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Do I Need An Orlando Stroller Rental?

You would be amazed at the number of families that have an Orlando stroller rental for their vacation to Walt Disney World.  Folks who wouldn’t dream of using a stroller for their kids at home reserve a single stroller or double stroller from a stroller rental company for use in the theme park. Many parents have a stroller delivered to their Disney World resort so it will be waiting for them when they arrive.

There have always been strollers in the Disney theme parks, particularly the Magic Kingdom, but nothing like the number you see today. You hear stories about people searching for their double stroller when they get off of an attraction only to be wading through a sea of strollers.  The number of strollers in Disney theme parks these days compared to five or ten years ago is more like a tsunami!

What’s going on and how, if you are renting a stroller, do you choose the right stroller rental company?

A number of things have contributed to this perfect storm of strollers.

One major factor driving the desire for a rental stroller in Orlando—even for kids who arguably don’t need one—is the very high cost of theme park admission.  There have always been families that want to be in line to enter a theme park the moment it opens (regulars refer this to “rope drop”) and stay until the park closes.  This is known as doing the theme parks “commando.” While this was once just for some hard-core theme park junkies, it is becoming more the norm. Gone are the days when a break during the day to go back to the hotel to chill by the pool for a few hours was a good idea.  The admission price to a Disney theme park has relentlessly marched higher and higher to the point you feel you have to stay in the park as long as you can to get your money’s worth. The longer you are on your feet, walking and waiting in a theme park, the more a ride in a stroller for kids is sounding better and better.

Another factor driving theme park stroller rental is the planning Disney has encouraged with their My Disney Experience app and their Fast Pass Plus system. Once upon a time, you picked up a map of the theme park as you entered and family members discussed and agreed on the first attraction to visit first.  And when you got off that ride, you discussed what to ride next. Now, Disney has given you the tools to plan your day in the park almost to the minute, months in advance and choose attractions and reserve times to ride them.  Theme park visitors become slaves to a clock lest they miss the window to ride Space Mountain and there’s no need to discuss what to do next because it’s already scheduled.  The question is more like how long do we have to get to the next scheduled ride. Rather than herding small kids along or dragging them or carrying them so you won’t be late, renting a stroller is simply easier.

Yet another reason to have a stroller in Orlando is the devices children today have in their hands.  Like it or not, today’s kids have to have that phone or tablet and are far more interested in playing games between attractions that appreciate (or even notice) the incredibly detailed theming in the parks Disney was worked so hard to create. It’s just easier for many parents to let their child ride in a stroller from a stroller rental company as mom and dad sprint to make the Fast Pass scheduled time at Big Thunder Mountain.

Lastly, there are many more people renting a stroller these days to help carry all of their stuff as well as having a place to stash it while in an attraction.  Why take the backpack with you on Pirates of the Caribbean when it is much easier to just leave it in the stroller while you enjoy the ride? And, believe it or not, many more families than you would ever think to opt for a double stroller instead of a single stroller even though they only have one kid.  No, the parents aren’t taking turns in the other seat.  It’s too full of purchases and those backpacks.

The decision on renting a stroller is an interesting combination of the need for speed in a theme park, the convenience of parents and the desire of kids.

You have several options for renting a stroller in Orlando.  The Disney theme parks have rental strollers. This can be handy because, with older kids, you arguably don’t need a stroller delivered to your Disney World resort.  They are hard plastic and don’t recline and they are not very good for holding stuff. You can’t take them out of the park and if you go from one park to another in the same day (called “park hopping”), you must turn the stroller in at one park, get a receipt, and stand in line for a stroller at the next park. It is nice not to have to lug a stroller to and from your resort, however.

Your best option for renting a stroller is reserving one from a stroller rental company that can deliver to your Disney World resort. Believe it or not, there are over forty stroller rental companies in Orlando, which tells you something about how popular renting a stroller has become!

Do be aware that the large number of stroller rental companies also means that there are very few entry barriers to entering the Orlando stroller rental market so you do need to be careful in choosing the best stroller rental company for your trip to Walt Disney World. To enter the stroller rental business, all you need is a few strollers, a car, a phone and a basic website.  Obviously, reputation is important and it’s fairly easy to use the internet to check out the different companies.  When talking with them by phone (a good idea) make sure you ask them how long they have been in business, how many strollers they have in their fleet and most importantly, whether they have ever been unable to deliver a stroller as promised.

If you are staying at a Disney World resort, a lot of the homework has already been done for you.  Disney examined and approved three stroller rentals companies and they are the only companies allowed to deliver to the Disney resorts without you being there in person to meet them.  Magic Strollers is one of these “Disney Featured Stroller Providers,” has been in business for ten years with over one hundred thousand rentals.

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