While this post started out as a tip, it is actually more like something of which to be aware, so let’s call it an “awareness of the week.”
If you are travelling to Walt Disney World from out of town with little ones, you may have been confronted with a very common question: to bring or not to bring the family stroller(s)?
When my wife and I took our one-year-old to Orlando from New Jersey for the first time, we painstakingly contemplated the issue. Naturally, nothing beat the comfort and familiarity of our own “City Mini,” but with the limiting nature of air travel luggage, the home stroller got bumped for other material priorities. So, we researched our stroller rental options in Orlando.
The Walt Disney World “Stroller Rentals” Hosted by Huggies® webpage provides every option you need – both Disney-direct rentals and three off-property “Disney Featured Providers” (DFP).
In the end, if you find yourself opting to leave the family baby wheels at home for an extended stay in “The World,” you’ll need to consider the plusses and minuses of your options.
So, here is a summary of your basic choices below: (Note: “single” and “double” stroller options are available from all sources at incremental prices, but for the purposes of this comparison, I’ll refer to the single stroller size.)
Price: All providers, Disney and outside providers, float around the $15/day range. Disney-direct strollers are $15 for one day, and reduced to $13 per day for multi-day packages. The three DFPs quote at roughly the same price.
Access: Whether you are staying on property or off, transporting your stroller to-and-from the theme parks is a consideration. Direct from Disney rentals may be picked up outside each theme park, thus eliminating the need to lug, collapse, and squeeze strollers on often-crowded Disney transportation. However, getting your small children from park gate to hotel is also demanding. If you require a stroller to and from the parks – and you don’t mind maneuvering strollers on modes of mass transit — consider renting through an outside broker.
My wife and I used one of the three DFPs, and pickup could not have been easier. Arranging our rental well in advance, our stroller was waiting at our hotel check-in.
Comfort, cleanliness, and familiarity: Look, Disney’s product is going to be clean – not an issue, and I can vouch for our DFP – the stroller we rented was spotless and sanitized. But as for comfort and familiarity, I think an edge has to be given to the DFPs. I hate to slander, but the Disney strollers are plastic and bulky; on the other hand, DFPs offer choices of some of the most common stroller brands. As stated, we owned a City Mini at the time, and we were able to rent the same exact model. Our son adapted seamlessly to this stroller as if we never left his real one at home in New Jersey, and his comfort was never sacrificed.
Amenities: In addition to the rental of the stroller, most DFPs – if not all – offer stroller add-ons like covers, cup holders, etc. to customize your wheels; some even offer grocery service along with delivery of stroller. (Please see respective websites for details.)
Well, there it is. To stroll or not to stroll…? Seems to me, the major considerations in choosing how to decide upon the stroller problem lies in transport, amenities, and familiarity. Our DFP experience was wonderful, and yet, I’m sure people have had positive experiences with Disney-direct as well.
Have you had need of a stroller on a past Walt Disney World vacation? Did you bring your own or opt for a rental? If you chose to rent, who did you rent from?
(Photo from the author’s personal collection.)
To learn more about Rich and read his recent posts for WDW Radio, visit his author page by clicking the link on his name at the top of this post.