39 answers

Disney with a 3 Year Old

I was wondering if anyone has gone to Disney with a three year old that no longer rides in a stroller? We are thinking of going, but not sure if he is old enough to really enjoy it yet and if all the walking would be too much. Would he be old enough/ tall enough to go on rides? He is about 40 inches tall. Any feedback would be great it has been a long time since I have been there.

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We went last summer with a 2 and 4 year old. We ended up renting 2 strollers b/c the park is so large! The strollers are only $10 a day and it will cost you more than that to bring one on the plane. I think it now costs $15 per stroller/suitcase for each airline.


I took my then almost three year to Disney. Frankly, she really didn't like it. The rides were too scary even though we only did the tame ones. The shows were too loud. There's a lot of stimulation and it just got to her. She was great in a lot of situations but that wasn't one of them. It took 4 days for her to relax enough to actually like it. We left on the 5th day.

As far as she was concerned, swimming in the pool was the best thing. I could have saved a ton of money by going to a hotel around here.

I haven't taken my youngest yet and she's 5.5. She doesn't even like the little kid rides at Kiddieland so Disney would be a waste of time and money. From talking to friends, it seems like 5-6 is when they really enjoy it. My oldest went back at age 6 and had a total blast!

There's a ton of walking. But they rent strollers all over the parks so that shouldn't be a problem. At 40" he can ride most of the rides.


buy a wagon or a trycicle that you can push from behind. Both worked well and they have more fun. Good luck

More Answers

This weekend, we just watched our "daddy movies" (family movies) of when we took our 4 1/2 year old daughter and 1 1/2 year old son to DisneyWorld. Very fun! We have been there about a dozen times and my kids are now, 13 1/2 and 10 1/2 years old. We all have made wonderful memories there! You just have to know your son and his endurance level. At that age, you can rent a stroller at the park if you get in a bind and your child needs to ride in a stroller. We usually brougt an umbrella stroller, not for the reason of our child riding in it all day, but to cart some of our stuff around (i.e. cooler, rain gear, jackets depending on season and how long we were staying at the park, light snacks, water bottles, etc...) You can buy this stuff there, however, it just can get costly. At night, one of the kids usually rode in the stroller - we have spend up to 15 hours and 20 minutes at the parks, in one day. Sometimes they rode on Dad's shoulders; other times we went to shows and they took a little catnap. Yes, we had some melt downs but our rule has been, on a 10-day trip, we would try to go to the park for a full day - every other day or do some 1/2 day parks so that no one would get burnt out.

Just curious what time of the year you were considering??? There are lots of small rides to go on. However, my daughter at 3 1/2 years, went on the Tower of Terror and loved it (she STILL is crazy about wild rides!) My son is a bit more conservative. Depends on your child's thrill factor and what they will tolerate. He will not meet the height requirements for some of the larger rides but you can do a "parent-swap" feature of the rides, which means that one parent will stay in an area with him, closer to the front of the line, while your partner rides, then make a quick swap after the ride so that you both get to enjoy the ride and not have to wait in a long line again. Probably for the park that has the most rides for his height, I would go to Magic Kingdom. However, don't rule out EPCOT! My kids love it there. When you visit the countries, he'll be able to make a mask and add new embellishments by visiting each country. Each country has different shows and attractions that you can take advantage of - not to mention good food!

Nothing beats a 3 year old in a monorail, approaching Cinderella's castle,happily in awe, screaming, "Oh.... Mommy... Oh... Daddy... I see it! It's just like the pictures! It's a dream come true - I'm going to meet Cinderella and Mickey!" Yep, been there!!! Truly, it's a great age to bring a little one. My son's first trip there was 5 months old. It's a very physical trip - the type of trip that you may need a relaxing vacation AFTER your vacation but it definitely is worth it if you do a lot of advance planning and your expectations are (semi) realistic! If you are looking for specific advise, just Personal Message me.

Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,

I do agree that each child is different, and I can only speak from my own personal experience. We took our daughter to Disney last year after she just turned 3 and she had a really good time. I was going to wait until she is a little older as I had the same concern as you do, but my daughter kept talking about the Disney and sounded like she was ready for the trip. So we took her there and boy she had a blast! However, I have to tell you that we didn't go on lots of ride as she is not big enough. We mostly spent time in the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood studio and animal kindom etc, which are more little kids friendly. So if you want to plan a trip that involves more rides, i suggest you wait another couple of years, but if you just want to show him the Disney for the first time, I think 3 is not impossible at all!

I do suggest that you go there off season if possible, the rates are lower and more importantly, it's so much less crowded. I don't know if a 3 year old can handle long lines everywhere, that's definitely a potential melt-down. I know I can't do that either!:)

If you plan ahead and prepare well, you guys will have so much fun!

1 mom found this helpful

You WILL need a stroller or at least a little pull wagon. There is ALOT of walking!
You will have some fun, but I would suggest waiting another 2 years. It will be much more
pleasurable and relaxing for everyone involved! Let's face it, it's not cheap. That's my 2 cents!

1 mom found this helpful

We took our little guy a few months before his 2nd birthday and he loved it. Up until that point he really only knew Mickey and Pooh so it's not like he was a Disney fanatic. I always said I would never take a young child becuase half of the time you see them crying. He loved this experience and so did we. I would have to say it was one of our favorite family vacations. We only went to the Magic Kingdom (we were visiting with family too) because we didn't know how he would be and there was no way we were going to keep going to parks with him if he didn't like it. My advice would be just don't plan too much. I think alot of parents over due and try to get their money's worth, and you just can't do that with a little one. You have to see how they are and go at their flow. He walked almost the entire park and he wasn't even 2 yet! He would get in his stroller occasionally for a break and he was able to go on all of the rides and even enjoyed the shows.

We took my daughter at 3 and a half and even though the stroller days may be over after a while he will take a ride. By the way you can rent one there. The best part of the vacation was seeing her see it all for the first time and some rides will be fine but truthfully none of it matters because if you go to the parts for little kids then there is nothing they can't do. The other part of the vacation was boarding the bus to go back to the hotel when the park closes and kids tend to fall asleep and they sleep all night. "Maybe that was the best part of my vacation with my 3 year old." The memories you bring home will be more than the things you couldn't do with your son. Have a great time.

Whether you rent or bring your own, make sure your child is wearing lots of sunscreen and has a sun hat/baseball cap of some kind to shade his head. Also, child's sunglasses. The sun is very intense, especially while standing in lines. That was the worst part of the trip for us and if you're prepared, it will be better. I loved going early in the morning and going back to the hotel for lunch/nap, then heading back to the park for dinner and the evening, especially if you're staying in a hotel on-site. Have a great time!!

Personally I didn't take my kids til they were seven and eight. They loved it. My co-worker went last year with his three year old and it sounded like a waste of time and money. They really couldn't do anything. But if you do go, I highly suggest renting one of their strollers. We did with the older kids and it came in handy when one of them got tired and we used it for all our "stuff" when they weren't in it.

buy a wagon or a trycicle that you can push from behind. Both worked well and they have more fun. Good luck

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