Will my five year old remember our Walt Disney World trip?

Will my five year old remember our Walt Disney World trip?

by Terry
(Greenville, MI USA)

Will my five year old remember our Walt Disney World trip?

I was speaking to a friend who indicated she and her family went to Disneyland in Ca when she was five years old. She said she remembers the palm trees, a ride on a train, but only about five seconds of Disneyland. Do I want to spend big money for a five second memory??

We have three children ages 9,7,& 5. I know the older two will have great memories, but not sure about my 5 year old. Obviously the park is intended for all ages, but do you think we will be limited as to what we can "ride" by her age (and height, she is only as tall as the average 3.5 year old)?

Dad's Memorable Answer


First, thank you for your question. I'm struggling with an answer. My first instinct is to shout and shake you and scream and holler. (Whew, glad I got that out of my system.) But, I'll be nice and try to answer your question rationally.

Let's take the last part of your question first. Do you think we'll be limited as to what we can "ride" by her age and height?

Sure you will, but unless your 7 year old is a giant for their age they won't be able to ride some of the rides.

Walt Disney World is built for kids of all ages. There are many rides that are specifically designed for the younger generation. In fact in the Magic Kingdom almost one third of the park was developed just for the younger ones (Fantasyland and Mickey's Toontown Fair).

Don't worry about what she'll miss, she'll miss a lot more if you don't go.

Which brings me to your first question. will my five year old remember our Disney World trip?

First let me say that Dad believes that 4-5 years old is the youngest age to take a child on a Disney World trip. It's also the perfect age to go on your first trip.

Memories of a Disney World trip
The Man-Child at 5 years old on a Disney World Trip

We waited until the Man-Child was almost 5 for our first trip with the kids. (The Princess was 9.) It was perfect.

How to create memories of a Disney World trip

I've been struggling with this all morning. I just want to shout, "Why are you trying to make excuses not to go to Disney World?" But I'll refrain and make a better point.

If you want your children to have memories of Disney World trips it's up to you to make it happen. How are memories created? By reliving them over and over.

Ways to reinforce memories

Talk about your Disney World trip regularly. Take pictures and videos and don't just throw them into boxes. Use them have regular Disney World nights where you bring out the pictures and videos and talk about them. (You can use one of them to surprise the kids with the next trip. Then you take the regular trip nights and make them into planning nights.)

Your memories

Just have to slip this one in, your 5 year old might not remember the trip, but you will never forget it. Go back and ask your friend what their Mom or Dad remembers about the trip to Disneyland when she was 5. I'll bet you'll hear several great stories.

The Best of WDW - Volume 2


The Perfect Ages

Terry, let me say that 5,7,9 are the perfect ages for a Disney World trip. Children 10 and over pay adult prices. If you take a trip this year, it will be the least expensive Disney World trip you'll ever take. After this year, your oldest will be counted as an adult.
The Man-Child
The Man-Child

The Man-Child's Bottom Line

Today I asked the Man-Child about this. He was almost 5 the first time he visited Walt Disney World. He's 20 now. He remembers several things. I told him about your question and asked what he thought, he said "I'd recommend they go."

Hope this helps

Comments for Will my five year old remember our Walt Disney World trip?

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Dec 28, 2011
by: JEM

I remember when I went to Disney World when I was THREE years old! Pictures and retelling of stories have definitely helped a lot. But just being there is such an amazing experience, the memories in my own mind of things my family doesn't even remember will always remain with me. I'm 25 years old now. I realized at an early age that the only way I will retain memories of my childhood when I got older were to relive them in my own mind on a regular basis.

My mom, on the other hand, was EIGHT the year Disneyland opened and vaguely remembers the entire experience when she went that year. There are many factors to take into account as to how well your child will remember. However, you have absolutely no control over your child's mind, and all you can do is help with reminders. All you will do by not going is deprive your child of an experience they will love and certainly remember long enough to anticipate their next trip.

I may always be able to remember my first trip to Disneyland extremely well because I was 22...and I will always treasure that memory...but I would rather have gone many times and not remember my first trip as a baby if I could trade that one memory with hundreds of others there as a child growing up with my family. I'll never have that. Now that we (I'm the youngest of four) are all grown, with families of our own in four different states, who knows whether I'll ever get to see my entire family at Disneyland.

Enjoy this time with your kids while it lasts. You'll NEVER regret it!!!

Apr 12, 2010
measure before you go
by: Anonymous

We were afraid our youngest son who will be 6 the week we leave for our trip would be too small for some of the rides but we measured just to see what he could do. 49 inches!!! Guess he is a giant. He can get on everything. Now we just have to make sure they are not too scary. He loves roller coasters but the ones in the dark may be a little too much.

Feb 08, 2010
Where are the pictures
by: Dad


Thanks for the report. It sounds like you created some memories that will last a lifetime. I hope you took lots of pictures. Love to see them.

Feb 07, 2010
Just got back
by: Terry

We just returned from our trip to Disney World. I am so THANKFUL that we went!! It was the perfect ages for all of them. We had the kids journal each night when we returned to the room. My five year old drew pictures and I printed her quotes....PRICELESS!! I have to share that on the first night as we were watching fireworks at Magic Kingdom, I whispered in my five year old's ear "Will you remember this forever?" She responded "Oooh yeess Daddy! I will! I will remember." She was completely starry eyed and she has said to me a few times since that night, "Daddy, I remember the fireworks.." It was truly a magical vacation and worth every penny! Thanks for the encouragement. :-)

Jan 01, 2010
Getting closer!
by: Terry

So Dad, Did you hear the screams on Christmas morning?? My wife and I put together a short video to announce the big Christmas gift of going to WDW. It took about 5 minutes to really sink in for the kids...and the excitement has yet to dwindle!! Where on your site is the "monorail" story where you rode up front with the conductor? I wanted to share with my wife, but could not find it. Thanks!!

Dad Answers


Sorry, but I didn't hear it. We slept in late, I was probably snoring. No comments, Mrs. Mom

Here's the Monorail to Epcot story. It's a classic.

Also don't forget to check out Dad's monorail page

I hope you have a marvelous trip.

Nov 09, 2009
Your Welcome
by: Dad


Only to happy to help. Hope everything goes great and you'll come back and tell us about it. Make sure you have the video camera going on Christmas morning. (I can still hear the 22 year old Princess screeching, "We're going to Disney World".)

Nov 09, 2009
got it!
by: Terry

Thanks for the great advice. We booked reservations and flights....no turning back now! My wife and I are very excited. The kids won't know until Christmas Morning!! We are taking a stroller for two youngest, but they will have to take turns. Now we are reading all we can to plan the days...and of course the memories. Dad's guide has been a huge help! Thanks for all you do!


Nov 08, 2009
Take your 5 year old to WDW!!!!!
by: Mrs. Mom

First, to Dad, you couldn't find the picture of the Princess and Man-Child riding the Monorail for the first time?????

Second, to Terry, Dad didn't tell you to rent a double stroller or at least a single stroller every day that you are in one of the parks. It really saves the little ones' legs. And sometimes they even take a nap and Dad doesn't have to carry them. And if they want to walk, it is nice place to put jackets and souvenirs. When we took the kids for the first time in 1994, we got a single stroller and the Man-Child used it alot and was able to make it through the long days. When we went with my whole family in 2003, my brother-in-law rented a double one for my 6 and 4 year old nephews and it was really great for them!

Finally, 3 kids and 2 adults--do you need someone to go with you to watch that 3rd kid? I'm volunteering!

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