As my first column, I hope I picked a good topic to start with. One that reflects the kind of subjects I hope to write about in the future. I firmly believe that Walt Disney World is a teriffic vacation spot for the young and old alike. Often, in Disney online forums, published books, and even in my family and friends' conversations, I hear the same question being asked. Read any Disney blog, and I can guarantee you that this topic will be addressed at least once. It is, "how young is too young?". Many people have these pre-conceived notions about when a child is ready for the rite of passage that is a Disney World trip. Many people will tell you to wait until a child is toilet-trained. Others think that a child should only go when he or she is no longer using a stroller. Still others will say to wait until the child is capable of remembering the trip for years to come. I guess it's now time for me to tell you what I would say.
For those of you who have been following my blog posts on this website, you will already know the answer. For those of you who do not, let me introduce myself. I'm DisneyMommy. I've named myself this because it combines two of my loves... being a Mommy and anything Disney. My love started as a child watching, what were for me, the Disney classics. The Little Mermaid was my first favorite movie, followed by Beauty and the Beast. Yes, I was a Disney Princess fan before there was such thing as the Disney Princess fad. I memorized all the words, all the songs, and my sister and I would often have conversations about which princess was prettier. My vote was for Belle, hers was for Jasmine. My love of Disney intensified when my parents brought me to Disney World three times before I got married. When I was dating my husband, I spoke frequently about how essential it was that he give Disney World a try because I loved it so much! He had never been and it was not easy to convince him of vacationing at an "amusement park". Alas, a year into marriage, he caved and we booked our first trip to Disney World as a couple. All it took was one trip and he's just as big of a fan now as I am. Fast forward four years later. We have two wonderful children. A two and a half year old and a nine month old. My toddler has visited Disney World five times, and my baby has been twice. We don't live close, either. We are from Ontario, Canada. Disney World trips always involve flying for us. Does that answer the above question on my opinion of "how young is too young?".
Disney World is totally doable with toddlers. Heck, it's totally doable with babies! Will you be able to ride everything there is to ride? Maybe not. Will you get to be out late enjoying the late-night parades and fireworks every night? Most likely not. Will you still be able to have a good time? DEFINITELY. Instead of thinking of all the ways you will be denied enjoying aspects of Disney World with young children, change the way you think about Walt Disney World. Maybe you won't be able to ride Expedition Everest five times in a row, but instead, think of how much fun it will be to watch your little one meet Mickey Mouse for the first time. When my huband and I went to Disney World as a couple, we stayed in the parks all day, and did every ride more than once. Now it sometimes takes us two days to cover one park, and some rides we still don't get too. But that's ok. We spend more time at the parades, and meeting the characters now. And you know what? We are enjoying these trips more than when it was just the two of us. Seeing our kids happy is what makes us happy. Will my two year old remember this trip when she's 25? Probably not. But you know what? She had an amazing time while we were there. Our most recent trip was a month ago. She still talks about Disney World every day! Talk about memory! Every time she sees a plane in the sky, she asks if it's going to Disney World. Every time she sees Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV, she asks if she's going to Disney World soon. Every time she wears her bathing suit, she talks about swimming in the pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge! Disney World has definitely left an impression on her. That's what's important. That it has enhanced a part of her childhood. I know I made her happy for that one week in May 2011. I hope you'll join me weekly as I explore ways to enjoy Walt Disney World as a fairytale family.