First off… HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!
I hope 2011 is awesome for you and brings you and
your family MANY Disney memories!!
I talked to you about “hoofing it” (walking) around Walt Disney World. If you missed that article you can read it by clicking HERE. In one day at Walt Disney World the average person walks somewhere between 6 and 13 miles (9.6 – 21 Kilometers)!! Some of the ADULTS are thinking “holy smokes!!” when they read that, just think about the kids!!
I think many parents over-estimate their children’s “walking abilities” at Walt Disney World. This usually results in the kids being exhausted, which means they’re going to whine and be cranky, which is going to result in the parents eventually having their OWN melt-down and screaming “We paid a lot of money for this vacation, you are going to have fun!!!” (Which, by the way, is counter-productive for everybody, read my article on avoiding the WDW melt-down HERE)
Disney World is over-stimulating for every child. The sheer volume of sights, sounds, rides and moments with their cartoon heroes is more than enough to swamp them emotionally and physically. Add on top of this walking 6+ miles a day on a little 5 year old and you can pretty much BET on one of the ugliest 3:00pm melt downs you’ve ever seen.
It’s not their fault. You are handing them their fantasies and dreams! Of course they’re a little overwhelmed. So remember that when you’re driving your family like a heard of cattle across the vast Magic Kingdom that they’re starting the day overstimulated!
Ok, so on to todays topic…STROLLERS!
Question 1: What is the cost to rent the WDW strollers?
- $15.00 for single – $13.00 per day for Length of Stay rental
- $31.00 for double – $27.00 per day for Length of Stay rental
Question 2: What do the strollers look like?
The WDW strollers are made of a hard plastic and they don’t recline. It has seatbelts which sometimes latch and sometimes don’t. If you want to be able to buckle your kid in then make sure you check that before you leave the stroller station.
They are not very comfortable according to my children so you may want to bring a blanket or towel or something for them to sit on. Though they do allow your kids to stretch out their legs a little bit.
The plastic can also get REALLY REALLY HOT when left out in the sun while you are riding a ride. This is another reason why it’s a good idea to bring a blanket or towel because you can cover the plastic between rides.
They seem like they would be hard to steer, but they have never given us any trouble. Be careful when walking up Main Street USA with one though because the rails for the trolley cause the stroller to fly off course and bump. Stay on the sidewalks there!
There are a few pouches that are sewn on the back to hold “stuff”, but I wouldn’t put a drink in there as its certain to fall out. There is also a plastic pouch that is intended to hold your name card, but be warned… some people are too lazy or confused as to where the cast member might have relocated their stroller, that they may take yours. The more you can identify your stroller as yours the less the chance of this. You can get some suggestions as this post on Avoiding Time Pitfalls.
It has a mesh canopy on the top with a piece of plastic you can roll out and Velcro in case its too hot or raining. You cannot raise and lower the canopy which means you have to do a weird neck-craning thing every time your kids ask you a question while in the stroller.
Question 3: Will my child/ children FIT in the stroller?
The answer to this is…. it depends on how big your child is. Both of my children are blessed with my husbands extremely skinny genes and I would imagine if my 8 year old son didn’t mind scrunching up his legs he would STILL fit in a double stroller with his sister.
Infants and children under 2 years old most likely will NOT fit. The stroller is too big for them. Most people bringing children this age still have their own personal strollers that they should bring with them.
Most children between 2 years and 4 years old should fit nicely. If you have a stroller that they still fit in you might elect to bring that with you. You can also rent “regular” strollers while at WDW at places like http://store.orlandostrollerrentals.com/. (more info about this below). Or if you are “off-property” you can find light umbrella strollers at any Wal-mart or Target shopping center.
One trip my friend’s 6 year old daughter and my 5 year old son shared a double stroller. They are both small boned children, but could fit in the stroller pretty easily. They began to fight about half-way through the vacation so we asked the stroller rental people if we could exchange the double stroller for two single ones and they let us. So if it becomes an issue for your kids you might consider asking them to turn it into two singles.
Children 5-8 This is completely dependent on how big and how tall your children are. I have seen people with larger 5-6 year olds rent a double stroller and/or sit horizontally. Your best bet is to actually walk over to the stroller station and see how your children fit in the stroller prior to paying for the rental.
If you have a bigger child who is complaining of exhaustion you can also consider renting a wheelchair for only $12.00 a day. I’ve seen families do this and each take a turn when their feet get tired.
Please do NOT rent an EVC – Electric Convenience Vehicles (ECV) unless you have driven one before!!!! You will find that these slow moving vehicles cause a tremendous amount of time and frustration both to the person driving the ECV AND the people trying to walk around it. People often renting one is going to save them time when its actually the opposite. You will be able to maneuver FAR easier renting a wheelchair!!
Question 4: Where do I go to rent the strollers?
When purchasing a Length of Stay rental, you show your receipt and can bypass the queue with little or no wait. You just take it to where you pick up the strollers, get your card punched (don’t lose that card or you will be hating life!) and get your stroller. You can LEAVE the stroller anywhere in the park when you’re ready to go.
- Stroller Shop: Main rental is to the right as enter the turnstiles
- Replacements:Main Street U.S.A. at Strollers/Wheelchairs, Frontierland at the Trading Post
- Stroller Shop: Main Entrance and International Gateway Entrance. Main rental is inside either entrance
- Replacements: Germany at Gas und Porzellan
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Stroller Shop: Main rental is at Oscar’s Super Service
- Replacements: Tatooine Traders
- Stroller Shop: Main rental is at Garden Gate Gifts inside the main entrance
- Replacements: Mombasa Marketplace
Marketplace: Wonderful World of Memories. West Side: Disney Quest
Strollers are also great for carrying around the many treasures you accumulate (and bring with you) in the park. The problem is that they CANNOT LEAVE THE PARK. Which means you will be handling all the goodies (unless you have them sent to your resort which I highly recommend if you are on property) AND your overstimulated/worn out children.
Question 5: What does the Diva recommend?
1) If you have a stroller or can borrow a stroller from a friend (like a jogging stroller) then that would be my first choice.
– You usually know how to work your own stroller and your child will be a bit more familiar with it.
– Usually they will recline (thus more likely to nap if they get tired).
– You can identify your own stroller quicker.
*TOP TIP* – If you are staying off property you need to know how to fold up your stroller and do it FAST. You will not be able to carry it on to the parking lot tram when its open. It must be folded. And some jogging strollers do NOT fold up neatly at all. In the morning just prior to park opening the tram is a ZOO. There were times when I just sent my family along to the park on a different tram and the stroller and I came when we could finally fit on one. The people who can get on the tram with the most ease are GOING TO DO IT. They don’t really care that you’re dragging a hefty stroller with you. Just be aware. This is a pain and you need to make sure you’ve got a system of how you’re going to wedge yourself, your family and the stroller in the very small tram seat.
Even if you are ON property you will still have to fold up the stroller to get on the bus. This is not usually as bad getting to the park as it is getting back to the resort. After fireworks the buses are miserable and having to stand up with a stroller is just really not fun. This is why so many people opt for the convince of the in-park stroller rental.
2) Consider renting a stroller from Orlando Stroller Rentals. There are a lot of options for rentals and they will deliver the stroller TO YOUR HOTEL whether you are off property or on-property. Even if you are renting a house! Which is a pretty sweet deal! You can find answers to all of your questions on their FAQ page.
I really like that you can rent a Sit & Stand stroller. This is great if you have one that might have outgrown the normal stroller design. Each “seat” can hold a child up to 45 lbs. (total of 90 lbs). The pricing is also quite reasonable. A 1-3 day rental is only $60.00 (that’s not PER day, its for the whole time!!) You can find additional prices here.
You still run into the same problem as above if you are off property dealing with getting on the tram! so make sure you practice opening and closing the stroller often!
Either way, I really hope you will consider having a stroller for your children. Even if you decide against it before you go don’t forget that you can still rent one once you get there. I think it really does help both the quantity and quality of time you have with your little ones at Disney!