Do I look at my daughter with a tinge of jealousy as she enjoys being "chauffeured" through the theme parks in her stroller? Yes. Would I ever consider going on a theme park vacation without that stroller? No. Here are five reasons why using a stroller is a must along with a few tips once you're convinced.
1. You can use your own stroller or rent one at the parks.
Personally, I prefer to use my own stroller. I'm like one of Barker's Beauties from The Price is Right with that thing. I'm familiar with all the features; the way it brakes, the way it turns, and how to fold it up in a matter of seconds. More importantly, it's the one Lily is used to...she is comfortable in the seat, she can pick it out amongst a hundred other strollers and she can take a nap in it right in the middle of Main Street, U.S.A.® If your child doesn't use a stroller anymore at home and you aren't yet "sold" on the idea that using a stroller is a MUST, you can always make that decision when you arrive at the parks. Stroller Rental locations are near each park's entrance.
2. It's safer and less stressful (for you and the kiddos).
Think about it like this...Take a trip to the toy store and multiply that by a million. That's what it's like for a kid at a Disney park. Try as she might, it's difficult for Lily to stay focused on sticking together when there are SO many things going on around her. Using a stroller takes some of the pressure off of her. It also eases the stress of always making sure I have both my kids by my side.
3. The little ones will last longer in a stroller.
Your day is set to begin when Magic Kingdom® Park opens at 9 a.m. You have Advanced Dining Reservations at 7:15 p.m. You also want to watch the fireworks afterward. Even if you take a midday break back at your hotel, that's A LOT. Using a stroller will help your little ones have enough energy to last the entire day. Having enough energy means less crankiness. Less crankiness means fewer meltdowns. Fewer meltdowns mean happy parents.
4. Using a stroller is convenient.
I'm not talking about having to load it onto and off of the Disney buses (but even that won't keep me from using one). I'm talking about how convenient it is to use a stroller inside the parks. There is "Stroller Parking" outside most of the rides with Cast Members there to keep everything organized. You can even take your stroller into most of the restaurants. Another convenience of using a stroller is being able to use it to stash your stuff. While I don't leave valuables like my pocket book or camera in it unattended, I do love the break from carrying everything. And by everything, I mean my backpack AND Lily.
5. No one says they have to stay in the stroller the entire time.
Whether you bring your own and rent a stroller at the parks, it's up to you how much you use it. If we are going to Epcot® to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and there won't be much walking involved, we just leave the stroller in the hotel room. Even if we only use the stroller for half the time, it's still nice to have the option.
• Tie a bright bandana to your stroller so it's easy to find when you come out of a show or ride.
• Bring something soft like a small toy or pillow to make stroller naps more comfortable.
• Attach your kiddo's toy to the stroller with a ribbon or carabiner so you don't have to keep stopping to pick it up.
• Practice folding and unfolding your stroller so you can load it quickly and easily onto the bus.
• If your stroller doesn't have a cover, buy a detachable sun shade. This is a must on hot and sunny days.
Check out these Photo Guides of Stroller Rental & Parking:
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What are your thoughts on using a stroller at the theme parks? If you use one, do you bring your own and rent?
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