When I book vacations to Disney World, moms with young children frequently ask me, “How old should my kid be before we take our trip to Disney?” I think that you can enjoy changing diapers in Disney World just as much as in your own home! But before you make the decision on whether you want to take a baby or toddler to Orlando, I think you should ask yourself three questions:
- Am I going to go back to Disney World ever again?
- How important is it to me that my daughter or son remember this trip?
- Do I have the patience to take things slow, take lots of breaks, and have a sense of humor about crying babies and tantrums while other visitors are staring at me?
If you are only going to take one trip to Disney World, the golden age for taking your child is between six and eleven years old. They are going to be able to ride the majority of rides, won’t need a stroller, and will probably love the characters (not to mention no teenage snark)! Taking my daughter to the Magic Kingdom at age four was significantly more difficult than at age seven. She had less patience for lines and more fear of any ride faster than a snail’s pace at four. At seven she walked at a decent pace and wasn’t too cool for princesses or Mickey.
Also, if it is important to you that your son or daughter remember their first vacation to Disney World, make it after six years old. My brother and I went to Disneyland when we were four and six years old respectively, and I remember some of the vacation while my brother remembers almost nothing.
Finally, it takes a lot of patience to travel with a baby or toddler. You’re going to have to deal with the logistics of diapers, sippy cups, baby food, naps, and freakouts. No matter how well behaved your child is, they will have a meltdown at Disney World. Hot weather + lots of sugar + excitement = screaming fit in front of Cinderella’s Castle.
Weighing in all the factors, you can have a lot of fun at the most magical place on Earth no matter what your children’s ages. Walt Disney World has tons of accommodations for families with small children, from changing stations to baby care centers in every park with quiet areas for nursing and supplies for sale. Whatever your decision, your first family vacation to Disney World will be full of magical memories!