Tips for a "solo" parenting trip to Epcot with toddlers (and last minute) #disneymom #travellingwithkids #disneytips
I recently went to Florida and decided to do a last-minute trip to Epcot. No surprise there.
*Quick note about it being booked the night before. Go on your app right away and book those fast passes! Obviously we couldn't get Soarin' or Test Track, but we still got Spaceship Earth-Nemo-Frozen. It wasn't a busy day but it was nice to have those in place. I also booked a sit-down lunch as well, because if I don't have one planned we just snack all day.
Before I go in to how I went as a "solo" parent I want to give a shout out to single parents everywhere. You do this daily and huge props. This blog is about going by yourself when you would normally go with a partner, which could be many things. We usually go with my Mom or brother and his family. Daddy makes the trip sometimes, but that's the life of a coaches wife. So this was my first trip being out numbered, and to my surprise it was one of the BEST we have had at Epcot.
Here are some of my tips
1. I had zero expectations.
I knew it could of been the worst day ever and I was prepared to just know that it would be okay and to just go with it. So just go in open minded and ready to roll with it.
2. I let my kids take their time.
Usually we are busy running from ride to ride when we go with our extended family. This solo adventure gave my kids the chance to take their time and explore. They both love the games after Spaceship Earth and we took our time playing those. We rode that ride 3 times and each time took about thirty minutes after playing games.
3. Plan your fast passes in the order you do the park.
I ALWAYS make Spaceship Earth the first fast pass because it's the first thing they see and want to go on. There is nothing that will cause a meltdown more than walking past a ride they want to go on. After that we steer right and do everything over there (Nemo, Living with the Land, Figment) before we head into the world showcase. It wouldn't make sense to make a Frozen fast pass (unless no others are available) first and then run around the park. Epcot is large and there is a ton of walking. So plan out your walking.
4. Plan a sit-down lunch
My kids are 2 and 4 and both still nap. I like to make sure that we have a good meal before that nap. I like to sit-down because it gives us a second to gather our thoughts and eat a good meal. I also plan that meal BEFORE nap time. Nothing will ruin a meal like a tired toddler. Don't plan a 2 pm lunch if they nap at 1 usually. You will FAIL! I also plan a sit-down when solo parenting because the food comes to us. I don't have to carry a tray while trying to wrangle my hungry kids. I also like to have a sit-down meal because the bathroom is on the way out and is a great place to change diapers and pee before nap time.
5. Use the Disney Play app
My older child really enjoys the Phineas and Ferb game in Epcot. Obviously there is total parent involvement but we loved exploring the countries together. The app also has games that are activated once you are in line for a ride and other stuff in other parks and even resorts. So be sure to check it out. Some are advanced for toddlers but most can be played with help from a parent. Phineas and Ferb is only in Epcot and not in every country. It's super cute and takes about twenty minutes each mission. Make sure you have a Fuel Rod or something to charge your cell because the app takes alot of battery power especially if you do a few countries.
6. Do the Kidcot
This is another cute way to keep the kids involved and great way to spend time in each country. I don't have a picture for it, but you make a stop in each country and get a special message in your passport and a sticker for your luggage. It's free, it's fun and it makes you explore the countries. You can start at any country, just ask someone at the Kidcot spot.
7. Walk the world showcase to help them nap.
If you have a child or children that nap the world showcase is a nice loop that will get them tired. Plus unlike the other parks there is no visible ride signage that will catch their attention. If only one kid naps the world showcase is also a great place to explore without necessarily riding anything. That way one child isn't bored to death while one gets a much needed nap. Both of mine fell asleep at the same time for 90 minutes and I enjoyed an adult beverage and sat on a bench and people watched.
8. Try the food or snacks
My kids love trying all the international food. We eat on the go for dinner or usually just snack the rest of the day away after their naps. I prefer sharing an interesting snack so that money isn't wasted on an entire meal
9. Buy a fuel rod
If you are riding solo with kids you don't really have time to stop and charge your phone. Fuel Rod stations are located throughout Disney World. In Epcot they are at the international gateway, the camera store by Spaceship Earth and the store right at the beginning of the World Showcase. Paying $30.00 one time allows you to keep replacing your dead Fuel Rod for a fully charged one. I used about 3.
10. Get the Illuminations of Earth fast pass.
This trip was the first time I got this fast pass and I'm glad we did. Since I had only me and no one else else to hold up a child I had to make sure we had a good spot. Right where you enter the World Showcase is a roped off area they have for viewing. It's on an angle and recommend you get there right at the beginning of the fast pass time and position your stroller at the top of the hill. We had ours sideways and each child stood up in their stroller seat and could see without anyone blocking them. Also bring snacks and drinks because you will have about thirty minutes to burn.
So that was just a short list of some of the ways that I personally survived a day at Epcot with two toddlers. What are some of your tips for going to Disney?