I am a babywearer which means I usually have DisKid #3 connected to my body somehow with some kind of baby carrier. A visit to Disney is no exception. It’s so much easier when I’m trying to get through a crowd or when I’m standing in line. I’ve even ridden my share of attractions with the little guy asleep in his carrier. Even so, there are times that I just need a stroller.
If you have small children, you’ve likely debated the question of whether to rent a stroller or take your own. I’ve done both. The first time we took DisKid #2 to Disney World, she was 6 months old, and we took her stroller with us. Mostly because we were flying and I thought it would make getting through the airport easier. (This was before I started wearing my kids or I would have known better.) We had to lug that thing around everywhere. I’m not talking a little umbrella stroller but one of those nice cushy ones. Obviously I wasn’t thinking too well during that decision-making process. But doesn’t she look comfy?
The next several visits had me renting a Disney stroller at the parks. In addition to not wanting to drag my own from home, the only reason for going this route was that I thought it was my only other choice. They are expensive to rent and made of hard plastic with no cushion whatsoever. The only advantage to renting a park stroller was that I could rent a double & DisKid #1 could hop in if she got tired.
When DisKid #3 came along, I discovered non-Disney rentals. (*insert angelic chorus here*) During our most recent trip (in addition to my mei tai baby carrier), I used a rental stroller from Kingdom Strollers. There are so many advantages to using a rental including…
2. Availability for use outside the parks
3. Convenience of drop-off and pick-up
4. Comfort for kiddos
In comparison to the total amount of money you will spend on a Disney vacation, the investment in a rental stroller is a necessity…especially when you choose a non-Disney rental (often less than $75 for up to a week) in lieu of a Disney stroller (more than $30/day for a double). My stroller rental is some of my most well-spent money at Disney.
Availability for use outside the parks
One of the first things I realized the first time I rented a Disney park stroller was that I had to take my sleeping baby out at the end of the day and carry her to the bus stop and then from the bus stop to the room. This alone is what makes having a non-Disney rental worth it for me. Also there have been many times when we needed a stroller outside of the parks such as shopping at Downtown Disney or going to meals at other resort hotels.
Convenience of drop-off and pick-up
There are many stroller rental companies that service the Orlando area including the Disney resort hotels. They tend to all work the same way in that the stroller is reserved online. On the day of check-in, the stroller is left with bell services to be picked up by the guest. On the day of check-out, the stroller is left by the guest with bell services to be picked up by the rental company. The stroller is yours to use anytime and anywhere during that time period. Yes, it’s that easy.
NOTE: It has been rumored that Disney has a new policy that will go into effect on November 1st regarding strollers, electronic scooters, and other such rental equipment. Basically the policy states that Disney will have preferred vendors for these items. Any vendor who is not designated as a preferred vendor must deal directly with the guest as opposed to simply leaving the item for pick-up or drop-off. Please contact your vendor directly to inquire about their agreement with Disney. You can find more discussion here and here.
Comfort for kiddos
Disney rental = hard plastic, non-reclining, narrow sun shade
Non-Disney rental = soft canvas, reclines for naps, most have deep and full-cover sun shades
Now where would you rather take a nap? ‘Nuff said.
Most of the rental companies offer different types of strollers including singles, doubles, standing, and special-needs strollers. Many offer additional stroller options as well such as cup holders, rain cover, car seat attachment, etc some of which are provided at no charge.
My first choice is always going to be wearing my baby as long as I can, but for those times when I just have to have a stroller, I will always choose a non-Disney rental. During my most recent trip, I rented a stroller from Kingdom Strollers. Check out my full review here!