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Old 04-02-2012, 12:57 AM   #1
Teknik_DC2
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Touring with an Infant

Hello everyone. For those who haven't seen my Pre Trip Report yet My wife and I will be visiting the Disney World and Universal Orlando Resorts from April 19th-28th. We will be traveling with our 7 month old Son and although my parents will be joining us for the 3 days we will be at Universal, we will be on our own with our Infant for the 5 days in the Disney Parks.

So I ask what are the best ways to tour the parks with an Infant. Yes we will be taking the parks slow and at our own pace attending to the childs needs first and foremost. However we also plan to utilize Rider Swap with Fast Pass as much as possible to maximize our time in the parks. We will try to arrive at the parks as soon as they open for the day. I think the first few hours will be the most crucial as i've been trying to run plans thru my head. Anyways these are what i've been thinking so far.

Magic Kingdom:

Really the only rides here that we plan to rider swap on are Space Mountain and Splash Mountain since Thunder Mountain is closed. Would we best starting out in Tomorrowland and banging out Space Mountain and other Tomorrowland attractions early in the morning slowly working our way around the park or should we hit Fantasyland first and foremost?

Epcot:

Having gone to Epcot last year while my Wife was pregnant and couldn't ride the thrill rides anyways I plan to follow the same routine as we did then. Having our Infant this year means we will have to rider swap only Soarin, Mission: Space, and if its still open Test Track (I guess Sum of all Thrills too). We would head to Soarin first thing, then we would go to Mission: Space and Test Track. Afterwards taking our time to see the rest of the attractions in the park. If Test Track is open still I assume we are best off utilizing Single Rider instead of Rider Swap on it.

Hollywood Studios:

I know first and foremost the priority here is Toy Story Mania first thing in the morning. So thats what we will do and then head over to Tower of Terror and Rockin Rollercoaster afterwards. Toy Story is a ride we would like to do more then once so after riding in the stand by we will get a Fast Pass for later in the day. Does Rockin Rollercoaster still have a single rider line? Some sites say yes but others don't list it as such. If thats the case I believe we will Single Rider it and then Rider Swap without Fast Pass (if we can't get more Fast Passes yet) at Tower of Terror. Pending our Return for Toy Story we would go and Rider Swap at Star Tours (rider swap is done different here then other attractions isn't it). After there we will move thru the park at our own pace seeing other shows and attractions.

Animal Kingdom:

I'm thinking the best plan here will be to hit Kilaminjaro Safari first thing and then head over to Everest. We will likely use Single Rider on Everest instead of Rider Swap and then head over to Dinoland to Rider swap and Fast Pass Dinosaur and Primeval Wirl (assuming the waits are longer then 15 minutes). Not sure yet if I wanna do Kali River Rapids (my wife for sure doesn't) but then we will likely try to Fast Pass Kilaminjaro again later in the day while browsing and seeing everything else the park has to offer. The Finding Nemo show is also on our list to see at some point in the day.

Anyways thanks for taking the time and reading this novel and for the advice you give. I know we will have a great time regardless and will enjoy our family vacation. Having and Infant just requires some additional planning which is what i'm seeking from you today in regards to the major attractions.

Thanks everybody.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:25 AM   #2
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My philosophy on traveling (anywhere) with kids is....get a really good sling or carrier (what I wished I had had from the beginning was the Ergo, though a really good mei tai is awesome as well), and...have lots of fun. Baby is generally happy being with parents, most babies love being worn up close to the parent, and then just...have fun.

Rider swap adds a bit of time, but that just gives the baby time with each parent looking around the World and seeing new, awesome things.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:57 AM   #3
khertz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknik_DC2 View Post
Hello everyone. For those who haven't seen my Pre Trip Report yet My wife and I will be visiting the Disney World and Universal Orlando Resorts from April 19th-28th. We will be traveling with our 7 month old Son and although my parents will be joining us for the 3 days we will be at Universal, we will be on our own with our Infant for the 5 days in the Disney Parks.

So I ask what are the best ways to tour the parks with an Infant. Yes we will be taking the parks slow and at our own pace attending to the childs needs first and foremost. However we also plan to utilize Rider Swap with Fast Pass as much as possible to maximize our time in the parks. We will try to arrive at the parks as soon as they open for the day. I think the first few hours will be the most crucial as i've been trying to run plans thru my head. Anyways these are what i've been thinking so far.

Magic Kingdom:

Really the only rides here that we plan to rider swap on are Space Mountain and Splash Mountain since Thunder Mountain is closed. Would we best starting out in Tomorrowland and banging out Space Mountain and other Tomorrowland attractions early in the morning slowly working our way around the park or should we hit Fantasyland first and foremost?

I would suggest doing Fantasyland first. Do things with your little one until your DS falls asleep, then swap out for the "big" rides while he naps in the stroller. If lines are long, get one FP for one of you in addition to using rider swap. That way instead of one of you riding standby and the other using the rider swap, you can use your FP for the first parent and the other can use the RS so you both go through the FP line. And that way, if say you ride using your FP but DS wakes up while you are riding, your DW can choose to use the RS pass later on in the day if DS naps again.

Epcot:

Having gone to Epcot last year while my Wife was pregnant and couldn't ride the thrill rides anyways I plan to follow the same routine as we did then. Having our Infant this year means we will have to rider swap only Soarin, Mission: Space, and if its still open Test Track (I guess Sum of all Thrills too). We would head to Soarin first thing, then we would go to Mission: Space and Test Track. Afterwards taking our time to see the rest of the attractions in the park. If Test Track is open still I assume we are best off utilizing Single Rider instead of Rider Swap on it.

Hollywood Studios:

I know first and foremost the priority here is Toy Story Mania first thing in the morning. So thats what we will do and then head over to Tower of Terror and Rockin Rollercoaster afterwards. Toy Story is a ride we would like to do more then once so after riding in the stand by we will get a Fast Pass for later in the day. Does Rockin Rollercoaster still have a single rider line? It still had Single Rider when we went in November, but it was hit or miss. The first time we used it, we both got through the line quickly. The second time I waited about as long as the standby line for SR and DH ended up choosing not to ride because I had taken so long! Some sites say yes but others don't list it as such. If thats the case I believe we will Single Rider it and then Rider Swap without Fast Pass (if we can't get more Fast Passes yet) at Tower of Terror. Pending our Return for Toy Story we would go and Rider Swap at Star Tours (rider swap is done different here then other attractions isn't it). After there we will move thru the park at our own pace seeing other shows and attractions. I don't recall the RS being any different at Star Tours than any other attraction. We showed DS to the CM at the entrance and got our pass. There is a little CS restauran or something with seating over by where they do the Jedi Training shows, and one of us would wait there with DS while the other rode.

Animal Kingdom:

I'm thinking the best plan here will be to hit Kilaminjaro Safari first thing and then head over to Everest. We will likely use Single Rider on Everest instead of Rider Swap and then head over to Dinoland to Rider swap and Fast Pass Dinosaur and Primeval Wirl (assuming the waits are longer then 15 minutes). Not sure yet if I wanna do Kali River Rapids (my wife for sure doesn't) but then we will likely try to Fast Pass Kilaminjaro again later in the day while browsing and seeing everything else the park has to offer. The Finding Nemo show is also on our list to see at some point in the day.

Anyways thanks for taking the time and reading this novel and for the advice you give. I know we will have a great time regardless and will enjoy our family vacation. Having and Infant just requires some additional planning which is what i'm seeking from you today in regards to the major attractions.

Thanks everybody.
The biggest tips I can give you are to definitely let your baby set the pace. And even if he sleeps well in the stroller (like my DS did), it is probably still a good idea to take a break away from the park during the day. They spend a lot of time in the parks either in the stroller or in your arms without much time to get down and move around. So even though most days he didn't nap at the resort, it was nice to let him get down on the floor and walk/crawl around, have a snack, and unwind and play with some toys. He was a brand new walker at the time, so this was key to keeping him happy!

Also, make sure you utilize the Baby Care Centers. They are a great place to get out of the chaos of the parks for your baby to have a meal or just get out of the stroller. The ones at MK and Epcot have full kitchens, and all 4 of them have huge changing tables, and areas for the babies to play. We found the one at DHS to be the most lacking, but the other 3 were great! There are also rooms to nurse if your wife is nursing. They were really great for us because we had trouble getting DS to eat in any of the restaurants because there was too much going on that was more interesting to him than eating! They had the big highchairs with trays instead of the little wooden ones that the restaurants have. Made mealtimes much easier in the parks!

Good luck with your trip!
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:14 AM   #4
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My husband and I took our 7 month old to the park in February and after having spent months and months planning, everything went out the window the moment we arrived. The best advice I can give is to go with the flow, realize that plans won't work with a little one and take lots of breaks! Utilize sit down shows for nap time. My daughter passed OUT during Captain EO. The CMs were kind enough to let us hang around for a few shows so she could get some decent sleep.

Also make sure you take a stroller that reclines fully. Nothing worse than a stroller that only drops slightly and you've got arms and legs hanging out everywhere. We wound up doing a lot of the mommy and daddy rides at night when she was peacefully sleeping in her stroller and we could swap back and forth without concerns of a baby meltdown. The baby centers are a great escape if LO gets over stimulated or just needs a quiet place to eat.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
My philosophy on traveling (anywhere) with kids is....get a really good sling or carrier (what I wished I had had from the beginning was the Ergo, though a really good mei tai is awesome as well), and...have lots of fun. Baby is generally happy being with parents, most babies love being worn up close to the parent, and then just...have fun.

Rider swap adds a bit of time, but that just gives the baby time with each parent looking around the World and seeing new, awesome things.
This!! Get an Ergo or a Beco. Ditch any bjorn/snugli/infantino carriers because they are painful after a few hours and you will be spending a LOT of time carrying the little one (you park your stroller in Fantasyland and then carry to every ride...it gets tiring after awhile).

Definitely do Fantasyland first, and then fast pass the thrill rides you want to do. DH and I actually only do 1-2 thrill rides per trip now because it just takes up a lot of time and really, we've done them before.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calismic View Post
My husband and I took our 7 month old to the park in February and after having spent months and months planning, everything went out the window the moment we arrived. The best advice I can give is to go with the flow, realize that plans won't work with a little one and take lots of breaks! Utilize sit down shows for nap time. My daughter passed OUT during Captain EO. The CMs were kind enough to let us hang around for a few shows so she could get some decent sleep.

Also make sure you take a stroller that reclines fully. Nothing worse than a stroller that only drops slightly and you've got arms and legs hanging out everywhere. We wound up doing a lot of the mommy and daddy rides at night when she was peacefully sleeping in her stroller and we could swap back and forth without concerns of a baby meltdown. The baby centers are a great escape if LO gets over stimulated or just needs a quiet place to eat.
I'll second this. Done three trips to Disney since kids were born (2 1/2 year old twins now) and you really have to play it by ear. We usually did save our Rider Swap rides for the expected nap time which usually worked out. Reclining stroller with sun share was vital for us!

On a semi-related note, you might want to do a search on this board for "kids night out" or "fairy godmothers". Haven't used them myself but sounds like very favorably received in room babysitting services. I know not everyone would be comfortable using a service like this but you might want to give yourself a few hours one day or evening child free! (We've brought our au pair and one of her friends the last couple of trips which allowed us to have a few hours each day to go back to our old "commando" style tourning of the parks!)
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
Teknik_DC2
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Thanks for the advice that has been shared so far. I think I have a good understanding now and a good plan of attack. As I said before of course the before the Child is our top priority and his needs will be attended to prior to any of the "plans".

It sounds like the plan of using Rider swap with Fast Pass is the best option to do the major attractions. I was curious about the Single Rider lines because I know you can get thru an attraction very quickly this way at Universal and last year at Epcot both times I used Single Rider on Test Track I was thru the attraction in around 12 minutes.

Although the sitting service would be nice we are staying off site so its not an option to us. This is our first full trip to Disney World so we will be enjoying it the best we can. We don't plan on reriding any of the major attractions that we would have to rider swap on unless the waits are very short or Fastpasses are still avalible. Any rerides will likely be the stuff we can do as a whole family.

anyways thanks again for the help and advice. I look forward to hearing more of it.
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