What is the best age to take children to Disney?

Sarah Mott on 22 February 2024
I’ve been asked this question a lot. I think every Disney fan has. It’s such a personal decision and will depend on what you want to get from your holiday, if you plan on returning, what your holiday style is in general and the wants/needs of the children that you are taking.

I’ve taken my children to Disney since they were babies. We were lucky enough to know that it was financially viable for us to visit more than once. If we hadn’t be able to do this I suspect that we would have waited to visit. Taking babies to Disney World is incredibly easy. From a parents perspective they are welcomed with open arms and you are well cared for in every aspect of your stay. Restaurants are able to cater for tiny ones who are just venturing into eating food, there is an abundance of high chairs. If you don’t want to take a pushchair with you then Orlando has an abundance of rental places you can use. As a parent I found this stage one of the easiest to travel with. My babies rolled with the travelling. As long as they were well fed and had somewhere to nap (we have a lot of pictures of them napping in Magic Kingdom/Animal Kingdom) then they were good. There were things we didn’t do while on holiday with very small children – we didn’t watch the evening fireworks until they were older. I don’t regret taking my two as babies but understand that this isn’t perhaps the holiday for everyone with babies.

Taking children 3 to 5 years old is a really fun age. They will now have favourite characters that they will recognise and interact with. Again, those restaurants know children and are ready to accommodate the picky eaters or those who will try anything – which ever one you have you are catered for! At this age we stayed in one bedroom suites, this allowed us to put the children down for the evening and to have space to relax – sneaking round a dark hotel room while your child sleeps is not my idea of fun. This age does come with challenges. Always check height requirements for rides – if you have a small thrill seeking three year old they may not measure up to the height requirement. We still didn’t make it to evening fireworks at this age and still needed pushchairs. Disney is A LOT of walking!

6 – 11 is a pretty magical age for Disney. Unless you have a particularly small 6 year old they will be able to go on most rides. They retain an element of the magic and are able to mostly keep up with the pace that is needed for Disney. We still hired a pushchair when our youngest was 6/7. She was good for a few days, but on the third day of walking 8 miles a day she had had it! It saved our backs from carrying her too! This may be my golden age for Disney visits.

Teenagers – well, who knows! Mine swing between thinking that going to Disney as much as we do is pretty cool to rolling their eyes at me when I tell them I’ve booked another trip. They 100% know how lucky they are to go as frequently as we do, and their eye rolls are all in jest. At this point in our Disney adventure we are exploring new places to eat - being a bit more adventurous. We do park open to close. Fireworks in every park along with relaxed moments in lounges and coffee shops. The teens are now able to explore the parks without us, leaving us to a relaxing dip by the pool while they go and save the Galaxy with the Guardians (just kidding – we wouldn’t miss that ride!)

So, when would I take children to Disney? In reality any time is good. I have loved taking my children at every age and have seen different things each time we have taken them. Disney World continues to expand and transform so your experience one time to the next will never be the same – if you are lucky enough to go more than once x