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While Disneyland may be the Happiest Place on Earth, that doesn’t mean that every trip there has a happy ending. For some, their trip becomes decidedly unhappy when they return to their parked stroller, only to find it missing! Not only can it be more difficult for a family with children to move through the park without a stroller – replacing one can be super expensive! Here are a few ways you can help deter potential thieves from absconding with your stroller.
The best line of defense is to make sure your stroller stands out and doesn’t look like every other stroller in the park. This not only makes it easier to spot in crowded stroller parking, it marks it as yours so it’ll put off potential thieves. Now, I’m not talking just a little tag with your name on it tied around the handle. Make your personalization bright, loud, and (most importantly) hard to remove. Before we went on our trip, I used bright pink duct tape all over our stroller’s handles, spokes, and on the tray. This type of personalization would be hard to remove and would certainly draw attention of passersby if someone actually tried it.
Snap a Picture
An easy thing you can do, before you even start your trip, is take a picture of yourself with your decorated stroller. I snapped one of myself in our garage before we even made the trip to Cali. This tip doesn’t exactly help prevent theft, but it can help you if stroller theft does occur. Not only do you have an image you can share with Cast Members and Security, but if someone manages to track down the thief, you have proof that the stroller belongs to you. I have an acquaintance who had her very expensive wagon stolen from Disneyland, and even though she herself managed to track it down, because she couldn’t prove the stroller was hers, the thieves were allowed to leave the park with her property.
(Photo Credit to Mommy of a Princess)
Use modern technology to your advantage! There are plenty of small tracking devices, like Tile, on the market today. They’re usually marketed to help you find things like your keys or that sneaky remote control, but they can just as easily be used to help track and locate your stroller. Rather than tying it on to the stroller handle, I actually sewed our tracker to the back of our stroller organizer. That way it was harder to see, so it would be less likely to be removed.
Take Your Valuables
As tempting as it may be to leave your bags in the stroller while you’re on a ride – DON’T! Loose valuables can act like a beacon to potential thieves. And they may not stop at just taking your bags, they may decide to just grab the whole stroller. So keep your important belongings with you. On this note, as tempting as it may be to buy all the pretty souvenirs as soon as you enter the park, try to hold off. We decided to do our souvenir shopping on our way out of the park, so we didn’t have to worry about trying to keep them with us at all times. I’ve also heard (but haven’t tried) that you can ask the Cast Member’s ringing you up to have your purchases sent to the front gate where you can grab them on your way out. It’s certainly worth a shot!
In case your stroller just gets lost or is only taken for a joyride, it’s a good idea to have it labeled with your name and contact information. That way, once it’s recovered, Cast Member’s can contact you about retrieving it. But again, label it in a way that’s not so easy to remove. I printed my name and phone number on printable fabric sheets, then sewed them on the underside of the strollers canopy, on the stroller organizer, and on our bags.
If you really want to be thorough, you can buy a stroller lock. These locks are typically used by looping the cable through the back wheels to prevent them from rolling. Just keep in mind that you’re not able to lock your stroller to a stationary object like a fence or a tree.
Leave It At Home
If your stroller is really expensive and you’re super nervous about stroller theft, renting a stroller may be a better option for you. You can rent strollers from Disneyland themselves, or there are several stroller rental companies in the area that will even deliver the stroller to your hotel and pick it up after your departure. It may not be as nice or comfortable as your own, but at least you’ll have a little peace of mind.
According to Cast Members, stroller theft is not a super common thing at Disney parks, but it does happen. So take a little bit of time to prepare yourself (and your stroller), so your magical vacation can be magical from start to finish!
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