Parents Are Sharing the Harsh Realities of Taking Kids to Disney World

Disney World is one of the top vacation destinations in the world.

Magic Kingdom

While many people think of it as a theme park for kids, the truth is that Disney World is a family-friendly park with attractions for every single age group! But obviously, many parents choose to take their kids on Disney World vacations, so when you’re in the parks, it’s a given that you’ll see kids nearly everywhere you go. The thing is, though, that even though Disney is known for magic, just like any vacation, every single moment will not be magical. And that’s just because no one is perfect, and no vacation is perfect! I reached out to some of the parents on our team and asked them about some of the harsh realities of taking kids to Disney World, and I think a lot of you will relate! 

The Good

Taking young children to Disney World is a little controversial for some people, but for many families, it is the ultimate goal. When you take young children to Disney, getting to see Disney World through the eyes of those young enough to truly still believe in all the magic is AMAZING. In fact, it’s almost like being a kid again yourself.


Disney World is full of incredible character meet-and-greets, shows, attractions, and so much more that we can still enjoy as adults, but nothing will ever compare to seeing a young child who believes everything is real around them experiencing Disney magic. And that is one of the most beautiful things about taking young children to Disney.

Dapper Dans

If you’re taking a Disney World trip as a family, you’re also creating memories that will truly last a lifetime. And I’m not just talking about a memory that maybe you’ll talk about on and off the next year or so, but depending on the age of your kids, this may be a vacation that they remember for the rest of their lives.

Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade

The details may get a little fuzzy, or maybe some of the smaller moments will diminish over the years, but they will remember the feelings that they had, and relate with family, for a long, long time.

Hey, Mickey!

It also may be a bucket list item for you to take your kids on a Disney World trip! For many families, parents didn’t have the opportunity to go to Disney World as kids, whether it was because they lived too far away or because of the cost. And that means that when these parents have kids of their own, taking their kids on a Disney trip and giving them an experience that they didn’t get to have as a kid is something really special.

The Bad

The unfortunate truth is, though, that, as with every vacation, not everything is sunshine and rainbows. One of the biggest negatives that we hear from many families is that this vacation can be stressful. Specifically, we hear a lot of people talk about the stresses of planning.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Now, that’s why we exist! We are here to help you plan for your Disney World vacation and keep you updated on all the latest news, but not everyone knows about us! Disney World is not an easy vacation, and it’s certainly not relaxing if you’re trying to experience everything you can in the parks in a short number of days. For some families, the go-go-go nature of the vacation may be perfect, but for others, it may be a nightmare. So be sure to keep that in mind when you’re planning your trip — is your family really going to love the parks, or will it be too overwhelming?

Test Track

Not to mention that Disney World vacations are SO expensive. We talk about that all the time here on the blog, as well as on our YouTube channel, and the unfortunate truth is that things keep getting MORE expensive. Now, you can absolutely still save for a Disney World vacation, but it may take longer than it did in the past. Regardless of whether your trip goes perfectly or if things could’ve gone better, you’re still paying an arm and a leg to be there, and that knowledge is stressful enough for many families.

Contempo Cafe

Disney World parks are also always changing! We typically try to stay away from the word “ always” here on the blog because sometimes it’s an exaggeration, but it’s really the truth that things change in Disney World every single day. And we know that because we have reporters there EVERY day! You may be planning your trip around the opening of a new ride, but then when you get there, there’s a different ride that’s closed that you also wanted to experience. Do you know what Genie+ is? Are you ready to book all of your dining reservations 60 days before your trip, knowing that your preferences might change before you get there?

Grand Floridian

Even with resources like AllEars keeping you updated day in and day out, planning your trip can be extremely stressful and daunting. That’s partly why we recommend using a travel agent, such as our friends at Mouse Fan Travel!

Disney Vacation Planner

Using a travel agent is completely free, and they know how to get you the best deals for your trip and can give you personalized advice on how to make the most of every single day while also not over-exerting yourself.

The Ugly

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, there are going to be ugly parts to your Disney World vacation. And this goes for families with kids of all ages, families with multiple generations, friend groups — the list is endless.

EPCOT Monorail

The truth is, there might be someone in your party who just isn’t a fan of Disney. *Cue dramatic gasp* Yes, it’s true! It’s very likely that there may be someone in your travel party who either isn’t a fan of Disney itself, or they’re not a theme park person, and there’s very likely little you can do to change that. Now, if they’re content to watch others have a fantastic time and that’s what makes it a great trip for them, then that’s fantastic! However, many people out there think Disney vacation is the last thing they want to do, and it’s important you don’t force those people to be miserable just so others can be happy.

Goofy and Max

This one really hurts my heart, but I see it in the parks far too often, and our reporters will say the same thing. As we said before, Disney World is not easy, and that goes for kids, adults, and everyone in between. So many times, we have seen parents push their kids too hard just because they want to have that one magical moment, meet that one character, have that table service meal, or get the perfect photo. The problem? The child is exhausted! They’re tired, hungry, thirsty, overstimulated, and a lot of times, all they need is a nap!

Olaf Statue in EPCOT

Many parents forget that being in Disney World does not mean that your child will magically not need a nap or be able to walk around the theme park all day. It’s difficult for adults to walk the many miles in Disney World each day, and kids have much smaller legs!


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♬ Disney Pictures Intro – Disney Pictures

Bottom line, if you’re a parent taking your child to Disney World, we know that you want everything to be perfect, but remember that your child’s needs should come before any magical moment in the park. Because if they’re miserable, that’s really not a magical moment, is it?

Magic Kingdom

Lastly, there will be arguments in Disney World. Even the closest family or the closest group of friends may very likely fall into a disagreement. Disney World is full of so many different experiences, there may be arguments over what is the best thing to do next, or where is the best restaurant to eat at. We recommend planning for these arguments in advance, reminding everyone in your party that one argument is not the end of the world and that what is important is solving the issue in the most efficient way possible. Often, this means getting into some AC, grabbing some water and a snack, sitting in silence for 10 minutes, and then restarting the conversation. It’s amazing what a little H2O, sustenance, and cold air can do!

Carousel of Progress is a GREAT place to unwind!

We don’t say any of this to scare you away from having an amazing Disney World vacation. If anything, being aware of these situations and problems before your trip begins likely means you’ll have an easier time avoiding them altogether! We’re always here to continue bringing you the latest Disney World news, so stay tuned to AllEars!

I had the worst day EVER in Disney World — here’s how I turned it around!

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What advice would you offer to a parent taking their kids on their first Disney World trip? Tell us in the comments!

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One Reply to “Parents Are Sharing the Harsh Realities of Taking Kids to Disney World”

  1. Something negative is going to happen during a Disney world trip–encounters with drunks, entitled guests running into you, teens cutting the lines (oh, my family is up ahead), an expensive meal that wasn’t good, long lines, waiting 10 years for your bus at 10pm, weather, etc. It’s the nature of the beast. Don’t let it diminish your joy or ruin this special time with your family and friends.