Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Anatomy of our Disney Stroller

Nicole’s family and ours ended up having breakfast reservations at the same restaurant on the first day of their trip so we decided to meet there after our meal and spend the day together.  When she got to the restaurant she said she could tell we were there by our blinged out stroller.  Heh!  Our stroller does triple duty while at Disney and it is ummm….busy shall we say?
1. It carries all our park stuff which believe it or not was far less this year than it was last!
2. Our bling helps me more easily find our stroller in the sea of strollers outside of rides and shows.  It is not uncommon for Cast Members to move strollers around the stroller parking areas as they are constantly trying to condense and make room for new strollers.  Here’s a pic I took a number of years back of 1 stroller parking area.  You can see why it’s good to have an easily recognizable stroller!!stroller parking
3.  Oh yah, it carries my little princess all over!  We fondly refer to her stroller as her chariot as she rolls through the parks.  Even though she’s 3 I’m guessing we’ll take her stroller to Disney for at least 1 more year and possibly 2.  They say it’s not unusual to walk 10-12 miles a day at Disney and I really believe that’s true!   Having this with us means many less steps that mommy is carrying an exhausted little girl in her arms.  That still happens sometimes and I’m happy to do it but it’s great to let the stroller handle the bulk of the transportation.  It’s also great for keeping us together as we exit the parks with thousands of other people.  I guess that’s 4 things it does as it provides safety too!
So, without further adieu I give you Hannah and Mommy’s Disney stroller!IMG_7465 - Copy
It looks crazy busy but to fold it up I only needed to pull out the backpack and the rest stayed right where it was.  When I look at it now and consider the ‘stuff’ I realized the things noted above we used numerous times each and every day!
Here are some links to where I found some of the items on our stroller:
  • Rain ponchos – Dollar store
  • Stroller Rain Cover
  • Sippy cup strap
  • Cup holder/Carrying Case
  • Stroller Hooks
  • Net side sling bag
  • Walking straps – Made these by taking strips of cotton cloth and creating loops at each hand.  They were a great way for Hannah to walk with the stroller but not the challenge of running over her little toes.
  • I found making laminated cards of our daily activities and reservations to be a big help.   On these cards were our park of the day (if it was decided for sure), Dining Reservations, anticipated crowd levels at each park based on information from TouringPlans.com and special notes (ie. Spending the day with Nicole, Kevvie and kiddos)
A couple of my thoughts about strollers at Disney:
  1. Even if your child is older (4, 5, 6 or older) consider taking/renting a stroller.  There is A LOT of walking at Disney.  If your child is one that might want to be carried or will find walking long distances a challenge, take a stroller.  If you don’t need it you can leave it in your room but you just may use it.  My experience with my niece was:  At 5 yo she used the stroller every day.  At 6 she used it a couple of evenings.  At 7 there was no need for a stroller.
  2. Consider how easily it pushes and the height of the handles.  Yes, an umbrella stroller is light and small to fold up but if the wheels don’t move easily and/or you’re at all hunched over when you push it it might not be your best option.
  3. How much stuff do you plan to take to the parks each day compared to the size of the basket.  As you can tell I’m an over packer.  My motto is that I’d rather have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.  Because of this I needed a stroller with a large basket.
  4. How sturdy is your stroller when your child is not in it?  Once your child is old enough to hop in and out it will happen many times during your trip.  Consider the stability of your stroller when this happens.
  5. How easy is it to fold up?  If you’re using Disney transportation strollers must be folded up on the buses and some other forms of transportation too.  This is almost a mute point these days as folding strollers is normally pretty easy but I wanted to mention it as it is something that will happen often.
  6. Is your baby/child comfortable sleeping in their stroller?  Some people go back to their resorts for a rest time each day.  That’s not the way we choose to do Disney so I needed to take a stroller Hannah was comfortable sleeping in.
  7. Is your front bar/tray detachable?  Last year we needed the front bar on the stroller due to Hannah’s age but this year it was a huge help leaving that bar at home which offered her the freedom to get in and out as she wanted.  We discussed on the very first day that for safety reasons I needed her to ask before getting out of the stroller if I was pushing it so that she didn’t get run over and that tactic worked wonderfully for us.  I must say that it was easy to do a trip with Hannah on my own with her at age 3 1/2.  At 2 1/2 or younger I couldn’t have done it and still enjoyed myself.  3 1/2 is a great age!!
  8. Take your own stroller or rent a stroller?  I preferred to take our own as not only was I familiar with it but it also saved me the cost of renting.  Until this trip it was also nice to use in the airport.  That’s not part of the equation for us any longer as we don’t need it for normal everyday stuff. 
  9. If you choose to rent do you want to rent from Disney or from a local stroller rental company?  My personal preference if I was considering this would be to rent from a local outside company for many reasons.  They bring the stroller to your resort and you have use of it until the end of your trip.  If you rent from Disney a stroller is picked up at each park and must be returned before leaving that park.  Hannah was often asleep before we reached our room at night and it would have been a challenge to carry my sleeping little girl to our room each evening.   Rental strollers recline.  Disney strollers are hard plastic and do not recline.  Strollers from an outside company are often less expensive to rent too.  A couple of things in favour of Disney strollers are that they push like a dream, work great for older children and also save you the challenge of carrying them on the bus.
What are your Disney stroller tips?


  1. Great tips sweetie! Ok, the real question is, when we go to Disney together someday, will you bring a blinged-out tricked-out stroller for ME? :-)

    1. You betcha! Only I think I'll trick out a double stroller for both you and I and let our 3 girls push us around for a change. Ahhh....now that would be a nice change! :o)

  2. Thanks for posting this! We are Disney(land) people and my little Ella is 16 months and will be going for the first time next month! We will be bringing our stroller, but I didn't know the mesh side bags existed! We may also need to get some hooks. If our stroller is reclined (like for napping) you CANNOT get into the basket, so the mesh bags on the side would be nice for that!

    1. That's great Laura! Have a blast at WDW!

      One tip you may or may not be aware of - if you're staying at one of the Disney Resorts, any store at a park, another Resort or Downtown Disney will ship your packages free of charge back to your resort. They will arrive the following day. I've used this service a number of times and it's been helpful not to carry around bags all day.

      Also, I find I'm very trusting at Disney and have never had a reason not to be. Other than the fanny pack with tickets, credit cards and camera, everything else is left in the stroller when we go on a ride, into a show or dinner, etc Nice not to take my bag everywhere.

      Hope this helps!

  3. I need you to plan all my future trips. Or we could go together. I'm an under-packer, so you could be prepared and I would just use all your stuff. Hee hee. Seriously, you have inspired me to plan even more detail for our next trip.

    1. Perfect! We'd balance one another out!

      You'll enjoy my upcoming post about what I pack for each park, each day. I'm guessing you'll laugh at my over-packing self! :o)

  4. I agree with you on the strollers at Disney. Since ours was purchased in England their wasn't another one like it we could recognise it in that sea. I also agree about trusting people at Disney. If ONLY the rest of the world were like that.
    At 10 Lily still finds a way to squeeze herself into the rental stroller when we go.

  5. We have been to WDW 2 times with a wonderful travel (china) buddy acting as travel agent. We are now trying to plan our 1st solo trip. We want to focus more on boy things since the last two trips were full of princess stuff.

    I love your advice on Epcot (is that where the nemo ride is)and Universal Studios...do you go there? Toy story is a big one on our list and also checking out as many superheros as we can.

    Could I PLEASE beg you to send me links that will help me plan the trip. We are all about saving money so the more the savings the better. We stayed in the POP Century before and loved it...probably stay there again. We plan to travel at the end of July. THANKS so much for any help you can throw my way. You are the best Disney advisor there is.

  6. Even my 8 year old daughter likes a stroller. We now take two umbrella ones (the ones that Disney sells-Costco brand I think). That way each one of us can split up with a child if we need to. I'd rather not have a whiny child, so a stroller helps! Even if the child is walking, it can be used to store our stuff while we are in a show or on a ride.
    Since they are similar to a lot of other ones, we tie a ribbon or something colorful on top to recognize it. Sometimes if we have a jacket, I tie it around the top handles. I've had two incidences where I came out and thought our stroller was stolen. I looked and looked and swore it was gone. Only to finally find it where a CM moved it. Whew!
    Cup holders are needed!

  7. I want to share in the stroller with you and M3, let the kiddos push us around...oh wait, those are called wheel chairs for the elderly...hmmm...

    When we travel in Europe because of the amount of walking we do each day, I still bring Maisie's Maclaren Volo stroller because we just never have to stop, if she's tired she sits down, relaxes, sleeps and I can keep going. I've been thinking about how much longer to bring along her stroller now that she's almost 7 but I'd rather have it there if she needs it and if not, it's still great for pushing around the backpack and other stuff. Going to miss it though once I do get rid of it, sort of her last "baby" thing.

  8. Have you considered writing to Disney and sharing some of your informative posts? This one in particular would be great.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...