A family vacation to Disney World is just about as essential to the American Dream as the white picket fence and the dog. Now that your vacation is finally here, you’re having some trouble making your family a game plan. The attractions that you and your spouse want to see are in the Epcot and Animal Kingdom theme parks, which are not exactly as kid-friendly as those at the iconic Magic Kingdom theme park.
How do you balance some fun for grown ups with a great time for the whole family at Disney World? Fortunately, this balance is what Disney World is all about.
Fun For Everyone Is Possible
Maybe your family never took a Disney vacation, or maybe you haven’t been there in years. It is also possible that you go there every single year and you just plain know which attractions you like and which ones you don’t. Whatever the reasons are, you and your spouse should just throw your arms up and just give in, right? After all this vacation is for your kids – except for that it is not called a kid vacation, it is called a family vacation. This means that the vacation should not favor the desires of one family member or another, but rather, should make everyone’s feelings a priority. This includes mom and dad’s feelings; so don’t feel guilty for having vacation wants different from those of your children. Instead, work to find ways to enjoy Magic Kingdom, and help them find ways to enjoy Epcot and Animal Kingdom. That way, everyone has fun, and no on has to give up anything!
Adventuring in the Animal Kingdom With Your Kids
The Animal Kingdom is not the most kid friendly park on the surface. For one, in addition to the marathon trek to get to the park and navigate through it, many of the attractions require even more walking, rather than a respite on a ride vehicle. In addition, the best restaurants in the Animal Kingdom are home to unfamiliar, African-themed or Asian-themed dishes that little picky-eaters may not be too eager to try. Those reservations aside, however, kids love animals, and can find just as must enjoyment in this park as an adult can.
A great way to ensure that the Animal Kingdom becomes one of your child’s favorite theme parks is to take them to the variety of live shows offered in the Animal Kingdom. “The Festival of the Lion King,” a Broadway-style musical revue based on the animated movie is often called the best live show at Walt Disney, period. The kids in the audience appreciate the songs, the fun characters, and the dancing almost as much as the adults do – and sitting in the front may result in quite the bonus – your child being chosen to come up on stage and dance during the finale!
“The Festival of the Lion King” is fun for all ages, but careful not to bring really young children to “It’s Tough to Be a Bug.” While the 3-D graphics and other sensory elements are perfect for entertaining older children, youngsters often get overwhelmed, and sometimes even scared. If your children are young, try instead “Finding Nemo: the Musical!” – another Broadway styles show with great music, fun costumes, and a good air-conditioned time for all.
Exploring Epcot with Your Kids
Epcot, at first glance, seems even less family friendly than Animal Kingdom. The Animal Kingdom has at least the appeal of a zoo, but Epcot has all of the appeal of a science museum on steroids, the theme is exploring and learning. Kids get enough of that at school, right? Wrong-o. Your kids have never experienced learning quite like this.
First you have the World Showcase, which should be no cooler to a kid than a Geography book. Then you have Future World, which sounds, approximately like a badly titled science fiction novel.
However, Disney, ever thinking of the children first, strategically placed Kidcot Fun Stops throughout the World Showcase – one in each country to be exact. These Fun Stops are marked with red K’s on your Epcot Theme Park Map, and there are 16 of them throughout the park, 11 at the World Showcase, and 5 in Future World. This means that, in addition to exploring the Hedge Maze in the United Kingdom, Playing the Hand Drums in the African Native Village, and checking out the train display in Germany, your kids can collect stamps and learn foreign languages from the performers at the Kidcot stops in the World Showcase.
In addition, you and your kids can go on an underwater adventure with Dory and Marlin in “The Living Seas With Nemo and Friends,” a futuristic ride that projects animation into a real aquarium full of real fish! Aquarium may make it sound like you’ll be underwater in a kiddy pool, but in fact; the Living Seas Complex is home to 5.7 million gallons of marine habitats full of fun, learning, and exploration for you and your family to enjoy.
Family Fun Galore
For a family vacation experience that is sure to be worth every penny, make sure that you do the things at Walt Disney World that you want to do, in addition to what your spouse wants to do and what your kids want to do. They are called family vacations because they are meant for the whole family to enjoy – not just the kids, and this is sometimes an easy thing to forget.
As you can see, even if your family’s park preferences don’t match up, there are ways for each and every family member to enjoy each and every theme park. Most importantly, you’ll be experiencing each theme park together – what could be more fun than that? With just a little research and planning, you can ensure that everyone in your family will enjoy every minute of memory making during your Walt Disney World Vacation.
How do you make sure everyone has fun on your Disney vacation?