They say you average 10 miles of walking a day at Walt Disney World. That is a lot of walking!! So even if your child may be long past using a stroller at home you may still want to consider one for vising the Disney parks.

***To be fully transparent I did receive a Kingdom Strollers rental free of charge and there are affiliate links within this post. The opinions stated below are completely my own based on my experience. Your results and opinions may vary.**

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When to Use a Stroller

It is an easy decision for those when children aren’t walking or are new to walking long distances. But what about older children?

A good guide is to ask yourself could your child make it a full day without melting down and you having to carry them some or most of the time.

My husband has first hand experience. The first time he took his then 5 yo son to Walt Disney World they thought he was old enough to make it the full day but by lunch they marched right up to the front of the park and rented a stroller.

So for our family we have decided that our sons will use a stroller until they are 6 and then they are kicked out and have to fend for themselves. (we are evil like that) But since each child is different make you own call. Especially if there are hidden factors that may cause them to tire easily or they need to be out of the sun.

Disadvantages of Using a Stroller

If you do plan on using a stroller let me warn you that strollers are griped about. Strollers are known for clogging up walking paths and taking up valuable space in those ever growing stroller parking lots.

Only scooter people are thought to be worse than a stroller person! You are now warned. (Note: if you are one of those people that have a stroller for their healthy 12 year old you may surpass the scooter people in disdain)

In addition, you will need to keep up with the stroller. That means going back and forth between stroller parking lots. To make good use of space Disney Cast Members will re-organize strollers so your stroller may not be where you left if. (recommend putting something on it that is easily identifiable)

Another thing to be prepared for is the Disney bus. Strollers have to be folded up before getting on the bus and when the bus is full it can take up valuable space on the bus. Take that into account when choosing if and what size of stroller you use. Having to maneuver those monstrosities onto a crowded bus is sometimes frustrating and may not make you any friends.

Advantages of a Stroller

But even knowing that you will be scorned strollers are a necessity and have some key benefits that outweigh any negatives.

Child Carrier It is much much easier to push a stroller than to carry a child. It is even better if the child is having a fit because you can put them in the stroller, snap the seat belts, throw up the sun visor and stroll around completely ignoring them. Beautiful!(again, I said we were evil like that)

Portable Naps You don’t have to cut your day short to take the child back to the room for a nap. They can fall asleep whenever and you and your spouse can take turns riding rides or visiting any attraction that a stroller can be rolled into.

Instant Storage UnitStroller have space under the seats to store packages and purses can be hung from handles. It really is so convenient to not have to carry crap around the parks. (I am going to miss this the most when my kids out grow their strollers.)

Option 1: Bring Your Own Stroller

If you have your own stroller feel free to bring it. Especially if you will need them during travel like through the airport on on the road.

There is common tip out there on many of the Disney trip boards to get an inexpensive umbrella stroller. Personally I am not a big fan of those. They really are geared for a certain size of child and don’t have many of the advantages that taking a larger stroller has.

We tried it using an umbrella stroller once with a 4 yo. She weighed just enough that her butt would hit the pavement and her feet (or worse – her princess dress) would get pulled under the wheels. It actually became more of an annoyance than a benefit as the trip moved on. Eventually it was just thrown in a trash can.

Luckily there are options to rent at Walt Disney World that make it really convenient.

Option 2: Rent a Stroller at the Parks

The option most people are familiar with is renting the strollers at the Disney Parks. This is done at the entrances of each park and at Downtown Disney.

As of the date of this article the pricing was:

Single Stroller: $15 per day or $13 per day for length of stay

Double Stroller: $31 per day or $27 per day for length of stay

Advantages of renting from the parks:

Leaving the Stroller at the Park – You cannot take the strollers away from the parks so you will not have to deal with the dreaded bus/stroller situation. When you rent the stroller you get a receipt that will allow you to check out a stroller at any of the parks or Downtown Disney.

No Worry About Loss/Damage – You don’t have to return the stroller so if it should disappear or get damaged no worries. Just head back to the front of the park and get a new one.

Disadvantage of renting from the parks:

Leaving the Stroller at the Park – You are restricted to using it only in the parks. You will not have access to a stroller offsite or at the resorts.

Lack of Storage – The best perk of having a stroller is the storage and the park strollers are sorely lacking. There is limited storage at the handles but that is it.

Hard Plastic – These are not comfortable strollers. They are durable and made of hard plastic. Your younger child may not be comfortable enough to take a nap in them.

Option 3: Renting From an Offsite Rental Company (like Kingdom Strollers)

There are multiple companies to rent strollers from but I am going to focus on my favorite rental company, Kingdom Strollers, who I have used for 3 years and is a Disney Featured Stroller Provider.

Renting a stroller offsite means you do not have to lug a stroller on the plane or in the car but you still have access to the stroller throughout the entire trip.

Advantages of renting a stroller offsite:

Pick-Up/Drop-Off at the Hotel: You arrange a time to meet at the hotel and pick up your stroller. No need to go to a location for pick up.

Full Access: You don’t have to leave the stroller at the parks. You can use it at your resort or take it offsite.

Lots of Storage: These strollers have storage below the stroller and along the handles.

Comfortable: These are high quality padded strollers that have backs that can be raised or lowered for naps.

High Quality: These stroller those that most of us (or just me) can not afford. Meaning they are durable and roll easily throughout the parks. They are also rotated often to ensure you have one in working order.

Special Needs Strollers: Offsite rental companies like Kingdom Strollers have special need options that are perfect for those that need it. You will need to ask as they are not typically promoted on their sites.

Disadvantages of renting a stroller offsite:

Pick-Up/Drop-Off at the Hotel: Unfortuneately

The Bus Dilemma: As I stated above getting these strollers on the bus are a bear. I love having the stroller access at all times but if I could magically have my stroller transported from the parks to the resort I would.

Stroller Loss/Damage: You do have to provide a credit card to insure your rental. If you lose or damage the stroller it is your responsibility.

Kingdom Strollers Long Logo Banner

Final Thoughts

To use or not use a stroller at Disney is a big decision. If anyone asks me I would recommend erring on the side of caution. You would much rather have a stroller that is not needed than to have no stroller and deal with melt downs and a bad back. You can always leave the stroller in the room.

As for the bring vs rent decision I lean towards rentals from an offsite provider (like my friends at Kingdom Strollers). I never owned a stroller good enough for Disney so I like having one dropped off at my resort that I can use and then give back at the end of the trip.

But the decision really comes down to you. What do you prefer?