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    « Saturday movie review: Infinitely Polar Bear | Main | Disney Grand Adventure finale! Plus GRAND Social link party No. 192 link party »

    What's so great about a Disney Grand Adventure: Multiple generations weigh in

    My daughter, grandsons, and I all agree that Walt Disney World just may be the most magical place on the planet. We all have different reasons for believing so, though, especially as it relates to our recent visit there together.

    disney grand adventure

    Here, a quick — and far from complete — list of what each of us thought most made our Disney Grand Adventure as magical, memorable, and grand as could possibly be:

    Mac, age 4

    • The not-too-scary rides, especially The Haunted Mansion

    disney haunted mansion 

    • The MagicBands — "Because I love wrist bands!"

    meeting mickey mouse

    Bubby, age 7

    • The scary rides, especially Everest Expedition and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    • Hidden Mickeys in our room
    • Baths in the big, jetted bathtub in our room — "Even at five o'clock in the morning!"

    saratoga springs

    Megan, aka Mommy

    • The kitchen in the suite at our Saratoga Springs Villa — "Even though we didn't use it, it's totally what we would need when coming as a family, so we could have snacks and breakfast foods on hand for the boys, if needed at any time."

    villa kitchen

    • The availability of a grocery store — three, actually — in Walt Disney World (for reasons above).
    • And, in true mom fashion, the washer and dryer in the suite.

    Lisa, aka Gramma (that's me)

    Oh, goodness. There are so many things that made our Disney Grand Adventure so very grand in my eyes. Here's my short list (which is longer than those from Megan or the boys because, hey, I'm the writer and making lists is one of my things):

    • The expansive bathroom in our Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa villa that allowed space for me to get ready each day in peace and privacy while Megan and the boys did their thing on the other side of the bathroom — yet we could open the door between us for chatting when we wanted.

    saratoga springs saratoga springs

    • Food for all ages at all restaurants in the park — even the fanciest and priciest of all offers kids' menus.
    • Free wi-fi throughout the entire resort.
    • The FastPass+ option, which was included in our magnificent MagicBands. We bypassed literally hundreds of people waiting in line. It costs extra, but it's totally worth it — especially for grandmothers and others who may not have the energy (or patience) to wait in long lines for the attractions.
    • Taking turns with the grandsons. Bubby likes thrill rides, Mac likes slower (non-scary) rides. Between my daughter and me, each boy got to do what they wanted to because she and I took turns sitting with Mac on more mellow rides or Bubby as he enjoyed the twists and turns and falls of the scary stuff. (Sometimes Bubby rode twice in a row on the ones both Megan and I hoped to experience with our little daredevil).

    magic kingdom ride  magic kingdom ride

    • The Memory Maker — This $149 add-on gets everyone in the picture while Disney PhotoPass photographers throughout the resort snap the family photos for you. Which means I — the family photographer — get to be in the shots with the rest of the gang. Plus, the snapshots of you and yours screaming on the scariest of rides are automatically added to your account. Best of all: You can digitally download the professional shots as well as easily share them on social media. Megan and I agreed that Memory Maker is truly worth the cost. (Note: The photos without my watermark in this post are from the Memory Maker.)
    • No shortage of spots to take a break. I wear out easily (thanks to multiple sclerosis) but you don't need to have a chronic condition to appreciate the ample opportunities to rest your tootsies. From park benches to tables and chairs to slower rides and bus, boat, or monorail transportation, we had no problem taking a seat now and then as needed — for myself and my grandsons.
    • Handing over navigational duties. I usually serve as recreation director in my family. With my daughter along, though, I had no reason to be in charge of figuring out how we get from here to there in any of Disney World's four theme parks for our three generations. Gramma could just follow Mommy's lead as she had map in hand... and I had at least one of the boys by the hand as we hustled about.
    • Seeing my daughter in a new light. Megan was never one to volunteer for audience participation gigs, to stand in front of crowds and do potentially embarassing things — especially as a teen. On our Disney Grand Adventure, Megan happily and wholeheartedly joined in... even when not by choice, as was the case when she was unexpectedly whisked off to be a can-can girl for the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review.

    hoop-dee-doo musical review

    disney pirates league disney pirates league

    The greatest overall for me, though: the multigenerational aspect of our Disney Grand Adventure — experiencing Walt Disney World with my two oldest grandsons and my middle daughter. 'Twas truly magical, memorable, and oh so very grand!

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    Reader Comments (11)

    No one does entertainment as well as Disney. NO ONE. We spent the Bicentennial there and in 1976 the show they put on was AMAZING. I see they've only gotten more creative with time.

    February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Cassara

    Looks like a wonderful trip. What special memories you made with your daughter and grandsons. I remember going to Disney world with my Handsome for Valentine's Day many, many years ago. You have made me want to go to Disneyland again. It's been years, and I only live 30 minutes away.

    February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMary

    It looks like you all had a wonderful trip, and that is really something to celebrate and remember. :-)

    You are never too old or too young for Disney. Still one of my most favorite places on the planet. We have been there for Xmas and the 4th of July and it has spoiled us. No one celebrates quite like the Disney crew! Great sharing!

    February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTammy

    Looks like a ton of fun, that's for sure :) So glad y'all got to have such a great visit!


    February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKaye Swain

    Now, THAT's what a vacation trip should be~ So glad you all got to have it, but, glad you're back in one piece! Love you.

    February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    Looks quite lovely! I know my Disney days are not yet over!

    February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTam Warner Minton

    What a wonderful place to stay for such an amazing vacation! Megan is a beauty - no wonder those little guys are so handsome! This is the ideal vacation spot for a multi-generational group. What a place to bond a family and make memories to last a lifetime! So glad you enjoyed yourself so well!

    February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

    I so enjoyed the photos on Instagram and then reading these posts. I've never been to Disney World and would give anything to take the whole family. It's definitely on the bucket list!

    February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

    You make me want to go -- but only if you, Megan, and the young men go with!

    February 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRuth Curran

    What a magical vacation for all of you but I still think you would like Disneyland better! Don't they need you to compare the 2 parks??

    February 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc
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