While planning your Disney trip, you may be wondering whether or not you should consider using a stroller. The bottom line is only you can decide if a stroller is right for your family on your trip, but if you need help deciding, here are a few things to consider.
Many people wonder if they’ll need a stroller when their children don’t typically use one for regular outings. In order to help you determine whether or not you’ll need a stroller for your next trip, we’ve come up with a list of considerations to help you make the best decision for your family.
Age of the child
How old are your children? Do they typically still use a stroller at home? If so, it makes sense for you to bring a stroller.
But what if your kids haven’t used a stroller for years? It still may make sense to bring one. A day at a Disney World Park can easily have you walking 7 miles or more. Can your child do that without exhaustion?
Factor in the Florida heat into this equation. Will your child whine if they get tired AND hot? Will you have to carry them? A fun day at Disney could quickly turn sour.
All the “stuff” you need
I don’t know about you, but we bring a lot of “stuff” into the parks. We typically bring a cooler with a packed lunch, extra bottled water, and some snacks. We also usually have a bag with extra clothes (just in case!) and sometimes we buy souvenirs.
However, I don’t want to carry any of this around! A stroller makes a convenient storage space. Conversely, if lugging the stroller for stuff alone doesn’t appeal to you, there are lockers available to rent for the day. You can also have souvenirs purchased in the parks sent back to your Resort, but only if you are staying onsite.
Are you going during a busy time when crowds are high? Do you plan to experience rope drop or fireworks? Sometimes when crowds are thick it’s easier to put the kids in the stroller so you can navigate the crowds without fear of losing your child.
However, having a stroller may slow you down in these instances. Once I overheard a father tell his son at Hollywood Studios rope drop to “jump in front of strollers; they can’t get ahead of you!” It is important to remember crowds make navigating with a stroller much more difficult. More than once I have been rammed in the ankles with a stroller during rope drop and park closing.
What type of transportation you will be using
Certain transportation options make having a stroller more or less attractive. Using the Monorail, Skyliner, or ferry? You won’t need to fold down your stroller unless there are space issues. You will have to fold up a stroller if you are using the buses, Minnie Vans, or a car.
This can be particularly painful if there are tons of people waiting, or if your children are sleeping. Remember, you’ll have to remove all of your stuff, remove your child, fold it up, lug it on, and then do it all over again when you arrive at your destination.
How long is your trip? Are you spending the day in the park open to close? Do you have meals planned for breaks or do you go, go, go?
Are you hoping to stay up late for fireworks? Can you accomplish your travel plans with a child who walked all day?
Keeping these questions in mind can help you determine if having a stroller will benefit your family. Some feel that having the stroller gives children a place to chill and rest and can extend your park time. For families trying to “do it all,” having a stroller can help save your child’s energy to get everything done.
However, if your plans involve lots of rest and relaxation, having a stroller may not be beneficial.
Size of the child
Depending on your child’s size, you may find a stroller difficult to push! I took my kids last summer without my husband and after a week of pushing the double stroller and my kids (40 and 60 pounds plus the weight of the stroller) I was exhausted and limping. For a shorter trip or one where you can share the stroller-pushing duty, this may not be an issue.
However, you may want to consider whether pushing the heavy stroller outweighs the potential to have to carry the heavy child. Imagine carrying a sleeping or cranky child after a long day in the Florida sun. If this is a possibility, a stroller might be right for your family.
Disney World is a stimulating place! There are endless sights, noises, and smells. Some children can become overwhelmed by this constant stimulation. A stroller can be a safe spot in these instances where a child can temporarily regroup and decompress.
The decision to bring a stroller or not is yours alone, but if you decide that your family would benefit from using a stroller, know the restrictions before you go! Read more about stroller restrictions here.
Did you know you can rent a stroller? If you don’t want to bring one from home, this is an option. If you plan to rent a stroller, make sure you read our post regarding vendor drop-offs.
Will you use a stroller on your next trip to Disney World? Why or why not? Drop me a comment and let me know!
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”-Walt Disney