Stroller for a 4-year-old?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by walkaboutcelery, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. walkaboutcelery

    walkaboutcelery Earning My Ears

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    My son's 4th birthday will be our first day at Disney. He usually doesn't use a stroller but I know this is a lot of walking. He's a little on the small side- about 35 lbs and right at 40" tall. Should I worry about renting a stroller or bringing the jogging stroller that's been stored in my garage collecting dust (it's big). Anyone have experience taking a 4-year-old and did you use a stroller?
     
  2. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk Bring Back MARIE!

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    If you make no plans and need to rent one at Disney, it's $15/day. If you're ok with that, then just wait and see how it goes.

    If you plan on going at his pace and taking lots of breaks, you might be fine. But we always loved having one at that age so they can conk out and you don't all have to go back to the room until after the nap.

    How do you feel about carrying him when he gets tired?
     
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  4. DisneyWishes14

    DisneyWishes14 DIS Veteran

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    Personally, I would rent a stroller. We did until my DS was 5 and it was a vacation-saver for us. It is a lot of walking and, even with breaks, it was just easier to cover a lot of ground by putting him in the stroller. He could give his legs a break and we could get places faster. We used to rent from Kingdom Strollers. They will deliver to Bell Services at your resort and you simply pick it up and drop it back off at the end of your trip. Their strollers were much more comfortable than the ones you rent in the parks. On our first trip, (when he was 1), we brought our own stroller and, boy, it is such a pain to get through airport security with a stroller (IMHO)!
     
  5. walkaboutcelery

    walkaboutcelery Earning My Ears

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    We brought my stroller on his last trip, but he was 2. And it's a really huge stroller. We drive, but I have a much smaller car now and I just remember how hard it was getting that thing on the busses.
     
  6. JimmyBean42

    JimmyBean42 DIS Veteran

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    See if any friends / family have a lighter/smaller umbrella or jogger stroller you could bring. There are also some other factors on whether to bring one or not. How aggressive are your plans? How many days are you going for (there is a "wall" kids hit at that age of straight days walking in the parks)? Will you be park hopping? Are you fast pass times near each other and near the same ends of the park? Lot of factors to whether you could go with or without it, but I always lean to the side of bring it (or rent it). Then you can always leave it in the room if you find you don't need it after a few days. But better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.
     
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  7. walkaboutcelery

    walkaboutcelery Earning My Ears

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    We'll be in the parks for 7 days. I'll be making my fast pass at the end of month since we're 81 days out right now. But last trip we walked something like 10 miles a day.
     
  8. Tattylou

    Tattylou DIS Veteran

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    I still bring an umbrella stroller still for my 6 year old. It makes it much easier when he's tired he can just sit and get pushed around and we can continue with our day. I'd rather have a stroller "just in case" than have a cranky unhappy kid. Personally, I would not even consider doing WDW with a 4 year old without a stroller.
     
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  9. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    This can be a very controversial topic around here, as I've read before. But honestly, we used a stroller from time to time until my kids were 11, 8, 8. (they're now 12, 9, 9) Well...it was rare for the 11 year old to use it, but he did from time to time. When the twins were 9, we used it a lot. My kids are all very active and healthy, they all play nearly year round sports. However, WDW is HUGE and there is endless walking, especially on a very long trip. I'd much, much rather have people look at us a little strange (I don't care) and have happy kids than make them walk and have them get tired and cranky. I see lots of kids ages 8+ riding in the WDW rented strollers.
     
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  10. MamaBelle4

    MamaBelle4 DIS Veteran

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    I would buy an umbrella stroller if you don't have one. You can get them between $15-25 and they're lightweight for carrying.

    Last time, my kids were DD6, DD3 & DD1. We only brought an umbrella stroller and DD3 was carried A LOT, even though we took a nice slow pace.

    This time, kids are DD8, DD5, DD4 & DD1. We are taking a Sit N Stand stroller so the 1 year old has wheels and DD4 & DD5 can take rests.
     
  11. Allie B

    Allie B I always dream of Disney

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    My daughter was 5 on our last trip. We brought along umbrella stroller and it was perfect. She used it a lot. There is a lot of walking and she was pretty tired by each afternoon. The umbrella stroller was easy to get off and on buses plus best when navigating through crowds.
     
  12. 2Pirates2Princesses

    2Pirates2Princesses Mom of 2 pirates & 3 princesses now...

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    If you think your son may only use the stroller for a couple park days and doesn't need it to be soft/comfortable for napping or for getting through the airport then I would just rent one at the parks as needed. On our last trip we brought a stroller for our youngest DS who was 4 at the time and he only used the stroller during our day at AK and our day at Epcot. He didn't take naps and rolled his own suitcase through the airport. Looking back on it we probably could have saved ourselves the aggravation of bringing the stroller for the trip and just rented a park stroller for those two days he needed one. For our March trip, our youngest child recently turned three and we are definitely bringing one for her cause she still takes naps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  13. ashleymrush

    ashleymrush DIS Veteran

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    I agree with a lot of others here. Last time we went we rented a double stroller from Kingdom Strollers for my then 5 and 2 year old. We are renting a single one when we go in June this time. The boys will be 8 and 5 when we are there. My 5 year old is a little guys though. Just reached 40" and walks SO SLOW! I can't deal with the slow walking for 8 days in the parks. LOL! We are even upgrading to the city mini GT stroller because it holds larger kids too so that my 8 year old can switch out and catch a break if he needs one. He's going to be upset that we aren't getting a double but he'll be fine.

    You know the temperament of your kid more than anyone else though. I never judge a parent with a "bigger" kid in a stroller. Heck, sometimes I wish people would push me around so I can't imagine what those little legs and feet are like. You always have the option of walking in and parking the stroller and letting them do some walking and then picking up the stroller later when you need it. We did that a lot last time.
     
  14. loves to dive

    loves to dive DIS Veteran

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    We started going when my son was just shy of 3 and never took a stroller. We might have rented one toward the end of the day a time or two but otherwise he had no problems walking, or running as the case may be. He hated the stroller and wouldn't sit in it unless he was too tired for words. More often than not if I saw him running out of gas, we would just go back to the resort for a rest, either at the pool or a little down time in the room watching cartoons then back to the park later.
     
  15. cassie58

    cassie58 DIS Veteran

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    We used the stroller when DD was 5 on first trip. It is a lot if walking, so sometimes they might want to sit, or might be easier if going across the park to be quicker or not have to worry about DS in crowds. It is also nice as a place just to sit and take a break, or wait for a parade.

    We took a stroller even on the next trip a few yrs later when kids were too big to use it, just for being able to throw stuff in it.(DH thought I was crazy, lol!) Had a nice big basket to keep jackets, small cooler, etc. and then throw the backpack in or kids' backsacks in the seat when they got tired or didn't want to take on a ride. Ours folded easily, was free to take on the plane, and helps in the airport as well for the kids to sit in for ease or putting bags in there to transport. If you find you don't need it at the parks, or only for certain ones, or at night when he might get sleepy after fireworks, then you just leave it in the room. I am a "better safe than sorry" girl, so I say bring it if you already have one(or borrow smaller if friends have one).
     
  16. HeatherL1985

    HeatherL1985 Mouseketeer

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    We are taking a stroller for our son - who is almost identical to yours! DS would not make it through a whole day walking on his own.

    We bring ours from home because I do NOT want to carry a sleeping toddler through the airport...nor do I want to try and force a sleepy toddler (ahem..."big boy") to walk, and listen, and keep up...etc. We use a City Mini and it breaks down to fit through the x-ray so going through security is not a problem. We also gate check our stroller so he can stay seated right up until we actually board the plane.

    Have fun!!
     
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  17. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    We stay off site and have a car. Last year, we found a good bargain on a double stroller on Craigslist, right new WDW. Picked it up for $50, used it for two weeks and sold it on Craigslist to another tourist coming down for $40. Worked awesome.
     
  18. AshleeH

    AshleeH DIS Veteran

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    I know many people do it, but I can't imagine not having a stroller for my 4 year old. She walks a lot, she's healthy, she has two speeds: stop and run, but we walk about 15 miles a day when we're in the parks. I cannot even fathom the wear and tear that has on developing muscles and it never surprises me when I see crying, tired children. Not to mention, this child will have to hold hands the majority of the day - do you know how exhausting it is to hold your arm above your head for hours at a time? I can't imagine. And it always breaks my heart when I inevitably see a child being berated for being tired and slowing the group down.

    We have never had a meltdown or so much as a whine at Disney and I credit a huge part of that with having a stroller for them to rest when they're still young.
     
  19. loves to dive

    loves to dive DIS Veteran

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    I think it depends on the kid. I was a single mom and not a pack horse so my son was very independent. He did not have to hold my hand all the time, as a matter of fact the only time he had to hold on was if we were in lines at QS or when I was carrying a tray. He had to hold some part of my body then, my shirt or my pants leg or something that I could feel him holding on to when we were walking. Standing in line he just had to be in front of me. When we were walking around he just had to stay close enough to me so I could grab him if necessary. If it was too crowded for words, say after a parade or FWs, I would make him hold my hand or I'd just pick him up (and yes he was bigger than me after about 3 but it was only for a short walk and we managed). As far as wear and tear on little muscles, don't kids get out and run and play any more? I don't think my son knew how to sit on his bottom until he was a teenager, until that point even when he was eating he was perching on the side of the chair. He never once had a meltdown at WDW until he was a grown up adult man and he and his wife weren't getting along. The key for us was me paying attention to him and his moods. If I knew he was getting tired, we stopped and rested, more often than not I got more tired than he did. We went slow, no reason to run, nothing is going anywhere so it will be there when we get there. He would fall asleep in my lap on the monorail (when was real young there were only two parks, MK and Epcot so no buses. But then he fell asleep any time travelling in any vehicle and still does scared the crap out of me when he started driving but evidently he can drive and not fall asleep).
     
  20. crazylady

    crazylady Mouseketeer

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    I recommend renting a nice, comfortable stroller from one of the outside stroller vendors. At 4 my child never used a stroller or napped at home and was an energetic, athletic kid. But at Disney, he would nap in the stroller and we could easily continue on our day. The days are long and there is alot of walking. Having a stroller made our days more pleasant. I think I cut off the trip he was 6.
     
  21. smiths02

    smiths02 DIS Veteran

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    When I took my son (at 3 and 5), we bought an umbrella stroller. Even if you just leave it after the end of the trip, it is cheaper than renting. It also allows you to tote stuff, like a small soft sided cooler for drinks or a change of clothes, some baby wipes, etc. I never left anything valuable in a stroller but I was okay with a cheap change of clothes, wipes, and some drinks

    I can't imagine most 4 year olds can walk 10 miles a day for days on end (we did at least 10 miles a day at WDW).
     

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