This is a common debate in the the amusement park world, to stroller or not to stroller. Full disclosure, I do not have children. Most of the posts about this topic are from people with children so let’s explore this from a different perspective.
As far as parks go, Disney has the stroller thing down pretty well. You can rent strollers and park in a designated area for many of the rides. When I visited last week I was with a group of friends that still seemed irritated having to walk around strollers and someone mentioned not to even have them in the park. This got me thinking. I don’t have kids so no strollers would benefit me and free up A LOT of space in the park but then again, Disney is mostly for children. Let’s explore both sides of the discussion.
The reasons they should be there are pretty obvious. Children require a lot of stuff: snacks,change of clothes, diapers, toys, etc. Carrying all that would be hard on anyone. Kids get tired. Even I sometimes wish I had a stroller to sit in and be pushed around when I’ve been at the park for ten hours straight. Some kids can’t even walk their first time there so it’s either a baby carrier or a stroller. There is also a safety aspect. A little human is much safer from being knocked over or accidentally hurt by a mob of people while in a pram. It also helps little Jenny from getting lost. Big crowds make it really easy for a kid to ninja vanish. If Jenny is in the stroller in a congested area, she is going to be a lot easier to keep track of.
Then you have the other side of the argument. Why do people bring kids that can’t be out of a stroller in the first place? They won’t be able to remember any of it. The kid won’t be able to do anything to really enjoy the park. Prams create even more clogging and take up valuable space at the parks that could be used for other attractions. Have you seen the stroller parking areas in the parks? They are ridiculously packed. I’d be worried of people stealing from them if I had one. If Fox Mulder taught me anything, it’s trust no one. Do the pros really out way the cons? A buggy seems like a lot of extra work with having to park it then find it while the child might not even really be experiencing the park. Baby pushers can also be a hazard to others when they roll over a foot or jam into the back of an ankle. That hurts. Also, do you really need that big of a stroller? Are you pushing a man baby? It seems these things have grown twice in size in the last 10 years. If it’s that big, it better have a phone charger and movie player (that’s actually a good idea). While the park is a very big draw for children, adults are a big source of the visitors. Especially with people waiting long and longer to have kids, adults going with friends is a pretty common thing.
I think strollers are a yay and pretty necessary for parents. Being a parent is hard enough, let’s cut them some slack and understand the importance of these multi-wheeled child mobiles for them. This doesn’t mean that we need to cater everything to them though. As stated earlier, Disney has spent a lot of time and money on making their parks stroller friendly while thinking of the non-stroller visitors. There could be more stroller-free zones or designated times late at night for there to be no buggies allowed. It’s a hard discussion to maneuver but we all know Disney isn’t going to ban strollers. The more events happening like Dapper Day and the rise of adults going without children, I sense we’ll be talking about it more. We all started our love for Disney as children and while it may be annoying to walk around them or be stopped by one, remember that it’s for kids and this might be the best day of that kid’s little life so far.
There are some informative articles about helping plan a Disney adventure with strollers. Check out these tips and this other debate. What do you think? Have you had an experience where it makes you lean to one side or the other? We’d love to hear them!