Single Mom with a Toddler

Discussion in 'Disney for Single Parents' started by xsarachireex, May 3, 2016.

  1. xsarachireex

    xsarachireex Earning My Ears

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    I will be taking my daughter to WDW for her second birthday in September. Just the two of us! We are staying at AoA for 4 nights and plan on attending MNSSHP. We have the Deluxe dining plan (I plan on using some credits for her to have her own meals/snacks.) Anyone have any advice?
     
  2. MommyMeNDisney

    MommyMeNDisney DIS Veteran

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    I don't really have much advice, because I've never stayed at a Disney resort or used a dining plan. However, I just took my DS to WDW a couple months ago at 22 months. By the time we parked, rode the tram from the parking lot to the ferry, took the ferry to the entrance, then, stood in line to get tickets, I was already OVER IT and ready to go home. We got there at noon and left at 7p. We only used fast passes. No way in heck I was standing in a long line with a toddler to ride a 30 second ride. We used one FP to see Mickey. The rest were on rides. We grabbed quick service. The FPs ran through nap time. It was a lot. Disney cruises are MUCH easier with toddlers. They actually have activities just for toddlers and they're not during nap time. It's easy to go back to your cabin for naps and meltdown too.

    When I took DS on a Disney cruise for his 1st birthday, he oohed and ahhed the entire time. When I took him to WDW, he had a meh (no big deal demeanor). It was very tiring for me in the hot sun.

    He's so mobile, so he barely wanted to sit in his stroller. He either wanted to walk around or have me carry him. I'm glad I only brought his umbrella stroller.

    If I ever take him back to WDW as a toddler, I'm definitely staying on property, to make it easier to get to the parks.

    You're definitely on the right track staying on property. Enjoy!
     
  3. xsarachireex

    xsarachireex Earning My Ears

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    Wow.... Well I guess that makes me look like an idiot for planning a five day vacation with just her...
     
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  5. MommyMeNDisney

    MommyMeNDisney DIS Veteran

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    Oh no, please don't feel that way! My response was just MY personal experience. Every kid is different. It's also different (I think) based on gender.

    On one hand, I'm glad we only went one day, because DS didn't seem all that excited about being there and the thought of going through all that hassle just to get to the park entrance everyday was not appealing to me. HOWEVER, if we'd stayed at a resort (like some of the parents suggested) and for a few days, we would not have had the hassle of getting to the entrance and we could've maybe done about 3-4 hours a day in the park vs seven hours.

    Based on my experience, I really think you're on the right track staying at the resort.
     
  6. msmama

    msmama DIS Veteran

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    Will your toddler really stay up late for MNSSHP? I took my 7 year old to the Xmas party and, really, it was a waste of money because he was too exhausted to do much of anything - he actually fell asleep on the ground while waiting for the parade!! I'm a firm believer in rested kids on vacation over anything else, personally.

    I took my son at 2 and had none of the issues of the above poster. My son happily sat in his stroller for most of the time, though I did make sure to find time for him to get out and explore on his own where possible. He's totally impatient (still at 8) and we've never had line issues. We use our FP's wisely though and hit RD when lines are short.

    I'm also a big fan of only going as fast as the slowest person traveling, meaning, if someone (toddler, kid, grandma if she comes) is done at noon, we go back to the resort and have fun there. You don't have to be riding rides or doing something active to have fun at WDW!!
     
  7. xsarachireex

    xsarachireex Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the advice...I think that is the plan we are going with as well. We are mainly spending our time at Magic Kingdom and going at her pace and doing what she wants to do. She usually takes 3 hour naps in the midday and then we will head somewhere else for the afternoon. Our normal bedtime is around 9:30 so I am thinking MNSSHP will be alright for us. I mainly bought the ticket in hopes the Seven Dwarfs will be there. She is obsessed with them. If we only get a couple hours in there I won't be too disappointed. I am already in the mindset that we won't be able to see everything. So I am not too worried about that.
     
  8. MsMamaBear

    MsMamaBear Mouseketeer

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    The 7 Dwarfs will be there! Well, they were last year! Will you be using your MNSSHP ticket as a day at the park so your aren't buying 2 tickets?You can get in at 4 even though it says 7. That way if she is tired, at least you were there at 4 to get some regular MK time in. We left at like 10 when we went, but I was tired myself. LOL! With the dining plan, you'll have way more than enough food, especially with the Deluxe one. We usually do QS since I hate being bound by multiple reservations.

    My daughter was 3 months shy of 3 when we went for the first time. The only thing I was worried about was the bathroom because she was basically potty trained, but I HATE public restrooms. Makes me wish she was a boy so we don't have to hover. LOL! (I also brought Clorox wipes to wipes the seats off, with my plastic gloves, so if she had touched it, it'd be better.)She did well walking around and the stroller was never used. We also took a lot of time sitting on benches while walking so we never got tired until night. Once she even wore those Cinderella plastic shoes we bought in the park around and would not take them. Lord, it was a time in those shoes. LOL!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  9. Goldilocks07

    Goldilocks07 A rockin' mom and her sweet princess

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    I have taken our DD to WDW once to twice a year since she was 8 months old. Technically, if I were a kangaroo, she has been to WDW in my belly at 5 months preggo! LOL

    This year, I will newly be a single parent (WOO HOO) and doing the Disney thing with just her and I, and I cannot WAIT. She is now 5 years old.

    What kind of advice are you looking for? (And she's been to the Halloween party every year since she was born. We LOVE it.)

    At 2, my DD stayed up until midnight at the party. It was CRAZY. We were all like, holy smokes look at her go! We were exhausted, she was having the time of her life.

    As far as the party day goes, here's my advice/schedule to that:
    We do a very early breakfast to get our day started and make sure DD is tired enough for a nap. So, though we like to chill in the morning, we have a 7 something breakfast somewhere. Then straight to the pool (well, really the room first to change and get our stuff, and then the pool).
    We have lunch, then I lay in bed with DD- she knows what's to come that night and to stay up she has to nap.
    Then I have to wake her-
    Because I like to get to the park, if possible, by 4 pm. Because though the ticket says 7, you can enter at 4.
    But after nap, I get her dressed in costume, crazy hair and all (see my avatar). People always stop and tell her how amazing her hair looks- I buy glitter hair spray and use a curling iron and buy a cool tiara and voila- she looks amazing. Just like the BBBoutique!
    Then I get MYSELF dressed. Yes, I dress up also! So there's another tip- it's so fun to dress up, I never do it at home for Halloween, but at WDW I feel left out without one. I will try and post a picture.

    Here are my tips, both for MNSSHP and everything else.

    Bring ponchos. It has rained on me twice. Literally ruined the HOUR I spent on my hair. I almost cried. LOL

    Bring a change of clothing for you both (don't forget socks!), in case the costumes get bothersome.

    Bring a pair of Disney pjs (you can get cheap at Target) to change her into, in the later hours- so that when you get to the room after that LONNNNG evening, that part is done, OR in case she falls asleep before you get back. It's so NOT fun changing a tired toddler once they pass out! And she won't fight you on changing her if she thinks she's just changing into another costume. We have a super cute Jasmine 2 piece one that looks JUST like a regular costume, I think I paid $5 off the sale rack.

    Bring zip lock bags. FOR EVERYTHING. I pack a few quart and gallon sizes.
    And WIPES.
    I'm assuming at 2, she's not potty trained? If so, then GREAT. If not, pack 3-5 wipes in a sandwich sized zip lock bag and seal it. Then put that in a quart sized bag with one or 2 diapers (I did just one). Sometimes I even put a disposable changing cloth to lay down on the tables, or even a few connected paper towels should do the trick. Do this about 5 times. This way, when you have to change a diaper, you just grab a pack and go to the changing station. WAYYY easier and faster than a big ole diaper bag.

    Bring your own flat trick or treat bags. Disney will give you little plastic ones, but we are more comfortable gripping the felt style, plus it's a nice memento and she uses it on the real halloween. Keep the little bags Disney hands out when you first walk in, in case your felt ones get heavy and you need to redistribute, and put under the stroller.

    Bring water bottles- fill half with water, freeze overnight- then fill the other half with fresh water. You should have nice cold water for the most of the day.

    Bring whatever snacks for you and your DD with you, Disney doesn't mind.

    We collect the smashed pennies, so in a cute change purse (or like, a bag you get from makeup counters free gifts lol) or even a zip lock bag, start collecting quarters and SHINY (they look better) pennies. They pennies cost 51 cents, 2 quarters and a penny. By the time September rolls around you will build a nice little collection and not feel the loss of money.

    I think that's it for now- I will try and think of a few more things, and post the pic of me and the Madster all dressed last fall. :)
     
  10. Goldilocks07

    Goldilocks07 A rockin' mom and her sweet princess

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    IMG_3863.JPG

    Here we are RIGHT BEFORE it started raining. We still had so much fun!!! Especially coordinating outfits. I was "Jasmine's friend".
     
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  11. xsarachireex

    xsarachireex Earning My Ears

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    Oh wow you two were so cute!! Thanks for all the great advice!! I can't wait to go and I have a feeling she will end up staying up as well!
     
  12. loves to dive

    loves to dive DIS Veteran

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    Can't help you with the party since we didn't have that opportunity when my son was little but I started taking him when he was around 2 1/2 and I'm a single mom. You might find the ddp a bit overkill, even sharing with her that is a lot of food but only you can judge that. As far as the rest, I learned very early on to go at his pace. If he wanted to play on a bench jumping on and off for 1/2 hour, that is what we did. If he was fascinated with something and just wanted to stand there and look, we stood there and looked. This was before any kind of fast pass system so we stood in line and I never had a problem with him, even if it was a hour wait, and yes sometimes it was. He loved looking around and was a very friendly little fellow so he would start conversations with people. We never used a stroller, he hated them and that was fine with me and he was potty trained so we made lots of bathroom trips. I didn't go with the pack horse mommy mind set, I only carried a smallish cross body with some wipes since little boys like getting dirty and a little baggy of gold fish or something else he could snack on. Since we were on site, no need for the whole change of clothes thing, if he got too nasty for words or wet himself, we just went back to the room and changed. I paid a lot of attention to his moods, if he was tired and cranky we left and came back later. Even if he didn't nap, he rested and he loved going to the pool, which would put him to sleep afterwards better than anything. When we went to QS places, I made him stand in front of me or at my side and he had to hold onto a piece of clothing so I could feel him there. Same thing if we went to a buffet. I didn't make him hold my hand the whole time we were in parks but he couldn't get far from me and if it was supper crowded he did have to hold on.
     
  13. xsarachireex

    xsarachireex Earning My Ears

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    Wow, that is awesome!! I am not sure if I could trust mine without the stroller or a harness. Yes, I think Disney might make me into a Mom with a leash.
     
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  14. happymommy

    happymommy DIS Veteran

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    Hi! I'm married but take my kids to Disney more often solo so that's why I'm here!

    First trip for my kids together was when they were 2 and 4, and granted it was winter, but their usual bedtime was around 7pm or so (later for my son, but he has ADHD and although he doesn't to this day require as much sleep as my daughter does, it was best to have him rested and not overtired!).

    At Disney, I had them in the bath and then jammies by 7pm. No way they'd make it to see even fireworks; matter of fact, it was not until maybe 4 years later that they even saw them (or cared).

    I'm not sure how some kids make it so late, but you know your child best. Also, the deluxe plan is a lot of food (the regular one is too much for us - tried it once - and next August DD and I have the free QSDP again and last time we had 14 snack credits we took home in the form of bags of candy). It is a LOT of food - most meals she and I can share as the portions are huge to me.

    If you're in a Little Mermaid Room they're far from the bus stop and food court, but cute (too bright for me). The pool is so adorable looking! We walked around since we were at Pop, and the best was the Cars pool with the cute cones!

    My best advice: bring a GOOD stroller that reclines fully with a sun shade. Have her nap in it. And, be honest with yourself on how you can push the late night. Cranky kids in the morning may not be worth it. And if she falls asleep on the bus it will be hard to carry the stroller and her. I'd rather do the nap in the stroller.
     
  15. scrappinginontario

    scrappinginontario DIS Veteran

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    I've been taking my DD on my own since she was 2 1/2 and this fall will be her 15th trip! You can do it and have a blast!! Take it moment by moment and enjoy each bit! Realize there will be meltdowns...hers and quite possibly yours. ;)

    I would reconsider the DDX DP. My DD is 7 and we get the DDP and still find we have credits left over. Unless you plan to do a lot of signature dining you may find there are too many credits for you to use. One lesson I learned the hard way was a couple of times I planned our dining too close to her nap time and it was not pretty. After that I chose earlier or later dining ressies to allow her ample time for napping.

    I second taking a really good stroller. I find renting a City Mini to be a good investment as it's easy to fold up with only one hand if your DD is sleeping when it's time to board transportation. You may also want to consider taking a carrier to help carry her and/or put her in when you're on Disney transportation with a sleeping cutie. I pack an empty bag in the bottom of my stroller to hold all the little bits and pieces (hats, rain coats, etc) so that when I boarding a bus on my own and maneuvering me, my DD, the stroller and all our stuff onto the bus I can do it on my own. People often offer to help (and at times I have asked for help from a fellow traveler when she's sleeping and I have a lot to carry off the bus) but having everything consolidated into one bag is very helpful.

    Have a great trip!!
     
  16. wench

    wench DIS Veteran

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    I think this sounds like a great plan. To me staying on property is essential to making your trip more special. There is nothing quite as magical as staying in the Disney bubble for your whole trip. Just being able to send my purchases back to the hotel & not have to tote them around myself makes staying on property non-negotiable for me. And the Deluxe Dining Plan isn't a bad choice either. It's kind of expensive, but won't be too bad because you're only paying for yourself. But, you get a ton of food on that plan, so you will absolutely have enough food to share with your daughter. You may find you don't even need the snack credits. When I've had the Deluxe Dining Plan we were always too full throughout the day to make good use of the snack credits. We'd have 30 or 40 left on our last day. So, we'd load up on treats that travelled well (mostly Mickey head rice krispie treats) to take home. They make great gifts for friends & family when you get back or as a daily treat for little ones (and yourself) to help remember your amazing vacation.
     
  17. tami82

    tami82 Moderator Moderator

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    That's great I think you will have fun and you can do a lot of character meals which I'm sure your daughter will love. I know the above poster had a bad experience but don't let that scare you. Just try to go with the flow and not stress that you have to do certain things. Take a lot of breaks, and,go on the air conditioned rides when you get overheated. Don't try to push it and stay all day, you can leave early afternoon to take a break and go back later on. I have been taking my kids on mini trips by myself for the past 20 years and loved every minute of it.
     

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