Are you thinking about traveling to Orlando to visit the theme parks with your children? It’s possible that your kids are still quite young or you might have younger children that you need to take with you on this trip. If that’s the case, then you might be wondering whether this is a suitable option for them. In this article, we’ll explore everything that you need to think about when you are planning a vacation like this.
Key Points To Consider
Here are some of the main points that we recommend you do consider before you book a trip like this.
What Age Do Kids Need To Be?
There’s no set rule when it comes to how old your kids should be to visit Disney or Universal. After all, Walt Disney designed his parks to be accessible to all ages of children. This means that you don’t have to worry about taking your kids regardless of how old they are. The big benefit of taking younger children to Disney is that any child under the age of three is free. As such, they could have a fantastic time and you can save money on costs.
Are The Theme Parks Suitable For Younger Children?
The theme parks can be suitable for younger children. Generally speaking, we would argue that Disney is more suitable for younger kids compared to Universal parks. The only reason for this is that there are more rides in Universal with significant height restrictions or that utilize the use of 3D. In contrast, Disney has more attractions and events that are designed for older and younger kids alike. As such, it’s perfect if you have children who are at various ages. You’ll find something that everyone can enjoy.
Will Your Child Enjoy It?
Leading on from this idea, we think that younger children in general will enjoy taking a trip to Disney or Universal. While there have been horror stories online about kids being terrified of the characters or it being overwhelming this is not the case for most families. Indeed, most children will have a fantastic time. However, you should consider what your child likes. They could already love watching Disney and Universal characters such as minions or Winnie the Pooh. If that’s the case, then these theme parks are going to be great fun for them and will be well worth your time and money. Don’t forget though that the theme parks aren’t the only thing Orlando can offer for families. There are lots of other attractions and activities too.
Is It Worth Staying On Site?
It might be worth staying on site. The big benefit of staying on site is that you can book a hotel that is less than twenty minutes away from some of the parks. This is useful if you need to adhere to something like a sleep schedule for 6-month olds. It will also make it easier to take breaks and get away from the hustle and bustle during the day. It’s also worth mentioning that Disney hotels provide extra magic for younger and older kids alike with unique experiences for them to explore.
What Will Young Kids Adore?
There are lots of things for little ones to enjoy at the parks. Here are some of the options we recommend you explore and add into your trip schedule.
The Water Parks
First, don’t forget to visit the water parks. Disney has two and Universal has three. There’s another one at Lego Land as well and yet another just outside of SeaWorld. All of these water parks do have experiences for younger children and have specially designed play areas that they are going to enjoy. This means that you don’t have to worry about being stuck with rides and areas that they are too little for.
While your little ones may be too young to jump on most of the rides or too small, they can meet lots of different characters around the parks. This can be like an easter egg hunt where you try and find all your childhood favorites. It can provide some great picture opportunities as well which you are guaranteed to treasure for years. Do be aware that the characters can be just as popular as the rides. As such, you’ll need to queue up early.
The Little Rides
There are little rides that are perfect for younger kids. Options such as the Winnie the Pooh ride in the Magic Kingdom or The Doctor Seuss rides in Island of Adventure fit the bill here perfectly. These rides have little to no height restrictions which means anyone can enjoy them. One of our favorites is the Peter Pan ride. This really will feel like you are soaring above London and Neverland but is gentle enough for any child. The queue for the ride also provides an extra shot of pixie dust that makes it worth the wait.
What Do You Need To Avoid?
While there are lots of things that little kids will enjoy at the Orlando theme parks, there are also a few things that you need to avoid.
Heat Of The Day
First, you should make sure that you are avoiding the heat of the day. We recommend that you head back to the hotel or your villa just before lunchtime to escape this. You can relax in the pool or stay inside until it cools down a little. You can also consider visiting Florida when it’s not too hot and sweaty for the little ones. For instance, you might want to think about taking a trip somewhere around November.
You could also find that the big crowds are overwhelming and concerning for younger children. Again, this is why it might be best booking a trip to the parks when they are less likely to be busy. While there is no time when the parks will be virtually empty, months such as February are perfect if you want a more gentle experience. Do be aware though that this is the time when a lot of the rides are going to be down for maintenance. This won’t be as much of a problem if you are mainly planning a trip around younger children.
You might be keen to explore some of the night time shows around the Disney Parks as well as Universal. While these are both magical and dazzling, do be aware that they could be alot for younger kids. First, they are quite loud and the fireworks going off mixed with the sounds of the crowd could be too much. Second, it’s difficult to get back to your hotel once the fireworks end. Depending on where you stand, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get back before midnight which could throw off your child’s sleep schedule.
You should also be aware that there are some frightening experiences around Disney World and Universal. This includes some of the characters wandering around the parks and a few of the rides. While most of the scary rides do have height and even age restrictions, there are a few rides built for little ones that have still managed to scare children. That’s why it’s worth researching the rides and experiences before you plan your trip. This way you’ll know the rides that you need to avoid. Be particularly wary if you are traveling near Halloween as Horror Nights will be in full swing at Universal.
Finally, we have a few extra recommendations to guarantee that your stay around Orlando is enjoyable, even if you have younger children in tow.
Book The Right Hotel
First, you need to make sure that you are booking the right hotel. If you have younger kids, then you won’t be spending as much time in the parks as other families. You’ll probably spend just as much time relaxing around the hotel as you do wandering the theme parks. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to book a hotel where you’re going to be comfortable and offer the best features or facilities.
Stay A Little Longer
We do recommend that you stay in Orlando for about two weeks. Orlando is designed for longer trips because there’s so much to see and do. This is true, regardless of whether you have young kids or not. Booking a longer trip will ensure that you can have a more gentle and relaxing experience, exploring all the different places and locations.
Think Of It As Your First Trip Not Your Last
Last but not least, make sure that you think about this trip as a first time and not the only time. After all, you can always take your kids again when they are older. This means that you don’t have to worry about missing experiencing any of the attractions that they are currently too small for.
We hope this helps you understand whether taking younger children to Orlando could be the right choice. Overall, this could still be a wonderful vacation option no matter how old your children are. You just need to make sure that you are approaching a trip like this the right way.