What Is The Best Age to Take a Child to Walt Disney World
What is the best age to take a child to Walt Disney World? This is a common question and the one I get asked the most having made hundreds of trips with my own kids and now my grandkids.
While any age group can absolutely enjoy a Disney trip, we will seek to outline that ‘prime age’ when children travel easily and will enjoy and remember the Disney magic.
Each age group will enjoy and tolerate different things. We have closely examined and explained the pros and cons of a Disney trip for each age group. It is with an eye to those factors that we chose the best age to take a child to Disney World.
Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
There is a lot of commonality between babies, toddlers, and preschoolers when it comes to taking a trip to Disney World.
These children are all at a stage where it is easy to overdo it at Disney. A half-day at the parks may be the best course of action. The trip has to fit the bandwidth of the child, so a trip to Disney with a young child is likely to be low-key.
At the youngest ages, bedtimes are also likely to be earlier. Disney can be particularly magical in the evenings, but it may be difficult to see some of the evening fireworks and attractions. It may be likewise difficult to attend some of the fun evening hard-ticket (advance purchase required) events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Young children do need strollers at Disney World. Guests can bring their own, rent them at Disney or rent them from a vendor that works with Disney World. We recommend stroller fans, misting fans, and cooling towels if you are planning to bring a young child during the hotter times of the year.
That said, it taking a very young child to Disney World is an incredible experience and one we recommend. It may not be the most logistically simple age, but seeing Disney through the age of a young child is a unique window into the world. There is something incredible about seeing the wonder in the eyes of a preschooler as she meets her favorite character, or just imagining your baby’s brain as a sponge that is soaking up all the new sights and sounds.
Consider trying to go at a time of the year when the crowds might be lower, especially if you do not have children in school. This free Disney Crowd Calendar can help you identify some of those.
Disney works especially hard to make it as easy as possible to bring children to a Disney resort. If you use Disney’s Magical Express, your bags are delivered right to your room from the airport without you needing to go baggage claim or haul anything.
You can have groceries delivered to your resort to arrive the day that you do through the Garden Grocer.
If you plan ahead and bring the right supplies and gear for Disney World, it may be one of the best trips that can be taken as a young family.
We believe that the best age to take a child to Disney World is when they are School Age. School-Age Children are able to tolerate a bit more excitement and stretch out a day out more.
We narrowed down the best age to take a child to Disney World even further to young school age, or ages 6-7 years.
At this age, kids won’t need strollers, are easier to take to the parks, are potty trained, need relatively little in the way of gear, and are tall enough for almost all rides.
But, they are are still at an age where wonder is a daily phenomenon and they easily become fully immersed in the Disney magic.
Character meet and greets are exciting, and collecting autographs can be great fun. If they have a sweet tooth, they will no doubt enjoy sampling some of the incredible goodies that are to be found around the parks.
There are tons of benefits to taking older school-age children to Disney World as well as Evening fireworks, attractions, and hard ticket events are easier to attend with children that are a bit older.
Disney actually packs a lot of education into the fun. School-age children may very well find they are able to relate school lessons as well as learn quite a bit. From historical figures in the some of the restaurants in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom to meeting an animatronic version of each of the United States Presidents, to the history shown in Spaceship Earth, to the accurate depictions of cultures across the world in Epcot’s World Showcase, there is a lot of learning that happens at Disney World.
Tweens and Teens
Tween and teens may have somewhat different ideas of what constitutes fun at Disney than their younger counterparts, but there is still a ton to do.
Scarier rides or rides with thrilling drops might be more appealing to this older age set. If you have an open day on your trip with a tween or teen, we highly recommend considering a day at one of the Disney Water Parks – one even boasts the largest wave pool in the world. Here is a guide to both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, including all the information needed to plan a day there. Your teen or tween can even take surfing lessons.
Days spent relaxing at the resort pool may also be a hit with tweens or teens. A chance to relax can be great for kids that get little downtime at home between school and extracurricular activities.
As the Magic Kingdom loses some of its pull, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and even Disney Springs may rise in popularity.
Animal Kingdom’s Pandora: Land of Avatar and Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the new addition of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has some rides that older kids may especially enjoy. Likewise, the Safari ride at Animal Kingdom is essentially a quick version of an African safari where you are virtually guaranteed to see some of the most exotic wildlife that exists in Africa, including the rarely seen, endangered white rhino.
There are also myriad great dining and shopping options, something that may be appreciated at this age.
If you have tweens or teens that are into sports, the ESPN Wide World of Sports is another place that might be exciting to the tweens and teens visiting Disney. You may even be able to catch a live game or sports event as it is home to numerous championships, training, and broadcasts, including spring training for the Atlanta Braves.
There are absolutely activities to appeal to every age at Walt Disney World. What do you think is the best age to take a child to Walt Disney World?