1) Rent in the morning and keep the receipt
When you visit any of the theme parks at Walt Disney World, you only need to pay for a stroller or wheelchair rental once per day. If you leave the park and come back later, or plan on park hopping, simply return the stroller or chair at the park you’re currently at, and keep the receipt. When you get to the next park, show your receipt at the stroller rental area in the front of the park, and you’ll be able to take out another stroller or chair without paying again.
2) Do not leave valuables
When you leave your stroller or wheelchair behind to experience attractions that you must transfer to experience, be sure to take any valuables with you. While we do like to think that bad things that sometimes happen in real life would never happen at Walt Disney World, it is important to stay on the safe side and take any kind of valuable with you. Especially with strollers, as a lot of guests use strollers to hold their belongings, it can be really easy to leave items behind without thinking.
3) Know where you are able to bring the chair or stroller
Some attractions can be experienced without leaving a wheelchair or stroller, while others require the guest to transfer out either to a ride vehicle that can hold the chair, or to a different style of seat. Each guide map, the My Disney Experience app, and signage outside of attractions will tell you how the person using the chair can experience the attraction, and if you ever have any questions about it do not hesitate to check with a cast member working there.
4) Understand your choices
In some cases, primarily with show attractions, guests using wheelchairs will have the option to transfer to a different seat, or to remain in their chair for the show. It is important to understand that this is a choice. While some rides may require you to transfer out as it would be the only way to experience the rides, shows can find you a seat either way. If you’re asked if you’d like to transfer out of a chair, you are more than welcome to decline, and the cast member will simply show you to the wheelchair seating area.
5) Be considerate of other guests
This point works both ways– guests who are using strollers and wheelchairs and guests who are not, both need to be considerate to each other. If you’re not using a stroller or wheelchair, it is important that you do not take up space in wheelchair seating areas. These seats are positioned a certain way, so that the guests who will occupy them can sit next to the member of their party who is using the chair. If you’re not with a party who has a chair, you should find a different seat. At the same time, some attractions have limited seating immediately next to where the chair will go, and it’s important that even if you are with a person using a wheelchair you follow cast member instructions on where to sit. Sometimes you’ll be sharing a bench with another family, and this may mean some members of your party sitting in the row in front so that another family can enjoy the show as well.
6) Park strollers in designated stroller parking areas
One of the biggest complaints guests have about using a stroller in Walt Disney World is that their stroller is “missing” when they come out of an attraction. In the overwhelming majority of cases, their stroller is not missing, it was simply moved by a cast member because it was not parked in a designated stroller parking area. It’s more important than most guests realize that stroller parking areas are used and remain organized, because you need as many strollers to fit in the designated area as possible, otherwise they’ll be all over the park. To avoid this problem, be sure to follow cast member instructions and make sure your stroller is parked in an actual parking area.
7) Keep an extra poncho on hand
If you’re leaving a stroller, wheelchair or ECV outside of an attraction, you may want to keep a poncho on hand. Florida is very prone to afternoon thunderstorms, and covering the chair with a poncho while you’re experiencing an attraction will help keep it dry in the event that it does rain.
8) Obtain a tag from guest relations for wheelchair-strollers
Guests with small children are able to use strollers as wheelchairs, however they do need to get a tag from guest relations to show this, so that cast members in the park know to allow the stroller everywhere wheelchairs can go. To get the tag, simply stop by guest relations and explain that your stroller will be used as a wheelchair while visiting the parks, and they’ll give you a tag to place on a visible part of the stroller. Once you have the tag, the stroller will function as a wheelchair, and you’ll be able to bring it anywhere where guests are able to remain in their wheelchairs.
9) Consider outside rentals
Whether or not you decide to rent a stroller or wheelchair from Disney or an outside company is really a matter of personal preference, but here are some tips that might help you decide either way. If you have kids who are on the older end of using a stroller, and you’re not sure how much use they’ll actually get out of it, rent the strollers from Disney. It’s best to pay daily rather than weekly if you aren’t sure that it will even be used. If you’re traveling with someone who uses a wheelchair or ECV to get around the parks, consider the distance that they’ll be walking outside of the parks. While there are courtesy wheelchairs in the parking lots, think about whether or not getting around the resorts will be difficult without the chairs. If the chairs would be helpful to have at the resort, look into outside companies that will charge a generally cheaper, weekly fee, and deliver the wheelchair or ECV right to your resort.