Stollers at Walt Disney World can be both annoying AND life saving. While most families don’t really have the choice on whether or not they use a stroller (just given the age or number of kiddos they have), some do! Especially if their kids are a little bit older. Before we get into the stroller hacks, lets chat a little bit about those families that are on the fence about bringing a stroller on their Disney World family vacation.
We’ve all had the thought when seeing slightly older children riding in strollers – “That kid is too big to be in a stroller!” Okay, sure, maybe for a regular day, but Disney Parks are a different ball game. On average, guests will walk seven to 10 miles PER DAY. That’s a lot, especially for kids!
If you think your kid(s) will benefit from have the option to ride in a stroller on your super long days, don’t hesitate to bring it along. Worst case, you leave it parked in the same spot for most (or all) of the day and then pick it up on the way out of the Park when the kids are essentially sleepwalking. On to the stroller hacks!
1. Make a pro/con list while you plan
Our first hack is for those on the fence about whether or not a stroller is the right move. Make a pro/con list while planning your trip on whether or not it makes sense to include a stroller on your Disney vacation. And if you decide a stroller is the right move for your party, determine if it makes more sense to pack your own or rent once you get there. Here are some points to consider:
- You know exactly where your kids are and don’t have to worry about losing them in crowds
- You can get from point A to point B quicker without little legs struggling to keep up
- Tired kids? Boom – stroller nap
- Store stuff you don’t want to carry (besides the kiddos)
- Pushing strollers through big crowds isn’t the most fun activity to do at Disney World
- Stoller parking (and having to remember where you parked it)
- Florida rain storms are good at drenching parked strollers
- Bulky transportation
2. Pack ponchos for your stroller
Seriously! You already know when it rains at Disney World, you should be prepared with a poncho, so pack extra for your stroller! This hack works best with one or two ponchos, depending on if you’re sporting a single or double stroller, and some large plastic clips that will fit around various areas of your stroller.
If it looks like a chance of rain and you’re leaving your stroller parked, drape the poncho(s) over your stroller and secure with the clips so they don’t blow off in the wind. When you get back, your stroller will have dry(er) seats than if you just left it out to get soak in the inevitable Florida rain storms.
3. Use an over-the-door organizer
This hack works best for strollers that have a straight across handle, but there are certainly ways to rig it up if you’ve got an umbrella stroller. Grab a cheap over the door organizer and hold it up to the back of your stroller, then cut off any extra pockets that hit the floor. Then, either use the hooks it comes with, or zip ties (we recommend the zip ties, but pack extra!) to secure the organizer to the back of your stroller. This hack allows you to easily access items you need frequently: water bottles, sunglasses, snacks, sunscreen, ponchos, etc.
If you need something, or a member of your party makes a request, instead of pulling over and rifling through the bottom basket or your backpack, just quickly grab what you need. But be careful! If it’s really full, especially with water cups or bottles, it can become top heavy and tip backwards, so if you’re parking it, you may want to throw a bag or some of the water into the seats to keep everything upright.
4. Dress it up so it’s easy to spot
When you approach the designated stroller parking areas at any of the given Parks, you’re greeted with a sea of black canvas on wheels, and the majority sporting the classic Disney plastic bags filled with souvenirs. It’s a good idea to attach something eye-catching to your stroller for two reasons: to help you spot it quicker, and to hopefully avoid someone else thinking it belongs to them.
While we like to think Disney vacationers are honest, sometimes there are bad apples who try to swipe something that doesn’t belong to them (looking at you, stroller thief). Also, sometimes honest mistakes happen, so having something unique to identify your rolling property will only work in your favor.
It is also not uncommon for Cast Members to move strollers around if things need to be reconfigured. While it can be frustrating, please don’t get angry at Cast Members if your stroller is moved, it’s part of their job to help keep things orderly so more strollers can fit in the areas. Just be aware that it may not always be right where you left it.
Some ideas to help you spot your stroller quickly: streamers or ribbons, balloons (consider hitting up a dollar store to get a few cheap mylar balloons that will last you a couple of days, as opposed to the expensive Disney ones), pinwheels, pom poms, custom stroller sign via Etsy, etc.
5. Park and go!
As mentioned previously, if you don’t NEED your stroller 100% of the time, consider parking it and leaving it for a portion of the day. For example, if you’re in Hollywood Studios and know you’re going to be exploring all the things to do in Galaxy’s Edge for a while, then find a spot to park your stroller and put what you need in a backpack to hold you over until you’re reunited. It’ll give you a break from trying to steer through the crowds.
So if you’re going to do Disney on wheels, remember these hacks to help make life a little easier. And like with anything else, make sure you’re aware of the policies regarding strollers before you arrive!