by Melissa Joyce on 16/08/08 at 8:00 am
Many people wonder at what age should you take you child to Disney. Should you really take a kid that is not old enough to remember the trip?
How old should your children be for their first trip to Walt Disney World? Many would argue that you should wait until the child is old enough to remember the trip. I used to agree.
My mind was changed when I received a phone call that I had won an essay writing contest. The prize was a multi-night trip to Orlando including airline tickets, rental car, and a suite at an all suites hotel. At the time I had two toddlers. Our family vacations up to that point had all consisted of trips to the beach. These trips were nice, but not like the trips we had before the kids came along. We could spend limited amounts of time on the beach since the kids were so small and we could no longer take a nap on the beach, read, lie out in the sun, or really play in the ocean like before. Instead we would play at the edge of the water while constantly watching the kids, dig in the sand, and taking naps in the room.
Both my husband and I were apprehensive about flying with two toddlers, but we made the reservations anyway. I am so glad that we did. We thought that while we were in Orlando that maybe we should do something low key like Sea World. We also decided to spend a day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. We planned on spending the rest of the trip at the hotel pool. Our plan was to stick to a low key schedule to keep us and our toddlers happy.
Flying with Toddlers
The plane trip was pretty easy. Both kids were excited and thankfully quiet on the plane. Our two year old son fell asleep while the plane was on the runway. Our three year old daughter just played contentedly with her sticker book. We felt relieved and realized that this was much easier than the many hour car trips to the beach.
Sea World was not so enjoyable for us. Our three year old was not so impressed by the shows. We had to take her out of the whale show after just a few minutes. While the audience was amazed by an enormous whale performing tricks, she was trying to figure out how to get out of there. We tried attraction after attraction at Sea World and nothing made her happy. We were close to leaving the park when we discovered a ball pit and sand play area. So, we spent five hours playing there. The kids had a good time, but we were pretty bored.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom was such a different experience for us. I was amazed by the number of rides that we were able to go on as a family. My husband and I actually had as much fun as the kids did. This was the first time that I realized that there was a place that we could go and really enjoy together as a family. Prior to this, we would go places and do things that we would know that the kids would enjoy and we would simply focus on the enjoyment we received from watching our kids have fun. This was totally different. We were really feeling like kids ourselves. I found out that my three year old daughter was a bit of a daredevil. I found out that my son was not so fond of the dark. Once we learned their ride style, we were able to ride the majority of the rides in each section of the park. We got some amazing pictures and have some wonderful memories. It has led to many more visits to Disney World. I can honestly say that I do not think my kids remember that first trip to Disney. I am not sure if they even remember their sixth or seventh trip, but my husband and I do. It has been twelve years since that first trip, my husband and I still talk about memories we have of our kids there. I hope you take the Disney plunge with your kids sooner than later. It really was worth it.