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Old 09-14-2012, 09:30 PM   #1
Cheerbear
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Anyone ever do Disney on their own with a child?

I'm going to WDW in a month with DD4 and I'm starting to worry about how difficult it might be travelling solo...so I'm looking for tips and tricks from anyone who's done it before.

We'll be flying in very very late (11:30 pm arrival) and I just spoke to magical express today and they said it would take an hour and a half (gasp!) to get to AofA. So, my biggest worry right now is about the luggage and stroller - DD will probably be sleeping in the stroller, and I am not sure how I'm going to push that and pull the luggage...

Second worry is that we are only at AofA for one night, then moving to Pop for the remainder of our stay (Free dining) so - I'm worried about the move, worried that I will like th LM room much better...

Finally, I've been on Touring Plans mapping out all our days...I really want DD to get the best Disney experience, and we may not come back again for awhile as DH and DS both do not like Disney how can that be? So I'm not sure if I've overplanned everything, we also have 3 character meals reserved, DD mainly wants to see anything princessy and pink. She also REALLY wants to see Cinderella's mice so any advice on that would be helpful - I heard they are in Electric Parade at MK, but anywhere else?

So...ANY tips would be greatly appreciated! The good thing is DD is a super traveller, but I just want to make sure I've thought of everything before I leave (can you tell I am sooo type A!)
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:42 PM   #2
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Coming in so late maybe it would be be better to stay at the hotel right there at the airportr and cancel AoA. It doesn't seem like you will get a chance to enjoy it.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
Cheerbear
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Originally Posted by mommyk8 View Post
Coming in so late maybe it would be be better to stay at the hotel right there at the airportr and cancel AoA. It doesn't seem like you will get a chance to enjoy it.
Yeah, I thought about that too, but I am not renting a car so I am dependent on Disney transportation and the ME. I was told this morning that we could remain on AofA grounds until midnight of the day we check out, so the first morning, I was hoping to sleep in a bit (if that is even ever possible with a 4 yr old!), have breakfast at the AofA, enjoy the grounds a bit, walk over to Pop to check in and get our passes, etc., and go to HS. DD only wants to do princess stuff, so was only planning on seeing Beauty and the Beast show (twice) and LM ride, some characters, Disney Jr. stage, and maybe (big maybe) Fantasmic. (DD has seen it on youtube and thinks it is scary...so we're undecided right now - she agreed to see it 'just one time, but that's it!') I thought if we didn't stay for Fantasmic, we'd go back to AofA and spend time at the Nemo pool before heading over to Pop for good.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:53 PM   #4
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I would not do AoA, but would go straight to pop. If you are working around free dinning, you might have to do two reservations but they will try to not require you to move rooms if possible, and if they do, they will help you out. Other than that, you should be good. How old is your little one? I have spent large chunks of time at WDW with DS now5, but have not done a solo trip yet, but it's coming! I love time with just the two of us!
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MSSANDRA View Post
I would not do AoA, but would go straight to pop. If you are working around free dinning, you might have to do two reservations but they will try to not require you to move rooms if possible, and if they do, they will help you out. Other than that, you should be good. How old is your little one? I have spent large chunks of time at WDW with DS now5, but have not done a solo trip yet, but it's coming! I love time with just the two of us!
Ohhhhh! I debated over that...first I did book Pop for the one night, and then the Disney package for the free dining for the 4 other days but the LM room came up and it was just soooo tempting to stay at a BRAND new resort in a LM room that I had to make the change...I know I'm crazy but I just really want to experience the AofA and that was the ONLY night I could get...and even if I could get more, there's no free dining with LM rooms, am I crazy to be doing that???

DD is 4. It's our first solo trip anywhere other than the mall or something close like that, but she is my mini-me and loves everything Disney, while DH and DS both get that glassy-eyed look whenever we talk about Disney. Really wanted my mom to come with us but she turned down a free trip! I think she's done Disney too many times with me as a child.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:38 PM   #6
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you can use DME I believe the next day if you have a room at Pop. According to the transportation board, you can tell them a flight near the time you want them to pick you up the next morning after you arrive. That way you could stay close to the airport and then use DME the next morning.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:47 PM   #7
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I've taken both kids solo, and we've had a great time, but I do think getting your luggage to ME will be a challenge with your daughter in a stroller. If you stick with your plan to go to a Disney resort the first night, I would consisder paying a porter to take it to ME for you. But, I would be tempted to stay at the airport Hyatt and take ME to Pop the next day wih an arriving flight that late.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheerbear View Post
I'm going to WDW in a month with DD4 and I'm starting to worry about how difficult it might be travelling solo...so I'm looking for tips and tricks from anyone who's done it before.

We'll be flying in very very late (11:30 pm arrival) and I just spoke to magical express today and they said it would take an hour and a half (gasp!) to get to AofA. So, my biggest worry right now is about the luggage and stroller - DD will probably be sleeping in the stroller, and I am not sure how I'm going to push that and pull the luggage...

Second worry is that we are only at AofA for one night, then moving to Pop for the remainder of our stay (Free dining) so - I'm worried about the move, worried that I will like th LM room much better...

Finally, I've been on Touring Plans mapping out all our days...I really want DD to get the best Disney experience, and we may not come back again for awhile as DH and DS both do not like Disney how can that be? So I'm not sure if I've overplanned everything, we also have 3 character meals reserved, DD mainly wants to see anything princessy and pink. She also REALLY wants to see Cinderella's mice so any advice on that would be helpful - I heard they are in Electric Parade at MK, but anywhere else?

So...ANY tips would be greatly appreciated! The good thing is DD is a super traveller, but I just want to make sure I've thought of everything before I leave (can you tell I am sooo type A!)
I haven't done it before but I can't see that traveling with just a 4 year old would be that hard. At this point, it looks like our next trip will be me alone with a 4 year old and a 2 year for most of the week and the 2 year old is a wild child. I've conveniently blocked out all thoughts of that. Firstly, if your DD is anything like mine, as soon as she realizes what is going on, she will be wide awake and ready to go, regardless of the time of day or night. Stick the luggage in the stroller and let DD carry her special DW bag (or a princess doll, or whatever) while she walks next to you. Secondly, there's no way I would do one night at AofA. Yes it sounds exciting and fun but it would be easier for you to just be at Pop the entire time, not to mention what if DD is devastated at leaving the LM room? With it being your first night there, DD will most likely be more excited about being at DW than the room anyhow.
I don't know how long you are going but 3 character meals doesn't seem like too many. We did 2 when DD was 18 months and we had no issues. My best advice would just be to go with low expectations. Although she says she wants to do X,Y and Z now, I know how distracted 4 year olds can become, be ready to change your plans quickly. Have fun! I would love, love, love to take just my 4 year old to DW but I know we would both miss the 2 year old too much and be miserable. Oh, one more thing I just thought of, make sure you take snacks and drinks into the park with you. I'm always amazed when we are having a really good time and she decides she is hungry and becomes so focused on that that she doesn't care what else is going on.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:05 AM   #9
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You can get a hotel near the airport, and then take the ME early the next morning. When you make your ME reservations, tell them a flight that arrives that morning. Then take the shuttle from the hotel to the airport, and get on the ME to Pop. Seems like such a waste to go to AoA at 11:30 at night.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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I did it when DD was in K and I was preg with DS (and again when DS was 18 months and DD was however old she was...LOL)
I drove in that first time so I'm not help WRT that time...but the second time ME brought our luggage to the hotel for us. Do they not do that anymore???
I'd skip the resort change altogether for this. It just seems like a huge pain to me. Pop is great :-)
And I think it's OK to plan a little bit (maybe a meal a day?) but you'll probably find very loose days to allow for lots of variables best- or at least I do
Good luck
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:02 AM   #11
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I have traveled with DD alone MANY times.. we always do a mother daughter weekend. She is 5 now. I did travel to wdw when she was 4. IT IS SUPER EASY!!! and My DD is NOT an easy child.

My suggestion is Don't change any of your plans.. You obviously want badly to experience AoA. It will be good research for your next trip when the boys join.

Do you honestly think your daughter will remain asleep the whole time on ME ? You will be amazed at the kindness of people (and Disney Cast members) If you need something ...ASK. People actually help out with simple things like setting up strollers. Don't think that your going alone... there is always extended fellow disney lovers around to help. ( except when its crowded at a parade or fireworks.. then its all man for themselves)
You will have an amazing time... just doing what you girls want.

Have a magical time !! and don't worry everything will go smoothly.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:37 AM   #12
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My daughter and I traveled together a lot before I had my son. Dh hardly went either because of work or his condition meaning he couldn't handle it. Then we had ds and shortly after lost dh, so the three of us travel now. I have flown alone with them 3 times now. First time dd was 7 and ds was 10 months, 2nd time dd was 8 and ds was 21 months and then when dd was 9 and ds 2.5. There was just once where we had to get our own luggage because we were not going to Disney World, but a hotel at Sea World instead.

I see your arrival time is why you have to get your own luggage. I'd try to have just one bag that will roll as long as you can pack it under the weight limit. Looks like your trip is 5 days unless I read it wrong If you need two what I have done is have one large upright and one small upright I could attach to the large one and pull them as one bag. Have your carry-on be a backpack and make sure you have a stroller you can push with one hand. My motto for solo traveling is to pack as if no one will help me. So I would travel with as little as possible.

Once you get there, just enjoy the trip and pace yourselves. I love doing Disney with my children. It is such a blast.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:18 AM   #13
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Its just me and my daughter, she is 7 now, so we are past they stroller age.

This past trip she had her own suitcase she was able to pull along. Prior to that though I would always have a suitcase for myself and a duffle bag for her. My carry on would be a backpack.

I'd place her bag ontop of my bag near the handle and used small bungee type cords to hold it in place so I didnt have to worry about it fall off. And by using a back pack it was easy to push stroller and carry luggage.


Because she is so young her clothes are so little and less space is needed, which will allow for extra space and weight in your bags for any items you may buy while in disney.

You'll do great, I know it all seems a little much but trust me its much easier than you're anticipating.

Good luck
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:09 PM   #14
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I have been traveling to Disney with my daughter since she was 9 months. At about age 3 I started going solo with her. I have a blog about traveling to Disney with Children.
I get how tempting aofa is, but I would switch to just POP. I would suggest one suitcase that rolls and taking a stroller that is sturdy. I travel with a Citi Mini. Your daughter will most likely be in the stroller asleep. You can hang a bag on the bars. Then push with one stroller and pull suitcase with one hand. Trust me-I know I make it sound easier than it is, but all you need to do is make it to the bus.
I have never taken ME, but I would think that they would be helpful.

feel free to visit my blog and/or message me if you need any other help. I have gone to every park with my daughter by myself. I would suggest that unless she wants to see Fantasmic skip it. My daughter who is now 4.5 loves it, but I know it scares a lot of the kids.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:38 PM   #15
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I've done several mother/daughter trips with my daughter. Use bell services to move your luggage from AoA to Pop and put your magical express tags on the luggage so that you don't have to pick them up at the airport and they will arrive directly to your room.

It can be a little bit of a juggling act trying to get your child on the bus and fold the stroller and get the park bag, etc., but you will get the hang of it in no time. At 4, she can take directions -- like stand right next to mommy or hold onto my shirt while you are doing things like that.

I love our Mother/daughter trips. It's so nice not to have to worry with anyone else's wish list and do all the girly princess stuff together.
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