Parents have many questions when they are planning a trip to Disney World. Top of the list is: What is the right age for Disney World? Read the many reasons why you should not hesitate to bring your preschooler to this family-friendly destination. The wide array of rides and attractions are sure to impress kids of all ages!
What is the Right Age for Disney World?
Recently, I was invited to attend the yearly TravelingMom Retreat held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This was the first time I visited this iconic destination with my kids, and we were all very excited. My husband and I discussed our upcoming trip, and we made the choice to leave our 3-year-old at home with grandparents.
I must admit, I had many of the same questions, doubts, and apprehensions that other first time Disney parents have. Would our 3-year-old remember this trip? Is there enough there to entertain a preschooler? Will the long days in the park be too much for someone her age? Each day, while enjoying the four different parks, I regretted not bringing my preschooler to Disney World. What is the right age for Disney World? I now know the answer–any age!
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Never Run Out of Things to Do with Your Preschooler
Our family visited all four of the Disney World parks. We went on various rides, enjoyed several food options, and met a handful of our favorite characters. On day two of our visit, it sunk in that my 3-year-old would have loved all of the same things we enjoyed. My fear of her being too young came from a lack of knowledge about what the parks had to offer. I was blown away by how proactive Disney is about appealing to preschool aged kids.
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of rides that did not have a height requirement! Check out this list of rides at the Magic Kingdom that kids of any age can ride. While there are some thrill rides that obviously appeal to an older audience, Disney has gone above-and-beyond in creating a magical world that little princes and princesses can become a part of.
Staying On-site Reduces Stress
What about naptime? What if my little one gets too hot or needs a snack? I had pondered these questions. I found that booking accommodations on-site were a great option, especially when bringing smaller children. The extra magic hours that are available only to those staying on-site were a great perk! On some days the extra hours were earlier in the day. This helped us beat the heat, the crowds, and would have been a perfect solution for our preschooler.
Transportation between our resort and the parks was easy to use. It’s no issue to bring your stroller onboard the buses, there were many families in the parks with wheelchairs and strollers.
You can bring snacks inside the park too, making it easy to keep little ones from getting hungry and cranky.
Staying on site allowed us to go back to our room and take a nap in the afternoon. This gave our whole family a refreshing break before heading back out for some evening fun in the parks.
In addition, we would occasionally do a half day in the park and spend the rest of the day relaxing in the pool at our resort. We stayed at the Pop Century and found it to be affordable and convenient.
Visit While They Still Believe
This is the single most important reason to visit Disney World with your preschoolers. One day we were standing in line waiting to meet Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. My two excited daughters ages 8 and 5, looked forward to getting these character’s signatures in their autograph books.
However, standing in line in front of us was a family with two little girls between the ages of 2 and 4. I watched them eagerly anticipate the character meet and greet. When it was their turn, everyone watching them couldn’t help but smile. Those little girls were the perfect age to appreciate the Magic that Disney World offers. They hugged Minnie and played with Goofy with an innocent twinkle in their eyes that my older girls did not have. Those two little girls still believed and this was a big moment for them.
It was then that I realized I missed out by not bringing my 3-year-old. I want to watch her eyes light up as she meets her favorite characters, Anna and Elsa. I want to capture the expression on her face as the fireworks light up the sky above the Cinderella Castle. It’s sad to imagine that I missed the chance to hear her get excited when the Beast walked through the enchanted castle while we were dining there. Looking back, I’ll always wonder what those moments would have been like.
Even If They Don’t Remember You Will
Parents always want to know what’s the right age for Disney World. I too thought that I needed to wait until I could be sure that they would remember the trip.
As the Bonding TravelingMom, I focus on the benefits of traveling as a family. The moments we share together during our trips are what motivate me. Disney World offers families the unique opportunity to escape the “real-world.” I heard people refer to it as, like being in a bubble. For a short while, you are able to put behind you the daily stresses of life. My husband even commented that he loved how fun and carefree our time at Disney World proved to be. Places like these are where real bonding can take place.
Even if you take your preschooler and they grow up not remembering the trip, it won’t change the fact that you will remember. You will remember each time their faces lit up. You will remember their giggles while spinning around in the teacups. No doubt, you would remember their delight in the sounds, smells, beauty, and fantasy of Disney World. These are moments that you will cherish in your memory bank for years to come. I missed those moments with my preschooler and I encourage you not to. Take the trip and make the memories.