View Full Version : How much do you prep your kids for WDW?

07-13-2009, 08:12 PM
Hi all,

Last night I showed my kids someone's online vacation video. It was of a family having a great time at WDW -- riding the rides, eating great food, and generally having a good time.

This morning my DH said to me, "Please don't show the kids any more WDW videos." He explained that this morning the kids were asking him about Test Track (which they had seen a little of in the video). He thinks that we shouldn't show them anything so that they will be surprised when they get to WDW.

I countered with this: the girls are 4 and 6. The 6 yr old remembers some of our last trip (when she was 4) but the 4 yr old doesn't remember anything, so on this year's trip everything will be essentially new to her. If we show DD4 some of the basics of WDW (the Castle, some snippets of rides) then when she gets there it will be familiar to her. Like when you go to a concert -- people usually like to hear songs that they are familiar with, rather than all new stuff. There is a comfort in familiarity.

I agreed to not show the girls any more ride videos -- I can understand his point somewhat -- but was wondering what other people do (or not do) to prep their kids for WDW. Anyone?


07-13-2009, 08:19 PM
Ah...technology and the dilemas it poses! Back in the days when my daughter was 4 or 6, showing her videos of the rides would have been an impossibility. Back then, the best we could do was show her pictures in the mailings provided by Disney after we made our initial reservation. In fact, they sent us a whole booklet! I would have thought it rather funny if my husband had asked me not to show the pictures in the booklets to my daughter as it might ruin the surprise! I suppose videos are much more realistic than the still photos but, overall, I think the end result is the same. Personally, had videos been available, I probably woudl have shown them to her as it likely would have avoided some of the scariness. She refused to go on Big Thunder Mountain for a very long time after it opened. We practically dragged her on that ride and she loved it (which I knew she would)! Had a video been available, she probably would have been first in line!

Sorry for the rambling response!

07-13-2009, 08:46 PM
My boys have been lucky enough to go every year to WDW (this will be my 7 year old's 8th trip in two weeks!)
1.We play Disney music (4 Parks One World) but even the basics (It's a Small World) is good.
2. Watch Disney movies that they will see referenced in WDW (Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, even Snow White). If they are familiar with the movies, then the rides will make more sense. We use the travel time driving to FL to show the kids the classics!
3. We also have a chain of things we are looking forward to hanging in our kitchen and we take one down each day (made like the chains at Christmas time with loops of paper with something written on each one). In the beginning we did the writing, now they contribute things they are looking forward to as well.
4. I think it would also be fun to look at park maps and talk about the rides and see where things are in relation to other things. The maps are available on the Disney website I think. Good for practicing map skills as well!

I think avoiding some of the videos is not a bad idea but talking about what they will see and looking at maps helps to build the background knowledge you seek without giving away the magic!