With some help from The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, we took a look at what kids want on vacation, and it seems they are fairly opinionated as to what they do not want to do on vacation. Here’s the low down on how keep those kids happy on a Disney vacation.
1) Do they want to wake up early? No.
52%, that’s just over half the kids surveyed, did not want to get up early. Kids wake up early for school, which is like a job to them, so this makes total sense. If you have two kids, chances are at least one wants to sleep in. Have you asked them if they want to get up at six a.m. so you can make it to the parks for “rope drop?” I know those tickets are expensive and you want to maximize your time as well as your $$$, but maybe a few extra hours to sleep in would be just want they want, especially if you were already at the parks by the opening for several days straight. Maybe sleeping in is a great good option if you were following our advice about how kids really want to stay up late.
Great things happen at night. Ducks fly into the Polynesian pool around 10 p.m. in the summer, and they put their babies to bed in the bushes. The pools are lit to the hilt and way less crowded than during the day. The monorails, depending on when the parks are emptying out, and now less crowded and offer a wonderful opportunity to put your arms around your kids and watch the resorts slide by. Who is riding a monorail at 2 a.m.? Not many people, but you’ll never find your own special night-time activities if you wake up early every day.
Let those kids stay up, have some midnight fun, and then sleep in!
2) Do they want to ride in a car? No.
36% of kids surveyed didn’t want to ride in a car for vacation. Well, unless you live close by, or have the big bucks to fly, there may not be many options on making the kiddies happy on this one. We always stop at rest stops on our eight-hour trek to the Mouse House, and we took frisbees and soccer balls for them to play with at rest stops when they were younger to burn off some of that nervous energy. If 76% of kids surveyed want to visit a theme park, maybe you need to discuss with them how they have got to ride in the car to get to their ultimate destination. And then bring along a couple of games to play during the ride. When you get to Orlando, you won’t be spending a lot of time in a car anyway. But you have to get there first. Throw in a Disney Vacation Planning DVD to pass some time or your child’s favorite Disney DVD.
If it makes it any better for your kids, remind them adults hate spending time in cars too. However, trapped in a car can be the perfect time to talk to your kids, about their lives, their hopes, their dreams, because they have nowhere to go!
3) Do they want to play golf? Heavens no.
Golf?! I loved this one, with 34% of kids surveyed saying they did not want to play golf. Me either! What are you parents doing, dragging your kids out on the links? There are several really nice golf courses at Disney, but if you’re dreaming of your child carrying your clubs for 18 holes, maybe I should just show you where they’d rather be…
They’d rather put those golf clubs down and get soaked on Splash Mountain.
4) Do they want to go to a museum? Ah, no.
How many of you remember what it was like to be a kid? I love museums now, and I hated them as a child. I didn’t like sitting through Hall of Presidents when I was younger, and I’m not all that thrilled to see the building today. I appreciate it, but appreciation doesn’t always equal enjoyment, especially to a child. Epcot is a wonderful place, but it’s not my kid’s favorite vacation place. With educational themes in many of the pavillions, especially the World Showcase, this may not be where kids want to spend their vacation. Some kids love it and some don’t. Talk with your kids; ask them what parks they want to go visit. Kids seem to enjoy most anything a little more when they feel like they have a small say in what activities you are doing.
Now the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream attraction in Hollywood Studios? My sons loved this multi-media gallery, and we wandered the room reading every word of every piece of Disney memorabilia. My husband and daughter, they were finished looking in under two minutes and parked on a bench. You can’t make them all happy, but just remember…they are little kids, not little adults.
Thanks for coming along for a photographical Disney ride, and we hope to see you around the parks and certainly not on the golf course. “Four!”