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Travel with kids can be stressful, including going somewhere that is meant for kids and parents to enjoy together. A lot of parents wonder what the best age to go to Disneyland with their kids is.
Whether you are wondering which age is the easiest, or which age is best to be able to do everything, the truth is there is no one age that is better or worse. Rather, each age has some pros and cons for taking kids to Disneyland.
Today we are breaking down going to Disneyland with kids of different ages. Maybe you are looking at one age group, or maybe you are going to Disneyland with kids of all ages. Either way, here are what we consider the best reasons and the biggest cons to visiting Disneyland at different ages with your kids.
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Best Age To Go To Disneyland with Kids
Many parents look forward to taking their children to Disneyland. But what is the best age to go to Disneyland with Kids?
My personal answer – EVERY AGE! I know that is easy for me to say since we go so often, but honestly, every age has its pros and cons and magical moments.
For many families though, Disneyland is a once-in-a-lifetime, or once every few years, trip. For those families, they often want to get the timing just right. (I get it as that is how we are looking at Walt Disney World.)
Today we are breaking down the different ages to go to Disneyland, and listing out some of the pros and cons of each age. Plus I have pulled quotes from other parents via a thread on my Facebook Page.
Are Babies A Good Age To Go To Disneyland?
You are a new parent, or maybe on your second, third, fourth… or more child. And you are thinking you want to go to Disneyland, but is it really a good idea to take a baby to Disneyland?
Taking a baby to Disneyland has its pros and cons, but the one thing to remember is this trip is more for the parents or older siblings than the baby. The baby won’t remember this trip, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go.
We took my oldest at 10 months and our twins went at 3 months and 6 months. Between that, and what I have learned from other parents in the Disneyland with Kids Facebook Group, here are the pros and cons of taking a baby to Disneyland.
NOTE: I had to really poll some parents in DMs and think back to trips I have taken with many different kids (my own, cousins, friends’ kids) at different ages, because honestly, most people don’t want to publicly share these cons.
With all ages, I think the cons are not what you will experience the majority of the trip. Heck, even adults have bad days at Disneyland… So please, just realize these are to point out what you might experience, but hopefully, it won’t be a big part of the trip.
Why Babies Are A Good Age To Go to Disneyland with Kids
While many people think it is pointless to take a baby to Disneyland, there may be many reasons you are thinking of doing so. Here are some of the pros of taking a child to Disneyland at this age.
- They are free, no ticket needed to enter the parks
- Babies are usually willing to nap in a carrier or stroller
- You can pretty much do whatever you want, just taking into account you may have to rotate who sits out with the baby on some rides
- They won’t ask for a bunch of food or toys
- You can start getting them used to characters, some rides, etc early
- Starting travel with kids at a young age helps them be good travelers in the coming years
Cons of Going to Disneyland with Babies
Of course, there are some downsides to going to Disneyland with a baby. Here are a few you might want to consider.
- Cannot go on rides that have height requirements or the need to sit on their own
- They won’t remember the trip or really get what is going on
- Frequent stops for diaper changes, nursing/feeding, etc
- Need to bring in lots of extra stuff (diaper bag, extra clothes, bottles, etc)
- Someone will have to sit out on many rides to stay with the baby, though you can utilize rider switch pass
How Other Parents Feel About Taking A Baby to Disneyland
In the end, you will need to decide if taking a baby to Disneyland is right for you. I have friends who go every few years, and they will NOT bring their babies to Disneyland. They leave them with Grandma and just bring the older kids (I believe around age 5 and up).
Other parents love bringing their babies to Disneyland. Here is a quote from one parent when I asked about what age is the best to bring your kids to Disneyland:
My boys have been at several different ages over the years. All of their first time visits were as follows….My oldest was 4, second oldest was 2 1/2, 3rd oldest was 6/7 months and 4th youngest was 9months. So many have said to me that’s too young they won’t remember it. That may be but I remember and I have hundreds of pictures of their first times, their smiles and even the frowns (youngest was a frowner ). It was all about making memories and building bonds with my boys as a family.Sarah S.
Are Toddlers the Best Age To Go To Disneyland With Kids?
Toddlers – oh boy! This is one of the best, but also one of the hardest ages to go to Disneyland with Kids.
Toddlers under age 3 are free to enter the park, which makes it a great time to take them. Toddlers can do several rides at Disneyland, and some may even hit the magical 40″ height requirement that opens up a good majority of the rides.
But toddlers are also either still in diapers or are newly potty trained and at Disneyland, that means lots of potty breaks, and possibly even needing to go clear to the Baby Centers if they are afraid of the regular toilets.
They also usually still need a nap, but may not be willing to nap in their stroller. This may mean needing to take a mid-day break, which I am actually a fan of, but some families are not.
At the same time, they fully believe in the magic and get excited to see their favorite characters.
So let’s break down in list form, the pros, and cons of going to Disneyland with toddlers.
Why Toddlers Are A Great Age to Take to Disneyland
Here are some of the best reasons to take your toddler to Disneyland:
- Free until they are 3 years old
- They believe in the magic
- They love seeing their favorite characters
- Are usually happy to go at a slower pace
- Nothing quite like seeing Disneyland through a toddler’s eyes
- Can do and appreciate more of what is happening around them
- Will remember the trip more than if they were a baby, though they may not remember it years from now
Cons of Going to Disneyland with Toddlers
We already hinted at some of the downsides to going to Disneyland with toddlers, but here is a list of things you may want to think about before booking that trip:
- Often need to nap, but may not be willing to nap in strollers
- May still need diaper changes or frequent potty breaks if out of diapers
- Still need to bring in extra outfits
- Often times are a bit scared of rides
- Can be stubborn about wanting to walk, but crowds may not be conducive to letting them walk around the park
- Those toddler tantrums can get pretty bad
- Must ride with someone age 14 or older on all ride vehicles, which can make it difficult if you have many young kids
How Other Parents Feel About Taking Toddlers To Disneyland
This age seemed to be a big hit with many people on my Facebook Page. Most of the comments were about taking kids around this age. I think this one sums up how most of the comments went:
I think right before they are 3! The are free and it’s the most magical time! To see their faces light up at seeing Mickey and to experience all the magic of Disneyland for the first time is priceless. They are so little but I feel it’s this moment they truly see Disneyland through a child’s eyes.Brandy D.
Are Young Kids the Best Age To Go To Disneyland with Kids?
Between the ages of 4-9 seems to be when many parents hope to take their kids to Disneyland for the first time. This seems to be an age where they can do more of the rides, walk more (though a stroller may still be needed at the end of the day), are potty trained, and still love Disney characters.
And while this is a fun age, it is also an age where they may still be nervous about some rides, or too short. They also may be overtired but not willing to attempt a nap, and the one I find a lot of… a little bit of picky eaters. Even my kids that are great eaters at home, tend to be picky at Disneyland and I don’t know why.
Why Kids Age 4-9 Are A Great Age For Disneyland
If your kids are this age, here are some of the pros for taking kids between the ages of 4-9:
- Meet more height requirements
- Be open to more thrilling rides (depending on the child)
- Still young enough to love the Disney characters (and some may still believe those are the actual, real-life version of the characters)
- Usually potty-trained or close to it
- Less need for a stroller
- Will remember more of the trip
Cons of Going to Disneyland with Young Kids Age 4-9
While this is a great age to take kids to Disneyland, there are some downsides to taking kids at this age. Here are a few cons you might want to consider:
- Disneyland may still tire them out at this age, but they won’t be willing to nap
- Still need to carry extra outfits, etc in case of accidents
- May not be able to make it into the evening hours
- May still need a stroller, or at least a ride on a parent’s back or shoulders
- May be picky eaters
- Depending on the child, may not want to do more thrilling rides
- Until they are age 7, they cannot ride in their own ride vehicle, so if you have several younger kids, this can be hard (Kids under the age of 7 must ride with someone age 14 or older)
How Other Parents Feel About Taking Young Kids To Disneyland
Here is what a grandparent had to say about taking kids to Disneyland between the ages of 4-9
Each one of our grandkids gets there own trip to Disneyland. We have always taken our grandkids before 3 so they would be free. However due to Covid our grandson’s 1st trip got pushed back until he was 5. So we had to pay for him. However I have to say it was worth every penny! The smile never left his face for 5 days and we have been home for a month now and he’s still talking about it! He was also tall enough to ride everything! We brought a stroller but it was mostly used for storage because he preferred to walk! It was nice to have in the evening for him to ride back to the hotel.Jami C.
Are Tweens and Teens The Best Age To Go To Disneyland?
This is the age group my oldest is now in, and I have gone multiple times with my friends and their teens. While this can be a lot of fun, there are definitely some cons to taking this age group as well.
Here is what to look at when taking tweens and teens to Disneyland.
Why Tweens and Teens Are The Best Age To Go To Disneyland
This really is a fun age to go to Disneyland with your kids. Here are some of the reasons this is such a great time to go with them:
- Old enough to ride alone, so you can sit out if you want to
- Many are able to navigate around the lands, if not the entire parks
- Meet all height requirements (usually)
- Able to do long park hours without a break or calling it an early night
- Usually willing to eat more things in the park
- They often times are cool to entertain themselves in line if they have a phone/device (This will also be on the con list)
- They aren’t wanting every toy they see as so many are made for young kids
- They are usually able to take decent pictures so the “default photographer parent” can rotate in or out of a picture here and there
Cons of Taking Tweens and Teens to Disneyland
Of course, as with anything with teens, it can be hit or miss on how the day goes. While these cons are not true for all teens, here are some of the downsides you might run into with teens:
- Can be moody, especially about things like taking their pictures or going on “little kid rides”
- Can be glued to their phones or devices too much
- May get upset when things don’t go their way (long lines, rides breaking down, etc)
- May find meeting characters, etc to be beneath them
- Never not hungry – food budget can get pushed to the limit
- May not be willing to get up early for rope drop, but then will complain about heat and crowds
What Other Parents Had To Say About Taking Tweens and Teens To Disneyland
Here is what one of the parents said about taking her daughters at this age:
…taking my daughters now that they are 12 & 17, I’ve LOVED our trips!! I’ve been able to have individual time with both of them in the parks and them together and it’s super magical too. They love the thriller rides, but my momma heart melts when I see them STILL get excited for the Electrical Parade or to see their favorite character!! Disney is just Magical, no matter what age you are!!Nicholle G.
Any Age Is The Best Age To Go To Disneyland
Really, I think some of my commenters summed it up best.
All ages! Seeing the magic through your kids eyes at different ages is one of the most rewarding things for a parent. From a baby that likes to pinch the characters noses for a giggle to the toddler that squeals with excitement when a princess waves at her during a parade to the teen that reverts back to a fun loving kid skipping through the park eating a churro. It’s amazing at every ageShae H.
Growing up Disney means you enjoy all the stages. The wonder and awe of 18 months, the heart bursting moments at 2 1/2 when your child isnt afraid and wildly waves and yells “Mickey Mowe”. The 3 1/2 who gets her taste of a roller coaster and wants more…it just keeps going. But if I had to choose the best age to take your kids to Disneyland, it would be whatever age they are now!Kristina B.