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OlgaDavis30: WDW Wednesdays - At What Age Should You Take Your Child To Walt Disney World?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

WDW Wednesdays - At What Age Should You Take Your Child To Walt Disney World?

I love her reaction to meeting Elsa
A very popular question among family and friends that causes some debate is what age do you take your kids on their first Disney vacation. You will get many different answers and reasons as to when. I always like to start my answer with: Every family is different, and you as a parent will know best.
 
When we decided to go our first time, my youngest was about 15 months old and oldest had just turned four. At the time I was surprised by how many responded with, “but they are too young, they won’t remember”. But for me it was more than them just remembering. It was about living in the moment and making memories. It’s quite possible that yes they won’t remember down the line, but guess what, I WILL. Disney is also about parents making memorable memories with their children. And at such a young and tender age, they can see the magic. Meeting their favorite characters is something they had only dreamed of, and now they can see them. Everything is real to them. The look in their eyes and reactions are priceless. Something we may not have seen had we waited for them to be much older. 
 
Then we also get, “but they won’t be able to go on any of the rides, they won’t be tall enough”. But surprise, there is so much for a toddler to do. And you won’t have to wait in long lines either, as those lines go pretty quick compared to big kid/adult rides. For us the Magic Kingdom was the best park for a toddler. We did two days there, and could have done three. As far as Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot, we found that it was fine for a toddler, but as far as rides, yes those were limited, but these parks have so much to see and do (and characters to meet), so it works out. Just be prepared for lots of walking and breaks. Below is a list of our go to rides according to our kids, while on our first trip and height requirements were met.
A classic - Dumbo the Flying Elephant
 
  1. Mad Tea Party (Tea Cups were by far my littlest’s favorite ride, she still talks about it)
  2. Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid (my oldest loved going on this multiple times, and we didn’t mind since the waiting area was very well air conditioned)
  3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  4. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin 
  5. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  6. It’s a Small World
  7. Peter Pan’s Flight (although my youngest did not like the darkness or Captain Hook)
  8. Enchanted Tales with Belle (not a ride, but a fun experience)
  9. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor (not a ride, but a real laugh riot!) 
  10. Walt Disney World Railroad (a nice break for the whole family, and multiple stops along the way)  
Enchanted Tales with Belle - I think she likes her dress

There many more things to do with you small kids, and this is just our short list, I asked my kids which rides they’d like to go on and this is what they came up with. 
 
At Animal Kingdom we’d recommend you do the Kilimanjaro Safari for sure, and try to do it once in the morning and once at the end of the day, to get two different experiences. 
 
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios definitely go to Toy Story Mania, blasting moving targets, you’ll want to go on as many times as you can to beat your score (looking forward to the new Toy Story Land!!!) 

Meeting Olaf - He really does love warm hugs
And at Epcot, of course our girls loved the Frozen Ever After ride. And although not a “ride” Turtle Talk with Crush was a great way for the girls to interact in a show. 
 
So in the end I say take your kids as young as you want. Remember that at every age there will be different experiences to be had. Older kids may not want to ride these fun “kiddie” rides, or you’ll have to skip them in order to stand in the lines of the bigger coasters/rides. Let them be little and enjoy them while they still believe in the magic.
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