There are a lot of things that guests do that cast members absolutely hate. Not just hate, despise. Things like utilizing selective hearing when being told instructions and safety guidelines, asking what time the 3 o’clock parade is, and yelling at cast members for absolutely everything.
All those things aside, the most annoying this that guests do is abuse their stroller privileges by parking them where they don’t belong, running them over people, and using them as a moving nap mat for their middle schooler.
If you want to survive your Disney trip without being reprimanded by a cast member or getting your stroller and all of your valuables stolen, study this stroller guide. Every single person working or visiting the parks will thank you.
Know Who Belongs in a Stroller and Who Doesn’t
A stroller is not a rolling bed for anyone who feels like napping or is sick of walking. A stroller is meant for small children who can’t walk, can’t walk for very long, or any child who isn’t in elementary school. This isn’t just because it is annoying to look at, but it can break your stroller due to weight restrictions and potentially hurt your child, whose legs are most likely going to be dragging the ground since they are way too big. If you’re older kids are really tired, pull over and take a break on some benches, grab some food, or go on a ride to let the legs rest.
Practice Folding Up Your Stroller Before Entering the Park
This is a must, because you will need to do this often and quickly. If you are taking Disney transportation to and from your hotel, you’ll need to fold it up. If the stroller parking area is full of those huge double decker stroller that hold as many kids as a minivan can hold, you’ll need to fold it up. Not knowing how to do this will result in losing your place in line if you are going on an attraction, potentially missing a bus, or just general frustration as you start spinning your stroller in the air looking for the release buttons. Even if you just practice folding and unfolding your Disney rented stroller outside the park entrance, getting familiar with your stroller before merging into the crowds of guests will be a lifesaver for you.
Be On the Look Out For Proper Stroller Parking Areas
You will be tempted to park your stroller anywhere you see an open space. Do not do this. Not only is it a hazard because you’re probably parking it in a walk way, but a cast member or random stranger will most likely move your stroller to an appropriate stroller parking area or steal it all together, resulting in chaos and lost valuables for you when you exit a ride or restaurant. Stroller parking lots are usually easy to spot, because there will be a big sign or a whole bunch of strollers piled up with a sad looking cast member organizing them. Feel free to ask a cast member where a nearby lot is if you can’t find it on your own. It is way better to do this and park it right the first time and save yourself from potential theft or a half hour of running around the park looking for your rental stroller.
Stroller parking in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom
Do Not Let Children Push the Stroller
This is how strollers with children inside end up rolling into bushes or down hills. Pre-teens and teenagers are fine to be trusted with strollers, but anyone shorter than the stroller should not be pushing it. It may look cute, but they can’t see where they are going and are more likely to end up causing injuries for themselves, the child in the stroller, or innocent passersby. (Side note: This also goes for wheelchairs. You don’t want one of your vacation memories to be waiting for a cast member to come fish your grandmother out of the bush she fell into when little Johnny lost control of the wheelchair.)
Always Keep Track of Where You Leave the Stroller
I don’t care if you hand crafted your stroller yourself, there will be at least ten others in the stroller parking lot that look just like yours, so remember where you park it every time. Even better, and a colored ribbon or name tag to your handlebars so that you can pick out your stroller from a crowd. This may not sound like a big deal, but after fighting through crowds of people for a week and leaving your stroller all over the place, you’ll start to have a hard time determining which kids are yours let alone which stroller is yours.
Do Not Leave Any Valuables in the Stroller
Take everything that is valuable, like phones, wallets, and keys, with you on every ride. If you are going on a ride that you are afraid you might lost your valuables on, throw them in a bag so that you can use the bag holder found on almost every ride. Cast members may park your strollers for you, but they are not responsible for any lost or stolen items, and they probably won’t even remember you when you get back since they interact with so many people a day, so they wouldn’t be able to tell you when happened to your items.
Push the Stroller with Appropriate Speed
It doesn't matter if your FastPass is about to expire or your reservation time slot is almost up, you are not in a drag race, so stop running with your stroller. You’ll be even later when you crash into people, tip over the stroller, or trip and break your leg. Better to be late and explain your situation to cast member who will 9 times out of 10 take your word for it and get you on the ride or in the restaurant anyway than to risk breaking your neck or throwing your child out of the stroller.
Last But Not Least, Remain Calm
Just like you shouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car when you’re angry, you shouldn’t get behind the handlebars of a stroller when you’re angry, stressed, or so tired that you start swerving in and out of Main Street. Take time to rest or swap pushing shifts with another adult so that you don’t get burned out, because stressing about your stroller is no way to spend your vacation.