I can't speak in too much detail about this considering I am not a parent at all. In regards to the budget dining, I highly recommend you try Garden Grill for breakfast. It is a character dining experience and well worth its price. The character interaction was great. I met Chip and Dale twice and they really take time to interact with the guests. I also felt the food was delicious and I enjoyed being on the rotating platform. I was so full for the rest of the day that I only needed a light bite late at night. In addition, I know most parents favor GG because it's served family style, so you won't have to worry about taking your little ones to the buffet line. Just ask your server for whatever you'd like and they can bring as much as you care to eat. Good luck!
I believe I paid $80 with tax and tip for 2 adults. But because the breakfast was so filling, meals were not needed for the rest of the day, making it a good value for character all-you-care-to-eat dining. You can also strategically reserve a table for a late breakfast, turning it into a "brunch."
if you plan on resort/room naps make sure neither child falls asleep on bus ride as getting one off bus and to room without waking is impossible and getting the child back to sleep is most likely not happening. at least that is a problem we have had. reclining stroller rental was best investment we made on our last trip. even 4.5 year old napped in itThanks for the reply! After I wrote my topic, I realized my kids will be closer to 4 and 6 when we go next.
I'm likely going to purchase an umbrella double stroller. In the past, my mom came along, and we brought two single umbrella strollers, which worked out well for their age difference then. I definitely agree that a stroller is necessary for both even now (and probably for a few more years). At home, we don't use strollers for my 5 yo and rarely for my 3 yo, but at Disney, it not only gives them a break, keeps them contained at certain points, and allows me to zip across the park to another FP+ if I need to. I would prefer a reclinable stroller like the GT City's for rent, but for the price/ease of use as a single chaperone, I feel like the umbrella double is edging out. I also plan to head back for a midday nap most days so a nappable stroller isn't high on my priority list.
Which brings me to my next concern...my 3 yo still naps, but my almost 6 yo does not. Older son may start taking naps by Day 3, but I'm wondering what to do with him while little brother naps. On Day 1, I'm wondering if I should just go nearly all day (i.e. prior to opening until 3p) before heading to Disney Springs for an early dinner and photopass studio session. This will enable them to have an earlier bedtime and subsequent rise the next morning. For Day 2, I guess this would be the only day where 1 is napping but the other isn't. Maybe a movie? I know he would ideally want to go to the pool, but I can't leave my napping 4 yo. Is this a good strategy? (Sorry if I'm overthinking it or if it seems too scheduled. I'm just trying to consider as many scenarios as possible since I anticipate it being challenging by myself.)
I've also noticed the pain between buses and strollers! That's why I was hoping to stay at a resort where I could either walk or take the monorail/boat (since they didn't require I fold up my stroller in previous visits). Ideally, BLT/Contemporary/Poly (for MK) and Boardwalk area (for Epcot/HS) (sadly, there doesn't appear to be a walkable resort to AK, my favorite.) However, I also wanted to give them some little kid theming, which the aforementioned places seem to lack. For now, I'm anticipating a split stay at AKL (busing to AK and MK on those days) and then transferring to Boardwalk (for Epcot/HS days). I don't think I can get out of using bus transportation for now. Maybe once they are in the 6 and 8 range, I can stay at AoA or Pop since they should have more stamina for travel at that age but still be young enough to appreciate the fun theming.
The buffet thing has crossed my mind so I planned a mix of QS and TS instead. I was surprised by the kids' menu cost at some TS places - it was a lot more affordable than I anticipated. For example, at Tusker our buffet used to cost ~$50/adult and $30/child before tax/tip, but at Contemporary Grill, the child entree is $10 and if I just get sushi or an appetizer, it's only $24 or so, which makes it more convenient and affordable overall. If anyone has any other child/budget friendly options, pls let me know!
I think my biggest reminder is as you advised - to consistently go at their pace. Although planning helps tremendously, some of our best Disney moments were unplanned, which made it even more magical. I read on this forum about how parents would talk to their kids about being a team. I also plan to have this discussion with my boys next time so that they understand there will be some compromise and turn taking when it comes to rides/experiences since we have to stick together.
If the stroller was not so big then i would of bought my own stroller. Of course he does not like the stroller often yet i feel he might want a break at walking. It would make sense to rent at MK so i can get it first thing in the morning. Do i have to reserve the strollers prior to my visited or first come first serve?I wonder if you'd be better off bringing a stroller to save time since you're only going to be there 1 day. If not, the rental companies typically charge the most for the first day, and you have to factor in the time to have the stroller delivered/dropped off. If you google 'disney world strollers', you'll get one of the many blogs that recommend different stroller companies. I think Magic Strollers does the GT Citi line which is more comfortable for older children and can recline well. Enjoy your time!
You can rent it there by the entrance. There’s usually plenty from what I can tell. FYI they are made of hard plastic and dont recline, but that might not matter if your son doesn’t need to nap.If the stroller was not so big then i would of bought my own stroller. Of course he does not like the stroller often yet i feel he might want a break at walking. It would make sense to rent at MK so i can get it first thing in the morning. Do i have to reserve the strollers prior to my visited or first come first serve?