Anyone do WDW with toddlers/babies without a stroller?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Sarah_Rose, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Sarah_Rose

    Sarah_Rose DIS Veteran

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    Can anyone share their experience of doing WDW stroller-less?

    We have a 2.5 year old and a baby who will be almost 9 months old when we go, and my husband is determined that we do not need a stroller. I am kind of skeptical. I'm a big babywearing advocate and I own a lot of carriers - I have several woven wraps (my favorite type of carrier!), a Kinderpack, a toddler-sized Tula, an Ergo, and I made a Minnie Mouse mei tai for my daughter, and am working on a Nemo one for my son. I know babywearing, and I have a lot of experience with it. But I still think my husband is crazy.

    My 2.5 year old son HATES strollers, and he will kick and scream if I try to force him into one. I imagine that if he is tired enough, he will probably sit in one with less of a struggle, but he will WALK for hours (until he is exhausted) and still refuse the stroller. My baby girl loves to be worn in a carrier or wrap, and is happiest in one. She would end up in a carrier most of the trip anyway, whether we bring a stroller or not. However, I am wondering how to manage two young kids, and all our gear, without a stroller at all. Heck, I even brought one to the zoo yesterday, fully knowing that neither kid would use it at all, just to cart all of our junk around in. My husband thinks it's stupid to bring a stroller around just to carry our backpack, but I have no idea what to do with that backpack, if we both have kids on our backs! Minimizing the crap that we carry around isn't really an option, as we'll have diapers (and everything that goes with diapers), baby food, sippy cups, snacks, extra layers, etc.

    Anyone do Disney with young kids, without a stroller? Have any strategies for making it work? I keep thinking of how lovely it would be to board the buses and breeze through the crowds, without lugging a stroller around, but I just can't quite figure out the logistics. :lmao:
     
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  3. worm761

    worm761 <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/sw.

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    We took DD to Disney in September. She was a little over 2.5 years and she walked every day. We did get a stroller the last day because she started to feel under the weather and had a full blown cold by time we got home. But she is used to walking and prefers it so I saw no reason to drag around a stroller just in case. We rested when she needed it.
     
  4. RachaelA

    RachaelA DIS Veteran

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    We had no intention of using our stroller when we went in October because I babywear and DD walks. We lasted 1 day. But we didn't use the stroller the whole time. A lot of time, we parked it somewhere and left it for a few hours. DH didn't want to wear the backpack the whole time and liked being able to put it in the stroller a bit when we used it. DD napped a few times in the stroller and it helped cool both her and I off because even with the coolest carrier/sling, it still can be hot to BW.

    That being said when we go to the zoo, we never bring a stroller or if we do, DD NEVER sits in it because she's being worn or walking. That's why we thought we'd be fine without the stroller at Disney. But we were wrong.

    We never took one to any of our dinner reservations though unless it was in the park. If it was at a resort, we just left the stroller in our room. Didn't bring one to DtD. Its nice to have one just in case.

    P.S. When did you start using your kinderpack? how big was your son? None of the BWing groups by me have one in their lending library so I have yet to try one with my daughter.

    ETA: DD was 11.5 months in October
     
  5. SweetMissy

    SweetMissy DIS Veteran

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    If your toddler isn't into a stroller then I wouldn't expect being at disney will change that. Does your husband baby wear? If not, it'll be quite hard IMO to wear both at the same time.....however I do know it can be done. I wear my baby everywhere, so I know how much easier it is to not have a stroller but having to wear 2 kids (if your hubby doesn't) would be much harder I think. I have a friend who wears her toddler on her back and her baby on the front and it makes my jaw drop everytime, lol. Good luck!
     
  6. Sarah_Rose

    Sarah_Rose DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm kind of the mind that it's at least worth bringing a stroller (I'm thinking our Maclaren umbrella stroller, because it folds up nice and small and light and won't take up much room if it's shoved off in a corner all week!), even if we don't use it. My husband insists that it's not worth hauling around the airport and through security, etc, if we won't use it. :confused3

    We have a standard Kinderpack and it is FABULOUS! We got it when my son was 18 months old, but my daughter almost fits into it now, at 6 months - the seat is still a bit wide for her, but she's almost there. My son still fits into it at 2.5 (he is 28 lbs and wears 2T clothing)..... he could be in a toddler sized one, obviously, but he still has a good seat in the standard. I highly recommend the Kinderpack - it's so comfortable!

    Haha, my husband is DEFINITELY not off the hook for babywearing for this trip! :lmao: The deal is that I wear DD and he wears the backpack.... unless, he's wearing DS, and then I can put DD on my front and the backpack on my back. I did the baby on my front and toddler on my back ONCE, for 5 minutes, for a photo, and that was enough for me! ;)
     
  7. erin327

    erin327 Mouseketeer

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    We have done it several times without a stroller. It is great! It is so nice to not have to fight with the stroller. So nice! We rarely use one at home either. At WDW though we have always had an adult to wear each kid (as needed) and one to carry the backpack. If you are used to babywearing and not using a stroller I would say go for it! My only concern in your case is that you might end up wearing a baby and a backpack. Much like wearing two kids, I find that wears me out much quicker than just wearing one kid. I think it still depends on your planned park schedule though. If you aren't going to be out late and think your two year old will walk a lot, I'd go without the stroller. You can always rent a stroller there if you need one. Maybe take the contact info for a couple of off site stroller rental places with you just in case.

    We love our kinderpacks too!
     
  8. Juniortrooper

    Juniortrooper Mouseketeer

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    I would say bring the stroller for your "stuff"! We brought two strollers--one for our 2 year old and one for our 9 week old. I carried her in the Ergo about 90% of the time. It was good to put her down when we did the parent swap rather than try to put the Ergo on my husband. (we did that too, but she just screamed...he wasn't as padded as me and smelled funny, LOL)

    Bring it and you won't be sorry, even just to wheel around diapers, jackets, snacks, sippies, etc....
    Have a great time!
     
  9. Crystal824

    Crystal824 DIS Veteran

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    No way would I go without a stroller with kids that young. We have one 2.5 that doesn't really care for her stroller, but it was nice to have it at night. Plus, she would nap in the stroller. She would fight me on getting in it, but once she was there she would settle down in a few min.
     
  10. Sarah_Rose

    Sarah_Rose DIS Veteran

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    I do really like the idea of going stroller-less, trying it the first day.... and if it's a disaster, we call a stroller rental place. ;) Yeah, I would just go stroller-less, if it wasn't for that darn bag! I'm trying to figure out how I can do it with just one cross-body bag.... but I'm also going to want to carry my DSLR, so that'll make it tough. :upsidedow And then there's also the hassle of carrying the toddler Tula when my son is walking.... Ugh. lol

    That also isn't a bad idea. We can just carry it folded on to the bus in the morning, set it up once we're at the parks, and wheel it to a convienient stroller parking area and leave it there for a few hours at a time, filled with coats, snacks, diapers, sippies, etc. It's like a portable locker. ;) :lmao:

    If I knew my kid would throw a few minutes of protest tantrum, and then settle down in the stroller and take a nap, it wouldn't even be an issue. That is not my kid. He will scream and kick and arch his back as I'm forcefully buckling him into the stroller, and then he will continue to scream and try to escape for awhile, before degenerating into wailing "I get down.... please??!!" for the rest of the time he is confined. I have not done a multi-day trip since he was a lot younger (we did Disneyland at 15 months, and he would stay in the stroller pretty well at that age, as long as he had a snack to eat.... still didn't fall asleep in the stroller once during that trip, though) so I don't know how this might change once he is totally exhausted after a few days of touring.... there is a chance he will tolerate the stroller once he is worn down.... but I know he will also happily ride (and even nap occasionally!) in a carrier, with no struggling or screaming involved. I would rather do it that way. It might be nice to have a stroller to carry our junk in, or to put down the baby while she eats a snack, but I don't see there being any afternoon stroller naps.

    Cards on the table, my 6 month old has NEVER been in a stroller. :headache: I had such a bad experience with strollers and my son, when he was a baby, that I've never really tried it with her. I have a Britax B-Ready stoller with a second seat and the bassinet attachment, but I tried to put my daughter in the bassinet a few times when she was a newborn, but I picked her up immediately when she started to scream as soon as I put her in. I really should be listing that darn giant expensive stroller on CL, shouldn't I? :lmao: Now that my daughter is old enough that I'm sure she'd be fine in a stroller with a toy to play with, I've just gotten used to the convienience of not using it, and I enjoy having her up at face level when we go places like the zoo.
     
  11. Sarah_Rose

    Sarah_Rose DIS Veteran

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    OMG, I've now swung so far to the other side on my internal stroller debate.

    I now believe we should bring our Baby Jogger Summit XC jogger, and get the glider board for the back of it. Then not only can I push around a stroller filled with snacks and diapers, but my toddler can stand on the back of it when he gets tired but is going to be up and down. :headache: Now I have to try to convince my "NO STROLLERS!" husband on that one...

    I have 2 more months (exactly!) before we leave. I'm going to be a basket case double-thinking my minute decisions, right up until the moment we leave. But isn't that what the DIS is for??? ;)
     
  12. Niewoe

    Niewoe Mouseketeer

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    Not to sound opinionated, but bring a stroller!! We have an umbrella stroller and it was perfect when DS was 1, 3, and yes, 4. He'll be 5.5 on our next trip, and all of us will be sad to leave it at home!! It carries ALL your stuff!! I may just stick a doll in it and bring it anyway! lol

    The one serious tip that is really important: if by the off chance, both kids fall asleep in the stroller, AND you have your own stroller, you can leave the park/stay in the park, whatever you and DH want to do!! Picture yourselves in EP, finding a bench that overlooks the water, while sipping your favorite adult beverage, all while your little ones are off in sleepy land. If that doesn't help convince DH, nothing will!! Good luck!!
     
  13. heather4Disney

    heather4Disney BEGINNER 2 DISNEY (Family with 3 small kids)

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    My husband is not wanting us to take a stroller (5, 5 and 3 yr old) but I want it to keep up the pace if we need to make a timed event like our character meal. Carry all our stuff. Ours is a double umbrella like those cheaper ones but double. Like others mentioned we could just leaving it parked somewhere if need be.

    I think for your youngest I'd like it to change diapers. Sometimes easier than going into the washrooms and a pinned up blanket would help for nap times for the little one. (maybe)

    I think I would also want it to carry all the STUFF. Even 3 water bottles when added to everything else gets heavy.

    Sometimes kids do change even in 6 months, he might now be able to bargain more and you can say if you sit in the stroller we will go to see "Mickey" next and we can get there faster. Doing this early on before he "hits the wall" of exhaustion might be best. Just short 5 min trip in the stroller to the next event might let him see that the stroller isn't so bad. Also giving them food while they are in there might help too.
     
  14. Crystal824

    Crystal824 DIS Veteran

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    We did this with our daugther alot. She is 2 and a half and thinks she has outgrown strollers. I would say if you get in the stroller, you can have a sucker or we will go ride Small World, etc. It worked for her. Alot of the time she would fall asleep after eating her sucker (I brought some dum dums with us) or on teh way to the ride.
     
  15. Keurigirl

    Keurigirl let's all sing like the birdies sing

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    NO WAY. Bring a stroller. I babywore too, but it's imperative you have the option to use both. Sometimes carrying is better, sometimes stroller.

    Think of it this way. Do you typically walk 12+ miles a day with your child on your back? For several days in a row? You will get tired.

    Bring the stroller, you can leave it somewhere for a few hours and come back when you need it.
     
  16. tjmw2727

    tjmw2727 DIS Veteran

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    I would bring a stroller - sounds like you have the perfect lightweight umbrella already - most arlines let you check them at no charge so you don't have to deal with it at the airport.

    You can use it for an already sleeping child - maybe the baby?, to store your stuff, a seat for parades for the 2yo (I woudn't bother buckling in this case as the stroller will be parked). You don't have to force him in it of course but just let him know it is available if he needs/wants to get a ride now and then,he could then have a snack or a drink while your walking.

    I like your idea of the rider board - my older dd hated the stroller but did love riding on the back (we had a sit and stand) and my younger dd actually liked the stroller. She liked to have a break and some "space" for herself now & then.

    Have fun !!
     
  17. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I agree.

    Or if you need to put on a poncho, you guys will start to stifle. If it gets super-hot (I'll be there around the same time, and we are hoping for unseasonably warm weather FYI, so just in case we get our wish, you'll be hot!) you'll want a break from sweating on each other.


    I'm not a big advocate of bringing a stroller to put stuff in, but that's because we have had things stolen from strollers. But still, I think you should have the *option*.


    It was me agreeing with that sort of thinking, for a shorter trip to Disneyland, that injured my hips pretty seriously. Which is embarrassing, as I am a retired chiropractor, and HATE limping around in any way because of my back or hips. I feel like people just know what I did for a living, and what I believe in completely, and it makes me ashamed to have pain. But carrying my EXHAUSTED little dude all the way back to the hotel, and sometimes in the morning when I wanted to go faster and he wanted to dawdle, absolutely destroyed me for a long, long time.

    Of course you are in way better shape than I was then, and probably even than I am now, but still, spines are spines. :)

    I say *at least* bring the MacLaren umbrella. Heck, the only stroller we ever used at home was a jogging stroller specifically for when I was jogging, but we still got a Volo for Disney trips. DS wasn't a huge fan of it until 3, but it was nice to have the *option*. If you leave it at home, that option is gone until you can rent one.


    (it is lovely to have them up at eye level for the zoos, isn't it? I used to bend way down to see what kids in strollers could see...not much, that's for sure! and I remember him being right at jaguar eye level while standing at the exhibit at Woodland Park once, which was SCARY for him! no wonder he wanted to be picked up!)

    (oh wait, I used the stroller up at Woodland Park once...a squirrel jumped in and stole the food DS was eating while we were looking at the penguins!)
     
  18. SweetMissy

    SweetMissy DIS Veteran

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    LOL! Hopefully he will....be much easier for you. I can't imagine wearing 2 at the same time. My husband has worn our little one a few times, but ds doesn't last as long. I can wear him all day and no big deal. Maybe because he knows who has the milk jugs? :rotfl:
     
  19. angelmom27

    angelmom27 DIS Veteran

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    Good luck on that decision. Lol I think it would be great to do disney stroller free. I like the babywearing plan but like you I would need the stroller to carry all of my stuff. LOs just need too many things. If DH doesn't want to lug around the stroller at the airport maybe rent one from an outside company. I know you can get the board from some companies too.

    I just started getting DH to wear our DD. He loved it the first time he tried it out. Now to get him a good carrier that will go into toddlerhood and manly too.
     
  20. estherhead

    estherhead DIS Veteran

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    I have done Disney without a stroller only two days and I HATE it. And I baby wear and have done lots of other trips without a stroller. But Disney isn't the zoo nor is it the mall or hiking. You should ABSOLUTELY take the MacClaren. If you are flying you can gate check it and you will thank me literally in the airport before you ever get to WDW.

    Ok, you are wearing the baby. Dh is wearing the backpack. And the 2.5 year old is running about. Who carries the drinks? Where do you put the Duffy Bear he's coloring in Epcot? You want to take home a cupcake for your snack that night. Where can it go?

    I have 3 big kids now. This coming August we absolutely do NOT need a stroller. The youngest will be 6. But I'm still bring one. We will park it somewhere in stroller parking for the huge majority of the day. But it will still hold an extra outfit for the 6 year old (she is messy) my dh's refillable mug when he's done with his coffee. Our cooler with the water bottles. Any souvenier the kids wouldn't let me send back to the hotel but insist on carrying. Etc.

    I wear a small backpack. What I say to my dh and my kids is "I am not a pack mule." I'm not. If you don't want a stroller, anything heavy is your responsibility.

    I'm telling you, imagine walking down the airport to your airplane with a stroller carrying your toiletries bags. Your 2.5 yr old is running free, giggling. Your dh is drinking his coffee happily as you walk. You are wearing your baby and pushing the stroller full of things without worrying the 2 bags will smack the baby in the face.

    My dh was the same way. "We don't need a stroller." Guess who held the 2.5 yr dead weight through the fireworks and all the way home? And who forked over the big bucks to get a stroller the next day at WDW?

    And if you sincerely don't need it, leave it in the room.
     
  21. Sarah_Rose

    Sarah_Rose DIS Veteran

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    Ok, you guys have convinced me! I was pretty much sold anyway, but now I'm sold enough to put my foot down with the husband. :lmao:

    Ok, so if you have to pick one stroller, which one would you choose? I have a Maclaren Triumph - it has a full recline, and decent sunshade, it's small and light, and my son can climb in and out of it. He seems big in it, but he does fit. I also have a Baby Jogger Summit XC - it also has a full recline and an AWESOME sunshade, is more than big enough for my toddler, has the one-hand fold (same as the City Mini), and it is lovely to push around. And I can get the glider board for it for my son to stand on. But it's a beast (same size as a BOB Jogger) and I think it'll probably be a pain on the buses.

    Thoughts?
     

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