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Old Oct 24, 11, 3:07 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Disney; One parent, Two kids

Looking for advice.

Heading back to Disney next week. Have been many times. Mrs. Flews has to back out at the last minute (work), so it's just me and our 3-going-on-4-year-old twins, a boy & girl. Both have also been to Disney several times. (So please don't tell me they are too young; I know from experience they aren't.)

Staying at the Swan. It's our property of choice. While we have enjoyed and/or been disappointed by half a dozen other WDW properties over the years, we really like the Swan's location, ambiance and facilities. We like to walk to Epcot & DS, and to many nearby eateries.

Even though the kids will mostly walk, I've pre-arranged a double stroller rental through a service which we have used before and found to be excellent. We tend to spend mornings at the parks, afternoons swimming/napping at the hotel, and evenings at either Epcot or MK - although mostly Epcot for dinner, fireworks & the short walk home to bed. (thus the stroller).

Because we've had so much WDW experience, both with and without the kids, I normally wouldn't ask for advice. But this is a first going solo.

Aside from the obvious, and tips or suggestions from anyone who's been -or knows of someone who's been - in this situation?

Thanks!

Cheers,
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Old Oct 25, 11, 6:05 am   #2
 
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I personally think renting the double stroller ahead of time may be more of a pain in the neck than anything. You are going to have to fold and unfold it every time you get on the bus, monorail, etc. and with no one to help you, you will not have enough hands to do that and hold onto your twins.

Might it be to your advantage to just rent the Disney double stroller at the entrance to the parks, thus giving you two free hands to get the twins on and off the bus or monorail? Although the Disney strollers may not be as comfortable as your own, at age 4 it's not like they are babies. They will probably spend a good 50% of the time out of the stroller anyway and comfort may not be your main concern.

My best suggestion is...can you bring someone else with you? Even a teenage niece or nephew? Your biggest need is just another pair of hands.

Or, you might want to switch to a monorail hotel (GF, Contemporary or Polynesian). Being on the monorail line might be more convenient for you in the long run.

Perhaps you might want to dial the trip down and only do one park, or maybe just the Animal Kingdom...or even spending the day at Downtown Disney is great fun, and the hotels are an experience on their own. Is this a two day trip or an eight day trip? That matters. The longer it is, the more difficulty you are going to have.

And I once did the Magic Kingdom on a cold February morning with a 5 yr old, 4 yr old and 8 month old all by myself, with a double stroller brought from home. Wasn't fun, but I did it.

Good luck and have a great time!!
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Old Oct 25, 11, 10:24 am   #3
 
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I would stick with the stroller rental if you have kids that aren't runners.

I used to go to Disneyland with my kids by myself a lot when they were little. Many "slower" rides allow three in a seat, but if they didn't I put the kids together and sat directly behind them. Behind is much better than in front as I could see them the whole time and they knew it.
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Old Oct 26, 11, 7:35 am   #4
 
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Thanks both of you. Yes, I will stick with the rental stroller, as it has always worked perfectly in the past. And as I say, our experience has shown us the Swan is the best location for our needs. We thought about bringing someone to help, but that's not an option this trip.

It's an eight day trip, so we have lots of time to prowl around.

The suggestion about sitting behind is interesting - my first thought was I would sit in the one ahead so I could get off first and assist the kids when it's their turn to get off. Of course there are Disney staff for that too. Maybe I will try both.

Cheers,
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Old Oct 26, 11, 9:17 pm   #5
 
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Red face

I think you have a great plan!
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Old Oct 28, 11, 12:20 pm   #6
 
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Might want to give some more thought to the swimming. Its going to be hard for you to police two little ones in the pool. You might want to buy a swim vest like this. That will give the kids some more freedom to jump around without you trying to have 20 foot arms.

Start looking at the heights. 40" for Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, etc. I think Disney has a good webpage for telling you the height restrictions per ride. You may want start planning out what rides you can hit and which ones you have to avoid because of height or you can't get all three of you on.

Because of the potential ride problems, you might want to focus on shows and parades. That way everyone can enjoy the fun.

I think Animal Kingdom should be a must, maybe a character breakfast at the Tusker House. There are some good shows there that would work well with a single parent trying to keep two kids engaged (Nemo, Lion King, etc)

Spend some time at Disney Moms forum and search for single parent. You'll find lots of good advice.

Hollywood Studios should be an option for Disney Playhouse Live and Little Mermaid shows (assuming it has reopened by then).

You might want to consider a side trip to Seaworld. Lots of shows for the kids to get into. They can feed and touch dolphins and little stingrays. The dolphin show there is great as well as the whale show. There is an otter and seal show that is good too.

IMHO, focusing on the shows will be the best way have fun as a group without you pulling your hair out.

I think those are great ages by the way! Just took my 3 and 5 year old for their second trip. Perfect ages to enjoy the characters!
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Old Oct 30, 11, 6:27 am   #7
 
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Thanks for more thoughts. Swimming is thought through thanks, my guys are pretty good swimmers for their ages. We'll also be supported by floation devices. There is also a kiddies pools for just splashing around.

We will get to AK. We spent a week last year at AKL. The kids enjoy animals of all kinds, although seeing live animals are kind of old hat for them. We live in the country in Canada, so we literally have deer, rabbits, coyotes, wild turkeys & bear living in our back yard.

Kids are big fans of parades, musical performances, so we'll being do a lot of that too, especially the Epcot fireworks each night. I am terrified of roller coaster-type rides, so that's not an issue. We'll stick to the T Cup and flying Elephants!

Looking forward to checking out the Disney Moms link.

Cheers,
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Old Nov 4, 11, 8:35 pm   #8
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How old are the kids? If you have quite a bit of experience, then you will navigate well..

I've got a 6 year old and 1 year old, so if I did a solo trip, its doable, but my 1 year old still breast feeds..

Definitely follow a routine each day.. keep it systemic.. keep the bedtimes intact.. and you won't have a problem keeping the kids busy throughout the day..
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Old Feb 5, 12, 7:01 am   #9
 
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Just thought I'd report back we had a fantastic time. The Swan, as usual, was perfect in terms of value, service, facilities & location. While there were a few rides we couldn't do together, none of them were suitable for the kids anyway. I can now recite the Nemo song by heart, have dreams about Figment and can't wait for our return!

In fact, we've already rebooked for Apirl. Kids' birthday(s). This time we're bringing Mommy!

Cheers,
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Old Feb 5, 12, 3:22 pm   #10
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Thanks for reporting back! Great you had such a good time and mom will get to enjoy this time as well.
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Old Feb 6, 12, 8:44 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flews View Post
Just thought I'd report back we had a fantastic time. The Swan, as usual, was perfect in terms of value, service, facilities & location.
Awesome. Great to see that your trip went well.

I'll be heading to Orlando the first weekend in March with my daughter, though she is 16 and wants to do Universal rather than Disney. And unfortunately, mom can't make this trip We will be meeting up with some of my brothers/sisters and their families in Oct. for a big Disney excursion and staying at the Swan/Dolphin. (I'm hopeful mom will make this trip with us.)
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Old Feb 6, 12, 11:10 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flews View Post
Just thought I'd report back we had a fantastic time. The Swan, as usual, was perfect in terms of value, service, facilities & location. While there were a few rides we couldn't do together, none of them were suitable for the kids anyway. I can now recite the Nemo song by heart, have dreams about Figment and can't wait for our return!

In fact, we've already rebooked for Apirl. Kids' birthday(s). This time we're bringing Mommy!

Cheers,
Familiar places and routine, knowing that it shall satisfy always does the trick.. I'm glad to hear everything worked out and you had a fantastic vacation.
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Old Mar 4, 12, 2:34 pm   #13
 
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So glad you had a great time!

I first took my kids without my husband when they were 4 and 6 (they also had been several times by then!), and stayed at the AKL. It was spectacular.

I also like the Swan, especially for the location, and have been a few times with my kids (and no husband, poor guy has to work). Matter of fact, for every 2 times I've been without him, he's come maybe once? I just love how easy it all is there with kids!
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Old Mar 5, 12, 5:25 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by happymommy View Post
So glad you had a great time!

I first took my kids without my husband when they were 4 and 6 (they also had been several times by then!), and stayed at the AKL. It was spectacular.

I also like the Swan, especially for the location, and have been a few times with my kids (and no husband, poor guy has to work). Matter of fact, for every 2 times I've been without him, he's come maybe once? I just love how easy it all is there with kids!
LOL - in some ways, it's easier to travel solo: just one decision-maker!

Still, we're all looking forward to having Mrs. Flews join us next month. Might just give me a bit of time to relax by the pools this time...

Cheers,
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