The need for strollers at Walt Disney World is a hot topic among families with kids. Some parents, in fact, didn’t realize just how important strollers were until they took their first trip to the World.
It’s not just the parents of babies and toddlers who rent strollers in the parks: Many parents tell us that they use them with kids who are well past needing them at home. If that seems odd, consider that a typical day in the parks requires at least a few miles of walking, which most kids don’t do regularly.
You have three options for using a stroller in Walt Disney World: renting or buying from Disney, bringing your own, or renting from a third party. We discuss the pros and cons of each option here.
DISNEY RENTS STROLLERS at all four WDW theme parks and at Disney Springs. To see what these strollers look like, Google “rental strollers at Walt Disney World.” A single stroller costs $15 per day with no deposit, $13 per day for multiday rental; double strollers cost $31 per day with no deposit, $27 per day for multiday rental; note that stroller rentals at Disney Springs require a $100 credit card deposit. Strollers are welcome at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, but no rentals are available.
With multiday rentals, you can skip the rental line completely after your first visit—simply head over to the stroller-handout area, present your receipt, and you’ll be wheeling out of there in no time. If you rent a stroller at the Magic Kingdom and you decide to go to EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, just turn in your Magic Kingdom stroller and present your receipt at the next park. You’ll be issued another stroller at no additional charge.
Note that you can rent a stroller in advance; this allows you to bypass the payment line and go straight to the pickup line. Disney resort guests can pay ahead at their resort’s gift shop, so hang on to your receipts.
Pick up strollers at the Magic Kingdom entrance; to the left of EPCOT’s Entrance Plaza and at EPCOT’s International Gateway; and at Oscar’s Super Service, just inside the entrance of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At Animal Kingdom, they’re at Garden Gate Gifts, to the right just inside the entrance. Returning a stroller is a breeze—you can ditch it anywhere in the park when you get ready to leave.
In general, strollers at Walt Disney World are too large for infants and many toddlers. If you still want to rent one, bring pillows, cushions, or rolled towels to buttress your child in. Because the strollers are large, they also provide a convenient place to tote water and snacks.
If you go to your hotel for a break and intend to return to the park, leave your rental in the stroller-parking area near the park entrance, marking it with something personal like a bandanna. When you return, your stroller will be waiting.
Note: If you rent a Disney stroller, your child will have to walk to and from the park. This can be particularly frustrating at night after a long day. Cars are often parked quite some distance from where you turn in the stroller, and you will end up having to carry your very tired and exhausted toddler to the car. Once you’re at the resort, many rooms are far away from the bus transportation drop-off and many parents will regret not having a stroller to roll their tired toddler to the resort room.
YOU CAN BUY STROLLERS at Walt Disney World too. Most Disney parks and hotels stock the highly rated Kolcraft Cloud model for around $50 (available at Target and online for $35–$45). The lightweight, collapsible Cloud has an overhead canopy for sun and rain protection, plus a mesh storage basket just below the seat.
BRINGING YOUR OWN STROLLER is another option. Be aware, though, that only collapsible strollers are allowed on monorails, the Walt Disney World Railroad, parking trams, and buses. If you’re bringing your own stroller to save money, you’re flying, and you’re checking the stroller as luggage, see if the airline’s luggage fees outweigh the cost of renting or buying in Orlando.
THIRD-PARTY RENTAL OPTIONS Because Disney’s stroller rentals are generally expensive, a number of Orlando rental companies have sprung up that are able to undercut Disney’s prices, provide more comfortable strollers, and deliver them to your hotel or offer pickup and drop-off at the Orlando airport. Most of the larger companies offer the same stroller models (the Baby Jogger City Mini Single, for example), so the primary differences between the companies are price and service.
Regarding service, Disney no longer allows stroller companies to drop off and pick up at a Disney hotel without the guest being physically present. Disney requires guests to meet with a delivery driver for all stroller and scooter rentals. The three companies reviewed below are part of the Disney Featured Stroller Provider program. Always ask any stroller company if you have to be present when the stroller is delivered.
We had mom and TouringPlans.com writer Angela Dahlgren rent strollers from different companies, use them in the parks, and then return them. Her evaluations cover the overall experience, from the ease with which the stroller was rented to the delivery of the stroller, its condition upon arrival, usability in the parks, and the return process.
Kingdom Strollers (☎ 407-271-5301; kingdomstrollers.com) came in first on Angela’s list, getting top marks for its website’s ease of use, along with stroller selection, condition, and overall service. The stroller she rented was much easier to use than Disney’s standard model, had more storage, and had an easier-to-use braking system. A rental of one to three nights costs $50 (plus tax); four to seven nights is $70 (plus tax). That makes the break-even point for choosing Kingdom Strollers over Disney’s strollers somewhere around five days.
Angela also recommends Orlando Stroller Rentals, LLC (☎ 800- 281-0884; orlandostrollerrentals.com), which has higher prices ($65 for one to three nights and $85 for four to seven nights) but an excellent website that allows you to easily compare the features of the different strollers.
Disney’s third Featured Provider is Magic Strollers (☎ 866-866- 6177; magicstrollers.com). At the website, you enter the dates for which you’ll need the stroller; then you get a list of choices and how much they cost to rent for the entire trip. Per-day prices range from about $11 for a basic single to about $14 for a deluxe double. Angela liked the stroller she reviewed, but she had a hard time getting the company to return phone calls. If you are willing to pick up the stroller from their warehouse shop located halfway between the airport and Walt Disney World, you’ll get a 25% discount.
Walt Disney World Stroller Policy The size limit for strollers in the theme parks is 31 inches wide by 52 inches long. Stroller wagons, both pull and push models, are prohibited. Also, do NOT try to lock your stroller to a fence, post, or anything else at WDW.
STROLLER WARS Sometimes strollers will disappear while you’re enjoying a ride or watching a show. Disney staff will often rearrange strollers parked outside an attraction. This may be done to tidy up or to clear a walkway. Don’t assume that your stroller has been stolen because it isn’t where you left it. It may be neatly arranged a few feet away. Sometimes, however, strollers are taken by mistake or ripped off by people too lazy to rent their own. Don’t be alarmed if your rental disappears: You won’t have to buy it, and you’ll be issued a new one at no charge. But, while replacing a stroller is free, it’s inconvenient. We heard from one Minnesota family who complained that their stroller was taken six times in one day at EPCOT and five times in a day at Hollywood Studios—even with free replacements, petty larceny on this scale represents a lot of wasted time.
Through our own experiments and readers’ suggestions, we’ve developed a technique for hanging on to a rented stroller: Affix something personal but expendable to the handle. We tried several items and concluded that a bright, inexpensive scarf or bandanna tied to the handle works well as identification.
For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.