Author: Disney Diva
The City Elite Double Stroller looked so exciting when I found it at Orlando Stroller Rentals (who is awesome by the way, you can read my review of their service by clicking HERE). There it was, looking maginficient, red, big and strong enough to carry two 5 1/2 year olds, which I, by the way, am NOT.
But that was when I was still naïve, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve written about strollers before, but I wanted these two to battle it out!
My friends rented a double from in the Walt Disney World parks so we could compare the experiences. So lets get ready to rumble…………….
Round 1) COST: Orlando Stroller Rentals has a SWEET price on the City Elite Double Stroller. With tax it was only a little over $80.00 for 7 days and delivery was free. To rent a double stroller in the Walt Disney World parks for that same 7 days costs $189.00. Winner: RENTAL STROLLER for costing $109.00 less on a 7 day rental.
Round 2) OBTAINING: Orlando Stroller Rentals dropped my City Elite Double stroller off to me at my rental house at no extra cost. My friends had to go and stand in line for 6 whole minutes at Magic Kingdom the first day to get their “length of stay rental ticket”. Winner: (by a nose) RENTAL STROLLER
Round 3) TRANSPORTING IN THE CAR: We had to “fold” the City Elite up and put it in the back of the mini van since we were staying off Disney property. Since SO MANY people choose to stay off property this could present a problem for you as well. I was glad every day I had brought the van and that the back seats would fold up. It literally took up half of the back of the large vehicle. In some of the smaller rental cars this would have been a MAJOR issue.
This is slightly less of an issue if you are staying on-property, but at night, when the whole world is trying to get back to their resort you will hate that giant stroller with a purple passion as you try to hold it between your legs or on top of you!
For the Walt Disney World stroller this was a non-issue. They walked into each park and picked up their stroller at the front of the park. No hassle at all. Winner: (by a lot) WDW STROLLER
Round 4) THE TRAM: The worst part of my trip, hands down, was when I would have to ride the tram with the City Elite Double Stroller. Just typing it now I feel a pricking of tears in my eyes remembering the pain and anguish. There are a few times when you don’t have to ride the trams at all, but those are rare, especially at Magic Kingdom. In the busier months around park opening those trams are full of 34-flavors-of-crazy-people all trying to make the next tram. You should read about it HERE.
Let’s break it down here. You take one giant stroller:
And then you fold it and wait, because you cannot get onto the Disney World trams without folding your stroller. This stroller is so big and so heavy it took a minimum of two and sometimes three individuals to get it on and off of the tram.
The adorable male helper you will see in my pictures here is my very good friend David who was NOT with us for the four days before this, so it was mostly women trying to move this giant thing around. Notice his wife, Ashley, flexing her newly acquired (thanks to the stroller) muscles in exhibit b’s photo evidence. (exhibit b)
Next you have one person open the FRONT ROW tram door. It has to be the front row tram door of a car because you can’t fit this stroller into the additional rows. So if a tram is really full you just have to wait for the next one. There is no squeezing in with this stroller.
Now one person, while keeping the door open, or if you’re lucky a third person will help by holding the door open, walks in backwards, up the stairs, holding the extremely heavy stroller on one end, while the second person helps to lift and direct from the back of the heavy stroller.
(exhibit d) (exhibit e)
Now the heavily overworked, and slightly irritated, stroller haulers get to sit down. This is assuming that nobody else needs to get in that row. When you are coming home from the parks, especially after fireworks, this will be DRAMA! (and stroller drama is the number one cause of melt-downs of adults between the hours of 2pm and 5pm by my personal statistical analysis). There are times when I had to sit with this heavy thing up in my lap so that people around me could squeeze in. Don’t ask, no I was not in a good mood.
As you can see below in exhibit F and G, my friend who is a bit over 6 feet tall had very little leg room. Imagine cramming other people in there too!
Now comes the exciting part! After you’ve been on the tram for a maximum of 5-7 minutes you then get to UNLOAD THE STROLLER.
Which is JUST as difficult as getting on except now you get to feel rushed by everybody getting off the tram and the person on the loud speaker reminding you to get your stroller behind the yellow line before you can open the thing! This time having someone hold the door is NOT optional.
(exhibits h & i)
Do I sound bitter? Well maybe just a little.
Then once you get past the yellow line… RELIEF! That is, until you have to go home for rest-time. Oh and then you have to do it all over again at the park you go BACK to for the second half of the day. Fun huh?? Oh yeah, and if the monorail is crowded you’ll have to fold it up in there too.
And for the WDW Stroller… again, no issue. They walk into the park and pick up their stroller. When they’re ready to leave they drop the stroller off at the door. So the tram is “no skin off their nose”. Winner (by a MILE, by a thousand miles): WDW STROLLER
Round 5: Comfort Ok, let’s just look at the difference between these two.
It’s a no-brainer that the City Elite is more comfortable. It will recline, it has pull down tarps and the seats are soft. The WDW stroller is made of hard plastic, doesn’t recline, wont pull down farther than what you see in the photograph and, well, its just not very cool looking. The four kids in my group (ages 6, 5.5, 5.5 and 3) were fighting by the end of the trip over who “got to” sit in the City Elite and who “had to” sit in the WDW Stroller. However, I will say, the City Elite was getting a little snug with the 6 year old boy in it. He had plenty of room (but not leg room) in the WDW Stroller. Winner: RENTAL STROLLER
Round 6: STEERING My husband swears that the WDW stroller is the easiest to maneuver stroller in the world, and he may just be right. The City Elite is very wide and the wheels are big. I found it very hard to get around in the Emporium which I use as a short-cut to bypass Main Street. However, I did feel like when I had the City Elite I was driving a tank of sorts. I would yell, “BIG STROLLER COMING THROUGH JUMP IN FRONT OF AT YOUR OWN RISK” around crowded parade and fireworks times. I’m a little more tentative with my WDW stroller. Also if the WDW stroller pops the person in front of you it will cut their ankles. The City Elite doesn’t do that. Still, when being able to maneuver is key which it is at WDW, it has to go to the WDW STROLLER! Winner: WDW STROLLER
So we’ve now gone 6 rounds. Who wins?
Round 1 – Cost – Rental Stroller
Round 2 – Obtaining – Rental Stroller
Round 3 – Transporting to the car – WDW Stroller
Round 4 – Transporting on the tram – WDW Stroller
Round 5 – Comfort – RENTAL STROLLER
Round 6 – Steering – WDW Stroller
Is it more important to your family to save money and be inconvenienced OR is it more important to have convenience and spend more money?
PS: Many people say they’d just as soon bring or buy a cheap umbrella stroller and throw it away at the end of the trip. That’s not the worst idea ever, Just make sure that your kid can fit in it comfortably!!