Traveling to Disney with young children can be exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. When we traveled to Disney for the first time, our twins were four years old. We were ALL super excited about them seeing their favorite characters in “real life”. I had high hopes of them loving Disney on the “real” level…runnign to Mickey for a hug, giggling hysterically during It’s a Bug’s Life, and begging of ran other time on Peter Pan’s Flight. Well, not so much. While our trip was fabulous, there are a few things I wish I would’ve considered before going.
1. A lot of Disney attractions are in the dark. Yes, we all know that’s true. Even a slow ride like Peter Pan’s Flight or It’s a Small World can bring on anxiety in young kids. Perhaps a spin on Dumbo, Aladdin’s Carpets, or a ride on the Jungle Cruise would be an easier way to “break in” a child’s first visit to the Magic Kingdom.
2. Disney is loud. Since all guests at Disney are part of a “show”, everything is over the top…including the volume. I love sitting along Main Street during the Celebrate a Dream Come True afternoon parade or Wishes. But viewing Wishes from outside the park could be less intimidating, and quieter than right there in front of the castle. Taking a seat toward the back of the auditorium of The Voyage of the Little Mermaid or The Festival of the Lion King may be a better bet than sitting RIGHT in the front. I want my little ones to see and experience Disney and all its magic. But, I don’t want them to be startled by not only a HUGE Ursula on stage, but loud music as well.
3. 3D means right in front of you. Combining the 3D effects, crawly bugs, and loud volume of It’s Tough to be a Bug can leave you scrambling for the door with a stressed out child. Even to this day, my oldest will not wear his 3D glasses for Mickey’s Philharmagic. We don’t skip Mickey’s Philharmagic, but I don’t make a big deal out of him just holding them and enjoying the show without them.
Starting your day at the parks with open rides, a few select character meet and greets, and a relaxed pace can make the whole vacation pleasant for everyone traveling. Every child is different, but even though your kids giggle at Stitch’s antics on the movies or TV, doesn’t mean they’ll be thrilled with his running across their shoulders and screeching during Stitch’s Great Escape.
Have you had an experience on a “scary” ride at Disney? What freaked your child (or you) out to the point that you may not ride it again?
- Five Rides for Little Guys (and girls) @ Magic Kingdom (chipandco.com)
- Using Disney Calendars to Plan Your Park Visits (chipandco.com)