Is Mickey for you? The ferris wheel at Disneyland in Anaheim, California thinks so! © AlisterC /500px

Mention taking your kids to one of the Disney theme parks around the world and the reactions can be extreme. There’s no denying their huge popularity (just a quick google to get advice can leave you feeling dizzy with the number of sites, opinions and recommendations) but there are plenty of reasons to avoid a visit. The cost, the crowds, the sickly-sweet element and ‘It’s a Small World’ on a loop can all be enough to stop families investing in a Disney experience. So, why is it so enduringly popular and – if you’re not naturally a fan – is it your parental duty to take your kids at least once during their childhood?

The expert view

If your family has any hesitation whether or not a Disney vacation is worth the time and money, there’s only one answer: YES! There’s something about walking through the gates of the Magic Kingdom that transforms everyone. Perhaps it’s the bright colours, the balloons, the song and dance (it’s hard to a put a finger on the exact reason), but the smiles on everyone’s faces will instantly convince any doubter they made the right decision. We’ve been to Disney both with and without children and it never fails to make us happy. It’s almost as if the daily concerns that exist outside the park just melt away the minute you step inside. I think you will be hard pressed to find a parent who hasn’t felt these same feelings at Disney with their kids. There’s something about that Disney magic that keeps you coming back for more.

– Family travel blogger Kirsten Maxwell from Kids Are A Trip.

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Want to investigate further? Try these helpful extra resources:

1. Travellingmom.com have advice on the best age to take your children to Disney World.

2. Disney Dose has a list of 25 Disney blogs to learn all about Disney.

3. Get the usual travel advice and recommendations from Lonely Planet’s pocket guide to Orlando & Walt Disney World Resort.

4. Our travel writer David Else has written about his experience of taking his family to Disneyland Paris.