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Disney on DH's business trip?

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My DH just got invited to speak at a national conference in Orlando in October. We have never taken the kids to Disneyworld and hadn't planned to for a while, but we're thinking this might be a great option!


The deal:

-- Conference is just after Columbus Day. So we would probably go to WDW for a few days beforehand, as I'm not sure I can handle three kids by myself at the park. The two days he is at the conference, the kids and I will probably do pool, shopping, etc.

-- Company will pay for DH's expenses while in Orlando (flight, rental car, hotel -- though DH is not sure if an on-WDW property will be reimbursed for a convention). So we just need to get me and three kids there.

-- Since our DS is a busy boy and an early riser, it would help to have two or three rooms. I am willing to stay off property or in a suite to avoid his potential 5 a.m. siren song. :D

-- Our local airport has one non-stop flight to Orlando per day, arriving at 8 p.m. Orlando time.

-- Kids will be 9, 6, and 3 (almost 4, but he has Down syndrome and has limited mobility and cognitive skills) at the time of travel. We'll need to bring or rent a stroller and get a FastPass or a Guest Assistance Pass.

-- I am fine with just doing one or two parks and not stressing over "doing it all"


I have been perusing the various Disney threads here and have ordered a guide book. Thank you to all who have shared!!


Any tips on traveling with kids, especially with food allergies (DD 6 is gluten-intolerant) and intellectual disabilities would be helpful. Places to stay, dining options, etc., would be helpful in planning a trip on short notice. Thank you!!

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We did a Make A Wish Trip to Disney and I think the disability pass would be similar. It was GREAT. The wait times were minimal and they let us switch off so that one could stay with the child while the other rode. You could always call ahead and see what you might need.


They will also give you a tag for the stroller to be considered a "wheelchair" if needed so for those rides/shows that have "stroller parking" you can continue to use the stroller for him and use the wheelchair line.


My girls are very ambulatory but fatigue easily so when we went Make a Wish got them a wheelchair that they shared and it was WONDERFUL. You might find that your 6 year old would want to ride part of the time as well so if you have a leash/harness your younger one could walk a bit while an older one rode.

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If you have a stroller you love, I'd bring that instead of paying Disney's insane prices. Their strollers are $15/day and don't even have places to store your stuff underneath. If you don't want to bring yours, there is off-Disney stroller rental that rents high-quality strollers for lower prices than Disney. Disney strollers can't go on the trams or the trains either. It's free to bring strollers on airplanes so I was really glad we did that.


My kids were 8, 6, and 1.5 when we went this spring. The tour guides seemed to say that food allergies are taken very seriously at the restaurants, but someone with experience might better be able to relate to that.


I'm blanking on what they were called, but if you have one member of your party who can't/won't go on a ride, you ask for a voucher and it allows 3 people to go through the fastpass line after your party (minus a caregiver and the child) goes through the ride. If you have one adult alone with 3 kids I think you'd be stuck, but with 2 adults it's great and usually 2 older kids get to go twice.

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Windsor Hills is my favorite place to stay in Orlando. It's just a few minutes by car to Disney property, and traffic is not an issue, but you would definitely need to rent a car. They have everything from 2 and 3 bedroom condos and townhomes to massive 5 and 6 bedroom houses. They are fully furnished and well-maintained. There is a great pool area with a waterslide, plus a really nice playground. Costs for the time of year you are going are around $99 per night, which is not a whole lot more than a one dinky value room on property. I've booked through Florida Sun Vacation Homes often.


October is a beautiful time of year to come to Florida, though early October can still be pretty hot. Columbus Day weekend will also be rather busy, but during the week should be not too bad. Bring your own stroller--the rental ones are expensive and not that great. With your kids ages I would plan on at least 2 days at Magic Kingdom--there's so much to see and do that it's nice to spread it out instead of trying to cram it all into one visit. My kids second favorite park has always been EPCOT if you want to work in a second park, too.


I don't have experience with the food allergy or special accommodations issues, but I have heard that Disney is VERY good when it comes to such things.

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