Walt Disney World (FL)

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World With a Toddler

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There’s usually a lot of debate as to whether or not you should take your child to Walt Disney World when they’re too young to remember it. My son has now crossed the three year old threshold and I have to say, taking my toddler to Walt Disney World during his teeny tiny years has been great. After three years of Disney visits with my son from infanthood to toddlerhood I would like to share the top three reasons to visit Walt Disney World with a toddler.

  1. Children under 3 years of age are free
  2. Priceless interactions and pictures
  3. An excuse to do all the rides that are best for little ones
Toddler Walking into Seas with Nemo and Friends

Saving a few hundred dollars by not having to pay for your little one that’s under three years of age is so awesome. I am going to miss it so much! Lots of folks say there is no point to bringing a young child to Walt Disney World since they won’t remember it. I can see their point, but I have seen how my son’s interaction with Walt Disney World has evolved from infanthood to toddlerhood. He may not have vivid memories of these visits as he gets older, but there is no doubt impressions were made. And besides, I didn’t have to pay a ticket for him anyway. Of course, our situation is a little unique since we are local and had annual passes since before he was born.

Toddler at EPCOT

After visiting multiple times over the past few years, I would say that of the range from infant to toddler, just after he turned two seems like the sweet spot. When he was an infant there were some great moments, and it was so nice being able to keep him in his holder and not have to worry about him wanting to break free of his stroller. But, infants need regular naps and regular feedings, and as much consistency as possible. Just about the time he turned two years old we could have more flexibility and he could interact with the experiences around him. The threenager rebellion and defiance hadn’t kicked in just making for less chance of a Disney meltdown.

Toddler at EPCOT

The photos we have of him from this past year of visits are priceless to us. Granted as the situation changed over this year, we did not visit near as much as we had hoped at the start of the year. But seeing the awe and wonder as our little toddler explored Walt Disney World puts a big smile on my face.

Toddler at EPCOT

Before you know it, your little toddler will be a preeteen or a teenager and rides that are “for babies” will be off limits – too much embarrassment involved. So get those cute rides in now. Go on Dumbo, visit Pooh Bear, sail aboard it’s a small world, say hi to Nemo and friends – do all the rides that are best for little ones. After all, our littles ones are only little once.

Toddler Viewing a Manatee at Sea with Nemo and Friends

I would like to be clear that I am not necessarily saying now is the time to visit. In the age of the pandemic and necessary COVID-19 precautions, each family needs to decide for themselves if everyone in their party can accept and follow the precautions and feel comfortable, or not. These reasons for visiting Walt Disney World with a toddler apply any time it is right for you and your family.

Have you ever visited Walt Disney World with a toddler? Would you recommend it?

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Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

6 thoughts on “Top 3 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World With a Toddler

  • I think right before 3 is perfect & they are free – for once!!

  • Our oldest’s 1st visit was at 14 months, our other kids got theirs at 6 months. We celebrated our 25th “Family Trip” this year with a 17, 12, and 10 yr old. We have learned that every age is both memorable and has its challenges and that there is no right or wrong time to go based on age.

  • I have taken both babies and toddlers to Disney, and it is amazing. Yes, it can make for some unique touring challenges, but the memories of my little ones on Dumbo and meeting characters are priceless. They may not be able to go on the biggest rides, but watching them see animals in Animal Kingdom, exploring all of the bright lights and sounds, meeting their favorite character…it’s absolutely priceless. It’s also not as hard as it seems because there is so much help with taking young kids…kid friendly food, baby care centers, playgrounds, rider switch to name a few.

    My favorite family memories are of watching their joy at the different experiences that Disney has to offer.We haven’t been able to take our youngest since he was a little over a year old due to Covid, and it saddens me that he missed that experience. Our next trip is booked right after his third birthday, and my oldest son is excited not just to go to Disney, but to show our youngest all of his favorite things.

    I wouldn’t advocate going during a pandemic, but taking little ones is a joy that just can’t be replicated when they are older.

  • We loved taking our kids for the first time when they were two. We considered it a perfect age to start because they were still free (ticket-wise) but definitely got something out of the experience. It’s worth it for us as parents to get to experience their wonder and joy and they loved reliving the experiences through pictures for years afterward.

  • Our older son visited both WDW and DLR before he turned one. Seeing my 8-month-old meet Mickey was PRICELESS. He will never remember, but I will forever.

  • I would say that a family’s first visit is best done with early elementary and tween aged kids. There is just so much to see abd do on a first visit that I couldn’t justify the cost to watch a two year old jump balance on curbs and jump in mud puddles, activities done much cheaper at home. However, I have to say that as I get older I am looking forward to taking my future grandchildren to WDW to experience some things that I have skipped over because my kids were older.

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