Do I Need to Bring a Car Seat With Me To Disney World?
For those visiting Disney World for the first time with infants or toddlers, a common question I get asked a lot is whether it is necessary to bring a car seat for use during your visit. For those driving to Walt Disney World on your own the answer is an obvious YES! But what about those that are flying in? Take look at the various transportation options to and from the airport and theme parks below and their car seat policies to help you decide whether you should pack the car seat or leave it at home:
Disney’s Magical Express
Here’s Disney’s official response as to whether car seats are permitted on the Magical Express buses that will take you to and from Orlando International Airport and your Walt Disney World Resort:
Child safety seats are not recommended for use on the motorcoach. Not all motorcoaches have seat belts and the seat belts that may be present may not properly secure the child safety seat. Children can sit on an adult’s lap or occupy their own seat. Child safety seats may be stowed in the storage compartment underneath the motorcoach.
Here’s a link to the original post on www.disneyworld.com.
Disney Transportation System – Boat, Bus or Monorail
No matter where you are staying at Walt Disney World, chances are you’ll be relying on Disney’s awesome transportation system to get you to and from the resorts and theme parks. Regardless of whether your preferred mode of transportation is resort bus, boat or monorail, Disney does not require car seats to restrain your little ones while riding. Strollers are permitted but in some instances (boats and buses) may need to be stowed while your ride.
Disney offers a special taxi service taking you to and from airports, around Orlando or for quick jaunts around the massive Walt Disney World Resort. For those opting to utilize Disney’s Minnie Van Service (which is bookable via the Lyft app), you will be pleased to know that all of the Disney’s Minnie Vans are equipped with two car seats. The seats are stored in the trunks of each automobile and Cast Members have undergone extensive training on how to properly install the seats! The seats can be affixed to either of the middle bucket seats you will find in the vans but are prohibited from use in the rear third seat of the vehicle.
For more information on Disney’s Minnie Van Service check out this article.
Families hoping to utilize Uber to get to get around Orlando during your Disney World visit needn’t worry. Orlando is one of the few major cities in the US that offers UberFamily. Under the service, each vehicle comes equipped with a car seat. In the app, look for the UberFamily option. Similar to the Minnie Vans, each of the drivers offering the UberFamily service is trained to properly install the seats.
More information on UberFamily can be found here.
Car Rental Companies
Whereas all of the transportation options above make leaving your car seat at home a possibility, when it comes to renting a car for your Disney visit, it can go either way. Many of the most reputable car rental companies servicing the Orlando area will offer car seat rentals for the duration of your visit. Some offer these complementary (may require AAA membership) and others may charge a fee of up to $15 per day per car seat.
If you plan on renting a car while in Orlando do your research in advance to determine whether or not it’s more economical to leave your car seat at home and rent one directly from the car rental company or whether its best to bring your car seat with you.
Another factor to consider is whether car seats are readily available during your visit. Can the rental company guarantee you a car seat or do you take a change that all of the seats could be rented out leaving you stranded when you arrive?
If you’re planning on using a taxi while in Orlando then this is another instance where it is probably best to have a car seat with you. Mears, the company I frequently use when visiting the Orlando area advises in their Taxi FAQ that many taxicabs in their fleet do not have car seats. Visitors are encouraged to bring personal car seats to ensure fit and safety.
So the long and short of it is that if you are planning a visit to Walt Disney World and will be relying on Disney transportation, Minnie Vans or Uber to get your around then it is in many cases preferable to leave those car seats at home. Taxis and Car Rentals require a bit of extra research to come up with a solution that will be the safest and most economical for your family.
Also please note that this article is meant to provide a guide to help you with your travels. However, it should never stand in the way of you making decisions in the best interests of your child’s safety. When in doubt bring your seat with you!!
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