I just read the most fascinating article about WDW

No, it wasn’t ITM. It’s from a parenting writer at Insider. He talks about how they brought his son to WDW twice when he was a baby and had a great time because babies are easy and don’t care about anything. He refers to those as adult trips. Then they decided to go again some years later, with his son and younger daughter.

His children, who were 3 and 6, were both terrified of every ride and experience at WDW, and couldn’t bear to be apart from either parent long enough for them to ever use child swap (they tried it once and had to leave the park immediately after), and the whole trip was a miserable failure. At the end of it he had literally no good memories of the trip to share, and he could only “recommend that parents with toddlers and little kids skip it.” It’s just too much of “a gamble”.

Yes folks, he doesn’t think that Disney World is a place anyone should bring children under, I don’t know, 9 or 10 years old. He just cannot recommend Disney World to parents with little kids. He says so 2 different times in his article, while also randomly mentioning that the kids just loved the kids center at Club Med.

So for all of you with the rare weirdo kids who actually liked Disney World, consider yourselves lucky.


I actually knew a kid who didn’t like Disney World. I get that it’s a thing. My nephew didn’t hate it like this guy’s kids apparently did, he just wasn’t particularly enthused. It did not make me reconsider ever taking his younger sisters, however. I just recognized that it wasn’t his thing and took him to DC and the Grand Canyon instead.

I’m not going to link the article, because I don’t think that kind of myopic advice “journalism” (that might really just be an ad for Club Med, anyway) deserves more clicks, but it’s probably easy enough to find if you Google.


Yeah weird. I have to say go before they’re too old. We were at my local community day and a daily poor looking Minnie there. My 8 yo got a pic but my 6 yo said he’s too old for that. This is the Lis who ran into CP and TH in sheer joy at 2.5.


I read this article and regretted doing so. It was more of a click bait than anything. Sadly, these are most of the “articles” out there now. Most follow the same naming conventions like “I’ve been going to Disney for 100 Years and these are the things I found online that will sound controversial so I’ll put it in the title” or almost any article that used “beloved” in their title. The article brought up a good point that not all kids like the rides, but it was pretty clear they didn’t prepare at all.

In summary, this was a blog post disguised as an informative article. I’m glad you mentioned it because these types of “articles” have been really annoying me lately.


w/o reading the article I wonder how the author explained all the other many many many young children and infants in the parks that were not having a melt down?

I never used riderswap when my kids were littles, I don’t think I ever saw it anywhere but at Universal though either and we always found a babysitter for universal; b/c roller coasters :wink: I don’t remember how old my kids were when I first saw rider swap?


I saw it too. I also thought it was a stretch to extrapolate his experience to others and “not recommend”.

Suffice it to say that our family’s experience was the exact opposite of his.




Um, this is bullshit. Who’s in charge in this family?


Lol I have a son with extreme anxiety. Diagnosed by multiple professionals. For example, we’ve all hated having to call people (strangers) for things. Like I remember hating to call for pizza as a teen. But this one couldn’t sleep all night because he had to call USAA to come jump his car at college. This one walked into Ogas Cantina with me last year and had to immediately walk out. He said the train horn in Figments induced a panic attack. Like legit this kid suffers and life is harder for him than some when dealing with strangers and noises.

I have taken him to WDW/DLR/USO/USH since he was 4. And his sister since she was 1. We literally have been to at least one of those every single year since then. My favorite trip was when they were 9 and 12 as they were old enough to ride everything, had stamina to not need a midday break/nap but still had childlike wonder. So if you were just gonna do it once, that’s the age I’d recommend. But not a single one of those trips would I call a disaster or I certainly wouldn’t have kept doing it. When they were like 5 and 8 they loved that ball throwing area in USF in Curious George. We gave them hours. When they’re little give them lots of pool/playground time and a nap. And time dedicated to things little ones love. It’s all in your focus. I’m sure there are some kids where it’s not a good place or their first choice. But that’s just a ridiculous statement to not recommend. There is something for all ages and I have so many memories of them playing their hearts out that comfort me now they are growing up.


This. After thinking about the article, they mentioned going on rides without the kids (Rise, etc). I think their focus was an adult Disney vacation that happened to have kids along.


Yes! I will add that I’ve had some what I thought were miserable trips with my kiddos, but now as adults they all have only happy memories of said trips.


My first question is about the parents in the article - are they fostering independence on a daily basis or are they helicopter parents?


I read this article previously and understand where they are coming from. Some kids do not do well in amusement parks. I’ve seen it at other amusement parks and at Disney. It can be overwhelming and some rides and characters scare kids.

Just because they wanted to do some adultcentric activities, doesn’t mean their whole trip was that way and it really didn’t sound like it. When we go on vacation as a family, we do activities that may not be something everyone wants to do. All of us pick a ride that is a must do and not everyone likes that ride. If you don’t want to ride, you wait. Our vacations are not just about our kids.


Yeah, when mine were little at WDW the way we’d child swap is I’d take the girl to do things while big brother rode. We didn’t just stand around; we kept her little mind occupied. For example, at Splash Mountain, she’d play in the little playground right next to it while big brother rode. These parents suck at upselling the playground, shopping time for a toy(the bubble wand provides hours of entertainment to a toddler!), an ice cream cone, I mean come on there are ways to bribe (I mean incentivize LOL) some alone time with one parent.

Now Universal does do child swap better without a doubt and we did it much more there. But at WDW we might do it for one or two rides tops a day. And I took them on solo trips with just me and all we did was the stuff that sister could also do. Still had a freaking blast cuz it’s Disney! You’ve got options!


Yes. We didn’t do any adult only rides when. We went when they were young.

Also, this shoo do not be the first time a kid has been rid in a ride. Test it out at a boardwalk or fair first.


My daughter scared me as a toddler. I thought she might be OCD because she refused to get dirty. Her smash cake photos, she’d stick one finger in and ask for a wipe after licking it each individual lick at 1 years old. At 2 years old she didn’t want to hunt for Easter eggs because they’d be dirty outside. My solution was to send her to a charter school where they had the opposite dress code of most schools. “Please do not send your kid to school in clothes that you care about. They will get ruined because we will be gardening and hiking and taking care of the chickens daily.” Now as a teen, she’s a mess! So, problem solved. LOL

I was obviously not a helicopter parent. If my kids went under the table at dinner, my response was, “they’ll learn when they hit their head” which they both did. When 18yo kiddo’s battery was dead, we gave him the roadside assistance number. It may have kept him up all night but in order to conquer his anxiety, he has to face it. And hopefully, it taught him a lesson about leaving his car parked for over a month!


Thanks for this. Some of the comments here are pretty mean spirited and judgemental. Lots of kids find Disney overwhelming at certain ages/stages.

We don’t need to insult their parenting based on the fact that for them, Disney wasn’t a great vacation at that particular time.


I think the tricky part is planning far in advance with little ones. I don’t have my own, but I am the designated Disney aunt. We took my oldest niece when she was two and it was the perfect trip. Her twin siblings at the same age were entirely different. We planned virtually the same trip at the same age for them booking things about a year out so we could organize a trip for 9 people. A month before the trip, there were already significant signs that it was not going to go smoothly. They weren’t really ready for that kind of environment. Ideally, we would have waited another 6 months or so, but with schedules, ages, plans in place, it wasn’t really an option.

A friend of mine is headed there now with her infant and two year old. She asked me what it would be like - hasn’t been with kids yet. I told her to just prepare to go with the flow. Trying to force your kids through the trip you thought you were going to have is never going to work. If they are showing wear and tear faster, be prepared to take a break sooner or more often than expected. Don’t count on child swapping -the kids may not roll with that easily, but then again, they might.

Sounds like this guy jumped off the deepend with his conclusion, but I can understand the need to give a heads up that Disney is not necessarily a homerun for all little kids. Even if they love it, it can be overwhelming, overstimulating and exhausting, and you have to be ready to divert and go with the flow in ways you don’t have to when you have older kids or only adults on the trip.


The article, in case folks want to read for themselves.

I also have a fair amount of sympathy for anyone who had babies/little kids during the pandemic. The same exposure opportunities to rides and such has not been available as the “before times.” Most little kids spent a lot more time with only their nuclear family, and they don’t mention it, but this may have been first plane ride for both kids (obviously son went as a baby, but would have no memory). They watched YouTube videos to try to prepare the kids and the kids were excited, but reality was just too much.

Kids can be unpredictable. Personally, I have no interest in taking kids under 5 to Disney either. For a variety of reasons, but his experience is definitely one of them.


My issue isn’t with the kids or family, just that the article was click-bait.


We suspect our youngest has anxiety. We’re working with his pediatrician to get an evaluation done. That said, we were a little nervous about our trip this past June. The other two times he went he was an infant of toddler, so we were unsure what this trip would bring. But it was great, and he can’t stop asking about returning.

I get that there are some kids who don’t do amusement parks, but part of being a parent I think is figuring out what works for your kids and what doesn’t, and making it happen. For example, we rode the Tomorrowland speedway and Dumbo more often than I ever thought we would in my entire life, but it was magical because it was just what DS5 needed. We didn’t force him on any rides that he would be uncomfortable on or that we thought would not work for him. When we did rider swap, we made sure that we did something fun with DS5 So he didn’t feel left out. We didn’t just sit around. It’s all on how you approach it.

This article was definitely clickbait. Maybe a different approach would have worked for that person’s children, or maybe they actually both were kids who didn’t do amusement parks well. But part of me has to think that has something to do with how the parents approached the trip.


This 100%. It’s critical to see where your kids are and roll with it, it will make very much more pleasant trip. You may not get to everything on your list, but you’ll have a better experience overall.