Monday, July 2, 2012

A Single Mom Does Disney

I mentioned on Friday that we had spent the better part of last week at Disney World.  This is the third time my children have gone; the first was a quick day trip when they were very young and we were in the area visiting family, the second, I brought my parents and we stayed for 7 days, this time, we did 4 days, one in each park, and I braved it on my own with the kids.

It had its blessings and challenges, including the weather, but overall it was a BLAST.

Here are some things that may make your trip easier if you are planning to go, regardless of whom you are going with!
  • If you are going to go by yourself, try waiting until all of your children are taller than 48 inches. This way they can ride everything. I gather Disney does do a family swap where a non-riding children can wait with another family, but it was so much easier now that both kids could ride everything... and ride they did!  The only potential issue was the race cars which you have to be 54 inches to drive. The Boy JUST made it, so I went with The Girl.  I'm sure they would have accommodated us, but I'm glad I didn't have to ask!
  • Get the meal plan!  Yes, it's expensive, but two kids' meal plans are less than one adult and if you are planning on doing any character meals, it practically pays for itself right there.  Yes, I probably could have saved and would have eaten less if I paid as I went, but it was really nice to have it all taken care of in advance so I didn't have to think about it.
  • Really think about your schedule and what times sit down dinners would work best for you.  Having just been two years ago, I knew that for us, making dinner reservations for later than normal, 7 pm, would work best for us.  We could hit the park in the morning and then come back to the hotel for a break in the afternoon and hit the pool (the pool is also less crowded in the afternoon...most people use it at night after a long day in the park) then, it's practically time for fireworks shows when dinner is over.
  • Work the meal plan... I was pleased that the refillable mugs are finally part of the meal plan, as I'd planned on buying them anyway.  That way we saved the drinks and my dessert (which can be any snack...hello fruit cup!) that came with our quick service meal (which we usually ate back at the hotel before hitting the pool- way less crowded than eating at a park) for breakfast the next morning.
  • Pack extra snacks and breakfast foods.  I brought a box of cereal to get us started in the morning and used milk I got with our lunches.  You can bring snacks and water into Disney parks and they have water fountains to refill for FREE... that said the water doesn't taste all that great so I brought some crystal lite packets with me... kept the kids drinking because boy did they look forward to the water bottles being emptied so we could refill!
  • Use the companion bathrooms.  There is usually an unisex companion bathroom next to the Men's and Women's rooms so we could all go together. Yes, The Boy is almost ten, but it still gives me chills to send  him into the big ol' Men's room by himself.  I just feel better taking him with me, but he's at the age where he doesn't want to go to the Women's room and most women probably think he's too old to be in here. Problem solved!
Okay, I'm tired all over again just from typing that all out! 
Looks like I wasn't the only single parent at Disney!

11 comments:

Tara Lotufo said...

This is a great post for anyone going to Disney! There are some great tips written that i will be thanking you for!

doseofreality said...

Could not agree more about the dining plan! And bravo to you for surviving the trip! :)

Emmy said...

Great tips and glad you had a fun time. And yes they do charge and arm and a leg for food

skoots1mom said...

Disney made me very tired when we visited 16 years ago...in fact, i'm still tired from it, hahahah!

Mommyof1 said...

Good tips! I was wondering if you went alone. I will definitely get the meal plan on our next visit if it's more than a day trip.

Pepper said...

My daughter and I went to Disney early this year, and we had a blast. It's good you all had fun, and congrats to you for making it all work out despite the challenges :)

Slamdunk said...

You have some golden tips there Single Mom. We have actually never been as a family--I did go as a child 10 million years ago though.

Erin said...

Glad you all had fun! We love going to Disney :)

Not a Perfect Mom said...

we were there last week! From Monday to Friday!

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Woo! Sounds like it was a lot of fun and what wonderful tips you've shared here. :) Well done!!

Charlotte Klein said...

Those are some awesome tips! It sounds like you all had a wonderful time together :)