Do You Need a Stroller at Walt Disney World?

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Today we are thrilled to share with you a blogpost by Unofficial Guide fan Mike Howard. He gives us his insights about needing a stroller at Walt Disney World.

One of the questions that I see often on social media is, Do I need a stroller at Walt Disney World for my 5- or 6-year-old? The answer is YES. Children can get tired very quickly. We shouldn’t wonder why they are asking to be carried or that they start getting grumpy around noonish. 

Strollers at Walt Disney World

After taking several measurements and averaging lots of data, I have concluded that an average adult at any of the four parks at Disney World walks approximately 19,000 steps or approximately 9.45 miles per day. Over 9 miles is a long way for anyone, especially one with the short legs of a 5-year-old child.  

For my experiment I used three test subjects: myself, who fits into the adult averages mentioned above; my 7 ½-year-old granddaughter, Christine; and my newly-turned 5-year-old neighbor Cason.

Disney stroller

Based on a distance of 9.45 miles, here is a table that breaks down that distance into distance per step and steps taken. 

I was very surprised to learn that, on average, Cason was walking over double the amount of steps that I was. If you consider these slightly unscientific numbers, that means that by midday Cason had walked as much as an adult would at the end of the day. I would be willing to bet that if I did another unscientific experiment I would find that the average time for a child meltdown is around 1 p.m., while the average adult meltdown time is around 7 p.m. 

So, again, I think the answer to the question is definitely YES—when visiting with younglings, you need a stroller at Walt Disney World. There are several options for stroller rental in and around the Disney World area. On our last trip we rented from an outside source and were very happy with the ease and price the company offered.

Depending on the size of your child, another option is to ship an umbrella stroller to yourself at your resort. A couple of years ago we purchased a Minnie Mouse stroller for around $15 and packed it along with Pull-Ups, snacks, and juices. Shipping was about $35, and stroller and supplies were waiting for us upon arrival. At the end of our vacation we gave the stroller to another family that was just arriving.  

Not all children tire at the same time, and you know your child best, but they are sure taking more steps than you. So, when they say they are getting tired of walking, they most certainly are. 

Note that Walt Disney World Resorts no longer allow stroller rental companies to leave the strollers you rent with Walt Disney World Resort bell stands, but they are offering pick-up locations at the Orlando International Airport (MCO). 

Find out more about this here. You can, of course, always bring your own, ship your own, or rent a stroller at the parks.

About the author: Mike Howard is a husband, father of two, and grandfather to a 5-year-old. He is an Environmental Specialist with a deep love for his family, Disney, Star Wars, and LEGO. He has visited the parks many times and has already planned a return visit to the Kingdom of the Mouse for his 50th birthday in 2021.

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