Our blog has been very quiet these past 7 months, but we hope to change that starting now! Some of you may know that I, Casey, the writer of most of our blogs and online content, took a little time (6 months) away from our store to work in a slightly busier and warmer location: Walt Disney World! So, as a first post-Disney blog post, I figured I would share with you some tips and recommended products for doing Disney with kids.
Your Carriage Awaits
Let’s start with a big topic: strollers! If you are traveling with kids, a stroller is pretty much a must. Days in Disney tend to be long, hot, and exhausting; kids will not want to be walking and adult will not want to be carrying. Now the decision is whether you want to rent a stroller or bring your own (or rent a carriage like the one above, it’s a real thing).
Each Disney park will have a stroller rental area at the front of the park where you can pay to rent a single or double stroller for the day. A single stroller will run you $15 for one day or $13 per day for multiple days, and a double will cost, well, double, sitting at $31 for one day or $27 per day for multiple days. Now, the strollers at Disney are no Uppababy Vista, that’s for sure, but they suit the basic needs.
You could also choose to use one of many stroller rental companies in the Orlando area that can deliver stroller right to your resort or a Disney park. The most popular company I saw was Kingdom Strollers, which is also backed by the Disney Moms Panel. This company in particular uses Baby Jogger strollers, and their rates aren’t too bad at $45 for 1-3 nights or $65 for 4-7, and the double stroller option is only about $10 more. I would suggest using this option instead of renting right at the parks because you will use a much more functional stroller for not much more money.
BYOS (Bring Your Own Stroller)
If you would rather bring your own stroller, go for it! What makes most people shy away from doing so is usually transportation; flying with a stroller can be a little bit of a headache (I always cringe when I see how they throw around checked car seats and strollers at the airport) but it can be nice to have your own stroller with you.
If you want to avoid the hassle of checking your stroller when you fly, you might want to look at the Pockit Stroller from GB. It’s record-setting compact fold is just the right size to fit under an airplane seat. Some downsides of this in stroller in Disney are the small basket size, upright only seat, and little to no rain or sun cover.
For an upgraded, but still compact, version of the Pockit, look at the Uppababy Minu. It folds quickly and easily, has a roomy and recline-able seat, sun shade, and decent size basket. I didn’t see many of these around the parks, but it would definitely be one of my top picks for a Disney World stroller.
If a standard umbrella stroller will be enough to suit your needs, I’d recommend an Uppababy G-Luxe or G-Lite. They are small enough to fold up and take onto a tram but still give you enough function to take on the day. A carry strap makes it easy to tote around, but when you’re ready to book it to your next FastPass it will be set up in a snap.
Something else that is basically a necessity in Florida is rain gear. Please bring your own poncho (especially in the summer, because it WILL rain) so you aren’t stuck paying $10 per poncho for your entire family. And don’t forget to protect your stroller from the rain, too. It was always so sad to see all the strollers parked outside an attraction getting soaked by the daily torrential downpour because they didn’t have rain covers.
Keep ‘Em Close
You’ll definitely want to keep your little ones close so you don’t get separated in the crowds (Nobody liked a case of lost parents). Disney is probably the most fitting place to use the infamous child leash for those new walker/runners. Skip Hop makes a great harness that doubles as a backpack for your child, so they can feel like they are running free without ever leaving your side.
Bring, Don’t Buy
It’s no secret that Disney is expensive, but you can avoid having to shell out money for unnecessary items if you come prepared. As I mentioned above, bring your own ponchos and umbrellas, especially if you are visiting in the summer. At $3 a bottle, even water can get expensive; bring your own refillable bottles or stop at any quick-service location to grab some cups of ice water whenever you need to quench your thirst.
So if you’re planning a trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth, have fun! But remember to do your research and go prepared. See ya real soon!