7 Things Walt Disney World Insiders Love about Family Vacations

All-Star Music Three Caballeros Pool 4
Credit: Disney

It has almost become a rite of passage for families to visit Walt Disney World when their children are young, and there are so many things to love about a family trip to the vacation kingdom of the world it is rightly so. But it is so much more than just a family vacation and many look at it as the opportunity to have an extended family trip or a family reunion bringing together people from across the country to meet up and enjoy each other’s company. I think Walt Disney World is the perfect place for a family vacation and this is what I love about it:

7. More than just the parks

Walt Disney World resort as a whole has so many things to offer—you could really make a fun family vacation out of it and never step foot in the parks. There are countless recreation options that you can enjoy together as a family. You could have a mini golf tournament at Winter Summerland or Fantasia Gardens—if you are really up for a challenge try Fantasia Fairways. Rent a surrey bike for a leisurely ride or challenge another family to a race if you feel particularly adventurous. Play a round on one of the championship golf courses. Rent a pontoon boat to go out for a relaxing ride on one of the lakes, or rent a couple of Sea Raycers and zip around. You might even schedule your family’s vacation around one of the RunDisney race weekends. You could train together as a family at home and then enter one of the family race events together. It is so much fun to participate in one of these events, low pressure and high fun with characters along the course and lots of things to see along the way.

6. Everyone is a Kid Again

There is just something about being in Walt Disney World—everyone becomes a kid again. All of those worries of the world seem to melt away and you are all there together having fun. Everyone almost becomes on the same level to enjoy each other. A few years ago Disney had one of its brilliant marketing campaigns that showed a mom and her daughter visiting Magic Kingdom—in the reflections the mom was pictured as a child because that is how we all feel when we are in the World. As a parent I love that when I am in the parks I can enjoy the same things as my children on the same level. Yes, I love watching the expression on their face when Mickey waves to them or a princess asks them their name—but deep down I’m truly enjoying it myself as much as they are.

5. Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

One of the great things about a Walt Disney World vacation for families are all of the options. Whether you are coming with your immediate family of 4 or a family reunion of 44 there are resort hotel choices for every budget and every wish list. Staying at a Walt Disney World resort offers the benefits of convenience and location to make your family vacation go more smoothly—you can use Disney shuttles from the airport and to the parks, you are located close to the parks to make midday breaks easy, you can add a dining plan to make the vacation feel “all-inclusive,” you can charge purchases to your room account, and you can fully utilize the convenience of the Magic Bands. You can work with a vacation planner to find the perfect resort for your family’s vacation considering budget, location, amenities and theme. If you are working with a larger group you may find that having 2 resorts at different price points makes it easy for everyone to be comfortable and still together as a group.

4. You Can’t Do THAT at Home

Aside from the roller coasters, dark rides, 4D shows and spinning teacups that you probably can’t experience while you are at home, Walt Disney World offers many unique experiences that most of us cannot find in our own backyards. Over at Disney Springs you can enjoy a Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba. This performance is a very special show of acrobatics and artistry. At the Polynesian Village Resort you can attend a South Pacific Luau—how many of us have a luau complete with authentic dancing in our hometowns? On a trip to Epcot you can visit 11 countries in one day! Make a game out of it for your family sampling a snack item or buying an inexpensive souvenir in each one. You might decide to “plus” your vacation by reserving a fireworks cruise, taking a carriage ride, or going parasailing.

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3. Memory Maker

On a family vacation it is all about the memories and the experiences. Disney’s Memory Maker product that allows you to download all of your vacation photos (including select ride photos) is a great addition to a vacation. With Memory Maker you know you are getting all of the images that PhotoPass photographers take of you at the park icons, with the characters, and in various other spots throughout the parks. You don’t have to worry about getting your camera out each time, so you can be in the moment and experience it as it happens. And everyone is in the picture! If you are traveling with an extended family this is a really great value because you can download the photos as many times as you like so everyone gets a copy! Don’t forget to ask photographers about the special “magic” shots too.

2. Dining

Walt Disney World truly has something for everyone when you are talking about dining. Throughout your vacation you could schedule dining experiences to delight everyone in your family. Fine, signature dining at the parks and resorts will be appreciated by the foodies in your family who enjoy a creative menu with delicious ingredients. Themed dining in locations like 50’s Prime Time Café, Sci Fi Dine In Theater, Skippers Canteen and Be Our Guest put a fun twist on your meal with many fun things to see, and in some case fun servers to interact with. There are dinner shows like the luau and the hilarious (and delicious) Hoop Dee Doo Revue. And don’t forget the character dining—a must do on most family’s dream vacation wish list.

1. The Memories

Yes, its cliché. But the thing I love most about family Walt Disney World vacations are the memories. Really #7-#2 all lead up to this. There are so many unique, special and truly magical experiences for families at Walt Disney World—each person will make memories that last a life time. So while you are on vacation don’t be afraid to stray from the schedule a little, stop and smell the roses, enjoy some down time at the resort, go out in the rain, stay up late, eat popcorn for dinner: you never know where that magical, memorable moment is going to happen.

What do you love about family vacations to Walt Disney World? Please share in the comments.

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).