The Perfect Age To Bring Your Children...

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Allie's picture
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crazycatperson wrote:
Gonna say it again - you can't be sure a 2-year-old won't remember Walt Disney World. Most might not remember anything, but a few kids will retain at least some memory of an experience that huge and amazing and wonderful. Seriously.

But even if they don't remember a thing, I think the pertinent questions are, will they enjoy the trip? Will they have fun? And will it be a cherished memory for YOU? If the answer is yes, go for it.

100% agree! awesome

I also don't think it's fair to categorize all children under a certain age into the category of "they'll be overtired, they'll be crabby, they'll be screaming and crying and ruining the experience for everyone else." Yes, I absolutely understand that this can be the case and I also understand that some kids will just have this experience and there is not much you can do about it, but I also think that parenting is a big part of it and knowing your child's limits. If you're willing to go into the experience with a laid back attitude and knowing you won't get nearly as much done as on an adult trip because you have to take it slow and take breaks for food, bathroom, and naps when necessary, then I think it can be an awesome experience!

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Allie wrote:
crazycatperson wrote:
Gonna say it again - you can't be sure a 2-year-old won't remember Walt Disney World. Most might not remember anything, but a few kids will retain at least some memory of an experience that huge and amazing and wonderful. Seriously.

But even if they don't remember a thing, I think the pertinent questions are, will they enjoy the trip? Will they have fun? And will it be a cherished memory for YOU? If the answer is yes, go for it.

100% agree! awesome

I also don't think it's fair to categorize all children under a certain age into the category of "they'll be overtired, they'll be crabby, they'll be screaming and crying and ruining the experience for everyone else." Yes, I absolutely understand that this can be the case and I also understand that some kids will just have this experience and there is not much you can do about it, but I also think that parenting is a big part of it and knowing your child's limits. If you're willing to go into the experience with a laid back attitude and knowing you won't get nearly as much done as on an adult trip because you have to take it slow and take breaks for food, bathroom, and naps when necessary, then I think it can be an awesome experience!

I have written this response at least three times and deleted it because I was tying not to let it get snarky. If someone doesn't agree, it doesn't mean their wrong, hey just disagree. I have been an educator for over 35 years and when I see the young children being hauled around the park in a princess outfit with shoes that were pretty but not good for the park, or they are crying because they are overtired, not eating the right food, it's just too hot, etc, I don't feel sorry for the parent;I feel sorry for the child.

There is massive research about the memory and while some retain some pieces of memory from the age of two, unless it's traumatic, at best it's bits and pieces. If the parents want to spend all that money (and I worked in high poverty area schools where money was tight) for a tidbit of memory, that's their choice.We chose to take our sons to many places during summer and school breaks and we had a wonderful time, but I can still feel sorry for the child and the people around who have to watch those kids who aren't having a "magical day". So, on to another thread and the rest of my day.

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It depends on the child. My kids knew who the characters were at and loved the movies at 2 yrs old. I think for them to remember the experience probably 3 or 4 yrs old.

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So here's my tuppence worth on this one.

We took our daughter when she was 8 to 9 months old. This was not unexepected as we planned the trip during my wife's pregnancy.
While we spent a lot of time at the Baby Care centres my little girl smiled a lot at the things that she saw and the people that we spoke to. While there's no way that she'll remember that trip we now have photographs that will last a lifetime - and beyond.
Now we've been been to a Disney park every year since and she has known what to expect and what to do.
Her brother came along within a year of her first trip and he too speaks of Buzz Lightyear and the Carousel of Progress.

Sometimes it's not so much about what you think they will remember - Rather what YOU will remember about them on that trip.

There will come a year when the two of them will wonder off round the parks by themselves leaving us to do our thing.. and the vacation will take on a new persona.
Every age is the best age for a family.
infant, toddler, child, tween, teen, adult, pensioner.. The difference makes for a change in the vacation and a new way of seeing the parks.. Live it!

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oldtink wrote:
...I have been an educator for over 35 years and when I see the young children being hauled around the park in a princess outfit with shoes that were pretty but not good for the park, or they are crying because they are overtired, not eating the right food, it's just too hot, etc, I don't feel sorry for the parent;I feel sorry for the child....

I would feel sorry for those kids, also. I'm sure no one intended to suggest that we approve of people dragging hot, cranky children of any age around the parks to fulfill Mom or Dad's idea of the perfect Disney vacation. The needs of the children must come first, and if that means you ride Dumbo and Small World and then have to take a break, so be it.

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crazycatperson wrote:
oldtink wrote:
...I have been an educator for over 35 years and when I see the young children being hauled around the park in a princess outfit with shoes that were pretty but not good for the park, or they are crying because they are overtired, not eating the right food, it's just too hot, etc, I don't feel sorry for the parent;I feel sorry for the child....

I would feel sorry for those kids, also. I'm sure no one intended to suggest that we approve of people dragging hot, cranky children of any age around the parks to fulfill Mom or Dad's idea of the perfect Disney vacation. The needs of the children must come first, and if that means you ride Dumbo and Small World and then have to take a break, so be it.

Thank you.

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"At some point in life you have to decide if you're the Tigger or the Eeyore."...Randy Pausch

"George Banks and all he stands for will be saved. Maybe not in life, but in imagination. Because that's what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again." Walt Disney

Allie's picture
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oldtink wrote:
Allie wrote:
crazycatperson wrote:
Gonna say it again - you can't be sure a 2-year-old won't remember Walt Disney World. Most might not remember anything, but a few kids will retain at least some memory of an experience that huge and amazing and wonderful. Seriously.

But even if they don't remember a thing, I think the pertinent questions are, will they enjoy the trip? Will they have fun? And will it be a cherished memory for YOU? If the answer is yes, go for it.

100% agree! awesome

I also don't think it's fair to categorize all children under a certain age into the category of "they'll be overtired, they'll be crabby, they'll be screaming and crying and ruining the experience for everyone else." Yes, I absolutely understand that this can be the case and I also understand that some kids will just have this experience and there is not much you can do about it, but I also think that parenting is a big part of it and knowing your child's limits. If you're willing to go into the experience with a laid back attitude and knowing you won't get nearly as much done as on an adult trip because you have to take it slow and take breaks for food, bathroom, and naps when necessary, then I think it can be an awesome experience!

I have written this response at least three times and deleted it because I was tying not to let it get snarky. If someone doesn't agree, it doesn't mean their wrong, hey just disagree. I have been an educator for over 35 years and when I see the young children being hauled around the park in a princess outfit with shoes that were pretty but not good for the park, or they are crying because they are overtired, not eating the right food, it's just too hot, etc, I don't feel sorry for the parent;I feel sorry for the child.

There is massive research about the memory and while some retain some pieces of memory from the age of two, unless it's traumatic, at best it's bits and pieces. If the parents want to spend all that money (and I worked in high poverty area schools where money was tight) for a tidbit of memory, that's their choice.We chose to take our sons to many places during summer and school breaks and we had a wonderful time, but I can still feel sorry for the child and the people around who have to watch those kids who aren't having a "magical day". So, on to another thread and the rest of my day.

I don't think my post said anything in the contrary to this. I clearly said that it is important to know your child and his or hers limits which dragging around an "overtired child/eating the right food/it's just too hot/etc" would not be following that. Of course I feel sorry for children being pushed passed their limits for the benefit of the parent. All I was saying is it's not really fair to put all young children in Disney into this category because that's not always the case. And if you know your child's limits, know when to take them out of the park for naps and downtime, etc. I think Disney at that age can still be an enjoyable experience for all involved.

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As an educator and mom of 4 kiddos very close in age, we just knew to be really flexible! I really tried not to put us in any situation where a quick exit was not possible in case one of my little darlings decided to exhibit unpleasant behavior for those around them! So we did by pass certain experiences like sig dining or any place without entertainment like Sci Fi or Teppan Edo.

We had fun when they were 3 and 4, but we swam more and rode certain things. I personally did not want to mess with diapers, so that was my age requirement - out of diapers! biggrin

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I will let you all know how my niece Lauren and her husband Joe do. They leave tomorrow for a 6/nights 7/day trip. They have a 8 yo son Joey and a 3 1/2 yo daughter Addie. Addie is my joy and I wish I was going with them. Joey has been there before and absolutely loved Indiana Jones. Lauren and Addie will be doing Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. Can't wait to see the pictures.

IsabelSnow

Allie wrote:
We're taking our little one for the first time when she is 2-1/2 years. At that age it is probably more for us since she won't remember anything, but I am ecstatic to have the memories of seeing her in the park for the first time and getting pictures with some of the characters. We also know we will need to be much more laid back and let her schedule dictate what we get to do and see. Now we are planning on taking her back several times as she grows up, so if this were her once-in-a-lifetime trip I'd probably wait until she is a little older.

Allie--
We are planning to take our DD a couple weeks after her 3rd Birthday this coming March. And we have a Mickey's House Money Jar that she puts in all the money that she finds or we give her (sometimes finds at bottom of mommy's purse). And just like you it is being able to see her experenice the magic that we all love. My DN and DN both went to DL before they turned 1 and my oldest DD went right around 1 and we have never regreated taking them at such a young age.

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My first trip was when I was 11 and I thought it was an amazing age to experience Disney for the first time. I was young enough to buy in to all of the magic but old enough to ride everything, as well as appreciate the "older"-aged attractions.

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Took my son for the first time when he was six months old. Had the privilege of taking HIS son (my grandson) a year ago when he was 18 months. It was a joy both times.

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IsabelSnow wrote:
Allie wrote:
We're taking our little one for the first time when she is 2-1/2 years. At that age it is probably more for us since she won't remember anything, but I am ecstatic to have the memories of seeing her in the park for the first time and getting pictures with some of the characters. We also know we will need to be much more laid back and let her schedule dictate what we get to do and see. Now we are planning on taking her back several times as she grows up, so if this were her once-in-a-lifetime trip I'd probably wait until she is a little older.

Allie--
We are planning to take our DD a couple weeks after her 3rd Birthday this coming March. And we have a Mickey's House Money Jar that she puts in all the money that she finds or we give her (sometimes finds at bottom of mommy's purse). And just like you it is being able to see her experenice the magic that we all love. My DN and DN both went to DL before they turned 1 and my oldest DD went right around 1 and we have never regreated taking them at such a young age.

Aww I'm sure you guys are super excited! We're just under a year away from our trip and I absolutely cannot wait to see her face!