When we took our Children to Walt Disney World last year, we got quite a few comments of 'Millie's a bit too young isn't she'. At the time Chester had just turned 5 and Millie was 22 months old.
We took Chester on his first trip to Disneyland Paris when he was a little over 2 and he still talks about it. So I knew that Millie was not too young. Regardless of if she can still remember it when she is 40 or not, we will remember it. We will remember those very magical first Disney moments, and believe me, they are magical whatever the age! I remember my very first Disney moments as though they were yesterday. I was almost 7 at the time, everything about the trip was amazing. Walking through Mickey and Minnie's house was amazing and meeting my hero at that time, Donatello, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, was just awesome. Absolutely awesome.
So my one and only concern was actually keeping them both entertained on the flight! My one tip for long haul flights with under twos is try and pay the extra for a seat for them! On the way Millie had her own seat and it was great, we set her up watching films and she was happy. On the way back, not only was it a night flight but we were not able to get her own seat. So she was sat on my lap the entire time! It was awful!
Whilst we were there the children quickly adapted to the time difference. Yes, there were times when both children had a melt down, a mixture of excitement, tiredness and the heat (which we are not used too) were all contributing factors. But overall they adapted really well and had a great time.
I spent months before our trip planning and organizing and that really paid off. I knew what rides or character meets we needed to head to when. I knew when to avoid certain rides or characters and I knew how to utilize our fast passes and parade times. At times we rushed, yes, but most of the time we could just take it at the pace of the Children, well actually if I'm honest, the pace of the grandparents!
We spent two solid weeks immersed in everything Disney, we stayed at the Art of Animation resort so even whilst we were sleeping we were immersed in Disney! We managed to get most of what we wanted to do done. More importantly the children got to see and do everything they wanted to and more! Between them they filled up 3 autograph books!
For Chester his highlights were the rides. He is a little daredevil! His favourites were the three mountains. Space mountain, splash mountain and big thunder mountain. He just loved the thrill of it all. The best thing is that not a week goes by now when he doesn't sing Zip a Dee Doo Dah! I was surprised at how much he loved Soarin in Epcot, he just loved the feeling that he was flying. But it wasn't just the big thrill rides he loved. Every single ride we went on he loved. He was amazed by them all! He met Gaston and was in total aw. He was very lucky that he got chosen to play the part of beast and dance with Belle. Hook tried to 'fight' with him when he was walking along in the parade, and he got to see the Christmas parade and fireworks from Daddy's shoulders. He talks about 'when we go back to Disney' all the time. This morning he was using this phrase to tell me that he needs to get another bone cup from the T Rex cafe! Sadly that might be a long time away! We need to clear some debts and save first!
Millie's highlights include meeting Rapunzel for the very first time. She was in total awe of her. It was just an amazing tear in the eye moment. She talks about that moment a lot, almost daily. She also talks about the time she had breakfast with Handy Manny, Jake and Oso. She tells us Oso gave her a huggie and a kiss, and that she danced with Manny. Which she did. She loved the New Little Mermaid ride, then getting to meet Ariel. She tells us she sat next to her and talked! She loved going swimming, she loved the splash area in the nemo pool at our hotel. She loved the shows, I was amazed that she sat still for them, but she did. She even sang along to some. Millie knows more about Disney than your average 2 year old and that really paid off whilst we were there. She wasn't scared of any of the characters, she knew who they all were and she LOVED meeting them. She couldn't go on the big thrill rides, but there were a lot of rides she could go on. I love that she chats about her Disney World trip daily, for now she has those fantastic memories right at the front of her thoughts and I love that!
Disney World really is a place for all ages. We went with my parents, so the ages range was 22 months right up to 53. We all had an amazing time. But for me the best part about the whole trip was seeing the Disney magic through my children's eyes. The fun and excitement was catching! We all really would love to go back, me especially. I am really suffering from the Disney blues. To have 2 weeks immersed in another world, a fantasy world, where you have not a care in the world and your only worry is choosing where you should go for dinner! Its the kind of holiday you could do again and again and never get bored. I would certainly love do that holiday again and again.
So if you are considering a trip to Walt Disney World, my advice would be GO! Whatever the age range, it really is a trip of a lifetime. You will gain something very valuable ... Memories to last a life time!