This audio is from our free course that helps you plan a vacation to Disneyland. In this module, we cover the different equipment rentals available at the parks and some important rules and regulations to follow if you bring your own stroller.
Chapters and Time Stamps
Strollers, wheelchairs, and scooters, oh my! Let's go ahead and talk about something that's going to be really important for a large group of people that are going to be coming to the parks. In this lesson, we're going to be talking specifically about the things that you need to know if you're bringing your own stroller.
Rules About Bringing Your Own Stroller
Things about renting strollers, wheelchairs, and ECVs, which are the motorized wheelchairs, the things that you need to know before you head out to the parks and plan ahead, and the things that you can do the day of.
So let's go ahead and start with some important information about bringing your own stroller.
Disneyland has a couple very specific rules about strollers. Strollers can be no larger than 31 inches by 52 inches. If you're in a country that uses the metric system, it's 79 centimeters by 132 centimeters.
No Wagon's Unless Medically Necessary
There is also a very strict no-wagons rule. This applies to the Wonder Wagon, I know that they're very popular. If you're in a Facebook group about Disney, you're going to see about 700 posts asking if people can bring their wagons. The only time you're able to bring a wagon in is if you have a medically fragile child that needs to use that wagon as a wheelchair, so it's very rare circumstances.
So you might see a wagon in the park, but more than likely it's going to have a red tag on the handle that indicates that's for a child that has special medical needs, and that's why they need that wagon.
Renting Strollers at Disneyland
There are options for renting strollers, baby equipment, and wheelchairs. When you are looking at your stroller, if you see that your stroller is too large or you only have the wagon, you can rent a single or a double stroller at Disneyland. They don't have a lot of storage, but they are very handy. Just like the wheelchairs, you can have a third party bring that stroller to your hotel and then you can take it all the way back and forth to the hotel.
What Type of Stroller Is Best
So there's lots of options. I know when I was bringing my kids for the first time, I was concerned about which stroller I should bring. Should I bring more like an umbrella stroller, or should I bring my larger double stroller? There are pros and cons to both. So, umbrella strollers are much easier to maneuver around the park, it will be a lot less cumbersome in the stores.
You also will have a lot of stuff though, and so I am a person that intends to overpack to go to the parks. So if you're a light packer, then I would totally go with the umbrella stroller. That's probably the best way to go. If you are somebody like me that likes to have, you know everything that they might need for the day in their bag then you might decide that you like a stroller. Basically, as my kids got older, not only was it a stroller, but it was also a little shopping cart for me to carry around my stuff.
Leaving Items with Your Stroller
Never leave anything in the stroller of high value. On windy, cold, rainy days, this includes jackets. You can leave things like diapers and food in your strollers. It likely will not be touched. I would not leave iPads, purses, backpacks, anything that would be a temptation to be stolen. Disney is a pretty safe place, but there are bad people pretty much everywhere. So you want to make sure that anything of high value that you could not replace that you carry with you as you head into the attraction.
TIP: Disney Will Move Your Stroller
You will not be able to bring your stroller into the line. So you will have to park it. One thing to note about strollers at Disneyland is they have to move them quite often just because of the way that people flow. So where you put your stroller will probably not be where you find your stroller all of the time.
You can tie a balloon, or I would put ribbons on my stroller so it'd be easier for me to see. I've seen some people even put little battery operated string lights on, it looks super magical at night. Anything that you can do to make your stroller stand out, especially if you have one of the really popular strollers that everybody's going to have. This also can eliminate somebody accidentally walking off with your stroller thinking it was theirs. So putting something on the stroller to make it so it's more easily identifiable. There are some really cool three day printed custom family signs that you can do for your trip to Disney that say, have a cute little sign that you can attach to the back of your stroller.
These can be great. We have a link to some of those down below. But you are fine just by putting just a little bit of ribbon or putting something on your stroller that helps make it easier for you to spot your stroller from a distance.
Using a Stroller as a Wheelchair at Disneyland
If you have a child that has medical issues that needs to be in that stroller during the line, you will want to make sure that you get your stroller tagged as a wheelchair.
You will go to City Hall and explain to them why they need that. If you need to bring a wagon, and you will have to do that at security, they will not let the wagon pass security without that tag. They are not looking for a diagnosis, they don't need to know the medical history, that's your private information but they do need to know why this child would need the stroller; what would make it difficult for them to stand in a normal queue without that stroller? If you're approved, you will get a red "This Stroller is a Wheelchair" tag that will allow you to treat that stroller, exactly like a wheelchair, where you'll be able to bring it into the queues with you. You'll be able to bring it right up to the ride entrance and enter in through the wheelchair exits on some of the rides that are not wheelchair accessible.
Renting Strollers, Wheelchairs, or ECVs at the Parks
Let's go ahead and talk about renting strollers, wheelchairs, and the electric wheelchairs, ECVs, at the parks.
No reservation is required, you can rent them the day of. And the thing is that you can only use them in the parks and in Downtown Disney. So even if you want to go to the Disneyland Hotel or the Grand Californian, you would have to bring that stroller back and return it before going up to your hotel room.
So even for the Disney hotels, you are not allowed to take those strollers or wheelchairs. So while these can be really helpful, it's nice that you don't have to worry about a reservation if you forget. This is a great backup, but for most people who need to use a wheelchair, an ECV, or a stroller, the place you're going to meet at the most is at the end of the day heading back to your hotel.
Renting From A Third Party Vendor
So unless you are staying at a hotel that's far enough away that you need to drive, you might want to consider a third-party company that will deliver the wheelchair, stroller, ECV, to your hotel room, and then you can use that stroller and wheelchair all the way back and forth to the parks.
If you're going to be staying longer than two to three days, it usually will be cheaper to rent from a third party. There are rental companies that specialize just in this. Some have additional baby equipment like Pack 'n Plays, high chairs, other things that you might need during your stay. Just want to make sure you think through things all the way. If you're staying at a location that you will have to drive from, renting an ECV from one of those hotels might not work. This is going to be primarily for people staying within walking distance.
In our hotel section of this course, we have a little map that identifies which hotels are within walking distance. These third-party companies do require reservations in advance, but usually they will have availability up to very close to your park dates and sometimes even the same day. We have listed a couple companies that we've had good experiences with below.
When comparing companies, always make sure to look at policies. What's covered if the item is damaged? Is there insurance that you need to purchase? What does the insurance cover? What happens if it's raining? Do you need to purchase extra insurance?
Our tools provide accessibility information for each ride so you can know whether or not you need to transfer, and where the wheelchair entrance or check-in would be at each attraction.
In our tools, we also have information about the accessibility options for the deaf and blind that Disney has. Overall Disney is very accommodating. One thing to remember is that there are going to be a lot of strollers, a lot of wheelchairs out there, so it will be more difficult to maneuver through the crowds, especially on a crowded day with a stroller or a wheelchair.
Accessibility For Mobility Issues at Disneyland
But I also want to take a moment to say this. If you think you might need a wheelchair, get the wheelchair. It will make your day so much more enjoyable. There have been many days where I've been in the parks with somebody that needed a wheelchair or that I've needed a wheelchair because of some specific medical concerns during different periods of my life, and the difference of being in a wheelchair and not being in pain the entire day completely changes the day.
If you think you can do it without a wheelchair, and then halfway through the day you decide that you need one, they're available to rent in the park. If you need the wheelchair, there is no shame in needing that wheelchair, and you should get it so that you can have the most enjoyable time possible. If you're on the fence for grandma or Auntie Caroline, that's going to be coming, sometimes what I will do is I will say, I need the wheelchair for me, and I will push around the empty wheelchair until they decide that since I'm just pushing around that empty wheelchair, they might as well have a seat. So if you have somebody who's a little bit more stubborn making sure that you put it in the frame of mind that If you don't get a wheelchair because you don't want to be in a wheelchair, but you need one, then you're impacting my trip to Disneyland so I'm asking you to do this for me, we're not accommodating you, you're accommodating me because I feel like especially when I was in a situation where I needed a wheelchair, I felt very much like I was inconveniencing people. And to have it put in that different perspective, I think would've helped. Those are the big things about strollers. Make sure you check the size of your stroller before you pack it. Make sure you're not bringing your wagon unless you have a very specific reason.
If you bring a stroller that is too large or a wagon to the parks, be prepared to head back to your hotel. There's a good chance that they will not let those into the park. They are pretty strict about those rules.
We have additional information in the course, but that's it for wheelchairs, strollers, and ECVs.