Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Apr 7, 2012
    Rebecca from NC Asked

    I am planning a WDW trip in late July with an 11yr daughter and a 4yr old son. How would you recommend balancing the days so that both children get special fun time with out being bored or separated the whole day? We are staying at Pop Century for 6n/7d

    Hi Rebecca,

    Traveling anywhere with children of different ages and genders can pose a challenge. The good news is that MANY of the WDW attractions are truly enjoyable for all ages. For example, the Toy Story Midway Mania ride is equally loved by my friend's 4-year-old son, my 15-year-old daughter, me, and my 60-something year-old parents. However, you are right that some attractions do hold more appeal for certain demographics than others.

    My suggestion is that you all watch Disney's free planning DVD and peruse some Disney planning books to get a sense of what's available, including rides, restaurants, parades, shows, character greeting, and even your hotel pool. Your son is likely not a reader yet, so I suggest getting a photo-heavy book or two such as The Complete Walt Disney World (Neal) or the Birnbaum Disney World guide. This will allow him to participate in the planning. Ask both kids (and the adults) to name their top 3 to 5 things they want to experience at each park. Make those items your #1 priority. This way no one feels deprived of their ideal vacation.

    Realistically, you may end up spending a bit of time separated each day. There will likely be several things your daughter wants to see that your son is not tall enough for. Try to limit the separation time to an hour or so per day, and during this time try to accomplish the most "babyish" of your son's priorities.

    You may want to dine at some of the more fun restaurants that don't include characters. These are the Whispering Canyon Cafe, Sci-Fi Dine-In, and the Hoop Dee Doo Revue. These places in particular offer a real Disney experience, but don't make older children feel like they're "too cool."

    Good luck with your planning. Please let us know if you have additional questions.
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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