Bring the Stroller on Your Disney Vacation or No Stroller?

Most parents with a toddler and/or infant who are vacationing at the Walt Disney World Resort will wrestle pre-trip with the quandary of whether to bring their own stroller to the Disney theme parks or to rent a stroller at the park entrance.  The following pros and cons for each option should help parents make this challenging decision.

Bring your own stroller to the parks

Pros:

  1. It’s free.
  2. Your child can ride to/from the bus, boat, or monorail and to/from the park entrance or hotel room.
  3. No learning curve – you know how your stroller works and your child is familiar with it.

Cons:

  1. When traveling on the Walt Disney World buses and some boats, the stroller must be collapsed, which means the baby, diaper bag, packages from purchases, drinks, snacks, balloon, and anything else you had in the stroller all day must be removed and carried on/off the bus or boat.
  2. If you ride the monorail, it can be difficult at peak times to fit in the monorail with a stroller, so you may have to wait for the next monorail to arrive before you can leave.

Renting a stroller at the park entrance

Pros:

  1. You won’t have to collapse and carry your own stroller on/off the bus or boat.
  2. It’s easier to fit on the monorail without a stroller.
  3. The rented stroller is new for the baby and can be hyped as an exciting, special ride.

Cons:

  1. It costs money (hint – discounts are available for length-of-stay rentals – ask for it).
  2. At the end of the day, you’ll have to carry all of your packages, etc. that have been stored in the rented stroller to the bus stop and hotel room (hint – packages can be sent directly to your room so you don’t have to carry them all day as long as you are not checking out the next day – ask for it and read my package delivery post for details).
  3. When you park a rented stroller in the park (e.g., outside a ride entrance), it can be difficult to find it again within the sea of parked rented strollers that all look identical (hint – tie something eye-catching to your rented stroller to make it stand out from the rest, and this won’t be a problem).

Deciding the best way for your family to travel will depend on your personal preferences for your vacation.  Use these pros and cons to help make your decision, and steer your family toward a successful trip.

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