When do you stop renting a stroller?

hsmamato2

<font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad
Joined
Mar 28, 2005
IDK..... I think a normal active kid will be just fine. The only reason I really needed a stroller for a walking child was when I knew they'd nap in it when they were young. So for us, by the time the kids were 5 (as a pp noted,Kindergarten age) and could easily walk/run play sports and didn't need naps during the day,we stopped bringing one. I never liked the hassle of strollers and touring anyway (in big crowds a stroller is scary) so I was happy when my kids were old enough to walk. We all sit and take breaks when needed,it's not a marathon. Since the kids were no longer babies, we also didn't need a ton of bags or gear daily, we all had our waist packs/jackets to tie on our waists,and that was enough. So much easier. (FWIW, when my youngest was 5 I brought the stroller 'just in case'....he was completely offended by it's presence and wouldn't go near it anyway,lesson learned.:rotfl2:)
 

DIS_AWC

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
On our last trip we were in the parks for six days with our (then) 8 and 5 year olds. We did not use a stroller. I was a little concerned beforehand about my 5 year old begging to be carried at certain points, but we found there was so much to stop and see, and rides, shows, and meals to break up all of the walking that the only time we encountered a need to carry her was one evening after we watched IllumiNations in Epcot from the back of WS. We did take a mid-day break for swimming each day, so that helped re-energize the kids. The temps were also in the mid-high 80s with moderate humidity. If we had gone in the summer at peak heat and humidity, we may have had to get a single stroller for our younger daughter. On a previous trip in early September, my girls fought over turns in the stroller just for the shade.

You know your son better than anyone. I do think as kids get older, it is worth seeing how they actually feel about a stroller. Some may be really opposed to riding in one; some may love the idea of being pushed around for a few breaks since they never get that opportunity at home. We've seen plenty of older kids in strollers when we've been down there and you should do what you all think is best for them. Yes, there is a LOT of walking at Disney, and certainly far more than the majority of kids (and adults!) do at home, but unless you are planning to run everywhere from open to close, your son should be capable of doing all of that walking with breaks. :) If you decide that going without a stroller is the best choice for your family at the time of your visit, then you absolutely can do it!

For us, not having to haul the stroller to the parks and worry about parking it before rides and shows and then finding it again afterward (which we had done on our previous trip when the kids were much younger), plus finding larger spaces for parades and night shows to fit our whole party with a stroller, was great. As for ease of touring without one, we don't typically carry a ton into the parks and don't typically make a ton of large purchases each day. I carry a small cross-body bag and my husband carries a small backpack and we've found that to be amply sized for carrying around a few park essentials and purchases. Our rule is that if our kids want something larger than can be worn or easily carried in the backpack (or by themselves), they need to wait until we're getting ready to leave the parks to make that purchase. We also don't bring food into the parks except for a few small emergency snacks, so we don't need to carry around a cooler or anything like that.

My advice is to talk to your son about what he would prefer, think honestly about the storage needs you think your family will have for your time in the parks, and then make your choice. Either way, you will make it work and you will have a great time. pixiedust:
 

zoo2tycoon

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Oh, my... can of worms indeed.

My son is very able bodied and he is very active already- plays soccer, hockey, dirtbikes and snowboards competitively. He’s not lazy or unable to walk or complains that he’s tired.

We know all about midday breaks and we work them into our touring plans when we want/need to.

As I had mentioned LOL towards the end of the day he gets tired (like most people with little legs do) and carrying around a 4’2” 55# kid isn’t easy when you’re barely over 5’ yourself and you’re coming back from Italy watching Illuminations and it’s nice when you’re in a big group to have a place to store things instead of carrying them all day long.

I should’ve known better than to ask, because the keyboard warriors come right out on their high horses or hanging from their ivory towers.

I wanted input on ease of touring without a stroller, not how to “train” my kid to be Disney ready for walking or any of these other condescending comments.

Sheesh.
You came asking about stroller usage for an 8 year old. You don’t like what you saw. It’s a mixed bag that causes debate here.

That’s great your son is active as you say. It’s great you take breaks midday and have things planned out.

You never mentioned how active your son was so I’m the one who suggested walking- my family did that and we were in Family Circle magazine years ago for the suggestion of it so not stupid or crazy. There is a difference in stamina in recreational sports and activities and walking long distances over a day for several days.

I can’t imagine a third grader wanting to be pushed in a stroller but that’s your decision. If you don’t like the advice that people have given (mainly the ones that think your son should be able to walk) you shouldn’t have asked opinions.

Be careful if you do use a stroller about what you store in it (you mentioned that) as there are threads on thefts recently.

Nobody is on a high horse or ivory tower- just sharing personal experiences with kids who have been same age as your son. Nobody has been condescending towards you- you just haven’t liked advice and you are welcome to not like it. Talking about high horse, ivory towers and condescending remarks isn’t very dislike!
 
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  • smiths02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2009
    We took our older son at one year (Disneyland), 3, 5, 9, 10, 12 (Universal). We used a baby carrier at one year, and a stroller at 3 and at 5 (but not all the time at 5).
    We took our twins at 2, 3, 6 (Universal). We used stroller for at 2 and 3, but we were happy not to have one at 6. They did get tired of walking, but we just rested more. We did not open and close the parks, but that was more enjoyable for us. If we wanted to go commando, we would have had to have a stroller for 6 year olds. Also, our last trip was in April, if we are taking June-August/September, I might also consider a stroller because the heat can be brutal.
    I would not have a stroller for an 8 year old without medical issues, though.

    I know strollers can be convenient to carry "stuff," but you don't really need as much stuff as you think. We had my baggalini and 3 drawstring bags for the kids on our last trip, and that was plenty of stuff.
     

    smiths02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2009
    It also looks like you only have one kid? One of the only problems we had with not having a stroller for our 6 year olds was that they would be tired and not want to go somewhere or wait in a line, but their brother or sister would want to go.
    If it was just one 8 year old kid, we definitely would not bring one and just follow his lead.
     

    stephk1981

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2013
    Personal choice and depends on your 8 year old. I really dislike ' stroller shaming' lol. It doesn't matter to me if another family has their 14 year old in a stroller...none of my business. I always brought a stroller for DS, he used it less frequently the trip he turned 7. I brought it at 7.5...he used it even less. At 8, I asked him if he wanted to bring it, he said ' yes, just in case'. He used it a few times that trip for maybe 10 minutes each time. I will admit after that trip, I really missed the stroller! I put all of my stuff in it :) Then we had DD....so back to stroller use! On DD's second trip, DS became ill, he was nearly ten and still got into the stroller to make it back to GF while I carried the baby. Maybe ask your 8 year old the month before the trip. Let them make the decision. Have a magical trip!
     
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    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    Oh please, it is the truth. An able bodied 7 year old is capable of walking around WDW. However if a parent doesn't go at the pace of a 7 year old, and wants to go at an adult's pace it certainly is easier to stick them in a stroller. That isn't a "need" that is a "want" of the parents.
    But it doesn't matter, you can do what you want, at least own up to why you do it.
    IF nobody really cared though there wouldn't be countless threads about what age for a stroller. Clearly parents care enough to wonder what is the norm.
    Please don't get all bent because someone tells them instead of sugar coats it like it is.
    I'd encourage you to re-read your posts and let me know who is "all bent". Comments such as "Oh please, it is the truth" in the face of people telling you their own feelings, or alleging (with no proof) that parents "drag" their kids around and "create" issues, or parents should "own up", seem pretty clear that this topic really bothers you. You seem quite insistent that kids must walk past a certain age and anyone who doesn't is wrong. Don't know, or care, the reason why but this topic clearly has very strong feelings for you. I respect that, but don't agree with you. You're welcome to do with that as you please.

    You're right, plenty of people ask about it, I'd presume because they're not sure. If they want my opinion, I'm happy to give it but certainly won't have a temper tantrum or make all kinds of accusations if they don't agree or give an opposing viewpoint. YMMV.
     
  • GoingSince1990

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2018
    Strollers are wonderful! When my kids were old enough that we were uncertain as to whether or not they would need one, we rented a double anyway, which I would put my backpack to give my back a nice rest. Then when your kid wants to walk, they can walk, and when they feel like taking a rest, they can hop in the stroller. The stroller is also very handy as a seat for a parade. And the OMG-how-dare-you-let-such-an-old-child-go-in-a-stroller brigade should be ignored just like anti-vaxxers.
     

    smiths02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2009
    Strollers are wonderful! When my kids were old enough that we were uncertain as to whether or not they would need one, we rented a double anyway, which I would put my backpack to give my back a nice rest. Then when your kid wants to walk, they can walk, and when they feel like taking a rest, they can hop in the stroller. The stroller is also very handy as a seat for a parade. And the OMG-how-dare-you-let-such-an-old-child-go-in-a-stroller brigade should be ignored just like anti-vaxxers.
    I agree that it is up to each family. I don't judge people because I don't know their situation.
    However, for our family, strollers are a pain to constantly get in and out of and park and retrieve, etc. We are glad to be without them now.
    Also, in general, the parks are crowded with strollers and ECVs. Again, I don't begrudge the people who need them. However, it is contributing to crowding in already overcrowded parks. Specifically, the giant strollers (and a bigger stroller is needed for an 8 year old). The real estate that is devoted to pushing and parking these strollers is a consideration as a whole.
     

    Tink_83

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2017
    Oh, my... can of worms indeed.

    My son is very able bodied and he is very active already- plays soccer, hockey, dirtbikes and snowboards competitively. He’s not lazy or unable to walk or complains that he’s tired.

    We know all about midday breaks and we work them into our touring plans when we want/need to.

    As I had mentioned LOL towards the end of the day he gets tired (like most people with little legs do) and carrying around a 4’2” 55# kid isn’t easy when you’re barely over 5’ yourself and you’re coming back from Italy watching Illuminations and it’s nice when you’re in a big group to have a place to store things instead of carrying them all day long.

    I should’ve known better than to ask, because the keyboard warriors come right out on their high horses or hanging from their ivory towers.

    I wanted input on ease of touring without a stroller, not how to “train” my kid to be Disney ready for walking or any of these other condescending comments.

    Sheesh.
    Ya, I hear you. It’s not just a can of worms when you post about this unfortunately... the stroller shaming is real. I feel guilty considering a stroller for my active, healthy, 6 year old. I think you have a good grasp though, now on the pros and cons of a stroller. I doubt an 8 year old would use it a lot but I know by the end of a long day at the MK I’m ready to hop in the stroller myself and have someone push me out of the park :) and as a smaller parent as well I get how hard it is to carry the kids as they get older (5 foot with a daughter already at 49 inches and 48 lbs - at 6)! There really is no right or wrong answer - I’d suggest a pros vs cons list closer to the trip that lists the benefits and down sides of each option and then deciding what you want to do based on that. Also, if your driving and have the space I see no harm in bringing it, doing a day without or without as a trial run and deciding how to do the rest of the park days from there.

    Another thought, if you used a fit bit or similar activity tracker when you were there last go back and see how many miles you actually logged at Disney. That varies by family a lot - some log 5 miles a day others get closer to 13 or more. See what your family typically does and then that may give you a better feel for how necessary the stroller may be.

    Also, if you don’t want to do the jogger this time you could see if you can find a reasonably priced umbrella stroller on Craig’s list. I’m thinking of the high end, ultra light ones (I myself am getting a Maclaren for the 6 year old to use for only 20 but this is definitely a ymmv kinda thing - I live in northern VA so there are always good quality strollers for sale on Craig’s list here). My point, though, is it’s smaller then the jogger but would still accommodate a larger child - even a little over 50 lbs. since it’s smaller it’s easier to carry and takes up less space... good luck! I hope you find a solution that works for your family so you have a truly magical vacation :)
     

    Tink_83

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2017
    I agree that it is up to each family. I don't judge people because I don't know their situation.
    However, for our family, strollers are a pain to constantly get in and out of and park and retrieve, etc. We are glad to be without them now.
    Also, in general, the parks are crowded with strollers and ECVs. Again, I don't begrudge the people who need them. However, it is contributing to crowding in already overcrowded parks. Specifically, the giant strollers (and a bigger stroller is needed for an 8 year old). The real estate that is devoted to pushing and parking these strollers is a consideration as a whole.
    It doesn’t have to be a jogger - I’m getting a Maclaren (off of Craig’s list) for DD who is 6. She doesn’t need to nap at this age but may still get tired - actually the larger stroller is going to the 18 month so he can nap while we are there (my plan is to fold the umbrella stroller and store it in the jogger when it’s parked for rides so I only have to find one). Anyway, my point is that if it was just the older kid I would only have the higher end umbrella stroller since it can still accommodate up to 50 lbs or so and is easier to maneuver in crowds. Maybe some just forget to consider those options (also the stroller rental companies don’t normally carry those for some reason - perhaps contributing to the problem).
     
  • smiths02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2009
    It doesn’t have to be a jogger - I’m getting a Maclaren (off of Craig’s list) for DD who is 6. She doesn’t need to nap at this age but may still get tired - actually the larger stroller is going to the 18 month so he can nap while we are there (my plan is to fold the umbrella stroller and store it in the jogger when it’s parked for rides so I only have to find one). Anyway, my point is that if it was just the older kid I would only have the higher end umbrella stroller since it can still accommodate up to 50 lbs or so and is easier to maneuver in crowds. Maybe some just forget to consider those options (also the stroller rental companies don’t normally carry those for some reason - perhaps contributing to the problem).
    An average 8 year old is 57 lbs, though, so the 50 lb weight limit strollers won't work
     

    sponica

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    @a_lynnie you're far enough away from your trip that you can put a pin in the thought and revisit it closer to your trip.

    I think it's one of those time vs money equations. You can spend the money on the rental and end up not needing it, which would be a colossal waste of money (in my opinion). Or go without one and do less/walk slower/ride carousel of progress a million times, which some might view as a waste of time.
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    An average 8 year old is 57 lbs, though, so the 50 lb weight limit strollers won't work
    Yes it will. Those numbers are just for the manufacturers' "protection". The stroller won't break if it has 51lbs in it....or far more.
     

    Tink_83

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2017
    An average 8 year old is 57 lbs, though, so the 50 lb weight limit strollers won't work
    I don’t think 7 to 10 lbs over is going to collapse the stroller - especially the higher end ones. Plus a kid that age would use it infrequently at best. So while I wouldn’t use it if I thought a kid would be in it for 5 plus hours a day I know I’d be willing to roll the dice and see how it held up for a couple of hours of light use. But that’s me - and again I’m getting this for very little off of Craig’s list (20 for a Maclaren). Also, I just looked it up and apparently the Maclaren accommodates up to 55 lbs... plus the OP said her child is about 50 lbs at 7 months out so barring a huge growth spurt it may still be a viable option for them to consider. Again, to each their own I was just trying to provide other options beyond a jogger for the light use it would probably receive.
     

    goodeats

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2005
    Oh, my... can of worms indeed.

    As I had mentioned LOL towards the end of the day he gets tired (like most people with little legs do) and carrying around a 4’2” 55# kid isn’t easy when you’re barely over 5’ yourself and you’re coming back from Italy watching Illuminations and it’s nice when you’re in a big group to have a place to store things instead of carrying them all day long.
    An active 8 year old will not need to be carried after Illuminations. He may ask to be carried, but that doesn't mean you have to carry them.

    If you want the stroller for ease of carrying your stuff and so you don't have to deal with any whining from the kid? Great, use one. But for my family I find having a stroller after the age of 5 more trouble than it's worth. Folding a stroller and lugging it on transportation is the worst.
     

    stewart715

    #KEEPFIGMENT
    Joined
    Apr 5, 2019
    Just like every aspect of parenting, every kid is different. Your experience is going to be different than mine and the next parent. I have seen strollers countless times at WDW intended for toddlers and the 12 year old older sibling ends up passed out in it by end of day. Getting rid of the stroller is nice though, so if you can do it, you should. I do agree with other posters about the stroller being necessary to get a cranky kid to nap mid-day. If they aren't in need of a nap and can walk on their own (I would say grade school and older), I personally would ditch it. Take a couple breaks to sit down with them. It's really just the end of the night that becomes an issue, but you kinda work it out and back at room before you know it.
     

    PollyannaMom

    I was a click-clack champ!!
    Joined
    May 16, 2006
    I wanted input on ease of touring without a stroller,
    Once out of the nap stage, I do think it's easier without one. These posts already gave most of my reasons:

    For us, not having to haul the stroller to the parks and worry about parking it before rides and shows and then finding it again afterward (which we had done on our previous trip when the kids were much younger), plus finding larger spaces for parades and night shows to fit our whole party with a stroller, was great. As for ease of touring without one, we don't typically carry a ton into the parks and don't typically make a ton of large purchases each day. I carry a small cross-body bag and my husband carries a small backpack and we've found that to be amply sized for carrying around a few park essentials and purchases. Our rule is that if our kids want something larger than can be worn or easily carried in the backpack (or by themselves), they need to wait until we're getting ready to leave the parks to make that purchase. We also don't bring food into the parks except for a few small emergency snacks, so we don't need to carry around a cooler or anything like that.
    However, for our family, strollers are a pain to constantly get in and out of and park and retrieve, etc. We are glad to be without them now.
    Folding a stroller and lugging it on transportation is the worst.
    but I'll highlight the bus part - It's a pain to fold it up and haul it on the bus while wrangling your child and all the stuff you were storing in the stroller...because you know you'll buy more if you have a place to put it! :laughing:

    (Don't forget that you may simply get sick of pushing it as well.)

    This is not a judgement at all - it's your vacation, and only you know how you picture it - but I'll stick with my original advice: try without, see how you like it, and rent in the park if you find you need it at certain times.
     
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