Whether you are planning a trip to Disney World or Disneyland, you are probably wondering “What’s the Right Age for Disney? Having spent my childhood visiting Disney and taking both my children to Disneyland, Disney World and Disneyland Paris, I can tell you exactly when that Magic Moment you dream of will occur and why you might not want to wait too long. Here’s are the top 4 reasons to take your kids to Disney now.
1. Disney is All About the Magic
Whether you walk into Disney at 4 or 40, your heart will palpitate as you venture through the gates and onto Main Street. It’s impossible not to be captivated by the history and pure magic of the park. That being said, there are a lot of reasons to take your kids way before they turn 7.
The main reason is this. Kids under 7, in my experience, do not question the magic of Disney. I have met at least 4 different Belles in the past 3 years and not once did either of my children, now 4 and 6, realize it wasn’t actually Belle. I can already see that starting to change. Will is getting little more savvy with things like Santa and mascots and soon he will realize one Mickey Mouse at Disney World talks while the others do not.
The simple answer is to take your kids before they question the magic. Sure they may not be tall enough for Space Mountain or reach the pedals in a car ride but when their faces light up when they see the characters, you won’t question the admission fee.
Here are some of my favorite Disney pictures capturing exactly these moments:
Recently, my son has told me that even though characters are just people in costumes it is still fun to meet them. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that even that Will doesn’t believe anymore, there was a time where he got to experience the Disney magic as child who did.
2. The Majority of the Rides are for Kids
I hear a lot of people say that they don’t want to take their kids to Disney until they can ride ALL of the rides. Here’s the thing, by the time your kids can ride all of the rides they probably won’t want to check out the kid’s rides anymore in places like New Fantasyland which is really the heart of Walt Disney World.
I was insistent on bringing Will to Disney’s California Adventure while he still believed in Cars and it was probably the best decision I have made. He lost a little piece of his childhood when he stopped living his life for Lightning McQueen but before doing so he got the unique opportunity when we were randomly picked as the family of the day to open the park and march in with Lightning and Mater.
Sure he couldn’t ride California Screamin’ which required kids to be 48″ tall but that didn’t matter when he was chatting with Lightning McQueen and telling the car how much he enjoyed Cars Land.
In reality, your kids can ride almost everything at Disney at a very young age. There are only two rides in all of the Disney World parks that require your kids to be taller than 48″ inches and only 5 that require your kids to be 44″ inches.
3. Disney Isn’t Just Rides
At the end of a day at Disney, my cheeks literally hurt. The reality is it’s not because I am smiling on the rides. In fact, the best times we have had at Disney have been during parades and character meet and greets. A few years ago, Charlie and Will got to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen and hilarity ensued.
Will couldn’t believe it when Charlie scolded Anna for wanting to marry a boy she just met and loved when Elsa joined in. Sure the rides are fun but when you see your kids fighting to stay awake for one last Main Street Electric Parade, you won’t be sad that they couldn’t ride a medium sized thrill ride like Space Mountain.
4. It’s Not Really About You
One of the things I hear most is parents saying “I just don’t want to go to Disney”. Totally fair. There is a lot I would rather spend that sort of money on. Still, if your children are the type that have fallen in love with Mickey Mouse and princesses, you might want to get it out of the way now. I hear a lot of people saying they don’t want to bring a stroller or want to wait until the kids are old enough to walk the parks. I can assure you at 37 I question if I am old enough to walk through all of Walt Disney World. No matter what age your kids are, you will need to take breaks. Don’t expect that walking around Disney with kids over 10 will be a delightfully complaint-free experience.
Don’t Miss the Magic
In reality, the right age for Disney will be different for some children. In a majority of cases, I would suggest that the right age is 3-6. I recommend deciding what you want your children to get out of it. If this is the one experience that will define their childhood for you and the memories will remain with you for years, then stop reading about it and just go. If Disney is instead something that you don’t necessarily think will matter, spend the money on a trip that will. I look back on the pictures of my kids at various points at Disney World and I remember the good and bad of them being under 6. Still, I didn’t ever regret going and never left thinking that we should have waited. Instead, I was thinking “Thank God we didn’t miss it“.
Want more Disney Tips and the chance to win a Disneyland vacation? Check out this post from our friends at Trekaroo.com.