Single parent Disney trip question

Kbate

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Hello.

I am single mom of three little girls and am planning a trip to Disney World next September. Their ages will be 8, 9, and 11 at the time of the trip. I am also considering taking another 11 year old. I was hoping to get some input about this possibility. I have found a family suite that would fit us all, but I am wondering about seating on rides, shows and restaurants. Thanks so much in advance
 

terri33inne

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 16, 2013
Shows & restaurants you'll be fine as a party of 5... As for rides it will just depend. Pooh, the People Mover, Soarin, Star Tours, Carousel, all come to mind as ones you can go on as a party of 5. Some of the coasters you may be in the same 'car' but not seated together. Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story, Dumbo you won't be seated together in the same car, but will be close to one another. It will depend on the ride if the 8 & 9 year old can ride solo or not.

There are several options that will fit 5 in terms of hotel. A suite will be nice to get an extra bathroom. You can also book 2 rooms, and request connecting (although connecting rooms are never guaranteed, and as the only adult with 3-4 kids I wouldn't be comfortable taking that risk).

Happy Planning!
 

Kbate

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Thanks so much for the info. :) This is all quite a learning experience. I am glad I have a year to plan.
 
  • SmallWorld71

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2007
    I am not a single parent, but many of my trips have been as either a group of 3 or a group of 5. It's a lot less of an issue at Disney then you might think. A few thoughts:

    Lodging: this one can be a bit of a pain. Your cheapest on-site option, would be a room at either Port Orleans Riverside or Caribbean Beach as they have a Murphy Bed that one of the children could sleep on. We were fine with this when the kids were younger, but it can get a bit cramped. A suite at All Star Music would be next cheapest and give you more room. But, the value resorts don't appeal to everyone. You could also fit in most deluxes, a suite at Art of Animation, or two rooms. Some people also rent dvc points, but I have no experience with that. Be aware that if you opt for two rooms, connecting rooms are not guaranteed. You will be told they are, but there are many reports of those who have not gotten them. We always have, but there is no way to know.

    Dining: this one really isn't an issue. It can be a little harder to get the reservation in the first place, though. If you are not sure if you will have 4 or 5, book for 5. It's fine to show up with one less, but you can't always add on. As a party of 5, we are usually seated at round tables, half booths, or tables for 6. When the kids were little, we were also occasionally given a table for 4 with chair pulled up.

    Rides: the overwhelming majority will fit 3 across even if they don't appear to. All your children are old enough to ride without an adult, so on those where you need to split up, you would be okay unless you have multiple timid children. Rides where you would need to split up:
    7 Dwarves Mine Train, Goofy's Barnstormer, Buzz Lightyear, Speedway, Astro Orbiter and Dumbo (3 can fit on these last three with young children, but your crew is probably too big)
    Expedition Everest, Rock n Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania
    Keep in mind that on most of these you would be in the same car as the children or right in front of/ behind them. Let me know if you have questions about any specific ride.

    HTH
     

    jevs

    Boring Poster
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2013
    When we have gone to DL and WDW we've just split up into two groups for the rides. Dining didn't matter, and can't help for rooms for 5.

    Have fun planning your trip :)
     

    madvannasmom

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2011
    All above above information is great. I would just also suggest be careful in the crowds. Have everyone hold hands or at least a piece of another's clothing, or pack. Parades, shows and sometimes just park crowds can be so packed. As a single parent this was the most nervous part for me. Navigating crowds. The rides were no problem for your age range. Mine were 10 and 7. Have fun.
     

    DISNEY1975

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 5, 2008
    I am a mom of 3 kids...so there is 5 of us. We never have a problem on rides or at shows and restaurants. That wont be a problem at all.

    My concern with your situation is bringing the extra 11 year old. Is it a friend of your child's or a relative? Through the years I have allowed my kids to occasionally bring a friend on vacation with us. Most times just for a few nights, long weekend getaway, but once for an entire week. I have regretted it every single time. These kids were my kids best friends, wonderful to be at my house, their house, out together for the day, even a sleep over but once you are away, its a whole different story. Obviously I know my kids like the back of my hand. I know their eating habits, likes, dislikes etc... They are very go with the flow and LOVE to play, be outside do anything adventurous. Every friend we brought along was not the same. They could not keep up with our pace, or be at a park from morning til night. They were too hot, too cold, hungry, not hungry, tired, not tired, liked a ride, didnt like a ride and wouldnt go on it etc... The wont go on rides my kids wanted to was a big issue. I couldnt leave the child alone so it was all or none. Last year my youngest daughter brought a friend for one night to Great Wolf Lodge. She got homesick, didnt want to swim more than 30 minutes, was always hungry etc.. That was the last time a friend is allowed. I feel like Im bending over backwards to make them happy and in return, not enjoying my vacation. Im always giving into their wants over my own kids because they are our "guest". Nope never ever ever again! I hope you have a better experience if you decide to bring the extra child, but I would highly recommend not doing it if its a friend.
     
  • iamjustscott

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    I'm a single dad of two awesome girls (7 and 11) and we Disney it up almost every weekend. Our little party of 3 will sometimes encounter rides where one person has to ride alone but I believe the rule is as long as the child is 7, they can ride without an adult. Younger than that they need to have a grown up with them. Typically the coasters I end up sitting alone or I'm paired up with a single rider. I actually prefer sitting without the girls as long as I can sit in front of them so I can take pictures or a gopro video of them on the rides. (We did this back to back on Everest). I'm sure you'll have lots of fun.
     


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