Kids are all different, and many of them do not have the “prefect” reaction to a Disney vacation like the ones in the TV ads do. Here are some useful tips for preparing them for their first visit http://blog.touringplans.com/2014/07/22/preparing-kids-for-disney/#more-65995
Thanks for the link. Good advice. It's also good to remember that as kids get a little older they may become more afraid of some rides. When DD was 2 she took all of the scary images of HM in stride. Next trip she will be 5 and has a greater understanding of what ghosts are.
Good point about kids changing their minds about what is scary. On our first trip DD (then 7) loved Splash Mountain, so we had to ride it over and over again. On a subsequent trip she decided that it was too scary, and refused to get on it.
I agree! On our first visit, my almost 3 year old was scared of the characters (size) but fearless of any rides that she was able to ride. On our 2nd trip, the week of her 5th birthday, she LOVED every single character. And I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE. I bet we spent over half of our trip visiting with them, lol. BUT she was scared to death of almost any ride. I think at that point, she had actually learned to have a fear of something. By the end of that trip, she was doing fine on the rides. We just had to learn that she is sensitive to noises, so we avoid very loud things unless we have earplugs. Our 3rd trip is in 9 days. She has NO idea!!! She's been begging to go back, but we told her we couldn't get reservations for December (our usual time to coincide with birthdays), so she's "saving up in her piggy bank". I would never have sprung a surprise trip on her at 3, and 5 would have been iffy...but I can't wait to see her expression when we get to the airport on Sept 3. (She'll be 8 in Dec...I suspect we will STILL spend a lot of time with characters!)
There is an old video, one of the Disney Sing-a-longs, at Disneyland. It's FANTASTIC to introduce kids to the park. Even though it's out-dated - you'll love the hairstyles and clothes! - it gives a good idea of character size and some of the attractions.