Strollers at Walt Disney World – Pros and Cons of Renting, Buying, and Bringing
Did you know that the average guest can walk up to 10 miles each day during their visit to Walt Disney World?!? Covering over 40 square miles of property, Walt Disney World is roughly the size of Manhattan island or San Francisco!
With so many attractions geared towards all ages – babies, toddlers, tweens, teens, and adults – it is important to consider this when planning for your next trip. Most elementary-aged kids can handle this pace with ease. I was shocked by the stamina my elementary aged daughter had on our last trip as I literally watched her skip out the gates after we logged 11 miles in Epcot that day!
But for younger kids, this amount of walking can be too much for their little legs. For any age, I always recommend that everyone return to their resort for 2-4 hours of nap and rest in the afternoon.
But even with rest time, it is still recommended to use a stroller for pre-school age kids. Bringing a stroller can be an amazing tool to keep the little ones fresh and rested all day long! Even if your child hasn’t used a stroller in years, they may be begging you for one after walking all day at the theme parks.
Today, we are going to answer some of the more frequently asked questions about strollers at Walt Disney World and discuss the pros and cons of renting, buying, and bringing.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a number of questions that guests will often ask about strollers at Walt Disney World. Here are just a few!
1) Can guests use a stroller at the theme parks?
Yes! Of course! Guests are able to use strollers throughout the Walt Disney World Resort area, including all four theme parks, Disney Springs and the Disney Resorts.
2) Can I park my stroller anywhere I want?
Unfortunately, no. Disney has designated stroller parking located throughout the theme parks and Disney Springs where you can park your stroller. If you choose to “go rogue” and park your stroller outside of one of these designated areas, don’t expect to find it there when you return. Your stroller has not been stolen, but a cast member has repositioned it to the nearest designated stroller parking area.
3) I can’t find my stroller! Someone stole it!
If you have parked your stroller in a designated stroller parking location, it may have moved before you return. Stitch (ie. your friendly cast member) is fast at work repositioning strollers throughout the day to ensure that they are nicely lined up so that everyone has space to park.
Therefore, as someone retrieves their stroller, a cast member will move every. other. stroller. into. that. space. It’s a beautiful picture of organization, and I often wonder if the cast member designated this task dreams of moving strollers in their sleep that night!
And yes, someone may have stolen your stroller. As you will note upon arrival, strollers at Walt Disney World … all look THE SAME. So, be sure to mark your stroller with something identifiable (glow in the dark tape, a helium balloon, strands of ribbon) so you can distinguish it easily from the group.
4) What are my stroller rental options at Walt Disney World?
Direct via Disney
Strollers can be rented directly from Disney on a daily or length-of-stay basis. As of this article’s publication, a single stroller can be rented for $15 per day or $13 for a multi-day (length of stay) rental. Double strollers can be rented for $31 per day or $27 for a multi-day (length of stay) rental.
Strollers rented directly from Disney cannot be removed from the theme parks. However, if visiting more than one theme park per day, you can return the stroller at one park and then present your rental receipt at the next park to obtain a new one.
Disney has one featured third-party provider for stroller rentals at Walt Disney World. A featured provider is recognized by Disney as providing a service that would meet the standards require by Disney if they were to provide the service themselves. Further, they have access to the Disney resorts and cast members that other 3rd party providers may not receive.
Here is the contact information of Disney’s featured provider:
Phone: 1 (800) 726-8284
As a featured provider, the third-party rental company is able to deliver the stroller directly to your Disney Resort’s bell services for pick up upon arrival. It will be there when you arrive, and when you depart you can return it back to bell services. All other Stroller Rental Providers must meet guests via a scheduled appointment.
Why would I use another 3rd Party Provider that is not able to deliver to bell services at my Disney Resort? Good question! ScooterBug has a nice selection of inventory (and growing), but does not always meet every guest need. Other 3rd Party Providers offer a different selection of Strollers or accessories (rain cover, snack console, etc) which may be more suitable to your family’s personal travel style. Here are a few other 3rd party providers for consideration:
Orlando Stroller Rentals
Pros: Has a convenient pick-up/drop-off spot at Orlando International Airport via Hold My Luggage in B Terminal Level 1 on the opposite end of Disney’s Magical Express. Good inventory selection including the popular City Mini Series GT Strollers and Rain Cover accessories.
Pros: Nice selection of Stroller inventory (including the popular City Mini GT Series strollers), plentiful accessories (including that much needed rain cover) and known to provide excellent customer service.
5) How do the Disney Strollers compare to the third-party rentals and those I use at home?
Disney strollers are a hard plastic with four wheels and don’t recline. They have a heavy shade and a belt to buckle the kiddos in for safety. By comparison, most third-party stroller providers offer stroller options that are very similar to those you probably already use at home.
6) I’d prefer to use a wagon. Where can I rent one?
Disney does not allow you to bring a wagon into the theme parks. Any vehicle that must be pulled, rather than pushed is prohibited. This includes stroller wagons.
7) Can I bring the stroller in line for a ride? What about restaurants?
Unfortunately, no. Strollers must be parked in the designated stroller parking before entering the cue for an attraction. If your child is too weary to stand in line for an attraction, they are likely too tired to enjoy it once they get there. Perhaps, it’s time for a nap, a break, or a snack!
In most cases, Disney will request that you park the stroller outside of the restaurant to aid the flow of traffic.
8) Can I bring my own stroller from home?
Most definitely, yes! Just make sure that it meets Disney’s standards with regards to stroller size. Per Disney’s rules and policies, Strollers must be 31” (79cm) wide and 52” (132cm) long or smaller.
Pros and Cons of Renting, Buying, and Bringing
In addition to renting a stroller, you can also consider bringing your own from home. OR – if you are super creative, you can often BUY a stroller in Orlando for less money than it costs to rent, depending on your length of stay. With so many choices, how does one choose? Here are the pros and cons to consider for all of your options!
What are the Pros and Cons of Renting a Stroller from Disney?
* No advanced rental agreement required.
* They’re sturdy. So, It’s pretty hard to damage them.
* If you need one, it’s easy to get one without leaving the theme park.
* You don’t have to take them everywhere! If you decide you want to walk for a bit, you can just gather your stuff and return it. Then, if you change your mind … just pick a new one up and go from there!
* They hold a ton of stuff!
* That hard plastic can be super easy to dry off in a sudden rain shower.
* That hard plastic can be quite uncomfortable.
* You can’t take it out of the theme park which requires the young child to walking to/from your car or your Disney Resort (or be carried). This is often when you NEED the stroller the most!
* They all look the same which means it can be hard to identify yours amongst the group.
What are the Pros and Cons of Renting a Stroller from a third-party?
* Stroller options are more familiar and you can often find the stroller that you already own amongst the options.
* More comfortable which could result in an unexpected nap from a little one at a most opportune time.
* Typically less expensive.
* They hold your stuff, too!
* More easily identifiable than Disney’s, but really … they still all look the same!
* You will have to take it everywhere which can be cumbersome.
* Often, the strollers will need to be folded down on the Disney transportation. This also means that your storage becomes less convenient as you will have to gather everything from the stroller to fold it properly.
* Rain and comfortable cushy seats are not friends. You’ll need to bring something to cover your stroller if showers are in the forecast! Unless using a preferred provider, you may have to meet someone at pick-up/drop-off which lessens travel spontaneity!
What are the Pros and Cons of bringing your own?
* Obviously – it’s free! You already own it so you don’t have to pay for it.
* This is the most comfortable option for your child and your family. Everyone is intimately familiar with the inner workings of the stroller and this can make transitioning at the theme parks super easy.
* It’s likely the most distinguishable. If your stroller is a few years old or unique (not offered by the third-party providers), it will likely stand out like a beacon in the crowd!
* Logistics … getting the stroller to Orlando can be logistically challenging. If driving, it will take up much needed luggage space in your vehicle. If flying, you have to get it to the airport and check it either at the gate (ie it goes through security) or at check-in. Either way, it’s another thing you have to lug with you along with one (or more) children.
* Wear and tear can be hard on strollers with travel. Strollers are pretty resilient, but bringing it on a lengthy trip can result in damage. Our personal stroller was a work horse for years until we took it to Orlando for our daughter’s first trip to Disney when she turned 4. It now has a super wobbly wheel after being checked at the airport gate in Orlando on the trip home from Disney.
What are the Pros and Cons of buying one in Orlando?
* Depending on the length of stay, you can likely save money buying an inexpensive stroller at your local “big box” retail store.
* Fresh and ready to go, it’s going to be in the best condition for first use.
* When you don’t need it anymore, you can drop it off at a donation center for someone in need to use!
* I think it’s obvious. Logistics of getting one are complicated. How do you get to a store to buy one? What do you do with it when you are done? Is it worth leaving the MAGIC just to save a few bucks?
No matter what you decide, if you decide to bring, rent, or buy a stroller, your children will likely thank you! And … on those late nights when your child is asking you to carry them back to your resort, your back will thank you too!
Do you plan on renting a stroller for your next vacation? Let me know in the comments below!
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