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Disneyland is a magical place for children – the characters, the rides, the colors, the treats! I was soooo excited to take Emma for the first time. I couldn’t wait to see her face as she laid her little eyes upon the castles and princesses that she already loved so much! Having never taken a child to Disneyland before, I did my best to research and prepare as much as possible. But I still made one huge mistake . . . I didn’t bring a stroller!
Now, I know some families are totally fine without one, but that was definitely not the case for us. We made it through Day One relatively OK, but by Day Two, her little legs were tired and aching. This, of course, meant lots of being carried or riding on Daddy’s shoulders. And let me tell you, the girl is not light! So after that fiasco, we knew that for our next trip to Disneyland, we were going to bring some wheels – and it made our trip so much easier!
Here, I’m sharing tips and knowledge that I learned while navigating the land of Disney with a stroller.
Check Your Dimensions – In 2019, Disney parks implemented new rules in regards to what type/size of wheeled device you can or cannot bring into the parks. Strollers must not be larger than 31″ wide (79 cm) and 52″ long (132 cm). Any type of stroller wagon is not allowed. Make sure to measure your stroller before your trip so you don’t run the risk of it being turned away at the gate.
Personalize It – Imagine a sea of strollers as far as the eye can see. It wouldn’t be very easy to find your stroller in a mess like that, would it? That’s why I highly recommend taking the time to personalize the stroller before your trip. Think bright, bold, and easy to spot in a crowd! Duck tape, ribbon, lights, a sign – the possibilities are endless! I even grabbed the flag off of our bike trailer to add some height and make it easier to see. I never had trouble spotting our stroller around the park or in the parking areas. Speaking of which . . .
(Photo Credit: Mommy of a Princess)
Stroller Parking – While it can be tempting to just park your stroller wherever, the Disney parks do have designated stroller parking areas. If you decide not to use them, you run the risk of a Cast Member relocating your stroller and not knowing where it went! Save yourself the hassle of trying to find it again and just park in the designated areas.
Strollers Can Move – Even if you park your stroller in a designated area, Cast Members may still move your stroller to maximize space and keep things organized. I’ve heard that if you park your stroller in the middle of the parking area, you’re less likely to have your stroller moved than if you park on the perimeter. But if you do come back to find your stroller moved and have difficulty finding it, ask a Cast Member to assist you.
They Have Air – One thing we learned on our trip is that Disneyland does indeed have an air pump! It’s outside the park and kind of hidden, but it’s there. This was super helpful for us since we realized as soon as we got there that one of our tires wasn’t properly inflated. That pump really saved our buns! It can be found to the right of the Stroller Rental area, in the hedges. If you need help finding it, ask the Cast Members behind the desk.
Bring a Pump – While we’re certainly grateful that there was pump available to use, if we’d brought our own bike pump the whole situation could have been avoided. Nevermind the fact that if we got a flat inside the park (or in California Adventure) we would have had to walk across and exit the park just to fill up the tire. Lesson learned. We’ll never be pump-less again!
Don’t Leave Your Things Behind – While Disneyland may be “The Happiest Place on Earth” that doesn’t mean it’s exempt from theft. Do yourself a favor and don’t leave behind anything that you wouldn’t want stolen.
Know Your No-Go Zones – Strollers are not permitted in most restaurants or attraction lines, so plan accordingly. Also, transportation like shuttles and trams will require you to fold up your stroller so as not to take up valuable space that can fit in more passengers.
The only thing I wish we’d done differently is to buy or rent a stroller rider board. I underestimated just how much Emma (age 5 1/2) would want to ride in the stroller. A rider board for her to stand on would have saved quite a few arguments about who’s turn it was to ride in the stroller. Thankfully, I did plan ahead enough that I brought a baby carrier and was able to wear Charlie whenever Emma needed the stroller.
Hopefully these tips help you on your next vacation to Disney’s parks. And if you’re a stroller pro, what are some of your favorite Disney parks stroller tips?
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