I hear it all the time,“we’ll wait until our kids are older.”
Whether it’s because they think their kids will be too little for the rides and attractions, or too young to remember the trip, many parents of children preschool age and younger, have a misconception that a vacation to Walt Disney World will be a waste of time and money.
When talking about our recent family trips to WDW, people are often surprised to hear that my husband and I took our two young sons before the age of 5. Most often, we are met with a list of common questions: “How did your kids wait on those lines?”, “What rides could they even go on?”, and "Do you think they’ll even remember it?”
I would hate to think that these common concerns are keeping families from experiencing a vacation they might truly enjoy. As someone who cherishes the memory of my young sons experiencing Disney for the first time at such young ages, I’d like to clear some of that confusion. Perhaps, a trip to Walt Disney World with your toddler isn’t as crazy as you think!
One concern I hear over and over again is, “My child will never be able to wait on those lines!”
When it comes to theme parks, we automatically think of lines, and as parents we know- lines and young children do not mix! But Disney has come a long way from the days when we waited over an hour for numerous attractions. Fastpass+ has made long wait times for major attractions diminish. Also, with the My Disney Experience App, you can check wait times right from your smartphone, making choosing your next standby attraction a breeze. Furthermore, Disney shows amazing attention to detail, so even if the standby wait time is 30 minutes, not all hope is lost. There are stunning visual displays to see, short videos to watch, and in some cases, there are even games little ones can play along the way, making the line part of the attraction. Disney knows how hard waiting can be and they do a great job keeping their guests, especially their youngest, happy for the duration of the wait.
(Playing with the tracks in the waiting queue for The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh)
Another common misconception is, “We’ll wait until our kids are bigger so they can enjoy the rides.”
When talking with parents of young children, I often find that what worries them most about a trip to WDW is the fear that their children will be too small to meet the height requirements for the majority of attractions. This is where Disney is different. Walt Disney World prides itself on being family friendly, therefore, the majority of rides and attractions are geared towards children and children at heart.
On our most recent trip, there were only a handful of attractions throughout the four main theme parks that our boys had to refrain from riding, the majority of those being larger thrill rides. In fact, one of the things I love most about Disney is the many opportunities for riding together as a family. For instance, on several attractions, my husband and I were able to sit with the baby on our lap and seat our oldest in the middle or next to us. This allowed us to all ride in the same row or car.
Parents are often surprised to learn just how many attractions their little ones can take part in. (Not to mention that WDW is a lot more than just amusement park rides.) There are character meet and greets, magnificent parades, family friendly dining, and amazing shows and fireworks displays. In addition, when you stay on the WDW property, there are even more options for families with small children including; beautifully themed swimming pools, outdoor movies, and children’s activity centers.
Disney knows what families need to have an amazing vacation and they do everything they can to provide something for every age and interest.
(About to board Peter Pan’s Flight with this little guy)
The last and most common concern I hear from families, “I’m afraid they won’t even remember it.”
As parents, we want to fill our children’s days with lasting memories and traditions. Family vacations are a huge part of this, so we want to be sure our time and money is spent wisely. We never want to feel like our vacations won’t be long cherished memories.
The truth is, on our most recent WDW trip, our oldest was four and our youngest was just 6-months old. My oldest remembers so much of that vacation, and still talks about all the amazing moments we shared. Will my youngest remember? Probably not. But I will, and my husband will, and his grandparents who traveled with us will. We look back and laugh at the many cherished moments from that trip. From our oldest’s reaction to meeting Baymax, to our youngest getting his first pair of Mickey ears, all of those moments are forever etched in our minds.
There is this small window of time when children truly believe in magic, and those early toddler and preschool years are the perfect time to witness that. They may not remember the details, but we as parents will remember their faces light up with wonder. We will remember their reactions to meeting their favorite princess, or the way they laughed during a show. We will cherish being there to see them brave their first roller coaster or dance to the their favorite Disney tune. To me, those memories are priceless, and I’ll bet you feel the same.
(What’s better than a hug from your favorite hero?)
The fact is, traveling with young children can be difficult, and the list of concerns is endless. But, a trip to Walt Disney World does not have to wait until the kids are older, it might just be the perfect fit for right now. See you real soon! To get more tips and information from Kristin or to book your next Walt Disney World Vacation please reach out to Kristin Scoza at Kscoza@Starstufftravel.com
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