Lockers, strollers, magic bands.. when to take the time?

Hello all, this is my first post here! We’ve been planning our vacation to Orlando for many months now, and leave in just a couple of weeks. We are so excited! We are not staying at a Disney resort because although Disney is certainly a feature, it is not going to be our whole vacation. That being said, we are going to need to rent a stroller, most likely get magic bands (at least one for my son who has SPD and reacts better to a bracelet than a lanyard on his neck) and get a locker to stash extra clothes for three young children etc.

I’m really afraid to take the time to do these things when we arrive at the parks, as we’re counting on getting to Peter Pan’s Flight and Winnie the Pooh in that first half hour. We’re only spending one day in MK so I want to make sure everyone gets their highlights. Renting a stroller from another company would help. My mind is just going through all of the other trips we’ve made to other amusement parks and zoos etc, and the first 45 minutes (at least!) is spent simply getting ourselves situated. Any tips? We have three young children, and grandma and grandpa will be with us. We are packing our snacks and dinner (Lunch at BOG) While my preschooler is potty trained, she still has accidents when she is very excited… and she WILL be very excited, so I’m counting on it. I don’t want to lug around all the extra undies, plus diapers for the baby, and so on- thus the idea for a locker. Do they even have lockers there? How much time does it typically take to get Magic Bands activated, get a stroller, or get a locker? It’s spring break, so we’re also counting on crowds beeing “eesh.” Thanks so much for any info, ideas, or feedback!

Stroller and locker rentals are right at the MK entrance. It’s been some time since I had to deal with them, but I don’t recall the process being particularly time consuming, so I would deal with them first thing rather than having to go all the way back there later in the day.

I would not bother with Magic Bands - your son does not have to have his ticket on his person, so there is no need for a lanyard in the first place. You just hold the ticket for him and give it to him when necessary (park entrance and FPP scans).

If you like the idea of Magic Bands so that you don’t have to keep juggling the cards and remember which card belongs to which person you can always go to Downtown Disney before your first day at the park and purchase and activate them.

Also if you are going to the parks for more than one day it’s probably easiest to rent a stroller from an outside company so that you aren’t having to stop to get and return one each day and you’ll have something for the kids to sit in as you make your way back to your car each day which can be pretty time consuming.

Hi! (My first post too.) Are you planning to be at MK right when it opens? If so, there is usually a rush for strollers then, but this line takes maybe 5 minutes. You may panic at all the people flowing by you but in our experience it is really negligable once you get to where you are heading first. I honestly can’t remember where lockers are at Disney…we just left our stuff in the stroller and it was always fine.

You are wise to think about streamlining your morning, because that is the best time in terms of lines. When you get there, you have to take a monorail or a boat over to the park itself so that could be “situating” time. There is a bathroom right at the Transportation and Ticket Center, OUTSIDE the gates I believe, off to the side…that’s a good one to use before you get in there and start taking in the sights, and that bathroom never seems to be busy. As for other situating, I don’t know if it would work to tell everyone that you want to get to a few rides quickly, and then get settled in more after that. Renting a stroller from outside will save you time inside, but will take a little extra time and effort getting on the tram from the parking lot to where you then board the ferry or the monorail. If you are really splitting hairs, if you can hold your little ones for the first part (tram, monorail/boat, security) you will be able to move faster through the crowds, and then rent stroller inside. We like the Disney strollers, they move easily and are well shaded and again they streamline the line pretty well. However, someone else made a great point about the end of the day; it’s tiring getting back to the car. Finally, after noon is the most crowded time (I believe), that’s often a good time to take care of any non-ride details such as Magic Bands, shopping, taking in more sights that you whizzed by in the morning, etc. Have a great trip!

To save time & money, you may want to bring your own stroller, or rent one from one of the local services (they will deliver to your hotel). We’ve always brought our own, but I’m sure others can recommend a rental service.

We’ve never rented a locker, instead we always had a change of clothes for all three kids in a diaper bag in the bottom of the stroller we brought from home. We leave the diaper bag (and a small cooler) in the stroller, and park the stroller in a centralized location. The stroller then becomes a “mother ship” for us to return to when we need something out of it (change of clothes, snack, bottle of water, etc.).

We’ve only been once since the magic bands / rfid tickets. We stay offsite, so I didn’t want to pay for magic bands and have another thing to have learn how to link in the MDE app/website. I wrote everyone’s names on their tickets with a sharpie to keep track of who’s was who’s.

I believe in the Magic Kingdom locker rental happen on th turnstyles side of the tunnel. I remember renting a locker before the opening show.

Thank you all, such good advice!

We are planning on being there during rope drop, so it sounds like if we decide we need a locker and so on, we can do it all before then, that is honestly a relief to hear.

We would bring our own stroller, I’m actually very partial to my stroller, but we are driving from Ohio with seven people in the vehicle, so we need our luggage space. I have been looking into a couple of companies mentioned in the guidebook, is it a real pain to get them onto the monorail? I’ve heard the ferry is a time sucker- is this true? Is one easier than the other with a stroller?

Thank you thank you thank you about the reality check on magic bands. Sometimes something cool is put out there and a person’s initial reaction is “That’s so cool, we all need that!” Not really, you all are right. Great idea with the sharpie, we will already have a few for autographs. I was looking at it as something to streamline my responsibilities, but for $13 you all are right, I’d rather get some cinnamon rolls and keep tabs on the tickets myself :wink:

Lockers are on the right near the turnstiles, but do you really want to have to schlep all the way back to the entrance multiple times during the day? That would really be a time killer, especially if you are in New Fantasyland.

What we did was rent a double stroller - from kingdom strollers I believe - had it delivered to our hotel, and used it to carry both kids and stuff. Just don’t leave anything valuable in the stroller I’d you are going to leave it unattended.

That is true, and we will be spending a great deal of the day in New Fantasy Land. Probably most of the morning and afternoon. Things to consider, thank you!

Oh, and welcome! Feel free to ask any questions. We’re a (mostly) friendly bunch :wink:

One further hint - wherever you get a stroller, bring something to “personalize” it. You have no idea how many “Citi mini” strollers there are until you’re looking for yours. If you want to make your own stroller tags I believe the mouse for less has personalizable tags. At a minimum a brightly colored ribbon will help.

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Usually I see people just wheel the stroller onto the monorail. It doesn’t really become an issue until the monorail is packed.

As for time really any Disney Transportation can be a time sink. The ferry can take a bit, but i’ve also been stuck on the monorail for 45 minutes and waited over an hour for a bus. There isn’t really much you can do to minimize it. Be early and don’t get in a hurry. Stressing about time is the first step in a downward spiral that leads to breakdowns and no fun.

You can roll a double stroller onto the monorail or the ferry. At busy times they can both be difficult for a double stroller. I think the monorail is easier because you are in one little area, and you have room to get it on and off. The ferry is a challenge because it’s hard to maneuver through the crowd, especially getting on the ferry at night.

My biggest stroller challenges are with the parking lot trams, especially in the morning. We stay offsite, so we don’t get the advantage of being dropped by the bus. You have to fold the stroller, and hold it. I’ve had to hold it on my lap in the morning crowd a couple of times (along with bags & coolers) while the Mrs. directs 3 little kids onto the tram.

As far as transporting our own stroller, I have a Thule (1800) Cargo Box that the folded double stroller fits into. (I brought the stroller to the REI to make sure it fit inside the cargo box.)