As sad as it is, our little girls and boys WILL grow up, no matter how hard we try to stop it. While we daydream and think of the future, and all of the wonderful experiences we will have with them while at WDW, we can’t forget the experiences that we must have while they are still young, and while we still have the chance!
We all know that as children get older mom and dad are no longer their favorite people, no longer ‘cool,’ and almost overnight, become incredibly embarrassing. Our daughter is just 3 1/2 years old yet, so we can live in denial for a while longer!
However, in the meantime, let’s go over some things you should definitely do with your little ones before they shun you.
Can’t Miss Experiences
Dance & Sing & Play
There are LOTS of events and shows at WDW that insist on participation, and those that just make you want to get up and move. Well, before the little ones get too old to enjoy those moments with you, get up and dance and sing; have fun! THESE are the moments that probably mean more to people than they think.
The next time you are watching a stage show at Magic Kingdom, or stopping for a parade, or even at Disney Junior – Live on Stage at Hollywood Studios, don’t be shy! Get up and sing and dance with your kids, your nieces, your nephews, your grandchildren! Live in the moment and don’t worry what others think…because they’re doing the exact same thing.
Take Photos – LOTS and LOTS of photos
Just as it says above, take LOTS and LOTS of photos. Sure, our memories are precious and mean more than anything in the world, but, photos are important, too. Our little ones can remember SOME memories as early as 2 years old, but they don’t remember everything, and they forget many of those early childhood memories the older they get.
My suggestion – purchase the Memory Maker, stop at Photo Pass locations, and make sure you have LOTS of space on your memory cards for your cameras and cell phones. We always get the Memory Maker and feel that it is absolutely worth the price; they can capture so much that you can’t, and can add their own special touches for some really cool photos.
*If interested in learning more about Memory Maker and Disney Photo Pass, check out the Disney site directly for the most up to date and accurate information.
Frequent the ‘Annoying’ Rides
Really. Suck it up. Do it. Ride the rides and visit the attractions that you might find ‘annoying,’ because those are usually the ones that your little one LOVES. Also, the love of these is usually short lived, and most kids really do out grow what attracted them initially.
Case in Point – during our daughter’s first trip to WDW for her 2nd birthday, we went on “It’s a Small World” at least a dozen times. While we will likely go on this ride during EVERY WDW trip, as she gets older, the frequency will lessen.
Stay at a Resort themed for Children
Disney is well known for its themed resorts around its parks. With resorts in pretty much every price point, there really are those that are geared mostly toward younger children. And no, I don’t mean The Grand Floridian. While they have some GREAT activities for kids, they are not themed for children. 🙂
Some of the best resorts themed for children are the value resorts – Art of Animation, POP Century, and the All Star Movie and Sports resorts. These resorts are very colorful, and playful. They have shaped pools, large character sculptures throughout, and have planned activities for children every day. They also cater to the every day family with as little as one child to a slew of them, that can be accommodated by Art of Animation.
Another great resort for kids, while not specifically child themed, is Fort Wilderness. Guests can reserve full hook ups for a motor home, a camp ground for actual camping, or stay in one of the cabins. Staying at Fort Wilderness is AMAZING! They have so many great outdoor activities for kids, including movies, games, playgrounds, and pool. They are also a hop, skip, and a jump from Magic Kingdom via boat.
Stop for Stage Shows, Parades, & Fireworks
Kind of going along with getting up and singing and dancing around with your little ones, this is the time to just stop for the shows, parades, light shows, and fireworks. Unless you have a dining reservation, or a Fast Pass that is about to end, there is nothing holding you back from stopping and enjoying the amazing shows Disney has each and every day.
Each show and parade is intricately planned and each is amazing and thrilling for little ones. Sure, as we get older, we still enjoy the shows and parades, but the look of awe and wonder on a little kids face and in their eyes is a completely different experience altogether.
Full disclosure – I personally don’t care what age you are. Character dining is the bees knees! Sure, it’s amazingly adorable to watch a little child interact with the various characters, but it’s still fun as you get older! Or, maybe it’s me?! Either way, be sure to check out some of the character dining options that Disney World has to offer, including Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, 1900 Park Fare, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, and so much more!
For a full list of character dining options, including a ‘who’s who’ at each event, visit Disney directly!
Visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for a Makeover
Have a little girl? Is she princess obsessed? DEFINITELY head to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for the full princess makeover. They offer a number of packages to fit every princesses needs. Don’t wait – they only accept girls between the ages of 3 and 12. Not to say that a girl over the age of 12 ISN’T a princess, because, let’s face it, we’re ALL princesses, but the offerings are really made for the younger girl.
For more information on Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, check out our Top 5 Mommy- Daughter Activities to do at Disney.
Want to show your princess style when you get older? Disney bounding is the way to go!
Get a ‘first haircut’ on Main Street @ Harmony Barber Shop
Young or old, visiting the Harmony Barber Shop is a must while at Magic Kingdom! While they specialize in ‘first haircuts,’ they do accept clients of all ages. Some of the items they offer include the following:
My First Haircut package (which includes a special certificate and commemorative Mickey ears – $25
Child’s haircut (9 and under) – $18
Adult haircut – $19
A first haircut for any little one is a very special, and momentous occasion – but your FIRST Disney haircut?! With prices that AMAZING, why not?!
Also, while visiting the licensed barbers at Harmony Barber Shop, you may be treated to a performance by the Dapper Dan’s – a very awesome barbershop quartet. Between the certificate, Mickey ears, and performance, this would surely please your little ones more than your teenagers!
Stop to ‘Smell the Roses’ or ‘Talk to the Ducks’
Any devoted lover of all things Disney can tell you that Disney World is SOOO much more than the characters, rides, attractions, and various shows.
Each park has been intricately planned, down to the walkways! There are numerous spots to just relax, and take it all in. There are fountains, waterways, ducks, flowers, topiaries, etc…which also allow you the time to take in some of the sweets and treats that are exclusive to Disney. 🙂
Be sure not to plan your trip down to every single minute and pack it full of fast passes, reservations, and other activities. Be sure to take the time to just relax, take it all in, and, stop and chat with the ducks. Just, don’t feed them!