Parents often wonder if their kids are too young (or too old) to go to Disney World.
The best age for Disney World is between 3 and 12 years old, but people of all ages will enjoy the park.
Let’s investigate the perfect age range to go to Disney theme parks.
Maximizing Your Experience: The Best Age for Disney World
Here are a few things to consider as you decide when to take your family to Disney World.
How Much Will It Cost?
The price of a Disney World family vacation is always one of the biggest considerations. Luckily, there is some good news when it comes to your wallet.
Generally speaking, the younger your children are, the less expensive their meals and theme park tickets will be. Let’s discuss ticket prices first.
There are 3 different price tiers of theme park tickets (depending on age).
Disney World ticket prices are as follows:
0 – 2 years old – free
3 – 9 years old – child
10+ years old – adult
To extrapolate on this, any infant or toddler under the age of 3 will be free for the entire trip. Although, you’ll still have to factor in the cost to rent a stroller and other such extras.
Children’s tickets (ages 3 to 9) for the theme park are very slightly discounted from the adult rates but are not free.
Not only are ticket prices less expensive, but children ages 3-9 generally eat smaller meals. Nearly every dining location at Disney World Resort offers a dedicated kid’s menu with kid-friendly entrees. Kids love them, and you’ll love how affordable they are compared to the standard menu entrees.
Older kids ages 10 and older switch over and pay adult prices tier for both tickets and meals.
Note: If you arrive at Disney before a child’s 3rd or 10th birthday, then Disney will allow them to qualify for the cheaper tier of tickets/meals. With that in mind, you may want to plan your trip right before their birthday cutoff to take advantage of the savings.
What Is Your Child’s Height?
For families with older children, height requirements may become a factor at Disney World.
Many of Disney’s most thrilling rides DO have height requirements, so these restrictions could potentially leave your adventurous kids feeling disappointed.
If you think height restrictions may be a problem, then it may be wise to hold off until your kids are taller. However, even without the fast-paced thrill rides, most kids (of any age) love the excitement and magic of Disney World regardless.
Here are all the rides with height Requirements at each Disney World theme park:
Magic Kingdom has over 30 rides and attractions, of which 6 have height requirements. These include:
- Barnstormer (35″)
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (40″)
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (38″)
- Space Mountain (44″)
- Splash Mountain (40″) — Currently Closed
- Tomorrowland Speedway (32″ to ride, 54″ to drive)
Epcot has over a dozen attractions, of which 3 have height requirements:
- Mission: SPACE (orange side) (44″)
- Mission: SPACE (green side) (40″)
- Soarin’ (40″)
- Test Track (40″)
Animal Kingdom has 4 attractions with height requirements:
- Avatar Flight of Passage (44″)
- DINOSAUR (40″)
- Expedition Everest (44″)
- Kali River Rapids (38″)
Hollywood Studios has 7 attractions with height requirements, including the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions:
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (40″)
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (38″)
- Alien Swirling Saucers (32″)
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (48″)
- Star Tours (40″)
- Slinky Dog Dash (38″)
- Tower of Terror (40″)
Will Your Child Remember A Disney Trip?
Families may decide to wait until their children are old enough to remember the experience. Otherwise, you may feel like you’re just throwing your money away.
If you’re worried about your kids remembering the trip, you may want to wait until they’re at least 5 or 6 years old to visit. Of course, a 5-year-old will be able to remember a Disney trip when they’re older. Still, children under 5 probably won’t remember much.
My first Disney trip was when I was about 8, and I do remember it (ok, not every detail, but I do remember bits and pieces). Always take lots of pictures because these visual reminders will help your kids to keep the memories alive.
Another thing to consider is YOUR memories of the trip. You’ll look back on this moment many years down the road and remember what a wonderful family vacation that was.
Even if no one remembers a thing, you will still have a blast living in the moment!
The Ideal Age for Your Disney World Adventure
Walt Disney World is doable for any age, but especially so for children ages 3 and up.
Plan on taking breaks during the day and rent or bring a Disney-approved stroller. I’d also recommend packing snacks and a water bottle and coming prepared with a plan (itinerary). Disney allows you to bring food into the parks, and you can even get groceries delivered to your Disney hotel room.
See our Disney World Map, Magic Kindom Rides, Epcot Rides, Animal Kingdom Rides, Hollywood Studios Rides, and Disney Rides for Kids.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom – Best for Ages 3 to 12
It’s probably no surprise that Magic Kingdom is the best Disney theme park for kids. Children ages 3 to 12 will especially enjoy Disney magic here, and there are only 3 rides with height requirements.
Most of Magic Kingdom’s attractions are for all ages, but there are some rides designed just for youngsters. One area of the park, Fantasyland, is tailored-made for toddlers and children. There are also attractions for younger children scattered throughout other areas of the park (Dumbo The Flying Elephant, “It’s a Small World”, the Jungle Cruise, and the Tomorrowland Speedway).
Older (and taller) kids will enjoy some of the faster-paced attractions like Splash Mountain and the two iconic roller coasters – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain.
Magic Kingdom is also home to the legendary Be Our Guest Restaurant at Beast’s Castle. In addition, you’ll be able to see Mickey Mouse and friends – or Disney princesses – wandering about (or at a Disney Character Dining experience).
Magic Kingdom is the best Walt Disney World park for kids of every age group. Don’t miss it!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Best for Ages 6 to 12
Animal Kingdom is very appropriate for kids ages 6 to 12 or any kiddos who appreciate animals and nature.
The park is nicely spread out, and there’s definitely a slower pace here (compared to Magic Kingdom). This allows you to go at your own pace, explore the side trails, and take in the scenery.
Animal Kingdom is home to some of Disney’s best rides for kids, including Kilimanjaro Safaris (wildlife safari with live animals) and Avatar Flight of Passage.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Best Ages 6 to 17
Unfortunately, there are lots of rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with height requirements. Even though it’s not the best Disney park for younger kids, Hollywood Studios still appeals to that age range.
For the First Time Ever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration is one of the best live stage shows at Disney World. Another MUST for preschoolers and kids is the Disney Junior Dance Party and the character meet-and-greets.
Hollywood Studios has plenty to offer older kids and adults. There are the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, as well as a variety of thrilling and downright frightful attractions.
If I was a teenager, this is the park I’d want to head to!
Walt Disney World Epcot – Best for Ages 8 to 14
Epcot is divided into two sections: World Showcase and Future World. It’s a great theme park for intellectually curious kids (and adults) but not the best for little kids under the age of 8.
Older kids will enjoy some of the major thrill rides (like Test Track and Mission: SPACE) and may really enjoy World Showcase. Here, kids can explore the different countries, speak with Cast Members from around the globe, and try delicious ethnic foods.
It’s also the location of Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure, an interactive game that can be played through the Play Disney Parks app.