Living in Florida, for years Disney was at least a biannual jaunt. Often more.
Whenever I'm asked the best age for a kid to visit for the first time is, my answer, without hesitation is age 3. They're young enough to believe that the Magic is real and they are excited about everything, but old enough to go with the flow and understand that if they're good, fun stuff is in their future. Translation: As a parent, you get to soak in all the little kid cuteness and enthusiasm before it expires. You can see the world through their tiny eyes and it's awesome.
However, after having visited more than a dozen times in just a few years I, the mom, became saturated and initiated a "Disney Detox." We didn't visit for 16 months. Then I realized...I have a 3-year-old. This is my favorite age for Disney and Justin is missing it. I AM MISSING JUSTIN all simply because I was bored.
I made the decision to take one for the team and plan a trip complete with the three Suitcase kids and their cousins. And this 3-year-old didn't disappoint.
He raced around like a mad man, maneuvered his Dumbo elephant with gusto and swung from queue railings like Tarzan. He was a trooper whenever we told him to smile for photos even when he knew another ride was just around the corner. He tried his hardest not to touch the toilet seats or run out of the bathroom without me.
He sat mesmerized in his stroller with his mouth open as the Main Street Electrical Parade passed and waved and screamed "hi" to each passing illuminated character. He took his yellow glow stick, reached up and poked the unfazed stroller attendant at Small World right in the very ample boob...on purpose, just for the heck of it and ran away, thus mortifying his mother. We made it through three days with only one or two behavior incidents - a success if you ask me.
He ate cotton candy that temporarily turned his teeth blue for the only family picture we took the entire weekend. He ran around catching Jake's gold doubloons as if they were real treasure, ignoring the fact that they were simply round pieces tissue paper being shot down from the ceiling.
Justin gave his Mommy that incomparable "I've got a little kid at Disney" feeling that won't be around much longer. Three is magical, three is fleeting. I'm not getting any more 3-year-olds. I'd better enjoy it while I can.