Disney World, Trip Planning

Best Age For Disney World: When to Take Kids!

March 16, 2023

Have you been wondering what the best age for Disney World is? It doesn’t matter whether you’re thinking of a trip as an adult couple or have multiple kids in tow. This run-down will help you make the most of your vacation!

I’ll be the first to say that visiting Disney World is a hefty expense.

And it probably comes as no surprise when you see just how much the parks make each day!

So, when you’re visiting for the first time you’ll probably want to figure out the best age for visiting Disney World.

There isn’t really a magical, golden age that will make your trip completely perfect.

But some age groups will appreciate the trip more than others (and actually remember everything that happens!).

In this detailed rundown, I’ll cover every single age group that might want to visit Disney World.

Not only will I weigh up factors like cost, available rides, and stamina, but I’ll also cover things like the dreaded teen attitude!

Now let’s uncover the best age for Disney World that’ll make the Happiest Place on Earth JUST THAT.

Things to Consider When Figuring Out the Best Age For Disney World

Before I dive into talking about the best age for Disney World, I’m quickly going to talk about things to consider.

I’ll start off by saying there is no bad age for visiting Disney World or Disneyland.

But some ages are going to remember things more clearly or simply struggle less with all the walking!

Equally, younger kiddos are more likely to believe in the magic and wonder of Disney than older tykes.

So, let’s run through the things you’ll want to think about before booking the trip of a lifetime!



It’s no secret that a trip to Disney World can cost a fortune – and some ages will cost more than others!

Unfortunately, you’ll need to pay full-price tickets for older children as anyone over the age of 10 is classed as an adult.

You’ll pay slightly less for kiddos between 3 and 9 years old, and anyone between 0 and 2 goes free!

If you’re trying to pinch pennies, taking younger children is an easy way to save a handful of cash.

And there are a few ways to work around this too (though you’ll need to be crafty!).

If your child is being bumped into the next age group, you’ll want to book a trip just before they move up.

This means you’ll be paying the child prices before they become adults or you’ll get to take them entirely free as babies!

I’d try not to put money at the forefront of your decision-planning if at all possible. But choosing the best age for Disney World can come down to age cut-offs if you’re on a shoestring budget.

And before I forget – young kids can sometimes struggle with impulse control and have almost no sense of delayed gratification.

If they see a bubble wand, a backpack, or a plush that they want, it’ll be a serious headache trying to convince them not to get it.

If you’re traveling with older kids, you might get some huffing and puffing but they should understand budgets.


Although Disney’s dining plans aren’t what they used to be, you’ll often see deals pop up throughout the year offering free meals for kiddos.

Kids’ meals are typically cheaper than adult portions, and most table service restaurants have strict age cut-offs here too.

So, if you’re trying to save cash as an adult by ordering a kids’ meal – it won’t work!

Little ones might be dazzled by the snack trucks, but you should be able to distract toddlers and young children with packed lunches.

This obviously depends on your kid. But taking advantage of small appetites, dining discounts, and lower food prices can benefit your pocketbook.

And if you’re really cutting costs, you can usually split an adult portion between two older kids easily!

The main benefit to bring older children to Disney World is that they will be able to sit through table-service experiences.

Young toddlers will struggle to stay focused and might lose their tempers, while older kids will appreciate the theming.

Silver linings, right?

Believing in magic

This is a tough one for parents, as what makes Disney so special is the fact that kids believe in what they’re seeing.

While toddlers and elementary schoolers will think they’re actually meeting princesses and pirates, older children just won’t.

It’s a harsh reality, but watching your kids shuffle through a meet-and-greet queue to meet someone in a costume is not fun.

And what could be better than watching your kid beaming with excitement as they meet the real Elsa?

If you’re not bothered about meet and greets as a family, there’s still tons of magic to be found (so, age doesn’t matter!).

Outside of the characters, kids also genuinely think they’re on boats, soaring through the sky with Dumbo, and visiting Arendelle.

And money just can’t buy that level of childlike wonder!

How much they’ll remember

This kind of goes hand in hand with believing in the magic – but it’s the opposite problem.

Older children will remember everything about their Disney trip.

Seriously – I still remember all my trips from when I was around 5 to the age of 15 as my brain could comprehend what was happening.

I’m not saying that young kids will forget everything.

But I only have small snippets of my first Disney trip in my brain (Disneyland Paris in 2000, BTW!). And I’m not even sure if I made half of it up!

Your little ones forgetting the special princess dress and priceless character meet can be difficult for parents.

But YOU will still be able to capture the memories and remember everything as a parent.

So, it’s not a waste of time or money at all. It just depends entirely on what you want to get from your trip.

And you can always head back to the parks later in their lives to make memories that you’ll both remember!

Oh, and stories and photographs exist for you to create the ultimate scrapbook of memories that you’ll never forget.

Physical stamina

Okay, this is a pretty big one.

Young kids are going to struggle to deal with all the walking without a stroller, and this might be a bugbear for parents.

Strollers are all over the parks, so it’s not really an issue.

But that funky age where kids are starting to walk everywhere might be a strange age for Disney World. And that’s down to the fact that they’ll want to toddle around everywhere but will quickly tire out.

Along with the walking factor, most babies, toddlers, and even elementary schoolers will struggle to last an entire day at Disney.

This is partly because they’ll be used to afternoon naps (probably not the school kids!). But it’s also because it’s genuinely exhausting to walk around in the Florida sun all day on little legs.

For this reason, I always recommend booking a Disney monorail hotel or a nearby toddler-friendly hotel for your trip.

This means you’ll be able to easily head back to your room for a nap and then go for round 2 when they’ve had a rest.

If you want to enjoy your trip with a few date nights sprinkled in, Disney does offer exceptional babysitting services.

So, you’ll still have options if you’re dealing with tired tykes!

Ability to go on rides

Height restrictions for rides are irritating, but they’re especially problematic if your kids are almost there.

Most children above the age of 5 will be tall enough to ride most attractions, while toddlers will be restricted to “kiddie” rides.

That’s not the end of the world for kids.

But it can be difficult for adults who will need to use things like Single Rider queues and parent swapping.

There are some rides where height requirements won’t be an issue. Other rides have 38, 40, and 44-inch requirements.

And Disney World is strict about height requirements as they’re for everyone’s safety.

You probably won’t have kiddie meltdowns about missing rides (if you don’t hype things up!). But adults will have to miss out on some of the fastest rides at Disney World if they’re traveling with very small kids.

The Best Age For Disney World: Covering Every Base


I won’t say that bringing a baby to Disney World is going to be easy.

Not only will they require frequent trips to Baby Care Centers for changing and chilling, but they just won’t be able to do much.

They’re not expensive as they’ll enter the parks for free and don’t cost anything extra to feed. But they can be hectic and stressful as you navigate around the parks.

I’d say that bringing a baby to Disney World is only a good option if you need to save cash or simply don’t have another time to go.

Otherwise, you’ll simply have a better time without them (and I don’t mean that harshly either!).

They DO look adorable in pictures though!


  • They don’t cost anything extra as they enter the parks for free
  • You can bring a stroller to make things easier (which is also great for storing your bags!)
  • It can be fun to take a more chilled-out approach to the parks and enjoy the sights, sounds, and parades
  • Babies look adorable in pictures and it’s bound to be a trip that you’ll always remember


  • Babies can be unpredictable and they might feel overstimulated by all the sights and sounds
  • The hustle and bustle can upset their sleep schedule and make feedings difficult
  • Strollers can be burdensome while moving around the parks
  • You’ll definitely need to head back to your hotel room during the day
  • You probably won’t sleep well as your baby will likely be waking up during the night
  • Babies may struggle with the Florida heat
  • They just won’t remember the trip

Best rides for kids in this age group

I’d say that the best rides for babies are sit-down rides like the Transit Authority, Liberty Square Riverboat, and Jungle Cruise.

You kind of need to be able to have your infant securely in your lap or by your side for safety.

So, bear this in mind before booking.

Best park for this age group

By far the best park for babies is going to be Magic Kingdom.

Not only is the atmosphere inviting, but it’s a great park for young kids as there are several rides with no height restrictions.

Toddlers (Ages 2 – 4)

There is a lot to do at Disney World for toddlers and it’s an incredibly popular age for taking kids to the parks.

There are several amazing rides for toddlers at both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. But they might feel restricted at EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.

I’d say that kids of this age will strongly believe in the magic and characters, but they’ll struggle with long days.

For this reason, you should try and schedule a mid-day trip to your hotel or a strategic stroller nap to keep the peace.

Even with the best planning in the world, toddlers will have tantrums. They’ll struggle to express their tiredness, hunger, or annoyance properly and it’s tough to get those emotions under control.

If I’m being honest though, I just wouldn’t say this was the best age for Disney World.

Kids will struggle to properly remember anything, bedtimes can be nightmarish, and you’ll probably miss the nighttime shows.

It’s also very difficult to properly plan a park day as you might need to change your approach if your kiddos are struggling.


  • They’ll adore (and believe in!) the magic
  • They get discounted tickets
  • Meet and greets will always be fabulous as character interactions will be excellent
  • They might remember it


  • You’ll struggle to catch nighttime shows or evening entertainment as they’ll be so tired
  • Strollers are always tricky to leave around the park and maneuver around
  • You’ll probably need to alter your schedule multiple times a day
  • You’ll be limited by height restrictions

Best rides for kids in this age group

Virtually anything without a height restriction at the Magic Kingdom and several rides at Animal Kingdom.

If I had to make a shortlist, I’d suggest:

  • Haunted Mansion
  • Tiki Room
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Triceratops Spin

Best park for this age group

I’d still say Magic Kingdom – just like with the babies!

Related: Best Rides for Toddlers at Hollywood Studios (+ Kid-Friendly Attractions!), Epcot Rides for Toddlers (+Tips and Fun Facts!)

Elementary School (Ages 5 – 10)

I’ll be real with you – I think that this is the best age for Disney World if you’re traveling with kids.

When kids get to the elementary school level, they’ll be out of strollers and will manage walking well.

They’ll also have grown out of most height restrictions, which means they can start tackling the thrill rides with their parents!

Although they’re less likely to think they’re meeting real characters, I’d say there’s still an 80% chance they’ll believe.

Which means you get the best of both worlds!

I also love the fact that kids this age aren’t “too cool” to hang out with their parents, so it’ll feel like a real family trip.

Kids around 5 – 7 will have the best outlook on the trip, while kids nearing 10 might start feeling slightly moody.

But otherwise, all of the parks will be accessible, fun, and suitable for kids this age.

And to make things even sweeter, they’ll probably remember it all!


  • They’ll remember the trip (hopefully!)
  • There are several rides that they’ll be able to go on (like Slinky Dog Dash, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Test Track!).
  • They’ll still believe the magic
  • They’ll be able to get through a full park day without getting too moody (just take regular breaks)
    • Park hopping is a great idea for this age group!
  • They’ll understand more of the complicated themes and ideas in a few of the rides (think Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress).
  • They can get child ticket prices and meals which can save a bundle


  • Kids at the older end of the scale might not believe in the characters anymore
  • If your child is 10 or over, they’ll be classed as an adult
  • Kids this age will still want to buy and try virtually everything which can make budgeting more difficult
  • They’ll want to go to the parks again almost immediately and dragging them away can be HARD

Best rides for kids in this age group

You can go on almost anything if your kids are in this age group, so go nuts!

Best park for this age group

All the parks hold something for kids of this age group, but EPCOT and Magic Kingdom will be tons of fun.

Middle School/Tweens (Ages 11 – 13)

It’s tricky to know how middle schoolers will respond to a Disney trip, as they’ll either love it or hate it.

Kids of this age are figuring out how everything works and they’ll be experiencing some serious mood swings (thanks hormones!).

Many middle schoolers will want to relive the best of their younger childhood days by going on fun rides and seeing shows.

Others will start to distance themselves from their parents as they’re fully going into the teen phase.

They might think it’s uncool to be around parents, and this might make you feel sad as your kids are growing up!

And if your kids aren’t feeling it – they’re going to let you know when they’re this age.

Unfortunately, kids of this age will have also grown out of much of the magic which can be disheartening.

Oh, and did I mention that they’re no longer able to use a child’s ticket which makes things more expensive?

But it’s not all bad news!

Kids of this age are full of beans and will be able to walk through the parks all day with no problems.

They’ll also genuinely enjoy the thrill rides, understand stories, and often make great companions for competitive attractions.

So, whether this is the best age for Disney World just depends on your particular tween!


  • They’re mostly easy to deal with as they don’t require babysitting
  • They can go on everything (including thrill rides!)
  • They’ll tolerate sit-down meals without having tantrums
  • It can be a great way to make family memories that they’ll actually remember
  • New lands (like Star Wars) are built to capture their attention


  • Kids around this age can be ridiculously stroppy and it can be tricky to handle (and even ruin a day!)
  • They probably won’t believe in the magic and might even make fun of it
  • They’re far pricier to bring along than younger children

Best rides for kids in this age group

I’m being serious – any thrill ride or interesting attractions like Rise of the Resistance and Mission Space! If they’re not into adrenaline-inducing rides, spooky rides like Haunted Mansion are perfect.

Best park for this age group

I’d say EPCOT or Hollywood Studios for the culture and movie references (oh, and Galaxy’s Edge!).

High School/Teens (Ages 14 – 18)

Teens are genuinely a difficult age group to assess as you do not know what you’re going to get here.

Teenagers can be super appreciative and enjoy all the magic, or they can be irritated that they’ve been dragged along.

It’s a great chance for parents to take a break as teenagers can be left in hotel rooms unsupervised for an hour or so. They also might want to take the chance to explore the parks solo (with a phone on them, of course!).

The chance of them still believing in the magic at this age is slim to none, but they’re bound to appreciate the thrill rides.

I’ve also found that teenagers are still enamored by the fireworks, thrill rides like the Tower of Terror, and the shopping and dining in Disney Springs.

Oh, and you also don’t need to worry about them being safe at the water parks as most teens are strong swimmers.

The main reason the teen years are the best age for Disney World is down to their attitude. So, if you can avoid their rolling eyes, you’ll have an amazing vacation!


  • They can basically handle themselves without much supervision
  • They’ll enjoy the waterparks safely
  • They will certainly remember every moment of the trip
  • It’s a great age for going on thrill rides
  • They can be a great help if you’re also traveling with younger children


  • They can get REALLY moody and difficult if they don’t want to be there
  • It’s possible that they’ll act too cool for the parks and might “poop on your parade”
  • They probably won’t want to go on any kiddie rides

Best rides for kids in this age group

Teens will probably want to stick to the thrill rides – so, start there!

Best park for this age group

Any of the parks are great for teens, but they’ll particularly enjoy the water parks and the snacks at EPCOT!


Ah, Disney Adults – MY PEOPLE!

I’ve been a Disney Adult since the day I turned 18, and I always enjoy the parks without kids in tow as it’s chill.

You can easily hit the bars, drink around the world, and eat yourself silly without judgment.

Plus, it tends to be way cheaper as you’re only paying for a couple or individually if you’re going as a group.

Although you’ll be paying for full-price tickets and will shoulder the cost of hotels, you basically have no limits.

There will be no crying kids to force you back to the hotel, the fireworks will be no problem, and all rides are open to you.

And you can even visit gorgeous hotels like the Grand Floridian if you feel like exploring (or staying there!).

Whether you believe in the magic is up to you.

Don’t get me wrong – I completely understand that the characters aren’t real. But they do let me get in touch with my inner child which can be just as wonderful!


  • You can do the trip on your terms (and yours alone!)
  • You’ll be able to budget for everything without worrying about pleasing or paying for kids
  • You can save on hotels as you won’t need multiple rooms
  • Embracing the magic is different, but just as good
  • You can go on every single ride
  • You can eat and drink around the world at EPCOT!


  • It can be more expensive as everything is full price
  • A lot of shows and experiences aren’t aimed at you which can feel a bit strange
  • Some people might think it’s odd that you’re visiting the parks as an adult (not me!)

Best rides for this age group

The sky’s the limit, but I suggest prioritizing high-octane thrill rides that younger kids can’t ride.

Best park for this age group

Oh man, the best Disney World park for adults has to be EPCOT. Not only can you drink around the world, but the festivals are wonderful. Plus, many of the rides here are height restricted which makes it ideal for older guests.

Living our best lives – clearly!

The Easiest Age for Disney World

I’d say that the easiest ages for Disney World are kids between 5 and 12 and adults (obviously!).

Although teens are also relatively easy, some parents might find the “too cool for school” attitude a bit grating.

Equally, I’d always recommend waiting to bring babies and toddlers until they’re older as they simply won’t remember much.

But as with anything, what’s “easy” will depend entirely on you!

Perhaps you think that walking around with a sleeping baby is easier than entertaining a tween. Maybe you enjoy the freedom and ease of being a Disney Adult.

It’s all down to the individual!

So, What’s the Best Age For Disney World?

If I’m being completely honest, the best age for Disney World would be the elementary school age (5 – 10).

Kids this age will still appreciate the magic and they’re not too expensive as you benefit from child prices.

They can also ride most of the top-tier rides, won’t lose their cool like toddlers, and can usually last all day.

Before you decide on the best age for Disney World for YOU, take some time to think about these questions:

  • Will they struggle to get through a park day?
  • Will they be too expensive to take?
  • Will they significantly impact what you can do at the parks attraction-wise?
  • Will they need tons of downtime?
  • Will they enjoy character meets and appreciate the magic?

Everyone’s experience will be different, but you can’t really go wrong with taking young children that are old enough to behave!


What’s the best age for a Disney cruise?

If you don’t want to visit the parks but are going on a cruise, the age rule still applies! Younger children between the ages of 4 and 12 will still appreciate this experience the most.

Are infants free at Disney World?

They sure are! Kids go to Disney World for free until they’re over 2.

Is Disney World good for a 4-year-old?

I’d say that 4 was slightly on the young side, but they’re still bound to adore all the magic and wonder. Just be aware that they’ll need more downtime than older children and may be restricted by height requirements.

How many days do you need to see Disney World?

I’d say that you need at least a week to see the best of Disney World as a first-timer. If you’re really struggling for time, I’d allocate a day for each main park and an extra 2 for Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

How tall should children be for Disney World?

If possible, I’d try and visit the parks once your kids are 44 inches and above. This means you won’t struggle with any height restrictions on rides!

I hope that this guide has helped you figure out the best age for Disney World!

Have you visited the parks with children? Have you had an amazing time checking out the parks as adults? I’d love to hear about your recent trips in the comments below!

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