We’re headed down August 7-13, my husband and I and four kids (the two littles and 12 and 14 year old) We were going to do a big family trip with grandparents but the dates didn’t work out with them and we’ve decided to plunge forward. Our plan is for my husband to take the two big kids to Universal two days, Disney with us for two days, and we’ll all have a resort day. The little kids and I will do an extra pool day, but I’m going to attempt Magic Kingdom alone with them.
I’m fully committed and we do a local amusement park frequently, so no naysayers please. I’m looking for ALL the practical tips and ideas for making our solo day seamless as possible. We’re staying at Kidani and we will have our car. I just don’t see the bus as feasible since I won’t have a second set of hands to hold the baby while I fold up the double stroller. I suppose the Minnie Van could be an option? I’d love to skip the TTC if anyway possible. I thought about getting a mobile order breakfast at Contemporary so we could just walk into MK, but I know the guards can be hit or miss for actually letting us through. Also considered getting a table service and cancelling, but that feels sort of wrong to me. The hassle of transportation and parking is my biggest hang up here. I’m not so worried about being in the park, as I understand that it’s going to be a very leisurely day. No plans for fireworks or anything crazy. I just want to make sure I’ve considered everything and will prepared (lol). Thank you!!
How old are the littles? Unless one of them is at least 7, you’ll have to stick to ride seats that fit three from what I remember, as anyone under that age has to sit with an adult. I wouldn’t count on the guard at the Contemporary letting you in with a mobile order. Why not book Chef MIckey and do breakfast? Would your kids like seeing the characters at CM? As far as MK, you could take the little kids to meet characters, see the parade.
They’ll be 5 and 1. That’s a good tip for the rides, I figured my 5 year old would have to ride everything with us. He’ll have to wait to ride his favs (Barnstormer and BTM).
I may just stick with a character meal, but the idea of wrangling my 1 year old for that long seems way more daunting than the entire rest of the day. We’re planning on Chef Mickey brunch on the day with the whole fam too!
I would recommend deciding on a few rides ahead of time that you know the 1yo can ride and talk them up to 5yo. Like Dumbo would be good as the que has a play area
Yeah, we’ll definitely have a (loose) touring plan. We took my 5 year old just before the baby was born so he remembers a lot of the rides and is so excited!
I haven’t done Disney alone with that young of a kid but I did take my 6 and almost-3 yo alone for several days. For MK I would encourage you to take the bus, much less hassle getting in and out of the parks, as long as your 1 yo can stand or even just sit for a few moments while you set up and collapse your stroller. You will most likely find that other guests will offer to help with the stroller as well if you are having any trouble. Also I encourage you to plan on TS meals, it’s so much easier with the kids to sit down and be served rather than trying to carry food, push a stroller and try to find somewhere to sit. And if 5 yo needs the potty while you are eating you are stuck. MK is a great park for your little group, there are lots of rides you can do together. And don’t forget Tom Sawyer’s island, kids love running around there, just keep them close!
Thank you!! I hadn’t considered the hassle/logistics of a QS meal, so that is excellent to keep in mind. Now to decide on a TS. For the buses, I guess I’ll have to see what the baby can handle…she’s very active but I could possibly get her to sit still while I do the stroller. Could also put her in the baby carrier which I’ll bring for lines and bathrooms.
If you can wear the baby to the line for the bus, that would make folding the stroller easier. As someone else mentioned, there will likely be another family that would help with the stroller folding. I had a stroller that I could do one handed and with a kick of the leg but my kids are 19 and 13. Strollers are much fancier now.
Luckily our stroller folds really easily, but since it’s a double it’s quite awkward and doesn’t stand on its own. We do have a nice umbrella stroller, that stands on its own, perhaps with the baby carrier and the stroller I could make do with that one for the day.
I was going to suggest seeing if you can do single stroller and have the 5 year old walk, and bringing a carrier for lines. The trickiest part of the day with a stroller is transition on off bus, and that will be awkward regardless of what size stroller. A smaller stroller will be easier for you to physically hold while in the bus though (I know our double can be a beast because it doesn’t stand either and really needs one person to hold, so you might have a hard time with a baby in your lap). On the other hand, if wrangling the 5 yo is also going to be a thing, a double stroller might be nice. Is there breakfast at the Poly or GF that you could do as an alternative to CR? The monorail would be as good as walking I would think since you don’t have to fold the stroller.
What kind of bag are you bringing for the day? I loved those diaper clutch things for diaper changes so you don’t have to lug your whole bag to the bathroom.
Also paging @DeepInTheHeartofTexas who has done a solo trip with 4 kiddos for tips on logistics.
I’ve done solo parenting trips with a 5 and 2 year old. I was always nervous about the stroller and the bus but as is said above, people are willing to help. And the Kidani bus stop (at least last year in the early am) wasn’t super crowded.
I second/third the biggest headache solo parenting is QS. Because you can’t carry kids and trays at the same time. And bigger parties will always send someone to save a table so once you have your food you have to stand there and wait for a table to finish. That said, grabbing sleepy hollow and finding a spot on the ground was fine by us!
The monorail is a great place to get out of the sun and potentially inspire a nap in the 1yo without having to go back on a bus. I think we rode the resort loop maybe five or six times in a row.
Be generous with snacks and generally just go with their flow. You’ll know what they can tolerate or when they need a change. Don’t set super high standards for yourself. It’s Disney World. Kids melt down all the time. (Adults sometimes too!) Just be in the moment and have fun.
You got this!
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of our smaller single stroller for this day! We just did a half with our son and he did fine walking. Sometimes he does like to sit, but like you said, that’s when I can put the baby in the carrier! Also, DS loves the monorail so I think any resort for a TS, or even QS would be easier than in the park, would be an enjoyable “ride” for him.
I hadn’t thought of a bag yet. We have a SkipHop diaper backpack and I just got a everywhere bag that fits tight against my upper body. I’m not too worried about bathroom trips, DS is really helpful so I think that part would be okay and I’d probably just do baby’s diaper changes in the stroller. I can’t remember, are there family restrooms in MK?
Thanks for all your help!!
Thank you! We love the monorail loop and it’s definitely an adventure in itself and I hadn’t thought about it for getting a good nap- win win!
This made me laugh! I don’t know why.
I took my four kids alone to WDW when they were 4, 6, 8 and 10. But prior to that spent years doing the same thing at our local zoos, aquariums, etc. If you have done the same thing, I imagine alot of the logistics will be similar. I think MK and AK are perfect parks for you to have them solo. So much to do that doesn’t require you to need a second adult!
I think you are wise to avoid the busses. Folding up a stroller with my kids solo (and the youngest was 4!) felt really stressful. I think it’d be very stressful with a 1 y/o. Of course, you could always ask someone at the bus stop with you to help you with the stroller or help corral the kids on board.
If they are back by then, I would highly recommend a Minnie Van! We utilized them a ton prior to COVID. I love that they have carseats and the CMs were amazing every time. Also, the only way you’ll be able to avoid the TTC (other than taking the bus)! Well…you said family brunch that day? So maybe that can help. We did brunch on our kids + me solo trip at Grand Floridian Cafe (left the car at GF for the day and walked to MK. It worked perfectly).
How old with the 1 year old be? I feel like there is a big difference between just turned one and almost two! We LOVE TSI and it is a favorite place to run around and escape the crowds BUT it can get a bit nerve wracking if your kids start to run off in different directions. I’ve had that happen with mine but not when they were that young and it made me nervous losing sight of them (this really just happens in the fort play area where they run upstairs and over and then into that tunnel that loops around).
Also, great tip on TS/QS @threeprincessesfourprinces! Navigating food/securing a table is stressful as a solo adult with littles!
I’m hopeful the Minnie Vans will be back- I think that would certainly be the easiest means of transportation! We’re planning our Chef Mickey brunch on the day my husband and big kids come along, but I’m considering adding another if Minnie Vans don’t come back. Our 1 year old will have just turned 1 a few weeks before the trip, so I don’t expect her to be up and moving a ton. The idea of the bus stresses me out, don’t like having to rely/inconvenience others. But I think I could manage OK if needed as long as I don’t do our double stroller. Can you explain the Minnie Vans a little more? We’ve never taken them; are the car seats already installed? Do you book them in advance?
Also, any recs for TS lunch in MK? Or would we be able to take the monorail and go to a QS at one of the resorts? On our last trip we took the monorail to Chef Mickey, but with so many changes recently I don’t want to count on anything from before.
Use a really good carrier and you can go almost anywhere.
We had an excellent carrier for ds’ (now 16yo) first trip when he turned 2yo. Wore him through naps, on rides, and the best …when leaving the park and returning on the bus. He was crashed and we didn’t have to remove him from the stroller and carry him while sleeping.
I would take the single stroller and the carrier. Take the bus while wearing the 1yo. Put a grocery bag under the stroller to keep everything together and then pull it out when collapsing the stroller on the bus.
I took mine when they were 3 and 5 by myself. I rode the bus to MK from ASMu and they both fell asleep in my double umbrella stroller which I brought with me. I obviously couldn’t carry the 3yo and fold up the stroller so the bus driver did it for me and I woke the 5yo. You can so do this and Disney CM and also probably park goers particularly Canadians might help out if you ever need it. But driving is also an option and take the monorail so the kids can stay in the stroller from TTC. I was able to ride everything with them that the 3yo could. There was not a single ride a CM told me no (which is vastly different than my local Six Flags and Universal even). We had a blast and only the part at the end of the day where someone had to help me with the stroller so I remember being difficult.
I’m strongly gonna suggest a double umbrella stroller that the 5 year old can fit in. My five year old used it when he was tired and it saves you from tantrums.