Navigating at Night - With a Stroller!

by Adrienne Krock, staff writer
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A new mom contacted the Parenting Panel to share her anxiety and ask our advice. As an Annual Passholder, she and her husband regularly visited the Disneyland Resort and hated dealing with nighttime crowds, even before her baby arrived. She explained, “You can't see where you are going and everyone mushes together. I would try to weave my way through, but no way I can do that with a stroller. Some of the areas, like Adventureland, are very poorly lit at night and hard to see through. The nighttime shows grind everything to a halt” This week we asked the Parenting Panel: Getting around at night with kids. How do you navigate the parks at night with a stroller... Or other types of carrier?

Parenting in the Parks columnist Adrienne Krock’s three boys are now 13, 11, and 8. They’ve been visiting the Disneyland Resort since they were each just weeks old and Annual Passholders since their 3rd birthdays. Adrienne writes:

I readily admit: I hate crowds. I really, really do. Many times this dictates how I approach the parks and I have to confess, my kids’ park experiences have been stunted because of it. My husband and I regularly enjoyed Fantasmic! before we had kids, but I will not even admit in this very public forum how few times we have taken our children to see the show. Between crowds, tired kids, tired parents, and the cover of darkness, I can relate to the apprehension a new mom might feel.

Here are my top three strategies for dealing with nighttime crowds:

  • S-L-O-W D-O-W-N – This is pretty much brilliant advice for any parent in any situation at a Disney theme park, in my opinion. When we’re there with the kids, theme park life slows down. Sometimes the best strategy is just to step back and let the crowds go by. We do not overschedule our evenings, we pick and choose which attractions to hit. The first step is dealing with the pre-show crowds. Yep, we arrive early and stake out our spots. Once the show ends, we take our time leaving. We find a place to campout and let the crowds pass us or we head in the opposite direction, towards an attraction that might still be open but otherwise ignored by the crowd. We plan accordingly to pad our schedule with time before and after whatever show or attraction we want to see or visit. If we do have to walk through a crowd, we stick to the right and plan to take our time.
  • Parent tag team – I take advantage of having my husband (and/or other friends or family) with me. Between the two of us, his personality much better lends itself to handling the crowds. In the days when we brought our stroller, I might let him push it so I could avoid that stress. Sometimes, then and now, I let him walk in front of me to “navigate the crowd”. Now, this can cause more stress than help. If I let him walk in front, he might walk too quickly and I become lost and frustrated. In that case, I have two choices: I can either be the front-forward parent, making him keep up with me, or, we divide and conquer. Rather than stress out about staying together, we make a meeting spot. For example, if we need to navigate through Main Street at Disneyland Park, we will agree on a meeting spot on the other side of Main Street – either the center of Town Square or the bathrooms outside the Main Gate, near Guest Services, should we get separated.
  • Be brave – Frankly, after I had children, I learned how to be even more outspoken than I was before. Sure, I’m a very gregarious person but I really do not like having to “stick up for myself” or be assertive. Sometimes, crowds just call for a bit of assertiveness. One night, Doc walked ahead of me while I followed, pushing our tandem double stroller and time and time again, people jumped in between us. Before I knew what was happening, I heard myself calling out “Excuse me!” When they turned to look at me, I said, “My husband is right up there and you stepped in between us—I need to catch up to him.” Lo and behold, they had no clue they cut us off, and graciously let me through. There’s no reason to be belligerent or rude, but I learned that night that a quick, cheerful “excuse me, I need to stay with my family” could quickly get our family back on track.

Chris, also known as GusMan, is always planning his next family trip to the Walt Disney World Resort and loves to help others plan their trips, as well sharing his experiences. Chris writes:

The Disney parks are a wonderful, colorful place to stroll through during the day. Nighttime can be on some new and interesting challenges as you navigate the different paths while, at the same time, attempting to navigate through fellow guests. Much like traffic after a sporting event, things can get confusing an a bit unnerving at times. To be honest, it may seem hard to believe that the parks at night can be a stressor, but there are ways to help ease the tension in an unfamiliar situation.

Personally, I do not mind crowds. However, I do mind crowds at night when I’m trying to keep track of my family. At one time, this included pushing a not-so-compact stroller through the parks, as well. Like many other scenarios, the first time you deal with one, you learn quite a bit. Here are some thoughts and tips from my past:

  • Be aware of where you are in relation to where you need to go – Yes, this does sound simpler than it is at times, especially if you are toward the back of the park and you are not very familiar with the park’s layout. Glancing through the map a few times during the day, noting where you are and what it looks like on the map is a good way to learn the lay of the land.
  • Have a small flashlight handy – While the might may be your friend, having a small flashlight to glance at the map at night can really be a big help. We found some multicolored lights that not only has a small LED flashlight on one end, but acts as an electric glow stick on the other. This is a great option as you can turn it on at night, attaching it to a stroller if you have one, and that way, everyone can follow the light.
  • Don’t go against the flow of traffic – While this is always a good tip in courtesy, it is even more important when visibility is down due to reduced lighting. Granted, sometimes you can’t help but being stuck “on the wrong side of the road” but try to keep to the right when at all possible.
  • Follow cast member directions as to how they are directing traffic – This is important especially when parades are setting up or have just past, when congestion is at its worse, especially at key viewing stops.
  • Don’t try to leave at peak times – After a parade, fireworks, or other nighttime show, crowds are always worse. Transportation is also going to be congested. Consider waiting 20-30 minutes while everyone files out. Do a bit of shopping. Grab one more snack. Have the PhotoPass photographers take your picture a few times. Soon enough, you will find yourself in a very light crowd, able to slowly stroll down to the exits at the end of Main Street.
  • Leave early – If you think that staying afterward will be too much for your group, there is always the option of leaving the parks a bit earlier. Sure, this may not be the first choice, but there are times when it might be better to get some extra rest than to deal with denser crowds.

Like anything else, planning a bit ahead is important. Keeping a cool head if stuck in a crowd is something that can really pay off in the long run. Soon enough, you will be loving the nighttime at the Disney parks.

Mary Kraemer is an avid Disney fan and travel consultant with CruisingCo/MouseEarVacations who loves to travel with her husband and children to Disney destinations as often as possible. Mary writes:

I’ll admit it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve been to a Disney park with kids in a stroller, but truly, I never felt like there was any different strategy for navigating crowds with a stroller, day or night.

My observation about Disney crowds is that whenever people perceive a space nearby, they try to move into it, so I was always vigilant about making sure that my stroller’s space (which is not always visible from 3 feet higher up in a crowd) was maintained. Whenever someone started to move into that space, I’d have to tell them that it’s not empty space; my stroller is there and there’s no place to move.

Actually, when my three kids were young, I felt much safer with them in a stroller than on foot because it was easier to keep them contained in the stroller and not get stepped on by people in a crowd. I’ve jerry-rigged my double stroller to accommodate three kids on more than one occasion so that we could get through crowds (and I didn’t have to keep track of three little ones walking with me). Hey, it wasn’t particularly classy looking, but it fit the need at the time, and kept my kids safely contained.

If you’re concerned about a stroller in the parks at night, I’d suggest getting some glow bracelets or sticks and attach them to the stroller. A little brightness in the crowd will help define the stroller’s space. Perhaps a balloon (especially one of the flashing light ones) will help, but make sure it’s not in your line of vision!

Another strategy is patience! Wait until the crowds dissipate. Trying to get through Main Street after the fireworks, for example, can be frustrating if you have a stroller. So, why not stay put, relax as the park as the crowds begin to leave, and then enjoy a leisurely walk down Main Street… perhaps only 15 minutes after the fireworks end? When you look at the big picture of things, you’re probably not going to arrive at your hotel (or car) a lot later than if you’d been moving en masse, but you’ll definitely feel a lot less stressed!

It's your turn—keep the discussion flowing!

Visit the Parenting in the Parks forum on our MousePad discussion board, and share your opinions about this topic or many others, or send your suggestions via e-mail. Reader-submitted tips might be used in a future article, and you might be selected to participate in an upcoming panel discussion!

Comments

  1. By Jimbo996

    Why do something that is more hassle than its worth? The best thing is just leave the parks before it gets dark. Otherwise, you're just asking for trouble. The crowds are the least of your problems. In the evenings, the air can get cold and windy. The babies are likely to get sick. They are likely to fall asleep. You're also tired. By the time you get home, there's an entire routine of final feedings and getting ready for bed. It isn't a pleasant situation.

  2. By 3Princesses1Prince

    We frequently navigated the parks at night. Be patient, leave early or hang out a little longer to avoid crowds, and it definitely helps to have someone to help navigate through crowds if need be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo996 View Post
    Why do something that is more hassle than its worth? The best thing is just leave the parks before it gets dark. Otherwise, you're just asking for trouble. The crowds are the least of your problems. In the evenings, the air can get cold and windy. The babies are likely to get sick. They are likely to fall asleep. You're also tired. By the time you get home, there's an entire routine of final feedings and getting ready for bed. It isn't a pleasant situation.

    Cold air = getting sick?!? Hardly! We frequently brought pjs in the diaper bag when they were babies. If they fall asleep, no biggie. No reason before bed feedings can't happen in the park. Amazingly enough, kids are very portable.

  3. By Jimbo996

    Quote Originally Posted by 3Princesses1Prince View Post
    Cold air = getting sick?!? Hardly! We frequently brought pjs in the diaper bag when they were babies. If they fall asleep, no biggie. No reason before bed feedings can't happen in the park. Amazingly enough, kids are very portable.

    Hardly for you, but not for me. Kids catching colds is the risk you take. It's whether you risk a night time of fun for a few days of sickness. My kid had 3 fevers this year alone.

    I've seen many kids wear PJs in theme parks and elsewhere. They are not designed for the cold weather. They are light and airy. This is another risk that you take that is unnecessary.

  4. By katiesue

    My kid would always throw the blankets off. Our pediatrician said you don't live in Antarctica, if she's cold she'll let you know. It never gets THAT cold at Disneyland. And usually just hanging out waiting 20 mins or so for the rush to die down helps a lot.

  5. By GusMan

    Back to the real topic at hand...
    I think that whats really being noted here is that navigating at night can be a bit tricky at times regardless if you are with or without kids, have a stroller or not, or even an ECV or wheelchair. In most cases, kids love seeing the parks at night, especially when it changes the mood and there are so many things going on such as fireworks and/or parades. Not to mention special parties and the like.

    Like it was said, kids are very portable and like I have said in many of my contributions - parents need to know their kids and how they react to things and do what they can to adapt to a vacation - any vacation. These are simply tips on trying to prepare parents for nighttime at the parks so that everyone has a good time during the evening hours.

  6. By DwarfPlanet

    My one suggestion is not to take a stroller that is bigger than the Titanic. When my kids were small we used to take one of the simple fold-up strollers and a backpack. It worked for us. I see some strollers (and I'm exaggerating here, but not by much) that are absolutely huge and probably can carry more than I can fit in my trunk. Just sayin' sometimes simple works.

  7. By 3Princesses1Prince

    Quote Originally Posted by DwarfPlanet View Post
    My one suggestion is not to take a stroller that is bigger than the Titanic. When my kids were small we used to take one of the simple fold-up strollers and a backpack. It worked for us. I see some strollers (and I'm exaggerating here, but not by much) that are absolutely huge and probably can carry more than I can fit in my trunk. Just sayin' sometimes simple works.

    I say do what works for you. With 4 kids under the age of 10 (2 of which are 4 and under), the titanic comes in handy.

  8. By davidgra

    I think the best rule for navigating the parks at night is to only do it if your kids can handle it. Meaning, the kids need to be old enough to walk on their own, and they need to be rested enough to enjoy themselves -- awake -- for the evening. If your child can't stay awake until the fireworks, then you don't need to have the child in the park.

    Our kids were walking on their own in the parks by age four, and we would spend, at most, one evening per trip in the Magic Kingdom. Afternoon naps were required that day, and we'd come back to the park for dinner and then hang around for evening festivities, usually getting a prime parade-viewing spot and sitting for quite a while. If the kids were tired, or didn't want to have to walk, then we stayed at the resort that evening.

  9. By adriennek

    Quote Originally Posted by davidgra View Post
    I think the best rule for navigating the parks at night is to only do it if your kids can handle it. Meaning, the kids need to be old enough to walk on their own, and they need to be rested enough to enjoy themselves -- awake -- for the evening. If your child can't stay awake until the fireworks, then you don't need to have the child in the park.

    I think "Need" is a pretty loaded word.

    I loved taking my son to the park when he was a baby. It was SO easy back then! I bundled him in his very warm pjs and had blankets if I needed them - although during the summer we didn't. I could leave him in the stroller and/or carry him in the Baby Bjorn. He slept when he needed to sleep, ate when he needed to eat. Very convenient.

    As for hotel stays, I'd rather poop my kids out in the park than have to take a wider awake kid back to a hotel. My boys have never slept well in hotels and at least if I can wear them out at the parks, it would be easier to get them to sleep at the hotels.

    Maybe if YOUR child can't stay awake to a certain time YOUR child doesn't need to be in a park. But for MY children, it didn't always work out that way.

  10. By 3Princesses1Prince

    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post

    Maybe if YOUR child can't stay awake to a certain time YOUR child doesn't need to be in a park. But for MY children, it didn't always work out that way.

    Exactly. If I only went at night without a stroller, none of my kids would have ever seen fireworks because I've always had at least one toddler or younger. And yes, wide awake kids in a hotel room would've made for a very long night.

  11. By currence

    My kids rarely get to see fireworks, etc because we are "get there when it opens, leave before they meltdown" types of people. It was really fun when we went at night time, maybe a year ago, because my daughter especially had just this sense of wonder about her that as frequent park goers we rarely get to see. She LOVED the park all lit up. When we do go at nighttime, it is usually a special trip primarily for nighttime stuff, so they are still somewhat fresh.

    That said, I'm sad that we gave away our giant stroller. It helped immensely with creating a bubble of space so that *I* could survive fireworks and world of color.

  12. By Moms

    3 kids. 1 tandem stroller. 1 umbrella stroller. Walk like you own the place. Keep up with the crowds and nobody gets hurt :-)

  13. By 3Princesses1Prince

    Currence we wouldn't have made it without midday breaks either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moms View Post
    3 kids. 1 tandem stroller. 1 umbrella stroller. Walk like you own the place. Keep up with the crowds and nobody gets hurt :-)

    Yep!

  14. By lauras5boys

    I just started going to Disney without a stroller and while is some ways it is freeing not having to push it around, I must admit I miss it at times. No place to store all our stuff and it's much harder to keep track of them all without it. When they were small I had 5 boys under the age of 8 so we had the monster triple stroller. The bad part...it was tough to steer. The good part...people got out of our way...most of the time. I do remember getting stuck in one bad crowd by myself with all the boys after a parade in the dark. After being cut off by the 5th or 6th person, a teenage boy around 15 or 16, got in front of me, grabbed the front of the stroller and said "I'll get you out of here." and he did. It is still one of my favorite Disneyland stories.

    I normally try to leave either well before or well after a parade or fireworks. Those crowds are just too crazy.

  15. By mkraemer

    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    Maybe if YOUR child can't stay awake to a certain time YOUR child doesn't need to be in a park. But for MY children, it didn't always work out that way.

    I think this answer is exactly spot on. Parents need to be in tune with THEIR OWN children. What works for your kids doesn't necessarily work for mine.

    When my kids were small, we tried going back to the hotel for mid-day naps, as soooo many people recommend as a must-do strategy for kids being able to come back to the parks for the evening refreshed and able to last through the fireworks. Well, our kids looked at us like, "What is WRONG with you people? We left DISNEYLAND in BROAD DAYLIGHT?"

    My kids have always loved Disneyland passionately (gee, those little apples didn't fall far from the tree); one of our favorite stories about my oldest daughter was a trip when she was about 3, and she would not go to sleep in the car because she was so excited to go to Disneyland. We live 385 miles away (so it took awhile), and we encouraged her time and again to go to sleep but she just couldn't until she saw the sign (the classic one that's no longer there), and then...zonk. Just as we got to the hotel.

    My kids insisted on getting park maps when we entered the park, from a very young age. They could point to places on the map and tell you where an attraction was located, years before they could read. They could tell you what direction you'd need to go to get to a certain attraction if you asked them, from anywhere in the park.

    When my kids were little and were tired, they fell asleep in the stroller. Sometimes they slept through the night time parade and fireworks, sometimes not, and sometimes it was only one or two who were asleep at any given time. (But everybody was zonked out by the time we'd get back to the hotel for the night!)

    What bothers me most at the parks are the folks who've obviously paid dearly for a day ticket, and I understand, this might be their only day EVER to visit the park, and they are so desperate to 'get their money's worth' that they do the Disney Death March with their (unprepared) kids, who end up tired to the point of screaming. Then the parents end up frustrated. You know what I mean; we've all seen the child-parental meltdowns, and they are not magical. In my business, I hear about it from some of those people, about how they hate Disneyland because it's so crowded, they had a terrible time, they never want to go back, etc. and I just feel so bad for them.

  16. By fairestoneofall

    Quote Originally Posted by currence View Post
    My kids rarely get to see fireworks, etc because we are "get there when it opens, leave before they meltdown" types of people. It was really fun when we went at night time, maybe a year ago, because my daughter especially had just this sense of wonder about her that as frequent park goers we rarely get to see. She LOVED the park all lit up. When we do go at nighttime, it is usually a special trip primarily for nighttime stuff, so they are still somewhat fresh.

    That said, I'm sad that we gave away our giant stroller. It helped immensely with creating a bubble of space so that *I* could survive fireworks and world of color.

    This is us!

    Every child is different and patents should recognize and respect that instead of jumping to criticism about what is right or wrong.

    The few times we did stay after dark we had a double jogger stroller and it helped. When one fell asleep you could recline them and let them sleep while the other was awake. You just have to watch the flow of traffic and keep moving and do your best not to get in anyone's way.

    But! Staying on property made it easy to see the fireworks from our room, in our pj's with Mickey Krispy treats and milk. No crowds and lights out immediately after!

  17. By pcrazy99

    I think it would be easier to navigate the parks if parents left the huge strollers at home. We always found it easier to navigate with an umbrella stroller and a small diaper bag. We upgraded to a larger stroller as or daughter grew. Not to big where it would slow us down or be inconsiderate to other guests at the park. The strollers with the bicycle tires just seem to big to be practical.

  18. By 3Princesses1Prince

    Quote Originally Posted by pcrazy99 View Post
    I think it would be easier to navigate the parks if parents left the huge strollers at home. We always found it easier to navigate with an umbrella stroller and a small diaper bag. We upgraded to a larger stroller as or daughter grew. Not to big where it would slow us down or be inconsiderate to other guests at the park. The strollers with the bicycle tires just seem to big to be practical.

    Those strollers actually maneuver the easiest. I hated umbrella strollers with a passion. They were hard to turn if your kid was over 25-30 lbs, you had to hunch over to push them, and they had zero storage.

  19. By fairestoneofall

    Quote Originally Posted by pcrazy99 View Post
    I think it would be easier to navigate the parks if parents left the huge strollers at home. We always found it easier to navigate with an umbrella stroller and a small diaper bag. We upgraded to a larger stroller as or daughter grew. Not to big where it would slow us down or be inconsiderate to other guests at the park. The strollers with the bicycle tires just seem to big to be practical.

    Until you drive one. They're very easy to maneuver. It's like comparing a Pinto to a BMW.

  20. By adriennek

    Quote Originally Posted by pcrazy99 View Post
    I think it would be easier to navigate the parks if parents left the huge strollers at home. We always found it easier to navigate with an umbrella stroller and a small diaper bag. We upgraded to a larger stroller as or daughter grew.

    I did the opposite. I used a bigger stroller when mine were younger and I wanted them to be able to recline and nap. When they were older and mostly just needed the stroller for endurance, I switched to my Maclaren that folded up into almost nothing and was soooo convenient.

  21. By adriennek

    Quote Originally Posted by lauras5boys View Post
    I just started going to Disney without a stroller and while is some ways it is freeing not having to push it around, I must admit I miss it at times. No place to store all our stuff and it's much harder to keep track of them all without it.

    I can't speak to the keeping track of them all but - I love having my boys haul their own stuff in their backpacks now! They even help carry some of my stuff. (Mostly just an extra water bottle or two for mom.) And they like carrying their own backpacks, too.

  22. By GusMan

    Re: Strollers.
    Yes, this in of itself can be a topic of debate. But like anything else, you have to use what works for your kids and your family while also at the same time trying to be considerate of others while watching out for those around you who are inconsiderate to begin with.

    So, yes, it is a delicate balance. Some strike it well. Some, not so much. It happens to the newbee and the seasoned guest.

    Regardless, being prepared and practice is still a key thing here to make a nighttime transition easier.

  23. By cstephens

    Quote Originally Posted by pcrazy99 View Post
    We always found it easier to navigate with an umbrella stroller and a small diaper bag.

    I always worry about the people who are using an umbrella stroller because on more than one occasion, I've seen a parent seemingly forget that it's not a regular stroller and put a backpack or other bag on the handle that's entirely too heavy and starts to tip the child over. Or, they have a bag hung on it that's ok to balance as long as the child is sitting in the stroller. But then the child gets out of the stroller and over it goes.

  24. By 3Princesses1Prince

    Quote Originally Posted by cstephens View Post
    Or, they have a bag hung on it that's ok to balance as long as the child is sitting in the stroller. But then the child gets out of the stroller and over it goes.

    Been there!

  25. By lauras5boys

    I can't speak to the keeping track of them all but - I love having my boys haul their own stuff in their backpacks now! They even help carry some of my stuff. (Mostly just an extra water bottle or two for mom.) And they like carrying their own backpacks, too.

    Yes, it is nice having them haul their own stuff...except for the all the time we spend going back to find the jackets and backpacks that have been left at the last bench or the lunch table or space mountain. One day they will actually remember everything and it will be glorious!

  26. By BlossomNoseMurphy

    When it comes to navigating at night, I've found that Frontierland is usually empty compared to Adventureland for getting to the Hub. Ditto for the path between Fantasyland/Tomorrowland than either FL or TL directly. I love the idea of having a flashlight, and am now thinking about making headlights for my stroller....


    Also remember that all the stores on the right side of Main Street as you leave the Hub are connected (and most on the left side too). At night, the stores are well lit so you can see (and be seen) and I am less likely to feel claustrophobic than with the mob on Main Street. I usually will cut through the stores when it's crowded during the day for parades also. It's not faster, but more pleasant.

  27. By Mermaid

    My kids are 1 and 2.5, they were 10 months and 2 on our last trip. They have never, ever stayed up past 7:30. 7:00 bedtime is a hard and fast rule in our house. I decided to play it cool and let them stay up as long as they could without melting before we headed back to the hotel one day- I mean lots of people do this, right! And, we do mid-day breaks and naps. Surely, we could be one of those people whose kids are asleep in the stroller and we are having ice cream and people watching on a bench into the late night. Uh. No. We had to leave at 6:30!!! They just had enough! Oh well, next time!

    My 2.5 year old just yesterday told me after watching a Disneyland special that he would fly to Disneyland using his cape. I told him he couldn't do that, I would miss him too much. he replied that I can fly on his back, Daddy could fly on my back, Katie can fly on daddy's back and we can all go. He then put all of his train tracks in his backpack, put on his cape and said "I'm ready!"

  28. By currence

    We went to Disneyland with a good friend yesterday and her son, who was still on East Coast time and had woken up at 4am Pacific, was a grouchy guy by noon. Even though he "doesn't" nap in strollers, he gladly went into the stroller for a trip to the trams/car because mom was desperate and hoped he might rest in the car and/or the quiet would do him good. He was asleep by the time they got to the tram line. Once I found out that they were not going to the car after all, I joined them and we went to a quiet spot to finish the nap.

    Back to the topic of this thread, once he woke up, we had to re-join our group. A timid mom, in an unfamiliar stroller, who was not entirely sure where she was going, seemed to epitomize a lot of the complaints we see about strollers. Adding night time to the mix can make stroller use more difficult, but knowing where you are going (generally) and how to operate your stroller will definitely help make things more manageable. I also like the flashlight idea. Or get the kids those ever-present, super annoying light-up toys that they sell throughout the park. At least it will make the stroller more visible to others and if someone does cut you off your kid can whack them with their light-saber (kidding .... mostly).

  29. By fairestoneofall

    Mostly....Hahaha!

  30. By 3Princesses1Prince

    Quote Originally Posted by currence View Post
    At least it will make the stroller more visible to others and if someone does cut you off your kid can whack them with their light-saber (kidding .... mostly).

    You mean not everyone does this?!? I thought that's what light sabers are for?

    I totally agree that being familiar with your stroller helps immensely.

  31. By candles71

    The several different small children I have encountered who lose track of their mommies in the dark is enough to keep them in their strollers a bit longer.

  32. By rph13

    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid View Post
    My kids are 1 and 2.5, they were 10 months and 2 on our last trip. They have never, ever stayed up past 7:30. 7:00 bedtime is a hard and fast rule in our house. I decided to play it cool and let them stay up as long as they could without melting before we headed back to the hotel one day- I mean lots of people do this, right! And, we do mid-day breaks and naps. Surely, we could be one of those people whose kids are asleep in the stroller and we are having ice cream and people watching on a bench into the late night. Uh. No. We had to leave at 6:30!!! They just had enough! Oh well, next time!

    My 2.5 year old just yesterday told me after watching a Disneyland special that he would fly to Disneyland using his cape. I told him he couldn't do that, I would miss him too much. he replied that I can fly on his back, Daddy could fly on my back, Katie can fly on daddy's back and we can all go. He then put all of his train tracks in his backpack, put on his cape and said "I'm ready!"

    Mermaid this is awesome! I want to fly to Disneyland, too! I love how he put his train tracks in the backpack, I wonder what his thought process was that the train tracks where the most important thing to bring. Kids brains are great.

  33. By fdcmp

    This is a test reply. I wrote a nice reply to this thread, and when I posted it, it said I wasn't logged in and ate it. So this is the points item version of it posted as an edit.
    - Go light or go heavy with stroller, we chose latter, use the Cortina.
    - Carry frozen and unfrozen bottles of water below stroller to prevent tipping and cool milk and leftovers.
    - Get reflective tape and bike lights from REI.
    - Industrial Velcro from Home Depot useful to stick things to stroller.
    - Reflective materials improve year to year, we bought a newer Cortina with better reflective soft goods.
    - Glow necklaces and bracelets--Dollar Tree. Orlando between Whole Foods and Wal Mart near Sand Lake Hospital. Anaheim on Lincoln between the new Target on Euclid and the now-demolished Target past Euclid. Beware small parts.

  34. By MidwayManiac

    Quote Originally Posted by lauras5boys View Post
    No place to store all our stuff

    ^ this is as good a reason to bring a stroller as any. DW and joke sometimes that our kids will be adults but it won't stop us from bringing a stroller.

  35. By cstephens

    Quote Originally Posted by fdcmp View Post
    This is a test reply. I wrote a nice reply to this thread, and when I posted it, it said I wasn't logged in and ate it.

    I've had that happen before and I know it's really frustrating. If you took a while to compose the reply, the system probably registered a long period of inactivity, and it can sometimes log you out. To avoid that in the future, periodically hit the button that lets you review your post as a draft so the system registers you as still being active, or on the top of the page, go to "quick links" and click on "open contacts popup". That little window seems to do something that periodically lets the system know you're still logged in without you actually having to do anything. A friend gave me that tip, and I use it often.

  36. By Mermaid

    Quote Originally Posted by rph13 View Post
    Mermaid this is awesome! I want to fly to Disneyland, too! I love how he put his train tracks in the backpack, I wonder what his thought process was that the train tracks where the most important thing to bring. Kids brains are great.

    His trains are his obsession! Right now he is talking constantly about having a choo-choo party for his birthday in 4 MONTHS!!

    Funniest part was he packed no trains...

  37. By Drince88

    I think it's an age thing, Mermaid. My odlest nephew (graduating from college this year) was equally obsessed around his 3rd birthday. He got a TON of train presents that year -- He had fun riding the 'monorail train' on his visit to WDW when they lived in Orlando and Aunt Cathy just HAD to visit them. He also really liked BTMRR that trip! (He's tall)

  38. By fairestoneofall

    My boys were train obsessed at three as well.

  39. By Mermaid

    We have a great train park near us (McCormick- Stillman Railroad Park) where we had his 2nd birthday. It is just $2 to ride the train and both kids are still free. There is a tunnel and he raises his hands and screams when we go through it- which is totally funny, but I have no clue where he learned to do that! I didn't think he could get more into trains than he was then, but he is now for sure! We are taking the train in Skagway, Alaska this summer. I hope he loves it! Before our last DL trip, he watched the You Tube video of the DL train about a million times. He freaked when he saw it in person, but didn't quite seem to get it when we were actually on it.

  40. By adriennek

    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid View Post
    He then put all of his train tracks in his backpack, put on his cape and said "I'm ready!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid View Post
    His trains are his obsession!


    Love!

  41. By candles71

    I love it, too. B has been obsessed by trains that long and still is at 19. At 3 though big rigs were a huge factor as well. He would hold his rig up to every passing truck driver aas we would journey down the freeway. I ran auto parts at that point of his life and our rig driver would put him up in the cab where he would stand under the steering wheel hands over his head "driving it".

  42. By sjhanksaz

    I don't know if they still sell them or not but when our kids were younger we got them those shoes that light up. It was pretty easy to track thier movements even in a crowded walk in the dark down Mainstreet.

  43. By 3Princesses1Prince

    Quote Originally Posted by sjhanksaz View Post
    I don't know if they still sell them or not but when our kids were younger we got them those shoes that light up. It was pretty easy to track thier movements even in a crowded walk in the dark down Mainstreet.

    They do and they're everywhere. Harder to track down yours when everyone's shoes light up.

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