Disney World Attractions For Mature People

Kona-Coffee-To-GoWhen I say “mature people” it’s my nice way of saying older-and-slowing-down people.  Like me.  Raymond and I have reached the age where we don’t have to keep up with our kids or make concessions for nap times (that aren’t our own).  We can do what we want, when we want to and now that we’ve arrived at this part of our lives, we find we do want to slow down and take it easy.  Where Disney vacations were once about seeing and doing as much as humanly possible for 15+ hours a day, we’ve earned this time of soaking in the little details, meandering, leisurely exploring, going to bed early and sometimes getting a late start on the day.

Don’t get me wrong – we are thrill ride junkies and book FastPasses for our favorites.  Today’s list is more about the attractions we enjoy when we’re between FastPasses or have an unscheduled half-day for going with the flow.

Disney World Attractions For Mature People


Mickey’s PhilharMagic – It’s a fantastic show.  Plus the queue’s short and indoors where it’s nice and cool.  All our favorite Disney songs, a 3D movie, smell-a-vision and a comfy seat.  Yup, this one’s a perennial favorite. RM-PeopleMover-Cruising

The PeopleMover – So underappreciated by young whippersnappers!  This thing’s the bombdiggety.  Sure, it’s outdoors, but there’s no ride in the World more relaxing to me than this gem of an Omni-mover taking me on a Tomorrowland tour.  No thrills, no water, no animatronics, no worries.  (BTW – The tunnel-of-love aspect should not be ignored!)RM-Carousel-of-Progress-Dad

Carrousel of Progress – An attraction as old as I am!  The awesome theme song and the unforgettable moments through American history make this classic…well, classic.  Campy?  Cheesy?  That may be your opinion.  I think it’s perfect.Epcot-Manatee-at-Surface

The Seas With Nemo and Friends – No, I’m not talking about the ride, but the Seas pavilion itself – although there is something to be said for a nice relaxing ride in a clam-mobile.   It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Epcot’s manatees and their home in the Seas.  Indoors with multi-level viewing areas, this Future World pavilion is a great place to chill during a hot summer afternoon and soak up the surroundings.Epcot's World Showcase

World Showcase Shops – Maybe not an “attraction” in the strictest sense, but a very fun way to spend an afternoon.  I don’t care if we start in Canada or Mexico, wandering through the pavilions’ shops never fails to delight.  Even if I don’t buy anything (oh, who am I kidding…I always buy something!), the shops are interesting and the Cast Members, if not too busy, are full of awesome information about each country along the way.The Great Movie Ride

The Great Movie Ride – While parts of this kill me (Tarzan, I’m talking to you!) with their need for an update, I enjoy the experience.Gorilla at Animal Kingdom WDW

Pangani Forrest Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek – Sure, during the warmer months the entirety of Animal Kingdom is almost unbearably hot, but these two trails are irresistible to me!  So much to see and if we go when we’re not pressed for time, the experience is so much better!  To get the most of both the Pangani Forrest and Maharajah Jungle, you need to have plenty of time and patience.Rhino on Kilimanjaro Safari

Kilimanjaro Safari – I’m crazy stupid on this attraction no matter how many times I experience it.  Every. Single. Time.  I take a bajillion pictures and am captivated by each and every animal we encounter.  Added bonus – I can rest my feet from walking the trails.

How about YOU?  Have you reached the older-and-slowing-down people phase yet?  Which attractions do you love the most for their relaxation factor?

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Lou & Lil’ Joe – Epcot’s Manatees

Sign in The Seas With Nemo & FriendsMy two favorite things about Epcot’s The Seas With Nemo and Friends are riding in a Clam-mobile and checking up on Epcot’s manatees.  If I had to choose between the two, watching those big, beautiful, lettuce-munching manatees would be my first choice.  I’m fascinated by them!

Lou & Lil’ Joe – Epcot’s Manatees

Recently we had the opportunity to spend quite a while in The Seas and the timing was right!  The manatee-specialist was giving her talk about manatees in general and Lou and Lil’ Joe in particular.Epcot-Manatee-Presentation  While she spoke, she tossed heads of (what looked like) Romaine in the pool.  Manatees move rather slowly compared to other mammalian water-dwellers like dolphins and seals and that’s part of what makes them so much fun to watch.  They take their time passing by, giving guests great opportunities to check out their unusual features and appreciate their undeniable cuteness.Epcot's-Manatee-Viewing-Area

Lil’ Joe was born in the wild about 26 years ago and orphaned soon after.  He’s lived in a few other places before moving to Epcot and once even made a short, failed attempt at living in the wild again (he ate unhealthy things and nearly froze to death).  It seems an orphaned manatee baby cannot learn from humans what he would have learned from his mom.  It’s best for Lil’ Joe to stay at Epcot where his safety can be ensured.  He has a climate controlled environment, plentiful healthy food, and a buddy.Epcot-Mantee-Watching Manatee-Lil-Joe's-Tail

Lou has a completely different story.  He was living a happy life in the wild until a boat collision cost him his tail.  He looks a little rough, but having no tail does not interfere with his ability to get around well.  The Cast Member giving the presentation explained that efforts were being made to rehabilitate Lou for an eventual return to the wild.  Good news for Lou, but sad for Lil’ Joe when that happens.  The look happy together!Lou-and-Lil-Joe-Info-Board

The manatee area in The Seas has two observation areas.  Downstairs, guests can watch Lou and Lil’ Joe swim around in their habitat through a very large window.  Epcot's-Manatee-AreaUpstairs is the manatee “lab” around an area of the pool’s surface where guests can learn about these wonderful creatures.  I recommend setting aside a few minutes of your next day in Epcot to meet Lou and Lil’ Joe and learn about the life of a manatee.

Are YOU a fan of Epcot’s manatees?

At WDW? Short on Time? Ride This OR That!

Unless you’re staying for an extended period of time, it’s nearly impossible to do it ALL at Walt Disney World in a single visit.  That’s part of what keeps our family coming back for more, again and again.  The choices among rides and attractions can be pretty overwhelming!  It’s easy to find the thrill rides, if that’s your thing, and knock those off the to-do list.  But what about the less thrilling rides?  The movies and live shows?  If you can’t do it all, which should you choose and which should you leave off for a later visit?  For today’s Friday Five, I’d like to offer a few suggestions…

At WDW? Short on Time? Ride This OR That!RM-Dumbo-Queue

  1. Spinners-  In Magic Kingdom, ride Dumbo or Magic Carpets of Aladdin or Astro Orbiter.  Love Dinosaurs? Skip those two and ride Triceratops Spin in Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland U.S.A.  My Opinion: Dumbo’s a classic but the wait can be long (and loud!).  Magic Carpets of Aladdin is cute and our kids have always loved it.RM-The-Seas-Mr-Ray
  2. Under Sea Adventure-  Both of these attractions have Clamobiles as ride vehicles, both take you back through popular Disney movies – Ride Under The Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid in Magic Kingdom (Fantasyland) OR The Seas With Nemo and Friends in Epcot (Future World).  My favorite is the Nemo and Friends version, but my friend Heather and her family love the Little Mermaid best.  Both are cute!RM-Mickey's-PhilharMagic
  3. 3D Movies-  You have three choices: Mickey’s PhilharMagic (Magic Kingdom), It’s Tough to Be a Bug (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) or MuppetVision 3D (Disney’s Hollywood Studios).  My opinion:  I don’t dislike any of them, but Mickey’s PhilharMagic is my favorite.  Keep in mind: It’s Tough to Be a Bug can be very scary for little ones and people of all ages who are afraid of bugs.RM-7DMT-Train2
  4. Kiddie Coaster-  Barnstormer and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, both in Magic Kingdom, have low height requirements at 35″ and 38″ respectively.  Barnstormer is great for very young, apprehensive riders (entire ride lasts about a minute).  For brave first-timers (or Barnstormer graduates), Seven Dwarfs Mine Train lasts twice as long and has more to see.RM-Voyage-of-the-Little-Mermaid
  5. Live Stage Shows- Great choices abound:  Festival of the Lion King (Animal Kingdom), Finding Nemo-The Musical (Disney’s Animal Kingdom), Beauty and The Beast Live on Stage (Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Disney Junior Live on Stage (Studios), and Voyage of the Little Mermaid (Studios).  You’ll know best which of these will appeal most to your own Disney fans, but if you can’t decide, Festival of the Lion King is a crowd pleaser across all ages.

Which rides or attractions would you pick from the list?

Disney Attractions I Love (More Than I Should)

RM-Country-Bears-HenryYou know I love a Friday Five and today’s no different.  I have, at any given time, about 27 blog post ideas running around in my head vying for attention, but this one was completely off the radar and sprung up out of nowhere!  In my Disney geek-ery, I usually shout from the mountain tops (like Expedition Everest, Space, Splash and Big Thunder Mountains) about those E-Ticket attractions that (most of) you and I find irresistible.  But what about the less popular stuff?  What makes my little heart pitter-patter among the non-headliners?  You KNOW you’ve got at least a couple of favorite rides that you have to fight for – nobody understands the passion, it’s yours and yours alone.

Disney Attractions I Love (More Than I Should)

The Seas With Nemo and Friends (Epcot) – I have no explanation other than I’m crazy about pretty much any and all omnimovers.  Combine that with how much I have always loved Finding Nemo and I’m dragging my family aboard a clam-mobile on every single visit!  There I ride, sitting on the edge of my…what…mollusk-innards?  Soaking up the tiny details and listening to the comments by my favorite Nemo characters as we glide along.  I love this thing!  Don’t try to talk me out of it.  Just get in the clam or get out of my way.RM-The-Seas-Mr-Ray

Primeval Whirl (Animal Kingdom, Dinoland U.S.A.) – About the most ridiculous attraction in all the World, right?  Wrong!  For me, it’s not too fast, not too spin-ny, not too jerky – just a big bunch of weird fun.  The vehicle is like something the Jetsons would own, the queue is akin to waiting in a cartoon.  If I could explain this ride’s magnetic draw, I’d break the spell and avoid the ridicule.  I. Cannot. Resist.RM-Primeval-Whirl-Sign

Country Bear Jamboree (Magic Kingdom, Frontierland)- I blame Curtis Stone (Geekin’ on WDW Podcast) for my semi-newfound addiction to the Bears.  I wouldn’t have made a visit to this ride ever-for-the-rest-of-my-life but for Curt waxing poetic about its allure.  If you avoid over-analysis of certain song lyrics and just enjoy the Wild-West-Saloon style of entertainment, you’re bound to notice the genius of this particular brand of Disney magic.  Seriously, I love the bears…baby Oscar in particular.RM-Country-Bears-Baby-Oscar

Jungle Cruise (Magic Kingdom, Adventureland) – Cheesy, eye-rolling, sheer perfection in pun-delivery.  What’s not to love?  From the queue’s announcements to the names of the boats to the unbelievably adorable animatronics, this attraction’s got a lot going for it.  Add comic artistry in the form of boat captain commentary and this ride is hard to beat!  No, really!  Where else on earth can you experience the backside of water?  Classic Disney fun!RM-Jungle-Cruise-Backside-of-Water

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros – I’m stealthy about this one.  I act all nonchalant about going into the Mexico pavilion in Epcot.  It’s not a family favorite, but I’m getting on this ride if I can manipulate the situation properly.  I love Donald Duck!  He’s my favorite character (in case you hadn’t heard) and I’m going to check times for possible Fiesta Donald meet-and-greets when we’re in Epcot.  Once we’ve paused at the Mexico pavilion for my moment with Donald, I’ll just casually suggest we take a small detour and hit the Gran Fiesta Tour.  Works every time.  The chances of my family reading this today are slim, so shhhhhh.  Don’t ruin this by telling them.RM-Gran-Fiesta-Tour

Now you go.  Which not-so-popular attractions are your own personal favorites?