View Full Version : "Too young to remember"?

01-23-2010, 12:31 AM
Maybe this has been discussed here before, but it's something that has really bothered me...

I have been saying to people since my little girl was born that I can't wait until I can take her to WDW. Almost everyone's response is to wrinkle up their nose and say, "Why wouldn't you wait until she's old enough to remember?"

Now, after selling a show horse, I finally have enough to take my now 2-year-old Mickey and Princess fanatic daughter to WDW and we're planning a trip in a little over a week. Everyone I mention it to says what a waste of money it is because she'll be "too young to remember it!"

Am I the only one who thinks, number one, it doesn't really matter if she remembers the exact details, as long as she has a great time with her parents and grandparents? And two, that she probably will remember parts of it, since she remembers every Disney character's name and lists the rides she's excited to go on?

Plus, I don't remember every single detail of all the trips I've taken. Does that mean I've wasted my time and money on them?

And finally, by that logic, we should be able to do anything we want to our kids when they're young, including neglect, beating -- whatever, because they'll be "too young to remember."

Okay, I'll settle down now! Just wondering what everyone else's take is on that!

01-23-2010, 12:34 AM
I fully agree with you. My kids went at 4months and 8months and every year since! :thumbsup:
Even when they were babies, we would still celebrate a big Christmas with Santa Claus, regardless of whether or not they can remember it, but nobody thinks that's a waste. Same thing with Disney World. It's a family experience, regardless of how old they are. :mickey:

PS - we're going down in just over a week as well! My 2 year old daughter is also a princess fanatic so maybe we'll see you around!

01-23-2010, 12:36 AM
I remember going when I was 2...not much but I remember the arcade and pool and pulling Tigger's tail. I say go for it. If you keep talking about it, she WILL remember it. I learned really quick after my first was born not to listen to others when it comes to MY kids! Take your little darling and have fun!!

01-23-2010, 02:08 AM
My daughter was 3 months old for her first trip to Disneyland. When she was 15 months old I renewed my annual pass and we have been going ever since. She is now 10. She was 5 for our first WDW trip and she doesn't remember much of that, but can see the pictures.

I got so much joy seeing her reactions to Disney, the characters and attractions. At the young age of 2 she was just in love with Kiki (Mickey), as well as the princesses.

I would say go for it. She may not remember it, but you will and have the pictures and videos to prove it. There is nothing so joyus as watching their faces light up at all that is around them.:mickey:

01-23-2010, 02:18 AM
Regardless of whether the child will have any memories, it is a good bet that they will have a wonderful time.
The pictures you have will last a lifetime and your child will appreciate it when they get older.
Plus you can take a picture of your child at a certain part of the park and have them take that same picture as they grow up making for a unique way to show how they have grown.

01-23-2010, 05:20 AM
Although she will not remember much, she will remember something. You will remember it for the rest of your life. I took my DD when she was 2 and I will not forget a moment of that trip. I am glad we did because it was the only chance my father got to take her there. He passed away 8 months later and it is a memory he would have never had.

Never pass up an opportunity because you never know what the future holds.

01-23-2010, 07:39 AM
The people that say she won't remember it probably don't go to Disney themselves and can't understand why you go.
By their reasoning, we should never do anything at all with children until they are four or five- no playgrounds, no walks around the block, no toys. They won't remember it anyway.

01-23-2010, 07:46 AM
Okay, so both my kids have been going to Disney World literally since they were both in the womb. DD's first trip was at 8 months old. DS's was at 5 months.

Do either of them remember those trips? Absolutely not. But you know what? They've each been lots of times since then and each time they go they remember a little bit more. Slowly they're building that love of Disney World that we all have.

Here's why people say that. Most people view going to Disney World as a "once in a lifetime" experience. So, the logic goes, your child should be old enough to remember it if you're only going to go once.

Which is actually kind of silly, because how old are you when you're "old enough to remember?" 6? 7? By that time the child has missed out on some of the best years to visit!! I know that from like 2 on both our kids were just mesmerized by the place and I wouldn't trade in those family memories for anything!

In the future if someone says that to you, I'd just respond, "Well I really don't think that's an issue since we plan to take her back many, many times as she gets older."

01-23-2010, 08:12 AM
Your daughter may not remember, but you will!

01-23-2010, 08:18 AM
If you take it slow, stop when your child gets tired, and are patient when there are the 'Disney meltdowns' go and have a great time. Your memories are important too!! Also, your children will look at those pictures and 'remember' through your eyes as they get older. Enjoy!!

01-23-2010, 08:59 AM
We went to Disneyland in California when I was 5 years old. I don't remember anything about the trip for the most part (except getting stung by a red ant somewhere in Mexico around a bunch of pottery - ha ha ha) but I have the pictures of the trip as well as my embroided Mickey hat. I agree with the other posters that YOU will remember the special trip as well as all the pictures you will take. You can even make your daughter her very own "Picture book" with your pictures along with captions to go along so she can keep the memories alive with that. She'll have a wonderful time. But I don't think people are trying to be mean about it. As someone else said - many people view Disney as a "Once in a Lifetime" trip due to the cost. You'll be HOOKED once you go!!!! So I don't think this will be her ONLY trip. Don't let other people bring you down. NExt time someone says something like that to you, just tell them that life is short and you want to capture as many memories for yourself as well as your daughter and what better place than to do part of it at Disney? HAve a great time!!!:mickey:

01-23-2010, 09:24 AM
Don't worry about what people say- how you spend your money is your business. We've heard that, and the "you're going again?"so many times. Everyone seems to have an opinion. Everyone told us not to take our kids to Hawaii a couple years ago. They'll be bored, so much money etc. Well, the kids loved it and we were so happy to be able to have that experience as a family. So- my advice for now and the future- do what makes you happy. You will always encounter naysayers. Sometimes it's jealousy; sometimes it's just a different outlook on life or money. In the end it's the memories that you have. Whether your child remembers or not, you will. My parents took me when I was three and I remember some, but my father died the following year when I was 4. The importance of that trip to me is priceless.

01-23-2010, 10:49 AM
Hi! First of all, don't pay attention to other people-eaiser said than done I know.

Your DD will have fun while she is there, as will you and the rest of your family-this is what is the most imporatant thing!:)

My DS remembers many things about our WDW trips-he went there for the first time (outside of the womb) when he was 2. We also went last year when he was 3, he asked when we could go again yesterday and he talks about his favorite ride HM all the time.

Those same people wrinkling their nose at you are also the same people who wrinkle their nose at me when I say we are going to WDW again. They just don't know how to have fun, to each his own.

Have fun, enjoy yourselves! Your DD will!:mickey:

01-23-2010, 10:52 AM
If this is going to be a once in a lifetime trip I would wait till the child is a bit older, but if you plan to visit again then I think she's the perfect age for her first trip.

My youngest was just 9 months old and my oldest just 2 years oldwhen we took them on their first disney trip and I wouldn't trade that for the world. As they get older the trips change drastically. Those first several trips when they were 5 and under are some of my most precious memories of family vacations. To see the look in their tiny faces and the excitment that just took over them was amazing. Don't get me wrong, now that they are 9 and 7 and can just about ride everything the trips are still just as fun, maybe funner since we can all ride together. But those first few trips when they were little will always be my favorite. Don't worry about what other people think about your plans. If this is something you truly want to do then other's opinions don't matter. Just wait, soon you'll be hearing from these same people "You are going back AGAIN". Just ignore it and enjoy your family trips! I hope you have an amazing vacation!

01-23-2010, 11:30 AM
I've done it both ways - it takes us two years to save for a trip to Dis, and so we decided to wait until our first DD was 4 before we went - I figured she would 'get more' out of the trip itself. It was the perfect age for her, everything was real to her and she was old enough to get lost in the fantasy. However, we took her again when she was 8 and when our 2nd DD was 18 months. I can't tell you how much we enjoyed that trip! The 18 monther forced us to slow down and play in fountains and spend time doing the little things. She enjoyed the trip and was aware of so much more than I anticipated. She won't remember a thing about it later, but the experience was worth it for us, and the rest of us will remember. Her toddler perspective was fun for the rest of us, and I think the feeling of a family vacation like that is good for everyone.

01-23-2010, 11:42 AM
Those are the people who just don't understand that a) WDW has lots of things for adults and kids to enjoy, that it's not just for kids, and b) that there are people who go back to WDW again and again. Maybe they've never been to WDW, or they're among the "don't get it" crowd.

You'll have a great time watching your children at a any age, and you'll enjoy the memories, and your child might retain some of that for your next visit, too (as Ian said). Don't worry about those people. I think it's a great place for families with little ones, because where else can you vacation with them at that age with such comfort and understanding from your fellow vacationers? Not a lot of vacation spots are as baby-toddler welcoming, or even tolerant, as WDW. Enjoy your trip, and your memories!

01-23-2010, 11:49 AM
My first trip to Disney was when I was 5, I remember quite a bit of that trip, however, my sister was 2 and my brother was 3 weeks. My sister barely remembers anything, and obviously my brother doesn't remember a thing. My parents, who are huge Disney fans and are going down with me this May, said that if they were to do it again they wouldnt go with any kid under 5. It was too much of a hassle, and in the end only I remember it.

01-23-2010, 12:33 PM
We went with our grandaughter when she was just under 2 and she still talks about alot of things she saw almost 2 years later.I know she doesn't remember alot of it but she remembers enough but that's not the point.The point is that my wife and I will always remember the time we went with little Morgan when she was 2 and the fun we all had together.I mean,really,when is the perfect age?I'm 51 years old and love it more and more every time.

01-23-2010, 01:10 PM
Isn't it amazing how people feel free to comment on things like this? I agree with the other posters... you don't have unrealistic expectations of the trip and it is something that you will enjoy.

I went to WDW when I was 2.5 years old and I do remember little flashes of it. Not every detail, but a lot more than my family thought I would!

01-23-2010, 02:44 PM
Yeah, I have heard that a lot with people that plan on taking little kids to Disney World. Some people just don't think it through.

True, she's not going to remember every single picky little detail, but who ever does? All that matters will that fun will be had and memories will be made.

And there will always be pictures that she can look at!

01-23-2010, 03:27 PM
We first took our oldest when she was 2 and first took our youngest when she was 10 months. I wouldn't trade those fantastic trips for anything in the world! Go, have a wonderful time and ignore the people making stupid comments. :mickey:

Disney Doll
01-23-2010, 03:43 PM
My son is 2 and had been 3 times already. He talks about the trips and he does remember. Will he remember when he's 30? Probably not, but I have fabulous memories from these early trips and we will go many more times.

Tigger's Mom
01-23-2010, 05:21 PM
Go and enjoy! She may not remember, but you will and you'll have the photos to show her. We took my son just shy of 2 and he had fun. He loved the characters, with big hugs for Pooh, Tigger and Mickey. Does he remember, I don't think so, but I'll never forget him running to greet Pooh at The Crystal Palace. Another bonus is that under three, there's no admission!

01-23-2010, 06:03 PM
My DD was only 20 months for her first trip. Does she remember it, not really but her Dad & I sure do. It was absolutely magical. We'll have those memories for the rest of our life. Go and enjoy every last minute of it!

01-23-2010, 06:09 PM
We first took my daughter to Disney World when she was 7 and I thought it was a wonderful age! However, the reason we took her for the first time at 7 was because we couldn't afford to travel before that time.

At that time, I thought I would never get back again and thought it night be foolish to take children who were too young to remember. As the number of trips we're taken to Disney World have multiplied over the years, and as logic has entered the equation, we came to realize there are many reasons to take children ....whenever....!

Perhaps you live close enough to make multiple trips or finances allow you to make multiple trips...perhaps you have multiple children (Would you always wait for your youngest to be old enough to remember? What about the magical memories of the oldest?)...perhaps...perhaps... well there are all sorts of possibilities.

If it pleases you to introduce your child to Disney World - whatever his or her age - do so!

Just last month, we traveled to Disney with my brother's family and their two year old as we never had the opportunity to make such a trip with a toddler! While there were moments and every parent of a 2-year old knows what that means - it was, nevertheless, a very magical trip and I'm so glad I got to see Disney World through those 2 year old eyes!

01-23-2010, 10:33 PM
Make sure you don't take her to the local carnival or zoo or aquarium until she's old enough to remember either!

My nephew was still in my sister's belly the first time he went and when he ACTUALLY went back at 3.5 he remembered seeing it all before. Now you know he didn't really see it because he didn't have a womb with a view, but because we talked about that trip with his older brother, he FELT like he'd been before. So your daughter will "remember" the trip through the pix and your memories. Go and enjoy and tell others that it's your decision when to go.

01-24-2010, 12:08 PM
My parents took me when I was five and I was still too young to remember anything. The only memories I have retained have been those from pictures. If we didn't have pictures, I wouldn't remember anything. I think your child will have fun at the parks but that doesn't mean when they're older they're going to remember that specific trip. :mickey:

01-24-2010, 12:42 PM
I first went at 11. Don't remember much. I did retain the emotions tho. Joy is a good enough reason for a trip. Iconic moments like the Grand
Canyon and Yellowstone require a different perspective.

01-24-2010, 01:17 PM
My son's 1st trip was at 6 months old. HE won't remember it, but DH and I sure will. The look on his face when he first saw Mickey was priceless. And he was able to get his 1st haircur at the Harmony Barber Shop. We are planning another trip for when he is 20 months right now.

This craziest thing I have ever heard is a friend who takes her kids for their first trip when they turn three. Yes, a few weeks AFTER they turn three, so she has to pay for them. Why not take them a few weeks BEFORE they turn three so they are free? They aren't going to remember anymore of the trip just because they are two or three weeks older! Oh well, to each his own...

01-24-2010, 01:54 PM
If you have the $$$$ to do it, go for it. When you talk to non Disney people if you tell them you are going to Disney for your daughter (she) then yea 'what will she remember' is a fair response. If you say you are doing it for 'we' (family) instead of 'she' then what could someone say?:mickey:
You shouldn't have to justify your position anyway.
My kids, I mean we, go about 3x a year, so we get it.:thumbsup:

01-24-2010, 02:57 PM
Its so magical whenever you go. I went when I was under a year old and those pictures that my mom took were pictures that became my favorite things. There are pictures of the characters trying to wake me up during the parade. The stories that my mom tell me from my first trip are amazing.
We had a family reunion there when my niece was 18 months old and my nephew was 2. Their faces were the most enjoyable things in the world and something that I will never forget.
We found out I was pregnant with my son when we were in Disneyland California so he was there even before birth! And then at 7 months we took him to MK since his uncle got married in Disney. That time was sooo magical. He LOVES Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Our pictures of him grinning from ear to ear are priceless. I know those are going to be his favorite pictures as he grows up just like mine were for me.
We went back with his grandparents a week after his 1st birthday to celebrate his first birthday there. Nothing can take the place of memories that are being made and pictures make great stories and become treasures for them as they get older.
I went back every year with my family when I was little and I can remember lots of the trips when I was little...maybe not my first trip but I remember a lot of them. It was all my siblings and i talked about. Its all I still talk about LOL I plan on doing this for my son.
All those people that think that are telling you that its a waste of time are missing out on true magic.
I will never forget the look on my 7 month olds face when he first layed eyes on Mickey. It was the absolute sweetest thing and it was all caught on camera.
You will NEVER FORGET IT!!!!

01-24-2010, 06:25 PM
My dad took me for the first time when I was about that age. He was all excited about it and apparently I had no interest in anything going on or any of the characters, I just wanted to play on the sidewalk. In hindsight he says that he would never take a child until they're old enough to remember things.

The key though is to just do what's right for you and your family. If going now is going to preclude going for awhile for whatever reason (finances, etc.) then I would say to wait until they're old enough to remember it, but if you can afford it go for it.

Worry less about what other people think, it's your family's lives and happiness that's important, not the approval or opinions or anyone interested enough to give theirs. :twocents: :thumbsup:

01-24-2010, 07:39 PM
Our son is 7 months old and we've already had this discussion. We will probably not take him to WDW until he is at least 5. We do want him to remember the trip. However, since we are close to Disneyland, we will take him there much sooner.

01-24-2010, 11:49 PM
:mad: Oh my gosh! I can't even tell you how irritating I find the people that feel that they have a right to comment on how you spend your vacation & your money! I have so many in my world that feel that's it's ok to make derrogatory comments about our repeated trips to WDW! :confused: Why do these people think it's ok?

I planned our 1st WDW trip form the time my second DS was born but we weren't able to go until he was 4. Does he remember, who knows, I don't know how much I actually remember, but that's why you take pictures right? To remember things/events! Who can remember everything? We still love our trips to WDW, when we start talking vaca, my DS's (now 12 & 14) 1st response is WDW! But that 1st trip when they were 4 & 6, and all the magic really lived - priceless! Don't let anyone take this away from you!

I too agree, I get the most negative responses from those that have never been to WDW, those that don't take vacations, or those people that are generally unhapy people to start with! Go make memories and take lots of pictures! They will all be priceless to you now and also for her later! :tink:

01-25-2010, 01:23 AM
Wow! What a great, supportive group! Thanks for the encouragement. Someone (a relative) told me the other day that I should be puting the money from the horse I sold into a college fund for her instead. I'll do that, too. But for now, I just really feel like this is something that we really need to do for her. And you're right, it will be her first of many trips. I plan on taking her as often as I can afford to!

01-25-2010, 07:57 AM
Wow! What a great, supportive group! Thanks for the encouragement. Someone (a relative) told me the other day that I should be puting the money from the horse I sold into a college fund for her instead. I'll do that, too. But for now, I just really feel like this is something that we really need to do for her. And you're right, it will be her first of many trips. I plan on taking her as often as I can afford to!

Family vacations are important parts of growing up. I always felt bad for classmates and friends who never had time away with their families. It's a learning experience, not just for what you can discover about the world away from home, but for growing as a family unit responding to new circumstances together. I'm not saying don't save for college. You have time for that, but it creeps up on you before you know it. But I think vacation time is equally important. Tune out the critics and do what you need to do for you and for your family. Life is short.

01-25-2010, 10:27 AM
the first time we took our daughter she was 10 months old she does not remember it but my DH and I remember her first ride on small world the look on her face was well worth the trip, her second trip was when she was 16 months old and let me tell you she is almost 4 now and is still talking about things she saw and did on that trip.

01-25-2010, 11:19 AM
Your daughter may not remember, but you will!


And that's what you should tell them.

Just because she may not remember the trip does not mean that you should deprive the other members of your family (including yourself) of the great memories that you could have there.

People who say these types of comments are frequently those who don't take a vacation or vacation at the same place year after year and then criticize you when make return trips to WDW ("You're going there again?") Please feel free to annoy them about their vacation choices as much as they annoy you. You probably won't be able to stop them from making comments, so I'd suggest turning the tables on them. You may get a lot of satisfaction by annoying the heck out of them. You may leave the conversation with a smile on your face rather than being irritated.

My SIL was three during the one and only time that she went to Disneyland, back in 1958. She still remembers it and she's 55 now.

We went to WDW a year ago when my son was 17 months and he still remembers having breakfast with Pooh and Tigger. He may not remember it when he's an adult, but he remembers it now.

One side comment. If she's two, then you might want to prepare her for meeting characters by telling her that (insert character here) is really as big as Mommy and Daddy and that they are seeing a picture, doll, etc. of them. It may help. It worked for my DS and also for the daughter or a friend. Neither of them have a character phobia.

01-26-2010, 09:54 AM
I hear the whole "too young to remember" thing ALL the time. I plan to take my kids to WDW on their 1st birthdays as my parents did when I was growing up. It doesn'y matter if they remember or not. My parents brought me BUT I also have tons of pictures and video and my parents memories of things that happened on the trips. I get to look at those pictures and think, "Wow, I was at WDW when I was 1 years old!" and get to see how much WDW has changed since the early '80's. Here's a few pics from my first time:




I will do the same thing for my kids, take TONS of pics and video and tell them all about the trips we took when they were little. So, don't listen to people with that opinion. Enjoy your time with your kiddies no matter what!

01-26-2010, 10:52 AM
I wish I had known about this "kids don't remember anything until they are 5 or 6" thing. Just think how much money and effort could have been saved by just locking them in a bare room until they were 7 and knowing you didn't hurt their development and they wouldn't remember what you did anyway.:babyroll::blush:

01-26-2010, 11:22 AM
cant some memories be us adults too?
btw, we went with our then 10, 8 and 2 year old. The two year old remembers more than we would have thought! (she is now 6) When we ask questions about favorite rides, she still remembers stuff!

Robert's Dad
01-26-2010, 03:06 PM
These memories will be for you and that’s ok! We took my DS at 17 months old, and he gave me the greatest memories at the Pooh breakfast, when he was hugging on my shoulder, and said “Pooh, Daddy, Pooh’! Go have a good time.

01-27-2010, 10:44 AM
ive been having the same trouble with people..including family members..i wanna take my little girl when she is 2 years old..i know its going to be a different kind of vacation..and she wont remember much..but i dont care..i wanna share my favorite place with my lil girl..so im gonna do every thing in my power to try to make it happen..
i say go for it and have a wonderful time!!
let us know how it went! enjoy! :mickey:

01-28-2010, 07:50 AM
I say take your children and have a great time! Life is too short ! Take your family and enjoy making memories. Our only WDW regret was when we took our children for the first time (January 2001) that we didn't have the Grandparents with us. Those would have been great memories.:(

01-28-2010, 10:07 AM
We took DS at 5 months old. Of course he won't remember but we have some awesome pictures and memories from it. We're also going this year and he'll only be 1 1/2. So what? It's totally a great adult experience as well.

01-28-2010, 10:33 AM
One other thing. I have on my desk a picture of DH and DS. The picture was taken while waiting in line for Kilimanjaro Safaris at AK. DH is wearing a kufi that he bought at AK that day and DS is smiling and pointing at the camera. If we didn't go to WDW when DS was at an age where he wouldn''t be able to remember the trip, then I wouldn't have that picture.

01-29-2010, 02:21 PM
Our youngest was 8 months old the "first" time he went ,actually, we went while I was pregnant with him and he says that totally counts.

Anyway, one of MY best memories is seeing him try to stand and take a few steps in the Wonders of Life pavilion in the "Goofy About Health" area.

I have many memories of sitting with my two boys there while everyone else rode Body Wars and they were too little to go!

So, go - and enjoy. The memories, yours and your child's, are there for the making!

01-29-2010, 09:20 PM
I don't think it really matters if little ones remember their first trip(s). They can still enjoy the experience. My two DD's were 2 and 3& 1/2 on their first trip. They don't remember it but they LOVED every minute of their trip. My mom and brother went with us and we all had a wonderful time. My DD's also enjoy looking back at the pictures that were taken and they both still have the stuffed animals they got on their first trip. (They are 19& 1/2 and 21 now! HA)

01-30-2010, 10:05 AM
I wish I had known about this "kids don't remember anything until they are 5 or 6" thing. Just think how much money and effort could have been saved by just locking them in a bare room until they were 7 and knowing you didn't hurt their development and they wouldn't remember what you did anyway

I don't want to start an argument or anything but like I said in my previous post my parents took me when I was 5 for the first time and I didn't remember anything but leading up to my first Disney trip they used to take me to the local amusement park for twenty bucks a day versus a couple grand and tell me it was Disney World and I believed them (supposedly). I guess what I am trying to say is that you don't have to "lock the kids in a bare room" for a few years until they're old enough to remember, you can do other things with them and still see that same joy on their face. Ultimately though, this trip isn't just for your kids it is for you too. Enjoy. :mickey:

01-30-2010, 11:21 PM
I don't want to start an argument or anything but like I said in my previous post my parents took me when I was 5 for the first time and I didn't remember anything but leading up to my first Disney trip they used to take me to the local amusement park for twenty bucks a day versus a couple grand and tell me it was Disney World and I believed them (supposedly). I guess what I am trying to say is that you don't have to "lock the kids in a bare room" for a few years until they're old enough to remember, you can do other things with them and still see that same joy on their face. Ultimately though, this trip isn't just for your kids it is for you too. Enjoy. :mickey:

I agree. We are certainly not going to lock are kid up. Luckily we live 12 miles from Disneyland, so he will get his first Disney experiences there, plus visits to science museums, zoos and other local attractions. When we spend money to take our family trip to WDW we want him to have memories other than just stories, photos and videos.

02-01-2010, 10:47 AM
It will depend on the child. Our oldest son was almost 3 on his first trip and he really doesn't remember anything. Our youngest was just over 3 and still talks about things he did 6 years later.

You don't not celebrate a child's birthdays or holidays because they won't remember, you do it to create family memories and experiences. Bring a camera and/or a video camera. You can certainly document the trip enough to show they what they did if they can't remember.