I get asked a lot of things by friends and acquaintances who are pondering whether a trip to Walt Disney World is or should be in their future. One of the most common inquiries I hear is the question, “What age should my kids be when they go to Disney?” It sounds like an easy question with an easy answer but there really is no wrong or right age to take your kids to Walt Disney World.
If you haven’t been to Walt Disney World, or haven’t been back since you were a child yourself, there’s a good chance that you’re underestimating the enjoyment that you will get out of your own Walt Disney World vacation as an adult, whether you’re with or without children. Personally, I have to say that taking my children to Disney World as a parent feels much more fulfilling now than my limited memories of Disney World the one time I went as a 9 year old child. My family was not necessarily comprised of Disney enthusiasts and we have very few photos of our 2 day trip in 1989 (I do remember being there in the days immediately following MGM Studios’ grand opening!). My kids have been at Walt Disney World three times between the ages of 2 and 7 years old and they already have countless memories stored away, along with photo albums to refresh those memories. Was 2 the right age to take a child to Walt Disney World? Was 7? And what about each and every year in between? Yes! They were all perfect ages to take our kids to Disney.
The trip is going to be so much more magical and memorable if those planning the trip are as excited about the experience as the children themselves. As much as I want to surprise my kids someday with a trip, I can’t keep myself from sharing every last detail with them as we work through all of the fun planning stages.
The best time to take your kids to Disney World is when you’re prepared for weather, crowds, have a solid touring plan, secure your dining reservations and fastpasses well in advance, and expect to have a great time but are able and willing to go with the flow. If the parents are grouchy and complaining about the weather and crowds the entire time, more than likely it’s not going to be a super magical trip for anyone. Prepare and expect that some changes might occur due to inclement weather or temporary attraction closures. Plan for some downtime so that everyone has a chance to rest and recover from long days in the parks. The best time to take your child to Disney is anytime you get a chance, as often as you can, or even just that magical one and only trip. Take pictures, talk about it, get excited beforehand, and stir up the memories afterwards. It’s all in your attitude and approach! Going to Disney World can be a lot of (fun) work when it comes to the preparation and planning, but it’s so worth it.
We are already planning our 4th family trip and couldn’t be more excited! Every age is the right age so far…I’ll let you know if we come across an age with our kids that I’d recommend avoiding it but don’t hold your breath!
Candice was raised in east Tennessee. While in college, her best friend dragged her to a Walt Disney World College Program recruiting session at the University of Tennessee and the rest is Disney history. In the Fall of 1999, Candice became a quick service food hostess for Sunset Ranch Market and Fantasmic at Disney-MGM Studios – or what is now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While soaking up her time as a cast member, she met Ryan, a neighbor and a fellow college programmer who worked as a custodial host at Epcot. Four years later, Candice moved to the Midwest and married that boy from across the hall. They now live in Greenwood, Indiana with their two little boys. The Disney-loving foursome took their first family trip to The Happiest Place on Earth in 2013 and Candice is eagerly planning their return. Candice also works full-time at a community mental health center and enjoys taking photographs and blogging at Mommy in the Midwest.