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.
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.....
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!
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.
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.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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