I get this question a lot: What’s the best age for Disney? When should we aim to take our kids? To answer this in the most simple way possible, my answer is now. The best age for Disney is whatever age your kids are right now.
The truth is, every age offers different advantages and disadvantages. In this post I’ll break those down and let you decide what matters most to you.
The Best Age for Disney: Babies
We’ve taken all of our kids to Disneyland and Walt Disney World while under the age of one. Truth be told, those trips were more about the rest of the family then about them. Obviously infants aren’t going to remember that trip.
That being said, there are some huge perks to bringing babies. They’re free on both airplanes and in the Parks, they only require milk, and they’ll nap in a stroller or carrier. Despite what many think, babies can go on about 75% of the rides; Pirates of the Caribbean included. They’re only excluded from attractions with a height requirement.
But my absolute favourite thing about babies at Disney? The photos! Oh, the adorable photos you will have!
The Best Age for Disney: Toddlers and Preschoolers.
Toddlers are still free at Disney! That’s right, until your child reaches the age of three, they’re granted access to the Parks without a ticket. Not only that, but at many sit down restaurants your toddler can eat off your plate for free. This is why we did a lot of character dining early on in their little lives.
This is also the time to dress them up in costumes! As your kids grow, they’ll either be against wearing a Princess dress or will no longer be allowed based on Disney Parks rules. There’s nothing cuter than a kid in a costume at Disney!
The Parades are always a highlight at this age. With lots of music, dancing and bright colours, our toddlers often requested to watch the same parade multiple times.
Another fun thing about taking toddlers to Disney is that the magic is very real. The Lightning McQueen is the real Lightning McQueen. Peter Pan has left Neverland and can be seen wandering around Fantasyland. And Cinderella and Prince Charming are available for hugs and photos. That age of belief doesn’t last long, so if you want to catch it, I highly recommend taking your kids at this age.
The Best Age for Disney: Little Kids
A new kind of fun begins when your child reaches the age of five! They may now be tall enough to ride their first roller coaster or fight the Dark Side in Jedi Training. Things like super hero’s and storm troopers become cool photo opportunities. And they can enjoy all kinds of sweets and treats from the bake shops. Tigger Tails, anyone?
My favorite perk about this age is that you can start saying goodbye to the stroller. At four and six, my two boys had no problem keeping up with us on their own two feet. Just don’t expect them to sprint across the entire Park. Make good use of Disney transportation where available, such as the railroad, monorail, and horse drawn carriages on Main Street, USA. And don’t underestimate the power of an afternoon swim break back at your hotel.
The Best Age for Disney: Big Kids
You have now reached the age where your kids are likely all about the rides! Height requirements no longer matter, and your biggest problem is getting those children of yours to agree on where to go next.
They likely won’t care about meeting characters or viewing the parades, but you can stay up late and enjoy evenings in the Parks without worry. They may even be old enough to go off and explore on their own, giving you and your spouse a chance for a quiet meal on your own.
The truth is, you’ll have an amazing vacation no matter when you decide the best age for Disney is for your family. I truly cherish taking my kids at a young age, as everything was so very real and magical for them. Now that my kids are older, they’re all about the rides and don’t wish to stop for photos. That’s harder for me!
You know your kids best, and you know what your goals are for a family vacation. The most important thing is that you’re creating special memories that will last a life time.