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You might be struggling with whether you need to bring your stroller to Disneyland or should you leave it home. A stroller can be a huge help, but at times it can be a hassle. Maybe you are thinking of renting a stroller, and again, that comes with a whole new set of conveniences and inconveniences. Here are 10 tips for using a stroller at Disneyland to make the decision-making — and stroller-using — process much easier on you.
Mommy Frog's Hop Tips for Using a Stroller at Disneyland
1. Save money by bringing your own
If you have a multi-day trip, you can save money by bringing your own stroller — you can save from $15 to $25 per day! We are always looking for ways to save money at Disneyland, so bringing our own stroller can help us save money. The pluses to bringing your own stroller are that it can be easier to find, it is a familiar spot for your little froglet, and you can take it with you back to your hotel. The negatives can be that it is harder to deal with on buses and shuttles, where you have to remove your tadpole and fold it up. (The front row of first and last cars of the parking structure shuttle have more space. You do not have to fold the stroller up in those seats, but you have to remove the child.) Keep in mind that strollers larger than 36” x 52” and wagons are not permitted. If you have a tiny baby and prefer to use an infant carseat that attaches to a stroller, then definitely bring your own.
2. Rent a stroller for convenience
If you cannot fit a stroller in your car with all your luggage, or if you have a child who may be growing out of a stroller but finds a long day of park hopping to be a bit too much for his or her little flippers, you can always rent a stroller. The Disneyland rental strollers look a bit like jogging strollers and are hardier and much easier to maneuver than umbrella strollers. Single strollers cost $15 per day or two individual strollers cost $25. Disneyland does not rent double strollers. If you are one parent with two little ones, you may be better off bringing your own double stroller or wearing your smallest child on your body while you push the older child in the stroller. Renting a stroller can mean less hassle when taking shuttles and buses into the park. You can park hop with your rental stroller, taking it between parks with you, but you cannot take it outside of the security screening area toward the buses, Downtown Disney or the hotels.
3. Rent in advance at the ticket booth
You can maximize time at Disneyland by renting a stroller in advance if you are buying tickets at the ticket booth. Save time by skipping another line and heading straight to the pick-up area to the right side of the Disneyland entrance gates. Be sure to keep your receipt on you. If you lose the stroller in the park, you can get a free replacement at spots around the park with the receipt.
4. Buy a Stroller at Disneyland
Disneyland sells strollers (at the rental location) that fold up smaller at Disneyland. Designed for children 40 to 50 pounds and smaller, this might be a better deal for you if you are traveling and decide a stroller would be a good idea after all but you want to also use it outside of the parks. They run about $60.
5. Mark your stroller
Whether you bring your own or rent, make your stroller stand out. Because sometimes strollers get moved, it can be challenging to find it again amongst a sea of similar strollers. Tying a sweatshirt, ribbon, or a balloon on it or finding some other way to temporarily mark it can save you time in hunting for it later.
6. Park your stroller in Designated Areas and leave it for longer periods
It can be challenging to constantly transition a baby in and out of stroller, figure out where to park a stroller, find it and move through crowds. While taking a toddler or preschooler, we tend to use the stroller for larger distances but then park it in one area or land and go on several attractions in that area before getting back in. If we are in Fantasyland, we park it in an approved stroller parking area and leave it until we are done with Fantasyland and are ready to hop back in as we move on to say, ToonTown, Frontierland or Tomorrowland.
That brings us to where to park. If you abandon your stroller in front of a trash can or bench, it will not be there when you return. It will probably not be too far, but employees will move strollers to more appropriate places, so they do not inconvenience other guests or create a tripping hazard. Going on a stroller hunt is not fun. There are designated stroller parking areas near most attractions. That being said, since other people will come and go with their own stroller while you are away, you can expect that your stroller may move about in those areas as well.
7. Plan ahead for parades and fireworks.
Foot traffic can be very crowded and challenging before and after fireworks. Some areas work better for strollers than others. If you are the type to camp out early for fireworks, you might find a spot right in front of the castle where you can keep your stroller with you and maybe even watch fireworks from it if everyone else stays seated around you. For most viewing areas, you will be in a sea of standing people, so having a stroller during fireworks is a hassle. If you know where you are headed after the show you (i.e., the exit or another land) you can park there ahead of time so you can maneuver through the tight post fireworks crowds without a stroller and then find it waiting for you after the show. For parades, that option will vary based on your needs. Many kids like to sit on curbs along the parade route. You may want to park your stroller at your next destination, but if your child can get a nap out of waiting for the parade, keeping it close can have its advantages too. You can store a thin blanket or tablecloth in your stroller to lay on the ground and sit on and claim a space before the parade.
8. Watch out for other people
Traveling with a stroller means sometimes it will be harder to move though crowds. You will need to exercise patience and move more slowly and watch out for others’ ankles. Do not ram into other people who inadvertently cut you off or are moving slowly in front of you. Everyone needs to behave like a prince or princess and be courteous to other guests. Most people aren’t trying to cut you off. They are just distracted by all the scenery and not paying attention.
9. Use your stroller for storage
A stroller makes a great “shopping cart” for your sweatshirts, diapers, snacks, water bottles and souvenirs. A backpack can get very heavy, so being able to leave items in the bottom of the stroller can really save your back. We take our tickets, wallets, keys, (rental receipt if we rented) and camera with us but leave anything that is replaceable in the stroller. When you enter security before entering the parks, you will have to remove bags from the stroller to have them checked. It is actually quite common to see people pushing around strollers laden with backpacks and blankets and water bottles while the kids walk. If it gets to be too much you can always rent a locker.
10. Follow the flow of traffic
In the United States, people stay to the right when driving and walking. Sometimes at Disneyland, the cast members redirect the flow of people. Go with the flow and do not try to fight your way upstream with the stroller.
If you are bringing a baby or toddler with your to Disneyland, here are more helpful tips for making your day with a little one much easier. If you have a bolter, it is easier to keep your eye on him or her in a crowd when strapped in to a stroller. Keep in mind that even children who are normally too big for a stroller can benefit from using one at Disneyland. Sometime we walk 10 miles in a day in a visit. It is much easier to put a tired child in a stroller than it is to carry them or be stuck in one spot, resting. If you have a mix of ages of children from teens to toddlers, you can definitely get more mileage out of the little one if he or she can take some breaks or naps in the stroller. A stroller can be the thing that helps you meet everyone’s needs in the family and stay longer in the park without a meltdown, so don’t let anyone guilt you out of one. Only you know what your family’s needs are. Also, many children have hidden disabilities but do not require a wheelchair; so being in a stroller can help them enjoy the park too. Always be kind, because you do not know another family’s situation or reasons to use a stroller at Disneyland.
Have a question about using a stroller at Disneyland, or have a tip we didn't mention? Share them in comments below!