There is nothing quite like the experience of taking a wide-eyed, innocent child to a Disney park. For them, everything is full of wonder, and there is magic around every corner. But before long, children start to “question” the magic. My own daughter started to do this when she was about 5, asking things like, “Mommy, are those REALLY princesses or are they just dressed up like princesses?” and “Can Tinkerbell REALLY fly over the castle?” I’m feel so fortunate that I was able to take my daughter to Disney at an early age when all of that “magic” was taken at face value. Here is a list of must-do Disney experiences that every parent should make a priority before their children become too old to “believe”.
7. DRESS UP
There aren’t many times or venues where an adult wearing mouse ears is appropriate. And even in Disney, you’ll only be able to get away with it for so long before your kids start claiming that you’re “embarrassing” them. So if the fancy strikes you to buy matching mouse ears for you and your entire family, please buy and wear them to your heart’s content!
6. DINE WITH A CHARACTER
There isn’t a lot of time before your child starts asking “Mommy, is that REALLY Mickey Mouse or is it a person in a costume?” “Dad, is that REALLY Cinderella or is it just a lady dressed up like Cinderella?” There’s nothing like watching a child at “Mickey Mouse’s House” surrounded by Mickey and all of his friends while that child believes that truly is the one and only “mouse”.
5. HAVE YOUR CHILD “MADE OVER”
Whether your child is a little princess or a pirate at heart, Disney offers children the opportunity to be magically transformed. A “Fairy Godmother in Training” will turn any child into royalty at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. The Pirate’s League will deck your child out in full swashbuckling attire.
4. STAY AT A “CHILD THEMED” RESORT
While all of the resort hotels in Disney are spectacular in their own way, several are themed in ways that are especially appealing to children. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are two excellent examples of resort theming for children at its best. Art of Animation has four sections, each themed around Disney animated movies. Massive sculptures of Ariel, Simba, Crush, and Lightening McQueen, among others, adorn the grounds of this resort. It is also home to “The Big Blue Pool”, which is arguably the best pool on Disney property. Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to various species of African wildlife, visible from areas inside the resort, some guest rooms, and outside viewing areas. What child wouldn’t like to see a giraffe from their guest room balcony?
3. GET UP AND DANCE
There are SO many opportunities in and around the Disney Parks to bust a move. Bands and musical acts are always performing, and you’ll always see people movin’ and grovin’. There is no reason to feel embarrassed about dancing with your little ones!
2. WATCH TINKERBELL FLY
Just prior to the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular in the Magic Kingdom, Tinkerbell will “fly” from the castle toward Tomorrowland. Make it a priority to watch this magical flight before your children are old enough to realize that it’s an illusion.
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1. TAKE SOME PHOTOS
Actually, take HUNDREDS of photos. Take them in restaurants, on rides, and posing in front of every single icon in every single park. It won’t be long before your “tween” child starts rolling their eyes at the constant photo ops. Those photos will be the lasting reminders of precious memories.
Are there any other experiences that your children have “aged out” of at Disney? Leave us a comment below!
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