A question we have been asked the most since we returned from our most magical trip to Disney World recently is “What age do you think is the best time to take children?”, and it had me wondering. Because truly I believe that any age is the perfect age, the best age. There is so much for everyone there, from 1 to 100! Sure, a baby would probably not remember the experience, but the wonder and glee on their little faces as they venture around this incomparable destination will fortify any theories that Walt Disney World really is the most magical place on earth.
I also believe that a child’s sense of adventure, of intrigue, is refreshingly carefree and cheerful. Something that sadly at some point dissipates in adults. A trip to Disney World at a young age could spark an imagination for a lifetime.
If you’re wondering what the best age is to take your children to Disney World I thought I would share some of the perfect attractions to include in your trip. I have written about all the wonderful things for young children in Magic Kingdom and Toy Story land, both perfect for little ones, so let’s move over to Animal Kingdom and show you more of what Disney World has to offer young families.
Disney World’s Animal Kingdom For Young Families
Animal Kingdom would have to be one of my top recommendations to take children to, its entirely different to everywhere else in Disney World and you feel transported to another world altogether. The amazement and joy on the children’s little faces as we ventured around the park, through Africa, Asia and the other carefully themed areas is something that I’ll always cherish.
We headed straight to the Kilimanjaro Safari where we boarded our safari truck and sat together for the ride around the authentic savannahs. Seeing wildlife in such proximity filled the children with wonderment and it was great to see such conservation in action for the animals. There are also some incredible experiences you can book to encounter the animals even closer up and some great talking points about the conservation Disney are involved in.
Festival Of The Lion King Show
A celebration of the animal kingdom brought to the stage with brightly coloured costumes delighting the whole crowd. Sing along to all the old favourites from one of the most loved Disney films. (I even cried at this show, it was so breathtaking)
Best known for, what I think most people would agree, the most incredible ride experience of their life on Flight Of Passage, Pandora also has a lot to offer small children. My son’s – aged 3 and 5 – wandered, open mouthed, in amazement at all the incredible theming in the park. When we walked in we were greeted by “Pancake” a cast member so deep in character we all followed behind in a trance as he showed us the marvel that was the florae of Pandora, touching interactive parts of the plant life and showing us the secret ways to get it to light up.
The whole land is perfect for young families and is entirely different to the rest of Animal Kingdom. A nostalgic trip back in time sees you at a dinosaur themed park with prehistoric fossils decorating the area. Also visit the Boneyard, a multi-level playground area with large shaded areas and a huge sandpit to dig for fossils, plus great character meet spots.
We booked a character meal (included in our dining plan!) at Tusker House and we still talk now about how brilliant it was. The delicious African fair was crammed with flavour and served as abundant buffet style. The food was probably my absolute favourite of our whole trip. Original Disney character’s walk from table to table for photos, jokes and fun, meaning that us adults can eat while the children are entertained! There’s an incredible number of places to dine such as The Rainforest Café, Yak & Yeti, Satu’li Canteen all brimming with flavours from Asia, Africa and Mexico. Don’t forget to look out for dining packages like the Rivers Of Light Package or the Lion King package, giving priority seating for the shows after.
Stay on-site at a Disney Resort
Staying on-site is not only really convenient, (plus, children love buses!) but it can add so much to your holiday. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a favourite for families with its imaginative décor, but there’s something for everyone at each resort. Take a look at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for a really unique stay and don’t forget to check the family suites on offer for larger parties.
A great way to prepare young children for their trip to Disney World is using the Disney Kids website where you’ll find loads of information to organise you for your trip. It can be quite daunting at first when planning a trip with young children but they are prepared for everything and I felt so looked after during our trip – even when our youngest decided to tip a bottle of chocolate milk down himself! We were whisked off to the merchandise shop and he was kitted out in an entirely new outfit before we could even say guest services.
There are so many rides for toddlers throughout Disney World – Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Toy Story Mania!, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Journey of The Little Mermaid to name but a few, but have a look at the full list of rides if you’re worried about what there will be to take under 5’s on. Disney also offer Rider Switch which means parents can both ride bigger attractions while one looks after the smaller children.
Extra Tips For Young Families
Baby care centres are always close at hand, providing areas to relax, cool down, feed, change babies (I observed also that there was always a toilet nearby when we needed one!)
Pushchair hire is available and “stroller parks” are outside every attraction.
First aid from in each park and staffed by qualified nurses and doctors are available in-room 24/7 (don’t forget to pack your insurance documents)
Disabilities services were available everywhere and I noted how well Disney cared for all of their guests.
More info here.
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