Help....I’m in a panic. Do I need a car seat?

Ok so we are going to WDW Monday (like in 3 days!). It my husband, 9 yr old, 5 yr old and me. Staying on property (OKW). This is only my 2nd time ever. Last time was in 2016 and we took the little ones car seat and we rented a car with a 2nd car seats to drive to Legoland and Sea World. This time, we are going to Universal but not renting a car. I just assumed we’d get an Uber. What do we do about car seats? Was not planning on taking them. :flushed:

Bring backless boosters.

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And carry them around with us at US?

There are some Uber/Lift options that will have car seats. It may not be a seat that fits your 5yo though.

I am assuming that at home the 9yo is using a belt positioning booster seat and the 5yo is in a harnessed seat?

If so, you can bring a low back booster seat (LBB) for the 9yo on the plane. It can be the 9yo’s “personal item” along w/ a backpack. A LBB booster fits easily under the seat or in the overhead. You will have to repeatedly explain to every flight attendant that you understand they cannot use it on the plane and they are just carrying it w/ them. The booster could be stored in a locker for the day at Legoland/Sea World.

For the 5yo. A few options.

  1. Bring their seat. Gate check it or use it on the plane. Storage at Legoland/Sea World could be a challenge.
  2. A Ride Safe Travel Vest. It is a portable harnessed “seat” that works great for traveling. It is $$, available for delivery (to me at least) by Amazon for Sunday.
  3. If you are comfortable you could have the 5yo use a low back booster like their older sibling. If they aren’t using one now, I would do some “practice” trips in the car before you leave.

Another booster option is the Bubble Bum. Also available for delivery by Amazon for Sunday. I have personally used one for my now 15yo when we did a day trip to NYC years ago and it worked really well. This is a blow up booster seat that inflates and deflates in seconds. Super easy to throw in a backpack.


Thank you! I ordered 2 of the blowup travel boosters on Amazon. Will have then Saturday. We have the FAA approved harness for the airline.

I can rest easier now.


Be advised: the Uber/Lyft situation is TERRIBLE there right now. VERY difficult and/or expensive to secure a car. I had to use them three times and the shortest wait was 45 minutes. One time I never did get one and found a hotel charter bus instead (this was to Four Seasons). The app kicked me out 5 times saying “no cars”. I am usually a big proponent of the rideshare but after this trip I will not rely on it for the foreseeable future. We have a car in June; I was considering cancelling it but no way no how!!


I believe the poor rideshare situation is due to covid. I believe it will improve when the pandemic truly leaves.

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Jeez!! This makes me wonder if @Keith718 and I should rent a car when we’re there in October… I think it’ll be ok because in June we’re staying at BCV and BWV so 2 of 4 parks are within walking distance…

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In case anyone finds this thread later, Florida law requires a car seat or booster device for children age 5 and lower. Children 0-3 must be in an actual car seat whereas 4-5 can use a built-in or buckle-in booster. Children age 6-12 just need to buckle their regular seat belt and sit in the rear of the car.

Using a car service (like Quicksilver Tours) you can usually get a car seat or two. Rental car companies also rent out car seats. Car seats are not required on buses, including Mears / DME.

You can also order an Uber / Lyft and specifically request a vehicle with one car seat, but as noted above that should not be relied upon during Covid.


Passenger safety professionals (I spent over a decade volunteering as one) have been trying valiantly to pass safer child passenger safety laws in Florida for 20+ years. Unless a child fits in the lap/shoulder seat belt system of the vehicle, they need a child restraint. That could be a harnessed seat or a booster, but they need something that makes them fit into the safety system of the vehicle.

Most children don’t start being able to fit into a vehicle’s seat belt until they are approaching 10 years old, sometimes older. The 5 Step Test is a great way to figure out if they are able to fit. I have yet to meet a 6 year old that fits into a seat belt!

When I was volunteering as a CPST, I would tell parents if their child uses a child restraint at home, they should also use one on vacation. The laws of physics are still the same in Florida and they don’t go on vacation when you do!


Did you see any cabs?

None at all. I even tried to arrange one using the Mears taxi app and got nowhere with that as well. It was pretty frustrating but in the situations that I was trying to use them I didn’t really have another option. Which was also frustrating

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Thanks! I think I am going to have to decide what I plan to do during my trip and how I am getting from BWV to Kidani on my last night. I have a ridiculously priced rental that is almost $200 cheaper than current prices as a fall back plan.

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I mean you can get a car but you’re just gonna have to know that you have to wait. Because the problem is you can’t request it too early in Case it comes fast, but if you wait until you’re really ready you may be waiting a substantial amount of time. So just plan accordingly. It was particularly frustrating for me on Saturday night and Sunday night because it was super late and I was exhausted and just wanted to get to bed

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I think I need a booster! :open_mouth:


There are things that can be done for adults that are shorter of stature. :slight_smile:
Additionally, once a young person hits puberty hormones “harden” their bone structure (not the scientific term) which helps a borderline fit across the hips.

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I like the chart for seatbelt fit. Thank you for sharing it. DS10 has just given up the booster seat, although our kids tend to be much taller than average. Item 4 (shoulder height) is the last requirement they meet, although now that most cars have adjustable shoulder belts it is much better.


Ha ha right after I posted that I thought, “oh I should add that just because it’s the law doesn’t mean it’s safe,” but then I rolled over and went to bed cause it was late! But thanks for the thoughts. However, I do think it’s helpful for people to know exactly what the law is.

P.S. My DS9 is still in a booster with a back at home.


I put in some effort to not come across as a car seat freak but also want to share good information when I can. :slight_smile:

My now 15 & 19 year olds were the only kids on our flights in car seats back when they took their first few trips. :upside_down_face:


Our last trip was Thanksgiving 2019. My kids were 7, 4, and 2. We brought a booster along for our DS7 and the younger two were both in car seats on the plane. Such a pain carrying around 2 car seats!

This time around the kids will be 9, 6, 4, and 8mo. We will still be bringing a booster for DS9, but this time I got the RideSafer vests for the middle two (nothing on the plane for them, they are too big for the Cares Harness), and we’ll bring the car seat on the plane for the infant. I’m a little nervous about not bringing the other 2 car seats on the plane, but I tend to be on the anxious side :grimacing:

At home DS9 has a booster, DS6 is FF in a 5 point, and DD3 and DD5mo are RF in a 5 point. I will probably turn DD3 around next month when she turns 4. Her little legs are definitely getting too long. I drive some people crazy (my husband and mother), but I don’t mess around with safety in the car!

ETA - I’d love your thoughts on still using the Cares Harness though. They are both under the weight limit, but over the height limit. DD3 is just barely over the height limit, DS6 is about 4" over.