Tips & Tricks for Taking Grandchildren to Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

A trip to Walt Disney World is a perfect vacation for the whole family. From grandparents to grandchildren everyone can have a great time. Walt’s goal was to create a place where adults could feel like kids and he was able to help bring that to life in his two parks. There is a lot to know and think about however when heading to Disney, so what tips and tricks are there for taking grandchildren to Walt Disney World? We have just what you need to know!


1. Accommodations: Part One

Before heading to Walt Disney World with grandchildren, think about what accommodations would work the best for everyone. Disney has a variety of different room types from standard rooms featuring typically two queen beds to two to even three-bedroom suites where the whole family can hang out together. When discussing where to stay, make sure you are aware of what type of arrangements will be best for the grandchildren. Do they need their own beds? Are they going to need a separate sleeping area? Knowing these prior to heading down will set everyone up for a successful rest!

2. Accommodations: Part Two

Another part of the accommodations are what amenities everyone would prefer to have. Is having a slide for the grandchildren important at the pool? Does a food court fit the needs of them better than table service restaurants? Make sure that where you choose to stay will have the amenities that the grandchildren will need. If pools and playgrounds are key, staying at a moderate or deluxe will be important. If the grandchildren are older and being close to a park so they can walk back and forth on their own, make sure to think about that as well.  

3. Top Must Dos

Now that you know what accommodations will work the best for everyone, the next step is to make sure you know what is on each grandchild’s must-do list. Bringing the grandchildren into the planning will set them, and the group, up for a successful time. Go through each park and discuss what two to three rides everyone must do. Knowing this will allow you to set up a good plan and have a successful and magical time at each park.


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4. What To Pack

When it comes to traveling with grandchildren, you will want to make sure you pack to be successful throughout the trip. If they need specific snacks, consider bringing them with or ordering them to be delivered to your resort room. Also make sure to check out the weather so you have items they need for the different Florida weather as well.  Portable fans, hydration packets, and rain gear are all important during those summer months. Having these items ready to go will help the little ones, and even big grandchildren, have a better trip.

5. Stick To Their Schedule

Disney World is overwhelming even for grown-ups. Your sleeping and eating are different and you are walking way more than you typically do at home. Add in heat and humidity and the magic, it can really wear down even the oldest grandchild. To help lessen the number of meltdowns (there will be some for sure) try to stick to their schedules as much as possible. If naps are still important to their home schedule, don’t try to skip them at the parks. Take that afternoon break to allow everyone time to refresh and get ready for the evening. Also, with their schedules, consider when they normally eat. It is easy to get busy running from ride to ride, but be aware of lunch and supper times so they don’t end up melting down. Packing a few snacks can help as well.

6. Go At Their Speed

When heading down to Disney with grandchildren, you will want to make sure you go at their speed. It is easy to try to push them from rope drop to closing, but that often leads to lots of frustration and tears. Yes, have an overall plan, but also allow yourself to go at their speed. If they want to ride the Barnstormer three times in a row, allow them to do that.  You never can predict what they will enjoy when it comes to the rides and shows so be willing to slow down (or speed up) to enjoy it together.  

7. Get the Memory Maker 

Another great way to capture all the special moments is by purchasing the Memory Maker. This is Disney’s Photopass system that allows you to capture all the pictures throughout the four parks and even on some of the rides. Get everyone in the photo by having trained cast members take your pictures!

8. Be Willing To Separate

Although it would be fun to stick together the whole time, another important tip when taking grandchildren is to allow for time apart. Be willing to split up the group when it comes to rides, food, shows and pool time. Having some time apart can be a good rest for everyone.

9. Set A Budget

Disney is smart and puts souvenirs at the end of almost every ride and show. Before heading down with grandchildren, make sure to set a budget for their spending. Give them gift cards that they can use or discuss their budget so they aren’t asking for everything after every ride.

Watching my parents with their grandchildren is one of my favorite memories when it comes to Disney. It was fantastic seeing them be kids together. Using these tips and tricks before and during our trip really helped make our trip magical.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.