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At What Age Does Disney World Lose It's Appeal To Children?

JBAAR Family

New Member
Original Poster
My husband and I are planning a trip to Disney for our family. We are having a hard time deciding when it's a good time to go. I was thinking when our children are 5, 7, and 11. Will my 11 year old daughter still enjoy the trip at that age? If we do it earlier, will the youngest remember the trip? I think with him being 5, we'll get more enjoyment out of it because we wont be heading back to the hotel for naps in the middle of the day.
 

graphite1326

Well-Known Member
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I'll let you know when I lose my appeal. I'm 56.

seriously, we started going when my youngest was 6. That was almost too young. He is now in his 20's and still loves going.
 

rsoxguy

Well-Known Member
Your 11 year old daughter is reaching an age where she could still be very child-like, or be a pre-teen who wants to be treated as though she's 21. Having not met her, I obviously can not discern. I can tell you from personal experience that yes, an 11 year old girl can enjoy going to WDW and have a good time with her family. My daughter is in her early twenties, and still enjoys going with us, although we began brainwashing her at about 3. If you have a good family dynamic, my assumption is that all of you, from youngest to oldest, will enjoy the trip.
 

polynesiangirl

Well-Known Member
My husband and I both went with our families as children starting at ages 2 and 3 respectively, and continued through adulthood.

I would say that the experience is different as you get older -- in that, for example, we spent more time eating at nice sit-down restaurants and enjoying things like the Food and Wine festival as adults versus spending an entire day in the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon, but WDW still held its appeal. And now that we are parents, we're enjoying it on a different level as well.

I don't know that it would have stayed as "magical" for us as adults if we hadn't been thoroughly brainwashed as kids (hahaha,) but that's just been my personal experience. Part of what I love about WDW is its familiarity and remembering all of the good times I spent there on previous trips over the course of my life.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
My son went for the first time when he was 8 yo. He remembers certain things about the trip and other details he will recall after viewing the photos we took on that trip. Friends who have gone with much younger children have said they remember very little of those trips. Wanting to go I think a lot depends on how you do the trip and how you make it fun for them. My son never lost interest in going to Disney because we made it fun, never stressed him out and the entire time was enjoyable. During the teen years he did want to do more on his own and not be seen with Mom & Dad. So we worked through that. He is an adult now and like me he has a love for Disney and would go at the drop of a hat. Some of us never lose the magic and fascination of the place. ;)
 

Dads 2 Boys

Well-Known Member
It depends on the kid. My two oldest girls started going to Disney at 5. They are both in their 20's now and still love the place. Heck, I made my first trip to WDW when I was 4 and I still want to spend every weekend in the place 38 years later.
Exactly. At the time of our next trip, my kids will be 16 & 13 and they want to go as much as when they went the first time @ 9 & 6. My nephews still love to go @ 23 and 21.

IMO, it's how the child is raised and their behavior towards life and their memories of WDW when they are younger. If the kids (and parents) expect a glorified Six Flags based on nothing but coasters and thrill rides, disappointment will be huge and never go back. But if the family goes with an open mind and enjoy the World as it is, then that foundation is built forever.
 

jw24

Well-Known Member
Every child is different. I mean, the pre-teens/teen years can be very tricky for families with those children. Sometimes, one visit is enough to for one to enjoy it countless times afterwards or enough to turn away. For others, it may take multiple visits to truly enjoy WDW and some don't really enjoy it unless they try a different experience. (i.e. Emphasis on dining or rec activities.) I'm not a parent but from personal experience, there was once a phase in my life where Disney was just not that interesting to me. Not because I loathed it or anything but other interests were emerging and from a vacation standpoint, my family wanted to expose me and my siblings to other places in the world. In all honesty, I really didn't really appreciate WDW until I was older though it did help that my interest in Disney was revitalized (Not just the parks, but their classic movies and such.) I would think if it's nothing but theme parks, the joy factor may not be very large for your 11 yr old though rides on Tower of Terror, Rock n Roller Coaster and Everest are just some exceptions to that! But if you do include something different like a recreation activity and such, that would probably help. There's a lot more WDW offers than just the theme parks! As for your 5 yr old, that's a pretty good age I think to bring your kids to WDW. They can interact better with the characters and they'll remember it better but as I said in the beginning, every child is different.
 

kfergdisney

Well-Known Member
If they are raised correctly, they never lose their appeal to Disney! Just kidding. It really depends on the kid and whoever is taking them's attitude toward Disney. My nephew is 15, is 6'3", is a jock, he has an attitude, but he loves Disney World. He went when he was 5 and he wants to go back. I've been 7 times over 28 years (ages 5, 10, 13, 14, 16, 23, and 30) and I have never wained from loving Disney.
 
I agree with everyone. You are never to old or young to love Disney World!! My sons started going when they were 3 and 6. We have been about 16 times over the years. They are now 21 and 24 and they still love the magic that Disney provides them. This is one place where they don't have to be cool or grown, they can just be the kid that we all want to be. It's a family tradition of ours to spend the last night in the Magic Kingdom and watch Wishes. On our last trip in October of 2011, my oldest son was crying during Wishes because he was sad to leave. He had proposed to his girlfriend in Cinderella's Castle just before Wishes started on the first day of our trip and explained to us that the reason he was so emotional is because most of his best memories happened right there. They will be married at the Wedding Pavillion at the Grand Floridian this October. The memories are why my family loves Disney World so much. I could never put a value on those, no matter how much my vacation costs us. It will ALWAYS be worth it!!
 

SnowFire

Active Member
I think it all depends on the child. As others have said, for many Disney will always be a great place to visit. My 17 yo "science nut/theater star" (yes, it is a bit of am unusual combination) still loves going. The focus has changed a bit over the years from the enchanted magic of meeting the characters to more of an adult appreciation. While he will gladly still spend time taking pictures with (and joking around with) the characters, we now also spend time discussing the technology of how Disney accomplishes things and enjoying the shows from a different perspective. Now that he has performed in live theater he can appreciate some of the work involved in putting on those shows.
 
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