Traveling With Kids - Stroller
Rental strollers may be rented at any of the parks
for $7.00 daily fee, which includes a $1.00 refundable deposit
(you get your money back when you return the stroller).
Double strollers are available at all of the parks at the slightly
higher rate of $12.00, although there are generally only a few
available so you might have to ask for them.
The rental strollers at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot
are older style steel (heavy, flat, non-reclining, and not too
comfortable for the child) with a wire basket. The rental
strollers at the Studios and Animal Kingdom, three-wheeled canvas-on-frame
strollers with a net basket.
Magic Kingdom - Strollers are available for
rent on the far right-hand side of the park entrance. Also,
they can be rented at Tinkerbell's Treasures in Fantasyland (to
the left as you walk through the castle).
Single (above) and double
strollers (below) that are available for rent at the Magic Kingdom
Epcot - Strollers are available for rent
at the right-hand side of the park entrance plaza as you enter
the turnstiles at the main entrance, and at International Gateway
if you're coming in from the back entrance.
Disney / MGM Studios - Strollers are available
for rent at the "Service Station" located to the far
right as you enter the turnstiles.
Single (above) and double
strollers (below) that are available for rent at the Disney /
Animal Kingdom - Strollers are available
for rent at the right-hand side of the park entrance plaza as
you enter the turnstiles, at the Gateway Gifts shop.
Single (above) and double
strollers (below) that are available for rent at Animal Kingdom
are identical to the ones at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot except
for the color scheme.
Make sure you save your receipt if you rent a stroller!
If you park hop, you can transfer your stroller rental. That is,
if you rent a stroller at Magic Kingdom in the morning and then
visit Epcot in the afternoon, your Magic Kingdom rental receipt
entitles you to use a stroller at Epcot without having to pay
the rental fee again.
The hard plastic seats on the rental strollers are
not very comfortable, especially for infants. If you intend to
rent a stroller at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Animal Kingdom,
I recommend bringing a blanket or towel to add some cushion to
the stroller seat.
Personal Stroller Issues
I personally prefer taking my own stroller, since
I don't have to return it as I exit the park, so Allan can ride
all the way to the bus stop (or van or whatever transportation
we're heading for).
If you're paranoid about leaving the stroller unattended,
you can lock it with a bike lock so it won't be swiped either
intentionally or inadvertently. (We were given an excellent Combi
stroller as a shower gift and a bike lock. We used the lock all
the time, just for the peace of mind that the expensive stroller
was safe -- especially since the Grandma that bought the stroller
was on the trip with us.)
A suggestion from one of the readers of an earlier
version of this document pointed out the luxury (or maybe necessity)
of taking a stroller - even for an older child. Kids as old as
six or seven can get extremely tired by the end of a heavy day
in the parks. Karl's suggestion was to take an umbrella stroller
from home. If you fly to WDW, Karl suggested that you go out and
buy an umbrella stroller, since they are relatively inexpensive
(between $20-30), and even consider disposing of it at the end
of the trip if you don't want to lug it home.
We loved our Combi carriage stroller so much that
when Allan was older and it was time to buy an umbrella stroller,
we picked up a Combi Savii. The Savii is incredibly light
and compact, yet is very sturdy and easy to maneuver. Our
two Combis have been on multiple vacations and been put through
hard use at home, but still look and operate like they're brand
new. When we add to the family, I don't think we'll have
to buy a new stroller at all. The Combis are expensive,
but less so than the top of the line Peg Peregos...and they look
much better, even after multiple trips, than the beat up Gracos
and other K-mart specials that are typically bought.
When Michael joined our family, we decided to get a double stroller.
We choose our Combi
Twin Savvy for several reasons. First, I preferred the
idea of a side-by-side. Allan (4 1/2) and Michael (1) are close
enough in age that they keep each other amused when they're together.
I didn't think that the front / back arrangement would be as good
for that. Also, I was concerned that whichever boy was in the
back wouldn't be able to enjoy the view and would, very likely,
get much more ornery just out of boredom.
Besides that, we've had great success with two other Combis.
We have a Combi Spirit carriage stroller and a Combi Savvy lightweight
stroller (it's not fair to call it an umbrella, but it's tiny
when folded and extremely light).
The double, as I said, is a side-by-side (shown above). It's
only 32 inches wide, so it wasn't a problem getting it around
the parks, though I did struggle with getting it on and off some
of WDW's watercraft. The boat that runs between Wilderness Lodge
and the Magic Kingdom has doors that must be about 31 and 15/16
ths inches wide. ;)
The double has a front "rail" that is easily detached.
Allan was able to let himself in and out of the stroller without
problems. Michael, on the other hand, was still always very secure.
When folded, the entire stroller got down to the size of a cylinder
about three and a half feet high and about 16 inches in diameter;
it weighs only 15 pounds!
Though not as easy as our Savvy, we found it to be sufficiently
maneuverable, particularly when you consider that two heavy kids
were in it. I was concerned, before we bought it, that having
two kids of mismatched weight would cause the stroller to be hard
to control, but my concern turned out to be unwarranted. It worked
The only negative is that each of the wheels must be locked individually
before you can fold up the stroller. The center front wheel was
especially irritating, because I couldn't get my foot in there
to lock it (I could for the two outer wheels). So, I had to reach
down to the ground to lock that center wheel. I found that to
be a pain, but manageable.
We could fold the stroller even if it had some things in the
basket below, but if the basket was full (lots of stuff) then
we had to empty it before folding. That wasn't usually a problem,
It cost $319.99.
Strollers and Attractions Issues
In general, you can not take strollers into attractions.
There are minor exceptions, but normally, you'll have to take
your child out of the stroller and leave it outside. On
a few attractions, though, you are permitted to fold and
bring along your stroller, such as the Backlot Tour at the Studios
and the railroads in the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, as
long as you can bring the stroller into the seating area with
you. Suggestion: if you can take it, take it!
Otherwise, you'll find yourself doing some (perhaps a lot) of
walking without it.
Don't leave valuables (cameras, etc.) in the stroller
when it's unattended. It's not likely that the stroller
will be stolen, but don't tempt fate (or the immoral among us)
Personalize your stroller with a non-valuable personal
item (to mark it as "owned" by a guest) whenever you
leave it unattended.
When you enter an attraction, put a large poncho
or rain cover over the stroller if even a hint of possible rain
is showing...sudden rains can drench the thing while you are inside
an attraction. Frankly, this advice comes from others because
we never had rain during our last trip.
Be aware that Disney cast members often rearrange
the strollers that are parked outside of attractions in an effort
to keep the area neat and safe...if you can't find your stroller
when you left it, look around the area...it was probably moved
by a well-meaning CM.
In general, you will not be permitted to bring any
stroller into a restaurant. However, the rule can be bent
by CMs if your child is sleeping.
You will always be asked to remove your child from
the stroller before you enter any of the transportation boats
(the possible exception is the larger ferries that run between
the TTC and the Magic Kingdom, you might get away with strolling
right onto those boats.)
On the smaller transportation boats you'll be asked
to fold the stroller as well.
You will also be asked to fold your stroller on
the WDW Transportation buses, but a lot of people cheat on that
one. In any case, try to be courteous as you deal with a
stroller on a crowded bus.
Generally you can take the stroller (with or without
child) right onto the monorail.
Stroller Choreography 101
Here's a tidbit that I'll share for free...When
Barb and I are preparing to board a bus or boat, we take Allan
and Michael and our bags out of the stroller then one of us (generally
me) fold the unit up. Then, as soon as we enter the bus
(or boat) we make our way (with our whole party) to the very back
of the bus.
Since we're at the back of the bus, we usually have
more room for the stroller and have fewer people trying to climb
over it as they make their way to their seats.
When we exit the bus or boat, I try to be among
the first off the vehicle. I take the stroller and walk
clear away from the unloading area of the vehicle. (At the
bus stops, for example, I walk past the loading queue and away
from the unloading exit walkway to a less traffic-congested spot
and THEN unfold the stroller.)
By the time I have the stroller unfolded, Barb and
the boys have arrived and we can return the bags and kids to the
stroller and move along on our way. There are really two
reasons for this:
First, getting out of the way is courteous to
the other guests. By making sure that I am clear of
their egress, I can be a bit more polite to them.
Second, getting out of the way makes it a bit
easier to deal with setting up the stroller and getting situated
just because we're not in a high-traffic area. It just
When pushing the stroller in crowds, avoid coming
to a complete stop. Gradually slow down, if necessary, but if
you come to a complete stop, people will cut you off and leave
You can push a stroller (if you have your own) right
up to the park gates. The CMs there will open the gate for
you (and assist you with your park port). Be prepared for
brief delays, as the CMs are often busy with many, many folks
entering the parks, so they might not immediately come over to
the gate to let you through.