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Old 01-04-2013, 10:27 AM   #16
kim_o
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I've done it with 3 kids, ages 6, 5, and 3 before and it was unexpectedly good. Granted, I was with my family for most of the trip, but I did take the kids by myself one day to the parks. I've also flown with the 3 of them on my own before. The older two could really help out - carrying luggage, etc.

At the park, it was explained and understood, that there was 1 of me and 3 of them, so we would have to really act like a family unit. This meant that if one person couldn't/didn't want to ride then we weren't riding that ride - no questions, no whining, or we were leaving the park. We didn't have one incident in the park, since they understood that ahead of time.

Luckily my kids are very understanding and definitely not runners. It was a very pleasant and fun experience - even more so than going with others because you didn't have all of these wants and needs trying to be met at the same time. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again - even a trip on my own. But only you really know your girls. Will the understand and follow the rules you set forth for them? Are you willing to leave the park or have a time out (i.e. sit on a bench somewhere for awhile) if it's not working out?
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:07 PM   #17
Leajess99
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Originally Posted by Belle74 View Post
I need to clarify... I've been planning on taking my twin girls (who will be turning 5) to Disney for their birthday in May. Originally I was going to bring grandma also but she's been butting heads with me over the trip.

I'm willing to try going on my own alone with the girls but I'm scared stiff of a few things... 1) that someone will get away from me (ie I have runners) and 2) that someone will want to ride a ride and someone won't or will be too scared.. 3) getting anywhere with them plus our luggage.. and heck going on a plane ALONE with my kids..

I wish that I could do this trip (heck any trip) with their Dad but he passed away almost 2 years ago so it's always going to be tough but I want to make this one special and I can't if I'm so stressed out..

So has anyone done Disney alone with kids or should I start recruiting for Grandma's replacement or keep working on getting Grandma to go with us?

TIA
If they are "runners" than maybe look at a backpack type harness just to help you keep them close. My youngest did this first trip as she too was a runner. I actually offered her a choice and she chose the harness. It helped her feel safe too and no one said one wrong word to her. We actually had people asking where we got it at. Being our first trip I had only read horror stories on how busy WDW was and had not yet found the Disboards.

I would still recommend trying to get grandma or someone to go as well though. Some rides are only designed for 2 people and they still need an adult with them to ride. Also, if one wants to go on Big Thunder Mountain and the other doesn't than you are left with a possibly upset kid.

I'm sorry for your loss but I bet you are doing a great job with the girls.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:20 PM   #18
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I'm going alone with my two oldest kids in October. ODS will be 7yo in Aug and ODD will be 7yo in Nov (both in K). They had a great program on stranger danger in pre-K last year and it really got them thinking about being safe when we go out or people come to our house (don't open door to strangers, don't give out personal info, etc.). I think you should try to find something similar, maybe a book or video to introduce why it's best to stay with a parent. Also, do lots of practice between now and then to end the running. Take them out on errands and give rewards for showing the behaviors you want--not running, staying near a parent, etc.

Don't forget a little bribery can work wonders as well. We took our older kids at 2.5yo but I didn't want to deal with diapers on a second trip. I told my kids the next Jan they had to potty train completely to go that May, and they trained by March.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #19
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I have twins that were serial runners. I'm planning to take them to WDW in May and really don't feel that concerned about doing it on my own. But I would get the running away habit stopped before attempting to do so.

I would sit down for a frank discussion about how dangerous running away is. That frank discussion stopped my children from running away. I think I would explain how if they continue to run away, it would either (1) make the WDW trip frightening because of how difficult it is to find someone in the large crowds or (2) make the WDW trip impossible.

If you don't want to threaten the lose of the trip, what I started doing, is giving them a choice: stay with mom or use those backpack harnesses in the shape of monkeys, bears, etc. If they chose to run off, then they needed to wear a backpack harness designed for a 1 year-old to ensure their safety. If they didn't want to wear the backpack harness, then they needed to stay with me.

I would start PRACTICING staying with mom NOW, so they will be safe at WDW. I would implement immediate consequences every time they run off, whether the consequence is immediately leaving the establishment, putting on a backpack harness, etc.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:07 PM   #20
Belle74
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Originally Posted by jdcthree View Post
Then perhaps you shouldn't ask for opinions on what to do. If you want to take your kids to Disney and let them run away from you, go for it.

Edited to add: By the way, I wasn't trying to offend you. I gave my honest opinion and I wasn't rude to you in the least. No need to be snarky.
Sorry... but you really hit a nerve... They don't run as much as they used to.. but I'm just worried about their excitement level and that they will basically run or wander off because they get so excited. I have been telling them for a while now that they need to stay with me since I would be very sad if they disappeared or someone took them from me and they might not see me again.

Did you also lose a spouse and that's how you know what I'm going through?
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle74

Sorry... but you really hit a nerve... They don't run as much as they used to.. but I'm just worried about their excitement level and that they will basically run or wander off because they get so excited. I have been telling them for a while now that they need to stay with me since I would be very sad if they disappeared or someone took them from me and they might not see me again.

Did you also lose a spouse and that's how you know what I'm going through?
Any particular reason why I'm the only one you have a problem with? There are plenty of other responses you could take issue with, but you haven't. I'm not in a hurry to share any personal details about my life after your rather rude comment to my harmless post. If I hit a nerve by suggesting you shouldn't take your children alone because they run away from you, maybe deep down you know it's not a good idea. This is why I usually stay away from these kinds of threads...
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:56 PM   #22
Belle74
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Any particular reason why I'm the only one you have a problem with? There are plenty of other responses you could take issue with, but you haven't. I'm not in a hurry to share any personal details about my life after your rather rude comment to my harmless post. If I hit a nerve by suggesting you shouldn't take your children alone because they run away from you, maybe deep down you know it's not a good idea. This is why I usually stay away from these kinds of threads...
Then why did you respond in the first place? It may be a moot point anyway since my mom is starting to come around and is possibly going to be coming now..

and you mentioned the connection (possible loss of spouse for you from your original post back to me).. I was just making conversation...

(from my daughter Lily)
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:01 PM   #23
Belle74
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Originally Posted by Leajess99 View Post
If they are "runners" than maybe look at a backpack type harness just to help you keep them close. My youngest did this first trip as she too was a runner. I actually offered her a choice and she chose the harness. It helped her feel safe too and no one said one wrong word to her. We actually had people asking where we got it at. Being our first trip I had only read horror stories on how busy WDW was and had not yet found the Disboards.

I would still recommend trying to get grandma or someone to go as well though. Some rides are only designed for 2 people and they still need an adult with them to ride. Also, if one wants to go on Big Thunder Mountain and the other doesn't than you are left with a possibly upset kid.

I'm sorry for your loss but I bet you are doing a great job with the girls.
Thank you.. I do have backpacks with leashes... need to find them. My mother might be coming around on going with us... so this whole thread might be a moot point.

Thank you for your advice.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:05 PM   #24
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Your kids are going to be 5 and you're worried about them running? Wow.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:10 PM   #25
Belle74
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I'm going later this month with my younger two--just the three of us. I'm setting my expectations and guidelines NOW--not waiting until we get there. That means that they know, way ahead of time, that we're going to stick together. They are going to alternate who "gets to pick" each day. So, if it's DS6's day, he gets to sit next to Mom if only one child can. With a few exceptions, like Dumbo, we'll either all ride, or nobody rides. And I'm 1000% clear that bad behavior will result in punishment (i.e., timeout on a bench, a trip back to the hotel, etc.).

It wasn't clear from your post, but aren't you raising these girls alone? I'm kind of surprised you don't already have expectations firmly in place. Age 5 is kind of old for kids to be running off from a parent. You seem a bit defensive, so let me be clear--I'm not trying to criticize. I just think you should work on these behaviors and your parental expectations way in advance of any trip--it'll make your life much easier.
Hi there, I do have expectations for behavior but Disney is much bigger than say the local park and I can usually see them and keep them in my sights.. I'm more afraid of them being so caught up in the excitement that they would wander off or lose me in the crowds..

I have lots of help at the moment with my girls.. my mom picks them up most days from daycare while I am at work and then I meet them at our apartment or at her house but most of the time it's me doing a majority of the raising.

Thank you for your advice.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:11 PM   #26
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I have done disney by myself with my 4 girls. They were 5,3,2 and 3 months. My five yr old was great and was a big helper.

For you I would use a stroller to help keep one from running away. Plan ahead for the rides. Make custom maps and allow them to pick rides and discuss what they want to do. Maybe even compromise too. If A wants to do a ribe and B doesn't maybe they would be willing to do it and A does the favor in return. For the aiport and luggage get each of them their own suitcase with wheels so they can help too. Talk to them and let them know the rules. Also safety rules too for the just incase. If one does get lost find a CM and give them mommys cell number. I know taking trips alone can be intimidating but after words I have always surprised myself and we have had a great time. If you and grandma are going to be butting heads on what happens you won't have any fun. You can do it. And you and your girls will have a great time and make wonderful memories.
Thank you these are great ideas... I hope to implement them.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:11 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Belle74

Then why did you respond in the first place? It may be a moot point anyway since my mom is starting to come around and is possibly going to be coming now..

and you mentioned the connection (possible loss of spouse for you from your original post back to me).. I was just making conversation...

(from my daughter Lily)
You don't seem to get it. I'm done.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:20 PM   #28
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Some rides that only sit two will sometimes let a younger child ride solo in the car immediately in front of or behind the adult they are with. I did the MK with my kids (almost 2 and 4 1/2) and my 4 yr old was able to ride in her own elephant on dumbo as long as ds and I were in the one immediately in front of or behind her.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #29
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I have traveled alone with my boys several times over the past 2 years and they are now 6 and 3. I would rather go alone than take someone who doesn't want to go or is not on the same page as you. The extra set of eyes isn't worth the headache, of trying to keep grandma happy.

Here are the lessons I have learned. First, it is always better to leave 30 minutes early than 10 minutes late. Don't let them get over tired and don't let you get over tired either. I wouldn't do a trip alone with out a stroller. Even if it is parked most of the day, getting to the car at night with two tired kids is a nightmare.

The other thing to think about and make plans for is eating. You must feed the kids before they are hungry. We drive so I usually pack most of the food we need and then do some cooking while we are there. On our first trip solo, I decided I didn't want to be bothered and we would do CS in the parks. Well, after one day of both kids waiting in line for lunch and then trying to find a place to sit, I stopped at the grocery store and stocked up on sandwich fixings for the rest of the trip. That way, when it is lunch time I can pull them out and we can sit and eat, this elliminates standing in line at least once a day.

Although table service meals sound like a good idea, I have found that buffets are not my friend. Keeping track of the kids is a hastle and it is hard for me to get enough to eat before they are done. Even with PS, it is not uncommon to wait 20-30 minutes and that is a long time when you are alone with young kids.

My favorite option is to do car side to go on the way back to the room for dinner somewhere.

One other consideration, my kids are swimmers. My 6 year old was on the swim team last year, and although he needs supervision, if he is out of sight for a minute or two, I'm not going to panic. We can do water parks just fine together. If you don't have strong swimmers, I'd pick a resort with a smallish pool where you can keep track of both kids at once and I'd avoid the waterparks all together. If not then you need to make sure they are confident in life jackets before your trip.

It is do able, but it is exhausting. Smart "solo" travelers ensure the kids are back to school one day before you have to go back to work so you can recoup from your "vacation"

Good luck
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:38 PM   #30
Belle74
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I have traveled alone with my boys several times over the past 2 years and they are now 6 and 3. I would rather go alone than take someone who doesn't want to go or is not on the same page as you. The extra set of eyes isn't worth the headache, of trying to keep grandma happy.

Here are the lessons I have learned. First, it is always better to leave 30 minutes early than 10 minutes late. Don't let them get over tired and don't let you get over tired either. I wouldn't do a trip alone with out a stroller. Even if it is parked most of the day, getting to the car at night with two tired kids is a nightmare.

The other thing to think about and make plans for is eating. You must feed the kids before they are hungry. We drive so I usually pack most of the food we need and then do some cooking while we are there. On our first trip solo, I decided I didn't want to be bothered and we would do CS in the parks. Well, after one day of both kids waiting in line for lunch and then trying to find a place to sit, I stopped at the grocery store and stocked up on sandwich fixings for the rest of the trip. That way, when it is lunch time I can pull them out and we can sit and eat, this elliminates standing in line at least once a day.

Although table service meals sound like a good idea, I have found that buffets are not my friend. Keeping track of the kids is a hastle and it is hard for me to get enough to eat before they are done. Even with PS, it is not uncommon to wait 20-30 minutes and that is a long time when you are alone with young kids.

My favorite option is to do car side to go on the way back to the room for dinner somewhere.

One other consideration, my kids are swimmers. My 6 year old was on the swim team last year, and although he needs supervision, if he is out of sight for a minute or two, I'm not going to panic. We can do water parks just fine together. If you don't have strong swimmers, I'd pick a resort with a smallish pool where you can keep track of both kids at once and I'd avoid the waterparks all together. If not then you need to make sure they are confident in life jackets before your trip.

It is do able, but it is exhausting. Smart "solo" travelers ensure the kids are back to school one day before you have to go back to work so you can recoup from your "vacation"

Good luck
Thank you this is all great advice. I totally need to get my girls into some water and teach them some basics for swimming.. and hope that the hotel (leaning towards All Stars Music) has a kiddie pool area.. I think I have some life jackets that we can bring just in case.

Your last point is something that I am definately doing since we are leaving on a Sat and returning on the Wed. Send them back to daycare on the Th and Fri and I'll be home alone to take care of laundry, getting situated and recouped.
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