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Ask It: What is the Best Age for a Kid’s First Disney Trip?

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If you ask any Disney fan, they can tell you when their first trip was to a Disney park. Depending on the age of that trip, they may or may not remember much about it, but you can bet that whatever age, their families remember that trip! There are so many considerations when it comes to planning a kid’s first Disney trip, but is there a perfect age for that first trip? This week, we’re asking you:

What is the best age for a kid’s first Disney trip?

  • 3-6 (60%, 518 Votes)
  • 7-9 (27%, 230 Votes)
  • 0-2 (11%, 97 Votes)
  • 10+ (2%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 863

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Voting is live here and on Twitter. Feel free to share your views in the comments, and we’ll have your results here next week on Ask It.

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Julia Mascardo

Former writer, editor, and social media manager of TouringPlans. Embarking on new adventures with husband, kid, and cats.

20 thoughts on “Ask It: What is the Best Age for a Kid’s First Disney Trip?

  • We took our daughter on her first trip around six months old. The trip wasn’t so much for her as for us. We had been going to Disney once or twice a year for a couple of years and didn’t go while I was pregnant so we wanted to go back after about 18 months away. We then took her about every six months after until she turned two (now we wait until her baby brother is born). His first trip is already booked. It has been great seeing her change each trip and what she grows to like and enjoy. She loves seeing pictures of her meeting Mickey and the others.

  • Michelle

    When we took our son the first time he was a couple months shy of his second birthday – he had a ball but doesn’t remember a single thing. His dad and I remember everything and it was such a fund trip. We are taking him again just shy of his third birthday (last chance to be free!) That said, if it’s your once in a lifetime trip, probably wait until they are a bit older. Also know your kid, ours is pretty easy-going and we’ve taken him on lots of outings since he was just a few weeks old.

    • I’d agree that taking them just shy of their third birthday (when its free) is a great time for everyone. We did that and while me daughter might not remember much of the trip, she does recognize herself in all of the pictures and had a great time. Obviously, its different than going with adults only or older kids (strollers, slower pace, mid-day naps, diapers, and no thrilling rides unless someone stays behind), but it was still great.

  • Mike N.

    This question really has to deal with a qualifier. First and ONLY trip yields a very different answer than First of MANY trips. We are lucky to go at least yearly starting at about 14 months of age. If we were only going to visit once then 7-9 would be our choice.

    • I agree about the qualifier. If you can plan to go more than once, then definitely 4-6 for the first trip. The pure joy and wonder on their little faces is truly magical at this age. But if you can go only once, I’d aim for 7-9, so they can better treasure the memories.

    • Michelle B.

      I agree 100%. If we were only able to take a once in a lifetime trip, I think I would advocate for the 7-9 or 10+ ages (depending on the age range for siblings). But for a family who will be able to take several trips while their children grow up, I think 3-6 really is the sweet spot for that first magical visit.

  • Lauren

    We didn’t go until I was 21. My mom specifically waited until we were old enough that we could roam on our own and she wouldn’t have to worry about us (why 16+ wasn’t old enough is anyone’s guess).

  • Take the kids when you want to, the age doesn’t matter. I don’t take my kids for them to have memories, I take them for me to have memories.

  • I voted ages 3-6, but that is with an assumption that this is the child’s *only* trip to Disney World. If the family plans to return many times over the course of their childhood, then there’s absolutely no reason not to go as early (and as often!) as possible. We took our daughter on her first trip at 8 months old. She went again at 15 months, and then to Disneyland at age 3 and 4. She’ll go to Disneyland again at age 5. It’s been wonderful to watch her grow and see how her experience changes and evolves as she gets older! Yes, the early trips were more for us than for her, but we still enjoyed being there as a family!

  • With so many rides and attractions that require kids to be of a certain size, Disney World is best appreciated by kids age 7 or older. You can certainly bring younger kids along, but you’ll need to come back again.

    • We just got back from a trip over my child’s 4th birthday and while we weren’t able to go on some of the rides and attractions, I didn’t find that to be much of a problem. Yes, its not as “exciting” but we also didn’t have to worry about hour long waits of getting the right Fast Pass for those rides. So we’ll all remember what we did do and not the long waits for a few minutes of excitement. I guess it all depends on what you enjoy. (That being said, I’m sure we’ll head back in a few years once my short child is tall enough…)

  • allison

    Qualifier – we only have boys so no princess stuff for us. But, our first trip was 7-9 and we had a GREAT time! No strollers, everyone could stay up and run around and ride most rides. Since then we have been 4 more times and I have Disney lovers in my family!

  • We took our twins for the first time for their third birthday. We arranged the trip so they turned 3 at the end of the trip so they were FREE. Free times 2 saved BIG money and they still had lots of memories of the trip a year and a half later when we went back. Definately take them by six. After that you lose some of the magic!

  • I do agree with many about the qualifier if this will be an only trip or one of many. The first time I went (I was 21) I swore I would never take my child until they were at least 10. I ended up living in Florida when I had my child so it was so convenient to take her earlier than that. Her first trip was at 23 months and she has been every year of her life since. We just celebrated her 10th birthday there. I have enjoyed going through the different stages and ages of experiences with her at Disney. It has allowed me to experience WDW in ways I would never have without taking her at all of those ages.

  • For many families, like mine, a Disney trip is an expensive undertaking. I wanted to take our boys when they were 2 and 4, but my husband convinced me that they wouldn’t remember it, and it wouldn’t be worth the money. I think he was right. We took them for the first time at 5 and 7, and they had a great time and have memories from the trip. I’d say that if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip or a big-budget trip for you, wait until they are at least over 5.

  • If, like us, your trip to Florida includes a 10+ hour flight, I would recommend around 4-5 years to be the perfect age!

    That said – we are taking our 1-year-old to Disneyland Paris (a 4 hour drive, so not too bad) next month. That’s more for us than her though! 🙂

  • Rachel

    I say Any Age. I have 5 children and if we “waited” for the optimum age–well then we would never have visited! Disney has something for everyone. Granted, a baby is not getting the same experience as an older child but I think each family needs to do what works for their family. For some that means waiting until each child is a certain age and for others it means going when you have the time and budget. There is no Wrong Time to go to Disney! (Except maybe during a hurricane.)

  • We like to say we used the three year plan. We took our kids for their first trip when they were 3 and 6. But we only did MK and AK. Went again when they were 6 and 9 and added DHS as well as MK and AK. Then at 9 and 12 we added Epcot to our list. Worked great! Now we have young adult children who still love Disney. We have gone when they were both teens for Star Wars weekend, took just the younger one for his 18 b-day last Thanksgiving, and I will be going next weekend with my 21 year old daughter for MNSSHP and Food and Wine for her senior year of college fall break.

  • To us, it was all about height requirements on the rides and attractions. My youngest son was 5 on his first trip but being a taller 5 year old could go on everything we wanted to (with the exception of the Rockin’ Roller coaster…boo) and that was SO worth it! The ability to walk around without a stroller was also key. We took walks as a family ahead of our trip as suggested by Touring plans and the whole family was ready for the long days of walking. I’d say wait till you can do almost everything with your kiddos, especially if we are talking a once in a lifetime trip. It is too expensive and magical to miss rides or waste time on rider swap if you can’t afford to go every year.

  • We had a big family trip for my 6th birthday. I don’t remember much but do remember enough (it was enough to make me fall in love with it anyway!), no prams, I was tall enough for everything and handled walking around all day with no breaks. My mum’s always said that one of her best parenting moments was watching me watch SpectroMagic and the look of pure joy in my face – I don’t remember that but I love that she does.

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