Florida Guide > Hints and Tips
The right age for Disney
I am often asked what is the perfect age to take a child to Disney World. This is a very difficult question to answer. A great deal will depend on the child and how they view the world. For example: a very nervous, clingy child may be terrified of seeing the characters they relate to on the television or in books in full adult size. Is your child frightened of Father Christmas? Then he/she most likely will be too young to take to Disney World. Another child of the same age who is more outgoing and talks to strangers all the time, will probably have no problem at all and will love seeing the characters and will believe them to be the real thing.
Another thing to take into consideration is whether you have more than one child. When one is at the perfect age, the other/s may be too young. If you have three or four children and this is to be your one and only visit, then I would recommend the youngest be no less than 2 years old, preferably 3.
My own experience in what I see around the parks is, quite a few families with young children up to about 12 and who are also pushing babies in prams as young as 1 or 2 months old. I do rather feel that these may be local American families though, who can visit Disney many times. However, I have seen tiny babies on the planes going out to Orlando from the UK.
As regards to my own child, she was 2years 9months old when we first took her to Disney World and she absolutely loved it. Everything to her was so real. She was struck dumb when Cinderella came and talked to her and had her photo taken with her. On the transport over from the car park to the Magic Kingdom, she jumped up and down and squealed with excitement when she saw Cinderella’s Castle for the first time. We have taken her every couple of years up to the age of 14 and she never lost the anticipation or great excitement. She is now 34 and has a son of her own, who we are planning on taking next year when he will be 22 months old. He already has no fear of anything much and loves all the Disney characters so I am sure he will love seeing them in “the flesh”.
So basically there is no real answer to the question. Just use your own judgement and knowledge of your own childs’ temperament. I am often approached by children who just come up to me and want to talk while others will hide behind their mothers skirts, too shy to even look at me. If you have one of each of these then you may have to make sure the very shy one is at least 4 years old. Do remember though, once they start school you will be locked into travelling at high season all the time, which will be quite a lot more expensive for all costs; air fares, accommodation and sometimes park tickets. So maybe try for a trip before they start school.
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Page added on: 15 December 2011
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