Ladybug was just over a year old the first time we took her to Disney World. We received a lot of comments by loved ones about how we shouldn’t waste the money to take a child that young. “She won’t remember it,” they said. “You should wait until she’s old enough to appreciate it,” and “I wouldn’t take my baby to Disney World,” are all phrases we’ve heard multiple times from well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) people.
Of course there are disadvantages of taking young children. They may have melt downs (expect them, they happen). Or you may not be able to go on a ride because your kids are too small (rider swap- it’s wonderful!) Or you have to sacrifice being in the parks from rope drop to closing (I do).
However, we have had many wonderful experiences with our two children at the place where dreams come true. Here are four reasons why we don’t wait to take our kids to Walt Disney World.
It’s fun to watch their interests change with each visit.
Ladybug has been three times since she turned one. What I look forward to the most about our Disney vacations is watching her find new things to be excited about. With each trip, she understands more. The first time we went, she loved the Festival of Fantasy parade. She was thrilled by the fun music and colorful floats. It’s a Small World captivated her fascination so much on our second trip that we had to ride it four times in a row because we loved seeing her eyes light up the whole time and hearing her little voice, which knew only a few words, delightfully squeal “dolly dolly!” Thank goodness the line was short. And this last trip, meeting the princesses and Mickey and Minnie made her entire trip so special. With each visit, she loves something new. And I know that will be the same with Buddy. If we wait to take our kids, we wouldn’t have the joy of witnessing their understanding grow.
It might not be as magical when they’re older.
Early childhood is full of wonder. I see it every day in my kids. Everything is new and exciting. They find magic in every little thing- from chasing bubbles in the backyard to looking at the lights on a Christmas tree. As children grow, that natural wonder slowly fades. Certain things that seemed so amazing, aren’t so special anymore. Disney World is full of magic that children are naturally drawn to. Meeting Mickey, walking through Cinderella’s Castle, and watching the parades, are all fascinating events for a young child. And I’ll admit, seeing the wonder in my children’s eyes is contagious to me. I feel the magic, too, when I am with them.
Sure, it’ll still be fun when they’re older. I can’t wait to take Ladybug and Buddy on Splash Mountain for the first time, or to ride the other rides that we miss out on because of the height requirement. But there is something special about witnessing a young child meet Mickey for the first time. Or watching an infant who is enjoying a musical performance so much that he can’t stop smiling. That alone will keep me bringing my young children back.
They get in free.
Kids don’t require a park ticket until they are three years old. The next time we go to Disney World, we will have to pay for Ladybug to enter the park. Up until now, it has almost been as if we are bringing four people in for the price of two. We only have to buy two tickets. And the entrées at most restaurants are big enough for two people so we’re always able to split two plates between the four of us. Once the kids get older, going to Disney will make a much larger dent in our bank account. Disney World is expensive, that’s no joke. So it’s totally worth taking our kids as many times as possible before we have to pay for them.
It’s not all about them.
We love our kids- truly we do. But, it’s not all about them. Our first trip to Disney World was as a result of three years of saving in order to go as a graduation present for D from law school. We started saving at least a year before Ladybug was even in the picture. After she was born, there was never a question of whether we would still go. In the months leading up to that much anticipated first trip to Disney, we weighed the pros and cons of bringing her with us or having my mom stay with her while we went by ourselves. Ultimately, we decided to bring her and we’re glad we did. We went for D and I. Ladybug just added to the fun.
Bringing young children to Disney World might not be for everyone. Sure, our kids won’t remember these early trips to the most magical place on Earth. But D and I will remember the joy on their faces. There are some great benefits of bringing them that you won’t get when your kids are older. If you are considering going to Disney World but having young children is the only thing that is stopping you, just go. You’re sure to enjoy it!
Do you bring your young children to Disney World? Or do you prefer to wait?
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