The Stroller Debate
First of all, if you have little ones in strollers and you are hesitating taking a trip to Disney…don’t. If you can afford it and you want to go, by all means start planning! I don’t understand when people say “Why would you take them when they are small, they won’t remember it.” So, does that mean you shouldn’t take any trips with kids, because they won’t remember it? So what if they don’t remember it, they will have a blast when they are there, and isn’t that kind of the point? My daughter was 6 months on her first trip, 2 years on our second trip, and she will be 4 the next time we go. My son was just about 4 months on his first trip and will be 2 on his next trip. It’s all about the memories and the fun experiences on the trip. So, don’t listen to the naysayers!
Now, once you have decided to plan your vacation you also have to start thinking about what kind of stroller you want to bring. Some people bring their own, some people rent from the park or from a stroller rental company (there are many by the parks), and some will go out and buy an umbrella stroller to bring. We wanted an umbrella stroller anyway, so we bought one that reclines and used that in the parks. The last time we were in Disney we needed two strollers and we used two umbrella strollers that reclined. For us, this was the best option and I will tell you why.
If you are staying Disney property and you plan on using Disney transportation, particularly the buses, I would definitely go with an umbrella stroller that reclines. Those buses can get so cramped, especially if there is a scooter or two on the bus, so the smaller the stroller the better. Both of our kids fell asleep with no problem in the strollers, because they reclined. If you have a child that needs to nap, but you aren’t planning on going back to your resort for a nap time, then definitely get one that reclines. It might be a little bigger than a regular umbrella stroller, but it won’t be as big as some of the beast strollers we’ve seen in the parks, especially the double strollers. The double strollers take up so much room on the buses and they are bulky and awkward to carry on and off the bus, not to mention you will most likely end up bumping a lot of people with them.
The boats and the monorail cars allow you to keep the stroller open when you are riding those modes of transportation. So, you don’t have to worry about folding it up, but again, if you have a gigantic stroller it is going to make it an uncomfortable ride for you and those around you.
Keep in mind too that there are some people (both kids and adults) that legitimately need to have a wheelchair or a scooter. So it also helps situations where you have a wheelchair or scooter on the same bus as you. The smaller strollers will fold up more compact and leave more room for people and you will be less likely to bump people with your stroller.
If you want to see one of the parades or you end up in an area that is having a parade in the parks then it is easier to maneuver through those crowds with a smaller stroller. It’s hard enough getting around in big parade crowds with a small stroller, so I can’t imagine how it would be if you had a big stroller. The odds of running over someone’s foot or hand (if they are sitting down for the parade) significantly increases.
Time is also a factor when considering a big or small stroller. Do you like to stay for the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom or do you like to make a mad dash for the front of the park so you don’t get caught in the after fireworks crowd. We have been caught in that crowd, so right now (while the kids are small) we are in the mad dash group and it is much easier to make your way to the front of the park in a good amount of time with a smaller stroller. We were able to weave in and out of the the crowd with our smaller strollers and made it to the front of the park before the fireworks started. Nothing like being in Storybook Circus and realizing that your wait time to get back to the hotel will be significantly increased if you don’t make it to the buses ASAP. We made it though and we saw some of the fireworks on the bus ride back to the hotel 🙂
Thanks for reading!