One of my favorite things about Disney is it is a great place for a multigenerational family vacation. Why? Because families from tots to grandparents can enjoy the best Disney World rides and attractions together.
Having done this many times with our own family, I can say with certainty it is truly a magical experience. And because you are never too young or too old for Disney, I'm not sure who has more fun – my kids or their grandparents!
If you are considering planning a Disney vacation, check out these 17 best Disney World rides for multigenerational families to enjoy together.
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Why Take A Multigenerational Family Vacation At Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is a great place for family gatherings. And, Disney with the grandparents is a vacation the kids won't forget.
With something for everyone, it is a great place for family magic, joy, celebrations, and family memories. There is a reason you see large family groups walking together with matching T-shirts. Being together, having fun in such a special place is worth telling everyone about it.
Because of Walt Disney World's size, it can also accommodate large family groups. With hotels at all price points, onsite transportation, rides and attractions, and dining options for all, it is an easy place for a multigenerational family vacation.
Tips For Enjoying A Multigenerational Family Vacation At Walt Disney World
Before we get to the best Disney World rides for multigenerational families, here are some of my top tips when traveling with a big family:
My Disney Experience App
Download the My Disney Experience App to your phone so you can link your profiles for all members of the family. One person can be in charge of booking Genie+ and Lightning Lane reservations and Advance Dining Reservations. (I will discuss more details on Genie+ and Lightning Lane services later in the article).
Let Everyone Help Plan
Make a list of everyone's top three things they would like to do on the vacation.
Set Realistic Expectations
Don't try to do EVERYTHING together. Moving as one large group everywhere will be difficult. Dividing and conquering is really the best strategy to ensure everyone gets the most out of the vacation.
Enjoy Time Together!
DO try to do SOME THINGS together! After all, being there together is why you are having a multigenerational family vacation at Walt Disney World in the first place!
Plan One Activity Together Each Day
Commit to meeting up for at least one activity or a meal together each day. You can even put ideas in a jar and pull out one each day. You can also pull them out randomly in advance and make advanced bookings, and have an itinerary that includes your meet up. Some suggestions:
- Resort swimming pool
- Dinner at a restaurant (maybe quick service if you don't have an Advanced Dining Reservation)
- Enjoy one or more of the countries in Epcot and all there is to do!
- Ride the monorail together around the resort
- One theme park ride that doesn't require a Genie+ that you will all do together. Or, you could decide in advance that you will do it together, and get Genie+ for each member of the family.
- Horseback Riding at Disney's Fort Wilderness
- Minigolf at Fantasia Gardens and Minigolf or Summerland Miniature Golf
- Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach Waterpark Day
- Walk around Disney Springs
Make Sure Everyone Can Participate
Be aware of rides and attractions you choose to do together to ensure all age groups and abilities can participate. See my list below for the best Disney World rides for multigenerational families.
Have A “Home Base”
If you plan to stay in the same Disney Resort Hotel, you can make one room the “home base.” It's where you can have breakfast together or meet up there throughout the day to regroup.
Decide On Group Meals In Advance
Our family decides which meals we will enjoy together. Then, we set a budget for each family, and we all contribute a specified amount to a “pot.” This way, when we pay for meals, one person is in charge of the money and pays the check. It helps so we aren't divvying up the bill at the end of the meal.
Plan Photo Opps In Advance
If you are hoping for one group photo, be sure you plan your days in advance where you will all be in the same park or same place at the same time. You may also want to buy a Disney Photopass!
Remember To Be Flexible!
Be flexible, as sometimes things don't go according to plan. Communicate with each other, so everyone enjoys the experience and knows the plan. Sometimes grandparents don't know you are parking the stroller, and miscommunications in a crowded park can prove frustrating for all. And, most importantly have fun!
The Best Disney Rides For Multigenerational Families
If you have read any of my other Disney posts, you know that I believe you are never too young – or old – for Disney! Walt Disney World has more than 100 attractions with no height requirement – meaning it's suitable for infants to grandparents – there is so much they can do together.
But, these are my favorite Disney rides for multigenerational families. I recommend them for a few reasons:
- These are suitable for all ages, as they have no height requirement. This means, that grandparents, teens, big kids, little kids, and tots can enjoy them together!
- Many of these are classics! One of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World is to enjoy and share with my kids the attractions I loved as a kid. Many of these are childhood favorites or bring back nostalgia.
- Most of these Disney World rides can accommodate larger groups. So, a bigger party could ride them together.
- All of them bring out the magic of Disney!
First trip to Disney or need some expert tips? Check out my Walt Disney Resort For Beginners: A Complete Guide To Plan A Disney Vacation for my ultimate planning tips!
The Best Rides In Magic Kingdom For Multigenerational Families
- it's a small world
- Pirates of The Caribbean
- Haunted Mansion
- Peter Pan's Flight
- Dumbo The Flying Elephant
The Best Rides In Epcot For Multigenerational Families
- Spaceship Earth
- The Seas With Nemo And Friends
- Frozen Ever After
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
- Moana — Journey of Water
The Best Rides In Animal Kingdom For Multigenerational Families
- Kilimanjaro Safari
- Wildlife Express Train
- Na'vi River Ride
- TriceraTop Spin
The Best Rides In Hollywood Studios For Multigenerational Families
- Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- Muppet Vision 3D
- Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy
Now that you know the best Disney World rides for multigenerational families, there are some new cool features that Disney has introduced to help you have an even more magical experience at Disney! Below are some of them.
More Tips For Enjoying A Multigenerational Family Vacation At Walt Disney World
Make Your Vacation Easier With Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane Services
I hinted a little about this earlier in the post but let's look at how each feature works in detail.
I know a lot of people including myself were a little disappointed when the Fastpass system went away, but Disney has introduced new features that offer more than what FastPass used to.
Disney heard our woes and recently introduced Disney Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lane Services which you can find in the My Disney Experience app.
These services will help you plan your multigenerational Disney vacation with ease! They will also create a personalized itinerary for your party depending on what you're interested in, book arrival windows, and so much more.
To further understand what each service does, let's get into detail about each.
How Disney Genie Works
Disney Genie is one feature everyone should take advantage of since it's free! Genie will create a customized itinerary for you based on your party's interests. It can be as specific as just a single attraction like “it's a small world” or even a theme like “Disney princess”.
And throughout the day, Genie will keep suggesting attractions based on what you initially selected. No more running up and down with no real plan! You can think of it as your guiding light through the park or your “genie-p-s”.
Besides suggesting attractions, Genie will also show you the estimated wait times for each attraction so that you know when to go! Disney just got a whole lot more magical in my opinion!
How Disney Genie+ Works
Here is another feature that goes beyond what Genie offers! On top of knowing the wait times for each attraction, Genie+ goes a step further to allow you to book the next available arrival window to over 40 attractions within the 4 parks!
This means that you can choose when to arrive so that you and your multigenerational family save time as you'd reach right in time for the ride! It can't get any more exciting than this!
But ofcourse, it doesn't come free! You'll need to pay an extra $15 for each member of the family.
At that rate, you'll also have access to Disney PhotoPass Lenses and Audio Tales. Disney Photopass will help you watch impressive augmented reality effects, while Audio Tales will give you behind-the-scenes insights that you can listen to on your phone throughout the day.
Before you get too excited, you should know that pre-booking arrival windows can only be done for one attraction at a time from7 AM on the day of your visit.
It's only after your arrival window expires that you can prebook another arrival window! The system is almost like how the Fastpass+ used to be if you were familiar with it.
How Lightning Lane Service Works
Lightning Lane service might be the exact thing your multigenerational family needs if you want to do an activity as a family when the little ones and the grandparents are starting to get tired.
Lightning Lane service allows you to get fast entry to 2 attractions per day without queuing! Think of it as a “skip-the-line ticket” for Disney attractions.
It might seem straightforward, but some people confuse it with Genie+ so let's look at it even deeper to see how different it is from the former!
A Quick Overview of How Lightning Lane Service works
In brief, the Lightning Lane service is JUST an add-on feature! This means that whether you pay for Genie+ or not, you can still take advantage of Lightning Lane service. In the same way, paying for Genie+ doesn't give you access to Lightning Lane; you'll still need to pay an extra amount to get fast entry.
Keep in mind that this applies to specific attractions and usually the most popular ones. You can check out the list of participating attractions from here.
And contrary to Genie+, Lightning Lane doesn't have a fixed amount! The price varies a lot depending on the specific attractions and the time of the year. This implies that you can only know the amount to pay on the day of your visit after selecting the attractions you want to use it for.
Another thing you should know about Lightning Lane service is that you can only use it for an attraction once! For example, if you use it for “it's a small world” the first time and want to go back later, you'll have to queue in the standby line for the second time!
Take Your Multigenerational Family to Space by Dining at the Newly Opened Epcot's Space 220 Restaurant
I like to think that everyone loves space! There is something about swimming through the stars, looking down on the earth that excites the young and the old alike! Even if it's not the “real space,” Space 220 restaurant has done something extraordinary to make space accessible for almost all of us.
Remember when we talked about finding something to do together as a multigenerational family during your time in Disney earlier? Dining at Space 220 restaurant is the ultimate place to bring you together as a family.
It might be called a restaurant, but it's much more than just sitting down and eating! It's a one-of-a-kind attraction that cannot be found anywhere else.
The most exciting part about this attraction is the moment you board a special elevator that ascends through the stars as you admire every little aspect of it.
You'll also enjoy both daytime and nighttime views of the earth down below (EPCOT in this case)! It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and nothing beats enjoying such a magical moment with the entire family.
After taking in all the wonders of space, the entire family will enjoy space-themed meals crafted to make an already perfect experience even better. Be sure to try some desserts, including my earthly favorite; Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Don't forget to make a reservation early as tables book out fast and get your EPCOT's tickets ready since they're required to access the restaurant.
Party With the Entire Family at the 50th Anniversary Celebration
Disney is celebrating 50 years, and this is the perfect time to take your multigenerational family to the happiest place on earth! Lasting for 18-long months, this is a party like nothing I've ever seen!
Magical fireworks everywhere, new kinds of entertainment and attractions, enchantments, Disney characters putting on extra-ordinary shows, and even new looks for Mickey and friends, Disney has outdone itself in celebrating 50 years of making our dreams come true!
What makes this even more exciting is that celebrations are in all 4 parks, so regardless of where you go, you'll always be part of the celebration.
To better prepare for your vacation, let me give you a glimpse of some of the new features and attractions that have come to Disney that your multigenerational family will enjoy.
- Remy's Ratatouille Adventure: First on the list is EPCOT's newest ride! Based on the famous anime movie, Ratatouille and a replica of the one in Disneyland Paris, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure is the talk on everyone's lips. It is a fun ride that kids, parents and grandparents can enjoy as you follow the life of Remy in Gusteau's kitchen as he tries to make the best Ratatouille critics will appreciate. I recommend watching the movie before you go to fully enjoy this ride.
- Disney Enchantment: Disney enchantments have always been magical but this time, they're taking them a notch higher. From a spectacular display of fireworks, amazing Disney songs, to impressive projections, the grandparents might find themselves shaking a leg too while celebrating in Magic Kingdom.
- Harmonious: This is another night spectacle in EPCOT that the entire family of various generations will enjoy. You will find yourselves dancing to the beautiful Disney music while appreciating the Disney stories being told.
- Disney Kite Tails: Animal Kingdom is not left out too! The skies will be filled with imaginary characters in form of kites while catchy music plays in the background! Kids will especially enjoy this show.
- Fab 50 Color Collection: Go big or go home! Disney understood the assignment of celebrating 50 years, and it sprinkled 50 gold statues across all the parks! It will be a fun activity for the entire family as you interact with the statues using the Magic band+.
- Beacons of Magic: Yes, it even gets better! The icons of each park will light up in beautiful colors in the thick of the night. However, this will happen nightly in specific parks, so be sure to check which park's icons will light on the day of your visit.
- Delicious Treats: Nothing says 50 years than new additions of delicious food and restaurants. You can grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Steakhouse 71, California Grill, Space 220, or La Crêperie de Paris. *Note: The Disney Dining Plan has not yet returned. But they are coming back sometime soon, according to the Walt Disney World website.
- Magic Kingdom 50th Fireworks Dessert Parties: Desserts and fireworks are a perfect match made in Disney, and you'll be able to enjoy both during the anniversary celebration.
- MagicBand+: One of the cool features that Disney has introduced is MagicBand+ which replaced the old MagicBand. In addition to the features that used to come with MagicBand, MagicBand+ offers an opportunity to interact with the 50 gold statues we talked about earlier, and their colors will be able to change depending on the color of the fireworks! How cool is that?
- Spice Road Table Fireworks Dining Package: If you're looking for another opportunity to enjoy a meal as a family, then you should consider this package. You'll be able to have a front-row seat at the Moroccan Pavilion while watching fireworks and enjoying a hearty meal.
- Disney World Star Wars Hotel — Galactic Starcruiser: This might be a hotel, but it's more than that! It's an attraction that tells a story of “boarding a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold all around you.” This hotel/ experience opened in March 2022.
These are just some of the attractions and entertainments you can expect to enjoy during the anniversary celebration.
Enjoy the Extended Evening Theme Park Hours And Early Theme Park Entry
If your multigenerational family is planning to stay at any of the Disney Deluxe Resorts, or Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts, then you can take advantage of the extended evenings and early mornings.
During the 50th anniversary celebration, some attractions will stay open until 11:30 PM and some until midnight, so you can enjoy more magic as other people are leaving. And if you prefer taking in the extra magic in the morning before the crowds, you'll still enjoy that with the early morning theme park entry.
However, this works in specific parks and on specific days, so be sure to check Disney's official website to know more.
Final Thoughts On The Best Disney World Rides For Multigenerational Families
Multigenerational family vacations at Walt Disney World are a wonderful way for kids and the kid in all of us to spend quality family time together. Enjoying the best Disney World rides for all ages is a great way for everyone to experience the magic together, and make lasting family memories.