Thursday, March 20, 2014

Visiting Disney World With Small Children #disney


I am a huge Disney lover. All things Disney. My first experience with the theme parks was on my honeymoon. Hubby and I spent a week at the Grand Floridian and had an amazing time. We spent lots of our visit at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We thoroughly enjoyed Animal Kingdom, although only needed a half day or so to visit that park.  For us, Disney Hollywood Studio's is our least favourite.

Breakfast at Crystal Palace with Eeyore
Meeting Eeyore for at breakfast


We received lots of odd looks and questions as to why we would want to Honeymoon at Disney (it's for families, don't you want to relax on the beach etc etc) For us, it was the perfect place. We both love Disney, hubby hadn't been in years and I hadn't been at all.

We could stay at the resort and relax on the beach or by the pool, or we could go off to the parks and have fun - whatever we wanted. Neither of us is a sit on the beach for a week person.

Disney World, Grand Floridian, honeymoon
hubby and I relaxing on the beach at the Grand Flo
After that trip, we knew that we wanted to go back with our kids when they were young. What a great thing to witness - watching your children taking in all the magic that Disney has to offer. There really is something for everyone.

Again, we were met with questions and comments about why we would take small children to Disney - it's expensive and "wasting" money for that age (our kids were 3.5 and 5mths when we went).

So, here are my answers:

1) They won't remember it: Maybe, maybe not. Mr. J DOES have memories of our time at Disney. They may be vague, but he does. Often if we are looking at pictures it will trigger something.  Besides, if I was only going to do activities with my kids that THEY will remember, I wouldn't be doing anything until they are well over 3. That involves ANY vacation, any family trip - so that theory goes out the window IMHO. There are pictures for them to look at, and part of it was so that WE could enjoy the wonderment that they experienced (honestly, the best part of that trip was watching the joy on Mr. J's face as he experienced everything and took it all in).
Disney World, family vacation, it's a small world
Mr. J on it's a small world - look at the wonderment/joy on his face

Florida, Disney, Chip and Dale
happy boy meeting Chip and Dale

2) It's expensive: Yep, it is. We aren't a "go on a vacation every year kind" of family. If we need to save for a few years to be able to go to Disney, then that's what we will do. Although, there are many ways to make it much more affordable (staying at a value resort or staying off site completely; they even have a campground if you have an RV or want to camp instead of staying in a hotel)

3) They won't enjoy it or be able to do anything: Wrong and wrong. While Mr. K screamed his way around WDW, that was his personality and he just didn't like being out of his own surroundings. He only slept well in his crib, so it wouldn't have mattered where we were. Once he settled into the non-routine of our vacation and slept on the go, he was happy and he DID get a lot of enjoyment out of it.  Seeing the characters was a huge thing for him.
Disney World, baby at disney, florida, chef mickeys, family vacation
Mr. K LOVED minnie - he wanted to eat her nose

Mr. J - 3.5 was a PERFECT age for him to go. He was very familiar with Disney characters from movies that he had seen and LOVED meeting them (and was even tickle attacked by pluto); he enjoyed the games that he played and spending time with us and his grand parents. He had fun at the resort splash pad, playing games around the hotel and finding hidden mickeys in hallways and restaurants.
character spot at disney, pluto
tickle attack from pluto

He had fun taking the monorail, riding the bus and a short train ride at Magic Kingdom. He loved being on a boat during the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and he had an amazing time on the safari in Animal Kingdom.
crystal palace, breakfast with pooh, disney,
Mr. J giving Winnie the Pooh a hug

He was able to ride in a large go kart with his dad, go on mini-roller coasters with his grandpa and eat dinner next to an aquarium filled with beautiful sea creatures.  He saw parades and fire works and took in all the magic that is Disney. It was a wonderful age.
Disney, go kart, rides, florida
enjoying the go kart (first ride at disney)

Hubby and I got to experience Disney through the eyes of a child, and that made the trip for us. We had an amazing time on our honeymoon, and I am certainly glad that I got to experience Disney as an adult without young children. However, I cannot wait to go back and experience all the magic that kids bring with them (this time without the screaming baby).

Personally, I think if you are only going to go once - then you should wait until the kids are old enough to remember the trip fully and have a different experience - I would say between 7 and 10 years old. However, if you are like us that plan on going every 3-5 years, then I think going the first time when they are still innocent and truly believe in the magic, is the best time to go.

Cinderella's Castley, main street usa, disney world, magic kingdom
Family Picture at Magic Kingdom

29 comments:

  1. I love how you and hubby went there for your honeymoon! Great idea :) That pic of you and Eeyore is adorable! There's nothing more fun they watching kids and all their excitement at a place like Disneyworld. They may not remember much, but those memories will be with you forever. We really need to take our little man down there soon!

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    1. I really do love it! I am sure he would enjoy it if you make it there!

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  2. I love Disney! It's such a magical place! I think with the photos you have taken, you'll be able to keep those memories alive for them.

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    1. thanks Wendy - these are just a few!

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    2. I was JUST thinking about when to bring my little one to Disneyland! We used to live right by there and we never went as often as we should have! Now that we have a little one - I can't get there soon enough! Love your tips and thoughts on bringing a toddler and baby to Disneyland especially with the intentions of going several times! I'm going to take your advice - and run with it :)

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  3. What a great post!! I have only been to DW when I was little. I'm dying to take my kids. I have contemplated those points you brought up on many occasions. I think I need to go!

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    1. thanks Jen! It really is a completely personal decision when/where you travel, I just wanted to answer the questions that we get asked all the time

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  4. Hubby and I have totally spoken about going to Disney for our Honeymoon, I require myself to take my kiddies and go so bad! I have never been myself so I just HAVE TO! I HAVE TO! lol

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    1. It's so much fun! I hope you get to go

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  5. Disney is always fun, esp with kids

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  6. I think Disney is great for anyone at anytime. Glad you are sharing the magic.

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    1. thanks for visiting! Sharing the magic is a must for us!

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  7. Oh wow, looks like everyone enjoyed themselves, I have never been and probably never will, so if you want to take me I'm willing..lol. and if you go every few years it's always going to be something different and enjoyed by the little ones

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    1. It was so much fun, and yes, we ALL had a great time! Can't wait for our next trip

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  8. You definitely captured joy and wonderment in those photos!

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  9. oh my how exciting!!!! beautiful photos!!!!

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  10. I think that anytime is a great time to visit Disney, my grandsons have been going to Disney land yearly for about 18 years, and they always talk about one visit or the other and what is different and they are very knowledgabel, My oldest grandson, who is 18 wants to be a Disney Animator and then when we took the younger grandchildren this summer they rode with them, and at times they all talk about what they did with their cousins, it was great. I remember going to Disney land in early 60's when we visited my uncle and they had ticket books, and my E tickets always were first to go, but we ended up with A tickets left over, never to young

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    1. :) that would be such a cool job

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  11. Oh....This is on our soon to do list before our girls are too old to still believe in the magic...can that even happen? I still believe in the magic of Disney!

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    1. I still believe in the magic too!

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  12. I have never been to Disney but would like to go one day

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  13. We hope to take our kids to Disney in the next few years. So I am enjoying gathering all kinds of info on it.

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  14. It looks like you and your family had a super fun holiday!

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    1. we really did! Going back next year!

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