A stroller is a MUST have when traveling with little ones to Disney World or Disneyland. Having a stroller can make navigating through the Disney parks easier, especially as your child gets tired or cranky. But to pack or not to pack a stroller? That is the question. Here are the tips and options to consider for strollers at Disney.
Tips for Strollers at Disney World and Disneyland
For parents of little ones, having a stroller at Disney isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity. The Disney parks are large and require a lot of walking. Even the walk from the park to the hotel can be just too much for tired kids (and adults!) at the end of a fun-filled day.
In particular, you’ll want to have a stroller at Disney World. The resorts in Orlando are extremely spread out. Just walking from the bus station to the hotel room or from the room to the dining hall can be exhausting for little legs. And while Disneyland has a smaller footprint, I’ve always used a stroller there for my kids too. Strollers can make navigating the Disney parks easier, especially at the end of a long and busy day.
When packing before my Disney trips, I’ve gone back and forth on whether to bring or rent a stroller there and what kind of stroller to use. There are four options, really: bring your own, rent one at the park, use an outside rental service or buy a cheap umbrella stroller once you arrive. Below are some tips, links and options to consider when it comes to strollers at Disney parks.
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Bringing Your Own Stroller to Disney
Bringing your own stroller is the most affordable option and can provide your child with a familiar napping place as well as a comfortable spot to rest. There are several positives of packing your own stroller and a few things to consider beforehand.
If you’re flying to Orlando or Anaheim, you’ll want to bring a stroller that is also able to be gate checked. Start by checking your airline’s restrictions. Not all strollers (especially larger double strollers) will meet these height and weight limits.
If bringing your stroller from home, you might be tempted to bring a more durable jogging stroller. Do remember that strollers will need to be folded before boarding Disney transportation. Therefore, you’ll want to have something quick and easy to collapse. Keep in mind, you’ll be wrangling your stroller AND your kids onto the transportation!
You’ll have to fold and carry your stroller when getting on and off the transportation to local area hotels. If you’re taking Disney’s Magical Express to and from the airport in Orlando, the driver will stow your stroller under the bus with your carry-on luggage.
On the hotel buses, there isn’t a place to store your stroller except between seats if the area is free. You’ll still need to keep a hand on it to ensure it doesn’t fall and hit someone. I personally use an Ergobaby 180 stroller at home with my toddler. It folds up very compactly and weighs just 20 pounds, making it great for travel.
Should You Rent Strollers At Disney Parks?
Strollers are available to rent at various locations throughout the Disney parks and the Downtown Disney area. The hard plastic strollers in Orlando aren’t fashionable or comfortable, but they do come with a shade awning. Strollers in California are fabric, jogger-style (check them out in the picture below).
Neither Disney strollers are appropriate for newborns or infants. If you have a very young baby with you on the trip, you’re better off bringing your own stroller or renting from a third party company.
Single strollers are $15 a day and double strollers are $31 a day. Fortunately, Disney offers a few dollars off the daily charge if you rent a stroller for multiple days. You’ll want to keep your receipt in a safe, dry place to show proof of payment each day. Make sure to arrive early to accomodate the extra time it will take to rent and pick up your stroller.
Disney rents strollers in every park location and in Disney Springs (Florida). However, you won’t find strollers for rent in the water parks or at the resorts. Also, strollers have to remain in the area where they were rented. This means you won’t have the stroller for long walks back to the bus, through the hotel or for exploring your resort or off-property areas.
Renting Third Party Strollers at Disney World
Renting from a third party company will allow your family to take the stroller anywhere (including outside the parks). For about the same cost as a Disney park stroller rental, guests may rent from a third party and use a stroller that is considerably more comfortable. Costs may vary slightly between companies and stroller models.
Easing the process even further, your rented stroller will be delivered to directly to your Disney resort hotel for pickup. I’ve use several third party stroller rental companies in the Disney World area. Some companies will deliver and pick up at bell services and your presence isn’t required. Other companies will need to drop off and pick up with you directly. Be sure to read the fine print before renting to choose which arrangement works best for you.
Most of the third party companies rent jogging-style strollers (like the ones pictured in this section). They offer plenty of storage underneath and sunshade awnings. As previously noted, you’ll still be required to fold the stroller before boarding Disney transportation and these strollers are often heavy and/or bulky. On a positive note, most can be folded with one hand via a pull-strap on the seat.
I’ve used several of these companies myself, always with positive results.
- Orlando Stroller Rentals: (800) 281-0884
- Kingdom Strollers: (407) 271-5301
- Amusement Park Rentals (407) 442-0000
- Magic Strollers: (866) 866-6177
Renting a Third Party Stroller at Disneyland
There are fewer stroller rental services in the Anaheim area to choose from, perhaps because so many visitors to Disneyland are locals who bring their own strollers. If you require a stroller rental while visiting the Disneyland area, TravelingMom recommends City Stroller Rentals.
Buying a New Stroller at Disney
Most visitors will either bring their own or rent strollers at Disney. But perhaps you hadn’t thought about buying a new one at your destination? Some Disney parks and shops on-property have an umbrella-style stroller for purchase. I found the strollers pictured below at the entrance to Disneyland in California. Purchasing a stroller outright like this is often less expensive than renting.
If you’re heading to a local store in the area (like Target or Walmart), consider picking up an inexpensive stroller to use on your trip. Or have a stroller shipped directly to your Disney hotel (there may be a package delivery fee; check with your hotel on their policies for shipments). After your trip, you can choose to bring the stroller home with you or leave it behind for another family to use.
Double Strollers & Tips for Twins
If you’re traveling with two (or more!) small children or twins, you’ll likely want to have a double stroller to use in the Disney parks. Here are a few tips to keep in mind whether you plan on bringing your double stroller from home, renting at the parks or renting from a third party company.
- If you’re flying in, you’ll want to bring a stroller that is also allowed to be gate checked, so you should start by checking your airline’s restrictions first. Not all double strollers meet the height and weight limits.
- Do remember you’ll have to fold and carry your stroller when going on and off the transportation to local area hotels. A double stroller is going to be extra bulky and heavy.
- The thought of folding and carrying a deluxe double stroller while also corralling twin toddlers may seem more trouble than it’s worth. You may choose to opt for a more flimsy, but easier-to-handle double umbrella stroller. It may not be as smooth to push around, but it’s definitely lighter and less of a hassle.
- Rather than packing a double stroller, consider bringing or renting two individual lighter weight strollers. This situation may work best if you’re traveling with extra adults who can help with carrying kids while other adults fold up and carry the strollers.
Add Personal Flair to Your Stroller for Easier Viewing
There is ample designated stroller parking areas near almost every attraction in the Disney parks. There are even “Stroller Parking” areas where cast members will rearrange the parked strollers as people leave and new ones get dropped off. This rearrangement can make it difficult for you to locate your stroller.
I’ve never been worried about anyone taking my stroller. However, it’s a good idea to mark your stroller so that no one will mistake it as their own. This is especially important to do if you are renting a stroller from the park, since all of those strollers do look alike. The rental companies will give you a nameplate with your family name written on it, but adding a ribbon or other personal flair will still make it easier to spot from a distance. Here are a few easy ideas for labeling your personal stroller.
- Use a colorful luggage tag with your name on it.
- Weave colored ribbons on the handle bars.
- Clip a travel bottle of hand sanitizer on the stroller for family members to use after going on the rides and before snacking.
- After night fall, loop glow-in-the-dark bracelets onto the stroller handle for easier tracking in the dark.
Looking for Discount Disney Parks Tickets?
If you’re heading to Walt Disney World or other Orlando attractions, TravelingMom recommends purchasing your tickets through our affiliate Undercover Tourist for the best pricing.
At Disneyland, you’ll find the best pricing on tickets and vacation packages through Get Away Today.
Editor’s note: This is an updated version of a post originally written by Tara Settembre.