I am debating on if we should bring a stroller for our Disney trip. My kids are 7 and 9 and have not used a stroller for many, many years but I know disney is a lot of walking. My kids are small so fitting wouldn’t be an issue. We are flying so bringing the stroller is a bit of a pain especially if we don’t use it. Any parents regret not having one with kids those ages?
My 7+ year olds have been fine without a stroller by necessity since they had to vacate spots to the younger kids. If you want to bring a single stroller that they can switch off sitting in I don’t think you would regret it. But I think you would get along fine without it if your kids are energetic enough.
Non-parent here: is not packing a stroller and renting one if needed an option?
Seven is definitely borderline. Our oldest at 7 could & would fall asleep standing up and was a deep, deep sleeper once he was asleep so we had a stroller spot for all of the kids at the end of the night (at the time it was 3 kids) so that they could roll back. We also had a 6 yo, 2 yo brother and I was pregnant with our last so it was nice to have a seat for each of them. (The 8 & 6 year olds would walk most everywhere in the day, but whenever we were in a crushing crowd or heading back to the hotel we would make them sit to navigate more easily.
I really like the suggestion to bring (or rent) one for them to take turns. That’s probably what we would’ve weaned down to with our older two if the parks had been open when they were 7 & 9 (they were those ages in 2020 so we were just at home instead of Disney).
Renting is definitely an option and will possible be more convenient than lugging a stroller everywhere. But it will almost certainly be cheaper to bring one, even if you have to buy a new one. Plus strollers typically don’t count as luggage so they are free to bring and can be gate-checked and are brought off the plane first for you at the jetway, which is convenient.
I would bring an umbrella stroller or something lightweight if your kids will fit in one. Don’t bring a heavy duty stroller.
My kids suffered a lot the one trip we had post stroller. Youngest was 7, middle was 9.
Barring any medical reasons, beyond the age of 4, I don’t see a need for a stroller. Even four is pushing the limits. (I say this as a parent of five kids.)
My extended family are with you on this and it works for them & their kids. After about 4-5 my kids do end up walking quite a bit between close things, even when we have a stroller but until they are 8, it’s nice to have that back-up, especially in a crushing crowd and especially once they pass out. Without a stroller we’d be back at the hotel for every nap or bedtime & there’s too much fun at Disney for that!
Yep. For us, our 7yo really only needed it at the end of the day - after walking 5 miles or so throughout the park, the walk back to the buses or to the hotel seemed endless for her. (Heck it felt endless to me!)
All my children stopped using a strollers regularly when they were 4. They walked everywhere and never complained. However, disney is a different evil. We did not bring a stroller for our youngest who was 7 this last trip and even as much walking and activity he does normally keeping up with us was a stuggle at times. We did end up renting one from the parks on some long days for him. He walked most of the time a sat when needed. When he walked we used it to store all our crap lol. Our kids at when 8 or 9 seem to do much better.
Our first stroller-free trip was last year (my oldest was 8 and the youngest had just turned 6). My kids are not enthusiastic walkers or hikers, and we had rented strollers for them on past trips (up to the year before) so I was afraid that there would be complaints. On a few pre-trip opportunities, I reminded them that there’d be a lot of walking at Disney and asked if they were up for that (they said they were). I also told them we could take breaks whenever they were tired. I was ready to rent a stroller from the parks if need be, and was pretty certain we would end up doing so on a day where we rope dropped Epcot, hopped to AK until dark and then returned to Epcot for dinner at Akershus. My husband’s Fitbit logged just over 35,000 ADULT steps that day.
Knowing that I could always spontaneously rent a stroller at a park if I needed it was reassuring, but honestly I shouldn’t have worried so much. They were super excited to be at Disney and walked like superstars, didn’t complain once (!) about walking, and didn’t ask for any breaks beyond those we I had planned for meals and snacks. We had four full touring days and each night they would pass out on the bus or boat ride home, but didn’t even come close to a moment where I considered renting a stroller.
You know your kids best, so do what feels right to you (and try not to worry about what other people think). From our experience, I thought discussing expectations in advance and checking in regularly with everyone worked well. For example, on our long Epcot-AK-Epcot day, around 5pm I gave my family an option to drop dinner plans and instead head to the resort hot tub, but they all wanted to keep going.
This was us and my kids were the exact same age. We went in June and it was super hot and they did fine without it. You can always rent for a day in the park if you find you needed it. I certainly didn’t want to lug anything back to a resort. The only thing I missed was storing bags. Have your kids bring a small backpack so they can carry some things themselves.
We rented for three days ovet a 10 day period. Did a double for more room. It is nice to know it there if you need it they are simple and hold lots of stuff. Also great that you do not need to lug them onto the bus. Park hopping? Justbleave it and puck up another at the next park. Not having a place for all our stuff was the thing I struggled with most when moving to no strollers
That’s gonna be the adjustment for me!!! I love having a place for stuff. DS6 definitely still needed it this trip secondary to heat and personality (flair for the dramatic). I’m pretty sure I’ll still get a double next year (for DS6 and DS4). We tend to pick monorail or Crescent Lake resorts to minimize the need to fold and lug the stroller onto buses.
I don’t know? Are we talking about renting one in the parks? It was $13/day and easier to push than an umbrella stroller. I hate pushing umbrella strollers but the Disney ones are pretty durable.
I would take the route of a park rental - test the waters to see if they need one and then if they do, you can go to the front of the park to rent.
I will say that my 8 year old did not use his brothers stroller once. I had a debate about getting a double stroller for them, but he was fine the whole trip even with a lot of walking. He is used to walking to/from school each day and a walk every night though. He was also very excited to be at Disney and didn’t complain once - even on the days we logged 25k+ steps!
This is definitely why I expect my two younger kids (right now 6 & 3) will be traveling with a stroller another 2-4 years just to have a place to park their cranky little self with the shade pulled over indicating no desire for human interaction. Not that I’ve had either of them do that in a Disney park.
I miss my stroller and trips are much less pleasant for me without them. I brought mine until I absolutely couldn’t anymore.
My kids are 8 and 6. Last trip (Nov 2022) was our first without a stroller. It was soooo nice not to have to park it and find it again on every ride / remembering to cover it for rain. There was some complaining and some carrying of my son (5 at the time) but we do sit down meals and did late starts / early ends and it worked out fine. Trip before that in Jan 2022 we brought a sit/stand style and that worked well. We were way over the 100 lb weight limit when both of them were riding which made it a bear to push but it worked fine.
Next trip we will be strollerless again. I know some like to use them as a place to put stuff - we don’t shop really until the way out and we don’t bring a lot of food (I have a backpack that has a cooler in the bottom half so that’s the only bag we bring into the park). But my BFF will be bringing a City Mini double for her kids and they are 7, 9, and 10.
I think this part is important to note. We do early starts to (most days do take a midday break but only if park hours are long enough to get a good 3-4 hours) and then we burn the candle on the other end staying until we drop or park close whichever comes first. It’s just been our style and a stroller helps facilitate that. But if you don’t plan to be crazy hours there, it’s absolutely doable to not have a stroller at 5 and up.
A true umbrella stroller costs less than $20 on Amazon, but a lightweight stroller of the type that I would recommend is typically less than $100 – the below was listed at $80 as a random example.
We have bought this exact double stroller like 4 times and it costs about $100:
That basically pays for itself vs. a rental in a week of use, plus you get a stroller back.
But like I said, renting is possibly more convenient and the strollers are very durable. Plus you don’t care as much if it’s stolen. You can also rent from Orlando-area rental companies that will let you use the stroller for the entirety of your trip rather than just in a specific park for a day.