Whether you rent or bring your own, strollers are essential for a Walt Disney World vacation. On average, most people walk 5 to 6 miles over the course of one day in the parks. Planning on park hoping? You could potentially cover up to the distance of a half marathon in a day: 13+ miles!
Now, those of you who have littles, take a look at your legs and then take a look at theirs. Specifically the 5 and under crowd. Their little legs probably measure about half the size of yours, if not less. For every one step you’re taking in the parks, they are easily taking two to four to cover the same amount of ground. All those steps often results in one crabby kiddo.
Unless they have breaks between all those little steps and lots of stroller rides, there will for sure be a meltdown in their future!
Which brings us to why, if you plan to spend any time at all in the Disney parks, using a stroller is key.
Whether it is one you brought from home, or a rental, a stroller is going to make your trip a whole lot smoother. If your kiddo is on the cusp of not using or not wanting to use a stroller, I would recommend you lean towards bringing one along anyway. This can apply for kids upwards of six years old (or even older), especially if they aren’t used to walking long distances. It doesn’t have to be the top of the line stroller with all the bells and whistles, but something that will give your little one a chance to put their feet up and not have to walk.
Why am I pushing using a stroller in Walt Disney World so hard? Let me break it down for you. It’s going to be your mini-lifesaver on wheels and here’s why:
1.Catch All Location
If you have kids, odds are you have some type of vehicle at home that is loaded full of life’s necessities. You’ve got snacks, a change of clothes, a cell-phone charger, and a spare toothbrush (hey, you never know!) all stashed within your vehicle. At home, your vehicle becomes your mini-home away from home.
A stroller at Walt Disney World becomes just that during your vacation!
Your stroller will become an area to place bags, souvenirs, water bottles, snacks, popcorn buckets, rain ponchos, giant life-sized Mickey Mouse stuffed animals and those cute rose gold Minnie ears. The list of items you will collect during a park day is endless. As you collect all these items, your stroller will begin to look more and more like a golden chariot as it rescues you from having to carry every single thing you acquire.
In light of that little detail and the fact that you aren’t going to want to leave everything in your stroller when you hop on a ride, it is a good ideal to be strategic about the items you bring into the park. Pack light and smart and you won’t feel like a pack mule while walking around the parks.( Your stroller will!)
For our family, we like to bring only the necessities and a small (comfortable) backpack into the parks. You can load up the backpack with the items that you would prefer not to leave on the stroller when you get on a ride. Small, replaceable items such as water bottles can be left on your stroller while you go on a ride; making the backpack weight manageable while you wait in line. After the ride you can hang the backpack back on the stroller and be thankful that you’re going to have a way less sweaty back as you walk around in the blazing Florida sunshine.
2. Power Through the Parks Faster
As covered earlier, little legs mean more steps than big legs to cover the same amount of distance. More steps mean they get tired more easily and you’ve got a whiny little one on your hands. This is especially problematic when you are trying to make that 1:45 pm advance dinning reservation. You know, the one that you made 180 days out when you weren’t considering that it might be way too late of a time to feed your kiddos.
Yes, you brought lots of extra snacks, but those were blown through by 9:30am. By 11am you had already bought four Mickey bars, two dole whips and about 6 or 7 churros. So by 1:45 you’ve got a bunch of crabby kids coming down from a sugar high that can’t be talked into walking fast even if their lives depended on it. You’ve got to get to that reservation STAT and bring up those blood sugars! Fly there with your stroller and you won’t be balancing your two kids on your shoulders as you sprint through Frontierland.
Aren’t you glad you have your stroller?
Better luck next time with your meal planning times though. Not that I would know anything about the above situation…
3. You Can Always Have a Beverage Handy!
I hate carrying a water bottle in my hands through my day at Walt Disney World. Usually because my hands are never free and adding a water bottle to the mix just creates an unnecessary headache. I love having two easily accessible cup holders to store my water bottles. With four of us, we end up needing more than the two cup holders available at the front of our stroller. We also have this awesome product from Skip-hop that we attached under the handle bar of our stroller which adds even more cup storage space. Plus, I can sneak my phone in the nice side zipper pocket and pull it off for when I’m heading into a ride. Win-win!
4. Stroller Naps!!!
Don’t have the luxury of leaving the park mid-day? Let me introduce you to the stroller nap. I am sure you are well aware of this mystical phenomenon that helps kids get a little sleep mid-day when a pint sized bed isn’t available. If you have a stroller that will recline, or if your kid is tired enough to fall asleep sitting up, your stroller is going to help take the edge off of what could become a cranky kiddo and a resulting rough afternoon. Stroller naps can be lifesavers. Sometimes I wish I could curl up into the stroller and take a snooze myself!!
5. No Sore Shoulders
Trust me, if you don’t bring or rent a stroller, you’re going to end up carrying your child. In the beginning it will definitely make for some cute photos as your little one is hoisted up on your shoulders and the castle is perfectly positioned in the background(**swoon**). Yet, whether it be a 20 pound baby or a 50 pound 5-year-old, that little memory maker pose will get old quickly. Just give in and bring a stroller or rent one. Yes, it will cost some money or be an extra thing to juggle once inside the parks and at your resort, but you’re going to be so thankful that you did.
Anyway you slice it, a stroller is going to help make your Walt Disney World trip just a little more magical. Or at least a little less cranky and sore!
Plus, your hands will be free to do more important things. Like eat ice cream, Dole Whips and Mickey bars, which are all essential to a happy trip.
So a stroller does equal happiness.
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