Best Age for Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World; a magical place for those of all ages. No matter if it’s your first year on this earth or your hundredth, you will always find something at Disney World that will bring a smile to your face. However, when planning to bring children, a lot of parents wonder the same thing. What’s the best age to visit Disney World?

You want an age where your children will be old enough to participate and remember, but also one where they are still captivated by the magic. The best recommended age isn’t a simple answer, so let’s discuss it!

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Bringing Children Two and Under…Worth It?

Before we delve into the best age for Disney World, I want to talk a bit about bringing babies/toddlers. 

Bringing a child between the ages of 0-2 years old is not frowned upon, nor is it a terrible thing. Some parents debate on if bringing such a small child is worth it monetarily. However, to each their own!

There are definitely pros and cons to bringing babies to Disney World. The biggest thing is that they are free! 99% of airlines will not charge for two years old and under. Disney World also does not charge for 2 and under. Right there, you’re saving hundreds on your trip! You’ll also save money on food, since most littles will either share food with their parents or need outside food brought in. This means that you’re not running up a tab stopping for food a bunch.

It’s really fun to have babies meet the characters, since it gets them used to seeing the performers without getting scared. Having children meet and greet with the characters so young will make them familiar with doing so in the future. Also, baby reactions to things are just adorable in itself! 

One bad thing is that lugging a lot of a little’s needs can be hard. Diapers, formula, change of clothes, snacks, and way more can definitely make for a heavy bag and a sore back. That, combined with the Florida heat, will surely cause you and your family to become grumpy quickly. Speaking of Florida heat, it can be too hot for such young ones! You’ll definitely need to pack extra, including fans, umbrellas, and more. 

With all of that being said, you can still have an amazing time with that age group. While it isn’t considered the ‘best’, it is still great.

The Best Age(s) for Disney World

Roll out the red carpet for the best age group to bring to Disney World; Ages 3-12!

Yes, I know, it’s a wide range. But it is a very popular opinion, and I agree! This age group allows kids to be completely enveloped in magic, have an insane amount of fun, want to spend time with family, and remember their trips. Let’s discuss by breaking up each grouping.

Ages 3-5 Years Old:

Ticket prices for ages 3-9 start at $104. Therefore, you’ll be paying anywhere from $104 to around $180 for children between the ages of three and five. 

This age group tends to be the biggest believers when it comes to the magic of Disney World. A theme park experience like this is definitely new to them, and watching their reactions is priceless. 

My brother’s first trip to Disney World was when he was three, and it was as much fun for my family and I to witness as it was for him to be there. He was so happy to bring his toys and show the characters, watch the fireworks, and just run around the park. 

This age group also counts for the kid’s meals at restaurants still. This is great for cheaper eats, pickier palettes, and more familiar entrees. The meals are bound to be filling while also refraining from burning a hole into your pockets. 

Tips & Reminders:

Here are some things to remember for this age group!

  • Naps are a must. Every child (and most likely adult) is bound to get tired. Naps will ensure that you can keep everyone happy and going for the day!
  • This is a great age for character dining. Characters will come around to each table during the meal for a few pictures! They aren’t completely focused on your party, so if a little one is scared, they’ll be able to separate from the character rather than being the main focus during a one on one meet and greet. 
  • Magic Kingdom is probably the best option for this age group. There are so many rides with little (to no) height requirements and fun activities for young ones. 
  • Bring snacks from home/the hotel! You can do this for any age group, but I feel like it really should be stressed for this one. You are allowed to bring outside food, so why not have some grab and go snacks on hand? Puffs, cookies, bars, and more. Whatever will keep your little one happy and save you some money!
  • Don’t be afraid to take it slow. Because this age group cannot do everything at the parks, you’ll have a lot more time than trying to accomplish every attraction. Take breaks! Wander around for fun, explore areas you wouldn’t have without the kids. Take things slow and enjoy the magical moments.

Ages 6 to 9 Years Old:

best age wdw

Like earlier stated, ticket prices for ages 3-9 start at $104. They are also included on the kid’s menus as well! 

This is a wonderful age group, probably my favorite. If I had to choose one group from the 3-12 year range, it would one thousand percent be 6-9 years old!! This age group is older, so they’re able to walk around longer, understand and remember more of the trip, and participate in more attractions and activities. However, they’re still young enough to appreciate the magic of Disney World. 

Unlike my brother, my first trip was at six years old, celebrating the week of my seventh birthday. I can remember almost everything from my trip! I was never afraid to meet a character, and I went on as many rides as I was tall enough for…Even if I was scared of them. [I’m looking at you, Stitch’s Great Escape.] All in all, I had a great, memorable vacation with my family. 

This is such a fun age to bring to the parks. They’re old enough to have their own list of things that they want to do while on vacation, and they’re so appreciative every second that you’re on your trip. As well as that, they’re also growing! This means that they will be introduced to new rides and shows that are appropriate for their age. They’re little thrill-seekers in the making! 

Tips & Reminders:

Here are some things to note and remember.

  • Yes, I know, children love to be independent and do things on their own. However… bring the stroller. I promise, it will be worth lugging it into the car/onto the plane. I used a stroller in Disney until I was 10, and I have no shame. My feet and my sleep schedule thanked me profusely. You will not regret having a stroller on hand. 
  • Nine is the last age year that qualifies for the kid’s menu at restaurants. Take advantage of this when thinking of booking dining reservations.
  • Character dinings are great for this age range, too! Some character dining locations do fun things like dance parties, and this is a great age group to participate in these. 
  • Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are great parks for this age group. There are fun rides with appropriate height requirements for them. However, this is not to say that EPCOT or Hollywood Studios would be a waste! They just have some rides with higher height requirements. Although, any child who loves Star Wars would definitely be a fit for Hollywood Studios. 
  • Take advantage of any extra activities offered at the parks/resorts. This really can peak the interest of this age group while also teaching them new things. This can include scavenger hunts during EPCOT festivals, pin-trading, and trivia at the hotel! The best part is that these activities cost little-to-no extra fees.

Ages 10 to 12 Years Old:

best age disney world

Ah, the end of the ‘children’s pricing’ era. Yes, it’s true. Ten years and up will cost adult prices. This means that tickets will start at $109, going all the way up to $189 during peak seasons. When buying tickets or booking your resort, you will have to put each child’s age into the drop-box. 

Unfortunately, your child is also kicked off of the kid’s menu at 10 years and older. Although, I know that some restaurants will let you order off of the kid’s menu in certain situations. If you have a reason that your child needs the kid’s menu, explain to your server and be kind; They can usually create some magic for you! But please, do not take advantage of cast member kindness. 

Not all is lost, however. Ages 10-12 are bound to be your assistants in park-planning, your thrill-ride connoisseurs, and your fellow foodies! By this age, height requirements are usually a thing of the past, leaving no ride untouchable. They also usually have a good idea of the way they’d like to spend some of the park day, which enables the entire family to be able to give their ideas and input! 

Also, this is a great age for learning. They still believe in the magic of Disney, but in a different light than when they were younger. Now, the magic of art, creation, technology, and more are brought to the surface! There are so many educational things to see and do with children in this age range. 

The bond that you and your children will share at this age is just amazing. Their minds are broader, their palettes are wider, and once again, their height is taller! Unless your child doesn’t want to do something, there’s no stopping you and them from being inseparable at the parks while conquering every food, drink, and attraction together. 

Tips & Reminders:

Here are some important things to remember for this age group.

  • Again…Stroller. If you feel like your child will want it, don’t hesitate to bring it. Worst case scenario, you use the empty stroller to store bags, food, and merchandise. Best case scenario, you’ve got some well-rested children who are ready to go from rope-drop to park-close. 
  • Get into more unique dining, as long as your children do not have picky palettes. Character dining might not be their main interest like it was when they were younger, so now is your chance to book a great non-character location! 
  • Kids at this age might not want to purchase everything that they see, but they’ll sure want a lot. Have them save money before the trip, purchase gift cards, and set a budget. This way, they’ll feel independent and in charge when buying any souvenirs, but they aren’t going overboard. 
  • At this point, every park visit is bound to be a win. However, Magic Kingdom will still be the best spot. EPCOT is also great for kids in this age group, as they’ll have lots of educational opportunities there!

Is There Really a ‘Best’ Age for Disney World?

best age disney world

Yes, but no

Yes, there are age groups that might be more worth the trip financially, or participation-wise. When a child can walk around, participate in activities, ride the attractions, and remember the trip, it might seem more worth it than when they can’t.

However, that doesn’t mean it is the best. You and your family are the only ones in charge of your vacation, and who’s to say that you won’t have a tall four year old thrill-seeker? What about a toddler with the palette of a chef? How about a 15 year old super excited to be in Disney with their family? Or a baby whose eyes light up when seeing the castle or the big Mickey balloons?

My point is, any age at any time can appreciate the magic and wonder of Disney World. As someone who has been to Disney World over fifty times from six years old and on, I can happily say that I have never felt like I didn’t enjoy my vacation. There are so many new things I get to experience as I surpass different age groups. I loved playing in the splash pads and dancing with characters as a child, and now I love being at the age where I can have more relaxed trips, bring my friends and fiance, and enjoy things I didn’t get to when I was younger.

The best age to bring your children to Disney World is the age you think is best for your family. And that age is definitely different for everyone!

Whatever age you decide to visit, may all of your vacations to Disney World be filled with laughter and magic.

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Best Age For Disney: FAQs:

What is the ideal age for Disney World?

The ideal age for children to visit Disney World is around elementary age. This can be anywhere from five years old to ten years old. Most parents bring children six and up as their first visit, but all ages are welcome!

Is it worth taking a 4 year old to Disney World?

It is absolutely worth it to bring a four year old to Disney World! There are so many attractions with little to no height requirements, ensuring they can ride. They can also have fun with character meet and greets and parades.

Is it worth taking a 3 year old to Disney World?

Yes, it is worth it to take a three year old to Disney World! They are the perfect age to believe in the magic, the characters, and the fun of Disney World. There are rides they can go on as well as so many fun activities for them. This is a very magical age!

Is 12 too old for Disney World?

Twelve is not too old to visit Disney World. This age year is in the average range of best ages to visit! There are so many things that twelve year olds can do. They will be able to ride almost every attraction, participate in activities, and more! It is also a great age since there are so many favorite fan-bases like Marvel and Star Wars represented in the parks.

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