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

ninjaprincesst

Well-Known Member
I was 12 my first trip, it still has not worn off. My daughter was 3 she is now 14 and there is no where else she would rather go. By the way she loved it at 3, but she was really tall for her age so there was not much she could not ride.
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
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Considering this ? is being posed on a WDW forum/fansite...the bulk of your answers are going to be variations on "never." Many of us were hooked from our first visits and think more along the lines of "will we all enjoy it?" vs. "will they remember it?"- when it comes to planning trips with younger children and infants. And with pre-teens, many of them have been going since they were pre-school age or younger, so trips to Disney parks are just a way of life. There are also some teens that post on here who are a good example of even high school age kids not being too cool for Disney. I'm even pushing DH towards a grown ups only trip next year so we can experience Food & Wine, try and drink around the WS again like we did back in 1998, and hopefully hit up some of the nightlife and signature spots I really don't want to "share" with the kids- yet. ;)

Personally, I was 11 the first time we went to WDW and I fell in love. I think my dad planned for that trip thinking it would be a one-time thing, but I think we were all pretty smitten with Disney parks after that trip. Needless to say, that trip was the first of many. When I was expecting our 2nd child, I started planning the kids' first trip. My kids were ages 2 & 4 the first time they went...mainly b/c I wanted them to experience the magic while they were at an age where they totally believed in every aspect of it. I always wished my parents would have taken me at that age. Either way- They won't remember much, if any, of their early trips- but I'll remember it and of course there are all of the wonderful pictures and stories. :)
 

Raven66

Well-Known Member
We took our daughter for the first time at 5. She remembers a lot of it and of course there are pictures to remind her. We went every year up until she was 11 and then we didn't go again until this year when she is now 16. She asked to go for her 16th birthday. Totally surprised us. This wasn't one of our best trips but I still don't think we have lost love for it or are tired of it. We will go again when it's possible for us. And she will be excited. :D
 

Gabe1

Ivory Tower Squabble EST 2011. WINDMILL SURVIVOR
Premium Member
By way of a conference my kids around your daughters age were introduced to uni. While they loved Disney uni offered some diversity. That stuck.
 

smk

Well-Known Member
My daughter was 18 months on her first trip in 1984 and my son was 8 months old on his first trip in 1986. We've gone nearly every year since and they love it today as much as they did back then! Their favorite park has always been Epcot. Looking forward to taking our brand new grandson one day!
We have an eight month old grandson (our only grandchild so far) who is crazy for Jake and The Pirates, mostly loves the theme song. He WILL get to WDW much sooner than we took his mom, even tho he will not remember it we will for sure! I can't wait to take him! Plus, he has his birthday in mid November, the 14th, before the Thanksgiving Crowds and after the Christmas décor is up. Perfect time to go in my opinion! Nicer weather still, and crowds are low. Nice of him to pick that date, he was due the first weekend of December, same day as his mom, but he came early to claim a day all for himself.
 

smk

Well-Known Member
I started going with my parents when I was around 2. I can remember the trips starting when I was about 5. This year I will be taking my daughter on her second trip (she will be 15 months old). Because I have grown up with it, I don't think you are ever too young or too old. That being said, there was definitely a period in my teens where I was too cool for the kiddie stuff. All the characters were lame, but the roller coasters and water parks were still cool. For your younger 2 kids, the age is perfect. Your 5 year old will definitely remember at least pieces of the vacation, and your 7 year old should solidly remember it. Your 11 year old might be on the edge of being too cool for some things, but will probably really enjoy some of the bigger rides and Epcot as well. I remember loving the World Showcase at that age and getting to talk to all of the employees from different countries.

People always ask me why I keep going back to WDW for vacation. The answer is cheesy, but I always tell them it is because of the memories and the magic. We have never found any place else that can match it. Regardless of what age you are, there is always something special about abandoning reality and stepping into the fairy tale world. I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to experience it through my whole life, and now I get to watch my daughter experience it as well. Even though she won't remember it yet, I will. Your children will all have at least some great memories of your trip, and you will have incredible ones of watching their faces. I hope you have a great time!
Could not have said it better. When I am stressed with work or home it is the first place I think about, silly BUT true. I leave all my troubles behind while I am there. It refreshes me. I will not ever be able to explain it to people who don't get it and I have stopped trying to. It means something to my family, that is all that matters.
 

Lord_Vader

Join me, together we can rule the galaxy.
Disney does a great job of appealing to children of all ages for the most part. My daughter (20) and son (16) both love Disney but my daughter did not come with us last Christmas and will be missing our trip, later this week, but can't stop talking about getting to go back this Christmas.

We try very hard to experience something new and different each visit, this year my son is doing a tour (Wild by Design) and I will be doing the Steam Train tour with him to give him a little something he has not done before.

Right now, he is most excited about the two of us walking down to the ESPN club after the parks close and hanging out, watching baseball games.
 

SMS55

Well-Known Member
Well most of us on this site never lost it. I never lost it. I have a 10 year old who will be turning 11 next month and we are going because all he wanted to do for his birthday was go to Disney. He's still a hardcore Disney fan. My oldest is 17 and he didn't want to go on our trip last year, but going next month. He preferred to stay home so he can go over to his girlfriend's. When he was about 12 he started to be more intrigued by Universal. It seems that when kids get into their teens they tend to lose some of that interest in Disney. They seem to turn it more to Universal and it last through a chunk of their 20's or until they have kids. Like I said, I never lost it but during my late teens and early 20's I didn't go a lot though. It wasn't that I wasn't interested but rather my parents didn't take me anymore as I was too old to be taken to Disney. Most of my friends outgrew it too. I did go a couple of times. I only had two real relationships growing up before settling down with my future wife and they both loved Disney so we went. I have a friend that even though he has kids, doesn't go, his wife takes the kids. He says he "has to work."
 

Disneydreamer23

Well-Known Member
I think it depends on the child them selves, As children my Mom would take my sister and I every year. My sister got bored @ age 13 and STILL does not like Disney Yet I have been going every year since i was a baby and plan on doing that until I cant :) SO i think it depends on the person themselves.
 

JillC LI

Well-Known Member
At What Age Does Disney World Lose It's Appeal To Children?

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.
I don't understand the question. ;)

Seriously, though, we took our kids for the first time when they were 5 and 7, and the magic was completely real for them which was wonderful. We wanted to wait until they were both out of strollers. (Some people still suggest strollers for 5 and 7 year olds, but ours were great walkers, so it was the perfect time.) As for your 11 year old, while she may no longer "believe" everything is "real," I cannot imagine most 11 year olds not enjoying WDW. Our kids are 11 and 14 now and have been to WDW 4 times, and they cannot wait to go back.
 
Hi JBAAR Family. Sorry if this is repeat info, but if you haven't ever been to Disney, you might want to do some reading up on what time of year to go, thinking in terms of crowds. Those are great ages for kids to go -- any age really is great -- but each child may have certain attractions he or she really wants to see because of their various developmental interests, so your planning might be a little more involved than a fam with say, two close-aged teens or a single preschooler. Lower crowds = more time for fun, so you might be able to fit in more for everyone in your party.

We've been there twice -- Trip 1, my older son had just turned 4 -- he remembers the big highlights. My younger son was 6 months and it was unbelievably easy to navigate parks and rides with him! Trip 2 was last Oct.; they were 8 and 4.5. Loved it, talk about it all the time, know every park and attraction by heart. My younger one never did nap that trip, but did tire out by 8 pm or so.

No matter how old they are when you eventually go, half the fun (and family togetherness) is in the anticipation. Try a countdown on a calendar (we made a paper chain from Disney scrapbook sheets for the last 30 days and the boys took turns ripping off a link each day), family movie night to re-watch all the favorites and some you've never seen, get the park maps and go "exploring." Make a list of Disney trivia for the trip. Make wish lists for attractions and touring plans, but always keep flexibility at the forefront -- so no broken hearts if Haunted Mansion happens to close that day or the line for Pocahontas is just too crazy long.

Hope that isn't too far off-topic. Good luck!
 

smk

Well-Known Member
Well most of us on this site never lost it. I never lost it. I have a 10 year old who will be turning 11 next month and we are going because all he wanted to do for his birthday was go to Disney. He's still a hardcore Disney fan. My oldest is 17 and he didn't want to go on our trip last year, but going next month. He preferred to stay home so he can go over to his girlfriend's. When he was about 12 he started to be more intrigued by Universal. It seems that when kids get into their teens they tend to lose some of that interest in Disney. They seem to turn it more to Universal and it last through a chunk of their 20's or until they have kids. Like I said, I never lost it but during my late teens and early 20's I didn't go a lot though. It wasn't that I wasn't interested but rather my parents didn't take me anymore as I was too old to be taken to Disney. Most of my friends outgrew it too. I did go a couple of times. I only had two real relationships growing up before settling down with my future wife and they both loved Disney so we went. I have a friend that even though he has kids, doesn't go, his wife takes the kids. He says he "has to work."
We took the kids when they were teens to Universal but we stayed on WDW property. I know that when I am there (at WDW) with teens there is little that they can get into trouble with. They never had access to our car, so they were stuck with WDW buses to resort hop or go to DTD.
 

figmentfan423

Well-Known Member
Hi JBAAR Family. Sorry if this is repeat info, but if you haven't ever been to Disney, you might want to do some reading up on what time of year to go, thinking in terms of crowds. Those are great ages for kids to go -- any age really is great -- but each child may have certain attractions he or she really wants to see because of their various developmental interests, so your planning might be a little more involved than a fam with say, two close-aged teens or a single preschooler. Lower crowds = more time for fun, so you might be able to fit in more for everyone in your party.

We've been there twice -- Trip 1, my older son had just turned 4 -- he remembers the big highlights. My younger son was 6 months and it was unbelievably easy to navigate parks and rides with him! Trip 2 was last Oct.; they were 8 and 4.5. Loved it, talk about it all the time, know every park and attraction by heart. My younger one never did nap that trip, but did tire out by 8 pm or so.

No matter how old they are when you eventually go, half the fun (and family togetherness) is in the anticipation. Try a countdown on a calendar (we made a paper chain from Disney scrapbook sheets for the last 30 days and the boys took turns ripping off a link each day), family movie night to re-watch all the favorites and some you've never seen, get the park maps and go "exploring." Make a list of Disney trivia for the trip. Make wish lists for attractions and touring plans, but always keep flexibility at the forefront -- so no broken hearts if Haunted Mansion happens to close that day or the line for Pocahontas is just too crazy long.

Hope that isn't too far off-topic. Good luck!
Welcome aboard!!!!!!!!!!!
 

jmorri26

Well-Known Member
Agreed with many, you're asking a bunch of big Disney kids who in our hearts haven't really grown up if it's lost its appeal. Our answer will be no. Never. I'll have a skip in my step at Disney when I'm 80 as much as I did when I was 2.

We noticed in my family though, a unique transition happened once my brothers and I got older and now go with my son (and my family) places like World Showcase and food and drink grew in appeal, as did certain resorts. We wouldn't be heartbroken if we didn't ride Dumbo, but we would if we didn't get a beer at Oktoberfest with the family. That sort of thing. Then we start to have kids and the cycle repeats- back to fantasyland and character breakfasts, etc. (oh who am I kidding, I want all that stuff for me too still!)

I think teen years are slightly tough as I remember not so fondly at least one of us at that age "flipping out" at some point. Hormones, feeling too young or too old, you know how it is, but the enjoyment of the parks never dwindled.On the opposite end, I've said before I don't think there's a "too young"- its up to parents. My son went at 7 months and just got back from Disneyland at 1.5. Will he remember it? No. Will I? Yes. Will it have an effect on him? I believe so. Even at that age. I saw the look in his eye, the smiles and hugs for characters. So just look at you and your family, how much you like Disney and are willing to dive in and decide if its right for your family- at any age!
 

sgtmgd

Well-Known Member
Agreed with many, you're asking a bunch of big Disney kids who in our hearts haven't really grown up if it's lost its appeal. Our answer will be no. Never. I'll have a skip in my step at Disney when I'm 80 as much as I did when I was 2.

We noticed in my family though, a unique transition happened once my brothers and I got older and now go with my son (and my family) places like World Showcase and food and drink grew in appeal, as did certain resorts. We wouldn't be heartbroken if we didn't ride Dumbo, but we would if we didn't get a beer at Oktoberfest with the family. That sort of thing. Then we start to have kids and the cycle repeats- back to fantasyland and character breakfasts, etc. (oh who am I kidding, I want all that stuff for me too still!)

I think teen years are slightly tough as I remember not so fondly at least one of us at that age "flipping out" at some point. Hormones, feeling too young or too old, you know how it is, but the enjoyment of the parks never dwindled.On the opposite end, I've said before I don't think there's a "too young"- its up to parents. My son went at 7 months and just got back from Disneyland at 1.5. Will he remember it? No. Will I? Yes. Will it have an effect on him? I believe so. Even at that age. I saw the look in his eye, the smiles and hugs for characters. So just look at you and your family, how much you like Disney and are willing to dive in and decide if its right for your family- at any age!
Excellent post! I could'nt agree more:D
 
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