Welcome to your guide to strollers at Disney World! Who knew that strollers needed their own guide, right? But there’s so much to consider and making the right choices now can drastically improve your vacation!
Deciding If you Need a Stroller
Need is a relative term, but I think they’re incredibly practical for most families. Truthfully, if you even ask yourself if you need one, go ahead and assume that the answer is hard yes.
But I prefer to babywear. Do i really need a stroller?
I am also a babywearer, much more often than a stroller user. I bring my ring sling or soft-structure carrier to Disney too, but I also bring a stroller.
There’s some details to consider before you decide to swap your stroller for a carrier. Think about where you’re going to put all of your “stuff” (diapers, snacks, water bottles, souvenirs, etc). Sure, you don’t have to put it in a stroller, but you may not want to be moving through the parks like a pack mule either. We also like being able to leave our non-valuables in the stroller while we ride or dine, instead of carrying everything around with us. We also like to use the kids’ nap time to hit the thrill rides. It’s a lot of jostling back and forth to swap them in the carriers, compared to just letting them sleep in the stroller!
But my kids are very active. Do I really need a stroller?
Disney is a lot of walking. We usually walk between 5-15 miles every day. Most kids who are stroller aged/sized, no matter how active, aren’t accustomed to that amount of walking.
Also, kids aren’t always the fastest walkers, especially when they’re immersed in an environment like DIsney. There’s nothing worse than having to fuss at your child to walk faster, gosh! because you have a FastPass across the park that ends in 10 minutes. It’s nice to have the kids hop in the strollers and head to the next stop with an adult stride.
But my kids are older. Do I really need a stroller?
My girls are still young, so I can’t speak to this directly. However, I will say that my friends and family with older children still swear by their strollers, for all the reasons listed above (naps, speed, exhaustion, storage). Even if they’ve been out of a stroller for years at home, you may find that they need a quiet place to rest throughout the day and it’s convenient for that quiet place to be on wheels!
Bringing Your Own Stroller
Disney restricts strollers larger than 36 inches x 52 inches. Most strollers are smaller than that, so it’s unlikely you’d need to purchase or borrow a different stroller for the parks. Wagons are also on Disney’s restricted list, so stick to a stroller!
Stroller thefts are rare in Disney parks, despite the occasional viral post you may see on social media. As a personal anecdote, we’ve brought our Peg Perego Book Plus and City Mini GT Double with us on our trips and often leave our park bag (sans valuables like phones and wallets) and shopping bags in the stroller. We’ve never had any kind of theft. If you have a luxury stroller that you’re extremely concerned about being stolen, consider renting a stroller instead (keep scrolling for info).
Don’t plan to use a stroller/wheel lock. While Disney doesn’t specifically prohibit guests from bringing locks into the parks, they’re frowned upon. You can’t attach your stroller to any fixture inside the park. A cast member will cut your lock. Some people wrap stroller locks around their wheels only, as a deterrent, but I find it wholly unnecessary. And also, kind of a jerk move to the cast member whose job it is to move strollers around to keep the stroller parking lot organized and efficient.
Renting a Stroller at Disney World
Renting Directly from Disney
Disney strollers can be rented inside all four theme parks and at Disney Springs. These generic “rental strollers”, like you see at many other attractions and theme parks, are basically molded plastic bench seats with a lap belt. They’re strictly for utility – they don’t recline and don’t feature any cushioning.
These strollers cannot be taken outside of the parks, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your needs. Some families like that they don’t have to worry about their stroller on transportation or taking up space in their resort rooms. Still, many other families prefer to have a stroller for the duration of their trip, especially for the sometimes long walk to and from bus stops. If your family is planning to visit other theme parks or Orlando attractions, make sure to check stroller availability for those other outings.
Either way, they can always be a great backup plan for families who decide not to bring a stroller. There’s no reservations required and they’re usually freely available, although you may also encounter a line during peak hours.
Renting From a THird Party Company
If you’re not sure renting directly Disney works for your family, don’t fear! There are a ton of stroller rental companies in Orlando. We recommend that you rent from one of Disney’s “preferred” companies, so that your stroller can be directly delivered to (and picked up from) your Disney resort and be waiting there for your arrival. These companies are Kingdom Strollers (arguably the most popular rental company), Orlando Stroller Rentals, and Magic Strollers. These companies all rent high quality, comfortable strollers like Baby Jogger City Minis and Bob Revolutions. They also rent other baby equipment like cribs and inflatable toddler beds.
If your little prince or princess needs the ultimate lap of luxury, you can also rent a Princess Carriage stroller, that comes with a chauffeur to deliver you and your carriage to the Magic Kingdom.
Another Option for your Consideration
If you’ll be staying at Disney for an extended period of time, you may find that rentals just aren’t cost effective, no matter how much you don’t want to carry a stroller through the airport or onto Disney transportation. In these cases, you might consider doing some online stroller shopping. You can often find reasonably priced umbrella or lower model strollers and have them delivered directly to your resort or purchase one from your resort’s gift shop. When your trip is over, you can always donate it or hand it off to another family.
Using Strollers on Disney Transportation
Buses & Trams
You’ll need to fold and carry your stroller onto Disney buses and trams. This can be a bit of a pain, when you’re frequenting buses, but a little bit of planning can help make it much more manageable.
We use a messenger bag, so that it can easily be slung across one of us. We also always keep an empty shopping bag with us, so that we can toss all the random stuff that’s collected on the stroller into it before folding (like blankets, souvenir cups, stroller fans, etc).
The ferry and larger water taxis do not require you to fold your stroller, so you can just roll right on. In some cases, you may still be asked to fold your stroller if the boat is crowded. Some of the smaller water taxis (particularly, the ones that run from Magic Kingdom to the monorail resorts) will require you to fold your stroller.
The monorail does not require you to fold your stroller either. In extremely rare peak times, you may still be asked to fold your stroller, but we’ve never had that happen. This is one of the reasons that those deluxe monorail resorts are so appealing to families with young children.
Walt Disney railroad
This train inside Magic Kingdom is such a fun ride, but also a great way to move from one land to another without walking. You’ll be able to bring your stroller with you, but it must be folded and carried on to the train.
Using Strollers In the Parks
Most attractions will not allow you to even enter the line with your stroller. There are a few exceptions, such as the Kilimanjaro Safaris, where their stroller parking lot is halfway through their line. Typically, you’ll leave your stroller in a designated stroller parking area. These are usually located just outside of the attraction, although some more congested areas (like parts of Fantasyland) share stroller parking areas. Make sure to look for the sign to verify that you’re parking in an approved area!
Dining & Restaurants
Table service restaurants generally do not allow for strollers inside. In rare cases, a Cast Member may allow you to bring your stroller in, but certainly don’t plan on that generosity, especially during rush times. If you’re traveling with a small infant, this also means that you should consider how you’ll hold them during meals (perhaps in a removable bassinet component of your stroller or in a baby carrier like a ring sling).
Most quick service restaurants will allow strollers inside, but be aware that many of their queues are quite narrow. Your stroller may not fit past the register.
Most stores are ADA accessible and therefore navigable with a stroller. Just be sure to watch little hands, so they don’t knock over collectibles as you roll by!
Special Events and Experiences
When you call to make your reservation, ask about their stroller policies. They’ll differ depending on the event or experience. For instance, we were able to bring our stroller into the Dessert Party, but needed to park it before going into Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Helpful stroller accessories
This section contains some Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click through and purchase that item, I’ll be paid a small commission for my recommendation at no additional cost to you.)
Take a hard look at your stroller’s storage capacity ahead of time. Make sure your bags and any other stuff will fit in the basket, with room to spare for purchases. If not, consider getting clips to attach your bags to the stroller. These are the clips we use. We also sometimes attach a Mommy Hook, just for backup storage.
You may want to have cup holders or another organization tray for your stroller handle. Some people have even concocted crazy organizer bags out of over-the-door shoe organizers, although I’m not sold on their practicality. We use this stroller organizer, but there are a ton out there. Check which ones are most compatible for your stroller.
If your stroller doesn’t have snack trays or cup holders for your children, you may want to get a sippy cup leash and snack cups to bring along too.
Florida is prone to afternoon rain showers. If your stroller won’t fare well getting wet, consider getting a waterproof cover, like this one that we’ve used. During an unexpected rain shower, we also learned that a poncho draped over the stroller can work just as well. This is actually our new plan going forward, because it doesn’t take up as much space and can be discarded after the rain is done, instead of carrying a wet cover around with us for the rest of the day!
Florida is also prone to be hot. You may come from a warm climate, but trust me, you’re still going to find it hot during the warmer months. We are from swampy south Louisiana and still find it insufferably hot sometimes. Consider the airflow of your stroller, especially if you have the sun shade pulled down and their seats reclined during naps. You will probably want to bring a stroller fan to keep fresh air circulating. We also like to bring a misting fan or misting water bottles and cooling towels for the whole party to cool down with.
Which brings me to my next point. Florida is literally “the sunshine state”. Make sure that your stroller’s sun shade will do an adequate job. Always remember to bring sunscreen, but also consider bringing a lightweight blanket to “extend” your sun shade during naps. When we had a black stroller, we also liked to drape blankets over the seats before parking our stroller for any extended period of time.
If you’re going to be renting a stroller (or like us, own a model that’s a popular rental stroller), you may want to consider adding something to your stroller to help it stand out in a crowd. Cast Members sometimes rearrange strollers to keep the parking area flowing, so you can’t always rely on your memory to find yours!
We tend to leave our park bag (sans valuables) clipped on the back of our stroller, which helps us identify it during the day. You can also make a sign, tie a ribbon, or even hang battery-operated lights on your stroller.
Did we answer all of your stroller questions? If we missed something, leave us a comment!