Disney with Little Ones: Take Your Own Stroller!

Parents often debate whether to bring their own stroller, rent one from an outside stroller rental service, or rent them in the parks. For several reasons, I recommend bringing your own. They will come in handy from the beginning of your trip until the very end.

Navigating through an airport without young children can be really stressful. Having your kids seated will speed up and streamline the process.  If you have an early or naptime flight, they may even fall asleep in the stroller and rest comfortably at the gate while you wait. Your stroller will be checked as you board and will be waiting for you at the gate as you exit the plane. Additionally, stroller rental at the parks adds up quickly ($15/single or $31/double per day) and you can buy a quality, versatile alternative at a reasonable price. Finally, double stroller rental is not available at Downtown Disney and no strollers are available for rent at your resort – you may just wish you had one if you decide to take a long walk around the beautiful grounds.

Follow these tips when selecting your stroller(s) for Walt Disney World:

  1. Choose single, lightweight umbrella strollers that fold easily and quickly. Pushing a double stroller, whether it’s a side-by-side OR front-back, through narrow walkways in tight crowds is challenging. Additionally, strollers have to be folded up on buses and trams. Practice and get that quick collapse down to a science BEFORE arriving at Disney! You don’t want to spend a lot of time fumbling with a heavy, awkward, and/or huge stroller while a line of other tired guests watch and wait.
  2. Purchase stroller links for about $10 and gain the option of connecting the strollers so one parent can easily push both children (at the airport, for example, or while one parent is riding a ride with greater height restrictions, etc).
  3. Ensure that your stroller has at least one cup holder; two would be optimal.
  4. Check out the storage space underneath the seat – it should be large enough for your child’s diaper bag and any other items you might take with you or purchase at the parks.  We found that our overloaded backpacks caused the lightweight strollers to tip backwards easily when the boys got out of them. It can turn into a hassle for you and the Cast Members who manage stroller parking.  The stroller handles can be used for items that aren’t heavy – like empty souvenir popcorn buckets!
  5. Last but not least, the stroller should have a canopy to block the sun (or rain) from your child’s face.

With a little research and planning, having the perfect stroller can make your family vacation more convenient and enjoyable.

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Candice was raised in east Tennessee. While in college, her best friend dragged her to a Walt Disney World College Program recruiting session at the University of Tennessee and the rest is Disney history. In the Fall of 1999, Candice became a quick service food hostess for Sunset Ranch Market and Fantasmic at Disney-MGM Studios – or what is now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While soaking up her time as a cast member, she met Ryan, a neighbor and a fellow college programmer who worked as a custodial host at Epcot. Four years later, Candice moved to the Midwest and married that boy from across the hall. They now live in Greenwood, Indiana with their two little boys. The Disney-loving foursome took their first family trip to The Happiest Place on Earth in 2013 and Candice is eagerly planning their return. Candice also works full-time at a community mental health center and enjoys taking photographs and blogging at Mommy in the Midwest.

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