A lot of people ask what is the best age to take kids to Disney, and my answer is that there is no wrong or right age for Disney World. Every family is different. But I can easily say taking a kid to Disney at 2 is awesome probably even more awesome than it was when I went to Disney as a teenager or as an adult when I got engaged at Disney. Preschoolers bring a level of excitement, wonder and joy to Disney that is pretty hard to replicate. Let’s face it preschoolers believe in all the magic.
Prepare them for Disney. Before you go talk about the parks and the rides. You can order free vacation planning videos from Disney that show highlights of the park, watch them together. Watch Disney Jr, they constantly show clips of the park. Watch Disney movies, point out characters that you might meet. Make kids feel like they know what they are getting themselves into. Watch videos of the rides on YouTube.
Pack well. While you aren’t traveling with an infant or even a toddler traveling with a preschooler has some special needs. Make sure you bring snacks, a change of clothes and some entertainment when heading out into the park. Sure you may not need those things but get stuck in a long line and you will be glad you packed some snacks and toys. Also kids have accidents, they get messy, it’s best to have a back up set of clothes packed.
Don’t push them too much. I’m a big believer in pushing kids to try new experiences but I don’t think a vacation is a time to push them on everything. There may be rides that scare them or situations that make them uncomfortable or they might be too tired and not have another moment in them. Don’t push them. Don’t make the trip about getting them to do it all. Save the tears and the melt downs and the fights. You will miss nothing by skipping a ride that scares your child, except maybe some screaming. You will miss nothing by heading home early except maybe a meltdown and a long wait to get back to your room.
Capture the memories. Purchase memory maker. Yes, it’s $150. Yes, you need to purchase it in advance. Yes, that’s a lot of money for an already expensive trip. Yes, you can take your own pictures. Yes, you still should purchase it. Why because Disney takes better pictures than you do, and it will let you all be in the pictures. Also my only regret about Jack’s first Disney trip is that I cheeped out and didn’t purchase it. I will never get those photos back. So budget it in.
Taking a preschooler to Disney was and is one of the best vacations I have ever taken. Getting to see Disney World through the eyes of a kid who believes in all the magic, is magical in and of itself.