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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Strollin, Strollin, Strollin (Part 2)

1. Bring your own, don't rent
2. Avoid double strollers if at all possible
3. Go as lightweight as possible
4. Avoid the buses if you have kids in strollers

If you have kids in strollers, the management of them will be a large part of your day.  Parking them, finding them again, getting from the room to the car/bus, pleading with your children to get into/out of them, etc.  You'll want to do everything in your power to make it as easy on yourself as possible.  We have Disney specific strollers at our house.  They certainly get used for other things, but they were bought with Disney in mind (with all that money you saved by not renting, remember??). For infants or very small kids who will need to nap in the stroller, take a "real" stroller.  The one with all the bells and whistles.  Try and pick one from the onset that folds quickly and easily but take it regardless.  We like the Britax B-Agile or the Peg Perego Pliko series.  They fold quickly but have great back support and padding for little guys. Plus they recline flat and have big shades.  After they are a bit older,  2+ usually, they aren't taking full on naps in the stroller.  It's then time to invest in a good, lightweight "umbrella" type stroller.  Don't make the mistake of getting the $30 ones that hang on the giant circular display at Babies R Us.  You will be miserable and so will kiddo.  They have no support/shade/recline and are usually too short to push easily.  Go ahead and invest (buy second hand) in a sturdy brand. We like the McLaren Triumph series.  You can put big kids in them for quick park crossing, but they are still comfortable enough for little guys as well.  They work easily with the stroller links we mentioned in part one. They turn well and fold like a dream. **TIP: on the first day buy a giant Mickey balloon and tie it to your stroller so it's easy to spot.  If it breaks or pops, they replace it for free anywhere they sell them**

Ok the buses.  We'll talk a great deal more about this, but we really don't recommend using the bus system if you have little guys, strollers, or multiple kids.  Disney offers guests staying on property the advantage of in-house bus systems to and from all the hotels and parks.  At the value resorts there is one main bus stop, at the moderate and deluxe hotels there are often multiple stations.  Since there is only one station, if you are at the value resort, you can often wait in line for 30 min + at peak times.  This is true about getting back to your resort as well. Even with multiple stops at the other resorts, leaving the parks at high traffic times is miserable. I can't tell you the number of times we watched the fireworks at a park, booked it to the the bus stop, waited 45min with tired, miserable kids only to have to stand on the crowded bus holding sleeping children while balancing folded strollers.Horrible. If you have bigger kids who are good at waiting, don't mind standing and don't need strollers, the buses are a huge help.  But renting a car changed how I felt about Disney. It took away a huge source of stress and crabbiness. My sister tried for several trips to get me to rent one and I always held fast to the buses.  Then I tried it. OMG ya'll. It changed the trip to and from parks from one of dread to a pleasure.  We could leave all our park junk in the car. Strollers, light sabers, fans, sunscreen, pin lanyards all in the car! No more balancing act with sleeping kids after a long day, no more spending a ton of time in lines before you even get to the parks. No more debate about if it was worth battling the crowd to watch the late night shows.And parking at the parks is free if you stay on property! The rental car isn't very expensive, it usually only adds about $150-250 to a trip, and it is BY FAR one of my strongest suggestions. 

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