Growing up I was never able to experience the magic of Walt Disney World. Now that I have kids of my own, I love seeing Disney through their eyes. It never fails that every time we mention going to Disney someone asks or comments that they’re “not taking their kids until…” then enter a list of reasons – they can remember, they can enjoy it, they can walk or something else. None of these things crossed my mind any of the times I’ve taken the kiddos. Walt Disney World is one of the most child friendly places on the planet. If you can’t take your kids there, there aren’t many other places you could take them.
When people tell me they’re not taking their kids (or I shouldn’t take mine) until they can remember the trip, I have a couple of different answers. Sometimes I’ll ask what they did yesterday/last week/last month with the point being that we all can’t remember everything. The other response is asking what their earliest memory is. Usually I’ll just get an eye roll or sigh but I’ve made my point as politely as possible. It’s amazing what kids remember. As many times as my boys have been, they still remember different things from each of the trips. Of course all the pictures I take during the trips help them remember as well.
To me, enjoyment is a very personal thing. Believe it or not, there are even adults out there who don’t enjoy Disney. Waiting until you child “enjoys” Disney or shows interest in it might mean missing out all together. Each age range has so many different things that appeal to it so your child not finding something to enjoy is very unlikely. Disney is also magical in the sense that a very shy child may love interacting with the characters or learning to be a pirate with Captain Jack at the Pirate Tutorial.
Now that I’ve taken kids from infant to eight and a half, I don’t think there’s an age easier than any other. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to put the little princess in her stroller and move from one attraction to the next. You always know where she is and don’t have to worry as much as when they’re on their own plus you have storage for your park bag. There are also times it’s easier with the boys to just walk from one place to another and not have to worry about parking the stroller.
Choosing when to take your child for the first time is a very personal thing for every family. If you’re thinking about taking your kids, try to search out families who’ve been before and had both good and bad experiences. No trip is perfect and there’s no perfect age for a first trip. You can also Ask the Disney Moms if you’re looking for information on a specific subject for your upcoming trip plans. We’re happy to help and have all had a variety of experiences.
Lynn Wiltse lives five hours from the most magical place on Earth and is always planning a visit. When she’s not writing for The Disney Moms or WDW Fan Zone, she’s managing The Disney Driven Life or writing for her own blog, My Pixie Dust Diary and planning the next Disney trip.