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Feasibility of visiting parks with toddler.....and staying offsite

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Planning' started by gobstoper27, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. gobstoper27

    gobstoper27 Active Member

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    Hi there,
    Here's a bit of back story...I was planning on visiting the world last September for my 30th birthday ; hotel room was booked (at Universal though ) and we were finalizing our itinerary when I found out in May that I was preggo with my little monster. We decided to cancel, (my husband did more than I... I tried so hard to convince him otherwise but alas, I lost that battle) Cancelling my hotel reservation was so difficult. We had gotten a great deal at the then newly opened cabana beach resort...but with newly acquired baby finances and Zika we just had to.

    I had the coolest Monsters Inc. baby shower... 20161113_125755.jpg


    We're thinking of going next October because I really want to go for halloween since we've done the Christmas thing before. We always stay offsite because we do other things besides Disney and are only at DW for 2 days. The baby will be 21 months next October. Is it feasibile to stay offsite with a toddler? Are you allowed re-entry in the parking lot once you've paid or do you have to repay.. has anyone ever not stayed on property, what was your experience like? Thanks on advance.

    Here's a pic of my little guy from 2 weeks ago, he was 8 weeks 20170313_110107.jpg
     
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  2. Disneyfan_76

    Disneyfan_76 Active Member

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    Having just got back from a vacation with a 1 and 4 year old, I can answer a few of these questions for you. As to the parking, once you pay for parking for the day, it is good all day, at all of the parks. You can come and go as you please, just save your receipt. We stayed off site for the first time ever, and it was no problem with the kids. I would recommend walking from the parking lot, as the wait for the tram is just as long and not very stroller friendly. Since you are off site though, it is a bit hard to sneak out for a nap. As long as you are bringing your own stroller, that has a recline, there are plenty of out of the way places in the park that are out of the sun where naps can happen. My only additional advice, pack extra sippy cups, straws and diapers.
     
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  3. gobstoper27

    gobstoper27 Active Member Original Poster

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    Thanks, that was reassuring!!
     
  4. TDGMedley

    TDGMedley Active Member

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    We are going back to the world in Feb 2018 with a almost 3 and 4 year old. I have only stayed off property one time and that was when my son was 11 months. I think as long as you have a good comfortable stroller all should be good. Every time we have gone my kids have napped in the stroller and have never gone back to room for a nap. And like they said bring extra stuff for your day in the park. (diaper, outfit, snacks. and bring something to entertain them for the long lines. We found that bubbles work great. And the best park is your son gets in free. This will be our last trip with a free baby.
     
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  5. DisneyJoe

    DisneyJoe Well-Known Member

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    Be sure to do a search before your trip and find the Baby Care Center in each park
     
  6. Courtney6682

    Courtney6682 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any advice, but I just have to say that your shower was adorable and your baby is presh!:inlove:
     
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  7. HRHPrincessAriel

    HRHPrincessAriel Well-Known Member

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    If you are flying ship your diapers via amazon prime. Saves so much space.
     
  8. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Well-Known Member

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    This is 100% dependent on the child. We did the same thing when my daughter was 6 months and it worked very well for us. We tried it again at 15 months and she was an absolute monster. At 19 months and 27 months, we planned mid-day naps in the room every day and that was an absolute lifesaver for us.
     
  9. HRHPrincessAriel

    HRHPrincessAriel Well-Known Member

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    This. If there was action there would be zero nap time!

    I'd never taken mid day breaks pre kiddo. I will say they helped ALL of us. We got to have a break in the middle of the day when it was hottest and crowds were biggest.
     
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  10. gobstoper27

    gobstoper27 Active Member Original Poster

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    Aww thanks girl!!
     
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  11. gobstoper27

    gobstoper27 Active Member Original Poster

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    Genius! Never even thought to do that, thanks for the tip.
     
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  12. carriebeth

    carriebeth Active Member

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    I have traveled with all ages of kids including newborns, babies, toddlers, traveling while pregnant etc (have 8 kids)

    We have stayed on and off site in the past. We find it much easier to stay on site. Its probably more of an issue because of the number of people rather than the ages. Just think of the number of car seats we have to take with us alone (its been up to 5)...not even to mention number of huge suitcases etc. I love that once we are at the airport, we spend 2 weeks without carseats!

    When we stayed off site we never left once we got to the parks. We got there rope drop stayed to close. Little ones napped in the strollers or carriers and if they exhausted before park close, slept in strollers again. I would bring pajamas and change them when they got sleepy. When we got back to where we were staying it was easy just to carry them in and toss into bed. If you leave to go back to an off site property during the middle of the day you will lose so much time I feel. But we don't leave in the middle of the day staying on site either.

    THe big plus for us staying off site was we could get near house size accomodations with several bedrooms a few bathrooms etc which was nice for 10 people. Overall we like getting a couple rooms on disney property much better as its so much more convenient to use the magic express and other Disney transportation.

    21 months is a good age for DIsney. The child will be able to remember parts of their trip. YOu can teach them who characters are before you go and they will be thrilled to see them in real life. However, at that age a lot of kids are afraid to get up close to the characters especially alone with them as in not tightly clung to mom. So don't be surprised if that picture of just your child and MIckey never happens. Some are fine with characters some are not. I had it happen both ways. Also, that has been the prime age for my kids to be afraid of the dark on rides. Really most DIsney rides end up in the dark at some point or another and even if its not suppose to be a scary experience, a lot of my children around 2 ended up being afraid even if they weren't afraid of the dark in everyday situations.
     
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  13. Disneyfan_76

    Disneyfan_76 Active Member

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    Actually, since you are staying off property, just go to the publix nearby and pick up a small pack of diapers for the trip. Some bottled water as well. We did that right after the flight on the way to hotel. Much cheaper than shipping them.

    Also, a note with security, keep a look out for the single/double stroller line. It will usually get you in quicker. The security do not mess around so have every single zipper on the diaper bag open. They will be taking everything out of the bag as well. For example, on a few occasions, we had the security officer pull the changing mat out and patted down the individual diapers.
     
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  14. Disneyfan_76

    Disneyfan_76 Active Member

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    When my daughter was 2 we went to Disneyland in Cali for our first disney trip. Prior to the trip I played a lot of disneyland park music, to get her ready for the trip. I did the same for my son on our florida trip. It seemed to help with any anxiety with the rides. It even helped my daughter this trip as she is not a big fan of haunted houses, but rode the haunted mansion twice because she loves the 'grim grinning ghost' song.
    We also watched the old Disneyland/WDW Sing-a-long song videos from the early 90s. It has a lot of the footage of the face characters and got my kids used to seeing them in 'non-cartoon' form. I know it sounds a bit like brainwashing the kids prior to a trip...lol, but it helped.
    If you think you will taking a lot of pictures with the characters I would recommend buying the Magic Maker photo pass prior to your visit. There is a discount if you get it before the trip. We found it worth it, but keep in mind that the photo pass photographers are willing to take a picture with your phone/camera as well.
    1.jpeg
    My daughter giving Baymax a fist bump.
    3.jpeg
    My son, just chillin at frontierland

    In either case, it was great to not have to worry about 'capturing the moment' on my camera the whole trip. Got to spend more time just being in the moment and let the professionals take the pictures.
     
  15. HRHPrincessAriel

    HRHPrincessAriel Well-Known Member

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    Missed that somehow.
     
  16. Disneyfan_76

    Disneyfan_76 Active Member

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    I only saw it at the universal parks and animal kingdom. But they might be at the other parks so I suggested keeping an eye out. However, like anything just look at the size of the lines. Obviously, if the stroller line is longer than the regular lines, just stick with the regular.
     
  17. DiSnEyF@n

    DiSnEyF@n Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with this. My daughter NEEDS her afternoon nap and at 21 months which will be the age of your little monster (who is adorable btw), I would highly recommend going back for nap time and maybe tacking on another day at the parks.
     
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  18. gobstoper27

    gobstoper27 Active Member Original Poster

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    Thanks for the advice, the eyes on that little guy!:D:D
     
  19. gobstoper27

    gobstoper27 Active Member Original Poster

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    Awww thank you!
     
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  20. Swissmiss

    Swissmiss Well-Known Member

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    As a previous poster said, much will depend on the personality of your child and what their needs are in terms of sleeping. From the day she was born my child never needed a quiet or dark room in order to fall asleep so consequently when she was still in a stroller it was fairly easy to be out all day provided I had enough food and diapers; and while she needed to hold a stuffed animal to fall asleep, it didn't matter which one until she was nearly two, and even then only for going to bed at night. I've had conversations with other parents whose children couldn't fall asleep unless the room was completely dark and sound proof, or who absolutely needed to have the same stuffed animal or blanket.

    The advice I'd give, since it sounds like you're not looking at a "once in a lifetime" trip, decide in advance what attractions or shows or pictures you'd be disappointed to miss, make sure to find the time to do those early in the day so that if you need to leave mid afternoon because he's just had enough (or maybe you have!) you will still be satisfied with your trip.

    (He's a really cute little monster!)
     
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