It goes without saying that Walt Disney World is a unique vacation destination. Sure, there are one-of-kind attractions, recreation, and incredibly themed lodging options. But, what make Walt Disney World really unique to me is that it is just as magical to honeymooners, toddlers on their first trip, school-aged children, and grandparents celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. This appeal to visitors of all ages makes Walt Disney World so enduring (and endearing) as a vacation destination. The thing is – you’ll probably have to change the attractions you see, the restaurants you eat at, and maybe even your lodging at least a little depending on your “life stage.” This week at WDW Fan Zone, BritMickUK shared how her favorite Walt Disney World theme park has changed over the years depending on what was going on in her life. Today, I’d like to share a couple of examples of how my family’s Walt Disney World vacations have changed over the years.
From Time Travel to Singing Dolls
One of my favorite attractions is Animal Kingdom’s Dinosaur. I’m not exactly sure why since I don’t have a particular affinity for dinosaurs but the ride thrills me every time; my husband and I never missed it when we visited pre-kids. We had to sit out Dinosaur the first few trips with our small children since they weren’t tall enough to ride and we never could find time for Rider Swap. These days, one of our sons meets the height requirement but we still avoid it as it would scare our sensitive child.
As Dinosuar was being crossed off our touring plan, a new one was being penciled in. “it’s a small world” is a ride I avoided during those early years of adult-only vacations. I judged it unfairly, remembering from my childhood what seemed to be the incessant refrain of the music. I classified it as a child’s ride. My personal feelings aside, it’s appropriate for small children so we rode. I’m glad we did; I have a new appreciation for the whimsy and artistry of the attraction and it’s become a favorite. My trips now seem incomplete without a turn on this slow-moving boat ride.
From Drive Ins to Mom’s Kitchen
Parallels can be drawn between the evolution of our touring plans and Disney dining. Just as “it’s a small world” was avoided before we traveled with our boys, so was 50’s Prime Time Café. My husband and I don’t like being the center of attention and frankly, meatloaf is one of my least favorite foods. In its place, we usually selected the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater for lunch. With its corny, vintage science fiction movie clips and “outdoor” seating in cars, we ate up the fun atmosphere.
It’s out with the old and in with the new. My boys absolutely love seeing the tables turned on their parents at 50’s Prime Time Café. Where else will Daddy have to open up to eat all his veggies or stand in the corner for some infraction? My normally reserved husband and I are more than happy to ham it up just to see the excitement on our kids’ faces and hear their giggles during a meal in mom’s kitchen. It’s my oldest son’s favorite Disney World restaurant these days.
Having children has taught me many lessons. One of them is to try new things at Walt Disney World – I’ve discovered new favorites that I would have missed out on if I hadn’t given them a try. What about you?