You may have sworn to yourself that you would never stoop to lugging such unnecessary weight around, and chauffeuring a lazy kid over the exhausting distance between the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
However, once children roll around you may find your resolve wavering and membership in the stroller fraternity growing ever more appealing. There are plenty of arguments for and against, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a Walt-Disney-World-with-children veteran who doesn’t have a strong opinion on the subject of strollers.
Opponents of strollers cite the awkwardness of navigating the crowds with a stroller that your child won’t be riding in the majority of the time. Many Disney World visitors also dislike the hassle of flying or packing a car with a stroller’s extra bulk. Using a stroller also means finding stroller parking at each attraction and retrieving it afterwards, and hauling strollers on and off the buses or monorail.
Proponents argue that strollers have advantages that outweigh any awkwardness. Spending a full day walking and standing in line can give even adult tired feet, and having a stroller can mean several extra hours at the end of your day before your child is too exhausted to continue. Young kids may even be able to nap in their stroller, saving the family a trip back to the resort in the middle of the day.
Fans also point out that visitors can use a stroller to their advantage even when it is not being occupied by a child. Water bottles, souvenirs, snacks, sunscreen, and all the other miscellaneous items that form part of your theme park day can ride on the stroller instead of being carried by members of your party.
Disney rents strollers but you can bring your own
or purchase an inexpensive one near the parks.
This already contentious issue is further complicated by the breadth of stroller options from which to choose. Lightweight umbrella strollers ameliorate much of the inconvenience of a stroller, but they are often so short that adults are forced spend the day hunched uncomfortably over the handles. Sturdier strollers can provide kids with more comfort and shade, as well as hold more additional items, but they are heavier and more awkward to push around the parks. Rental strollers can eliminate the hassle of traveling with a stroller, especially if your own stroller is heavy and bulky, but they add yet another expense to your vacation.
Best Stroller Option?
In general, small folding umbrella strollers seem to have the fewest disadvantages while retaining most of the benefits of larger strollers. They take up little space in a car thanks to their ability to collapse, and can often be gate-checked on flights. They are more recognizable than the Walt Disney World rental strollers, which look exactly like hundreds of other strollers at each park. They are inexpensive, and investing in a brand new umbrella stroller may be no more expensive that multiple days of stroller rentals. They can be folded and carried on rides like the Walt Disney World Railroad, which does not allow rental strollers at all because of their large size. Cargo bags can be hung off the back for water bottles and small souvenirs, and most can be fitted with extended arms to avoid the need to hunch over.