Lyft/transportation with kids who need boosters


#1

My kids are 6 and I believe still require a booster seat in Florida. I’m wondering a couple of things - do Lyfts around Disney world have more options with boosters? We have quite a few early mornings at DHS and AK. I was thinking we’d drive (we’re staying at BLT so parking is free at parks) so we wouldn’t have to worry about catching a bus on time. The Minnie vans have gone up so much in price that I really didn’t want to use them.

Another option is to bring our inflatable boosters to use in the Lyft and put them in lockers at the parks. I just don’t want to forget them.

Anyone have any experience getting around WDW with two kids who need boosters? Thanks!


#2

Minnie Vans are the only ones that come with car seats I believe.


#3

I keep seeing that Lyft has a family option with a car seat/booster but I have never actually seen one available on the app. I was getting pricing on Minnie Vans for a few of our activities and its pretty pricey!


#4

No direct knowledge, but some things to consider.

  1. While the inflatable car seats work in a pinch, they are not as safe.
  2. Our DS8 still sits in booster seats. Even though legally he might not need to, he definitely needs to per current recommendations.
  3. In our minivan (A Chrysler Town and Country), he needs a high-back booster. The seat belts don’t actually fit him correctly with JUST a backless booster.
  4. In our cars, the seat belts fit fine with a backless booster.

So, the type of vehicle can play a role in what you might need to use. I’d never trust an inflatable in our minivan, for example, since we don’t even trust a backless. (Actually, having said that…he CAN use a backless booster in the minivan in the SECOND row if necessary…just not in the back row…but most of the time, he has to ride in the back row.)


#5

I don’t think they required a booster seat at 6:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/child-safety/safety-belts-child-restraints/


#6

I’ve been doing a ton of research around this lately.

It seems that Uber has an “UberFAMILY” option in certain cities, including Orlando, where you can request a car seat for an extra $10/trip.

Most of the things I’ve read say that each vehicle comes with one car or booster seat. I saw one page saying they could have one car seat with 5-point harness and/or two boosters, but I can’t find that language on Uber’s site.

I just purchased two of these from Amazon yesterday: https://www.amazon.com/BubbleBum-Backless-Inflatable-Booster-Black/dp/B00AQYZCXK/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8&th=1

From what I understand, it’s the same thing that Uber uses. I figured it made sense to buy two so that I had the flexibility of using any ride share vehicle, and they’re handy backups to have around the house anyways. I decided the cost of purchasing the seats was worth it for the peace of mind; I’d hate to be at the airport, fumbling with the app, having driver after driver show up with only a single seat (or having to wait a long time for a driver with a seat to be available). To me, Lyft and Uber are about convenience so packing our own portable booster seats was an easy choice.

Once you’re at WDW itself you can use the MinnieVan service which comes with 2 boosters standard, so you really only need to lug these things between the airport and hotel.

FWIW I also looked at this one: https://www.amazon.com/mifold-Grab-Booster-Seat-Slate/dp/B01H5VJJTE/ref=pd_bxgy_75_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01H5VJJTE&pd_rd_r=4622227a-d606-11e8-a6fd-9dddcd259c60&pd_rd_w=4hJXB&pd_rd_wg=5JT54&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=6725dbd6-9917-451d-beba-16af7874e407&pf_rd_r=8Y7DKJHMPNZMVKW8WZXX&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&refRID=8Y7DKJHMPNZMVKW8WZXX&th=1

However, we ultimately went with the inflatable one. The Mifold isn’t a “booster” seat, it’s a contraption that adjusts the seatbelt to be at the right location for a child. One of the reviews pointed out that this could be uncomfortable for smaller kids because they won’t be able to bend their legs without scooting forward, which is exactly what you don’t want them to do. A booster seat allows their legs to bend more naturally and comfortably.


#7

By FL law, they do not have to have a booster after age 5. Depending on size, it could be a safety issue. My kids (well the 3 oldest) are giants but used boosters until age 8. That being said, we did take one Lyft from FW to POR when my son was 6 without a booster. For some reason, I remember looking up whether he needed one but not considering that law and safety may not go hand in hand (it was after a very long MK day!). Perhaps a bad mommy move. I hadn’t really considered it before as we always used Disney transport.


#8

I would honestly just drive! We personally prefer to drive no matter what, but if you’ll have a car and seats already, do yourself a favor and save the Lyft fares!


#9

This is NOT to make anyone feel guilty, but something to keep in mind.

The fact is, we take chances all the time. Weigh the risks. And when it comes to having our children in car seats, much of the time, parents will properly err on the side of caution.

But for some reason there is this false sense of chance that comes to play on vacation. We think, “What are the chances there will actually be an accident?” Well, probably about the same as each and every day we put them in our own vehicles at home. And there hasn’t been an accident (for most of us) in that time. So by the same logic, why bother putting our child in a booster even when at home?

EACH AND EVERY car trip has the same risk. Which means the risk on a vacation is no different than at home. Which means we should follow the same safety as we would elsewhere.

The tricky part on vacation is having control over the proper seat for your child. Watch a few videos of kids (well, dummies) belted in various ways (with backless booster, with high-back booster, with inflatable boosters, etc), and you end up realizing that it is a gamble. Going WITHOUT a booster, in spite of the laws, until the shoulder AND waist belt fits your child properly is putting your child at definite risk.

We have seen the laws/recommendations change a lot since our first son was young. I remember even with our daughter (born fourth in line) excited to move her out of a backless booster and eventually out of a booster. Later studies showed it to be a mistake. We should have kept her MUCH longer than the laws required. Same is true with our DS8 now. Despite the LAWS, the fact is, the seat belts just don’t fit him properly without a booster.


#10

I completely agree! My post was to point out that laws and safety do not always go hand in hand, and that having a plan for transport as the op is making was better than winging it and googling laws at 930 at night after a long day. Safety is non-negotiable even on vacation.

My understanding is 4’7-4’9" is sufficient for seatbelts to properly fit without booster depending on body shape. My oldest DS (not the one who took a Lyft at age 6) was 5’ tall at age 8. I remember the Dr. laughing as he was still in a booster (law is 8 here and I never thought to check for too tall for boosters) but he was the 1 in a million (exaggeration) that was ready based on size at age 7 to be out.


#11

I’m interested to know what is “not as safe” about the inflatable car seats. I agree that you should only use the backless booster if the car is set up correctly (high enough head rest). But the inflatables are approved and meet the standards for a backless booster…just like any other backless boosters. Now, if you’re saying that the inflatable - much like a backless booster - isn’t as safe if your kid is too tall and needs a high back booster, I completely understand your point there. I’d love to know more information about the inflatables if there is data about them being more/less safe. We have used them on multiple trips and I really like them.

My only complaint about the inflatable was that we went to LA and had a black car and one of them melted! So we had to get another one while we were out there. Otherwise, they worked great.


#12

The problem is, passing safety standards doesn’t mean they are all the same level of safe.

The tests done using the inflatable ones have shown them to have more safety concerns than others. One major concern, for example, on the Bumble one is how the belt fits inside the holders. We watched one safety video where they did a safety test, and the seat actually flew out from under the child DESPITE having been belted in properly. The same test done with, for example, the Graco booster never experienced the same issue.


#13

I agree with you on this. I live at a beach in NC and even though the red “don’t swim” flags will be flying high, people will still get in the ocean because they’re on vacation. And bad things have happened.

We definitely would follow the rules that we are accustomed to: a booster until age 8 AND 80 pounds in NC, but it is hard for me to look back at past laws and feel guilty about not going above and beyond what is required. We can only do what we believe is best (based on what experts know) and that is usually following the laws of where we live.

I appreciate this conversation. Thanks for engaging in it with me.

I do think we will probably drive to DHS and AK just because it’s easier and cheaper and we do already have the car seats in the car. Might as well! My only concern is if I’ll have a hard time figuring out where to park at DHS that early in the morning since there will probably not be attendants out yet.


#14

We have these and really like them. Like @ryan1 said, as long as they work with the car and the backrest is tall enough, I think they’re great. BUT, don’t get a black rental car in a hot place! One of our melted.

We bought this one to replace the inflatable when we were in california (they didn’t have the bumblebum) and my son didn’t think it was comfortable at all. I returned it when we got home.


#15

My next question:

Are the lockers at WDW big enough to hold two backless booster seats that aren’t inflatable? That might be our next answer! Of course, as @ryan1 said, as long as we get a vehicle with high enough backs. But I think if we request an XL lyft of uber, it’s probably a minivan and will be fine.


#16

Oh. And as I said, I’m not trying to make folks feel guilty. Obviously, if the choice is between no booster, or the inflatable, the inflatable is the better choice. If, however, it is between the inflatable and one like the Graco, for example, then use the Graco (or whatever). Circumstances will dictate what is necessary, obviously!


#17

We have Mifolds and love them. We travel a lot and they work for us. They are better for kids at least 5 and up but we love that we can drive to one place, take them out and toss them in our carry on, and land at a new place and have our booster seats. They’re a little heavy for carrying around all day but for compactness they definitely are awesome. They pull the shoulder belt down to the child’s height and the lap belt around their hips. The negative is that for younger kids who want to it’s very easy to slide the shoulder belt behind them.


#18

We Just got back from Disney and used UberXL Family because we are a party of 5. They both had a 5 point harness car seat for my 3yo, and 1 of them had 2 backless booster seats and the other had 1 backless booster seat. We also used code UberAmex for 30 dollars off our ride. First with my husbands phone and card and next with my phone and different Amex card(if you have an Amex check online if the code applies to you because i think the offer is targeted.) So both rides were free. Our first ride was from contemporary to animal kingdom. Next from Polynesian to Hollywood Studios. Both rides would have cost in the $27-$29 range. In my opinion though if you have a car with free parking just drive. At Hollywood Studios especially there is so much construction no matter how you cut it you will have to walk at least a country mile(no joke) to get from the transportation drop off area into the park.