How do you know if renting a Disney stroller is the right thing for you? What is different from bringing your own? We often bring ours, but these reasons make Disney strollers temping!
Disney strollers can be great for when you’ve got an older kid, who can usually walk, but might get tired, say, at Epcot or Animal Kingdom, where there’s more walking than rides. Maybe your child has an illness or injury, or the hassle of folding and loading on and off the bus or monorail is too much or, maybe you even just want to lug around a lot of stuff, but it won’t fit into a locker, and you don’t want to carry it constantly. If any of those apply to you, renting a Disney stroller might be the way to go.
Disney rents strollers at all of its parks, and even Disney Springs! They offer two options, a single stroller rental of $15 a day, or for a multi day stay, $13 a day. They’ve also got the double stroller, $31 a day, or $27 a day for a multi day stay.
These strollers have hard seats, so they can easily support your oldest child without sagging, but that might make them uncomfortable for a smaller child. A towel or blanket could pad it out and make it more comfy.
These stroller do have a sunshade, but are pretty basic, no cup holders, no under carriage storage. Still, if you just need strollers a time or two on your Disney trip, renting might be the way to go.
If you do rent a Disney stroller, since there will be loads of them parked at each stroller parking station, make it easy to find yours so you (or someone else) dosen’t walk off with the wrong one!
Tie a balloon around the handle!
Wrap a bandanna or scarf on it!
Make a super cute sign so it’s hands off, this doesn’t belong to you! (I like to put my cell number on ours)
Just remember to be as careful at Disney, as you would be anywhere else, and don’t leave your valuables behind!!
Click here to read a previous post on keeping your belongings safe at Disney.
The good news is though, if your rented stroller does get taken by accident by another family, you can get a replacement for free. (Just hang on to your receipt!) The same goes if you are park hopping, just leave your stroller at Magic Kingdom, then pick up a new one at Epcot.
Still not sure if you want to bring your own, or rent? You can go here to read about our criteria of what makes for the perfect Disney stroller along with some helpful tips!
One last tip...when you pack your ponchos, buy few extra to have as stroller covers. It’s much nicer not to have your stuff (or your kid!) rained on!
You can go here, to read about the BEST ponchos for your trip!
We've got an awesome, FREE printable packing list for you to use next time you want to add a little Disney to your trip. Print out out for each member of the family, and you could even print out one more as a to-do checklist before you leave the house!
Click on the picture below or above to download! Printable will open in a new window, then right click to save, or just print directly.
There are more printables coming soon, leave a comment if there is one i particular you would like!
Everyone has had that kind of vacation before, the sort where nothing goes right. You can read about ours HERE and while some things like injuries or illnesses just can't be planned, there is nothing like having a vacation go wrong because of something YOU have done and could have prevented. No one wants that! You've worked hard to save and go, so why ruin it for yourself? I admit, #5 is too easy for me!
Here’s our top 5 ways to ruin your Disney vacation.
1. You Arrive Late
After sleeping in and a leisurely breakfast, you finally load up and head to the parks. The gates opened at 9, but it's a Saturday, or maybe a random Tuesday. Everyone else is sleeping in, or at work, right? You pull into the parking lot around 11am and plan to stroll around and jump into that headliner ride everyone's talking about. Maybe you'll even ride it a few times before lunch at noon.
You pull in, surprised at how many cars are already in the parking lot. It takes longer to get through security than you thought, and by the time you finally make it to the ride you wanted to go on, the wait says 120 minutes. How did that happen?
It happened because experienced park goers know that you can do more, and ride two to three times more often in the first few hours of park opening that you can almost the whole rest of the day. That means, the lines are shorter, the crowds are less and around 11am, that's when the people who slept in late, maybe had a longer drive, or are planning a late night at the park arrive.
2. You Have No Idea What You Want To Do
It's 10am. You've done that must do ride, in fact, you did it twice because the line was so short, but now, you and your friends can't agree on what you would like to do. Mary wants to walk around and see what catches her eye, while Jeff wants to do everything in Tomorrowland before moving on to Adventureland. No one can agree, and as you start walking in circles, the line that was only 30 minutes long on your last lap through Fantasyland is now 60. In fact, all of the lines are so long now, no one wants to wait in them, so you keep walking around, hoping to find a shorter line, but you can't. Finally, you all get so frustrated, hot and tired you leave the park, around 2pm, feeling like it was a waste of time, and money because all of the lines are way too long and you only got to ride one ride. It’s not fair, and Disney’s a their of money and time.
You get on the bus to go back to your resort with the same family you rode over with, but they are laughing and happy, talking about all the rides they did. How is that possible? Didn't they see all the ridiculous wait times for the lines? Yet, they did so much! How did that happen?
It happened because while you started off right, knowing what you wanted to do, from there you couldn't agree on what to do next and didn't really have a plan of where to go and when. That time spent arguing and aimlessly wandering, hoping to find a short line only made the lines longer, and you feel more frustrated. A plan, even the most basic of plans, can make sure that you go from attraction to attraction, without long lines and frustration.
(Need some ideas? You can go HERE to check out our FREE Animal Kingdom touring plan, and follow the links to the other parks for more FREE touring plans, as well.)
3. You Don’t Eat/Drink Because It's Too Expensive
It's well after lunchtime and the everyone is hungry, but that Mickey pretzel your kids wanted was $6! No way! Nevermind it could feed two of them. You'd love to sit and take a break in the air conditioning at Cosmic Ray's, but it's $10 for a burger and fries, plus the drink is $3? How is it everything is so expensive? Meantime, you get crankier and crankier, everyone's out of energy. People are complaining, and tired, hot and thirsty. Someone gets dizzy from the heat, and you have to stop off at the first aid clinic. There are loads of people walking around eating, drinking, not caring they are spending way more than you think they should. What a great trip, huh? How did that happen?
It happened because going into a theme park of any kind, you know prices are going to be a little higher. There are a lot of ways to still stay fed and hydrated and keep your energy levels up without calling on your inner Scrooge. Disney will let you bring in your own food and drinks! Load up your backpack and cooler, you can read about that HERE or maybe you should be on the Disney Dining Plan, where all of your food and drink is prepaid, so you get a better deal! You can read about that HERE . It's important to stay hydrated, you don't want to get Sunstroke, but if theme park beverage prices are too much for you, bring your own and save hundreds with this one tip!
4. Expect Pixie Dust
The person in front of you gets an extra pair of fastpasses. Your friend just two hotel doors down got extra towels, some of them even made into cute shapes. In the food court a woman is giving out stickers to just about everyone. What's going on? You are with your kid on the Trisaratops Spin at Animal Kingdom, and when the ride is over, they let a woman and her baby stay on without getting back in the line. Later, you are waiting outside of the restaurant you booked six months in advance at 6am. You've been waiting 20 minutes and they still don't have a table. Someone walks up, and asks it there's room for their group of three. They go in, and you are still waiting. Angrily, you demand to speak to the manager. You've paid the same as everyone else, so how come YOU aren't getting this special treatment? How come YOU are having to wait? How did that happen?
It happened because Pixie Dust is the little extras that Disney's Cast Members sprinkle around. It's going to be random, and there's no way you can "make" it happen to you. Pixie Dust can be an extra fastpass, maybe a Mickey Ice Cream bar, a button or stickers! The towel animals in your hotel room, extra soaps and towels, or maybe even the pin that someone gives your child. Disney always, always is giving out Pixie Dust to someone, and it really does make you feel special, but you can't expect it all the time. In your hotel room, even if you leave a tip (read more about tipping HERE) you can't expect to get towel animals, or your bathmat turned into Minnie's bow. There are so many different people working at Disney, and so very many guests, while I guarantee that you will truly feel like a special guest at Disney, you might not get Pixie Dust sprinkled on you, and if you do, it might not always happen how you want. The best way to have Pixie Dust happen, is to be polite. Be a good guest and remember that most of the people you are talking to are just like you. They work hard for a small salary. They are trying to help tens of thousands of people have a good vacation, cleaning up endless piles of soggy towels, dirty toilets, and other stuff. If you genuinely have a problem, then talk to someone calmly, and try and get it fixed. They want to make sure you have a good experience so that you enjoy your vacation and come back one day, not leave angrily. Also, treat others kindly, because when you do, you'll find your trip is much more enjoyable, with, or without Pixie Dust.
5. Don't Rest
It's nearly 3pm and you've been going strong since the Extra Magic Hours started at 8! Last night you shut the park down at 11pm, and you are on a roll! Tired? Heck, you've got no time for that, you've got Disney Magic in the air, water in your backpack and a whole lot of get up and go! The others are starting to wilt, begging for a break to sit down, but not you! You shut the park down, third night in a row then at 6am the next morning, try to get out of bed, only to find you just can't drag yourself out. What's going on? You've got to get that bus! All you need is a little coffee maybe, but you can't even roll over to get out of bed. How did that happen?
It happened because even Superman needs a break for a while! Ever wondered why he's Clark Kent most of the time? Being a superhero is hard work! That's a LOT of walking, and even the most trained athlete is going to need a break. Theme parks are sneaky, it's deceptive how much you can walk in a day, usually more than 10 miles (put a pedometer on your phone, you’ll be shocked!) and if you aren't giving yourself rest now and then, while you might be doing good for a few days, at some point your body is going to protest, and force you to stop like it or not!
So you’ve read our top 5, are you guilty of any of these? Have any other ways you think could ruin a trip? We want to hear about them!
This Spotlight Sunday I'm telling you my favorite two tricks to make your dream vacation cheaper!
Do you know the fourth Ferengi rule of acquisition? Never pay retail. Remember that! Even a special deal from Disney can be improved on.
Trick #1 Disney Gift Cards
Make sure you are getting the Disney gift cards that can be used ANYWHERE, not just at the Disney Store.
How will the Disney Gift Cards help you save?
Because you’ll be buying them for at LEAST 5% off.
Target classifies it’s Disney gift cards as “entertainment cards” not, “gift cards”. Using a Target debit card, or Target credit card, when you buy a $100 Target gift card, you’ll actually be paying $95. Use that for your tickets, or resort, your food, and souvenirs, and you’ve got a fancy little discount that other’s don’t know about. 5% right off your vacation cost. Sure, it's not huge, but on a $4000 trip, that extra $200 can buy a lot!
It gets better though!
In the fall, near Black Friday, Target also does a one day Target Gift Card sale of 10% off. Buy those Target gift cards, turn them into Disney gift cards...10% off, easily.
Watch for other gift card deals at grocery stores, every now and them I will see $5 off a $50 gift card, pair that with a 1% cash back reward from your credit or debit card, that's a great deal!
Trick #2 Get some free money!
Who doesn’t like free money? I know I love it! that’s why I use a few things like Swagbucks to earn points that I can trade in for gift cards to apply towards our trip. Loads of people make $100 or more a month, I average around $10 a month when I apply my lazy self, without spending a dime, but that’s all going to Disney money! If you aren’t part of Swagbucks already, you can use my referral code below to start off with extra Swagbucks.
Right now, they even have a QR code you can scan at Best Buy to get $5 in points credited to you, on top of one point per dollar, then whatever percentage your credit card would give you. Go in, buy a $50 Disney gift card, and you'll save 13% on it...!
I also got the Disney Chase Visa two years ago, because they GAVE me $200 on a gift card, (though it looks like now for some people it’s applied as a credit on your account,) when I spent $500 in the first 3 months, PLUS I get 1 point per dollar that they load onto a Disney Gift Card I can cash out anytime over $10. You also get a 10% discount on Disney stuff at the Disney store, or in the parks. If you want to check it out, you can use my Disney card referral, and get the same offer. (I do get the points equivalent of $25 as a referral bonus)
There's one more great way to get free money! Do you ever buy groceries? Ibotta is a free app you put on your phone that gives almost instant rebates on groceries. I don't use it all the time, but in the last year, I've gotten about $200 back in gift cards! A lot of times you get offers for something completely free, after the rebate. Recently, I got 20 packages of 6 count fun sized Caramel M&Ms FREE after the rebates that popped up a few minutes after I bought and scanned my receipt. Those are going to be great treats for Mr. Disney Magic's students and coworkers!
Sign up now, and get a $10 bonus! You can cash out once you get to $20, and it won't take you long to get there! (I will get a $5 bonus also if you signup)
It's little tricks like this that you can find, that will make your Once Upon A Dream trip come even sooner! There are loads of great money savings apps and sites... what else do you use?
Are you like me? You get to your hotel and realize you forgot to pack something really important. I think the worst was a few years back, when I didn't realize my toddler was "helping" when I packed. Every time I packed something for my oldest, the youngest would pull it out it when I turned around. The result was we got to our hotel, and my oldest had no pants, or shorts or in the suitcase and the youngest stood there giggling at my panic. That was not a very fun late night trip to the nearest Walmart in an unfamiliar area with a very picked over children's section.
Despite the occasional adventure like that, or those little things I always inevitably leave behind, there is one thing that usually goes into the suitcase first. Sunscreen.
You know you'll need your sunscreen at some point, Disney doesn't have a lot of shade at it's parks, and it won't take long for the sun to start baking you, but I've got 5 not so obvious reason's that you'll want to pack your sunscreen before you head to Disney that you might not have thought of!
1. Sunburn makes you feel so much hotter!
Ever noticed that when you have even just a tiny bit of sunburn, you feel so much hotter? Who wants that, when you are already spending you summer in a southern state? It's hard sometimes to make yourself take a break when there's so much great stuff to see, but trust me! You'll feel a lot worse with sunburn! Stop and put it on at least every 2 hours.
2. Sunscreen costs way more at Disney
One trip, I thought out 2 bottles for a family of 4 would be enough. It wasn't, so I ended up getting some while at Magic Kingdom. It was at LEAST 50% higher than what I had paid at Target. I bought it anyway, it was important we had had it, but now, I always pack at least 4 bottles, because with sales and coupons, I can usually get the brands and style we prefer, for much less than retail.
3. You might not find your preferred style or brand of sunscreen
We usually are a Banana Boat family, but that day at the Magic Kingdom, the only thing for sale, was Coppertone Baby, and I had no idea how the family's skin would react (I have two very sensitive skinned boys) and there was only a choice of the lotion type, no spray or sticks. Luckily, they did okay, but if you know for a fact, like we do, that there is a brand that will give you a rash, or make you burn even if you've applied it, make sure you are packing your favorite!
4. You're going to use more sunscreen than you think
If you really put on your sunscreen every 2 hours, you really are going to use more than you think, especially if you use the spray sunscreens. This is part of why we ran out so quickly, I think. It seemed like every time we tried to use the spray, the wind would start blowing it anywhere but on us, and I swear, half the bottle was gone the first day just because of that. Now, we use spray for the legs, and lotion for the face, neck, ears and arms. No eye stinging, (because it will hurt terribly, with spray) and the sunscreen gets on you, instead of the person nearby.
5. Disney sunscreen isn't at Disney!
Disney sells the plain sunscreen. It's not super cute, it's just plain functional, which is great, but if a little ahead of time prep (and yes, fun shopping for your trip!) can add a little more Disney in your day, why not do it? Check out these AWESOME sunscreens, all available RIGHT NOW at Target (maybe other stores too, but that's where I just got ours). These will put a little Disney into wherever you are, and whatever you are doing this summer! Hey, I'm not above suggesting to my wiggly 5 year old that maybe if he wears the superhero sunscreen, maybe he'll soak in some super powers!
No matter what type of sunscreen you use, just make sure to reapply it! It won't do you any good if it's in your backpack, and not on you!
Do you have any Uhoh no sunscreen adventures, or other packing mistake stories to share? I'd love to hear them!