Lurker here, going to WDW next week!

Avatar for trish920
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Lurker here, going to WDW next week!
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 10:47am
I'm glad I found this board! We're taking 2.5 year old DD for the 1st time. We are staying on the property in the Swan - has anyone ever stayed there? I have some other questions too if anyone can help!

About strollers: Bring our own or rent one of theirs? I heard that theirs are good. How much do they cost? I have been looking on the Disney website for more info and I can't seem to find any about this!

About carrying in food/water/etc: Are we allowed to do that? We have a backpack that I want to bring with this kind of stuff - I know how expensive it is in the parks. Has anyone done this?

About babysitters: Has anyone used a babysitter provided by the hotel (in your room)? DH and I want to out alone one night and I was wondering if the babysitters are good there. Do I need to reserve one now or can I wait until I get there?

About Character Breakfasts: Do I need to make reservations now or can I wait until I get there? Did anyone have one in particular that they liked? I know there are several different ones.

About taking a Two year old: Has anyone ever done that? I am worried that she won't do well sleeping in a strange place and that she'll get cranky halfway through the day and that we'll miss a lot of good stuff (like the parade) because of that.

Oh and did I also mention I'm 32 weeks pregnant?? LOL! This should be interesting :-)

Sorry this is so long and TIA!!!

Trish :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 11:10am
Here are some ideas/suggestions/answers to some of your questions. Hope it helps!

I stayed at the Swan in 1996, and the location is wonderful. About the only "problem" I had is that the a/c is set so that it does not kick on until you are in your room, with the door dead bolted, which might make it a little uncomfortable for about 30 or so minutes until the room cools down. Other than that, I absolutely love the property.

You can carry in snacks and water bottles. They will search your backpack before you enter the park, but I have never heard of them taking away food.

I would suggest making reservations for at least one character breakfast, as they can fill up quickly. My personal favorite is the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. It is Pooh and friends. Another favorite of a lot of people is Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary.

If possible, I would suggest bringing your own stroller as your little one is familiar with it and might be able to nap better in that one than in a "strange" one.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 11:15am
Hi: We leave tomorrow with our 2 kids, 6 and 3.

I think I read that strollers are $8 and you get a dollar back. We are planning on taking our own so we don't have the hassle of returning it and we don't have to carry a tired 3 year old from the stroller rental back to the parking lot.

We are planning on packing our own juice boxes, water, and sandwiches to take with us to the parks. I don't think this should be a problem. I can post during the week how we got on doing this as we are taking the computer.

I'm sure my 3 year old will get cranky half way during the day but I'm hoping he will just crash in his stroller for a hour and then be ready to go again. I guess when you have small kids you just have to make allowences and you are probably not going to get everything done. Since the hours aren't that great for May we are just planning on going for the whole day and hope that Ben takes a nap in his stroller.

I can't help with your other questions. I'm also pregnant, 22 weeks so I think I will be worn out by the end of the day too. We plan on going to the park every other day so that we have a rest day in between.

Anita who is starting to drive down tomorrow, arriving Sunday.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 11:34am
First off have a great time & congrats, 8 more weeks to go!

I have never stayed at the Swan but my sister stayed at the Dolphin for a work conference one year while we were at the Beach Club and we swam there and showered there on our last day before our flight home. I do remember the pool was quite big and there were lots of hallways but it was a standard hotel room.

You will have easy access to EPCOT and MGM via the boat launch. Or you can walk. You do not have to fold up your stroller on these boats since they are larger and you can wheel right on.

As for strollers, I would bring my own. We did last year and it was easy. We bought a smaller one (larger then an umbrella one) with the canopy, cup holders for us, tray for our dd to eat on and a basket underneath. We didn't want to stand in line during park opening to get a stroller when we could be on a ride. I think they are about $10 more or less/day and if you leave a park and go back later (or to a different park) you don't have to pay again. There is a deposit and unless you return the stroller at the end of the day you get it back. If you don't return it-leave the stroller stranded in the park, you don't get the deposit back.

The MK and MGM and I want to say EPCOT have the jogger style strollers. I for some reason think the EPCOT ones are different but can't remember. And AK has different ones. I know there is a web site that shows pictures of them (I think) but I can't remember which one it is. I don't think they recline or do they. The worst part about the strollers is the bus because you have to fold them up but I'd rather take my own, knowing my dd is comfortable in it and she was able to eat in it too.

I always bring water into the park. With the exception of this past summer, I had a fanny pack that carried 2 water bottles so we used that. This past summer was the first trip for our dd and we brought a medium sized collapsable cooler with us. It fit under the stroller along with the diaper bag. We had ice packs in it (we had a fridge in our room) and we kept 2 water bottles for us and our dd's milk/sippy cup in there along with a few little juice boxes, snacks and we also had zip lock bags since to save what she didn't eat at lunch/dinner in (like chicken strips or Pizza, etc...). This way the food stayed nice and cool. I think I only opened the bag once for security but they probably thought it was a diaper bag since it was in the stroller (I even had another bag too). They never questioned me nor did they ever question me when I used to bring water bottles into the parks.

I have never used a baby sitter and I am not sure how to get one. You can call where you made the reservations and ask them.

Depending on what character breakfast you want to go to, you should make reservations/Priority seating now. Some are more busier then others and harder to get a seat for.

My dd was 15 months old and had the time of her life. I can't wait to take her again! She was still taking 2 naps prior to boarding the plane that day we left, LOL! But I didn't want to do 2 naps while we were there and I didn't want her to nap in the stroller (sort of a no-no for me, I'd rather have her sleep in a crib, comfortable so she can move). So on our first day she did great and missed her morning nap, I think all she wanted to do was ride Cinderella's golden carosel so she didn't care about her nap. But we made it a point to return to our room every day. We'd usually eat lunch in the park and go back to the resort this way she was asleep by about 1 ish in the crib. She was never cranky (other then to want to go on Cinderella's golden carosel again and again and again and again!). As soon as she got up we either went for a swim or went back to the park (if it was close to dinner time). We stayed in the parks til 9 or 10 pm depending on closing and she went to bed as soon as we got back. The first night was a bit difficult but after that as soon as her jammies were on and she was in the crib she was out. Unfortunately we never did any afternoon parades, but in reality, I am never in the park during the early afternoon since I always take a mid-day break so it was no loss for me.

The baby centers are great. The one in MGM is very small so there is not alot of run around space but if your dd is still in a diaper and you are near them, use them. There are also a few family bathrooms (which my dh loved being in there while I pee'd, lol!), especially in EPCOT that were useful since I was able to recline the stroller and change her on that while my dh kept her from being a pain and rolling. But use the baby centers even for you just to rest and cool off. There are places to sit. The one in AK and the one in ECPOT also have a little play area with some toys. And in MK we were lucky to see the Fairy Godmother. But when you see them, use them.

I can tell you some rides my dd was a bit freaked out on:


Peter Pan-I think between it being dark and being up high, she didn't like it.

Snow White-It was dark and scary in some parts

Pirates-I think the little hill at the beginning she wasn't too impressed with


Spaceship Earth-at the beginning when it was dark.

In MGM, we didn't do any rides and in AK we only went on the sarfari and she loved the animals.

She loved seeing the characters and I think the staff was amazed at how she went right up to them and hugged them vs other kids her age (not all) were crying and clingy to their parents. But I will say she didn't like the face characters aka Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother but she loved Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger and got a private showing with them.

Oh and if they give you a hard time about bringing in drinks, remind them that you need to stay hydrated since you are 32 (soon to be 33 wks) pregnant and you need to keep drinking. I don't think they will give you a problem

Have a great time and I will not grant you labor vibes for another 3+ weeks at least.


Avatar for trish920
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 1:01pm
Thank you so much for the link- it is fabulous - tons of great info! I wish I had made my reservations for the character breakfasts already - I'm afraid we won't get in!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 1:46pm
Welcome to the board! You have already received a lot of good advice here, I don't have much to add except I did use the in-room babysitter service last fall and it worked out great. I don't have the phone number handy, but if you call Disney reservations, they should be able to give it to you. The babysitter comes to your room, and you can give them permission to take the child(ren) to eat at the hotel restaurant, or to play on the playground, etc. So at least they get out and get a change of scenery. I know some people are leery about using a babysitter service in an unfamiliar place, but my DD was thrilled with it (she loves meeting new babysitters!), and it was a great experience for us! My Dh and I got to go out and enjoy Epcot by ourselves! It was really nice.

Have a wonderful trip!!



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 9:59pm
In '99, I carried water bottles and snacks in a backpack, but that was before 9/11 and the bag searches. About character meals: We ate lunch at Crystal Palace with Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore, and Piglet. Good buffet, nice, cool, relaxing time in the middle of the day. It definitely rejuvenated us for the rest of the day. Hours then (Oct.) were 9-7, so we didn't want to leave and come back. Not enough hours in the day. Melanie