People are always asking, “When’s the right age to bring your kid to Walt Disney World?” My biased opinion says every age. Yes, we are a Disney enthusiast family. DVC members, we honeymooned here, we’ve raced here. We’d do everything here if we could. Surprisingly, we were originally in the camp of waiting to bring our kids with us when they were school age. But upon taking our first adults only Disney vacation after our daughter was born, we learned a few things that made us change our minds.
Children under the age of 3 are free. They do not require a park ticket to get into the parks. This is a humungous savings on your vacation. A children’s park ticket costs anywhere between $96/ticket to $178/ticket. If you are purchasing a four day park package. it’s anywhere between $360/ticket to $460/ticket. By bringing your little, even a few months before they are three, you are saving a lot of money. Even though your little mouseketeer doesn’t require a park pass, they still get to experience all the attractions, entertainment and character experiences. Just at a drastically reduced cost to your family.
Free Dining Plan
If you are on the dining plan, your little under the age of 3 is not charged. Most littles this size can’t handle the large portions served up at the dining experiences, so the dining plan doesn’t bother charging guests for them. You can still choose to order something off the menu for them and you’ll be charged separately but you don’t have to pay for them on the dining plan. If you have two littles, with one under three, divi up the kids meal. There’s plenty for two. A way of getting around this, go to buffets. When you go to a buffet you can give your little under 3 a plate of their own and serve up their own helping. Bring your own sippy cup and pour in some of your drink or ask for water.
As an adult you may be thinking, a child under the age of 3 won’t be able to do much. At the Magic Kingdom there are 42 attractions that are accessible for littles 32 inches and smaller. That’s a full day friends. But children between the age of 2 and 3 may even be able to enjoy some of the attractions that are for made for individuals 35 inches and taller and 38 inches and taller. On our most recent vacation, Lincoln was a month shy of 3, he was 38 inches. So he was able to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the Barnstormer and theoretically he could have gone on Kali River Rapids if it hadn’t been under refurbishment. So even though they’re free, it doesn’t mean they won’t be able to ride some of the newest and funnest attractions.
Some people may think these littles are too young to remember these trips. And that may be so, but the more pictures you take and videos you record they can relive it again and again. They’ll become memories, whether they’re from the actual moment in time or from looking at the images as they grow up.
20 years ago, strollers were not as stable, comfortable, readily accessible. Now, you can bring your own, rent one from Disney, rent one from a Stroller Rental company. There are so many options that will give your little the comfort that they’ll need to have a mid day park nap and to sit instead of walk around the parks. They can even pass out in the stroller when they’re ready to be done the day and you want to stick around for the fireworks.
Water Play Areas
At many of the Walt Disney World Resorts they’ve created Water Play Areas. These are splash and play areas created for littles. These areas are not pools, so littles have no need for lifejackets or water wings, because there is no water depth. They have water spraying out from the ground, water slides, big buckets dumping out water. Now these littles don’t have to miss out on the pool day, they get the best of the best. Kids can play for hours on these structures, staying cool and entertained. Your little will now have as much fun, if not more fun than any tween or teenager. The resorts listed below have some varied degree of a water play area. You don’t even have to be staying at some of these resorts, you can always pool hop.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Disney’s Port Orleans-French Quarter
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
There is one whole area of Typhoon Lagoon that is dedicated to littles. It’s called Ketchakiddee Creek. This area is open to all 48 inches and smaller. With water slides, tube slides, pools, all made for littles. And again, littles under three are free!!! So they have a whole area of the water park made for them to enjoy and you don’t even have to pay for them to use it. If you add on the park hopper and more option to your ticket package you can use one of your more days for here.
The Boneyard, Advanced Training Lab and Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station
These three areas are play areas for littles. The Boneyard is found at the Animal Kingdom, Advanced Training Lab at Epcot and Casey Jr Splash and Soak Station in the Magic Kingdom. So whether you are taking advantage of the rider switch pass or just need to let the kids blow off some steam from waiting in lines. These three areas are made for littles to run wild. While you may see a few older kids around here there are specific spots that are designed for the smallest of littles. With little slides and small stairs. Too boring for older kids but perfect for toddlers.
As you can see, Walt Disney World is creating more and more space for every age. Which means, you don’t have to wait to take them. You’ll find there is so much for them to do, that you won’t even get it all done in one day. You will be grateful you took them when you did. Happy Planning Friends.