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What is the right age (for your family) to start bringing kids to WDW?

Discussion in 'WDW with Kids' started by HoneyBee1991, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. HoneyBee1991

    HoneyBee1991 Member

    Mar 10, 2017
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    Edit: Just realized a very similar question has been asked already. #Sorry #MyBad

    My mom took me twice as a child. The first time I was about 5 I think maybe 6. I remember my ears popping bad on the plane ride and getting sick too. I remember loving Haunted Mansion and Splash Mt. I also remember liking the Jaws ride at Universal. Other than that I don't remember anything.

    A few years later she took me and my brother when I was 9 or 10 and he was 6. It was a lot better. I remembered everything and loved the whole trip. Me and my brother walked every park and never once asked to be picked up. If we got tired we would just sit down for a while.

    Fast forward to now and me and my boyfriend went last fall and plan on going again next winter. We love the parks and want to go every 3 or so years (after new stuff is added). But we have conflicting ideas of when to start taking kids.

    When we went to MNSSHP we saw several kids about 5-8 years old still being pushed in strollers. I was really shocked. A very cute (7 year old maybe) dressed as Jasmine woke up just in time to be let into the party and went straight from her stroller to wanting her dad to pick her up and carry her. I told my bf that there is no way our kids would go if they couldn't walk the whole way (keeping in mind we walk at a child's pace and stop when they get tired).

    He strongly disagreed and said that if we did that our kids would be too old to truly enjoy everything if we waited that long.

    So my question is, when did you start bringing your kids to WDW and why that age?

    This is more a question for those who need to travel a fair distance to get to WDW. If I lived in state I know I'd have no problem bringing my kids when they are toddler aged.

    I know this is a potential "pot stirring" question. But it's not meant to be, I just want some honest imputed and suggestions. So please try to keep it as kind as possible if you disagree with someone.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  2. DisneyPrincess5

    DisneyPrincess5 Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2008
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    I'm not a parent yet but I can speak to when I was taken.

    I went for the first time at 3.5. I don't really remember much but they said I loved it. What I do remember is coming home and being obsessed, excuse me I mean OBSESSED, with Disney. I'm talking movies, toys, dolls, books, key chains, cups, fast food toys, clothes, shoes, souvenir guide books...you get the picture. That sparked everything.
    My parents said they chose that age as they felt I would be old enough to enjoy it, less risk of tiring out to the point of crankiness compared to a 1-2 year old, we went off season and before entering kindergarten, and I was potty trained so no hassle with diapers and such.
    I went next at 8 and still don't remember much but more than 3.5.

    If my plan comes to fruition, I'd love to take a baby at around 6-9 months, then probably not again until like 3 or 4 for the reasons my parents did.
  3. oliviosis

    oliviosis Member

    Sep 19, 2013
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    How ever many people respond to this, that's how many different answers you'll get. We just went in Dec 2016. At the time my kids were 20 months and 5 years. My 5 year old has special needs and is probably about the equivalent of 18 months to 2 years old. Neither child is potty trained. We had a great time! We used a double stroller (gasp!!), took mid-day breaks and skipped late nights in the parks. We stuck to a reasonable schedule for our family and our boys had a great time. They are still talking about "Mickey's house" and my youngest is now Mickey Mouse obsessed. However, my sisters in law also took their families. One has a three year old and the other child is one, their trip was miserable. Their 3 year old refused to ride most rides and was even afraid of some of the shows (Frozen!). Our other sister in law had no issues and her youngest is also three. They were up from sun up until very late in the evening. I think it all has to do with setting realistic expectations and knowing your child's personality and limits.
    DisneyBound2017 likes this.
  4. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2015
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    I think the question boils down to how often you plan on going. If you're going to go once every five years or so, then it's important that the first trip is "worth it." We like to go twice per year, so our daughter went for the first time at six months. No, she wasn't able to do most things, so that trip was mostly a vacation in the traditional sense of the word and less in the "Disney" sense of the word. It was a getaway to Florida focused on the hotel, food, and weather, and less on rides and shows.
    FirstTimeForeigner likes this.
  5. SAV

    SAV Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2008
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    We brought our daughter at 2 and it is one of our most memorable trips. The way she interacted with the characters, How she thought the tram ride from the parking lot was a "Choo-Choo Ride" and didn't want to get off of it, loving all of the rides and attractions and just general cuteness. Not sure how much she remembers, but we sure look back on it as an amazing trip.
    Disneymom64 likes this.
  6. Mr Ferret 88

    Mr Ferret 88 Situational swearer Premium Member

    Dec 18, 2006
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    18 When they have a job and can pay for themselves.
  7. Minnesota disney fan

    Minnesota disney fan Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2014
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    As others have said, it is a highly personal choice; no two people will agree from their experiences.
    So, I'll just add my experience for what it is worth. When our kids were 5 and 7 we made our first trip to WDW. The kids could not wait to get back to the hotel so they could swim. They liked the parks, but loved the pool!!!
    We took them again when they were 9 and 11 and they absolutely loved it. They got a lot more out of the trip, and were out of that "I'd rather be at the pool" age :) So, in my case, the older age worked out great,
  8. mdubm

    mdubm Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2017
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    Totally a personal choice. I hate the "they won't remember" argument though. I have been to Disney countless times (I am now almost 32). I barely remember my trips from middle school and early high school. The only things I DO remember are being MADE to ride Splash and Tower of Terror because we went on the trip with our school and this was part of our "class requirement". I can only imagine the stink if something like this were to happen in this day and age. My point is, your kids won't ALWAYS remember EVERYTHING no matter what age you take them.

    I took my daughter for the first time at 2 1/2 and some change, because FREE! She LOVED every minute of our trip. She still talks about it constantly (almost daily) and remembers every ride she went on. She just turned 4. We are going back in June, this time with a 14 month old in tow.

    If you take YOUNG kids, you WILL NOT ride everything you want to. You will not spend dawn to dusk in the park. Mid-day breaks are KEY and welcomed! Stay on-site and enjoy the pools and amenities of the resort. There is something great about Disney for every age, but seeing my daughter in absolute AWE of the castle and princesses- it blew my other trips to Disney out of the water!
  9. MansionButler84

    MansionButler84 Premium Member

    Oct 26, 2001
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  10. Patcheslee

    Patcheslee Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2016
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    8 years, DD is just now tall enough for everything. Her being an adrenaline junkie, sje would have been disappointed to not be able to ride the 48in rides.
  11. Andrew Appleby

    Andrew Appleby Member

    Jan 5, 2017
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    We've just booked our first family trip to WDW with our kids being 5 and 6 when we go. Due to cost (we live in the UK) we made that choice due to being old enough to remember but young enough to still believe.
  12. popcenturylover

    popcenturylover Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2012
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    We brought our youngest daughter when she was just 8 months old. My Grandson was 14 months on his 1st trip & my Granddaughter was 17 months on her 1st trip which was a few weeks ago.
  13. Weather_Lady

    Weather_Lady Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    It's more about when YOU'RE ready to take them! Whether that's when they're infants or 8-year-olds is up to you. :)

    For me and my husband, the goal was: NO DIAPERS AND NO STROLLERS. So as soon as our youngest was potty-trained (right at age 3), we booked a trip for a year out, by which time the kids (then 4 and 6) were big and strong enough, and had enough stamina, that they could tour a park on their own two legs for 4 hours at a time (we split our day into two 4-5 hour touring blocs, with a 3-hour nap/swim break in the middle) with just a couple of breaks and no whining to be carried. My son and daughter are extremely energetic and are tall and strong for their ages, so YMMV on the stroller issue. Another advantage of waiting that long was that the kids could meaningfully participate in our Disney planning -- pointing out rides they thought they'd like from Youtube videos, helping choose restaurants, etc. -- and could look forward to the trip just as eagerly as DH and I could. If we had it to do all over again, we'd have chosen the same point in time (age 4-6) to introduce them to WDW for the first time.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  14. Raegansmommy

    Raegansmommy Member

    May 6, 2010
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    We took our oldest DD when she was 18 months, and 2 1/2, then we did not go back until last year and she was 8 and we also have a 5 year old. They loved it! That is all they have talked about since we came back in December. I think they were at the perfect age to really remember Disney. We actually just booked again for this December and I cannot wait! We haven't told them yet though, but they overheard my husband on the phone and kept asking if we were going to Disney!

    However, I don't think there is ever the perfect age for Disney, it is a place people of all ages can enjoy.
  15. EOD K9

    EOD K9 Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2012
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    Took the twins to MK for one day after a cruise when they were ten months old. We were sure to use the Baby Care center and did things they could handle. They loved looking at the attractions and had the biggest smiles. They will be three soon and we will be on a cruise again and yet another single day in MK. As they get older, they understand more and enjoy it. Only you know your kids.
  16. Tk0021

    Tk0021 Active Member

    Dec 8, 2016
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    It's different for everyone. I went when I was 5 and no stroller and no being carried. I also remember a lot from that trip. Fast forward to June 2016 where my wife and I took our girls (5 and 3). We rented a double stroller so they both can ride and I am a sucker to hold my kids. I love it and will miss being able to carry them so I do it as often as I can and will carry them till they are 20 if I can. Haha. We are going this September and we are renting a stroller again. It's not just for them kick back and relax it's also for them to take a nap. I don't know everyone is different.
  17. HRHPrincessAriel

    HRHPrincessAriel Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2013
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    40inches so she could ride almost all the rides. DH made us wait till then and I'm glad he did

    That was 3.5 for her
  18. helenabear

    helenabear Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2005
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    Whenever you want. We go often so taking my son at 5 months was a no brainer. He went back almost every year (sometimes more) since. We had fun at all ages.
  19. keirin

    keirin New Member

    Apr 30, 2017
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    My twins went at 18 months and had such a good time that we became annual passholders and started going monthly. We take them now at 5 years old and my 2 year old monthly. They love it. :) I went to Disney once growing up because I didn't live in Florida - I was 12. I thought it was just okay - I would have enjoyed it more a few years earlier I think. I went again on my honeymoon after moving to Florida and again thought it was just okay. We got annual passes as part of our honeymoon and only went back like once that year. Having kids has made all the difference in the world for our family, and I adore taking my children. So.. it's really up to you. I understand that if you are coming from out of state and this is the kind of thing you'll do once waiting until your kids are a bit older and will remember it more (and be a bit easier to take to table service restaurants!) But if you are in a position like we are to get an annual pass and go often, I'd say give it a try no matter the age of your kids... you may be surprised how much you enjoy it.
  20. Marc Levin

    Marc Levin Member

    Mar 10, 2017
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    Whatever age where they still believe that it's all real.
    jaklgreen likes this.

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