One of the most frequent questions I get from my clients is whether or not they should bring (or rent) a stroller. Here are some quick ‘pros and cons’ that can help you decide what would work best for your family.
Pro #1 – Allows mobile rest for little (and not so little legs). My husband and I love to check our step counters at the end of a day at the parks. We are constantly hitting 20,000+ steps which means those small strides are even higher! Strollers allow them to relax while you keep getting to those Fastpasses!
Pro #2 – Extra seat for quick service meals or snacking on the go. Tables and benches are all over but at times it can be hard to find enough space for us all. Having one in the stroller allows you to have flexible seating or dining as you go!
Pro #3 (is a tie) – Storage! You are allowed to bring a small, soft cooler with new bottles of water and snacks. We allows bring a few small things for the kids to nibble on in between our dining reservations. Having a stroller allows us to be hands free from our park going essentials like sunblock.
Children can be hands free to look, snack, hold maps and pick out next attractions. I have seen many times a parent hand a child an awesome new bucket of popcorn, drink or ice cream only to have them drop it and get upset. In a stroller, they are much more protected and able to handle taking in the magic while eating or drinking.
Now let’s take a look at some of the reasons that having a stroller might not be the most convenient way to venture through the parks.
Con #1 – You will need to break it down and fold it up every time getting on Disney transportation. Most late nights, our children would fall asleep in their comfy strollers. By the time we got to the buses, boats or monorail we have to do the puzzle work of getting our things out of the stroller, carry (or wake up) the sleeping ‘beauty’ and fold it up and board.
Con #2 – You are always needing to leave it in the stroller parking area. We have never had a bad experience, other than a cast member moving our stroller and we thought it was stolen, but many feel uncomfortable always leaving it. Stroller parking is usually near but not right next to the different attractions so one or all of the party needs to make there way to this area and then head into the attraction. When exiting, someone will need to head back to grab it.
Con #3 (is a tie) – You are less mobile overall when it is crowded. Strollers are hard to maneuver through a crowd and you definitely want to be careful not to run over toes are hit and ankle!
Sibling feuds! If you do not have enough seats for the kids traveling in the group. There are inevitably going to be times they both want to ride and/or are tired. No matter what system you start with, there will be a discussion about ‘turns’.
Jorie is a pro with loads of travel tips for parents. Reach out to her at Jorie@onceuponavacation.com.