There are countless tips and advice articles on how to make the most of your Disneyland/Disney World experience. To me, there is an unanswered question that I know hovers in the minds of families planning their first trip. ‘Do we bring the grandparents with us?’
I have had the opportunity to visit the theme park in both scenarios. We have gone on our own and we have brought my parents along. In my opinion, it is best to leave the grandparents at home for your first visit. You need to keep all of the magic for yourself, otherwise you will miss your childrens’ looks of awe and wonder because you’ll either be visiting with the grandparents, or they will see them first. They will want to go on the rides with your kids and you and your spouse will be stuck in a car on your own. You could pretend you are in the tunnel of love, but that just doesn’t feel right at Disney. Riding an Autotopia car by yourself isn’t that much fun either. You want to be able to cherish every special moment and capture every gasp of joy, after all, there is only ever one first time!
If you have the luxury to visit the park another time, then I would recommend bringing along the grandparents. The experience will be fresh and new for them and your children will be excited to show them around. At the end of the day, when you return to the hotel, the grandparents can stay with the kids and you and your spouse can go back to the park to ride the bigger rides your children might have been too small to go on. Since Disney is always at least a day trip, the next night you can repay the favour to them so they can walk around and have a special night.
Lacking in a husband and children, my big Disney question is how old is too old for Disney, minus the wee ones? Followed by, does it make for a good dating destination?
Your advice, great wise and wrinkly old Brie?
~ Emme xoxo
You are never too old for Disney. I suppose when you get really really old and can barely walk, you might not enjoy waiting in line and riding the rides as much. You might enjoy the freedom that comes from being a ‘grouchy old lady’ and yell at anyone you feel like, or you might be senile enough to believe Mickey Mouse is your husband.
If you go to Disney without wee ones, you must go with a date! Going alone is geeky. It’s the perfect date for laughs and giggles and feeling joyously like a kid again.
David @ MalaysiaAsia
Speaking of this, I just managed to complete all the 4 Disneylands around the world this June! (Disney Worlds not included) A teenage ambition, I started at Tokyo Disneyland in 1990, Anaheim Disneyland in 94 and 95, Hong Kong Disneyland in 2008 and finally Euro Disneyland in June 2011! Most awesome as I have pictures of them all. I will make a post about this one of these days.
Stephanie - The Travel Chica
I do not have any kids, but I imagine that being able to “take turns” with parental duties would be an ideal way to do a family vacation.
If they can still walk and get around fine, then take them. 🙂 Big disney fan here, as long as everyone loves disney, and is well fed and not tired, everyone will have a great time.
I would LOVE to visit all the Disneylands with lots of energy and a belly full of food! I agree that holding crankiness at bay is the key to being at the ‘happiest place on earth’.
Mobility is important with the grandparents. When I was younger my grandma came with us and she was so overwhelmed by everything going on that she walked right into a pole! We had to sit in the first aid area with her for a while, but we got a lot of great attention! She was quite up there in age so we had to stop and rest on benches a lot during the day. My memories of that trip are almost all of her though so it was a really special time to share.
‘Taking turns’ with parental duties is something my husband and I try to arrange on a lot of our travels. We like to go away with other families so the guys can have a night out, the girls can have a night out and each couple can have a special evening as well. There are some moments though that are really powerful when it is just you alone with your kids.
Christy @ Technosyncratic
We don’t have kids, but we always joke that when we do someone else is going to have to take them to Disneyland because we hate going on rides. Grandparents to the rescue!