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Old 12-23-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
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What was your "magic" age

I have been to WDW three times and DL once and my poor husband has never even set foot in an amusement park. So now you know one of the reasons I can't wait to go to WDW!

The other is we have two disney obsessed girls aged 4 and 19 months. The little one actually said Cinderella this morning so I'm dying to go a little more.

We are planning on taking a camper so we can keep a better schedule for the girls and had hoped to go late April/early May. Now we are thinking next fall or winter. We don't want to be miserable with cranky kids and hope that letting the youngest get to be 2 1/2 will be better. That seemed to be the magic age for my older daughter and she would be 5 when we go.

So what age did you find your kids did better and had fun?
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:56 PM   #2
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My kids are now 6 and 9, but have gone to Disney since they were babies. I often tell parents to expect crankiness at ALL or ANY age while on a Disney vacation. It's a fun, but exhausting trip even for us adults

BUT with some key planning, staying on the kids schedule (eating, sleeping, etc.) as much as possible can help with the cranks and melt downs. Plan to stay during off peak times and avoid major holidays or summer months if possible. Take advantage of the resort pool or mid afternoon family naps.

Unless this will be your only trip to Disney I see nothing wrong with taking your kids now at their age. It's great to see their faces light up when they see the Castle for the very first time!!! Little girls are adorable all dressed up at the parks as well (another good reason to go when it's cooler). If this will be your only trip then I would wait until They can remember most of the magic. Around 7 or 8 is perfect!!! They still relish in make believe, yet are old enough for the "bigger" rides, no strollers, and they can tell you if they are hungry or tired (a little too often sometimes!).

Whatever you choose expect some crankiness, but remember to have fun and take a deep breath and remember that vacation is for families to have fun and enjoy each others company. I've seen too many parents yelling at their kids (heck I probably have been one of them too at some point) because of the FL heat and humidity, lack of sleep, and schedule shock. Disney is huge and sometimes overwhelming, but it's still the happiest place on earth!!!
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Old 12-24-2013, 03:33 PM   #3
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Old 12-24-2013, 04:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PaisleyPooh View Post
We are planning on taking a camper so we can keep a better schedule for the girls...

So what age did you find your kids did better and had fun?
What does a camper have to do with keeping a schedule?

We went to Disneyland when DH and I were ready to go to Disneyland. DS happened to be 17 months old. The trip wasn't for him in any way, shape, or form. He had immense amounts of fun, because it's way more fun at Disney than it is at home.

We went again a year later. Again, tons of fun for him but the trip still wasn't FOR him. Actually none of our trips have been for any one person (except for my solo trips, because DH and DS tend to tour very differently than I wish to, and I was losing my mind going as slowly as they wanted to go, so they sent me to Anaheim on my own a couple times ). Then we went a couple times when he was 3, 4, 5...started WDW at 6, 7, 8, 9.... They have all been really good trips full of fun, excitement, tantrums due to hunger, thirst, and overstimulation (and that's tantrums from any of the 3 of us, not just the kiddo), etc.

To me there's no magic age.

Some want the children to remember it. To that, I say...I don't remember most of my honeymoon. Should I not have gone because of that? Nah. Memory is tricky!

Originally Posted by DISNEYNV View Post
I often tell parents to expect crankiness at ALL or ANY age while on a Disney vacation.
Yep. And emphasizing that ANY age thing is important. Gotta take care of everyone! Sleep, hydration, proper food (not just junk)...all very important! And for the adults, *good communication*. On our second big DLR trip (2nd trip when DS was 3) I wanted to get going early but the guys were still asleep. DH thought I was being passive aggressive about saying "you sleep, I'll meet up with you later", and we hadn't yet learned that it's OK for one part of the family to have one experience while another part of the family has another...that it doesn't mean there's something wrong or flawed with the family if they have different likes and dislikes...and they ended up getting up all grumpy and tired, and I ended up later than I wanted to be, and NO ONE ended up as happy as we could have been if I'd just gone out alone for the first two hours while they got more beauty sleep. Communication is key!
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:01 PM   #5
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DD was 2 years 10 months on her first trip and it was magical. It was probably my favorite trip because everything was totally real to her. Every kid was different, but mine at that age was VERY high maintenance at home, and she was actually BETTER behaved at WDW than she was at home!
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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We've been taking our kids since they were 1 and 3 and they've always enjoyed themselves and our vacations have been very happy and memorable. Of course they don't remember the early trips but taking vacations as a family are woven into the fabric of who they are.
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:05 AM   #7
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It was our daughters first trip to WDW when she was 5. EVERYTHING was magical and wondrous to her!
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:57 AM   #8
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My DD has been going since she was a year, but the best trip was at 2 1/2. She loved everything princess and had the best time.
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:03 AM   #9
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Strangely enough when my kids became older teens. Every trip has been wonderful, though, and we've been going since they were 3,5, and 7. It really helped when they were younger to take a break in the afternoon.
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:15 AM   #10
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July will be the first for all of my family. DH and I want to wait untill the youngest was 5, so that every one would remeber the trip.

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Old 12-26-2013, 08:19 AM   #11
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For younger kids, I strongly recommend a stroller- even if they can walk fine. All that walking wears them out faster and the stroller helps keep them going at your pace all day. The stroller is also good for hauling all your kid stuff (snacks, etc) when the kids have more energy and are enjoying the park on their own two feet. And I HATE strollers in general.

ADRs are also key, since hungry kids become cranky kids very fast.
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:32 AM   #12
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Every age is magical IMO. Our last trip was October 2012, my children were 7, 5, 2, 1. They ALL loved EVERYthing... Seeing my baby's face light up on IASW is one of my favorite memories, sure, she doesn't remember it, but she has photos to look at..
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:40 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your advice! We have decided to go ahead and go in April! We have a good plan in place for the parks and we will be taking a long rest after lunch! So hopefully we will have two excited little girls!
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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Age 5 was perfect. She was young enough to be excited and caught up in the magic but 5 was old enough to be a little more mature about waiting in lines, staying with mommy.
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #15
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Our best, most magical trip was our first trip when the kids were little - just turned 2 and 4.


They had no expectations. Everything was new. Everything was just amazing in their eyes.

After that trip, we still have fun, but it's not the same. They have strong opinions about what they want to do and what they do not want to do. 99% of what we see now and do now has been seen and done previously. It's not that same sense of 'wow, that's amazing.'

I would say, go when the kids are little and enjoy every minute of it. Plan to stick, more or less to their home schedule and lots of breaks. Our first trip, we did not know much about Disney, so we only planned a few ADRs and went with the flow.
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