If you are traveling to Disney World or Disneyland with young kids, it’s always a big deal to decide what stroller to bring (or not to bring!). Even me, little ole’ Baby Gizmo gal struggled with this decision 2 weeks ago when I was getting ready to hit Orlando with my three kids.
A trip to Walt Disney World means a ton of walking and very long days. While normally a child 4 years and older would rarely ride in a stroller in the real world, Disney is not the real world. It’s the marathon of outings. Their little legs will get tired. They will not only want to ride but many times will beg to ride and if you don’t have a stroller, you’ll end up with a 4 year old on your husband’s shoulders for hours on end or a whole lot of whining. I don’t know but extra whining sure takes the magic out of anything. Even Disney World.
I ended up taking the Valco Baby Zee Two stroller on our 7-day Disney adventure for my 3 and 6 year old boys. It worked out amazing for us because when they didn’t ride, I used the seats as storage. When they did ride, the basket was plenty big to hold all of our things.
Now that I’m back, I wanted to share all the things that I learned about strollers at Disney.
This is just something fun I wanted to share but all the different brands of strollers you’ll see is amazing. If you are a “stroller watcher” this is the place to be. I saw everything from $10 back-breaking, tiny umbrella strollers to more than a handful of Stokke Xplorys. Yes, I couldn’t believe it either because I wouldn’t have pegged a $1,000+ Xplory as a Disney stroller but I saw plenty of them.
I have to say that Baby Jogger dominated the stroller space at Disney World. They were everywhere!! I can see why because it is a fabulous all-around stroller but I quickly learned the real reason. The 3rd party stroller rental companies (not Disney) rented Baby Joggers to people. That is clearly their stroller of choice.
Speaking of stroller rentals, you may want to consider leaving your stroller at home and renting one when you get there. If you decide to go this route, you have two choices: rent one from Disney or rent one from a 3rd party company. This is a personal decision but I can tell you that the Disney strollers are more expensive and are less comfortable for your riders.
Here is what the Disney strollers look like:
No recline, no padding but they are easy to wipe down. They cost $27/day for a double if you purchase for multiple days or $31 for a single day.
If you want to save a little money and have your kid(s) ride in more style, consider renting from an outside company. There are plenty of companies to choose from and most deliver right to your hotel and pick it up from your hotel when you leave. Easy-peasy. Here are a few of 3rd company choices. We haven’t personally used any of them yet so that will be a different post down the line.
Orlando Stroller Rentals – http://www.orlandostrollerrentals.com
Kingdom Strollers – http://www.kingdomstrollers.com
Apple Strollers – http://www.applestroller.com
Baby Wheels Orlando – http://www.babywheelsorlando.com
Magic Strollers – http://www.magicstrollers.com
Discount Stroller Rentals – http://www.discountstrollerrentals.com
These companies all rent single and double strollers with a double costing you between $60-$80 for 7 days while the Disney stroller will cost you $189. Significant savings!
Many people have emailed me over the years about stroller locks. They want to take their high-end, luxury stroller to Disney but they are afraid of it getting stolen so they want to know about the stroller locks.
Don’t. Do. It.
Stroller locks are great for other instances but NOT for Disney. Disney Cast Members constantly move the parked strollers and we’ve heard countless instances where strollers have been broken because the cast member didn’t see the lock and tried to force the stroller. The last thing you want is your $1,000 Orbit stroller broken because you put a lock on it.
I can’t guarantee your stroller won’t be stolen. I don’t think it is that common but IF you are super concerned about it, don’t take your high-end stroller and just rent one. If you want to have your stroller with you, skip the stroller lock and just make sure to remove all valuables and carry them with you when you park it.
Taking Your Own
If you decide that you want to take a stroller with you to Disney my advice is to take one that is rather compact, lightweight and easy to fold. Honestly, you may not need to fold it that often UNLESS you are planning to utilize the Disney bus system. When you ride the buses, the stroller must be folded down and you have to carry it and hold it on the bus. This is where compact and lightweight strollers will be your friend. If you are staying at a Disney resort that is not on the monorail (ex. Art of Animation) you will probably be taking a bus unless you rented a car.
If you are planning to ride the monorail everywhere (ex. staying at The Contemporary), you don’t have to fold your stroller. You can wheel your stroller right on the monorail with no problem.
Besides lightweight and easy-to-fold, a large basket (or lots of storage!) will be key! The kids will need snacks, drinks, change of clothes and stuff like that and you’ll need to put it somewhere. Sure, you can bring a backpack and stuff it all in there but it’s much easier if you have a big basket that will hold it all. Even if you stuff all your things in a backpack or bag, you’ll appreciate if the bag fits in the stroller basket so that you don’t have to carry it for 12 hours through the park.
So, basically whether you bring your own or rent one, you will probably need a stroller if you have kid(s) that are 5 and under and are planning to hit the Disney parks for the entire day. I know a few people will disagree that a child over 3 will need a stroller, but believe me, you will need one! No joke. Don’t try to muscle through it without one because there is no prize for those parents who limped through the entire day without a stroller.