Disney for Every Family

Single Parents

Success Secrets

Consider your stamina, as much as your kids', since you won't have back-up help. Allow enough days so you can sometimes skip parks and relax at your resort. Stick to rides that can be conquered together (unless kids are old enough to ride alone), but suggest alternatives for any that must be missed. For example, if Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is too wild, try the calmer Barnstormer coaster.

Where to Stay

Nearby offsite suite hotels offer separate sleeping areas, kitchenettes, videogames, free meals, shuttle service, and affordable prices. Try the whimsically-themed kidsuites at Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort (with movie theater, childcare, and kids-eat-free program); $109 to $159 per night (800-366-6299; www.kidsuites.com). Or, check out Buena Vista Suites, where four-night packages with park passes and complimentary breakfast start at $519 per adult; $195 for children 3 to 9 (800-537-7737; www.buenavistasuites.com).

 

Don't Miss

Places where you can take a breather while kids enjoy hands-on activities, like: Kidcot Fun Stops in Epcot's World Showcase pavilions (kids learn culture through crafts); Epcot's Fitness Fairgrounds in Wonders of Life (interactive sports equipment and a "Goofy" movie); Animal Kingdom's Boneyard (relax on a bench while kids climb the jungle gym); and Disney-MGM Studio's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Play It! (with trigger-finger computers at everyone's seat).

Dining Tips

Grab cheap nibbles, like fresh fruit, turkey legs, and McDonald's fries, at stands throughout the parks. When you want a sit-down restaurant, choose one with built-in entertainment. At The Sci-Fi Dine-In at Disney-MGM Studios, kids eat in vintage cars as movie trailers and cartoons play on a drive-in screen.

Sanity Saver

Give yourself a well-deserved break by taking advantage of your hotel's childcare (if offered), or one of Disney's organized kids' activities (open to all). Kids 3 to 10 can embark on a 2-hour Pirate Treasure Hunt Cruise; or decorate cupcakes with Alice and the Mad Hatter at the hour-long Wonderland Tea Party. Both $25 per child; at Grand Floridian resort. (Call 407-WDW-DINE to reserve).

Words of Wisdom

"I went with a friend who had kids close in age to mine," says Debbi Borchers, a single mom of 3 from Cincinnati. "The kids had instant playmates, and I got adult companionship, as well as an extra pair of hands!"

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