Disney World with Little Ones: Waiting for 40″

The question is never if we should visit Disney World, but how soon? What makes the most sense for our family? For those traveling a great distance and only once every two years or more, some important factors should be taken into consideration. 

What makes your trip worth the time and hard-earned money? What equates to a magical experience for the people in your party? Temperatures approaching 100 degrees, super long lines, crowded buses, and packed parks don’t excite me. 

Our vacation style is “Go, go, go!” Ride every ride. See every show.  Anyone who has been to the World knows this is impossible, regardless the length of your stay. In the end, I want to feel like I didn’t have to choose between favorite attractions. I don’t want to waste time idly waiting for others to ride or spend time on fun rides by myself for the sake of saying I rode. My inner thrill-seeker would feel guilty for not hitting the big rides while the mom in me wants to keep the trip geared towards our little ones. Lucky for us, our sons are proving to be just as adventurous as dear ol’ mom and dad – eager to ride everything.  Now if they would just GROW!

We planned our October 2013 trip two years in advance. The boys were 2 ½ and 3 ½ years old when we traveled. Their heights didn’t factor into our plans but ultimately led to disappointment. Our oldest was 39” tall and just below that darn measuring stick for several eagerly anticipated attractions. Bummer! Now he’s a solid 41” without shoes, so we are planning our return based on rough predictions of when our youngest might reach 40”. Can you imagine the frustration if his barely older brother got to ride everything and he didn’t? It wouldn’t be fair (or efficient use of our “Go, go, go!” time). Taking all of this into consideration, everyone’s ability to ride the 40″+ rides is playing a major role in my current planning process. 

According to the Disney World website, once we all hit 40”, we can ride:

  • Soarin’
  • Test Track
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours
  • Stitch’s Great Escape
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

At 44”, we will add the following to our touring plan:

  • Expedition Everest
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Space Mountain

And at 48” tall, everyone can ride:

  • Primeval Whirl
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Sure, we will utilize Parent Swap for 44”+ attractions if they fit smoothly into our plans, but I’m looking forward to future trips when we can all stay together.  If you have small children, does (or did) their heights play a role in your planning?

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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.

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One Response to Disney World with Little Ones: Waiting for 40″

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