We may earn money or products from the companies or links mentioned in this post.
In facebook groups, on pages, and all over the web, I see the questions a lot- how young is too young to take a child to Disney. Sometimes I see “I would never take a baby to Disney” or “I won’t take a child until they are 5 years old.”
So how young is too young for Disney?
There are a lot of different opinions on this, and of course nobody will agree 100% on when is the right time to take baby’s first trip to Disney but if you are on the fence, we have some advice to help you decide.
Now, if you are local, chances are you will start taking your child to Disney quite early. Maybe as early as a month old. The question is, if you are someone who has to save up and make a big trip, when is your baby going to be old enough to go to Disney for the first time?
The Goof took his first trip to Disneyland at 10 months old. His second trip at 17 months old. We did a one day visit at 22 months old. Another full visit at 2.5, almost 3 and 3.5. That is right, our three year old has been to Disneyland (a 17 hour drive away) 6 times.
Since we have taken him at different ages, it has given us a lot of insight as to how the trip goes with children at a different age. Nobody can make the decision for you on when to make that first magical visit to Disney, but we can clue you in on some things that may help you make your decision.
Your Child’s Routine- If you have a child that needs to nap for 3 hours, but won’t sleep in a stroller, you may have to return to a hotel for a good chunk of the day. If this is during the off-season and the park hours are short (like Disneyland’s 10-8 days) you might decide to hold off a bit. If your child is super cranky if your routine is off and that drives you up the wall, you may not want to go just yet.
How Well Your Child Travels- If you are traveling far you might want to consider how your child does traveling. Or maybe how well you handle traveling with your child. If your child spends every minute in their car seat screaming, then a 17 hour drive to Disney may not be worth it right now. If you have not traveled with your child before, you may want to take a small trip first to test it out.
Do You Want to Have Adult Time- If you want to have adult time, go on big rides, and just be able to not worry about pushing a stroller at least once during your vacation, take this into consideration. This doesn’t mean you can not go, but it means you need to decide if you have other children old enough to watch your baby, or if you want to bring another adult with you. Our first trip with the Goof, our niece got to do all the big rides two times. Once with Disney Daddy and once with me, while the other adult sat out with the Goof.
When You Will Return- I think this is the biggest thing parents should consider when deciding when they want to take the first trip to Disney with your child(ren). I am not a believer in the whole “they won’t remember it so you shouldn’t go” theory. What I am a believer in is that if this is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, or something that will only happen maybe once in a decade, you may want to hold off on taking your child to Disney until they can enjoy more of the rides, remember the visit, and understand just how magical a visit to Disney is. If you plan to go every couple of years, you may decide to take them younger. Honestly, this would be my deciding factor on when I would take my child’s first trip to Disney.
So my personal opinion- it is never too young to take a child to Disney. Honestly, the Goof was so easy to take when he was 10 months, 17 months and even 22 months. Now, at 3.5 he has a lot more melt downs. He is still really good compared to a lot of kids, but he has his moments. We also have to worry more about potty breaks since he is potty trained. He no longer naps so trying to squeeze in an adult ride, even if we have another person to watch him, is hard. Wow, that makes it sound like you should avoid taking them from like 3 years old to 5 years old huh? Not what I meant to do.
There is good about the age he is now too. Now, he remembers so much. And he totally believes in the magic. He talks about Disneyland every day. He uses duplos to build his own version of the rides, has us re-enact different things, and even tells stories about our trip. This age is a lot of fun.
I guess, after all this rambling, I have to say, how young is too young? It is never too young, as long as you want to take your child. Disney is all about magic and memories. Not just for kids, but for the parents too. So even if your little one won’t remember every detail, you will.