For 3 straight years, I visited the resort with a stroller. From a big, giant clunky ride to a rinky-dink umbrella stroller. Every time I struggled to get the stroller into the tram, I wished for the day that I didn’t have to come to Disneyland with a stroller. In the middle of your Disney day, trust me, I know it’s convenient but at the end of the day, it’s when it seems heavier and bulkier than ever. Having an annual pass made it easy to come and go to the parks and the thought of dealing with a stroller seemed more and more unrealistic for me. Now, I’m talking about taking a stroller for a toddler who can walk and handle their own. Not a little one who still needs to nap and feed in a stroller.
During one trip to the parks, I decided it was time for my kids to learn to walk the parks. No more strollers. No more taking turns to see who gets to sit in the darn thing. I braved Disneyland without a stroller. My son was about 4 years old and my daughter had just turned 3. I told them that in order for us to spend some time at the parks, they would have to learn how to walk the entire time. Off we went and much to my surprise, my kids did well. Sure, we paused and took breaks every once in a while but it was wonderful not having to deal with a stroller. We went straight for the lines without having to park the stroller. Same when we got out of the ride, we walked out and went our merrily way. It was wonderful. Well, until about 2 hours into our visit. By then, the complaints started rolling in and the tiny meltdowns of tired little feet gave way to sitting any little chance they got. Little by little they got used to the walking until I finally got rid of my strollers. If you are a regular visitor to the Disney Parks, here are some tips to help you and your kids ditch the stroller:
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1. Let’s Walk 1 of 5Make it a habit to make your toddler walk around the park. Even for a few steps or from one ride to another.
2. Your turn to push 2 of 5If crowds are light, have them push their favorite Mickey plush doll in their stroller. Also, if they do get too tired or if you feel that they just can't handle the walking, rent one stroller and have the kids take turns walking ... or sharing in my case!
3. Park it and leave it 3 of 5Park your stroller in the middle of whatever land your are in and walk to every attraction that you plan to visit, within that land. For example; If you're in Fantasyland, park the stroller somewhere around King Arthur's Carousel. That way you can hit the 8 attractions that are located around the carousel.
4. Reward the effort. 4 of 5Walking for a while it tough for the little ones. Especially during the first few tries! Don't reward with a toy from they park (trust me, you'll regret it!). Better yet, reward them with something yummy to eat like a pineapple slice or a Mickey pretzel.
5. Just do it 5 of 5When you feel confident enough to leave the stroller at home or in the trunk, head to the parks and don't look back! Enjoy your new found freedom. Take lots of breaks and work around your child's tolerance. If they say they're tired, sit on a bench and catch the parade or better yet, watch a show and give their feet a rest.
See you at the parks!