Ideal age for Disneyland?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by novazx3, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Wife and I don't have kids but from an observational standpoint, I would think around 8 yo. I only say this since that is when I actually start having any memories of Disneyland from my childhood (and we went many times before that).

    IMO, taking kids younger than that is more for the parents, and that's just fine if it makes you happy. But, there's nothing like watching all the 2pm meltdowns as all the parents make a run to their hotel rooms for an afternoon break.
     
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  3. 3Minnies1Mickey

    3Minnies1Mickey <font color=magenta>Just wanted to add, this is no

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    I think if we based "worth it" on if they remember it as an adult we'd do away with birthday parties and trips to the zoo too. It's about the fun and family time in the moment.

    We took our nephews for the first time at age 8, and though they had fun, it doesn't compare to the magic of seeing your 2 year old meet their favorite princess or buzz and woody.
     
  4. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Never said it wouldn't be "worth it". You did, however, just reinforce exactly what I said. Again, if it makes you happy, then that's what matters.
     
  5. Malcon10t

    Malcon10t DIS Veteran

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    So absolutely true. I will never forget the look on my 3yo nieces face when she saw Cinderella the first time. She had told me they were only cartoons. But when she saw Cinderella at Disneyland, her eyes got HUGE and she gasped "She's REAL!!"

    I took my kids from young ages, and while they have no active knowledge of their early trips, they do have our memories that we still laugh about: the time we got stuck on POTC, and my younger son, about 18 mos, decided he needed to swim for it (we kept him in the boat) or a certain trip to Goofy's kitchen or how my Youngest got lost and wound up riding IASW on her own.... So many memories. Like I said, I started them at a very young age. They are now 27, 26, 24, and 23, and they still love vacationing with mom and going to Disneyland.
     
  6. Aussie Princess

    Aussie Princess Mouseketeer

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    I am taking my DS in November for his 2nd birthday ( but we are doing the trip just before due to thanksgiving) I think it's at your own personal choice on what age is the ideal age
     
  7. californiamomof4grls

    californiamomof4grls DIS Veteran

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    I couldn't agree with you more. I can't imagine waiting until the girls were 8 to take them. I can remember going to Kindergarten as one of my earliest memories! My girls talk about their second trip when they saw the Pixar Parade they were 4 and 3 and we only saw it that trip! I think everyone is different. But to say that we make our children happy for ourselves is silly.:goodvibes
     
  8. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    I think you all are reading way more into MY OPINION than you should. :confused3
     
  9. tdhickey

    tdhickey DIS Veteran

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    I have taken my kids at less than 1, at 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 at some point in those age groups.

    Taking a first trip overall is better when they are at least 5 if you are not planning on going back anytime soon. It's not so much about the rides, more the memory retention which kicks in at that age.

    Taking them before 3 is ideal because they are free, so if you want to go lots of times, go for it. The kids rides have short waits, except Peter Pan.
     
  10. squirrel

    squirrel DIS Veteran<font color=deeppink>

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    I've taken my niece's at various ages but the youngest was the trip to DL with my oldest niece who was going to turn 4 yrs old. Not all little children have meltdowns, I have taken both niece's and neither ever had a tantrum.

    For me the first trip with my niece who was almost 4 was the best. I just remember how she thought we were just going to DL for a Mickey Bar. I told her that we were staying to go on rides and see the parade. I can still picture her little face as we watched the parade.

    I'm sure any age you take your child will be special. My niece remembered the first trip a year later as we were going to WDW. She also fell in love with Stitch at DL. We didn't see him but someone had a Stitch hat on and she asked about it, she never mentioned it again until we got home and then that's all she talked about. She still loves Stitch at 9 yrs old. My mom and I are taking her and her sister to DL this year. I hope now she is old enough to enjoy some of the bigger rides.
     
  11. 3Minnies1Mickey

    3Minnies1Mickey <font color=magenta>Just wanted to add, this is no

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    So sweet! DS was infatuated with Snow White when he was 9 mo old. We went to Ariel's Grotto and she sat there and talked to him forever. He just smiled and babbled at her. At 2 we took him to WDW for the Halloween party and he was Peter Pan. We have a ton of pics of him with Tinkerbell. Including one of her kissing his cheek. My DD was 4 and dressed and Tink and they got some of the sweetest photos of them hugging and giving sassy looks.
     
  12. 3Minnies1Mickey

    3Minnies1Mickey <font color=magenta>Just wanted to add, this is no

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    It also makes them happy. Just because they won't remember all the things I do, doesn't negate the fun they are having in that moment.
     
  13. profa

    profa Mouseketeer

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    I think it depends on how soon you are going to go back. We went in the summer and I wanted to wait until my youngest of 3 was able to do a lot. She was 4 and for us it was the perfect age. Everything went perfectly. Well she was afraid of the dark rides but oh well. she LOVED the princesses. It was a BIG family vacation. We went w/ the thought that we wouldn't go again for another 4 yrs or so and then DW. We travel a lot but we like to explore different places.
     
  14. DorisT

    DorisT Earning My Ears

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    Get her familiar with the rides by showing them on youtube and see if she enjoys or is she scared, then decide whether she is fine for DL trip or not.
     
  15. mommy2mrb

    mommy2mrb Mama to a Princess - But I'm A Scrap Princess!

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    my DD was 22 months old when we took her to WDW for the first time...she was ALL about the characters, fantasyland, toontown...
    her first DLR trip was at 3 and was doing the same as above and also rode pirates, haunted mansion, autotopia
    every trip at every age brings something new to see and try as they grow up!
    would I recommend you going, YES! the memories you will create at this age are priceless...seeing disney through your little one's eyes is so magical...take LOTS of photos and videos...my DD (almost 13) still loves looking back through the scrapbooks and videos!
     
  16. lsulindy

    lsulindy DIS Veteran

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    Our first trip to WDW was when my first two children were 16 months and almost 3. The almost 3 age was wonderful. After that trip, I insisted that we go back when dd was about that age so that she could have that experience too. Wound up going back when she was just turning 4 and son was almost 6. Ideally I would have gone right before she turned 3, so she would be free, but for us, it was too close to our previous trip. She loved the princesses, and was pretty obsessed with all characters in general, while my son just wanted to run from thrill ride to thrill ride. He still had some interest in kiddie rides and characters, but it was definitely fading.

    Now we're going to DL when the youngest is 2.5. When they see the characters at that age, it's just different. It's great when they can ride the big rides, but there's just some extra magic when they're 3. Dancing at the parades, gasping at the sights, and just being full of wonder. DD (turning 6 on the trip) now is obsessed with the fact that the characters are people in costume, and she talks about it and asks questions non-stop. This trip with her will be a very different experience from the last time.

    I'm sure we'll be back again once the youngest can ride everything, but I'm so glad that we were able to accomplish my goal of having them all go around the age of 3 to have that unique experience that you just don't get when they're older. It's still a fun, amazing trip when they're older, but not quite the same experience.

    As far as behavior and tantrums, my oldest on our last trip who was then almost 6 had far more tantrums than his 4 year old sister, and caused WAY more problems in line than the earlier trip when they were 1 and almost 3. The first trip when they were younger was much easier for us.

    Strollers don't bother me, and I'd actually prefer a trip BEFORE they're potty trained. You can wait a couple minutes to change a diaper, once they're potty trained, you have to worry about the time when they need to go NOW.

    For memories, my kids are obsessed with looking at our Disney pictures. I don't know how many memories are "real" and how many are from stories and pictures, but they know they went to Disney, and they know that they had an absolute blast!

    If you can swing more than 2 trips great, but ideally, I'd say do two trips. One right before 3 when you don't have to pay for them, and they can enjoy the characters, parades, kiddie rides, etc. And, then one later when they're taller and can hit all the thrill rides. It really makes for very different experiences.
     
  17. starshine514

    starshine514 DIS Veteran

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    I think almost 3 is an awesome age to go. We went to WDW (our first Disney trip) when our youngest was almost 3 (in fact, we were there exactly 3 years ago today on her 3rd birthday - I can't believe she's 6 today!). It was really good. She had potty trained several months earlier, so we didn't have to deal with diapers. She loved meeting the characters (she kissed all of them - so cute), and the little coaster in Toontown. We had taken her to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and Legoland when she was 2 and a few months - and almost 3 was a much better experience! For her, it was the 'perfect' age. She still talks about it, but I think it's more memories via pictures than what she actually remembers.

    For my older DD (who was 5), it was neat, but not as magical as my youngest. I honestly wish that Carsland had been open and I'd taken her when she was 2 - she had a major obsession with Cars that has been replaced by princesses and fairies as she has gotten older. I miss the days when she loved Lightening McQueen...
     
  18. PHXscuba

    PHXscuba <font color=darkorchid>Mouseketeer since birth!<br

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    Good point ... hadn''t thought about it from that angle. Maybe I'll amend to "not potty trained or WELL potty trained." Currently our biggest bathroom issue with 4 older kids is getting them to all go at once so we don't end up in a bathroom after every ride!

    You're certainly right that your likelihood of when/how many times you can go back influences when you take a younger child. We go to Disneyland often (at least every couple years), but we waited until our youngest was 6 to fly all the way to Disney World and stay a week, because we knew it would probably be the only time for all of us to go (although I am secretly hoping we go back in a few years; don't tell DH ;)).

    PHXscuba
     
  19. RaceCar

    RaceCar Earning My Ears

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    Disneyland is so much more than rides, too. My 2 yo LOVED the parades and characters. If you only take her once in her life, maybe wait until she's 7. But if you've got a few visits up your sleeve, 2 years old is about as magical as it gets - and that's VERY magical. I wouldn't miss it.
     

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