Is “Let It Go” on perpetual loop at your house? Or perhaps you have a little Lightning McQueen fan? Recent movies like Aladdin, Toy Story and Finding Nemo have ensured that the popularity of Disney is even greater than when we were kids.
But what is the best age to bring those movies to life? What is the best age for Disneyland?
Well the easy answer is ANY age is best. How cute would it be to have a photo of your little bub with Mickey Mouse? And you’re never too old either. I went when I was 12, 16, 30 and 43 and was completely enamoured every time! Check out our latest Disney trip here.
But it’s not that simple is it? All the Disney parks are a really long way away, so there’s the cost of airfares and the length of the flight to think about.
What is the best age to go to Disneyland? The 4 questions to consider.
1. Is it for your benefit or for the kids?
Are you a theme park nut and super keen to get on all those rides yourself? Well go for it! For those that love Disney, it really is The Happiest Place On Earth. The kids will enjoy it no matter what age they are. Just try to set your expectations low. If the kids are very young, you will have the hassle of getting a stroller through crowds and you’ll need to schedule in plenty of nap and rest times.
2. How often do you think you will go to a Disney park?
There are currently 6 park locations around the world – Disneyland & California Adventure in California, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea, Shanghai Disney Resort, Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Paris.
If you thought you might go to one every year or two, then any age is a great age. However, if it will be more like once a decade or longer, then best to wait until your youngest is a bit older.
Price up the accommodation portion of your trip here –
- Disneyland & California Adventure in California
- Hong Kong Disneyland
- Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea
- Shanghai Disney Resort
- Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, and
- Disneyland Paris.
3. Is it about the “magic” or the rides?
Different ages are going to experience Disneyland differently. A 5 or 6 year old will get into the magic of it. They will be in awe of the princesses and captivated by the imaginary worlds being brought to life. But perhaps they’ll be a bit scared of some of the rides. Whereas a 9 or 10 year old will be less about the magic, but will go crazy for the rides.
4. How many rides will they be able to go on?
Disneyland is where you find the classic retro rides and attractions like “it’s a small world” and the Jungle Cruise. The vast majority of these rides have no height restrictions at all. There are literally only a handful, like Space Mountain, which do have a minimum height. However, all but one ride are suitable for 102cm and above, which is the height of the average 4 year old.
California Adventure has more of the modern thrill rides, so almost half the rides and attractions have height restrictions. But again, all but 3 are suitable for 102cm and above.
The best age for Disneyland is …
At 5 or 6 years old a child will be able to go on the vast majority of rides, manage lots of walking and their sleep patterns will be more flexible. So even though you might still need to return to the hotel for a rest time part-way through the day, they will be better able to recover from a massive day and late night.
Ideally I would choose to go while they are 10 years old or under if you really want to see the magic in their eyes and for them to appreciate the characters, but you are truly never too old to find the joy in Disneyland.
When we took our kids
We took our kids for the first time when they were 8 and 6. And while I’m sure we would have still loved it had we gone earlier, I’m so glad we waited! This was the best age to go to Disneyland, because they had the energy, patience and understanding to walk all day, with early mornings and late nights, not complain about waiting in lines, yet still be captivated by the magic.
Browse all my posts from our Disney Extravaganza trip here.
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