Wednesday, November 9, 2011

what's the best age to take your kids to Disney?

Disney is on the horizon.  It's far, far, far away on the horizon but if I squint real hard, I can almost kinda not really see it. 

Disney is super special to me and my hubs because that's where we met.  You can read all about it here. I've been looking forward to the day we could take our kids there for the longest time, like before I even had kids.  The last time we went was in 2007 and I'm anxious and excited to be sorta kinda thinking about our next visit.

But see, here's the thing.  Big Boo isn't that excited because it costs a lot of money.  What doesn't, right?  He wants to go when the kids remember it because otherwise, it's a waste, you know?  I disagree.  I think toddlers are only toddlers once.  Little kids are the only ones that fall for the "magic," in that characters-are-real sense, anyway.  And I say that the memories are as much for myself as they are for my kids.  Sure, they won't remember it when they are 2 and 3, but I will.  I will remember the looks on their faces and them falling asleep with their heads on my shoulder at the end of the day.  I'll remember how happy they were when I finally gave in and bought them that ridiculously overpriced souvenir.  When they see Sorcerer Mickey shoot fireworks out of his fingers.  I'll snuggle up with them at the end of the long, long, long day and kiss their little heads as they fall asleep...drifting off to dream of a fantastic world they never knew existed. 

How can you put a price on that? 

I kind of gave him that spiel and he changed his tune.  He agrees with me, so we're going in two years.  23 months, actually.  (Squeeeeee!!!!).  I. CAN'T. freakin'. WAIT.  Is there such a thing as the "right" age to take your kids to Disney World?  If I thought we would only go once in their lives, I might wait until they were 8 and 9, but I hope we'll get to go 3-4 times by the time they're 12 or so. 

So I get kinda lost in the shiny, glittery visions I have of myself at Disney World with the boys.  Then reality hits and I think...ages 2 and 3.  Hmm.  Is that going to be a nightmare?  How will they do on a plane?  Or should we drive?  Should I take the stroller?  Etc.  Etc.  Etc. 

We'll figure all that out as it gets closer, but this trip is going to be epic.  It better be, or else it will take me 23 months to get over the disappointment.  Any pointers?  Anyone have an opinion about the "best" age to take a kid to Disney?

it's a hot dog day,


  1. I'm excited for you! Disney Magic never disappoints! Blakely was 2 1/2yrs old on her first visit. It will take lots of planning, and you have to be realistic about your expectations, but it's definitely possible. I would suggest 2 umbrella strollers; easier to manage getting on and off Disney transportation. You can get clips to attach them together while walking through the parks, if you prefer. Plan to bring your own snacks & sippy cups, buy autograph books and pens or sharpies before you go, and make sure to have the cameras ready!!!! Blakely loved the face characters & parades, but was a little apprehensive about some of the other characters. Don't try to do too much, just enjoy the special moments and create the wonderful memories you mentioned above. It will light up your hearts to see your boys take in all that magic for the first time! It's even better going with your children!!!! Happy planning!

  2. I am so with you! I went when I was 4 (just before by baby brother was born) and I have a few memories of it, and then again at 10, 12, 13 and 15. Two of those were for Cheerleading trips though. The pictures of me with my mini ears riding my dad's shoulders just the two of us are priceless. I still have vague memories of meeting cinderella and going on the small world ride with my mom. I agree I think part of the magic for a parent is watching your kid fall in love with the magic.

  3. I don't have advice. But I know I went to Disney World when I was three and still remember bits and pieces of it. So I am sure your kids will remember some of it since you still have some time before you go.

  4. Thanks for the tips and memories and comments!

  5. I don't know that there is a right age to take a child to Dinsey. My kids have been every year of their lives, but obviously because my parents are down there in the winter. They definitely appreciated it more when they were 3 and then when they were 4, but when they were 1 or 2 it was special too. Disney is great because there is so much for even really little ones to see and do. We brought them to Six Flags right after their 1st birthday with my family for my nephews birthday and they couldn't go on a single ride. 6 months before that when we had them at Disney for the first time they rode a whole slew of things.
    No question you want to bring a stroller if you're taking them in 23 months. This last winter when the boys were 4 was the first time we didn't take a stroller for them, and if we hadn't had Wes and his stroller we might have considered taking one for the boys, though they did great without one. I would highly recommend a double. You can get one that folds up really compact that makes it easy to carry on the buses. It's nice to have the double so when one of you goes to use the restroom or run into a store the other parent can easily maneuver around with them. Double strollers also tend to be a little sturdier, so when you put a bag with all your essentials over the back of it, it won't fall over when you take the kids out. I have had MANY double strollers...if you need any tips or advice on purchasing one, let me know.
    My last recommendation (that I can think of right now) would be to stay on property. It's so much easier to get to and from your hotel if you do and with little ones it's nice to have the option to go back to the hotel for an afternoon break/nap/swim.
    If you have any specific questions in the next 23 months, feel free to ask. I know we're both Disney experts, but I certainly know Disney with kids :)