This is the final piece of the You’re Never Too Young to Experience the Magic Series. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 they covered everything from the conveniences Disney provides to great play spaces in the parks. In this piece I will talk about naps and strollers, two things that many times go hand in hand.
Naps - Where to take them
There are really two approaches when it comes to naps, going back to the room or napping in a stroller away from the room. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of each.
Going back to the room takes you out of the sights and sounds and for many kids it’s much easier to try to lay down and sleep when it’s quiet and a little darker. This option is easiest when you are within walking distance or a monorail ride away from your resort. If you are most likely to be spending most of your time at the Magic Kingdom, staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, or Disney’s Contemporary Resort, all on the monorail, allows you to get from the park and back to the resort in a very short amount of time (15 minutes). The same goes for being at Epcot or the Disney Hollywood Studios and getting to Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club or Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. You can walk or take a boat to these resorts from both parks. The boats may take a little longer depending on which resort you are going to.
That being said, all of these resorts are deluxe resorts and if you are not at that price point you are looking at a good chunk of time to get from the park back to the hotel. Just to give you an idea, if you are in the middle of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and it’s time to go back for a nap, it will take about 10 minutes to walk to the buses. You typically wait between 10-20 minutes for the bus, and it’s a 10-20 minute ride to the resort and then a 5 minute walk to your room. So it will take 35-55 minutes to get back. Once you add in the nap and the time it will take to get back you are looking at 2-3 hours of your day. If you plan on staying late at the parks then taking the time to do this in the middle of the day may be no big deal. But if your kids go to bed around 7, it’s a big chunk of time to take out in the middle of the day.
My recommendation is if your child will sleep in a stroller, have them do that. It will save you a lot of time and from walking so much. Another reason I recommend having them sleep in the strollers is that I personally like walking to the quieter areas during their nap and just enjoying the scenery. I’m going to let you in on my secret places.
When I’m at the Magic Kingdom and it’s nap time, I will grab lunch to go (my favorite is the ham, prosciutto and swiss waffle sandwich at Sleep Hollow) and head out to the front of the park. Outside of the park if you walk toward Disney’s Grand Floridian and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Launches, and go past the queue for the boats there will be an area of benches, but wait you are not there yet! There is a walkway that continues from there towards Disney’s Grand Floridian that dead ends by one of the Magic Kingdom canals. At the end of the path, under tall palms, there are benches perfect for a nap. I have yet to go out there and not be the only one there. It’s quiet, unless there is a parade going on in the Magic Kingdom, then you can faintly hear the parade music. If you are not up for that much of a walk and your child is a sound sleeper, nap time is also a great time to go through the shops on Main Street USA.
If you like walking, another great area when you are visiting Epcot is to again, leave the park though the International Gateway, the entrance to Epcot between France and the UK pavilion. This will bring you a walkway that goes around the water by Disney’s Yacht & Beach and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. You can also get to this area from Disney’s Hollywood Studios too. It’s a little be longer of a walk but it’s quiet if your child needs that. It is call the Epcot Resort-Hollywood Studio Connector.
The All Important Stoller
Disney does rent strollers and they are okay and there are outside companies that rent nice strollers for less than what you pay at the park. BUT, I’m a big believer in bringing your own stroller(s). To start, if you are flying, strollers are great in the airport. You do have to put them through security and which adds a little hassle, but you now have a place to hang or store the diaper bag and if the gate is packed with people, you have a place for your little one to sit while waiting to board. It’s super easy to gate check the stroller and you will have it right when you get off the plane in Orlando. It’s a good walk from the gates in the Orlando airport to Disney’s Magical Express so having a stroller can save you from carrying your little ones.
My recommendation always is to bring an umbrella stroller. Larger strollers may have better handling but you are going to a place with crowds of people, so going with a smaller stroller means you won’t be saying “excuse me, pardon me” all day long. Also, if you are on Disney transportation when it is busy, it’s much easier to fold up an umbrella stroller and fit it next to you than a big stroller. And since you have to fold up your stroller once when you get on the bus, anything and everything you store in the stroller you will be holding while on the bus.
If you have two kids, I recommend bringing two umbrella strollers instead of a double because there may be times in the day where one child falls asleep and you want to split and keep going with another. Another reason is that two strollers are much easier to maneuver in the parks than a double.
The last reason I recommend bring strollers, is cost. You will probably spend between $75-90 renting a double stroller for the week. Although you can't buy a double stroller for that cost you can get a good umbrella strollers for that. This is the one I love - Chicco Umbrella Stroller. Also, if you don't want to take a stroller through the airport, you could always purchase it online and ship the stroller to the resort.
Still, if you feel renting a stroller would be the best option for you, these are a few companies that can deliver them to your resort.
They all have a different rate structures so take a look at your length of stay to determine what the best deal is.
If you have a topic you would like me to cover please email me at email@example.com, I would love to hear from you!
Next up, great quick service restaurants!