As a tour guide, I have developed a love/hate relationship with strollers. While they can be very useful with families who have small children who easily tire out in the parks, they are also a major pain when it comes to navigating them through the crowds and finding appropriate parking at the parks.
While both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando offer strollers to rent in the parks, it may make more sense to bring your own if you decide you need one.
“Pros” for Using a Stroller
- The parks are big, and you can easily end up walking quite a few miles during a full day – smaller kids don’t handle all the walking, heat and humidity very well.
- Strollers make great seats for the kids during parades and outdoor shows – but you need to have “front row” access for them to be of use (little kids don’t see well over tall people when they are sitting in a stroller).
- If you like to bring bags full of food or supplies to the parks, pushing them around in a stroller can be far more comfortable then lugging them around over your shoulder.
“Cons” Against Using a Stroller
- Navigating tightly packed crowds is bad enough without having to push a stroller through them – unfortunately, most people don’t just politely move out of your way.
- Stroller parking is never fun – park employees constantly like to rearrange the stroller areas so finding your stroller after you exit an attraction can be an adventure.
- Strollers are not permitted in most lines, and they are not permitted in many buildings either (for example, most of the pavilions at Futureworld at Epcot do not permit strollers) – so they may not always be as useful as you’d think.
Why Bring Your Own Instead of Renting?
- While renting a stroller may sound like a convenient way of dealing with having a stroller at the parks, there are some things you may want to consider.
- If you are going to be at the parks for any length of days, the cost in renting for a number of days may add up to as much as purchasing your own.
- The strollers rented in the parks cannot be taken out of the parks – that means you can’t take them to the parking lot or back to your resort hotel.
- The parks tend to rent very sturdy, hard resin strollers that are neither very comfortable nor do they have very many convenient places to store your stuff.
Things to Know if You Bring Your Own
Universal is pretty carefree about strollers in their parks, but Disney has some pretty strict rules to keep in mind…
- Strollers larger than 31” (79 cm) in width and 52” (132cm) in length are not permitted. Stroller wagons are also not permitted.
- Strollers are not allowed on escalators. Use of strollers is permitted on elevators and ramps, available at certain locations.
- A child must be removed from his or her stroller while riding on a parking lot tram.
- Disney is not held accountable if your unattended belongings are stolen.
- Strollers may be moved by a Cast Member due to operational needs.
If you are going to either rent or bring your own stroller, take into consideration the weather during your visit. Most of the months out of the year it rains quite a bit here in Orlando, so in addition to ponchos for your family, you might want to bring something good and sturdy to cover your stroller when its parked!
Here are a couple highly rated strollers from Amazon that meet Disney’s strict requirements…