Am I Crazy for Thinking I Can Do This?

dj-tx

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 28, 2010
I'm a single mom of 2 kids, one is a special needs child. I love WDW and I'm ready for my next trip. I have been fortunate to have been 4 times. 3 of those trips were with my son the oldest. The first two trips I was still married to his dad so I had another adult there to help. The last trip was when my son was 6 1/2 and it was just the two of us and we had the best trip ever. The divorce had just been finalized and I was not sure if I could handle two kids at Disney by myself so I only took my son. Fast forward 3 years and now I feel pretty confident that I can take both kids to Disney by myself. The only thing is that my daughter is special needs and will probably have to use her wheel chair on and off during the trip. I'm thinking of a spring 2017 trip for the Flower and Garden Festival. At the time of the trip my daughter will be 6, but developmentally she is around 2. I'm not sure how far developmentally she might progress before the trip. My son will be 10 at the time of trip and he is a huge help with his sister. Am I crazy for thinking I can take both kids alone to Disney? I was so confident about my decision to go and have been saving money. Now that I think I have saved enough and can make the trip a reality I'm starting to have doubts in myself. Are there any other single parents out there in this situation that have made the trip and survived? Also, for single parents how do you handle feeling guilty about spending the money for the trip? I feel like I should continue saving the money for that just in case emergency, but I also want to give this trip to my kids.
 

txdisneymama

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 28, 2015
I don't think you're crazy! But here's my thought ... you would probably have to have some reasonable expectations for the trip. Would your son be okay with not being able to ride the rollercoasters? What would you do if you had to take your daughter to the restroom ... would you be comfortable with him staying outside on his own? (Or maybe they have family restrooms, which would be great!) I think if you plan a more leisurely trip, and don't expect to go-go-go, you would be okay. That said, is there anyone you could bring with you? Like another family that would want to coordinate a trip with you? I'm thinking someone who would expect to pay for themselves. Not so much a babysitter to help with your daughter, but family friends who would also enjoy a trip, and could help with some of the things like trading off so you and your son can ride more rides, etc..

You are a wonderful mama for wanting to do this for your kids AND yourself! It is important to make fun family memories. Your kids will cherish this time with you.

Good luck!
 

dj-tx

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 28, 2010
This would definitely be a leisure slower pace trip. I've talked about it with my son already that this wouldn't be thrill rides and roller coasters and seems okay with that. I told him this was a trip to share something we love with his sister. I told him it is a introduce sister to the magic of Disney, fly with Dumbo, meet a few princesses and Mickey too, and eat lots of yummy food kind of trip.
 
  • jennasmommyinMS

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2006
    I'm confident that you can do this! Last year as the only adult, I took my daughter, 3 granddaughters, and a cousin--that's 5 girls, ages 8 to 13. While none of them are special needs kids, there were certainly a couple of meltdowns with that many females, but they passed quickly, and everyone had an amazing time.

    As for spending the money for the trip, well, family memories need to be made now. I don't have a high income, but thanks to earned income credit, I get back a decent amount on my taxes--and the whole thing goes for our annual vacations. Sure, we could stay home and I could keep my tax refund in my savings account, but I truly cherish the memories of our vacations. Before I know it my child will be in college, then out on her own with a career--and these days are gone. I put off taking my oldest daughter for too many years, and now she's in her 30s and is self-employed, so she can't take off of work to go anywhere with me.

    Oh, and just in case anyone is scratching their heads over my daughters and their ages, my oldest is almost 34, and my youngest is almost 14--I've been raising kids for a long time!
     

    CaoilinnsMom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 20, 2012
    Since the trip is a ways away, have you thought about saving additional money to hire a helper for some of the park time? I just though it would be a way to allow your son and you some freedom to enjoy aspects of the trip that will make it special for both of you. It is great that your son is such a help, maybe he deserves a break on vacation?
     

    sunflowerfields

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2013
    I think it would be great if you could work it out that another adult could go with you, but if not I think you are doing a great job planning your trip and that you will make it all work. There is so much to see and do I think it will be magical for the three of you to enjoy at your own pace. I wish you all a wonderful trip full of magical memories.
     
  • MommyMeNDisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2015
    This would definitely be a leisure slower pace trip. I've talked about it with my son already that this wouldn't be thrill rides and roller coasters and seems okay with that. I told him this was a trip to share something we love with his sister. I told him it is a introduce sister to the magic of Disney, fly with Dumbo, meet a few princesses and Mickey too, and eat lots of yummy food kind of trip.
    I think what you told your son is perfect! Please go and make some incredible memories with your kids!

    I never feel guilty about spending money to make special memories with my son. The only time we know we have is now. So, I take every opportunity to seize the moment. I want to create as many memories at every stage of my son's life as possible.

    I can't answer the special needs part, but I can encourage you to not feel guilty about using the money you've saved, to take great vacations with your kids.

    I took my DS on a Disney cruise for his 1st birthday by myself and MANY people thought I was crazy! I didn't bat an eye. I take care of him by myself at home, so I can certainly take care of him by myself on vacation. I'm sure the same goes for you.

    Go, make lots of memories and capture as many of those memories as you can with your camera! :)

    Strength and encouragement to you!
     

    mommysaurus

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2016
    Go for it! My son has special needs (though not as severe as your daughter's) and like you I was fine when I was saving money, etc. but got so nervous when it started to get real. But you take care of your kids all the time by yourself and know them better than anyone. You have set yourself up for success with reasonable expectations and your son seems to be on board too. I think you will have a great time seeing the magic through your daughters eyes. Go for it and enjoy!
     

    loves to dive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2011
    I agree, go for it. I took my stepdaughter and son when they were 13 and 7 and while neither were special needs it was a little bit of a challenge. Just enjoy the time together.
     

    AnnetteS

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2016
    Just do it!
    I have two kids , one with Asperger and also younger in age then he really is..and one with add..On top of that i am most of the time in a wheelchair or with crutches ..
    I would let your son do some of the thrillrides all by himself..if you wait for him at the exit and let him use a fastpass he will be fine...
     
  • Mindertaz

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 15, 2015
    I know I am late to this thread, but since your trip is still a ways away, here are my thoughts - Go. You are not crazy. The first trip I took with my two children alone (their first trip ever) was petrifying for me because of my son's Autism (he is the older of the two and at that time wasn't as high functioning as he is now). He was 8 and my daughter 6. I planned and stressed for months. The trip wasn't everything I planned - we had to make adjustments based on how he was dealing and what kind of day he was having. And you know what? It was still awesome.
    Fast forward 2.5 years - we have been back 7 more times (AP holders now) because the joy that trip brought both of my kids was unimaginable and each trip since then has been just as magical, though not without challenges.
    Could I spend the AP/hotel/food money on more practical things or save it? Yes. Should I? I don't thinks so. They are only young once. We aren't broke and have what we need - even if we aren't wealthy - in the end, the memories we make are lasting a lifetime. The time we spend planning our next trip is nearly as much fun as the trip itself. My situation is a little different because I adopted my kids as a single parent and they were already 4 & 6. I missed out on so much that making memories is important for all 3 of us. Their life before was obviously not good, so it is possible guilt that makes me do it too. But, no regrets...when they grow up, they aren't going to remember how much money is in my savings account - this is what they will remember. Why? To quote my son "Disney is our happy place".
    Also, just as an fyi - your son is old enough (if you are comfortable with it) to do single rider on the thrill rides. My son is now 10 and does it all the time, because he could ride Everest 15 times in a row (and he has). Find a spot for you and your daughter to take a break and let him go if you are both comfortable. We wait by the exit until he gets it out of his system - sometimes his sister goes with him now that she is old enough (Disney requires age 8 to ride by yourself). The single rider lines are usually shorter. It took me a while to trust my son to do it, but while I like coasters, I can't ride that many times in a row. The first time we did single rider, I waited in line with him - after that I let him go. He knows where I will be if he needs to leave the line for any reason.

    We love the flower and garden festivals - one of my favorite times of year at Epcot :-). We will be there is about 35 days.
     

    firepuppy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2014
    Go for it.... I was at the parks just a few weeks ago and sow several kids going in to the restrooms with their parents and standing by the sink or just out side the door. They also have family bathrooms for you to use. I would make sure you have down time for you to get more strength to keep up.... We know the kids say they want to keep going and yes they are the ones that really need the down time. Enjoy your time with the kids at this age.
     

    MommyMeNDisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2015
    I know I am late to this thread, but since your trip is still a ways away, here are my thoughts - Go. You are not crazy. The first trip I took with my two children alone (their first trip ever) was petrifying for me because of my son's Autism (he is the older of the two and at that time wasn't as high functioning as he is now). He was 8 and my daughter 6. I planned and stressed for months. The trip wasn't everything I planned - we had to make adjustments based on how he was dealing and what kind of day he was having. And you know what? It was still awesome.
    Fast forward 2.5 years - we have been back 7 more times (AP holders now) because the joy that trip brought both of my kids was unimaginable and each trip since then has been just as magical, though not without challenges.
    Could I spend the AP/hotel/food money on more practical things or save it? Yes. Should I? I don't thinks so. They are only young once. We aren't broke and have what we need - even if we aren't wealthy - in the end, the memories we make are lasting a lifetime. The time we spend planning our next trip is nearly as much fun as the trip itself. My situation is a little different because I adopted my kids as a single parent and they were already 4 & 6. I missed out on so much that making memories is important for all 3 of us. Their life before was obviously not good, so it is possible guilt that makes me do it too. But, no regrets...when they grow up, they aren't going to remember how much money is in my savings account - this is what they will remember. Why? To quote my son "Disney is our happy place".
    Also, just as an fyi - your son is old enough (if you are comfortable with it) to do single rider on the thrill rides. My son is now 10 and does it all the time, because he could ride Everest 15 times in a row (and he has). Find a spot for you and your daughter to take a break and let him go if you are both comfortable. We wait by the exit until he gets it out of his system - sometimes his sister goes with him now that she is old enough (Disney requires age 8 to ride by yourself). The single rider lines are usually shorter. It took me a while to trust my son to do it, but while I like coasters, I can't ride that many times in a row. The first time we did single rider, I waited in line with him - after that I let him go. He knows where I will be if he needs to leave the line for any reason.

    We love the flower and garden festivals - one of my favorite times of year at Epcot :-). We will be there is about 35 days.
    OMG, I agree with this 1000%!!!!
     

    dj-tx

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 28, 2010
    I've decided the trip is a definite go. I recently received good news from work. I am taking it as sign that we should take the trip. I am planning for the first week of May 2017. Thank you all for your words of encouragement.
     

    happymommy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 8, 2006
    I don't think you're crazy! But here's my thought ... you would probably have to have some reasonable expectations for the trip. Would your son be okay with not being able to ride the rollercoasters? What would you do if you had to take your daughter to the restroom ... would you be comfortable with him staying outside on his own? (Or maybe they have family restrooms, which would be great!) I think if you plan a more leisurely trip, and don't expect to go-go-go, you would be okay. That said, is there anyone you could bring with you? Like another family that would want to coordinate a trip with you? I'm thinking someone who would expect to pay for themselves. Not so much a babysitter to help with your daughter, but family friends who would also enjoy a trip, and could help with some of the things like trading off so you and your son can ride more rides, etc..

    You are a wonderful mama for wanting to do this for your kids AND yourself! It is important to make fun family memories. Your kids will cherish this time with you.

    Good luck!
    If your son is ten, I am sure this is not an issue! I have taken my kids solo since they were 4 and 6, and I've had them wait outside a ride many times! A ten year old would be fine waiting outside a restroom anywhere unless they have special needs.
     
    Last edited:

    madvannasmom

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2011
    I along with the many above agree that you can do this. The best trip I have taken my girls by myself was when we did not try and do everything. Enjoyed just being there and enjoyed the resort. We all agree that was the best trip. We didn't even make it to all parks. You can do this and you will have a magical time.
     

    dj-tx

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 28, 2010
    After all of the words of encouragement I wanted to give you an update - we leave for the trip in 17 days. I'm nervous and excited, but no matter what happens once we get there at least we will be together and at Disney.
     

    JR_2

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2017
    After all of the words of encouragement I wanted to give you an update - we leave for the trip in 17 days. I'm nervous and excited, but no matter what happens once we get there at least we will be together and at Disney.
    How was your trip?
     



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