My DD5 hadn’t used a stroller in 3 plus years but I was so glad we took one. We didn’t use it during the day but it was priceless at night. That said you would need 2 or a double stroller. How important are the night time events to you? If they are a must must do, then I’d get a stroller, or accept that getting home is going to be exhausting. Afternoon breaks for me depend on resort location and time of year. I would plan your mornings and make lunchtime ADR’s and try to keep your afternoons and evenings flexible. You can make dinner ADR’s but have back up plans in case they don’t pan out.
We rented it from Main Street Strollers. We had zero issues with Disney–no one questioned it at all. We did get a variety of looks and gawks: some people obviously thought it was the best thing they’d seen, some people clearly believed us to be the devil for having it. It was kind of hilarious, actually. I know opinion is divided about them, but in reality they are about the same size as a front to back double stroller, and smaller than a side to side double stroller. People do tend to walk out in front of them, as though it is empty space, so you have to be a little careful driving them.
I may have missed it, but I didn’t see where you mentioned your resort or park-hopping. I think these are both very important parts of the calculation.
We’re at BWI and like to park hop, so extra travel time is quite minimal since we just hop back to DHS or EPCOT. But if you’re off-site and don’t usually park hop, a break adds hours of travel time in comparison to staying at the park. We’ve done that before and I wouldn’t recommend it, even though my kids liked their afternoon break (and still do, though they aren’t technically kids anymore).
We are staying at POR.
We have park hoppers but I am not sure yet in our planning on how much we will be utilizing that feature.
I’m right there with ya! We are taking DS4 and DS7. I had planned to take a big break in the middle of each day for a nap, then head back to the park for the evening. However, I looked at our schedule and any time we have a super early morning, I’m skipping the mid-day break THE DAY BEFORE that early morning and ending our day by 4 to head back to the resort to chill and go to bed early. You might take a look at your schedule and plan mid-day breaks on the days that make sense and end early without a break on the other days.
In our trips of 5 people, we stay on property and RD, eat lunch in a park, and head back to the hotel by 1:30-2pm. It is just so hot and crowded midday that I have no desire to fight the crowd, and I need a nap! lol. With that being said, my youngest is now going to be 7 on our July trip, and I struggled with the same question before making my ADRs. What I ended up with is a blend–some days it will probably be more practical to stay in the park or do some air conditioned activities, since I made earlier reservations–like 5:45. However, the bulk of our stay we are eating later–6:30 or 7pm. That gives time to leave by 1:30ish, travel back to the hotel, and rest or swim and head back to the parks at 5-5:30pm. For us I think it just helps to be able to change clothes or lie down, even if we don’t actually sleep.
I am leaning towards it may be a mix of the two depending on the day, how people are feeling, and the schedule for the day.
We stayed at OKW when the kids were little, and I have to say that mid-day breaks and park-hopping were just too much. I like your plan to power through better! Although I might end it earlier than 4-5, but either way, you’ll be wrapping it up at prime pool time which your kids will enjoy. Then a nice leisurely dinner at the resort, and ready to go the next morning- sounds perfect!
With my older kids, it’s the exact opposite- We’re doing the early starting days first with park-hopping and then we’ll have late starts in the second half of the trip so they can stay up into the wee hours- (not me, though, I’ll be back at the ranch snoozing). It’s funny how their schedules change so much, but no use trying to fight three late-rising nightowls. (Four if I count their dad).
When we took our DS3 3 years ago we felt midday breaks served us well. We stayed at the Poly and spent most of our time in MK. Therefore it was easy to get back to the hotel quickly. This year we’re going back with DS now 6 and DS2. We’ll be staying at WL and plan to take those breaks again. I’ve also built in a rest/resort day in the middle of our trip. That should keep everyone fresh in the middle of the July heat.
I always do mid-day breaks, multiple parks on multiple days.
I will concur that a resort day or lazy day in the middle of a trip is definitely a good thing to work into a trip.