I took my 3 year old and 6 year old son to Disney World. They were miserable the whole time, and I wouldn’t take them again.

  • I am the father of two children aged 3 and 6 years old.
  • My family just got back from a trip to Disney World. I don’t think it’s great for young children.
  • My 3 year old son was overwhelmed by it all, and my 6 year old was afraid to ride.

My kids are 3 and 6 and we just got back from Disney World. Although it’s often touted as a great family destination, and while I’m a huge Disney fan and think the theme parks are great, I wouldn’t recommend it to parents of young children.

Earlier this summer, my family vacationed at a mid-level club in Florida. While the resort felt like a run-down, my wife and I wanted to go back because the childcare was great. We left feeling the resort would be great for other parents.

But when it comes to Disney, I have mixed feelings.

Disney is magical – but it can be a lot, too

Orlando, home to dozens of world-class resorts, is a big and expensive destination. There are throngs to navigate, lines to wait, and money to sweep straight from your pockets into Mickey Mouse’s eager hands.

However, it really is magical. As an adult, I’ve had two trips to Disney World, and they’ve both been very cheerful. Both times we went with our then infant son. It turns out Disney is amazing with kids.

With a baby, there’s a nap recovery built in, great baby centers in every park, and there’s no pressure on baby to do much other than move them from taking pictures to shooting.

We came back expecting the same kind of trip. This vacation, which has been postponed and rescheduled over the two years of the pandemic, was among our most anticipated trips. We spent hours preparing the kids with YouTube videos of the parades and rides. They knew what to expect and were begging to see Disney in person. We arrived at the theme parks with wide smiles.

My kids were afraid to ride

YouTube is far from reality. My son soon discovered that he was afraid of 3D. Any presentation or presentation that includes 3D effects was out of the picture. We even left the Pixar shorts and the Muppet ride early because he was scared.

He was also afraid of almost every trip he was excited about. We didn’t try the roller coaster, and eventually stopped trying most of the other games.

Even harder, my daughter hates anything inside. It was almost impossible to ride horses, shows and anything at all in the building with her screaming. I became completely immersed in the gardens and harsh environment. Not even the model was interested in her. This is a girl who grew up in the shadow of the pandemic and didn’t go to an amusement park or even a fair, so we had no idea what to expect.

That was the problem. In all its charm, Disney is a gamble.

At three and six, my kids understood and hated the concept of switching riding. My wife and I took a role in Rise of the Resistance, a new “Star Wars” journey we’ve been longing to experience. That was the only chance we took for ourselves. The kids were miserable when we did that. We ended up leaving the park early, right after that.

I still love Disney. I’ll be back in a heartbeat when the kids get older. But I recommend parents with toddlers and young children to skip this.

Christopher Manino is a stay-at-home dad, author, and freelance writer. He writes fiction books for children and adults and lives in Delaware.

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