It is important to realize that Walt Disney World is, for the most part, not a relaxing vacation. It can be if you want it to be, Walt Disney World has some amazing pools and water parks but if you want to visit the theme parks you will have some walking to do. Lots of walking! And if you are going during the summer, that means it will be HOT and CROWDED! Is this the best place for a small child? That is up to you. I will tell you that I have taken an eight month old and we had a blast.
You will hear people say "kids are free at Walt Disney World until 3 for a reason" and this may be the truth. Kids under 3 are free to enter the parks and you can't add them to your dining plan (but they can eat off of your plate!) Many people will tell you that the reason for this is because they can't really enjoy or ride anything until they are older but that is not really the case either.
My number one question to people who ask me when they should take their child to Disney is "Is this the only trip that you plan to take in your child's childhood?" If so, I would say wait until they are around 5. I think 5 is a perfect age to take your child. Small children can often be scared of the characters and at 5 that likely will not happen, but you don't want to wait too long to where they know the "magic" behind the characters.
If a person responds to me and says that they think they will take their child to Disney more often than a once in a lifetime trip, then it is okay to take them whenever. I can tell you that we took my daughter at 8 months and she will be going on her 2nd trip in May and she is 2 and she is beyond excited. She can tell you that she is going to Disney World to see Mickey and understands that we aren't going for a couple months. When it gets a little closer I plan on making a countdown character.
My first trip to Disney was when I was 7 and I honestly don't remember a whole lot of it. I know that I did know that the characters were people, I know that I had fun and I know that that is when I found my love for Disney and became a Disney World Lifer!
So the final word for me is, you can take your child to Disney any time and you are sure to have a good time! I also have a couple of tips for taking your small child to Disney you!
1. Take lots of breaks! Go back to your hotel and take a nap!
2. Stroller-either bring a stroller or rent one. I always bring my own so that I can take it out of the parks and it is obviously cheaper!
3. Stay DELUXE! Having to disassemble the stroller in order to get on the bus is a total pain. If you can stay somewhere (on the monorail for instance) where you can avoid having to fold up the stroller then your life will get 100% easier. I can't stress to you how great of a tip this is if you can afford it!
4. Figure out how tall your child is so you can discover what rides you can take them on. There are plenty of rides that you can take an infant/small child on. Especially all of the ones in Fantastyland. Your young child will definitely enjoy Fantasyland!
5. User Rider Swap, this means that you can go to the FASTPASS part of the attraction and tell the Cast Member that you are using Rider Swap, they will give you a FASTPASS and one of you can go wait in Standby while the other waits with the child. Then when you are done the other gets to go through the FASTPASS line while the other waits with the child.
6. Take advantage of the baby stations, they are awesome! They are cute, clean and inviting and can help you with all of your baby needs.
|Klarabelle on her 1st trip to Walt Disney World, July 2010. She LOVED the characters and had a lot of fun!|
If you have any other questions about taking your small child to Walt Disney World, just email me, call me or leave me a comment on here! I would love to help you out!