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  #1  
Old 12-05-2002, 01:17 PM
drollman drollman is offline
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Is a 4 year old too young for Disney World?

Well, I"Y"HO, is it?
Mrs. Drollman wants to celebrate 1 year of bliss with Drollman Jr. by taking a 2 week Floriada getaway? Would he appreciate it at this age?

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  #2  
Old 12-05-2002, 01:24 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is online now
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We went with our 2 1/2 year old and our 3 1/2 year old last winter. They loved it. They ask constantly when we are going to go again (when they are 4 and 5, btw).

There are lots of caveats about DisneyWorld with a kid this age. Like "Take It Slow". And "Be Prepared to Wait 45 Minutes to Ride Dumbo."
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2002, 01:34 PM
Icarus Icarus is offline
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It's important to note that a lot of the attractions in the park have a fairy tale level fright element. For some young ones, it's just too effective. We took a 5 year old and all the dungeon/castle/dark was just too much. If your content to see only a small slice of the park then by all means go for it, just be aware of the possible limits.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2002, 01:42 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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I remember going to Disneyland at about that age, and I liked it. The only thing that might've been considered negative was, I was too scared to walk up to the Big Bad Wolf and shake his hand.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2002, 01:43 PM
Caricci Caricci is offline
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God, I hope so. We're taking ours in 2 weeks! I think he'll love it. I sure do!
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2002, 01:44 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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From what I hear he is going to be standing in line 98% of the time. I don't think there is an age restriction on that.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2002, 01:44 PM
porcupine porcupine is offline
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My brother and SIL went with their kids earlier this year when their youngest was only 2 and a half. She's really shy, but surprisingly wasn't afraid of the characters at all.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2002, 01:45 PM
Caricci Caricci is offline
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I mean I hope NOT!
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2002, 01:57 PM
bayonet1976 bayonet1976 is offline
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I live in Orlando and have 3 boys, ages 8, 5, and 3, and although we have let our Disney passes expire (we're carrying Universal/Islands of Adventure and Seaworld this year), I can assure you your 4 1/2 year old will have a great time. He'll probably be completely wiped out by the time the parade comes around though, so take or rent a stroller.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2002, 02:09 PM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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I think he'll do ok.

There is an area called Tom Sawyer Island. In that place your kid can just plain run around pretty much. Then let grab a bench and a nap.

Are you going to be staying at the park? That might be a good idea as you can catch a bus back to the hotel for break mid-day and go back later.
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2002, 02:48 PM
Benanuel Benanuel is offline
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I have no personal experience with taking young children to Disney, as I have only cats, but Mr. Ben and I are frequent visitors. (Got a Vacation Club membership as part of my bennies) There are always a number of familes with small children there, from infants on up. By the end of the day, you see a number of parents pushing strollers full of sleeping children. You might want to wander over to Disney's website and see if you can find info on height requirements, so you can plan around any rides that might tempt the sproggin but for which he might not be tall enough. I second the mid-day nap at the hotel thing. It's good for grown-ups, too.

It's actually rather easy to avoid the long lines for the most part just by going off-season. We just got back (having been there from 11/16 thru 11/22) and there were short to nonexistant lines on a number of rides. Week before Thanksgiving = good. Week of Thanksgiving = bad. Lines and crowds all depend on when you want to go.
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2002, 03:02 PM
Angel of the Lord Angel of the Lord is offline
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I was four when I went to Disney World for the first time, and I certainly don't think that's too young for a first visit. However, realize that taking such a young child is going to severely limit what you can and cannot visit.

For instance, I loved Dumbo, Small World, Journey into Imagination, and a lot of the shows. I really liked meeting Mickey, too. However, some things that weren't really scary *did* scare the living crap out of me. Like Pirates of the Carribean. And one of the street performers at Epcot (she jokingly told the parents to--I think--drop the kids on their heads. I was old enough to know what she was saying, but not old enough to realize it was a joke).

In other words, your kid might get scared at things you think are all well and good. Be prepared to comfort him if he gets scared. Of course, he might be a little trooper; you might not have to worry about the tamer rides.

Thing about taking a kid that young though is this: to them, everything is *real*. I thought I was *really* meeting Mickey. I thought Cinderella was really living in the castle. You can't get that experience with an older kid. I saw it when my parents took my sister and I when we were older (she was 4, I was 9), and it was just incredible, watching the way she reacted to things.

Go for it.
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2002, 03:05 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
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Absolutely not. My wife and I took our three-year-old three years ago (three then, now he's six), and he had a blast.

His (then) one-year-old brother and eight-month-old sister were a bit young to appreciate it, though.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2002, 03:28 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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We're probably going to finally take our kids this year (sometime during Christmas break). They'll be seven and 4.5. I've kind of avoided it before since the price/performance* seems a bit skewed. But Grandma and Grandpa brought it up, so we'll probably go. For things that are scary or violent I've always made sure that they've understood what is real and make believe; for fun stuff I let them figure it out for themselves.

*This is at least partly because of the restriction to certain items and the reality that about half a day is enough for them in one go.
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2002, 03:44 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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Tips...get to the park a half hour before they open. I think they open the gates a half hour before the listed time so there's not a big line.

If you want a nice lunch, your very first stop should be a beeline to The Crystal Palace. Make a lunch reservation, and come back to enjoy the buffet. I don't mind paying $14 for lunch when it's all you can eat. It's good selection and good food, too.

Take it slow, enjoy!
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2002, 03:46 PM
rundogrun rundogrun is offline
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At the ripe old age of 6, my son has been three times (I used to be a Castmember...free passes for everyone, wheee!). He loved it everytime.

Stick to Magic Kingdom...there's limited appeal at Epcot and even less at MGM. But at MK, he'll have a blast in Fantasy Land as well as in Toon Town, where Mickey's house and kid sized rides/play areas abound.
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2002, 04:48 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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Yep. Definitely too young. You'd better take me, instead. I'm 41 and I've never been. I promise not to whine and not to get cranky.

StG
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  #18  
Old 12-05-2002, 05:50 PM
interface2x interface2x is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Benanuel
It's actually rather easy to avoid the long lines for the most part just by going off-season. We just got back (having been there from 11/16 thru 11/22) and there were short to nonexistant lines on a number of rides. Week before Thanksgiving = good. Week of Thanksgiving = bad. Lines and crowds all depend on when you want to go.
I totally agree - I went there from 9/21 thru 9/27 and there were no lines. We went on everything twice, pretty much, and I'd say the longest line we hit the entire week was at the Safari in Animal Kingdom - 30 minutes. Most of the rest were either a walk-on or maybe a 10-15 minute wait. It was great, but it seemed like we ran out of things to go on! But I'd be lying if I said I didn't love going on Rock'n'Roller Coaster three times in a row.
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2002, 06:12 AM
drollman drollman is offline
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Thanks for all the input!
Looking into height restrictions is a great idea. The mid-day nap might change to a mid-day break, since he is now out of the nap-habit due to attending school since September. Could someone with "vacation with child" experience provide a breif rundown of pros/cons for Epcot, The Magic Kingdom, MGM Disney, Animal Kingdom (what is that?) and the water park area? The last time we were at WDW, MGM/Disney was a newest thing having opened a few months previous.

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Personally, I prefer a little more humour in my comedy.
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  #20  
Old 12-06-2002, 08:13 AM
Rue DeDay Rue DeDay is offline
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We took Soupo last year when he was 4 1/2. He had a great time. Got there early and was first in line for Dumbo. (His first Disney ride.) I skipped Small World, but he liked it. Splash Mountain was a hit along with all the roller coasters he was tall enough for. Pirates of the Caribean was a bust though.

We stayed on the grounds, started early and ended early. (We also went with all of his aunts and uncles which made it an even better trip.) Three days of Disney was all he could take. The last day we spent in the pool and shopping.


-Rue.
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  #21  
Old 12-06-2002, 08:27 AM
rundogrun rundogrun is offline
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Pros/cons:

Epcot: Most of the International exhibits will be boring/over the head of a 4 year old. In Mexico, there is kind of a fun little boat ride. The one in Norway is more like a flume...in the dark no less. Everything else is exhibits which probably will go unappreciated. In the front of the park there is the "Big Ball" which is a travel through time kind of ride. That's a good one. The Living Seas will be fun for looking at fish. The Energy Pavillion is fun if he likes dinosaurs, but it does have a few brief instances of scariness, although my kids didn't necessarily think so. The other fun part for a kid with Epcot is taking the monorail from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot (or vice-versa).

Magic Kingdom: Plenty of stuff here for a four year old. In Fantasy Land there's Tea Cups, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Small World, Dumbo, heck...90% of the park will be appreciated by a four year old. He won't be able to do Space Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad, or Splash Mountain, but everything else is fair game. We've always spent most of our time here.

MGM: Most rides here are geared towards an older audience, as are the shows. We've only take our son there once.. to see "Doug Live" and eat in some of the fun themed restaurants. He did seem to enjoy the Backlot Tour and the Stunt Show, but I wouldn't plan spending more than half a day here (ymmv).

Animal Kingdom: This is their newest African Safari-themed park. Some fun play areas and the Safari Ride (if the animals are visible) make this a worthwhile stop. Again, we got about a half days worth out of this park and have only gone once. We left the "Bug's Life Show" screaming in hysterics. Well, one of us anyway.

Typhoon Lagoon: Typical water park fare...slides, floating tubes, wave pools etc. If you're hot, and the parks are open, they're fun, depending on how adventurous your kids are around the water. Most of the hotels (assuming you're staying at a Disney resort) have fairly involved pools, so we've never found Typhoon Lagoon a must-do, until the kids get older.
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2002, 09:04 AM
DeadlyAccurate DeadlyAccurate is offline
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Oh, and if you and your wife want to ride any of the big kid rides, tell the cast members that are standing outside the entrance that you want to do a child swap. This is where one of you rides while the other waits with the kid, then you switch out.

Oh, and I went to WDW the week before Benanuel, and we had no lines on almost every ride. We finished Magic Kingdom in 4 hours, and rode everything we wanted. Same with Animal Kingdom. Took our time at Epcot and MGM, because they're our favorite parks (but we don't have kids).

Be sure to catch the Stars & Motorcars parade at MGM Studios.
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2002, 09:12 AM
Mort Furd Mort Furd is offline
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Re: Is a 4 year old too young for Disney World?

Quote:
Originally posted by drollman
With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.
Les Nesman, WKRP in Cinncinatti. God I miss that show. Jeniffer and Bailey. UMMMMMM.
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  #24  
Old 12-06-2002, 09:55 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is online now
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Here is a good site to check out for your trip:

www.wdwig.com

And a good place to ask questions

www.disboards.com

Go in an off season. Which is Sept, Oct, November (but not around Thanksgiving). Early December (but not around Christmas). January and the first half of Feburary.

Bring or rent a stroller.

They didn't open gates early at all on my last trip, if the park opened at 9:00 the gates opened at 9:00, but early entry mornings are back (renamed) for guests of on-site hotels.
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  #25  
Old 12-06-2002, 08:05 PM
interface2x interface2x is offline
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I also suggest http://www.intercot.com for Disney World info. Good messageboards for trip questions, as well.
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  #26  
Old 12-06-2002, 08:27 PM
Ashtar Ashtar is offline
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I wasn't fully potty-trained when I was 4..I was almost 5, in fact, before I was completely out of diapers.

That might seem like kind of an unrelated point, but please remember that these all-day outings can, and do, involve a lot of waiting in long lines.

I know that I was kind of a rarer exception to the average age when most children are trained, but accidents can, and do happen. If you have any doubts about your child's 'ability', then trust me, I know from personal experience that it's much less stressful on a young child's mind if they're wearing protection, just in case. It's much better than the embarrassing alternative.

And it's not all that uncommon, even for older children with 'potty' issues, to go back to diapers in a big amusement park like that.

If your child is trained pretty well, it shouldn't be an issue. But I just thought it was important enough to bring up.
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  #27  
Old 12-07-2002, 06:51 AM
Stratocaster Stratocaster is offline
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We go every year, and the first time we took my son, he was 3. It was a terrific trip, but (as mentioned previously), it limited the stuff you could do (even with "kid swap"). Our little guy was not the real brave type, which limited things even further. Again, though, he had a ball, and we did too.

I would say that if a trip to Disneyworld is a one-time, "everyone must do this so let's make sure we see everything" kind of thing for you, you might want to wait. If you expect you'll be back (or aren't too concerned over getting the whole "Disney experience"), full speed ahead.
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  #28  
Old 12-07-2002, 09:14 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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We took Baby Kate last year when she was about 18 months (maybe 16). She had a blast. She loved the Animal Kingdom a ton and even some of the adult rides at the Magic Kingdom. She handled the Pirates of the Caribbean very well.
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  #29  
Old 12-07-2002, 09:19 AM
agentfroot agentfroot is offline
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I don't think 4 is too young. It might not be the best age to go to Disney (between 7 and 13 is probably the best time, at least in my opinion), but a 4-year-old would probably still love it.
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  #30  
Old 12-07-2002, 06:46 PM
Rysdad Rysdad is offline
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Took the Rykid when he was almost four. He loved it. We've been back twice since.
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