When to take grandchild to WDW

ppet

Well-Known Member
As a new grandfather I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on when to start taking a youngster to the parks.
 

Gillyanne

Active Member
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We're regular park goers, and my mom isn't a big ride person so we've taken my niece and nephew as young as 1 (actually the niece was 11 mo her first time). They could still ride the types of rides my mom would (dumbo, HM, IASW etc) and mom also wouldn't mind just chilling on a bench and people watching if they fell asleep.

A lot of people talk about waiting until the child is older so they can actually experience it, but my niece at 5 can call out thing about WDW unprompted. But she also has gone 8 times or so, so she's able to retain it after repetition. If you go regularly, I'd say when you're comfortable taking them (keeping in mind stroller or carry, naps, feeding, who rides what etc). If it will be the like 1 time you take them (or even like 1x before a longer break) maybe when they're school age...
 
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Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
As someone who comes from a family that starts taking kids when they are babies/toddlers I think that as early as you feel comfortable taking them is a good idea.
In my experience a child that goes that early continues to believe in the magic every time they go no matter their age.
If this is gonna be more of a one in a lifetime experience you have with them then I'd consider waiting until they are 5/6. To me that's a great age where they are old enough to remember and behave but young enough to still believe in the magic without knowing too much about the real world.
 
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HoustonHorn

Well-Known Member
As a new grandfather I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on when to start taking a youngster to the parks.
We took my daughter the first time when she was almost 2 - so she was sentient, but has no memories of the trip (my folks were supposed to join, but my dad caught the big C and was still recovering from surgery, so they had to opt out (he's fine now - 4 years later)). Those are some amazing memories and pictures.

We went again when she was almost 4 - was able to ride many more rides, was better with the characters, and remembers so much more. Great age.

Were supposed to go again at 5.5, but COVID.

I agree with @Gillyanne, if you're looking for the absolute perfect time for a one-time trip, I think 7-8 is the best age - still young enough to have the "awe" factor, but old and big enough to ride everything. But if you're planning to be a regular, somewhere in the 18-23 month range is great because they will enjoy it, you will be over the moon, AND THEY ARE FREE!
 
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NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
My mom has gone with us since my oldest was 15-mo and the youngest 4-weeks old. There's only been 3x she's not done WDW/DLR with us, otherwise she's always gone (wish my dad went once with all of us and it was probably better that he waited until the kids were teens when he did that; it was tacked on to a disney cruise so it was a great time). If it's going to be a one-and-done, I'd say middle-school age is good. Otherwise, whenever you and the parents feel comfortable 😊
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
I'd say whenever you are comfortable enough to take the child. Knowing the child care involved, knowing the time schedule involving naps and bedtimes, knowing how it will alter you and your spouses usual park, dining and after hours routines and enjoyment. If you want to get great younger child photos to remember the early years do it earlier. If you want the child to have memories of trips with you, wait a while. My DS went on many trips with my parents when he was young and now that they have both died, he has some great memories of his special trips alone with his grandparents. Whenever you decide, the childs age at the time will bring different challenges, so do it when you are up for it.
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
As a new grandfather I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on when to start taking a youngster to the parks.
But YES do it. If I was a child and my grandparents had the ability to have brought me to WDW..... what treasured memories I'd have had. And this wouldnt be in question.....
2-how-to-be-everyone-s-favorite-grandpa.png
 
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Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
OP: Everyones experience and children are different, so you are going to get alot of conflicting information here.
We personally took our kids to WDW at the ages of 5 and 7, the first time. We felt they were old enough to ride most things, didn't need to change diapers or have naps (a big plus for me:), old enough to "get" what the experiences were about.
Anyway, that's just us. There are alot of people who bring babies and do OK.
It all boils down to what YOU want to do.
 
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DisAl

Well-Known Member
My grandson's first trip was at age 17 months. We try to go every two years (missed 2020 :() and his older sister was age 6 1/2. As someone else said, I think age 6 to 8 is the MOST magical time to take a child, and we didn't want to wait another year to take sister back. So we decided to go on even though he was only 17 months old. HE LOVED IT! No, he doesn't remember a lot about this trip but it was well worth it for the fun he had.
The attached photo is from our dinner at Akershus. I feel sure dear old granddad would have gotten all the attention had he not been there, but such is life. ;)

DSCN0776.JPG
 
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Tom 55

Well-Known Member
We went to Disney World with our grandchidren for the first time when they were 6 and 3. The 3 year old was to short to go on some of the rides that have height requirements. The next year we took the now 4 year old without his brother. He was able to go on all the rides. He did not do ToT, RRC or EE that year. Next time was when he was when he was 7. He went on all the rides that year. In 2019 we took him for schools April vacation were he was just turned 15. He said now he was old enough to remember this trip for the rest of his life. He had very little memory of the past visits.
 
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Tom 55

Well-Known Member
I have started the planning for the next generation to visit Disney World. Have plans to take my nephew, his wife and children ages 4 and 6 Sept 2021. This will be there first time. Chose this nephew over his brother because the age of his kids.
 
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ppet

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks for all of the responses, I think we will be taking him when he is about 14 or 15 months old for his first trip. His parents will be going as well as his Aunt, so baby duties can be spread out at times. But I've already said that baby and Grandpa will head back for the afternoon nap. Although we may stop for dole whip on the way;)
 
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roselindsey

New Member
As a new grandfather I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on when to start taking a youngster to the parks.
I believe waiting until they are seven is best. They get into the spirit of the trip and my daughter had memories of the trip. My youngest was 4 years old and miserable from the heat. My entire family loved going in October Halloween decorations were awesome! They also loved the food and wine festival!
 
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Roakor

Well-Known Member
As a new grandfather I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on when to start taking a youngster to the parks.
We have decided that Grand kids can come with us when they are old enough to go without a stroller and kep all the complain about all the walking/waiting to a minimum. Generally when they hit about 6 years old. Thats when I frist took my kids to the parks and when i myself first went to WDW. If we lived closer, had annual passes or tons of money to burn then we would likely take them when they are younger. as we wouldn't care about going to the park for a few hours then going back to the hotel for a nap/rest. but we don't and Disney time is premium time. If you can't keep up with grandma and grandpa then you can wait till your parents bring you.
 
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aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I think it depends on how often you go to Disney and how often you intend to take your grandkids, as well as your preferred Park touring style. Since afternoon naps are already part of your schedule, having a little one might not make as big of an impact as someone who is a park commando.

For others, I'd say that if it's a once-in-a-lifetime, I'd wait until they're 6-9, so they can enjoy it all and remember it fondly. Also if you're taking them without the parents, you might want to wait until they're a little more self-sufficient. If you go more often, we took my daughter when she was 2 and it was fantastic. She was old enough to be potty trained at that point, and she loved the character meets. (We didn't want to mess with hauling around diapers, etc., but we know plenty of people who have done it!) We also took her just after she turned 5, and that was even better because she was able to go on all but the biggest rides. (And she loved them all, except DINOSAUR.) She did have some complaints about all the walking, though I'm sure that depends on the child and the day, and her dad ended up carrying her at some points (e.g., from the back of World Showcase out to the Epcot monorail in the rain). Honestly, I think there is no "best age" for Disney. It's all ages. It just depends on who is going and the interests of those people.
 
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ppet

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think it depends on how often you go to Disney and how often you intend to take your grandkids, as well as your preferred Park touring style. Since afternoon naps are already part of your schedule, having a little one might not make as big of an impact as someone who is a park commando.

For others, I'd say that if it's a once-in-a-lifetime, I'd wait until they're 6-9, so they can enjoy it all and remember it fondly. Also if you're taking them without the parents, you might want to wait until they're a little more self-sufficient. If you go more often, we took my daughter when she was 2 and it was fantastic. She was old enough to be potty trained at that point, and she loved the character meets. (We didn't want to mess with hauling around diapers, etc., but we know plenty of people who have done it!) We also took her just after she turned 5, and that was even better because she was able to go on all but the biggest rides. (And she loved them all, except DINOSAUR.) She did have some complaints about all the walking, though I'm sure that depends on the child and the day, and her dad ended up carrying her at some points (e.g., from the back of World Showcase out to the Epcot monorail in the rain). Honestly, I think there is no "best age" for Disney. It's all ages. It just depends on who is going and the interests of those people.
I definitely agree that if it is once in a lifetime kind of trip that 6 to 8 is best. But since I go every year or so, I'm good with giving up some park time to baby sit. When I first started going I was rope drop to closing. Now I can stand a little down time.
 
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NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
I certainly think that it's not out of the realm of possibility for 6 year-olds to complain about being tired and complain about waiting in line. They're six...typically kindergartners who have short-attention spans and tend to get tired being on their feet all day. I know both my kids certainly were wiped out at that age and youngest still took naps if he could get away with it 😉
 
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MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Both of my kids started at 3 1/2. I always preached that was a good age, they walked, no strollers, no diapers. They are now 32 and 20!
But, I've started singing a different tune! We will be first time grandparents in Dec and I've already started bugging my daughter (the 32 year old), to let us bring the baby in Feb 2022 when she will be 14 months.
(She's been giving me a hard time about committing to something 16 months away)! :rolleyes:
Really, it's Disney!:D
 
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