Growing up, my family went to amusement parks a lot. We traveled to Disney World, Sesame Place, Hershey Park, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, and countless other locations up and down the east coast. I have heard stories and seen countless photos of myself with Mickey Mouse as a toddler and even younger. Most of my personal memories of trips are from the time I was in kindergarten and beyond.
With the summer winding down and families planning trips for next year, many parents find themselves wondering if their child is too young to go to an amusement park. The answer in my mind is not to wait. You will make memories for your child to look back at in scrap books, and more important ones that you will hold close to your heart
When my husband and I were married, we said that one day we wanted to take our children to Disney World in Orlando. Our oldest son was born in 2003, so we said we would wait until he was ready to appreciate the experience. In December 2008, we made a decision to go on our first big family vacation to Walt Disney World the following spring. We knew that five year old NHL would adore it, but what about JSL who would turn two while there?
I spent countless hours researching restaurants, stroller rentals, diaper changing areas and other toddler must haves in an amusement park. I made a list of rides that would be suitable for my toddler, others that my older son could go on and we learned all that we could about child swap option (many other parks have similar policies). The child swap allowed us to get a pass for the other parent to ride on without a long wait while we swapped out staying with our little guy. This was fantastic and helped to cut down on more wait time with a toddler. Finding resources online from other parents, reading books and knowing my child were the most helpful items.
The truth is, toddlers will have fun in any location that you take them. If they see you laughing and smiling, chances are they will too. My son adored his time at Disney World. Will he remember that trip years from now? We may never know, but my husband and I will. We often look back at the trip photos with our now three year old and he points to the objects and cheers. If the opportunity to go comes along, take it and enjoy the special time with your family
Have you ever brought your toddler or younger child to an amusement park? Let me know how it went and please leave tips for others in the comments below.
If you plan on going to Walt Disney World, let me know. I have a slew of resources that are amazing in addition to my posts here on The Angel Forever.
Disclosure: This post was previously published on a project I worked on. The text is the same, but I placed additional photos and the question at the end for my blog.