Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Disney Tip of the Week

OK peoples.

It’s time for another tip.

This is is focusing on traveling with little ones. Now, before you get excited, I’m not talking about infants and toddlers. I’ve never traveled with either to Disney World and I personally discourage it. But, that’s me. I’m the mama that was relieved when my daughter turned 3 because she was not so dependent on me any longer to do things for her.

I’m talking about the age from about 4-8.

First of all, I highly recommend you either bring your own stroller or rent a stroller.

If you bring your own stroller, you have the freedom of having the stroller from your hotel room to the bus (or car depending on your mode of transport), from the parking lot or bus depot to the entrance of the park and vice versa. However, you have to deal with folding it up and taking it down when getting on Disney transportation including the Railroad inside Magic Kingdom (you can stroller park at any of the stops, but you have to keep in mind that you have to make the full circle of the trip if you want to get back to your stroller). That can be a pain. If that doesn’t bother you, then this is the way to go.

If you don’t want to deal with your own stroller, you can rent a single or a double stroller at all 4 theme parks. All of them have hoods and storage space. If your child is real small or young, I recommend the single stroller. If you have a bigger kid (either age or size wise), I recommend the double stroller.

When I took light of my life at age 5, I took our own stroller and she did fine. She sat in it most of the day except, of course, when we were in line or eating. It was just an umbrella stroller so we didn’t have a shade or storage space or lots of room. It worked for us.

When she was 7, we started off the trip with her walking everywhere. I had saved some money in case we needed to rent one. Well, we did need to rent one. Epcot alone is enough to justify the expense. At 7, she was just not able to walk that whole distance. I was already carrying a backpack full of crap, so I couldn't carry her.

We broke down on the 3rd day and rented a double stroller. Man, was that a trip saver. Best thing I did. I got the double stroller because she, well, was 7. Not tiny any more and needed more space. She complained a lot less and the rest of the trip was absolutely wonderful. I liked having the extra space to put my bag down while walking and watching the parades and IllumiNations. I liked it so much, we may do it again when we go next year and she’s 9. But maybe just for Epcot and not the rest of the parks. We’ll see.

Some tips about strollers.

Do not ever leave anything you don’t want stolen on your stroller. I’ve never had anything stolen but I know that it can happen. Just because it’s the Happiest Place on Earth, doesn’t mean that there aren’t idiots. Even idiots want to be happy…..especially when stealing your stuff. LOL!

When you rent a stroller from Disney, of course, they all look the same. You do get a placard that has your last name written on it and it’s placed on the back in a plastic pouch, but keep in mind that when you park your stroller for a ride, CM’s (cast members) do occasionally have to move the strollers in a more organized fashion for crowd control. In order to identify your stroller with just a glance, I advise you bring something to tie to the stroller handle. A hot pink bandana, a bow, bright ribbon, etc…..We used a bandana and it was so much easier to find.

The other good thing about renting a stroller at Disney is that if you rent one in the Magic Kingdom and then decide to hop over to Epcot in the afternoon, all you have to do is take your receipt that you got when you rented the stroller at Magic Kingdom and present it at the Epcot rental area. You don’t have to pay for a new stroller, you just go and pick out a new one at Epcot. This is because you can’t take the strollers out of the park.

Another good thing about renting at Disney, you can saved some money if you go ahead and rent for the whole trip. If you know you're going to use the stroller all 5 days you're there, you can save money by paying ahead of time for the while 5 days instead of renting on a daily basis. It's not a whole lot of money, but hey, a dollar is a dollar (you save more than that.....LOL!).

Regardless of your stroller situation at home, keep in mind that it’s not impossible to walk up to 5 miles a day at Disney. Even if your kid has been out of a stroller for years, it may be in your and your kids best interest to rent or take a stroller.

Later,

Mama Dawg

2 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Kathy

I agree about taking kids on vacation befor the age of four. I've done it too many times and it's really a lot more work than it sounds.

Boo.

Julie

I like to leave them all at home. It's much more fun that way. Last year we went to Vegas with no kids. It was so much fun we are doing it again this year. Sorry kids, no Disneyland again this year!!

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