View Full Version : Best Age
02-05-2008, 02:44 PM
We have 2 kids, 3 and 2 1/2, and I'm starting to think about planning a trip to DW. I've been so impressed by all the knowledge passed on here, I thought I'd try to get some feedback on what people that was generally the best age to bring kids to DW. I was thinking that if I go in the fall of 2009, the kids will be 5 and 4, which I thought would be perfect. I just don't want to bring my little guy if he's too young for it....
02-05-2008, 08:11 PM
I don't think your kids are too young at all. We took DD for the first time at 20 months old and it was the BEST vacation ever. EVERTHING was so magical from her little eyes. She understood everything that was going on around her and still remembers things from that trip (she's 4 years now.) So it was important to us to take our DS for the first time when he was around the same age. DS was 17 months when we went again, and he LOVED it. DD was 3 years her second time....now she askes everyday when will we go back!
02-06-2008, 08:03 AM
I'm going to take the other side of the equation: waiting until the kids are a bit older:cutie: We went first when DD was 8 and DS was 10. Reasons for us: 1)financial--we wanted to begin a tradition of going to WDW annually or e/o year; no one-shot every so often for us:cool1: 2) kids were capable of walking for hours, eating at new places and trying new things 3)still young enough to enjoy the characters 4)no naps, diaper bags, strollers, etc. We all could enjoy "hands free"! We've never regretted our decision and now that DD is 18 and DS 20, it's just as much fun as it was the first time to go plus I truly believe they will continue on the tradition with their own families in the future.
02-06-2008, 11:31 AM
We took our grandson and his mon and dad when he was just 18 mo, he will turn five this month. He really seemed to enjoy all of the activity, colours, characters and things to do. Since that first trip, he has gone every year since. Each year he has gotten more into Disney just like his mom and dad and grandparents do. I trully do beleive that at any age they will have fun. Take lots of pictures of them with the characters, and doing things in the parks. Later on when they look at the pictures you can tell them about what was happening and all the fun the family had then. Then the next time you go, pull those pictures out again and talk about this ride, or character or event and use it to help them get excited about going again and doing all those neat things again and adding some new ones.
Don't forget that not only are you building memories for your kids, but for yourself and family. That's why I say it's never to early to take a kid to Disney. They may not remember the trip but only through the photos you've taken and what you tell them about it, but YOU will remember every moment and how special it was for YOU with them!
Special note...On the grandson's second trip to Disney, we stayed at the WL. I'll never forget the look on his face when he walked into the lobby the first time. I was just ahead of he and his daddy, they were holding hands just walking into the lobby. Whitt (grandson) looked up and all around, stood there in amazement and then turned to his daddy and said "WOW!". For me that is a moment I'll never forget. That's what Disney is about, building family memories!!!!
02-06-2008, 12:15 PM
We took our DD for the first time when she was one because my in-laws are DVC members and we were offered a free trip. My DH and I thought this might be too young, but she loved it!!! She actually loved it so much that we became DVC members too. We went back this past Sept. and had a great time again. I don't think your kids are too young. The younger they are, the more magical it seems. I think kids can get something out of Disney at every age.
02-06-2008, 01:21 PM
We took my DS when he was 3 for the 1st time. It was only for 2 days at WDW and 1 day at Sea World. He did so well. We didn't have a stroller (which I loved not having to push that thing around), and he walked the whole time. I think he was the perfect age.
The 2nd time we went for 7 days when he was 4 and it was even better. Again, we didn't need a stroller and he was able to walk around and really enjoyed it.
Some people may say 3 is too young, but he still remember things from that first trip and he's 8 now.
I personally wouldn't take him when he was younger, but maybe if I could have afforded it back then, I might have thought differently.
02-06-2008, 04:35 PM
My son has been twice. first time at about 19 months. Second time was about to turn 3. I think the trip at 3 was perfect. He did so good. At 19 months it was a blast, but really not an easy trip. I am going back in December when he'll be 4 yrs and 1 month.
If I was giving advice to someone that goes every 3-4 years, I would suggest 3.5 to 5 as a perfect first trip. At that age they still believe everything is real and magical.
02-06-2008, 04:59 PM
Imho, the best age to go to WDW is between 6mo and death. Any younger than that, they probably won't enjoy it enough, and later than that mobility around the park becomes an issue. All ages in between will have a great time.
02-06-2008, 07:41 PM
I think that any age is the best age! ehh, less than 2 mos. yeah that might be a little tricky. we took our oldest when she was 10 mos. and that is a FUN age! she was looking at everything with a big smile! so cute! so, no, your kids are at a great age!
02-07-2008, 10:29 AM
I think age is a personal thing. It depends on what the children can handle as well as the parents.
Are the parents able to recongnize and correctly respond to the child's limitations (temperature, time, confinement, etc.). Far too many times I have seen children exhausted and cranky and I have seen parents who have lost all patience forcing the children to keep up the pace, etc. I have seen kids who have a difficulty understanding the need to wait in line quietly rather than swinging on the rails and whining every minute wondering when they will be on the ride. I also think you have to consider how much the other parent helps. If you have a spouse who does not really help you with the kids at home (and you often find yourself overhwelmed), he/she is not going to suddenly become helpful on vacation. A vacation should be about relaxing. An amusement park creates alot of challenges and I think if the parents take everything into consideration, a vacation can be fun.
Our son has always had extreme ADHD. Even on medication we knew he was unable to handle an amusement park and we knew WE could not handle the idea of being on a vacation dealing with his impatience and hyperactivity on an hourly basis. We decided to wait until he was 7- after we did a test run at a smaller local amusement park. The smaller park was a success, so we gave WDW a try and we had a blast. Waiting was right for everyone in my family. Another family might find a month old baby a breeze or even a 3 year old easy to vacation with. Each person (adult as well as child) is different and that is what should determine if a family should go to WDW.
02-07-2008, 07:12 PM
That depends on the child really. My 2.5 son had a blast last year!!! he is just fearless and wants to do everything, even the stuff he's not big enough for. My 5 yo on the other hand was a totally different story. We had to drag him on dumbo. But once he rode something and realized it wasn't bad he had no trouble doing it again. But in the end, they both had a great time & the can't wait for this years trip.
02-07-2008, 09:02 PM
We took DD then 3 to MK for a day (2 night stay at ASMo). We were ready to call it a day as soon as she seemed like she had had enough, but she kept going from rope drop to the end of Wishes :) and we got to do just about everything we set out to do.
She was not tall enough for the mountains so we avoided most of the longest lines, but it was a fairly quiet day anyway, a Tuesday in early February.. only fastpass we needed was for Peter Pan, and our longest wait was about 20 minutes for Jungle Cruise, which did test her endurance a little.
She spent a little downtime in her stroller while we walked around the boardwalk round the lake with Tom Sawyer's and had an ice-cream, and we deliberately did some more sedate activities in the afternoon, like Country Bears and TTA, she did some walking herself but when we were "going somewhere" she spent her time 50/50 between her stroller and my hip... I suffered for it but it was so much more fun to be carrying her because I could see and hear her reactions.
Towards the end of the evening DD & I had to leave DW behind for a rest while we went and rode Goofy's Barnstormer three more times... we waved goodbye to Mickey on the way out and she fell asleep on my shoulder in the line for the bus.
02-09-2008, 08:01 AM
I think 4 and 5 would be the perfect age. Especially if your children are over 42 inches. They could then ride many of the rides. That being said we went the first time when my son was just over 3 and he enjoyed it but didnt get the chance to do much of the major rides that he did last year. I like the idea of children being 4 and 5.
02-09-2008, 11:40 AM
Just my 2 cents...we took our oldest ds when he was 22 months. He had a blast! We went again last summer when he was just 3 and his db was 11 months. DS 11 month loved the characters and was able to do many things. DS 3 still talks about Disney almost daily. We have our next trip booked as a birthday gift for ds 3. He will be thrilled! He is 39 inches tall and looks like we'll have no problem meeting the 40 in. ride requirement.
We planned the days around the boys...when they needed a break, we took one. Both were able to sleep in the strollers in the parks, so we found we didn't go back to the room like we expected too:) We also didn't book many table service meals, so our schedule could be flexible.
Good luck with your decision!
02-09-2008, 03:00 PM
We took our youngest DD when she was only 3 1/2 mos. old and we also had a 5 yr. DD and 7 yr. DS. It was really quite easy because she was happy to be in the backpack and looking at everything. Toddlerhood is a bit more difficult, but by age 2 they are fascinated with everything. My best advice is to be sure to schedule some down time to relax, nap, swim at your resort, etc. Don't try to see everything in a quick 4-day trip. If you can plan a week, do so. That gives plenty of time to see your favorite things, or things you think they kids will like most, and still relax so you don't need a vacation from your vacation. Disney resorts are entertaining themselves, be sure to enjoy them! HAVE FUN!
02-09-2008, 03:46 PM
The question of "what is the right age" has always confused me. Especially those who say, why bring a child before the age of 6 or 8. If you follow this logic, you shouldn't vacation anywhere with a young child.
02-09-2008, 04:01 PM
We have seen every stage of our two sons now aged 10 & 12 at Disneyworld and Disneyland. First time we took my oldest son to DW he was 18 months. First time for my younger son was 6 months. We went once a year until they were about 5 & 7 and have been going twice a year since then. We also have been to Disneyland 4 times...every other year since we started.
Having said that, when people say "they are too young, they won't remember it" I just don't get it. It is not about "remembering it", its about EXPERIENCING it. Watching the reaction of the little ones, is absolutely PRICELESS. When the magic is truly magical...and they 100 percent believe the characters are real...well there is nothing like it!!! My absolute favorite time was when they were 3 and 5. The older one still into the magic of it all fully, and the younger one at his TOTALLY OBSESSED with Peter Pan stage...it was just the best time ever! I also really really really liked when they were small enough to push in the double stroller, because we could make some serious time and get to everything with no worries moving at my pace and on my schedule. And even now that one is a pre-teen, the place is still super special but in a different way. I have friends that waited until now (same ages kids) to go because they only planned to go once...and now are planning their second trips (2 different families). Its very addicting in Disney!!! ALL ages are so great...I agree with the poster that said between 6 months and death! You can't go wrong with Disney..the happiest place on earth!
02-09-2008, 10:38 PM
Your kids are a perfect age! My son was 9 mos. when we went? He didn't have a clue, but we did. I will cherish those memories forever! We have gone every year since, and I love watching his face, he is going to be 5 in July, and he says things like hey do you remember when we saw that at Disney? So it is sinking in now.....My biggest fear is when he starts getting a little older he will be like, "MOM why do we got to go there"? You know those teenagers they get a little tricky. Enjoy those years now....
02-10-2008, 01:23 PM
Amen! Enjoy the little ones while you can. When the "magic" is still magical! I have two in college and one middle schooler (14). The college kids treasure the yearly vacations at Disney and the middle schooler want to go, but only if she can bring a friend. It's just not fun enough with just mom and dad. It is definately different with older children, still fun, but it is the best watching little ones reactions to everything. That is what it is like to have a "Disney Day"!
02-10-2008, 03:59 PM
Anything under the age of 8 years is too young. I went when I was 7 and don't remember it whatsoever other than vagely remembering Tom Sawyer's Island. I think you should wait until the kids are going to be old enough to know the f is going on, and will actually remember.
02-10-2008, 04:13 PM
I think that the "best age" is the age we are now!! Seriously, if this is a once in a lifetime trip..then maybe wait a few years so your kids can have memories. If this is the first of many, then go now!!! Because, while they may not remember specifics, you will!!!! And you all will have a wonderful time.
My daughter was 6 our first trip to WDW, but 9 months for DL!!!
02-10-2008, 06:39 PM
I think 4 & 5 would be perfect ages. Our first DD went at 2 1/2 when we visited family in Florida and she had a great time. Although she thought we had been to Disney World after eating dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian on our first night there! DD #2 went at 4 1/2 and it was magic! I think you have a great plan!
02-10-2008, 07:00 PM
We just went with our 3.5 year old twins and it was truly magical. Seeing my daughter shake with joy at meeting "the real Cinderella" was worth everything.
I suppose I can understand the argument that she may not remember every detail when she's older, but if that's true, why do anything?
We took so many pictures and the kids love to flip through them and remember.
02-10-2008, 08:06 PM
all ages are perfect for The Happiest Place on Earth.
DD, DM, DS (7mo) in 2001
DD, DM, DS (4yr) in 2004
DD, DM, DS (4yr) in 2005
DD, DM, DS (4yr) in 2005
DD, DS (5yr) in 2005
DD, DM, DS (5yr), DS (1yr) in 2006
DD, DM, DS (6yr), DS (2yr) in 2007
Next trip in 2008.
We have cherished seeing how each of our sons has responded to being at Disney over the years. We have pictures, videos and most importantly the memories of our family.
Of course DS at 7 mo. doesn't remember it, but DD & DM do. Every trip is a new adventure, especially for the kids, they have different interests each trip.
If you are not inclined to make multiple trips over the yrs, then maybe you do want to think about the "perfect" age. Some friends of ours went for the first time in 07, thinking they will go again in 5 yrs. Well, lets just say they have been bitten by the bug and plan to return again this yr.
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