Disney has been a place full of so many magical memories for me since I first started visiting as a child. By far though, my absolute favorite Disney memory is the first time my husband and I took our daughter to Disney World.
The first time I visited Disney World, I was 2 years old. I have no recollection of that first visit to the parks, aside from photos and my parent’s recounting of the trip. We visited every few years after that first trip though, and as we grow older, many of us Disney fans seem to feel as though it is a second home of sorts.
So, when my daughter was born in 2012, there were many things I was excited to introduce her to and experience with her, but top among those was visiting Walt Disney World with her. My husband and I decided to wait until she was three years old to take her for the first time.
I tried my best to prepare her for her first visit by watching YouTube videos of the various rides/attractions we would experience as well as explaining to her that characters such as Mickey might be a bit bigger in person than they were on television.
A Rough Start
Still, that first day we took her to Magic Kingdom for the first time she seemed extremely overwhelmed. Most of the rides we went on she did not seem to like all that much.
When we tried to see Goofy and Donald Duck, she refused to approach either of them to greet them or pose for a picture. Part of me wondered if maybe she just would not share my love of Disney.
For day two, we went to Epcot, and it all turned around for the better. We started our day with a visit to see Pluto, who she reluctantly agreed to meet. However, it still seemed like she was still not quite sure what to think about meeting the characters.
A Change of Heart
As we made our way around the park, Snow White was out for a meet and greet in Germany. We got in line and once it was her turn, she looked up at Snow White with this completely mesmerized look on her face. It was as if she could not believe she was actually standing in front of her.
She happily had her sign a book and posed next to her for a photo.
Later that day we made our way back to Magic Kingdom and decided to visit Minnie and Daisy. Thankfully, I had thought ahead to bring a small backpack for her, filled with little Disney toys which were a wonderful ice breaker for her with the characters. She started pulling her toys out one by one from her backpack and just giggling uncontrollably.
Her laughter and the big smile across her face just made my heart completely melt.
From that moment on, she became a Disney fanatic and was eager to go back and experience more. Of course, being a Disney fanatic myself, I was more than happy to go again and again to the parks and experience the magic with her.
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My daughter was the same way when she was 2 and 3 years old with the characters. How I got her around it was talking about the noses, hats, or some other feature of the character while we were in line waiting. when we got up to the character, the first thing she wanted to do was touch that nose or hat. It made some fun experiences and great photos!! They all feel so different, so having something to “break that ice” worked for her. Now she loves looking back on the photos and hearing the stories. I have shared this tip with many as parents of young children while we wait in line, and it has worked for all but one child that I shared with. Hope this helps!!
That’s such a great tip. Thank you so much for sharing!
This makes me think of our first trip to Disney World! It was 8 years ago and my son was two years old. He wanted NOTHING to do with any characters, except for Woody and Buzz (Toy Story was his favorite). He would take a picture with Woody, but only with his dad in between him and the character! Now my son is 10, and in November will are taking our 2nd family trip to Disney World! And we now have a daughter in our family – she is six years old and she’s so excited to meet the princesses and other Disney characters!
Aw, what a nice memory of your son’s first visit. That sounds exciting, it’s such an amazing experience to see your child’s face light up when they meet characters that they love. I hope your family has a wonderful trip in November!
Love this. Taking my 4 year old and 2 year old for the first time in December (been to Paris but WDW will be so much bigger and longer). Love the bag idea with toys – what type of toys did you put in there? Thanks.
Over the years we have brought different items such as toys, stickers, paper, crayons, etc. But for that first visit, I packed her toddler size back pack with a dress up Minnie doll, small figurines of Mickey and friends, etc. I hope you enjoy your trip in December!
That’s great. Thank you very much.