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Leaving a young child out of a Disney trip

Takeitforgranite

Member
Original Poster
My wife and I are WDW veterans with no children of our own, but we are well aware of the challenges of bringing a child that isn't old enough to walk on their own all day. We are also well aware of the added expense and difficulty of parties of 5.

We started fostering 3 girls a few months ago, and the youngest is 6. They all have limited experience with traveling, and I don't think the 6 year old is ready for WDW at all. The two of us purchased AP's last summer because we had no plans to foster children. We had to cancel an October trip, and it doesn't look like we will be able to get back until this summer. We're going to try to do a trial run at Dollywood or Silver Dollar City this spring to see how they handle it, but I am very doubtful that the 6 year old will have the stamina to do WDW for a week. I am am also concerned about the extra expense when you go from a family of 4 to 5.

One option would be to leave the 6 year old behind. It may sound a little cold, but that may be the best option for everyone in the end. I just don't want to spend $5 grand and everyone be miserable. Does anyone have any creative ideas with how to deal with smaller kids besides just sucking it up and taking them anyway?
 

Nemo14

Well-Known Member
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First of all, thank you for fostering those girls. It takes a special person to open up their heart and home to kids less fortunate. I'm curious about your concerns for the 6 year old. Is there a disability that you feel will keep her from keeping up with the rest, or is it more of a fitness-type issue?
 

Minnie Mum

Well-Known Member
Unless the 6 year old has a disability, I wouldn't assume that they couldn't handle a WDW trip. Our kids had their first trip at 5 and 6 yrs old respectively, and managed well on their own 2 feet. Or you could simply rent a stroller- they aren't that expensive. However, most kids won't have the stamina to go full out commando every day like some adults are accustomed to doing. Touring modifications such as built in rest breaks would be needed; and not just for the youngest child.

If leaving the child behind is primarily a budget issue, I'd look to other ways of economizing. Staying off site would be the first suggestion.
 
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Minthorne

Well-Known Member
They left Cinderella home when they went to the ball, so it is definitely in keeping with Disney Tradition.

I mean this totally as a joke. I've been with a 6yo on 2 different occasions and they both needed a stroller to keep up at times and also needed downtime when they got over tired. But they also both enjoyed their trips.

I'm not sure I could leave the 6yo behind. You might just be leaving behind the most magical part of the trip...
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
We took our then 4yo in 2016 and he was fine without a stroller except for one day at animal kingdom. We rented one and it was no big deal. As others have stated, if she is a typical 6 yo she would probably be fine. Psychologically I would worry about how she would feel being left behind. Maybe it’s worth talking to her case worker.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
If the child was 2-and-under (in the "won't even remember it" age group), I'd be on board. But at age 6, she knows what it means to be left behind, and I fear there's no way to leave her home without hurting her feelings or worse.

Whatever her issues that make you think she'd have trouble at WDW (physical, psychological, or both), I'd try to find workarounds so that she can go with you, whether that means having a stroller available, or taking advantage of onsite childcare/in-room babysitting services, if she just gets so tired or overstimulated that she needs some time to quietly rest and recuperate.

As far as the expense -- yes, having more people costs more, but I'd shorten the trip by a day or two rather than leave a child behind. (Plus, you're "only" upping the cost of the trip by about 15%, assuming you don't need an extra hotel room, since there are rooms available for 5, kids' park tickets are a teensy bit cheaper than adults, and kids' food tends to be significantly cheaper.)

I realize you're just trying to make the vacation as enjoyable for the rest of the family as possible, but I can't help but be reminded of these words: "'Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."
 
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Rlandrigan

Active Member
Plan for a stroller - not everyday, but some days. Look at the 5 person rooms at Port Orleans and Caribbean, a little tight, but doable, and far cheaper than 2 rooms or a Art of Animation Suite. 6...6 is a really good age to appreciate a lot of what Disney has, really magic, and so long as you have a fallback to a stroller, and maybe hit the rooms in the middle of a long day, you all will have a better time together.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
Completely disagree. Even if the child is too young to remember, there's value for the parents and the other children in having the whole family intact on vacation.
I never said there wasn't value in taking babies on vacation -- only that if parents decide not to, a baby isn't going to be aware of it and feel left out or hurt in the way that an older child will -- i.e., the 6-year-old about whom the OP is asking.
 
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yensid67

Well-Known Member
First of all, THANK YOU for opening up your heart and home!
Now to my opinion/suggestion...
My first reaction was anger! The thought you would leave one of your kids at home while the rest of you had fun! It seems you are strapped for cash when it comes to Disney, but nowadays who isn't unless you are rich! I would suggest taking the ENTIRE family, have scheduled AFTERNOON breaks each day, then go back to hotel swim and take a power nap(You, too!) Then head back into the park for the evening! I would highly suggest staying off site at a Good Neighbor Hotel(clarionlbv.com or Rosen brand: Rosen Pointe Orlando, Rosen International, Rosen Inn or Mid Pointe Orlando) These are all great hotels for a great price! Most of these hotels can be reserved for $65/night a little more with Breakfast included! I would rent a stroller so if ANY of the kids get tired they can hop in the stroller for a rest from walking! BUT FOR GOD'S SAKE TAKE YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY! You may feel guilty once you realize that you are having fun while the little one is with the grandparents(?) 6 years old is a good age to introduce them to a Disney Park!
If you need some help finding a good hotel on a budget, PM me I will help and give you some ideas!
 

TARDIS

Well-Known Member
As someone who went many times at 4,5,6 yrs old and remember it well and survived with nothing but good memories I say take her. I then later on went with younger siblings in that age range with me as the adult and still had a blast. Bring or rent a stroller for tired legs and plan in some rest time. I think the memories your new family will enjoy and the memories the child will have are well worth any trying times (melt downs can happen to all ages).
Stay in a 5 person room at POR, CBR or off property and the extra cost is really small at that point. She will absolutely remember not being taken when the rest of the family got to go.
 

TiggerDad

Well-Known Member
Unless the 6 year old has a disability, I wouldn't assume that they couldn't handle a WDW trip. Our kids had their first trip at 5 and 6 hrs old respectively, and managed well on their own 2 feet. Or you could simply rent a stroller- they aren't that expensive. However, most kids won't have the stamina to go full out commando every day like some adults are accustomed to doing. Touring modifications such as built in rest breaks would be needed; and not just for the youngest child.

If leaving the child behind is primarily a budget issue, I'd look to other ways of economizing. Staying off site would be the first suggestion.
We took our kids at a young age, but I'm impressed at your recovery ability to make it to WDW just a few HOURS after giving birth. :)

Bringing children into your family, whether on a foster basis or otherwise, changes the dynamic of everything you do. If you take children to Disney, you will need to do Disney differently than if it is just adults. The focus needs to be on what the children would enjoy about Disney, not just doing Disney the way you always have. That typically means slowing down, taking breaks, doing more family-friendly attractions and fewer thrill rides, and yes, spending more money. If you think your children won't have the stamina for a week at WDW, then shorten your trip or build in pool/rest days in the middle. There's no law setting a minimum stay at WDW of a week.

Count me on the side of those other posters who simply couldn't fathom the idea of taking two kids and leaving one behind.
 

kayawildfire

New Member
As an adoptive family(no idea if that's in the cards or not), I can say that bonding time is huge! We took our youngest two kiddos, adopted at ages 2 and 7 months to Disney with us, one week after they came home from Ethiopia, along with our four older children who were 5, 11, 14, and 16 at the time. It was insane, but a lot of fun. 6 is an age where they would absolutely remember being left behind and it will damage your relationship. There is no such thing as ready for Disney, our family asked if Disney was ready for us! No was would we ever leave anyone behind!
Edited to add-Don't view it as dealing with little kids, view it as an adventure. Have a stroller. See more kiddie rides than you have before. Melt downs can happen at any age so don't make that a deciding factor. Go over appropriate behavior and consquences prior to the trip. Watch YouTube videos with the kids so they know what to expect. And have an awesome time!
 
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HwdStudio

Well-Known Member
My wife and I are WDW veterans with no children of our own, but we are well aware of the challenges of bringing a child that isn't old enough to walk on their own all day. We are also well aware of the added expense and difficulty of parties of 5.

We started fostering 3 girls a few months ago, and the youngest is 6. They all have limited experience with traveling, and I don't think the 6 year old is ready for WDW at all. The two of us purchased AP's last summer because we had no plans to foster children. We had to cancel an October trip, and it doesn't look like we will be able to get back until this summer. We're going to try to do a trial run at Dollywood or Silver Dollar City this spring to see how they handle it, but I am very doubtful that the 6 year old will have the stamina to do WDW for a week. I am am also concerned about the extra expense when you go from a family of 4 to 5.

One option would be to leave the 6 year old behind. It may sound a little cold, but that may be the best option for everyone in the end. I just don't want to spend $5 grand and everyone be miserable. Does anyone have any creative ideas with how to deal with smaller kids besides just sucking it up and taking them anyway?
Bad idea period
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
I have no idea what your 6yr old can or can't handle, but I have found that 6yrs is a great age to take kids. The key for us was plenty of down time at the pool during the middle of the day. If you Commando it like others have said, it won't go great. It takes a bit of pre-planning to make sure you get in the "must see" things for everyone. But as long as you don't set your expectations at must see everything, it should be fine.
 

Much-Pixie-Dust

Well-Known Member
Try to think how you would feel if you were the six year old your family left behind, instead of taking on vacation.

Your trip will be vastly different going with children, as opposed to an adult only vacation. Different can also be wonderful. Seeing it through their eyes is so magical, especially if they have never experienced it before.
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
What are you even talking about?! You have agreed to foster i.e. be at least temporary parents for children.
What do you mean, "creative ideas for how to (deal) with smaller kids besides just sucking it up and taking them anyway"?
I guess, maybe, I could understand this question if you were trying to take a 6 year old to a 3 hour opera or something, again maybe.
In your original post you do not explain the limitations of your 6 year old, but unless they have a significant cognitive disability, and in no way would understand they were being left behind I do not know how you could even propose such a cruel thing.
 

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
I would think foster kids all ready have had a lot to deal with in their short lives. I can't imagine taking 2 and leaving one behind: i know my 6 year old grand daughter would be crushed if she were left behind. She certainly can handle a trip to WDW (we're going in May). Take them all or wait until you think the 6 year old can go.
 
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