This past summer when we announced we were taking our yet to be year-old daughter with us on our annual Walt Disney World Resort vacation we got the standard excitement, but we also got a lot of questions from others. Why were we bringing someone so young? After all, she would have no clue what was going on, where she was and in a lot of ways, not even care. Maybe they had a point. But I didn’t see it that way. There are so many reasons why you absolutely SHOULD bring your under the age of 2 child with you.
So here are a couple of reasons why I think you should bring a baby with you:
1. They are absolutely free:
Let’s start off with the fact, that for the first three years of their life, they are absolutely free. Free to stay and free to get in to the parks. Why not take advantage of this while you can? Besides if this is your first kid, it may mean this is your first chance to vacation as a family. Or if your adding on to your bunch, it is the first time as a family of four or more. I don’t know about you, but leaving one kid behind makes me feel like I am missing something, like the vacation is incomplete.
2. It makes you slow down and enjoy the magic:
One of the things I had forgotten about bringing a tiny one on a Walt Disney World Resort vacation is the fact that by doing so, you get to slow down and enjoy the other side of Disney magic. Don’t get me wrong, I love Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Expedition Everest just as much as the next person. But we often find ourselves rushing from one attraction to the next without stopping to enjoy any of it. When was the last time you truly stopped to enjoy that Dole Whip everyone raves about? Or sat down on a curb to enjoy a parade from a toddler’s perspective? Because when you do, man you find how truly amazing the place is. And I’ll be honest and admit some of my most favorite memories have not been riding a roller coaster for the umpteenth time, but when we are stopped and just soaking it all in.
3. Because that picture of your child screaming in the middle of Main St. U.S.A, or while meeting Mickey will become your favorite vacation memory.
My favorite picture I have ever taken of my son is the one where he first met the Fab 5. He was exhausted, hungry and about a year old at the time. He had done so well for most of the day, standing in line at Epcot’s Character Spot without an issue. And then we got to where we met Mickey, he lost it. I am talking complete melt down, arms locked around neck and all. It was not how I envisioned his first character interaction to go. But looking at that photo now, it is classic. Those tears streaming down his face, reaching out to me in desperation, and Mickey, looking like the pro we all know he is. It may have been incredibly embarrassing at the time, but now we sit and laugh about it. It is also a great conversation piece. The tradition continued this year with my daughter, who teared up at poor Alice, she may not have had the melt down that her big brother had but that pout lip and turned away look while Alice talked, is pretty priceless in its own right.
4. Let’s face it – you really want to.
You are going to get a lot of people who question why you bring a baby with you. A lot of people won’t understand. I get that. But maybe you have been planning it long before you found out you were even expecting. Or maybe not. But if it is something you want to do, then I see nothing wrong with it. Besides, if you look around, I can guarantee you, you are not alone. There will be plenty of other families with babies, so no, you are not as crazy as they think you are.
5. Even if he/she will never remember, you will.
No, he/she will never remember it. They won’t remember the melt downs or the first meetings. They may never remember how they giggled through It’s A Small World the entire time. But you know who will? You will. You will look back when they are older and will remember every step of it. You will remember the magic, the memories, the smiles and the giggles of it all. If you are like me, you will remember the diaper explosions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (guilty) and how their eyes lit up on that first trip on the monorail.
And believe me sometimes, that is worth every single person who questioned why you brought them in the first place.