Three and Anxious? Good Combination for a Disney Trip?

It is my pleasure to have another guest blogger here.  Taryn shares her expericence with taking her 3 year old to Disney.  Find out how she dealt with an anxious child and how her expectations turned out to be totally different than what she thought.

My husband and I decided to take our son on his first Disney vacation last May (2012) because of course he was a big fan of Disney. He watched the Disney channel every morning and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVDs at night before bed. He knew all the characters and everytime he saw the Cinderella castle he’d exclaim “that’s where Mickey & Minnie live!” The idea of taking him on a big trip like this was a scary one, but I felt like it was going to be worth it. Not only was he only 3 years old (he actually turned three a few days after we returned from the trip), but he was also a very anxious child (and still is actually)! I remember a few weeks before the trip laying in bed contemplating if we should just cancel the whole thing and cut our losses (our flights were non-refundable).

TarynHowever, I decided that if we were going to go on this trip that I needed to be prepared as possible. I did a TON of research (bought books, read up on Disney online), planned out every little step to make sure it went as smooth as possible (through Touring Plans), and read A LOT of Disney blogs. I felt comfortable knowing that I did all that I could to make the trip a success and that the rest would be up to him! Sure enough… our trip WAS a success, but not in the way I thought it would be.

Turns out I didn’t know my son as well as I thought I did. His favorite attractions at Disney World were: swimming in the quiet pool at Coronado Springs, Disney Junior LIVE! On Stage in Hollywood Studios, Finding Nemo – The Musical in Animal Kingdom (which honestly we weren’t even planning on seeing, but a big storm pushed us right in and it was his favorite! I was worried he wouldn’t be able to sit through it but he was MESMERIZED!), seeing all of the animals at Animal Kingdom (Kilimanjaro Safari, but also – Pangani Forest Exploration & Maharajah Jungle Trek) & the Dream Along with Mickey stage show in Magic Kingdom.

I thought for SURE he’d love the rides, but most of them made him really nervous. He liked Toy Story Mania the first time (but started to get anxious the second time around), Kali River Rapids sent him Taryn2into a panic attack after being drenched (poor thing was the ONLY one wet… and he got DRENCHED), he was upset that Donald was throwing things at him during Mickey’s PhilharMagic and Peter Pan’s Flight terrified him because we were “flying too high.”

I think the moral of the story here is that you can be prepared as you want, but kids will be kids. You can never be exactly sure what they will enjoy and won’t, so try different things and be ready to comfort them if you need to! Even though he had a couple “not so great” experiences he absolutely LOVED the trip as a whole and still has been begging us to go back. He even started his own piggy bank savings so he can help pay for our next trip! I’m glad we went and wouldn’t have changed a thing!!

About me: My name is Taryn Lau.  I am a SAH Mom blogger.  I have been a SAH Mom for the past four years and am Disney obsessed! My son shares my passion, but we are working on turning my husband into a Disney fanatic as well. I’m sure we can break him! 🙂