Are you planning a Walt Disney World vacation but are worried that your child isn’t old enough? Parents are often concerned that their child won’t be tall enough to ride the attraction or old enough to remember a Walt Disney World vacation. We think your child will enjoy their trip at any age, but we have eight reasons why we think preschool is the best age to visit Disney World.
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Seriously. What is the Best Age to Visit Disney World?
Our (now) teenagers have visited a Disney Park every year since they were 18-months and four-years-old. We have had fun and made great memories at every age. However, my favorite trips were when they were little. Here are eight reasons why I think preschool is the best age to visit Disney World.
1. Preschool Kids are at the Height of their Disney Obsession
Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – virtually every parent of a youngster is familiar with these shows. Preschool is the best age to visit Disney because it is the only place they can meet their favorite characters in person.
2. Preschoolers Love to Play Dress Up
Preschoolers love to use their imagination to dress up as their favorite characters. Disney is the one place where your princess can dress up, visit an actual castle, and meet her favorite princess. Your swashbucklers will learn how to be a pirate from Jack Sparrow himself before taking a ride through the Pirates of the Carribean. Young Padawans can attend the Jedi Training Academy before riding off into the galaxy on Star Tours.
3. Preschoolers are Able to Suspend Disbelief
The thing I love about preschoolers is that they believe everything at Disney World is real. As a parent, it is so much fun to see your preschooler see the castle or meet their favorite characters for the first time. My daughter was gobsmacked when she met Tinkerbell, and she couldn’t talk when Tink asked her a question.
One of my favorite Disney memories is watching Mickey’s Philharmagic next to a family with a two-year-old. At the end of the show, a tuba shoots out Donald Duck like a cannonball, and the 3D effects make you think Donald flies over your head. When you turn around in your seat, you see Donald’s tail end sticking out of a hole in the wall, and then he falls into the hole completely.
As we exited the theater, the little girl pointed at the hole and started crying “Donald hurt Mommy!” “Donald hurt!” Her parents couldn’t convince her that Donald was okay.
I pointed them to the gift shop at the exit where you can see Donald’s body sticking out of the wall. Once she saw that Donald was okay, she stopped crying.
4. Preschoolers Can Enjoy Most of the Disney Attractions
First-time Disney visitors often think that there won’t be enough attractions for their preschoolers to enjoy. No worries! Disney isn’t your typical theme park. Most of the attractions are designed to be enjoyed by kids from one to 99.
Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is a preschooler’s paradise where they can fly along with Peter Pan, bounce along with Tigger, and dive under the sea with Ariel.
Traveling Mom Tip: Latina TravelingMom Tania Lamb knows the Best Parks at Walt Disney World for Toddlers.
5. Preschoolers are Old Enough to Make Family Memories
A common reason for waiting until elementary school for a Disney trip is that younger kids won’t remember the trip. We don’t give preschoolers enough credit for how much they can recall. My daughter remembers riding in a limousine to the airport after her first Disney World trip. She was only 18-months-old.
Your child doesn’t need to remember the details of the trip for it to become part of your collective family memory. They will also build fun memories based on the stories you tell them about your vacations.
Our family memories include my son noticing how Donald dressed in different costumes at each park: a sailor, a caballero, Davy Crocket, a chef, etc.. My son Berkeley told us that the reason Donald was grumpy is that he had too many jobs. He doesn’t remember saying this, but he smiles, and we all laugh when we tell him the story.
The article What is the Best Age for Disney includes another favorite family story about the first time my daughter met Cinderella and was distraught because I made her wear tennis shoes instead of her “glass” slippers.
6. Preschoolers Still Ride in Strollers
You might think needing a stroller is a reason to wait for your child to get older for a Disney visit. Trust me. Visiting when your child is still in a stroller is much easier. On average, our family walks eight to nine miles each day we visit a Disney park. That is a lot of walking for anyone, but it is hardest for kids that are too big for a stroller but not big enough to keep up with the adults. It is much easier to push your child in a stroller than to carry a sleepy grade-schooler that just can’t walk another step.
8. Kids Under Age Three are Free at Walt Disney World
Believe it or not, it is free to take your child to Disney World if they are under three years old. Not only are they admitted to the parks for free, but they also eat free at buffets.
One of my favorite trips was when my son was five, and our daughter was just a few months shy of turning three. We would never have been able to afford the trip if had to pay for both kids instead of just one. While getting discount tickets at Undercover Tourist helps, nothing is better than free.
Enjoy taking your preschooler to Disney, and make sure and read my Important Tips if Your Child Gets Lost at Disney.
Do you agree that the best age to visit Disney World is Preschoolers? Comment below on your pros…or cons! We’d love to read them!