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What is the Best Age for Disney World?

Trying to decide what the perfect age is to take your children to Walt Disney World? After all, if you are saving up for a trip of a lifetime you want your little ones to enjoy it, so finding that “perfect age” when they will enjoy the parks is important.

cute baby in chair with Mickey Mouse hat at Main Street Barber Magic Kingdom

As we all know, Walt Disney World is the most magical place on earth and as soon as parents start having children, they start dreaming of taking them and experiencing all the magic together. But when is the right time?

Some argue that you should start taking your children to Disney World right away, even as infants. Others feel that it’s better to wait until they are a little older so they appreciate the magic more and will remember their visit.

Spoiler Alert: There is no perfect time to take your children to Disney World, however, there are a lot of pros and cons for taking them at each age and parents definitely want to be aware of all the factors so they can make the best decision for their family.

Things like the cost of park tickets, hotels, meals and flight all can factor in. Also, considering your child’s personalty, school situation, and if they will remember and appreciate the magic are also important.

bringing children to Walt Disney World best age

In this post, we are going to cover what the earliest age you can bring kids to Disney World, the best ages for each theme park, and then we will rank each age group of children and the pros and cons of each one.

Before we get started here are some other articles that you will find useful if you are bringing children to Walt Disney World:

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What is the Earliest Age Kids Can Visit Disney World?

baby in a stroller at Disney World

Technically, you can start bringing your children to Walt Disney World whenever you want to, but if you ask 10 parents what they think, you will likely get 10 different answers. It’s generally highly preferential and varied depending on who you speak to. Some think you should wait until they are older, other thinking bringing them as babies is the best option.

For example, my sister brought my nephew to Disney World for the first time when he was three months old, and he did great! That’s not to say EVERYONE should do the same. 

People are different, kids are different, and views are different! Will my nephew remember anything about the trip? Likely not. 

But it just goes to show you that you can bring your kids as soon as you’d like to, and it might not be a bad idea. In general, I say go as soon as possible! While your kid might not remember it, YOU will. And that means something! 

Some parents I’ve spoken to think it’s a complete waste of money to bring your kids before they are 4 or 5. And while I don’t agree with that line of thinking, I think it’s important to consider the various considerations. 

There are so many factors to consider when picking the right age to bring your kids. Things such as:

  • Cost savings for little ones
  • Will you be able to go more than one time as your kid is little?
  • Families memories
  • Experience for parents and kids alike 
  • Child’s behavior at restaurants or in a stroller

Cost Considerations

holding up baby in Mickey Mouse outfit in front of Tower of Terror

Likely one of the biggest factors if not the BIGGEST consideration on when to start bringing your kids is the cost. When can you save money? What costs are associated with kids? At what ages can you save money with different-aged kids? 

Figuring out how much a Disney World vacation costs is a complicated undertaking, and in this section, we will consider the many different cost factors specifically with small children.

Ticket Prices

The first major expense to consider with kids are ticket prices. Ticket prices can be EXPENSIVE, and one of the most expensive parts of your trip. In some instances, it can be the MOST costly part of your trip when you factor in your entire family.

taking baby on Pirates of the Caribbean Magic Kingdom

The main three to remember is that there are (3) different pricing structures for tickets. 

  • 0-2 years old – There is NO cost to enter the parks and it’s completely free
  • 3-9 years old – In this age bracket, kids are classified as a ‘child’ and the price of tickets is a few dollars cheaper than adults 
  • 10 years old and over – All kids 10 and over will be priced in the ‘adult’ classification meaning they will pay full price for park tickets

So as you can see the cheapest situation is if your kid is in the 0-2 age bracket. They are COMPLETELY free, meaning you can come and go into all the parks without any costs whatsoever. This will easily save you hundreds of dollars per child that fits into this criteria. 

As soon as your child turns 3, the costs go up substantially. If you want to find the sweet spot of saving money where your child can somewhat enjoy the trip a bit more, you might want to consider visiting sometime before they turn 3. 

The price difference between child tickets and adult tickets is mostly negligible with very minimal savings between the two categories. I wouldn’t suggest planning a trip BEFORE your child turns 10 just because you think it will save you money on tickets. 

READ: Disney World Tickets Guide

Meal Prices

baby sitting at the table at 50's Prime Time Cafe Hollywood Studios

The good news about kids is they eat less! Practically all Disney World Restaurants and Quick-Service locations have kids’ menus for kids 10 years and under, which are cheaper than adult meals. Kids older of course (even adults) can order from the kids menus if they so choose as well. 

Depending on how much food your kid eats, these are usually some REALLY good deals when it comes to price. Most kids are more than satisfied and they are very budget-friendly in comparison to the meals for adults.


Ariel and Flounder Art of Animation Resort

When it comes to staying at a Walt Disney World Resort there are a few things to keep in mind. Generally speaking, there is NO charge for the kids to be in the room. So kids between 0 and 17 do NOT have an additional cost for the hotel. 

You will of course STILL have to pay for additional add-ons such as park tickets, Disney Dining Plan, or any other add-ons you want.

The only caveat would be if you have a larger family of 5 or more. In this instance, many Disney World Resort Rooms ONLY fit a maximum of 4 guests. Disney will offer an exception if one of the family members is under 3, allowing you to fit 5 family members in total. 

If you have a family of 5 or more and all members of the family are over the age of 3, then you will need a larger room or multiple rooms. The good news for families of 5 people is that many Disney World Standard Rooms can fit 5 guests, so you can be OK in one room. Just ensure that you are getting a 5-person room. 

If you have 6 or more members of the family you will need to look into Family Suites, 2 and 3-Bedroom Suites, or Disney Vacation Club Villas.


family on a plane heading to Walt Disney World

Just as with park tickets, airline tickets for kids under the age of 3 are free. However, as soon as your child turns 3 years old, you will need to purchase them a seat. Keep in mind from the age of 0-2, they are considered a “Lap Child” and will need to sit on someone’s lap for the duration of the flight.

If you want them to have their own seat even BEFORE they turn 3, you can still choose to purchase them a seat if you’d like. But of course that’s an additional cost. 

Make sure when purchasing your flights that you specify that you will be having a “Lap Child” that will be sitting with you. If there isn’t a spot to add it upon checkout with the airline, as long as you specify it at the airport, you’ll be fine. 

The airline will give you a boarding pass for your lap child, you will just need to bring a copy of their birth certificate to prove their age.

Height Requirements for Kids

Measuring children height at Disney World

If you are bringing small children to the Disney World Theme Parks, an important thing to consider is the Height Requirements for each of the attractions. Each ride or attraction has different height requirements for kids, and if they are not tall enough, they can’t ride. 

These are generally the thrill rides in the parks, requiring your kids to be a certain height to be able to ride on. Here are the attractions for each theme park that have height requirements: 

Magic Kingdom has 6 attractions with height requirements. These include:

  • The Barnstormer – Guests must be 35 inches (89 centimeters) or taller
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Guests must be 40 inches (102 centimeters) or taller
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Guests must be 38 inches (97 centimeters) or taller
  • Space Mountain – Guests must be 44 inches (113 centimeters) or taller
  • Tomorrowland Speedway – Guests must be 32 inches (82 centimeters) or taller
  • Tron Lightcycle Run – Guests must be 48 (122 centimeters) or taller

EPCOT has 4 attractions with height requirements. These include:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Guests must be 42 inches (107 centimeters) or taller
  • Mission: SPACE – Guests must be 40 inches (102 centimeters) or taller
  • Soarin’ Around the World – Guests must be 40 inches (102 centimeters) or taller
  • Test Track – Guests must be 40 inches (102 centimeters) or taller

Hollywood Studios has 7 attractions with height requirements. These include:

  • Alien Swirling Saucers – Guests must be 32 inches (81 centimeters) or taller
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – Guests must be 38″ (97 cm) or taller
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – Guests must be 48 inches (122 centimeters) or taller
  • Slinky Dog Dash – Guests must be 38 inches (97 centimeters) or taller
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Guests must be 40 inches (102 centimeters) or taller
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Guests must be 40″ (102 cm) or taller
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ – Guests must be 40 inches (102 centimeters) or taller

Animal Kingdom has 4 attractions with height requirements. These include:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage – Guests must be 44 inches (112 centimeters) or taller
  • DINOSAUR – Guests must be 40 inches (102 centimeters) or taller
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain – Guests must be 44 inches (113 centimeters) or taller
  • Kali River Rapids – Guests must be 38 inches (97 centimeters) or taller

READ: Guide to Disney World Height Requirements

Best Age for Magic Kingdom

baby on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is the BEST park in Walt Disney World when it comes to families with small kids. Parents frequently choose to stay at the Magic Kingdom-area Resorts due to the fact that they want to spend the bulk of their time in the middle of the Magic and it’s so convenient.

Kids from the earliest age will enjoy and appreciate this park. It just is that little extra special whether it’s the parades, the character interactions, the fireworks, the princesses, and the list goes on and on. 

While the ‘Best Age’ is subjective, I think kids as little as infants can somewhat enjoy Magic Kingdom. It’s the BEST park for young kids in general, and that includes little little kids. 

There are 28 different attractions that do NOT require a height requirement! That means that babies can enjoy these attractions! I’d say Magic Kingdom is perfect for babies up to 10 years old! 

  • START BRINGING KIDS: 1 year old and up
  • BEST AGE for KIDS: 5-12 years old 

Best Age for EPCOT

Baby on Living with the Land EPCOT

While not quite as kid-friendly as Magic Kingdom, EPCOT still has plenty to do for kids. Often referred to as the “adult park”, EPCOT is known as the best drinking park in all of Walt Disney World. That doesn’t exactly scream infants! 

But in reality that doesn’t tell the whole story. EPCOT has the popular Kidcot fun stops throughout the World Showcase Lagoon, which are fun interactive craft stations at each of the 11 different countries around the lagoon. 

At the front of the park, EPCOT has a ton of different interactive areas of the park which allow young kids to use their creativity and imagination. 

There are a few real stand-outs including 14 different attractions that do not have ANY type of height restrictions, allowing kids of any age to enjoy.

 That said, in general, I’d recommend kids be a little bit older to enjoy EPCOT. In the 10-15 year age mark, EPCOT is perfect! It’s the best park for older kids who can enjoy the many different cuisines, cultures, and theming. 

  • START BRINGING KIDS: 5 years old and up
  • BEST AGE for KIDS: 10-15 years old 

Best Age for Hollywood Studios

Alien Swirling Saucers Disney World Ride

If EPCOT is considered “the adult park”, then Hollywood Studios would be considered the “teenagers park.” With more thrill rides than any other Disney World Theme Park, Hollywood Studios is a good middle-of-the-road Disney World Theme Park that caters to more older kids than Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. 

More rides than not have height restrictions, minimizing the number of attractions for smaller kids. There are currently only 3 attractions that do NOT have height restrictions. 

However, with the recent additions of Toy Story Land and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, there are still some great attractions for smaller kids. In addition to the attractions, Hollywood Studios also has some great stage shows and character meet-and-greets. 

I’d say the ideal age for guests visiting Hollywood Studios is at least 8 or 9 and up to late in their teens. That’s not to say younger kids will NOT enjoy Hollywood Studios, there are just likely some things they will not be able to experience or enjoy quite yet. 

  • START BRINGING KIDS: 8 years old and up
  • BEST AGE for KIDS: 12-18+ years old

Best Age for Animal Kingdom

baby and mother on Kilimanjaro Safaris Animal Kingdom

Other than Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom tends to be the most exciting and interactive Disney Theme Park for small kids. The fun animal and nature theming of the park tends to be a real stand-out offering for young kids that like that kind of thing. 

In addition to the fun petting zoo, and awesome interactive shows, Animal Kingdom also has 12 different attractions for kids to enjoy for any age. Animal Kingdom is a more relaxing change of pace than Magic Kingdom as it allows for taking your time without rushing from attraction to attraction. 

I think kids as young as toddlers up to 12-year-olds will really LOVE Animal Kingdom. That’s not to say teenagers won’t enjoy it too with arguably 3 of the Top-10 Disney World rides found here. 

  • START BRINGING KIDS: 3 years old and up
  • BEST AGE for KIDS: 5-13 years old

Best Resorts for Kids

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort pool

When it comes to the best resorts for kids, there are some factors to consider. As I wrote about in our Guide to the best Disney Resorts for Kids, the cost comparison is the biggest benchmark when deciding the most suitable resorts for kids. 

There are differing budgets for every family and deciding which resort to stay at depends almost exclusively on how much you want to spend on a hotel. 

For those looking to stay in one of the cheaper Value Resorts, we’d recommend Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

For those looking for a step up in comfort and are willing to pay a little more to stay at a Moderate Resort, our pick is the Caribbean Beach Resort.

For those willing to splurge on the ultimate in terms of cost and amenities, our absolute favorite pick at the Deluxe Resorts for families and kids is Disney’s Beach Club. 

No matter your budget, all three are terrific choices and cater wonderfully to kids via the theming, amenities, and pool areas.

Rider Swap

TRON Lightcycle Run attraction queue

A perk that’s very helpful with kids and that many guests don’t often talk about is something called rider swap. What is it? Rider Swap enables families with kids of different ages and sizes to be able to ride attractions without parents having to get in line multiple times. 

How it works is this: say for instance one of your kids meets the size restrictions to ride on certain rides but the other kid does NOT. In normal cases, you would need one of the parents to stay back with the child that does NOT meet the size requirements of the attraction, and they would miss the ride.

Rider Swap takes care of that and lets both parents ride the attraction without having to wait twice in the full length of the queue.

Just simply speak to a Disney Cast Member near the front of the attraction queue, and they’ll direct you to the right place. Once you find the right person to talk to, just inform them that you want to add a rider swap and they’ll attach it to your ticket. 

Then they’ll tell you where the second parent needs to get in line the second time so they don’t have to wait in the full line again. 

After this, now the child who meets the size requirements for the attraction can get into the queue with the 1st parent. After they get off, the 2nd parent can get in the quicker line. While they can always go by themselves, normally they’ll even let the kid go on again with the second parent! 

Just ask the Disney Cast Member! It’s that simple.

Will Your Child Remember a Disney Trip?

family watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks with baby

It’s a good question that many parents wonder especially when it comes to spending significant amounts of money for a Disney World Vacation. Why spend the money if my child isn’t even going to remember this trip? 

While we get that line of thought, as I mentioned earlier, YOU matter too. Even if your child doesn’t remember much, seeing your child enjoy the Disney Magic for the first time is something you likely will never forget, no matter their age. 

Thinking back when it came to myself, my parents took me when I was VERY little. And to be completely honest, I don’t remember much from those earliest trips when I was a baby or a small toddler. Your children won’t either. 

However, from a very early age, I remember that this was a SPECIAL place. And it has always made me happy.

Now looking back and seeing those pictures in front of Cinderella’s Castle or enjoying a character breakfast are moments I look back at fondly through pictures. And in today’s information age, pictures are SO much more readily found than they were when I was little. 

baby in T-Rex restaurant Disney Springs

What I’m saying is you will likely have hundreds and hundreds of pictures and videos that will allow YOU to look at these trips fondly and your children to look back at as they grow up as well. It’ll be exciting to show your kids these pictures as they grow up. In fact, maybe you’ll even have them on the walls of your house. 

I often think of the movie Inside Out and the core memories that they often referenced throughout that film. And looking back, I have MANY childhood core memories at Disney World. It’s impossible to predict exactly when or where these core memories will be created for your children, but it’s possible they CAN happen at a young age. And what better place can there be to create core memories with your kids?! 

While it’s certainly true they will likely create better core memories when they are 6 or 7 than when they are 1 or 2, we think these younger ages are incredibly special too! Ask any parents that bring their kids yearly and they’ll tell you that they are all awesome for different reasons.

Other Factors to Consider

baby in front of the Aerophile baloon Disney Springs

In this next section, we are going to talk about the other factors to consider when deciding when to bring your children to Disney. Each kid has varying factors that are worth considering that could alter what the best decision is for THEM personally.


When looking at a kid’s individual personality, the truth is: that you know them better than anyone! A kid’s personality can make or break whether the trip is enjoyable for THEM or for YOU. 

Or if they are a little older, do they enjoy walking? Or do they need to be held constantly? Are they OK with crowds? Do they get scared easily at loud noises or at attractions? 

Consider all of these things when deciding what’s best for the individual needs of your child.

Believing in the Magic

While this might sound corny or even gimmicky, believing in the magic is something that makes a trip extra special! While we know some Disney Adults still believe in the magic, seeing it through the eyes of a child is just a little bit extra special. 

There is a fine line to this, as once a child gets a little older and is too cool for this, they can easily not appreciate the magic they WOULD have if they had gone sooner. That’s why it’s important to not wait too long for their first trip.


three strollers at Disney World

As we went over in our Guide to Strollers at Disney World, if your kid HATES being in a stroller or can’t sit still at a restaurant for more than 10 minutes, it might not be a great idea to bring them yet. 

For parents we’ve spoken to, kids who are chill in their strollers and can even take naps in their strollers are usually much better off. Perhaps you can consider getting your child used to being in a stroller before the trip if you have a smaller child.


The weather in Central Florida is always worth considering. Depending on when you go you can get rain, lightning, wind, hurricanes, or just incredible heat and sun. If your child is not used to the extreme Florida heat for example, it can be a nightmare.

While you might not have incredible flexibility with timing, factoring in the weather when it comes to your little ones is certainly worth considering.


family posing for a photo on Main Street USA Magic Kingdom

When it comes to children that are 4 years old or older, you have to of course consider school. Whether they are in public, private, or home-schooled, school is a potential stumbling block for planning a trip to Walt Disney World with children. 

Going during popular vacation times comes with incredible disadvantages. Summer vacation, popular holidays, and other days off generally bring about massive price hikes and crowd spikes. 

We know many families that take their kids out of school for a trip to Walt Disney World to avoid both the costs and the sheer volume of people visiting during those times of the year. That is what my parents always did with us.

This is an important factor that you have to consider. If you’re on a tighter budget and your child has a bit more flexibility with school you might want to avoid bringing them during the most popular times off from school. 

But we also know many families that simply cannot avoid these times and they are left with no choice. In any case, we recommend consulting our Disney World Crowd Calendar to find the dates with the lowest expected crowds.

Going to Disney with Older Kids

family in front of Cinderella Castle Magic Kingdom

While it’s true that older kids will certainly have a better chance of remembering their trip and there are certain elements of it that are better as you get older, there are certain downsides as well. For example, as kids begin to get older, oftentimes the magic of Disney can begin to wade. 

Older kids typically aren’t interested in meeting the princesses or the different Disney Characters nor are they as interested in the parades or fireworks often. Those days sadly might be LONG gone. 

When it comes to older kids, you’ll have to often create an itinerary that interests them. What types of things absorb them? Are they interested in thrill attractions? Are they interested in sports? Might they be interested in shopping or the Disney Water Parks? Are they interested in the whole ‘allure of Disney?’

No matter what age they are, a little bit of research and figuring out things in Walt Disney World that cater to your child can be every bit the difference between them enjoying their trip and them NOT enjoying their trip. Once you figure out the things that best interest them, plan a few of these throughout your trip.

family on the boats on it's a small world Magic Kingdom

For instance, if they LOVE thrill attractions make sure you do a little bit of research to find the highest level of thrills in each of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks so you DON’T miss those rides. The many Disney World roller coasters is a good place to start.

If they are into history or education, take time to explore some of the museums and walk-through exhibits and pavilions. 

It’s hard to do Disney wrong if you know WHAT to do. I’ve heard people tell me over and over again through the years they hate Disney World, and then they told me ‘why’, and I quickly realized they were doing it ALL wrong when it comes to THEIR individual personalities. The same of course applies to older kids! 

Ideally, you can take your kids as they are small to enjoy certain elements of a Walt Disney World Vacation and then you can take them again as they are older to enjoy a completely different type of trip. With careful planning, both can be a massive success!

Best Ages for Disney World (Ranked)

bringing baby to Ohana's Breakfast to meet the characters Polynesian Resort

In this section, we are going to break down the different age groups for kids when visiting Walt Disney World. The pros and cons and everything in between. We will start with our rankings of the best ages to bring kids to Walt Disney World. 

Then we will go through each of the individual age groups to talk about the pros, the cons, and the tips when navigating Walt Disney World with kids of this age.


I thought long and hard about how to rank this. If you talk to 100 different parents, it’s likely that each parent will feel quite a bit different. Some of that is individual kids and personalized memories with their kids and in which age their kids personally enjoyed it the most.

I’m going to break down the different age groups into six different groups. Here they are:

  • 0-1
  • 1-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-9
  • 10-13
  • 14-18

Here’s how I would personally rank them from BEST to WORST considering all factors:

  1. 6-9
  2. 3-5
  3. 10-13
  4. 14-18
  5. 1-2
  6. 0-1

Of course, they are each great in their own way so let’s get into the pluses and minuses of each one…

0-1 Years Old


  • Basically free – Not only will park tickets be free for this age but you won’t have to worry about purchasing a ticket for the plane. Plus they are likely VERY cheap when it comes to food!
  • Easy to care for – It’s easy pushing them around in the stroller while many infants often sleep half the day. There’s little to worry about nor do you have to worry about them running around.
  • Seeing their reactions – Watching their reactions to things such as the parades, the characters, or the fireworks is still quite remarkable. We have some great pictures of my little nephew when he was this age as he stared in awe at the fireworks.


  • They will not remember anything – It’s pretty safe to assume they likely won’t have any memories of the trip at this age. Trips during this time period will likely only be remembered through adorable photos.
  • Can’t go on many rides – While yes there are some rides that don’t have any height requirements, many rides will require taller kids. This means the only way parents will be able to enjoy these rides is through ride swapping.
  • Logistical concerns – In addition to likely needing to pack food items, you will need to pack a number of additional things. These can include diapers, wipes, bottles, changes of clothes, etc. Moms might need to make multiple stops throughout the day to feed the babies as well.


  • Use the Baby Care Centers – Each Disney Theme Park has a very comfortable baby care center that is specifically for nursing mothers. These are comfortable, air-conditioned, and perfect to get a little downtime for moms and babies alike! Make sure to use these! Moms love them.
  • Get your infant stroller trained – I repeatedly hear from parents that they wish they trained their children better in the stroller OR that they are so glad that they did. If you have a well-trained stroller infant, it makes the days SO much simpler.
  • Consider getting a baby carrier – Parents swear by baby carriers when it comes to having infants. They are the easiest to carry when they are this age, and it gives an opportunity for an infant to get out of the stroller. Most infants LOVE them because they can be strapped to their parents.
  • Spend your time at Magic Kingdom – There’s no other park even close to as good as Magic Kingdom when it comes to infants.
bringing baby to meet Minnie Mouse character Topolino's Terrace

1-2 Years Old


  • Still free – These are the last times that you will be able to enjoy your child being FREE! Take advantage of these times.
  • Fairly easy to care for – While they usually begin running around at this age and aren’t quite as stagnant as infants, they are still fairly easy to care for. Many kids love being in a stroller at this age and will just relax and take it all in.
  • More aware than infants – While they still won’t necessarily know everything going around, toddlers and infants at this age are MUCH more aware of their surroundings. They might have completely different reactions to things than they would have when they were under 1 year old.


  • Will not remember much – While they COULD remember aspects at this age, it isn’t likely they are at that stage yet.
  • Still too small for height restriction rides – While they can go on zero height restriction rides, there are still a lot of rides 1 and 2-year-olds can’t yet go on.
  • Logistical concerns – In addition to likely needing to pack food items, you will need to pack a number of additional things. These can include diapers, wipes, bottles, changes of clothes, etc. Moms might need to make multiple stops throughout the day to feed the babies as well.


  • Take advantage of playgrounds – Kids at this age have a TON of energy! EPCOT during the festivals as well as the different Disney Resorts have playgrounds and park areas. Let your little ones take advantage of these times to burn them out so that they can chill in their stroller afterward! 
  • Use rider swap – You must take advantage of this with small kids so that you don’t need to waste your time in line twice! At this age, kids don’t meet the height restrictions for too many rides and it’s imperative that you ask for a rider swap BEFORE you get in line.
  • Use Baby Care Centers still – Whether or not your child is still nursing at this age doesn’t matter, you can still use the Baby Care Centers. It’ll give you a quiet place to get a break with your kid, especially if it’s hot out. Also, if your child is beginning his potty training, they have toddler-size potties in the Baby Care Centers which are perfect for them!
  • Get their first haircut on Main Street U.S.A. – A favorite memory of my little nephew was the ability to get his first haircut on Main Street U.S.A. when he was just over a year old! This was extra special and I highly recommend the entire experience. You might even get a special performance from the Dapper Dans!
baby getting first haircut at Main Street Barber Shop Magic Kingdom

3-5 Years Old


  • Reduced ticket prices – While park tickets aren’t free anymore, they are still classified in the ‘child’ bracket, meaning they are slightly discounted from adult tickets.
  • Can begin creating memories – It’s at THIS age group that many kids begin creating their core memories. If you ask most people their earliest childhood memories it’s usually within this time frame. So it’s possible your child will begin creating once-in-a-lifetime memories that they’ll permanently remember!
  • Very attentive and in tune – Kids are incredibly curious and attentive to everything going on around them. They usually are in awe of their surroundings and can fully appreciate the Disney Magic by this age.
  • Still in strollers – For many kids, this is the end of the stroller days. That means that you’ll be able to fully push them around and they can take naps without necessarily needing to bring them back to the room for a nap at this age.
  • Can begin reaching height restrictions – They will likely reach new milestones and begin hitting those height requirements meaning they can go on new attractions at this age, which is VERY exciting!
  • Character interactions – This is usually when I’d recommend booking character meals and getting in line for character meet-and-greets. They usually get some kind of reaction from these interactions, for better or worse.


  • Not free anymore – Unfortunately you’ll need to begin booking flights for children of this age AND purchasing Disney Park Passes.
  • Relentless energy – Kids at this age are EXHAUSTING! You’ll likely need to watch them every two seconds. Whether they are running away or trying to jump in the water. You can’t leave or trust them for a moment, which can be very tiresome.
  • Require extras still – Kids at this age might still need additional packing. Whether it’s food items, diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, etc… They require a little bit of extra planning.


  • Let them run around at the playgrounds – Take advantage of the different play areas and playgrounds at the parks and resorts to wear them out.
  • Continue to use rider swap – There are likely still rides that kids in this age group can’t quite get on yet so make sure you use the ride swap feature.
  • Booking a character meal – Character lines can get VERY long in the parks so I’d suggest booking a character meal for breakfast or dinner. To find out which one is perfect for your child, take a look at my post here.
  • Spend a resort day or day(s) – Kids at this age need downtime! In fact, most of them LOVE spending time at the resort pool area. With many of the resorts having splash areas and waterslides, kids tend to LOVE being at the pool. This will give them much-needed R&R.
Coronado Springs Resort Dig Site Pool area

6-9 Years Old


  • Still discounted – This is the last age grouping in which kids are still classified as ‘child’ when it comes to park tickets. That means the cost of park tickets is SLIGHTLY cheaper than adults.
  • More all-day stamina – Kids at this age generally can go all day, meaning it’s much less likely they’ll need naps. They can run and run and run, allowing for more fun and more exhaustion for parents.
  • More rides – At this age, more and more ride opportunities will come up. Not only will they meet the height restrictions, but they’ll also likely be more brave.
  • Still in the ‘kid phase’ – This is in my view, the last age bracket that kids are still in that kid phase without worrying about being too cool for school. That means they’ll love the Disney extras, the Disney vibes, and the Disney magic. Parents don’t have to worry about their kids being embarrassed by anything yet.


  • Leaving school begins getting challenging – This is usually the time when teachers and principals begin giving parents and students a harder time about missing school. This can create additional heartaches and stress for parents and kids alike.
  • Might still be too small for some rides – Generally speaking, they aren’t at the height that they can go on EVERYTHING yet. This of course can alter from kid to kid, depending on their size.
  • More expensive costs – Kids at this age will likely at the very least need kids’ meals and in some cases need to order off the adult menus. They begin eating a LOT so the food budget needs to be considerably bigger.


  • Continue to use rider swap – For those rides that your kids can’t quite ride yet, due to height restrictions, make sure you use rider swap!
  • Visit during slower times of year – Even if you HAVE to base your trip around school vacations, try to find the sweet spot of minimizing the amount of time your kid misses while also minimizing the crowds. For help with this, take a look at our Crowd Calendar to help you find the peak time for YOU.
  • Find some extras to do with your child at this age – Often at this age, kids start to lose interest in the characters or the parades. Find something that’s a little extra special for them. Whether it’s a VIP tour, whether it’s building them a lightsaber or a droid, or taking them on a Hot Air Balloon over Disney Springs. Find something that will be memorable for THEM.
little girl watching Cinderella Castle Magic Kingdom

10-13 Years Old


  • Adult-like energy – Kids at this age have generally no limits and can go all day. It’s likely they have more energy than their parents!
  • Will remember A LOT – Kids will likely store many memories in their core memories with some of the greatest childhood memories frequently happening during this time.
  • Can finally ride on everything – Almost all kids during this time period are now tall enough to get on every single attraction. No more restrictions and finally there’s no need to measure yourself or a Cast Member to pull you out of line. That’s exciting!


  • Adult prices– Unfortunately at this age, they are now classified as an adult when it comes to park tickets. That means you will be paying the maximum cost for all kids in this age range. Your kids also will likely be eating all adult food, meaning expensive food bills.
  • School – Some schools give kids a LOT of work during this age range. Getting off from school can be a challenge and a nightmare. Staying after school, retaking school tests, etc… are NOT fun ways to return to everyday life for kids following a vacation. If you don’t take off from school, you will likely need to visit during an expensive holiday time which means costs can easily be double.
  • The Magic Is Usually Gone – Sadly kids in these ages sometimes no longer appreciate the Disney magic, the Disney songs, or the Disney dream. In fact, they might think it’s stupid and childish.
  • More independence – This could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the type of parent you are. Kids usually during this time period want to begin testing their boundaries and doing things on their own without their parents.


  • Have kids begin saving allowance money – They are VERY interested in purchasing their own things whether it’s shopping or snacks. Have them put aside allowance money or money they make so that they can learn to budget themselves. Disney World is NOT cheap and this will allow them to prioritize what they really want.
  • Enjoy some additional extras – Consider the needs and interests of your child at this age. Find something a little extra memorable for them. Do they love Star Wars? Whatever it is, make the trip a little extra special with something they won’t soon forget.
kids getting autograph from The Mandalorian and Grogu Hollywood Studios

14-18 Years Old


  • Will remember their trip – Teenagers at this age almost always remember aspects of their trip. It could be some of their last memories of family vacations before they start going off on their own!
  • Enjoy the rides – Teenagers usually LOVE rides and attractions more than at any other time in their lives, especially thrill rides. Make sure to take them on the best ones in each Disney Theme Park.
  • Might have their OWN money – Most kids begin working during these years, which means they can help pay for their trip! This means less budgeting for mom and dad and telling them to at least partially pay their own way.
  • Don’t have to constantly watch – Teens usually want some independence and at this age, parents can feel a little bit looser about their kids having some level of freedom at the resort and at the Disney Theme Parks without needing to watch them every minute of the day.


  • Too cool for Disney – Depending on the makeup of your teen, some at this age begin making comments like “Disney is for kids” or “there aren’t enough roller coasters.” And while there could be truth in what they are saying, a little bit of research can help you find things for teens.
  • Full cost – Not only do teens have to pay the full cost of park tickets and plane tickets, but they usually eat A LOT! Food budgets can be substantially more for growing young adults, and that’s why having them help pay for a trip can be helpful.
  • Bored easily – Teens are CONSTANTLY bored. In today’s information age and with social media and smartphones, they need constant stimulation. If they aren’t doing something at every moment in time, they get disinterested.


  • Download the Disney Parks Mobile App – One thing I wholeheartedly recommend is the Disney Parks Mobile App. With scavenger hunts and interactive adventures throughout the parks, this will keep your teens busy throughout the day.
  • Enjoy a SPECIAL add-on experience – Splurge by surprising them with a full experience whether it be Savi’s Workshop in Hollywood Studios where they can build their own lightsaber or perhaps let them take out a Vintage Amphicar at The Boathouse in Disney Springs on Lake Buena Vista. They’ll LOVE these kinds of experiences.
  • Let them help plan the trip – Many teens LOVE to be involved in the planning process. This gives them a level of ownership for their trip and allows them to see the fruits of their labor once they get to Disney World.

    Whether it’s the choice of restaurants or the choice of resort, there are so many things that teens can help plan. Young ones that have a say in planning tend to have more fun, and I think this is a great way to let your teen have a great time!
using Lightsaber at Dok Ondar's Den of Antiquities

There Is No Perfect Age

While we did OUR best to rank the best ages for a trip to Walt Disney World, the bottom line truly is this: there is NO perfect age. All of them have a crazy amount of positives and negatives. Some of them are unique solely to their age, and others are unique to their individual personalities. 

The best thing I can recommend to you is to enjoy your children no matter what age they are. If you can afford to take your kids at different ages as they age and get older, I think you’ll learn to appreciate them in different ways at each age.

little kid at Cinderella's Royal Table

Perhaps at some ages, you’ll realize you like better than others. Or you might just think to yourself “While I loved certain aspects of them at this age, I enjoyed other aspects at an earlier age.” That is a pretty common and normal event for parents. 

Plan the best itinerary for your kids so that at each age they can LOVE the entire Disney World experience. If your family is like mine, age is solely a number. The older they get the more they might love Walt Disney World and carry on the tradition with their eventual families as well! And at that point, you will be able to see it from an even different angle, as a grandparent. 

I’m fairly confident as you look back in the rearview mirror and see the different pictures of your kids at various ages as you enjoyed a Walt Disney World Vacation you won’t think to yourself “That was a really bad age.” Instead, you’ll think “Wow that was a great memory bringing them then and I’ll never forget it!”

How to Get the Best Experience at Disney World with Small Children

Traveling with small children can be incredibly stressful and time-consuming. Attempting to figure out all the logical concerns with small children whether it be strollers, food items, grocery shopping, diapers, the list goes on and on!

little kid looking at Cinderella Castle Magic Kingdom

And that’s not even mentioning all the specific Disney Planning buzzwords such as Genie+, Lightning Lanes, Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Hours, ADRs, Mobile Ordering, etc etc. 

How does one even begin to plan this especially if they haven’t planned a Walt Disney World Trip in a while or EVER before with small children? The absolute best and EASIEST way to do this is with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You the World Travel. 

I’m telling you, once you utilize a specialized vacation planner who is highly skilled and qualified to help you plan a Walt Disney World Vacation you likely won’t ever ever try another way. The best part of all is that it won’t cost you a dime! 

Get in touch with them now, and begin planning your Walt Disney World Vacation. They’ll help you save money and have the very best time imaginable with your family! Contact them here.

I’m telling you once you book a vacation with them once, you won’t want to book a vacation any other way. It’s simple and painless, and they’ll make your vacation better than you ever thought possible!

Ready to Start Planning Your Disney Vacation?

Mickey Mouse partners statue Magic Kingdom

If you feel overwhelmed planning a Disney vacation, use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You the World Travel. They are experts on every Disney location and can tell you where to stay, what to do, how to save money, and give you personalized service for your most magical vacation ever!

That wraps up our look at the best age to take your kids to Walt Disney World. We hope that we helped you figure out when you can begin taking your children to the most magical place on earth and start making memories that will last a lifetime!

If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the coming future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about what the best age to take children to Disney World…

  • When do you think the best age is?
  • When did you start bringing your children or how old were you when your parents brought you for the first time?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your

Tony Piscitelli

Saturday 16th of March 2024

Very informative and helpful regarding the best ages for going to Disney with children. We should have no problem, due to the fact the youngest ones are twelve year old twins, and the remaining ten range in age from fourteen to twenty five who are all looking forward to a September visit. My older children and both my Wife and I want to make this a family thing seeing that both of us were there the year before "Covid" hit our country. It will be a celebration of such and a bucket wish for us to spend time with most of our grand children who have moved to different states, and do not see them as often as we would like to. But when it was mentioned to both our children and to them you would not believe the excitement that exuded from all of them, and to thank you for all of the splendid advice, which we anticipate utilizing, that you have passed on to us the last few months. I cannot thank you enough.