I've only ever been to Disneyland Paris, once and when I was 11. We went then because once I turned 12 my parents would have had to pay adult prices for me, but my sisters would have been old enough to enjoy it (they'd have been 7 and 9 that summer). We all had a ball, parents included. My youngest sister has never been a big rollercoaster fan, especially at that age, but my dad took me and sometimes my other sister on the big rides while my mum was with my sister/s on the younger rides. We had a day in the Studios park next door as well as part of the trip, I think it was included with our ticket. I think between 5 and 10 is about perfect, though 11-nearly-12 year old me still had a whale of a time. It was the summer before I started secondary school so I hadn't reached the "I'm more mature than this" stage yet and it was also the first time I'd been abroad which also helped, and I did have a love of theme parks even back then.
i am glad someone brought up the topic of queues. I would (if I could afford it) love to take my daughter and her3 and5 yr old to Disneyland (from Australia) but I am sure they would be too young to put up with long queues.
We went to Disney World when I was 9 and when I was 10/11. I think that's the best age to go because my sister and I were old enough/tall enough to ride every ride.
Personally I think you can never be too old for Disney, but I believe you can be too young. I don't understand those who bring their 2 year old to Disney. There isn't much to do with a toddler, you can't ride all the rides. They tire out and have to pushed around in a stroller. The best age to go is when you don't need a stroller. My sister and I just walked. We had the energy.
Also we went to Tokyo Disney when I was 15 I believe, and it pales in comparison to Disney World.
I'm planning to take my son to Disneyworld when he's either 8 or 9, and I can't wait. We'll probably stay in one of the hotels right there in the resort. I'm hoping I can talk my brother into joining us for a big family vacation, but his eldest is three years younger than Noah, so his kids might be too young to make any lasting memories, particularly his two youngest. My parents took me to Disneyland when I was somewhere around 3-4, and I have no memories of the trip. Apparently, it was too much for me, and I spent hours out of the day conked out in a stroller.
I went to Disneyworld for the first time when I was about 11, back again when I was 16, and a couple times more as an adult, without kids. I had great fun each time. At 16, we also sailed on a Disney cruise, which I probably I would have enjoyed more if I had been a different kind of kid. They were very into organized activities for the kids, wanting me to hang out in a teen lounge and be part of their "teen calypso cruise!!!" <-- always said with intense enthusiasm. All I wanted to do was bake on deck with a novel and an ice-cold Coke. My brother, who was young enough to be part of their kids' program instead, had an awesome time. He was go, go, go from morning until night.
We went to Disneyland Paris over Christmas 2011. Amelie was just over 3 when we went.
It was absolutely magical, but some things were problematic, and I now wished we had waited until she was older to go because it cost us an absolute bomb.
We were advised before we went to bring a pushchair for Amelie. Now, she'd been walking since she was 13 months old, so I was a little bewildered at the suggestion to say the least. But when we got there, it was an absolute godsend! The park is absolutely massive and 3 year olds tire out quickly, so it was a total blessing. If going with a child under 5 I definitely suggest bringing a pushchair/stroller.
It was absolutely freezing when we were there so I wouldn't go at Christmas time again, I believe it was -3 celcius during our trip which simply wasn't practical. In the evenings, it was so cold that Amelie often cried she was so cold. The Christmas decorations were truly magical, though, and the snow just made it more wintery.
The parks were beautiful but having little lady with us, we spent the majority of our trip in Fantasy Land, which is the princess themed park. Her favourite rides were Peter Pan, Dumbo, and Its a Small World. She was scared of the Pinnochio ride, so we only went on that once.
We stayed in the Sequoia Lodge, which was in Disney Village. I was very apprehensive about staying there because it was the second cheapest of the available accommodations in the village, and I thought it might have been horrible, what with it being on the lower end of the price scale. But it was all we could afford. My fears were for nothing. It was stunning! The hotel was basically a massive log cabin overlooking a lake, with massive fireplaces all over with roaring fires. Beautiful considering we went at Christmas time.
The food was absolutely crap, very fast foody, nothing really substantial to be found besides pizza and fries.
If we were to back we would wait until the new baby is at least 6 years old, making Amelie around 10. She was a bit too young to really appreciate the experience, and we realise that now.
I don't think there's such thing as being too old for Disney, it makes me warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about that holiday.
Sorry for my mini essay, hope that helped :) x
I went to Disney World (in Orlando FL) when I was 9 and am disappointed to say I hardly remember it, but from pictures and stories apparently loved the trip. I would still rather have gone when I was older, maybe 11 or 12, even into my young teens, because I wish I remembered more, but I don't think there's ever a bad time to go. It's so much fun and kids love it. :) Unfortunately I know nothing about the parks in Australia, but I'm sure you'll figure out what's best for your family when the time comes and you have a better grasp on all the different factors like how much you and your partner want to spend and how much standing/walking your kiddos can tolerate.
I wanted to go to disney land in Hong Kong but my mum saw the prices and decided no. We have been to most of the Queensland theme parks and we are going to Malaysia and Singapore and going to legoland there and seeing the orang-utans somewhere. I'll go myself one day. keep in mind that we live three hours out of Perth with no where near us so even Queensland is significant for us.
1. I went to Disneyland Paris aged seven. I barely remember it but it was a good starter trip as it wasn't too far from home and we didn't have to fly there.
2. I went to Disneyworld Orlando aged eleven. This was my first flight and it was ten hours, definitely not something you want to do with a child younger than eight or nine. I remember it, but I've been back four times since so that helps. I definitely enjoyed it :)
3. I went to Disneyland Anaheim when I was eighteen as part of a family holiday to Vegas, San Diego and Honolulu.
In summary, I wouldn't go more than three hours abroad with kids younger than ten because - personally - I believe they won't remember it and I wouldn't want to sit with them on a long plane flight. I've just come back from Atlanta on an eight hour flight and that was gruelling enough. I wouldn't worry about kids being 'too old' for Disney. I'm twenty six and went to Florida last year and it was still magical. ;)
It's interesting that you say most kids don't remember the experience at 4-6 yr marks. We went to Queensland and to all the theme parks when my younger brother was about five, maybe even four. It was a major trip for us as we went from Adelaide, through Victoria, New South Wales and then flew to Queensland. I was about eleven at the time and remember it quite well. But my brother being so little at the time remembers so much of that trip.
I think your age range is about right. I went to Orlando once when I was four (my parents left my one-year-old brother home with Grandma) and barely remember anything but swimming in the hotel pool. Turns out, that's all I actually wanted to do as I didn't quite grasp the concept of an amusement park and I was afraid of the people in costumes. We went again when I was thirteen (brother was ten) and at that point I considered myself "too cool" for Disney, but he seemed to enjoy it.
As people have mentioned, definitely keep the flight in mind. Australia-US flights are absolutely killer. I usually want to start crying at the end of them and I'm dreading eventually taking children on one. A slightly older child (9-10) might be easier to keep entertained/happy, given my interactions with kids on long car rides.