made by the Enjoy Life company. This company is known for being free of the top 8 allergens, and then some! I was so surprised to see the cookies in the Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop, right up by the register! Needless to say, we picked up some to keep us going through the Evening Extra Magic Hours!

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In addition to this, the Erin McKenna’s NYC bakery at Disney Springs is a gluten free and vegan (which means no dairy or eggs there, either!) bakery that makes the most delicious treats that the whole family can enjoy!   Their treats are also available around the various hotels and the Allergy Kiosk at Animal Kingdom in “grab and go” containers. I love the chocolate brownie mini-cupcakes!

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We have traveled to the Walt Disney World resort 8 times in the past 9 years, and of those vacations, 4 of them were after a diagnosed food allergy. With the addition of the allergy-friendly restaurant menus, training of the Cast Members, and the availability of more and more snack options at most of the gift shops, there is no better vacation destination for food allergy guests! Regardless of what allergy you may have, you’ll have no problem eating safely at the Walt Disney World resort!

Do you have a food allergy? Tell us your ‘allergy dining’ experience on our Facebook page!

Oct 072015
 

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By Roye Ann Morris

When my husband and I first started talking about the fact that 2015 marked our thirtieth year of marriage, our daughter immediately suggested a celebration. As we began to talk about when and where that might take place, it seemed that at least the where part was obvious: Walt Disney World! It has been a part of our lives before and after we married, as well as a big part of our children’s growing up years. So, having decided the where, we jumped into planning the rest of the party!

Our first thought was that we would like to renew our vows. We knew there were so many beautiful places at the parks and the resorts that would be perfect for that kind of ceremony. As I started researching the venues available and the pricing, several factors seemed to stand in the way. First, we knew we wanted to include all our children and our grandchild; after all, our kids had been part of this journey! The ten of us were the right size party for Disney’s smallest wedding package, called the Memories Collection. The cost for this collection begins at $5000. We also knew that, being from out of state, someone we had never met would be doing the ceremony, and that our children would be more spectators than participators. We decided to take a different direction with our celebration.

I started looking at the different venues available for private groups both in the parks and at the resorts. Not really knowing where to begin, I called Disney Dining Reservations, and the cast member gave me the phone numbers to get my questions answered. Everyone I talked to was amazing; even if they couldn’t help me, they could point me in the direction of someone who could!

The very first step was to have a reservation at a Disney resort – you must have a valid confirmation number for your room reservation before you can reserve any space at Disney World. We decided on the Dolphin for several reasons. Its rooms are fairly large, with separate vanity areas outside the bathrooms, a refrigerator and a coffee maker. Since we would be sharing rooms with the kids, those things were important. And we knew we would be there during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

After securing a reservation at the Dolphin, I was able to get specifics on prices and details about the venues. There are spaces available in every park and most resorts, depending on your party size and your budget. I was surprised to find that some of the venues were very affordable for a group of our size. After much discussion, we settled on The Attic, a small cozy space located above Jellyrolls at the end of the Boardwalk, overlooking Crescent Lake. The Attic is available for parties of up to 34 people, and has a $1000 minimum for food and drinks, which allowed room in our budget for spending more days together at the parks!

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Caitlin, the event coordinator assigned to our party, helped me plan a menu for brunch, along with the chefs at the Boardwalk Inn. We knew we wanted some special items, like the Tonga Toast from Kona and Jungle Juice from Tusker House. Caitlin said that because the exact recipes were proprietary, the chefs at the Boardwalk would make something as close as possible to the originals. My husband also has a dairy allergy, and they were more than happy to accommodate that. The brunch was scheduled from 10AM to 2PM. We were also able to order two separate cakes for our brunch; a wedding cake to celebrate our anniversary, and a birthday cake for our granddaughter, who will be turning one during our stay! I emailed pictures of the cakes to Caitlin and she sent them on to the bakery. It seemed that for everything I asked, the answer was “Yes!” Caitlin also scheduled a Disney photographer for some family pictures around the Boardwalk area before the brunch.

All of our children have made room in their schedules to be with us for this celebration, and to stay a few extra days so we can visit the parks together. For the first time in all these years, I’ve ordered matching shirts, and they have graciously agreed to wear them to the parks! To say that we are excited and happy about this particular anniversary would be a huge understatement! The date is coming up quickly and final planning is underway to get us all there. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

 

Sep 232015
 

By Tim Rogers

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A major part of any Walt Disney World vacation is food. We wake up early 180 days before our vacations to try to get that perfect reservation, plan trips around festivals dedicated to eating and drinking, and write love songs to Mickey Bars and Dole Whips. But even with all of that focus on food and even on dessert, a trip to Walt Disney World can still be healthy. Below are some tips for how you can have a great trip, but still keep your health in mind.

Tip One: Walk

This might seem obvious, but quantifying it can still be helpful. Trips to Walt Disney World involve a lot of walking. On a recent trip I walked over 130,000 steps, or about 60 miles, over the course of a week (if you want to see a couple rundown on how much you might walk, I wrote a blog for The Mouse for Less earlier this year: https://www.themouseforless.com/blog_world/2015/02/walking-around-walt-disney-world/ ).

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Some of that walking is unavoidable, but some of it is by choice and design. For example, when travelling between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot, you can take one of the Friendship Boats, but you can also take a walking path behind the Boardwalk (you can also make this same walk vs. boat choice when staying at any of the hotels around Crescent Lake, including the Boardwalk, the Swan and Dolphin, and the Yacht and Beach Clubs). While we walk fairly quickly, we measured ourselves against the boats a few times and found that we were able to travel between the parks in about the same time, if not faster than the boats.

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While you will have to walk and be on your feet a lot on a trip in Walt Disney World, making small choices to walk when you have other options is one of the easiest healthy options you can take.

Tip Two: Take Time to Exercise

While I would not suggest trying to offset that Nutella Waffle by starting a brand new weight-training regime, if you already exercise you can definitely keep it up while at Disney World. Some of this will, naturally, depend on where you are staying. For the most part, the Deluxe Resorts, DVC Resorts, and Coronado Springs all have some sort of fitness center you can use.

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Judging simply by the name, I think Muscles and Bustles at the Boardwalk is the best (although Sturdy Branches at the Wilderness Lodge is a very close second). These centers will have the standard cardio and weight equipment, and are also a great place to fill up your water bottle.

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Depending on your temperament and location, another option is running or walking outside. While this can be a challenge at some resorts, two resort areas particularly stand out for their running accessibility. The first of these is Crescent Lake, where you’ll see signs like this showcasing a circle of just under a mile.

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You can also easily add on the walking path to Disney’s Hollywood Studios if you want some more distance. Another well traveled running path is the 1.38 mile route around Hourglass Lake, between Pop Century and the Art of Animation Resort.

Tip Three: Find Healthy Snacks

While you can find healthier options at many locations around Walt Disney World, a few locations are more focused on these types of options. Specifically, these include the Harambe Fruit Market in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Prince Eric’s Village Market in Fantasyland, and Anaheim Produce in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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If you want to be sure you can find some fresh fruit for your snack, or really want a pickle, these types of locations can be a good and safe option for you.

Tip Four: Bring Your Own Snacks

Even though this is an option, a little planning can prevent you from having to worry about which locations have healthy snacks. Disney allows guests to bring food into the parks, and as such you can bring in your own fruit, vegetables, granola bars, or whatever else would help your hunger when you walk by the funnel cake stand. An added bonus, is that bringing your own snacks can save you a lot of money as well.

Tip Five: Eat at Columbia Harbor House

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This tip might seem incredibly specific, but after missing out on this location for several trips, I don’t want others to make the same mistake. Columbia Harbor House is a counter service location that is located in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square area. By the name you might gather that it offers a variety of seafood options, but that is just the beginning.

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As a vegetarian, the highlight of this restaurant, and one of my favorite counter service finds, has to be the Lighthouse Sandwich, which features Hummus, Tomato, and Broccoli Slaw on Toasted Multigrain Bread. Moreover, Columbia Harbor House is one of the restaurants that actively offers and encourages healthy sides, such as steamed broccoli. If you are looking for a fast, filling, and healthy meal in the Magic Kingdom, definitely give this place a try.

Tip Six: Eat at a Buffet

When you think of Disney Buffets you might have a mental image of plates overflowing with unlimited meat, bread, and dessert while your favorite characters come to visit you. You can definitely go that way, but the advantage of eating at a buffet while trying to be healthy is that you can have exactly what you want, and nothing else.

For example, you could have a filling and nutritious meal of salad, fruit and steamed vegetables and get as much of each of those things as you wanted, instead of being worried about portion size or composition somewhere else. The important thing to remember is that you are allowed to eat all that you can – but you are not required to.

Tip Seven: Try a Vegetarian Meal

For many, a good change of pace to lighten things up is a purposely vegetarian meal. While you can definitely order a salad or veggie burger and have a great meal, you can also take advantage of Disney’s attention to vegetarians and branch out a little bit. You might find something new you like, and then can bring back home to start your own “Meatless Monday” tradition.

An important note – just because something is vegetarian doesn’t mean that it is necessarily healthy, so make sure you pay attention to what is in your meal.

Tip Eight: Just Ask!

Disney is know for their accommodation and guest service, especially around food. However, you don’t have to have a food allergy or special situation in order to take advantage of Disney’s hospitality.

The easiest thing to ask about is holding off on sides, especially at counter service locations. Often, these meals will include chips, fries, or some other side dish. Most of the time, you can ask to not receive the side, and besides saving a few calories, you will usually be able to save a few dollars too.

Another thing that you should be able to ask about soon is nutritional information as a whole. On our last trip, my wife was just starting Weight Watchers so we were trying to figure out how to calculate the points of what we were eating. Our server checked with a chef about nutritional information, and they did not have it, but she told us that they were working on having resort-wide nutritional information made available. There was no definite timeline for this, but you should definitely ask your server if you are interested.

With anything at Disney, it won’t hurt to ask, and you might be able to trade out an extra sprinkle of salt for a sprinkle of pixie dust.

Sep 092015
 

By: Ann Dunnington

 

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Those of us seasoned Walt Disney World travelers know all about the changes that have occurred over the past few years in regards to Disney vacation planning. FastPass+, Dining Reservations, Hotel Reservations, Dining Plans, Ticketed Events, Behind the Scenes Tours… you name it. In many different “Disney Fan Communities” around the internet, travelers have begun complaining that you can no longer have an unplanned, unscheduled trip to Walt Disney World, and the previous spontaneity that vacationers used to feel is now gone. But is it REALLY gone? Can you not have a fantastic trip to Walt Disney World unless each minute is pre-planned 60-180 days before your trip? I say, you absolutely can!

In July, my husband and I took a very unplanned trip to Walt Disney World. We decided to book a last minute long-weekend trip two weeks ahead of time. We had never traveled to central Florida in July before, but since we, like many of you reading this, are “in the know” about all things Disney, we absolutely knew what to expect (hot, crowded, and afternoon rain storms). With just two weeks to “plan”, we decided that we wanted to try to wing it WITHOUT set plans, just to see what would happen.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I did plan a tiny bit. However, the only planning I actually did was to see what parks had Extra Magic Hours (and avoid them, since we were staying offsite for the first time since the early 1990’s), and to make sure my touring backpack was packed with water, snacks, bandages, an umbrella, wet wipes, a big floppy hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and my phone and wallet. We didn’t, however, have even one FastPass or Dining Reservation made. In July. Were we insane?! Spoiler alert, it was just fine, and so much more relaxed than in previous trips. How?

Of course, there were a few things that we knew we needed to do if we weren’t going to go by a detailed touring plan for the first time ever:

  • We knew we needed to arrive at the parks a little past park opening. Why not prior to park opening? It gets crowded when the vacationers have nowhere to go before the parks open, so we wait about a half hour to let the crowds enter the park before we head in. Our first day we decided to park our car at the Transportation and Ticket Center and leave it there for the day. First up was the Ferry Boat to the Magic Kingdom. It was packed, so we decided to go up to the upper level to get away from the crowd a bit. We stood near the Captain and got to watch through the window his amazing boat parking skills! So fun, and something we had never seen before.
  • We knew that we had to go with the flow. Once the boat docked, we let the crowds go ahead of us. No need to rush! We were the last off the boat and walked at a leisurely pace, saying “hi” to every Cast Member we passed. At both the bag check and the ticket scanner, there was always a Cast Member that had little to no line (generally those on the far ends). We knew this was going to be the case, so that’s where we headed! We were in the park in no time! Once inside the parks, we knew there would be large tour groups and crowds at every turn. We knew that it was probably going to rain each afternoon. We knew it was going to be hot. And that was ok! If we got hot, we went inside a gift shop. If we got thirsty, we picked up a free ice water from the various Counter Service restaurants. If we got hungry, we stopped in a shady spot for a snack. No need to rush to our FastPass attraction to meet our time since we didn’t have any. We just went with the flow.
  • We knew we weren’t going to be able to ride everything we wanted to.   This was ok, too. We decided to explore areas of the parks that we had never been to before. Like, the Main Street Train Station. How many of us just walk right past it when we enter the park? Or the new Hub by Cinderella Castle. Or the back of Morocco at EPCOT. Or the smaller paths behind the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom. There are so many places to explore! And, we had a blast finding them. While wandering around the parks, we used the My Disney Experience app to see what the wait times were at the various attractions. Believe it or not, there were tons of attractions with very little wait if you knew where to look. Sure, the headliners like Splash Mountain or Space Mountain had wait times of upwards of 120 minutes, which we were expecting. For those attractions, we had a different strategy… ride after it rains, or during the summer extended park hours. Perfect.
  • We knew it was going to rain, and used that to our advantage. When it rains in Florida, only a few attractions go down. Those rides that go outside like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Test Track, or Expedition Everest generally do not run in the rain. Nor, apparently, do guests. When it rains, the restaurants and gift shops become packed with guests waiting out the storm. We were able to ride a number of attractions right as the rain was dying down, in the middle of July, with no wait at all. This was all because everyone was waiting for the rain to completely stop before they went back out again. So put up that umbrella, and keep on touring! You won’t melt, I promise!
  • We knew that the most popular restaurants wouldn’t have tables available. We weren’t even going to try to get a table at the Be Our Guest restaurant. We knew that it would be nearly impossible, so, we packed and brought our lunch and some snacks in a cooler, and opted for a later dinner at the various restaurants at the resorts. Resort restaurants are generally less crowded than park restaurants, which we knew, so we walked up restaurants like Kona at the Polynesian, Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club, and il Mulino at the Walt Disney World Swan, and we were seated in no more than 20 minutes, tops. Amazing food, relaxed atmosphere, and no problem getting a table at all. And now that the Disney restaurants have started rolling out their Allergy-friendly menus, those of us with food allergies needn’t worry about letting the chefs know ahead of time that we’re coming- they’re already prepared!

So, can traveling to Walt Disney World without a plan be an enjoyable vacation? Absolutely! We rode some of our favorite rides, ate some amazing food, ventured off the beaten path, and had an amazing time! Have you ever taken an unplanned Disney trip? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook your best strategies for touring without a plan!

Aug 122015
 

by Roye Ann Morris

My Top 10 Disney Moments

Our family is constantly growing and changing, but one thread running through all the years is our trips to Walt Disney World. Although all our trips have been special in different ways, each one seems to have a highlight that stays in my memory. Here, in no particular order, are my top ten moments from the last fifteen years (give or take a few)!

  • Watching my five year old son come down the clown waterslide at the Boardwalk pool with his dad: My youngest son had never been the adventurous type, and it took some convincing to get him to the top of the slide. Seeing him land in the pool with a smile on his face was priceless. And his dad was smiling pretty big, too!

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  • Listening to The British Revolution with my family: We always try to make it to at least one of their shows while in the World Showcase, because we are all Beatles fans. The way the music crosses generations is amazing, and you can see it as people young and old clap, sing, and dance along to each concert.
  • Finding Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger in the United Kingdom: We happened to be in the shop browsing for gifts, and were so surprised to see the characters walk in and set up for pictures! This was on one of our early visits to the World Showcase, and we had no idea that a character meet and greet took place here. Our kids (and me!) have always loved Winnie the Pooh, so we were very excited to be first in line!
  • Watching Illuminations while eating a Cronut and sipping hot tea: My 22 year old son made a flying trip to the other side of the World Showcase to get us both Cronuts before the fireworks started, and my sweet husband surprised me with hot tea from the cart outside the Rose and Crown. Yum! However, my son does not recommend eating a double cheeseburger and fries for supper, running halfway around the world, then eating a Cronut!
  • Breakfast at Crystal Palace: Especially when we thought we had missed our reservation! We had gotten in late to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn after a very long drive, and my husband mistakenly set his alarm for an hour later instead of an hour earlier. We woke up, rushed around like mad getting us all ready, then headed to the bus stop just as a bus was leaving for the Magic Kingdom. We must have looked pretty dejected, because the cast member at the stop walked over and asked if there was anything he could do. When we told him our problem, he got on his phone, called the Crystal Palace, called to see when the next bus was arriving, and then assured us it was all taken care of. We got on the bus, but I didn’t really have much hope that we would be able to get a table without a long wait. As soon as we got to the restaurant, though, we were seated right away! That cast member really saved the day for us!
  • Holding someone else’s sleeping child: We were on the bus heading back to our hotel after a very long day at the parks, and it was standing room only. I had taken a seat, as I was 6 months pregnant with our third child. It was just the two of us, as we had taken a short trip together before the next baby arrived! Another couple got on the bus with two sleeping toddlers and a stroller, and started down the aisle. My husband gave his seat to the mom, who was holding one child, and the dad tried to balance the stroller and the other sleeping baby. I offered to take the little one, and he handed the baby over to me. I don’t know why this memory stuck with me, but it was the sweetest thing, having that baby sleep on my tummy all the way to the hotel!
  • Hearing my youngest son, 14 at the time, singing in the shower: He went straight from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana (having older siblings makes your tastes in music very eclectic) to “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, never missing a beat. In falsetto. And he knew all the words.
  • Dinner at Artist’s Point in the Wilderness Lodge: This was a special trip for just my husband and me, and it still rates as one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten anywhere. We both had the bison steak, which melted in our mouths, and everything from the wine to dessert was amazing.
  • Watching the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom from behind the castle: We waited a little too long to find a good viewing spot, trying to get in one last ride, and ended up sitting on the wall of the entrance to the New Fantasyland. It was a great place to watch the fireworks going off on both sides of us, feeling like we were right in the middle of the show. And for a little extra magic, the cast members who were sweeping the street stopped and put on a show for us, directing the fireworks from each side as if it were an orchestra!

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  • Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian: My 15 year old was having a really bad day, and somehow the Mad Hatter saw it from across the room! As he headed our way, my son was insisting that we make a run for it before he arrived, but I made him stay. We got some of the best character pictures ever, and by the time we left, the Mad Hatter had worked all the grumpiness right out him!

So, there’s my list. I could probably come up with a hundred more of my favorite things, but that’s for another article! What are your top Disney memories?

Jul 292015
 

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I knew I was in trouble when I staggered out of Epcot at the end of a long day. People say Epcot stands for “Every Person Comes Out Tired” and that certainly applied to me.

It does not, apparently, apply to active seven-year-old boys. Not only did my grandson Xavier skip happily towards the bus stop, when it was our turn to get on, he took a couple of steps back, ran and JUMPED over the steps onto the bus. The bus driver could only shake his head as I pulled myself up the steps behind him.

“Are you finding it a little tough to keep up with him?” he asked.

“Maybe a little…” I admitted.

I would have been ready to head to bed when we got back to Pop Century. But Xavier pointed out that we had not yet been swimming that day and we NEEDED to get into the pool. I briefly worried that I might fall asleep in the water and drown, but then realized Xavier’s antics would definitely keep me awake.

This was day two of our Grandma-grandson trip to Walt Disney World, and, yes, it was exhausting. But I promise you I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

I am lucky enough to have six grandchildren (and two more on the way). When the oldest, Sebastian, was eight years old I took him on a trip to WDW, just the two of us. His two uncles were working in Le Cellier at the time and I thought he’d enjoy hanging out with them and seeing them at work. The trip was such a hit that a few years later, I took his sister Callista, who thoroughly enjoyed having an all-girls outing and focusing on princesses and fairies for a change (she has three brothers).

This year it was Xavier’s turn. This is also the year I will turn 60. I have a very sedentary job and nobody would describe me as “athletic.” Or even fit. But I can still have a wonderful time at WDW.

Here are some things I’ve learned as a “mature person” visiting my favorite spot.

  • Comfort beats fashion. I know, we all want to look good. But those adorable sandals with the cute little heels are not going to be your friend at the end of a day in Animal Kingdom. Us mature people can get cranky when our feet hurt.
  • Benches are your friend, and fortunately Disney has lots of them. Walt wouldn’t have put so many in his parks if he didn’t want us to use them, now would he? If you don’t see an actual bench, look for concrete walls to sit on. Plenty of those, too.
  • Make FastPass+ reservations and give yourself plenty of time to get to each of them. Let’s face it, you’re not going to win the race at rope drop to be first in line for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. But here’s the good news – you don’t have to! Book yourself a FastPass time from the comfort of your home weeks in advance, and then just stroll over at your own speed when it’s time.

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  • Consider a sit-down meal in the middle of the day. Like most people our age, you’ve probably developed a real appreciation for good food (as opposed to fast food). And you probably have an even bigger appreciation for air conditioning on a hot day and a chance to rest those tired feet. Make an ADR and you’ll get a relaxing hour or two enjoying lunch – and maybe even a hug from Mickey Mouse.
  • Check out the not-in-the-parks activities. Many are perfect for the older guest. Some examples: Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room Grand Floridian has all the elegance of a Victorian tea room, and your server will make you feel like a queen; the Segway Tour at Fort Wilderness is a less-tiring way of checking out the trails and you’ll learn some history and nature lore along the way; Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy Tour shows you the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the holiday décor at the resorts and parks.
  • Take lots of photos – or get Disney to take them for you. My memory, I’m not ashamed to admit, isn’t quite what it used to be. Photos help me remember the special moments of my trip when I get home. I try to take a picture of the front of each ride before we get on, as well as any shots of character interactions or fun moments on the ride. This helps me afterwards to recall what we did throughout the day.  I’ve found that if I’m alone or traveling with a grandchild, the CMs are usually more than willing to take photos of us. All I have to do is ask. You can also get PhotoPass photos and either purchase the whole CD or just the ones you want. I usually buy some of those, too.
  • Push yourself a little! Some of us – myself included – can get into a comfortable rut. WDW is a great place to try something new or just a bit more challenging, in a safe environment. I’m a bit nervous about heights, but I decided to try the Wild Africa Trek a couple of years ago, even though it meant walking along a rickety-looking bridge with some open-mouthed crocodiles underneath. With our guides and the other group members cheering me on, I made it across and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the tour.

Or just go with a seven-year-old boy. I promise that will push you into whole new levels!

I’ve read that Walt’s goal in creating Disneyland was to make a place that parents and children could enjoy together. I’d extend that another generation – it’s great for grandparents too. I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to see what it’s like for great-grandparents. But that’s still quite a few years away…