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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Our Last Trip With The Boy As A Kid

We are less than two months away from our next Walt Disney World trip, and it will be the last trip for the boy as a kid.  What?  Yep, his last trip as a kid.  I don’t mean that we won’t ever return to Walt Disney World or that he will be an adult before he goes back.  It’s just that he is 9 right now and in Disney terms is considered a child.  When he turns 10, he is no longer a child in the eyes of Disney.  That means a higher price tag for his tickets, being able to order from the adult menu at both table service and counter service locations, and a more expensive trip in general.

Often, I hear or read about families trying to decide when to take their children on a once in a lifetime trip to Walt Disney World.  The dilemma seems to be finding the magical age between being able to remember the trip and being able to handle the perceived stamina a Walt Disney World trip requires.  My caution. ... don’t wait too long.  The price goes up once your child is 10 or older and the list of reasons not to go and activities that get in the way gets longer.  There’s a reason children under 3 are FREE at Walt Disney World—free entry into parks and free to eat off an adult entrée or buffet at restaurants.

The boy in two months will have had 9 once in a lifetime trips to Walt Disney World so we don’t wrestle with the dilemma of when to take him.  It was great at every age he has been when we have visited the most magical place on earth.  Just last night, I was requested to find videos of Coronado Springs, the resort we are trying on our next trip.  Particularly, he wanted videos of the themed pool.  Once I found them, I was directed to leave him alone, but the conversation traveled from the computer to the kitchen.  “Mom, when are we going back to French Quarter?”  “Mom, does Coronado Springs have a kids club?”  Soon, I could hear the songs of Splash Mountain followed by the boy’s audible gasp.  It must be the big drop down Slippin’ Falls!  So this is how a 9 year old prepares for a Walt Disney World trip.  Research via video.  When he was younger, pictures were his favorite along with multiple readings of “Guide to the Magic for Kids”—click here to read more.

I’m excited about our future Walt Disney World trips; the one in two months and the ones that have yet to be planned.  When will the boy want even more independence?  Will we be ready to give it to him?  When will he want to bring a friend?  (Already he suggested that his 10th birthday party be at Walt Disney World—at least he dreams big!)

There are moments that seem so normal for our family, such as when the boy is telling us his preference to eat at Les Chefs de France and disappointed that we won’t be dining at Teppan Edo this trip.  Yep, our then 8 year old wanted to eat French and Japanese food, but was okay with missing Chef Mickey’s, a buffet meal with characters.  Hmmm. . . I shared this story with a fellow Disney fan and we both laughed.  Maybe this should be normal for every family she quipped.  Yes, maybe it should be normal. 

We are looking forward to our last Walt Disney World trip with the boy as a kid.  But trust me, we are still dreaming—and planning—for trips when he’s not a kid anymore, at least by Disney standards.  And we will always be kids at heart, especially at Walt Disney World.

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