After our oldest son Kyle was born, my husband and I would contemplate when would be the best time to go to Disney World. We went back and forth noting the pros and cons of going NOW versus in a few years. Ultimately, the main points were “will the kids be too young to remember?” OR “will they be too old that it won’t be magical?” I know that we weren’t alone with our thoughts as these are often concerns that others contemplate when planning their Disney getaway. I know that other families are also concerned with making it an affordable trip.
Well, my family and I just returned from our first trip to Disney World. Our experience there was amazing and I got to see and feel the magic first-hand with my three kids under five. Yes, we had meltdowns, and yes, we were tired but the memories we made will last a lifetime and my boys are already asking to go back. That’s the best sign that the trip was a success!! As a parent, there’s something so great about seeing the magic of Disney through the eyes of your kids.
After our experience at Disney, I realized that I can now address the concerns that most families have about when would be the ideal time to go to Disney World. So here are my responses to five common questions:
- Your kids AREN’T too young. Our youngest son Nate was just 14 months when we went to Disney World.He still naps and he most likely will not remember this trip. But you know what? Neither of those things matter. When we were at the parks, he was smiling and giggling and having the time of his life. He was in the moment, enjoying everything that Disney had to offer, and he loved it!He might have loved the bubbles just as much as seeing the princesses, but so what? He was stimulated and he spent quality time with his family. All of those things are important for a child’s well-being and development. Besides, we took tons of pictures so we can remind him of this trip to Disney once he’s older. He took all of his naps on the go. I know that my parenting style is more relaxed compared to others on this topic, but that’s just how I live my life. We love to travel and spend time outdoors. Besides, babies are super flexible and adjust quickly. Bring a good stroller and you’re good to go!I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many parents were there with their newborns. That’s the other great part… babies can go on several of the rides and attractions throughout the parks. The majority of the toddler suitable rides can be found at Magic Kingdom.
- Disney IS affordable. Yes, the Canadian dollar is at an all time low and family trips can add up quickly. Luckily, Disney has a special promotion right now for Canadian residents. Starting at $1,613 US and exclusive to Canadians, your family of 4 can take advantage of a vacation package that includes a 5-night stay at participating Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotels or Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels and 4-day theme park tickets. If you want to stay on the resort, you can save up to $500 on Room, Ticket and Dining plan packages. Click HERE to find out more about this great deal or contact a Disney travel agent. Also, if you want to stay on the resort, you can find several value hotels, like the one I visited during my stay, Disney’s Art of Animation.The Nemo themed pool on the resort is the largest at Disney World and the rest is divided into four theme areas including Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.This resort is so amazing, you may have a hard time getting your kids to leave. I will write more about this resort in an upcoming post, so stay tuned! You can also save money by flying down on points. That’s exactly what I did with my family when we just flew down and using points, we only had to pay taxes so I was able to fly down my husband and three sons for under $700.
- There is no low season. Apparently, I was told that the time we went to Disney (mid November) is considered “low” season. However, all of the hotels were sold out and I can tell you, the parks were packed! What I learned after spending five days there and speaking to others is that Disney World is a busy place… people love going there, and with good reason. Florida is warm year round, so it’s a hot spot for families to visit and vacation there. However, no matter how busy it gets, it doesn’t feel cramped. We easily maneuvered our double stroller around. Were there big lineups? Yes, just as you would expect there to be at any major attraction. But here’s the thing…Disney has implemented this brilliant idea that you can take advantage of called fast pass. When you set up a fast pass, you can select up to three rides / activities per day that will allow you to bypass the line. So instead of waiting, you get to walk right up to the front of the line. It’s amazing, I know. Here’s my little tip: once you use up your first three fast passes for the day, find a fast pass kiosk and get three more fast passes (at no additional charge). Pretty cool, right? If you don’t get the fast pass, you don’t need to worry. Disney is designed with kids in mind and they know that kids don’t always do well with lineups. That’s why most lines have play areas where the kids can play and have fun while waiting in line.
- Disney isn’t just for kids. Some people might think that Disney wouldn’t appeal to them, but I saw just as much adults enjoying Disney World without any kids in tow as I did families. Disney World is a destination for couples and friends, proving that no matter how old you are, you’re always young at heart.Even if you don’t think the parks may appeal to you (which I dare you to try), Disney World has an amazing area that focuses on entertainment for adults. Disney Springs is like a fifth park. It includes an eclectic mix of unique boutiques, one-of-a-kind eateries and tons of entertainment including live music, bowling and shows by Cirque de Soleil. After a full day of fun, you must experience the world-class cuisine at Morimoto Asia, headed by Chef Morimoto of Iron Chef America. I absolutely loved our pan-asian meal here!
- You WILL come back. People often worry about waiting for the right time to come so they can see it all or delaying their trip in anticipation of a new attraction. What they don’t consider, is that they will miss out on the NOW and that you WILL come back. For instance, happening right now is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.This special event only takes place between November and December and is truly an amazing experience. With limited amount of tickets sold, the park feels less full, which means that most rides don’t have a long wait. At night, you can watch the Santa Clause parade complete with all of your favourite Disney characters, fake snow and the man himself, Santa! This was one of the highlights for my boys.
While some Star Wars fans are thinking of waiting for the highly anticipated new 4-acre Star Wars-themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studio, they shouldn’t.With four theme parks ((Magic Kingdom, Epcot,Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), there is so much to see and experience at Disney World that it’s just not possible to do it all in one visit. You definitely want to take your time and not cram everything in. You won’t regret it and besides, Disney World is so addictive that you will want to keep coming back for years to come.
Stay tuned for future posts on my best tips for each of the four theme parks.
So if you’re wondering when would be the best time to take your family to Disney World, I’m here to tell you that it is NOW! Now is the best time to take your magical trip to Disney World. You’ll be so glad you did!