No, I am not talking about the people walking leisurely around Disneyland because there is no running in Disneyland. I’m talking about strollers for little ones. When our family went to Disneyland the first time we did not find a whole lot of information on strollers when there. When we go on vacations we tend to research everything thoroughly. Here are some of our reasons why you will want a stroller in Disneyland.
The one thing I was asked about often when we mentioned that we were headed to Disneyland again was “Are you taking a stroller?”. Without hesitation, we answered yes every time. We knew we wanted our own stroller there. We wanted it to use in the airport as we traveled to LA, and we knew it was a must-have item for in the park. When going to Disneyland you can bring your own from home, rent one at Disneyland each day, or rent one from an off-site company. Bringing our own is what worked best for us.
DO YOU REALLY NEED A STROLLER IN DISNEYLAND?
If you are going there with kids age 5 and under, my immediate answer would be yes. For kids that are walking, you know them best, you need to ask “Will they be up for walking Disneyland for the entire time you are there?”. It’s a lot of walking! We were clocking in at 18,ooo steps on average each day and that is with going back to the hotel for nap time. It would have been even more if we were there for the entire park day. I knew our oldest was not going to walk all the time and that she would need an area to rest. Plus our youngest was 11 months old when we went recently. I did bring a baby wrap with us for baby wearing, but having a stroller is so helpful!
Before our trip, I bought a stroller organizer that goes across the handlebar of the stroller. You do have to be careful when using these because most are not meant to hold things here, be careful with how much weight is there. We used this to hold our park tickets, photo pass, sharpie for the autograph books, water bottles, sippy cups, and snacks. Basically, the things we wanted easily accessible.
The best part of a stroller is the fact that it can hold so much. We had our diaper bag in the storage basket, as well as a little cooler bag with our snacks and extra water. Some points during the day bags with souvenirs were also added. It was the perfect spot to store everything… including tired children who no longer want to walk, or little children who do not walk yet.
WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU ARE NOT USING THE STROLLER?
This was something we wondered about… what do you do with the stroller when you are not using it? Disneyland has stroller parking. There are designated spots where you can park your stroller and go to the rides. It’s brilliant!
The one thing we did not realize is that cast members do keep the stroller parking neatly organized. Why does this concern you? Well, you may get out of a ride and be suddenly wondering where your stroller went. We had this happen once. All we had to do was ask a staff member if the strollers had been reorganized and they were able to show us where the strollers had been moved to. The same thing may occur if you park your stroller in a spot that is not designated for them.
You may be a bit worried about leaving items in the stroller, or about leaving the stroller. There really is no need to be worried. Originally we considered buying a stroller or bike lock and bringing that with us, but that is just one more item to pack and bring. We soon realized once there that there is no need, there’s so much security in Disneyland we felt safe enough to leave our stroller and items in stroller parking. We kept important items with us, such as wallets and camera, but left everything else in the stroller. Theft can happen, even in the happiest place on Earth so be careful about what you do leave in the stroller. A good rule of thumb is to only leave things that can be easily replaced if they go missing.
If someone really wanted our diaper bag they were more than welcome to have the diaper contents!
SINGLE, DOUBLE, BOARD… WHAT TO BRING?
Our first trip to Disneyland we only had one child with us so we only had a need for one seat. Our most recent visit included our baby and preschooler. My husband and I debated back and forth for awhile about what we wanted to do…. single stroller, double stroller, single stroller with the piggyback board, single that turns into a double thanks to a rumble seat?
It was on an outing back at home as a family that we realized we would need to pack the rumble seat we have for our stroller. The stroller we have turns into a double stroller thanks to this seat. This was not our first choice, originally we planned to just bring the piggyback board for our preschooler to use. We had a light bulb moment and clued into the fact that the second seat would be ideal.
With two young kids, having two seats provided places for both of them to sit at any time if it was needed. When our oldest daughter did want to walk we let her and then we would use her seat as extra storage space. Now, the benefit of our stroller is also that the second seat is easily detachable so we could leave it in the hotel if we found that it was not needed at all.
Be prepared, that if you are traveling to the park by bus (we used ART to get there) you have to fold your stroller. Can you fold your double stroller easily? Will you need an extra set of hands to hold items? We had Grandparents with us on our most recent trip and they were able to help with our kids while we got the stroller sorted. Next time we go, we plan to get a hotel within walking distance but that’s another blog topic for another day.
If you are going to Disneyland with more than two kids, but they are close in age, again it will come down to knowing your kids and if they are willing to walk around the park all day. Will they need a stroller to relax in? Do you have a double you can bring? Can you baby wear the youngest? There is a lot to consider. Personally, we did not want to baby wear the entire day, we also knew our youngest would not want to be confined to a baby wrap or carrier the entire time. It comes back to the ease of having a stroller to place children and items in.
One thing we did have on our stroller was something to easily identify it. You will notice this on many of the strollers within the park. Families have signs attached to their strollers that state their name clearly on it. Some are very creative showcasing their favourite characters from Disney movies. Others simply use a balloon attached to the handle to mark it as theirs. We had a little sign kept in the basket that marked the stroller as ours, our first trip we attached a luggage tag to it. It does help in finding your stroller quickly in the sea of all of them in stroller parking areas.
DO I HAVE TO BRING MY OWN STROLLER?
As mentioned at the beginning of this post there are other options than bringing your own stroller all the way to Disneyland. Stroller rental is available right at the entrance to Disneyland itself, but they are single strollers. The sun shade is very small, and there is limited storage space on them. Pricing is competitive to that of off-site rental companies. You can find prices on their website. It is a good option if you find yourself in a pinch and in need of a stroller. You will definitely want some sort of stroller ID to easily identify your rented stroller because all of the ones from Disneyland are identical.
There are also different off-site companies that provide stroller rental options for those going to Disneyland. The one I always hear about is City Stroller Rentals. When we go next and if we find we are still in need of a stroller I am definitely considering renting a stroller from them. They have everything from single strollers to doubles and jogging strollers. They even have additional rental add-ons. Check them out if you are looking for an alternative to bringing your own but know you will be in need of a stroller.
YOU’LL WANT A STROLLER WHILE THERE
We were very thankful to have our stroller there. It was so handy to have. Our children are used to traveling in our stroller from day to day use. It had a large sunshade which was handy since we ended up being there during a heat wave, which also meant little feet grew tired easily and wanted to rest. Babies, toddlers, and most preschoolers will very likely need a stroller… there is a 99% chance you’ll want a stroller while there. Instead of locking items up in the lockers that are available at Disneyland we had everything we needed easily accessible to us. If you are even just pondering bringing a stroller, do it!
Disneyland can be overwhelming, don’t hesitate to ask if you have any other questions in regards to strollers. I will definitely try to help answer them!