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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. kimberlymautz

    kimberlymautz Well-Known Member

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    We took my daughter and niece in September, my daughter was 5 and my niece had just turned 2, and I thought they were both fantastic. My daughter was a little apprehensive with the characters initially where my niece ran right to them. Both of them had huge smiles on their faces the entire time and I'd do it all over again a hundred times if I could. We did bring anew umbrella stroller for my niece and my daughter ended up in it a couple of times (on our Epcot day, I don't think she'd been drinking enough and was complaining of a stomach ache; and after MNSSHP because it was easier to carry the sleeping 2 year old then the 5 year old. Haha), but she walked for the vast majority of the time. We did have to take breaks in the afternoon as the week we went it was in the mid 90s and HOT, but we luckily got to do almost everything that we'd hoped to. I think it depends on the kids though, my daughter and niece are both really chill and are really good at listening (usually), but I wouldn't have taken them if I didn't think they'd be good. We're going again in March or April with my daughter and our baby (due in October!), so once I get home I can let you know about super little ones. Haha.
     
  2. LadyBirdV

    LadyBirdV New Member

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    For me, it's just as much, if not more, about MY memories of being there with my kids than it is about their memories. So to me, them not remembering the trip is not a good reason to not take them. I mean, long term, they are not going to remember much of ANYTHING we do before 5 years old or so, so if that's the argument, why do anything fun with them during those years?
    We went the first time when my daughter was 3.5 and my son was 10 months. Since then we've gone approximately every year and a half. Every trip is different because they are at different stages and interest levels and the rides they can go on are new so the trip always feels brand new. We also stay at a different resort each time, so that changes it to feel like a whole different trip also. The first trip was mostly around the little kids rides and meeting characters - my daughter still believed it and was in awe - now it's more about rides and shows.
    We still use a stroller because it means we - the parents - enjoy our day more because we don't have to carry or drag anyone around. They take turns hopping in and out throughout the day , it's not a big deal. Plus we store our cooler bag with water bottles, ponchos, autograph books, etc. in the bottom of it so we don't have to lug that around or wear a backpack.
     
  3. Astrotrain

    Astrotrain New Member

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    I just came back from WDW with two little ones - my oldest just turned 5 during the trip, youngest is 2 and turns 3 next week.

    I am so, so glad I didn't wait. I was on the fence initially about taking them because I wasn't sure how they'd respond to it. We're from Seattle - the land of rain and clouds. The weather here is vastly different, then there's the time zone difference, and the lengthy flight. They both did AMAZING, and even though they were both in a double stroller for a large portion of it it never hindered us in any way.

    My 2 year old was completely awe struck during the character experiences, and he was still able to ride all of the slow rides. Just watching his face every time he was able to meet one of his favorite characters made the entire thing worth it for me, so much so that I'm now planning a trip to DLR in February.

    You know your kids best, and if you think that it's something that they'll enjoy.. do it. :) I have zero regrets, if anything I wish I would have stayed longer. I still have very small, brief memories of the trip I took when I was 5 years old to WDW, and they're honestly some of the best memories I have as a kid.
     
  4. BigRedDad

    BigRedDad Well-Known Member

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    There is no right age I found out. I battled this with my parents and taking my DD. If we did not take that trip when she was 2, we would not have the memories with her grandpa. He passed away 9 months later from cancer and it was the last time the two would see each other. She does not remember him nor the trip. But the pictures and videos show the entire story. By not going, we would not have those last great memories.
     
    Courtney6682 likes this.
  5. Cetta

    Cetta Member

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    I want to say thanks to the OP because my husband and I are having this exact argument right now. Our children are 1 and 3 years old and I want to take them next year when they are 2 and 4 years old but my husband keeps saying it's a waste of money because they won't remember it. I went when I was 2 and I don't remember a thing but my mom still talks about it 28 years later and how much fun the whole family had! I even went when I was a freshman in high school and barely remember anything (I only remember throwing a fit in Epcot because I wanted a cheeseburger and they didn't have one where we were eating),
     
  6. Marc Levin

    Marc Levin Member

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    Memories are overrated, just enjoy the trip without worrying about that, who knows what's going to happen in the future anyhow. Besides, that's what photos are for!
     
    jaklgreen, helenabear and Jeff056 like this.
  7. Driver

    Driver Well-Known Member

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    So many good replies. Some of the good points I see are "depends on how often you expecting go" ......"you will get as many different opinions as replies"...... a funny one " when they can pay their own way" LOL but for my own experience we took our kids often, part of that was from my love of the parks. But I think my biggest take away is to see the parks thru their eyes! You can see this by paying attention to their reactions to attractions and their questions. Often times they see things completely different than adults. And that will change as they age on return trips. Many times they would remark about a memory of an attraction years later and this was yet another contribution to "how they see it" All the visits and input have become cherished memories that I would not want to give up. So in summary the different ages and different visits are going to give you
    the priceless memories! Enjoy! And surprisingly as adults only one of my boys is mildly interested in bringing his children to the parks. The other has zero interest in ever going. Myself my first visit was as an adult (20's) and I fell in love. So I think it's all in how it hits you. I loved it so much I became a CM my DW on the other hand couldn't care less if she goes or not. Often times I visit alone, she will go when we have visitors from out of town.
     
  8. Wendy Pleakley

    Wendy Pleakley Well-Known Member

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    Even an extremely active child, who would normally be considered too old for a stroller, will often be exhausted by the rigors of theme park touring. For whatever reason, it's a contentious issue but I wouldn't wait until a child is past "stroller age" to visit WDW. Nor would I be afraid to use a stroller for a child who has outgrown them in everyday life.

    I still remember the ridiculous amount of joy and excitement my brother expressed, at three years of age, toward the Electrical Parade. Does he remember? No, but it's still a vivid family memory.

    There's no definitive answer to your question.

    For me I would just make sure that the trip is geared towards the child, and that I would be getting my money's worth even with the limitations that result from having a young one in tow.
     
    DisneyBound2017 and Driver like this.
  9. newhorizons1

    newhorizons1 Well-Known Member

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    But since your youngest will be able to get in the parks for free, it isn't like you are wasting money on them if they don't remember it. That's the argument I would make at least.

    We took my son for the first time when he was 8 months old, and we are taking him back again at 15 months old. He won't remember anything about it, but I absolutely cannot wait to take him again. I have a lot of fond memories watching my niece and nephew when they were younger react to things. I'll never forget when my nephew was 2 and we went for his first character interaction. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to Minnie Mouse. Definitely a memory with him that I will always cherish.
     
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  10. Jeff056

    Jeff056 New Member

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    This.. ;)
     
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  11. DisneyBound2017

    DisneyBound2017 Well-Known Member

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    We're taking our daughter for the first time two months before she turns three. Saves us the money!!
     
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  12. LSUxStitch

    LSUxStitch Well-Known Member

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    Daughter was 11 months on first trip and she's been a total of 4 times before turning 2, her 5th is coming in October :)

    They've all been different, with each one being amazing and more special than the previous. She'll never remember any of it, but my wife and I will have memories of the trips forever. My daughter is slightly obsessed with the mouse now though, which isn't a bad thing haha
     
  13. newhorizons1

    newhorizons1 Well-Known Member

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    Yep! I'm hoping to get several trips in before he turns 3!
     
  14. md0u80a2

    md0u80a2 Member

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    You will always get a diversity of views on such questions

    For us, there are few places that offer such easy access to child friendly and baby friendly entertainment, shows, restaurants, etc.

    Also, the older kids are such hard work, that this covers them and the babies are easy - as they get older, it gets even easier

    So any time works for me - obviously, from the minute child 1 is 1 day old, they are the focus - as long as that is the mentality, you are fine!
     
  15. Gitson Shiggles

    Gitson Shiggles Well-Known Member

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    Just took my 7 month-old last week, but the fun really gets started at 3 ½ - 4 years old. My son (now 8) really started to become aware of everything and his reactions to characters, rides, and shows were priceless.
     
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  16. bamawahine

    bamawahine New Member

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    Note: The closest we've ever lived in 500 miles away, but usually more like 3,000 miles away....
    First time we went as a family, we had a 3 year old. She remembers exactly none of that trip. We went because we got in for free- otherwise I would see that whole trip as a waste of our time and my husband's leave days. We decided we wouldn't go back until we were done having kids and they were all tall enough to ride everything (if they chose to do so), rather than splitting up and sending one parent with each kid and not getting to enjoy the parks together. When they were 12 and 9 (in 2013), we went to WDW for a week. They had a blast. We thought it would be a "one and done" kind of vacation, but we've gone back four times since that trip in 2013, as well as two trips to DL. We've had people tell us that we've now waited too long and they're too old to go. They continue to enjoy it for a ton of reasons. Our daughter has asked that we take her to WDW as her graduation gift this coming June.
     
  17. DfromATX

    DfromATX Well-Known Member

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    On our first trip, our kids were 4, 8, 9, and 10 (step children, I didn't birth them all lol). The then 4 year old is the one in my photo asleep in the stroller. Today he is almost 15 and we've gone a few more times in between (and we're going in June).

    First, I think all ages can be great, but you have to have realistic expectations. I probably wouldn't take a baby, but others would. You get different experiences with different age groups. My personal favorite age group was the first couple of trips when our kids were not quite teens yet. But honestly, I just miss those days very much! I do wonder if we didn't introduce Disney at an early age would they still like it. They are now 15, 20, and two are 21 and it's still great going! At their ages now, we can really zip around and travel light. It's wonderful, but I wouldn't trade the younger days for anything.
     
  18. CherylM

    CherylM Well-Known Member

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    We took our 2 sons when they were 2 1/2 and 7 and immediately regretted not taking our oldest when he was that little! It was awesome for both of them, but the awe and wonder on the face of our youngest was priceless!
     

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