Need Recommendations/tips for a Trip with a Toddler


#1

We are finally able to plan a trip…sort of! After 18 months of unemployment, and one baby later, I got re-hired at my old job. The only catch is that there is a chance I will become unemployed again in July…it all depends on the state budget. Since we are desperately in need of a vacation, I am planning one with the idea that it may very well not happen.
BUT, if we do go, here’s the deal:
Me, my dh, and our dd who will be just over 2 (26 months) when we go.
We are shooting for early February 2012…I definitely want to avoid the February vacation crowds.
My questions:

  1. Which resort do you recommend for a toddler?
    I am open to anything…value to deluxe. My friend is a cm, so we are looking at some nice discounts on the hotel.
    My choices for value: ASMusic, Movies or Pop (have stayed at all but pop).
    Moderate: POR, CBR, CSR (have only stayed at POR). I know a lot of you will recommend POFQ, but I am not interested in that resort.
    Deluxe: WL or AKL. I’ve never stayed at a deluxe. I would love to try one, but I’m not sure if the budget will allow. Of course I’d LOVE to try the Poly, but even with my friend’s discount, I don’t think I can swing that.
    We are leaning towards a moderate, but I really am open to all suggestions.

  2. What kind of stroller should I bring? We have a lightweight umbrella stroller with minimal storage, no cup holders, and a small sun canopy, or the “Cadillac” of strollers…lots of storage, cup holders, big adjustable sun canopy, but HEAVY!
    I’m leaning toward the bigger one, but I’m just concerned about bringing it on the wdw buses.

  3. In general, what do I need to know about going to WDW with a toddler??? Any sanity saving tips?

If you’ve made it this far…thank you! I appreciate the help.


#2

Does DD nap? if so, and you can swing it, i’d go for a resort as close to the parks as possible - since you’ll be going back there often.

We hated lugging the heavy stroller on the buses - so excited to be stroller-less this time around! that said, it is nice to have storage…but we used a backpack and were able to attach it to the back of a stroller one time. whichever you use, make sure it has a canopy! we tied a bright bandana on our stoller, so it stood out from the rest when they are all crowded together in the corrals.

snacks…snacks…snacks! that way you can try to keep the meltdowns due to hunger at bay.

take a favorite book or toy to get out when waiting in lines - i think lines were one of the hardest things for our little ones (and now even, but finding hidden mickeys help now) - so anything that will distract is good.


#3

Oh, BRING the big stroller. Yes, transportation will be a HUGE pain in the butt (unless you can stay at a monorail resort, then it will only be half of a pain, since you can monorail to MK & EP, but I totally understand budget). However… if you can manage to keep your stuff in a single big bag that’ll shove into the storage compartment, that does make it easier- one person gets the kid & bag, one person deals with the stroller. It’s when you have a zillion little things that collapsing the stroller is such a pain (says the voice of of experience!).


#4

I would suggest POFQ/POR of if you can WL for a hotel… It is 10 minutes to the MK, and at the farthest, AK does not seem to far away. I would suggest bringing the big stroller, just to make it easier in the parks. You will be in the park for hours, and on the buses for a short time each day. You will appreciate the ability to have her take a rest in that stroller if needed.
I think that you just have to go with her temperament with the schedule. I had two kids who were big nappers. At WDW we did not nap as long as they were doing well, but if we needed a break- we took it… We got there very early to be at the parks when they first opened. Since it was not a busy time- we were done at the MK by 6 at night. So, we could get a great night’s sleep, and be ready for the next day.

Keep in mind at each park there are baby care centers, in case you need a quiet place to relax, or a bandaid, etc.

Bring hand sanitizer/wipes… my kids all wanted to hang on the rails, and it was hard to keep little hands clean… Have fun- she will love the rides and parades. There is so much to look at and see…


#5

Completely agree with Andrea! We have always brought our regular stroller with us, because it is more comfortable, baby can nap when they want and we don’t have to worry about heading back to a resort, etc… and it was easier for us, so that I had one bag with our stuff in the storage area underneath, and I can grab it in and out without worrying about grabbing a bunch of things in order to fold up the stroller.


#6

[QUOTE=emamasa;1069894]Does DD nap?
[/QUOTE]

She does now, and I’m assuming (hoping) she still will by the time we go. I didn’t think about the resort proximity to the parks…that’s definitely something to consider.

Great tips everyone…thanks!


#7

DD is at a great age to travel as long as you remember one very important fact: DD CONTROLS EVERTHING!!! Please plan to do as little as she wants to, or as much, if you are that fortunate. I always laugh at the parents who force the park on their little ones. The dads with kids slung over their shoulders fighting the crowds after the fireworks is a sight to see. So many insist on commando tactics with their little ones. Not gonna happen.

If the big stroller can allow her to nap I would bring it. She will be more relaxed napping in something she is familiar with. And nap times are great people watching times. Find a shady spot, park the stroller and enjoy time not only with her, but also with each other. And if she gets cranky you can always go back to the resort and take a family nap. After all, it’s a vacation for the whole gang.

As to which resort, our fav is WL. But with the job situation any of the values will be fine. And she might even be more visually inspired with all that goes on. I would book POP Century if it was me and $$$ were pressing. It is a fun resort with lots to keep her attention. After all, she’s only 2.


#8

[QUOTE=Pam&Rich;1069923]DD is at a great age to travel as long as you remember one very important fact: DD CONTROLS EVERTHING!!! Please plan to do as little as she wants to, or as much, if you are that fortunate. I always laugh at the parents who force the park on their little ones. The dads with kids slung over their shoulders fighting the crowds after the fireworks is a sight to see. So many insist on commando tactics with their little ones. Not gonna happen.

If the big stroller can allow her to nap I would bring it. She will be more relaxed napping in something she is familiar with. And nap times are great people watching times. Find a shady spot, park the stroller and enjoy time not only with her, but also with each other. And if she gets cranky you can always go back to the resort and take a family nap. After all, it’s a vacation for the whole gang.

As to which resort, our fav is WL. But with the job situation any of the values will be fine. And she might even be more visually inspired with all that goes on. I would book POP Century if it was me and $$$ were pressing. It is a fun resort with lots to keep her attention. After all, she’s only 2.[/QUOTE]

Great advice, thank you! I am totally aware that she controls everything! :laugh: We won’t try to force anything on her. I’m totally ok with a non-commando style trip. It has been a long time since we’ve had a vacation, so we really just want to enjoy it…weather that be chilling at the resort, or exploring the parks.


#9

I will say, we did the WL last year and LOVED it. Yes, the Poly is still our favorite place on earth but we have been trying a different resort every year, but we loved the WL last year and were super close to doing it again this year. It isn’t much more than some of the moderates and is just a fantastic resort.

When our daughter was a toddler, we took an umbrella stroller and rented the Disney stroller for the parks. We loved those strollers, though many have a different opinion. My wife would tie this obnoxiously loud neon pink bandana to the handle and we could always find it anywhere we went. Second, those things will just roll over anything and hold a ton of stuff.

On your last one, just be ready for naps. We learned that one. We would go to the park early in the morning, go back after lunch and rest a while, then hit the parks again that evening with our daughter. She hung in like a champ. The only mistake I think we made is buy her one of those squirt bottle/fan units. As soon as she got that near the end of our trip, Disney didn’t matter anymore. That thing captivated the mind of a 3 year old like nothing else. Other than that, we never had any problems with our toddler at Disney, she is 8 now and is a Disney expert already.


#10

Big Stroller!! They are more comfortable and hold a lot of stuff!


#11

ok we have done the big stroller,umbrella, and rented strollers. I would say take the big stroller if at all possible, followed by a mutiple day stroller rental from the parks and lastly and I suggest lastly an umbrella stroller. We just this last winter finally was able to have a stroller free vacation and it was wonderful. I would suggest a backpack that we have not been able to go without yet and most likely will never be able to go without. If you are flying than look into the park rentals as it might cost just about as much to bring a big stroller as rent one.


#12

[QUOTE=cjtownman;1069944]
The only mistake I think we made is buy her one of those squirt bottle/fan units. As soon as she got that near the end of our trip, Disney didn’t matter anymore. That thing captivated the mind of a 3 year old like nothing else. [/QUOTE]

hahahaha…I can so see that happening with my dd! :laugh:

Thanks again everyone!


#13

The bigger stroller can carry more beer.

Just sayin’


#14

[QUOTE=Boss Mouse;1070004]The bigger stroller can carry more beer.

Just sayin’[/QUOTE]

OOh, good point! She’s old enough to walk…we’ll just load up the stroller! :laugh:


#15

Warning: They might look at you funny when you go through security with 2 dozen extra large baby bottles in a collapsable cooler. Make sure they are a solid color. Those clear ones will trip ya up everytime.:laugh:


#16

Reminds me of an old saying…

When is the best time to take a kid to a nice resturant? When the graduate college. :laugh:

Skip the stroller and get a electric scooter and a wagon to hitch behind it!


#17

[QUOTE=rlcarmichael;1070066]Reminds me of an old saying…

When is the best time to take a kid to a nice resturant? When the graduate college. :laugh:

Skip the stroller and get a electric scooter and a wagon to hitch behind it![/QUOTE]

Now there’s an idea! :laugh:


#18

We are totally opposite of everyone else. After our kids were 2 we ditched the big stroller and only used an umbrella. Granted we bought the umbrellas on steroids with reclining seat and canopy but it was SO much easier to handle than our big cadillac. Do what is right for your child. We always go back for naps so our kids very rarely fell asleep in the stroller anyway. I think Oct/Nov. may be our last stroller trip and I am SO looking forward to it!


#19

[QUOTE=Boss Mouse;1070004]The bigger stroller can carry more beer.

Just sayin’[/QUOTE]

Amen! Preach it!