We have travelled to Orlando twice before with young children, and will be doing so again next February. Both times we have done what most families from the UK & Ireland do when going on holiday with children under 3 – pack our pram.
We first travelled long haul with our eldest son when he was 20 months, and we brought our buggy with us. Whilst a necessity around the Parks, taking our buggy with us from home did have its drawbacks. It was another “bag” to pack and get through the airports, and time in the hold of the plane can do some damage to prams and buggies (ours was damaged during the flight home). While frustrating, we knew a buggy was essential, and simply prepared ourselves having to take it again in the future.
When we went back to Florida last year, our eldest was just over 3 and our newer arrival was only 8 months – again our pram was very much needed. However, this time we also brought a baby carrier to allow us to carry our younger son when our elder son needed the pram for a break. For this trip we also choose a “suitcase” for our pram to help prevent damage during the flight (which worked!). This solution worked perfectly for us, and saved us having to look into buying a double buggy for one holiday.
In February next year, we are going back to Disney again, and our boys with be 4 1/2 and 2. When this trip was first booked, I worried that the buggy/carrier arrangement would not work as well this time; carrying an 8 month old when his brother needed a break is much easier than carrying a 2 year old! I was also aware that with the amount of walking you can do around Disney swapping the boys in and out of our single pram may not work practically; what if one was having a nap when the other needed a break? At 4 and 2 buying a double buggy for a holiday seemed a little silly, particularly, if we could find another option.
We took to the internet to research our problem and how we could solve it. The first option we found was the Stroller Hire provided in the Disney Parks. This seemed like an easy and straight forward option, but it seemed quite costly to hire a Disney Stroller ($27 per day for a double, $378) for our 2 week stay. Also it would only be available to us for use in the theme parks and that would leave us without any buggy for around our hotel, or any days we choose to spend away from the theme parks.
The second option, and the one was have opted for, is to hire a stroller for the length of our stay. Stroller hire is very popular with American families travelling to Disney, and there are many sites which offer this service. We had a look at www.kingdomstrollers.com and we have chosen to rent a double buggy from them for our next trip. Their website offers a number of single and double buggies, all with different features and hire prices. We have chosen the City Mini Double, being the lightest double buggy on offer.
Kingdom Strollers will drop the buggy at your hotel on your arrival date, and pick it up again on your departure day free of charge. The booking process was very simple and straightforward. The cost of hiring a buggy from them is also significantly cheaper than choosing to hire a Disney Stroller ($110). The only slight drawback is that payment for the buggy is required in full at the time of booking; whilst not a huge negative, it is something to take into account to ensure you have funds to hand when booking.
This is the first time we have hired a buggy for our Disney holiday and I am excited to see what the buggy is like and how easy pick up and drop off is handled. I look forward to updating you next year when we try this very handy service!
We’ve only recently returned from our 2016 trip and I must admit that choosing to hire a double buggy was definitely the right decision for our family. Both boys really needed the option of sitting in the buggy for a break throughout the day and it was particularly handy in the evenings as they occasionally fell asleep before the fireworks; the buggy allowed us to stay in the parks to watch them! I also found it particularly convenient to be able to make both of them sit during busier days; I felt reassured that they were both safe and we wouldn’t end up with a lost child when navigating the crowds
Kingdom Strollers had our buggy waiting for us upon arrival at the hotel; when we phoned Bel Services to have our bags delivered when mentioned the pram and it was brought up along with our bags. Our Citi Mini was clean and in good working order; some of the material in parts was ever so slightly frayed and worn, but nothing more than what you’d expect from a little use (and certainly not enough to cause issues with operation or safety!)
It took us a short while to work out how to collapse and reopen the buggy, but easy to follow instructions were included and it really wasn’t that difficult to operate. It was also reasonably easy to push and control; something I was concerned about given we have no prior experience of a double pram!
Overall, the buggy served us very well for the two weeks. It was very much needed and used, but I also didn’t feel as if I was pushing a large,cumbersome pram about the parks. It also folded down very compactly, which was perfect for getting on and off the Disney World buses and also for fitting into the boot of our hire car! Given we had chosen to hire a convertible for the holiday, I was pleasantly surprised that not only could we get the buggy in the boot (with room to spare!), but we could also put the roof down! (For reference, we had chosen a Ford Mustang, Im am unsure about similar hire cars and the space in their boots!)
Upon check-out, we simply had to leave our pram back with Bell Services at our Resort, presumably to be picked up later that day..
Overall, I would most certainly recommend any family with young children to consider hiring a buggy for their trip – even older children accustomed to walking may not cope with the heat and pace of Walt Disney World! The whole hire process was simple and straightforward, and the buggy we received was clean, in good condition and more than met with our needs.
We are planning another Disney World trip for 2017, and even with a 6 and near-4 year old I am now considering hiring a buggy once again!