I hear people saying all the time, “I want to wait until my child is the perfect age to go to Walt Disney World.” But what is the perfect age? Is it 5? 8? 3? The truth is there is no right answer. Like so many things I’ve discovered, the answer is different for everyone.
My first trip as an adult was in 2010 when our children were 12, 9, and 1. Each child had a different experience, and for our one-year-old, her experiences were mainly for my wife and me. She doesn’t remember that trip (I barely do, but that’s a different story), but my wife and I have memories and photos that will last a lifetime. Our older children were able to ride the attractions and thrill rides, and we were even able to rope our oldest son into taking pictures with the characters by using our baby as leverage.
Fast forward six years and a few months to our next trip in April 2017-we now have four children, and they were 18, 15, 7, and 5. Our Travel Planner, Elizabeth, gave us advice on traveling to with kids of different ages and as a large family. Our older daughter was able to build on her memories on our subsequent trips by recreating moments and pictures while her mother and I reflected on how much she changed between our trips.
Taking teenagers has its own benefits, not least of all, the ability to go off by themselves. Fourteen is the magic number-a child must be 14 or accompanied by a guest who is 14 to enter the park. Our kids have always been independent, so we allowed them to go make their own memories while we toured with our younger children.
But one of my best memories is that of taking my mother-in-law for her first trip (that will be another blog post).
The magic is there for all ages if you’re willing to find it. If you are waiting for the perfect time or age to go, you may find that you will wait forever. My older sister made a comment to me that spurred our April 2017 trip. She told me that she realized that she needed to enjoy the time and experiences with those we love, now, while we can. Our time on earth, our health, and the time we have with those we love is not guaranteed. I want to make sure that I do my best to spend quality time with those I love. I know that Disney is not a requirement to have quality time with them; it can be as simple as baking cookies or reading a storybook with my kids. I do believe in Disney magic, though, and there is just something about being there that makes me smile. I love being able to share those I love. The perfect age to go to Walt Disney World is any age!