I have been asked many times over the last several years if I feel that taking toddlers to Disney is worth the expense? Some reason that it really is better to wait until they are older and can remember more, but I completely disagree! I’m going to share with you the reasons WHY I think the toddler age is the perfect time to visit Walt Disney World! This is a highly debated upon topic, everyone has their own viewpoints, these are just my own and my experiences.
I have been visiting Walt Disney World for as long as I can remember. I have some of my earliest memories riding the monorails, eating in the castle, riding Dumbo….meeting the characters. So many amazing memories. When I was young, we didn’t have week long Disney vacations, my family couldn’t afford them but that was okay. Visiting Disney was still magical in every sense possible. Many families think the only way to have a Disney vacation is to spend thousands and it doesn’t have to be that way, especially with toddlers.
Fast forward to having my own family and taking my first two children at the ages of 3 and 20 months. Our very first visit exceptionally well. A few short months after loosing my mother, we went to Florida to visit family with my sister. Since it was my very first time taking the children my husband requested we not visit Magic Kingdom so he could be present to experience it for the first time with the children. We decided on Animal Kingdom and it was amazing. We made many magical memories and it was so good for the heart at a time when it was much needed.
Our first visit as a whole family was the next summer. It was in August (I don’t suggest taking little ones in August if you can at all help it!!!) Nevertheless, it still had magical moments. My then two and four year olds knew exactly what they wanted to do. Characters topped the list for my sweet two year old princess and my adventurous four year old wanted to ride a rollercoaster.
When Addie met Minnie for the first time, it was a moment I will never forget. She had awe in her eyes and was almost star struck. It took a few seconds for her to smile but her eyes were never removed from Minnie. One by one she met them all at the character spot in Epcot and seemed to float on a cloud. I know her cheeks were tired that evening from all the smiles.
I could go through each and every visit since and tell you just how magical and special each visit was. Each one truly made memories I will never forget, and even though the children were at times young, the feelings they have with those memories is nothing short of wonder and delight.
Even though the children may not remember each and every detail about the trips, (truthfully I’m shocked they remember as much as they do) they remember the feelings evoked on them. Disney places such great care and attention to detail to evoke emotion. Disney is a place where you forget your troubles, you forget what is happening outside those gates and are transported to the simple moments of the experience.
How can I say simple in the same sentence with Disney?
There is nothing simple about Disney. But they have a way to turn simple moments into magic. The Mickey balloons that line Main Street light up smiles from anyone passing. The smiles, laughter and pure joy from chasing bubbles from the toy carts on the corners were remarkable, but we were at Disney.
Disney was created for the imagination in all of us. A child’s imagination can take them anywhere and be anything they can dream. Being at Disney, this is a place that they are encouraged to become part of the story, be a character in their favorite film and be part of the experience. Your little one can dress up like their favorite princess and meet them all. Your little buccaneer can become a pirate or a prince. Once they are a character, exploring the world, Disney World takes on an entirely new experience.
As you enter, walking down Main Street towards the castle, the sight is like no other. The castle is iconic! Have you ever asked your child what it would be like to live it that castle? What adventures they would experience if they lived in that castle? Trust me, the answers delivered will allow you a little window into their soul.
Although when we visit Disney, it can be so easy to try to do it all rather than go at a relaxed pace and just experience the moments but when we do that we miss so much. The changes in details and surrounding as you experience the Old West in Frontierland to the remote jungles in Adventureland, the journey into the movies in Fantasyland or into the future in Tomorrowland. Each place can transport them into a new world.
Okay, so all of this is something you likely already know.
Disney = Magical Experiences
My key reasons “Why You Should Visit Disney World WITH Your Toddler:”
I am a firm believer in taking advantage of each and every day we have now. Circumstances change and life happens, we can not predict the future and must make all the memories we can in the moments we are in today. We can always live with I wish I would have, but we can never repeat today. Let’s make the most of it.
Toddlers experience the magic of Disney through different eyes than we do as adults. They see the simple things as magic. The characters they meet are cherished friends. Riding Dumbo is such a simple joy that can literally make lasting memories, core memories as my oldest puts it. It isn’t the ride itself, but the feelings and emotions that are felt while experiencing it.
They will never again see the world as wide eyed as they do at three or four. Their perception changes as they experience new things. Is Disney magical at 5 or 6? Absolutely, but the wonder is different at that moment, just as it is for a 9 or 10 year old.
And as a parent, taking a toddler to Disney World is nostalgic. Can a 30+ year old love riding Dumbo? Absolutely, because it takes us back to our own childhood. We get to relive those emotions and feelings again ourselves. Disney brings out the wonder of the imagination of childhood unlike anything else I have ever experienced.
Of course traveling with toddlers to Disney isn’t the same as our experiences traveling with older children or just as adults, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as magical. Disney even offers great packages for parents with little ones to get to experience bit sized experiences with a Kids-Sized Adventure 3-night 2-day package. It’s an affordable way for families to visit Walt Disney World for the first time or anytime with little ones.
Now I would love to hear from you, why do you think you should visit Disney WITH your toddlers?