Disney World needs to raise their free entrance age from 3 to 5

Walt Disney World in Orange County
Walt Disney World in Orange County / Anadolu/GettyImages

At Disney World parks a 3 year-old and under can get into the parks for free. That needs to change.

I recently had a conversation with my dentist who wants to take her two-year-old to Disney World while he is still free. I told her to wait until he turns three so that when she looks back on it, he might actually have a recollection of being there.

I'm not advocating for being dishonest and when my own child was 3, I bought him an annual pass because it was the right thing to do but charging upwards of $174.00 for a toddler to "ooh and ahh" over someone in a costume is absolutely absurd.

Let's put this into a little more perspective. If Disney wants to make more money then they should give families a reason to visit. Some families will drop nearly $10K on a trip to Disney World but where Disney is losing money is not at the gate. It's inside the parks.

A child between the ages of 3 and 5 are not going to eat a lot and chances are their families are going to bring food with them so they can snack throughout the day. A day that will also include a couple of naps.

I remember taking my then 3 year old who I just shelled out money for in an AP only to finally get on the Winnie the Pooh attraction for him to fall asleep and miss it.

The money that Disney is losing is in the form of merchandise sales. Families tend to spend a lot at the gate, a lot on food, and then skip overspending on merchandise that they otherwise may have opened their wallets for.

I understand why Disney charges 3 year olds despite the fact they can ride very little, don't understand anything more than a character, will never recall what they saw, but instead will be all cute in their parent's pictures when they recall the visit years later. "Yes, here you are asleep in the stroller during the parade" and "Here you are crying because Mickey Mouse touched you."

Disney won't raise the age of children to get in free but at the very least, they shouldn't be charging nearly full price for the tots either. Disney should, at the very least, lower the prices for 3-5 year olds to around $50.00. They probably will make more money since parents are not trying to sneak in a shorter 4 year old to pass them off as 3.

Regardless, the prices for little kids is absurd. Maybe they should base it on ride-height instead. Pricing varies based on 40", 42", and 44".