To pack or not to pack a stroller… that’s always the question when travelling with kids to Walt Disney World.
With limited baggage allowance for families flying to Orlando and limited trunk space for those driving there, it’s sometimes a difficult decision to make.
The Disney World area (theme parks, Disney Springs and surrounding hotels and resorts) is huge – a little over 30,000 acres.
That’s a lot of walking if you want to see and do everything!
Combine walking with sweltering temperatures (depending on the time you visit), some kids can get fussy or cranky when tired.
Having traveled to Disney World with two young children, I say having a stroller is an absolute must.
Here are a few stroller options for your family:
1. Bring an Umbrella Stroller
Small strollers do not count towards baggage allowance on most airlines.
If you have two or more children that require strollers, then you’re looking at either packing a double stroller or a single for each child. Call your airline to double check what their policy is on strollers.
2. Buy a Stroller
If you have a car, you can buy a stroller from a big box store (Walmart, Target) for $20-50. Single umbrella Strollers are also available for purchase at many gift shops in the parks and Disney Springs.
This is the cheapest option for parents who don’t want to travel with a stroller or strollers from home.
Be forewarned though, most of these strollers don’t have a lot of storage space if any under the seat, may not offer enough sun protection (the ones we saw in the gift shops had a very small shade cover) and will not work for older kids.
The disadvantage to buying a stroller is deciding whether to bring it home with you. Again, luggage limits or available trunk space may affect your decision.
3. Rent a Disney Stroller
Strollers are available for rent at each of the theme parks and Disney Springs.
Disney strollers are very spacious and perfect for older kids who cannot fit into an umbrella stroller or don’t need to be sitting in one all day, every day.
While they are not the most comfortable (they are 100% plastic with no padding) and do not recline, they do provide a place to rest their tired feet.
This is not the most economical option. Double strollers cost $31 a day. Times that by 7 days and you’re out $200. A few dollars more can get you a car rental in Florida! Read our post about our thoughts on renting a car in Orlando over here.
Another downside is that the strollers can’t be taken outside of the parks or Disney Springs.
So after a long day of rides, shows and attractions, you may have to carry your kids onto the monorail, bus or to and from your car.
Renting a Disney stroller at the parks is a good option for parents with older kids as you probably won’t need to rent one every day depending on your touring schedule.
4. Rent a Stroller Offsite
There are several companies in the Orlando area that rent out strollers and other equipment parents might need.
Most strollers can be reserved online and the majority of rental companies will deliver it to your resort or hotel free of charge.
There are many advantages of renting a stroller offsite. Most of the strollers are similar to jogging strollers you are used to at home.
When our kids were younger, we would rent two single or one double stroller from Orlando Stroller Rentals. It was perfect for our two kids and had a lot of storage space under their seats.
Unlike a rental from Disney, your stroller is yours for the week or however long your vacation is. You can take it onto the bus, monorail or anywhere else you happen to visit during your stay in Orlando.
Prices are a bit lower than a Disney stroller rental and having them drop off and pick up is extremely convenient when you are traveling with over excited young ones to the most magical place on earth.
Still not sure if you really need a stroller? You can always make your decision once you get there.
Jory Hastings says
We always bring our own strollers and we pack them in heavy duty stroller bags. We bring a double and a single Maclaren. We have gate checked the bags, and recently the airlines told us we could check them as baggage for free, which was much easier than dragging them to the gate. I’m not sure people know that you can check them for free. I do recommend having a bag for them though, to protect your stroller from damage.
Thanks for the tip about stroller bags and checking the strollers as baggage. We actually never considered purchasing one before (stroller bag) and will definitely look into it.
Sarah Lynn says
I LOVE my umbrella stroller – it’s lightweight, comfy for my daughter and pretty small! It will definitely make the trip with us when we head to Walt Disney World!
We love Disney but a stroller is a MUST have. We fly down and have rented Disney strollers in the past. However, you are correct in the economics of buying an umbrella stroller from a box store once you reach Orlando. Hope you had a great trip!
Having been to Disney last year I think a stroller would be a must with young kids.
I agree, we were just there and it was a lifesaver. All 4 boys felt like they HAD to ride even though we had just a double. Most of the time, I baby wore my 1 year old and had 2 others riding.
I think a stroller is probably good unless all the kids are 6+. I like the idea of renting though, then you can decide day by day.
Nancy Lustri (StyleDecor) says
We always had a stroller. Too much for the little ones not to have a place to doze off. Great idea to use Orlando Stroller Rentals!
When my son was little, a stroller was an absolute must. I usually brought my own, because I wanted something light weight.
Definitely a must! I have brought my own and rent before and both options work great.
we didn’t bring one. we regretted that almost immediately!
Dawn Lopez says
What a great and informative post, you are amazing. This is a fabulous resource, I’m going to share it with my girlfriend who is headed there next month.
Ellen Christian says
I cannot imagine going without a stroller. Very convenient that you can rent them.
for me that answer would be yes, it is so easy to park the stroller and run to a ride a stroller is a must!
Jennifer Soltys says
I can imagine you would definitely need one!!! Maybe even an adult one! 😉 That’s a lot of walking.
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
The idea of renting a stroller once in town (if you fly) is actually a really good one! I do love umbrella strollers for the lightweight nature but I like the storage built in with the bigger strollers!
Jennifer (aka Hint Mama) says
Great info that definitely applies beyond Disney World and thanks for sharing. It’s good to know about all these rent-a-stroller resources, though I’m still a fan of bringing my big stroller on flights with me (just hoping it won’t get damaged….) 🙂
I know lots of ppl swear by renting one in Orlando, but at least through Southwest gate checking a stroller was the way to go! It made me feel much better in the airport to have my child in a stroller where she wasn’t going to be run over by harried business travelers or people in a rush to catch their flights. Just a thought for the flyers out there!
Melissa D. says
We took the stroller with us when we took our 6 year old and it was well worth taking it along! Not only did it give him someplace to sit down when we had been walking for a long time, but it was great to be able to throw water bottles, sunscreen, ponchos, etc. into the basket of the stroller rather than having to carry them in the backpack. Plus, having two cup holders to keep water bottles at the ready was really nice.