The Fear Factor
Next to wondering about the best time to visit Disney to avoid crowds, many families obsess about the perfect age to take their children. The answer isn't simple. In many ways, Disney seems the most child-friendly place on the planet, offering something for everyone. But it's also an expensive trip, and to do it properly requires a visit of at least a few days. Making that kind of commitment requires some careful thinking about what you want from the trip, what you know about your child, and understanding your child's limitations.
"It's really a case-by-case basis. You have to understand your child's patience, attention span, and what they are ready for," says Rick Sylvain, a spokesperson for Disney World. "There are situations where kids just aren't ready. Disney World is overwhelming. It asks a lot of kids."
And of parents, as we discovered on a recent visit with an adventurous four-year-old, who delighted in just about everything scary, and a slightly bewildered three-year-old, who adored Disney's roving characters but spent at least two hours a day passed out in his stroller. Yes, it was all too muchï¿½for them and for usï¿½but we still have no regrets about taking them so young. Along the way, though, we saw lots of stressed-out parents dragging fearful, clinging children (of all ages) who had clearly been pushed too far in very expensive timeouts.