35 answers

5 Year Olds 1St Time to Disney World

Hi moms,
In April we will be taking our 5 year old daughter to Disney World for her first time. My husband and I have been there many times before she was born so we know what to expect as far as walking, lines, weather, etc.
My question is, she is 5 years old but still gets tired of lots of walking. We are staying at a Disney Resort and are getting the park hopper pass so we can come and go back and forth as many times as we like, but is it worth bringing a stroller? She still takes naps and I'd hate to be stuck with a cranky tired 5 year old having to carry her around. Also, she's a bit on the taller side of most 5 year olds so we have to take that into consideration.
Are the park strollers worth it? Should I even bother bringing our own?
Any advice, tips and tricks from your own experiences are welcome.
Thanks moms!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the responses! I got amazing feedback. So, I called our airline and asked about strollers and they said they are no extra charge to check them on the plane, so instead of taking the chance of the park running out of strollers, we are just going to take an umbrella stroller from home. So excited to go! We are counting down the days!
Thanks Moms!

Featured Answers

To cover all bases...I would bring her stroller. She'll be excited...there is no predicting how she'll deal with it all...so go with the flow and deal with things as it happens...
enjoy....

Hi J.! How exciting to go to Disney!! We just went in October with a 6 1/2 year old and a 4 1/2 year old (loved it so much are going again in June!!).. We did not bring a stroller as my kids haven't used a stroller in a couple of years; however, we ended up renting a double stroller everyday ($30/day for double, $15 for single). The strollers are really nice; plenty big enough for a taller child (my kids are both on the tall side)... If you have a stroller that she is comfortable in, I'd say bring it to save you money...
Have a great time!!!

Yes, the park strollers are completely worth it. I rented for my 5 year old last July and was very glad I did. I found it easier to maneuver than the ones I broought with us when she was younger. It also did a better job sheilding the sun/rain.

More Answers

Hi J.,
I highly recommend the strollers that you can rent there. But rent a double. That way you have room for your daughter, and any things you have(cooler,towels etc.)My family and I had done that everytime we went there. Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

It is absolutely worth bringing your stroller or renting one if you can afford it. The first time we went to Disney, both of my children (at the time ages 4 and 6) used the stroller. It is also convenient to have a place to store drinks and snacks. We actually packed lunch each day and brought it in a back-pack. Often we fed the kids while waiting on line. It also saved us a good deal of money to bring lunch and snacks and my kids probably ate better food. If you want some grown-up time, I would encourage you to look into the outings planned by the Grand Floridian (you don't have to stay there to your kids participate). Our kids did a pirate adventure one morning and cooking with the characters another morning, while we enjoyed a lovely breakfast at the hotel.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
If she's a napper, then I'd take my own stroller. The one's in the park don't recline and are very uncomfortable to sleep in. At least your own, she can lay back some. Don't forget, if you're doing character meals, you need to book them NOW. Most only take reservations 90 days in advance. Another piece of advise that we do (we go every Nov), we UPS our snacks, water bottles, extra package of wipes, etc right to the hotel and it's ready for us when we arrive. It's a heck of a lot cheaper then taking it on the plain or packing it in your suitcase. If you're going to bring an umbrella stroller, look into UPSing that also. One less thing at the airport. Also, request a fridge in your room. Tell them you have meds that need to go in there. They don't ask any questions & that way, you'll be able to put your waters/juices in the night before to get cold. Another thing, take her to the Bipity Bopity Boutique (Downtown Disney). THE BEST! The 1st year with my daughter, we bought Ariels Wedding dress there. Very expensive. The following year, I got smart. I bought Cindarella's dress at the Disney store, MUCH CHEAPER. I snuck it in our suit case, hung it in the closet the night before we were to go, put a note on it from Santa and made her get me something out of the closet. She nearly passed out when she saw it. It's definately an experience you'll never forget. Worth every single penny spent seeing her smile and my tears because they come out looking just like a princess. Don't forget the video camera for this one! Good luck and have a blast!
J.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
Disney, Disney, Disney! We got every 3 years with my entire family (13 of us). My son is 7 and last went when he was almost 6, almost 3 and in my belly! 4 and nieces and nephews older than him so I've got lots of disney advise if you need it! Always stay at the park (good choice) so you can rest back at the room if you need to, get the park hopper so you can go wherever, whenever, and I suggest the meal plan.
Disney has strollers, they cost a little, but if you just want them for the park and for an older child, they're perfect! With littler ones that need transport out of the park as well, you need to bring it.
One thing that was a pain our last trip was bringing his car seat. As soon as you're off the plane, you go on a disney bus, so no need there and it's an extra carryon on the plane, which was a hassle. As long as you're just doing Disney...don't bring the car seat. Make sure if you get a ride to the airport you have one that can stay behind.
I have a boy, but make sure you're little girl does a princess meal (we did the princess breakfast in Epcot) my son didn't like it of course, but I enjoyed being with my nieces! Oh, and the Bipity Bopity Boutique too!!
If you need any other advice, please ask!
E. K.

1 mom found this helpful

YES!!! bring a stroller or use the parks...it is worth the trouble...unless you want to sit down somewhere on a bench and take breaks. but yes, we brought one and our kids ended up taking turns in it...even my 8 year old!!! :)

My husband and I just returned from Disney World ourselves with our two children ages 3 and 5. We had strollers for them and my 5 y/o who usually does not want to sit in them did for the majority of the time we were at the park. I would recommend just purchasing a cheap umbrella stroller from a local store rather than paying the high price at the park. This way you don't feel like you are out alot of money by purchasing one and then you can make the decision to leave it behind or bring it home. Have a great time and don't forget to bring a camera, pen and autograph book for all the characters to sign. It will be something she can look back on for years to come!!!

Girl, the park strollers are truly worth it! Been there went through the same skepticism before myself. Consider the fact that Disney makes accomodations for older people who cannot walk with ease throughout the entire park, your daughters' height would not be an issue. Have a great time!!

Hi J., I would rent a stroller there they are easy to handle and have plenty of room for all of the stuff you made need for her. Also a park hopper pass is the best option. We took advantage of the early/late hours at the parks and planned are schedule around the hours of the parks. You can find out what the park hours are right on the website. A little planning goes a long way for less hassle and stress.

I have been to disney twice with my kids and have rented the strollers there. They offer you a deal for multiple day rentals and even if you park hop you just bring your ticket stub and get the stroller at the next park. My kids walked some of the time but enjoyed being able to sit when they were tired. We are going again in October and I plan to rent the strollers again. Enjoy your trip your little girl will love it.
Sherri

Hi, J., just back from Disney with two 6-year-olds. They were wonderful about walking all day--adrenaline, probably--but we were there during off-season; thus, no real lines.

My advice: Bring a lightweight umbrella stroller, yes. OR, since you're staying at a Disney property, go back there for lunch and some rest; then go back to park and stay a little later.

Have fun! We sure did.

You can and will need to rent a stroller there. It's cheap enough to get over the days you'll have it and you don't have to schlep one around.

Also, if you haven't already IMMEDIATELY call Disney Dining and arrange for your princess breakfast in Epcot and any other character meals you might want to do. I recommend doing breakfast and lunch only, because by dinnertime, they are so beat and exhausted nobody really enjoys it.

M.

PS We have been twice, so if you have any other questions, feel free to email me offline at ____@____.com.

I would definetly bring your own stroller. Your stroller probably reclines and has more privacy, so your little one might even take a nap in there if she is tired enough. The park rentals are expense and not very comfy for the child plus not very easy to navigate for the parents. Plus, with your own stroller, you can store all your stuff in there right from the parking lot.

Hi J.! How exciting to go to Disney!! We just went in October with a 6 1/2 year old and a 4 1/2 year old (loved it so much are going again in June!!).. We did not bring a stroller as my kids haven't used a stroller in a couple of years; however, we ended up renting a double stroller everyday ($30/day for double, $15 for single). The strollers are really nice; plenty big enough for a taller child (my kids are both on the tall side)... If you have a stroller that she is comfortable in, I'd say bring it to save you money...
Have a great time!!!

Definitely bring your own stroller! It is much more convenient. Also, the park strollers are hard and will not recline or be comfortable for a nap. You can just park your own stroller in each park and then go back to get it when your child gets tired. We brought our own and were soooo happy we did. Have a great time.

Hi. I would recommend renting the park stroller. They are heavy duty, larger tires, easier to move around in the park. This way you can leave it at the park, and not have to carry it back and forth to your hotel. We've been there twice with the kids found this to be the best solution. Also, the lines to drop off and pick up the stroller were not an issue. Have a great time!

Definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY bring your own stroller. Renting is SO expensive there now -- it is so not worth renting anymore. They doubled their prices last year from the year before. There are plenty of places to park your stroller while you're on rides, and its so much easier bringing a stroller if your child may get tired. They are also great for carrying around all your stuff :) :)

Go with the park stroller...my son was 4 when we went and it worked out, no crying, no complaining, plus you can store your stuff in it, jackets or whatever. If you're going to be at 1 park for more than 4 hours I would rent it. I think you can even pay 1 price for the week now.

Remember you have to pay for the park strollers it was $8 last time I was there - you can take the 'card' they give you out and bring it back with you should you leave and come back to the park but it may be easier to just bring the stroller with you in case they run out of strollers - I took an umbrella stroller that folds up so it was easy to carry..

Good luck and have fun.

We were there in OCtober with my 4 1/2 year old (tall as well). Since I also had a 3 month old I rented a double jogging stroller from www.abbf.com It was great to have it with us for when we went to Sea World etc. And it was definitely a life saver on those long days. And it certainly isn't as hard as the park strollers - especially if your daughter still naps. We just put a blanket or towel over the strollers and the girls would nap comfortably. Have fun!

Whether you use your own or rent one from the park is up to you. Both options are good, and having a stroller is well worth it! If you bring your own, I wouldn't bring an expensive stroller in case someone "mistakes" it for their own.

The only other Disney advice I would give is to do the character breakfast at Chef Mickey's one day. It's a good way to get your daughter's picture with a lot of the characters and get their signatures instead of waiting in long lines throughout the park.

Have fun!

I would totally recommend the stroller in the park. My son was 4 1/2 when we went and having the stroller was definitely the best. They are pretty big and when he wasn't in it, it held stuff we didn't want to carry. And we were so happy to not have to lug our stroller with us.
Hope that helps!

Hi J.,

I am a sahm. I have two little girls age 5 and 2. We just went to disney in Oct and stayed at the Polynesian. It is so worth the money to stay at a disney resort and the park hopper is great. Also worked out well to have the meal plan. If you are able to it is a great experience to have lunch in Cinderella's castle (need to book in advance)My 5yr old can't stop talking about it...its the memory of a lifetime. Also..don't forget to pick up an autograph book at one of the gift shops..It's fun for a 5yr old to collect different character autogarphs. As for your question ....definitly bring your stroller !!!! You will be waiting in the airport for some time and you bring it directly to the door of the plane and they check it for you and when you get off its right there waiting. My 5yr old wanted to sit in the stroller more than my 2yr old. So worth having it with us. Good luck and have fun.
J.

YES YES YES. Well worth a park stroller. You will get so much more out of your vacation! Speaking from experience. long days, lots of walking and she will crawl right in it and fall asleep. This way, hop over to Epcot and you and your husband can enjoy the older attractions, etc. Have a great time!!

Hi J.,
I am sure your 5 year old will have a wonderful time! My youngest was also 5 the first time we went. He was past the stage of napping and we no longer owned a stroller or considered using one. I waited to go there until we wouldn't be dealing with things like strollers. If our son got tired of walking, my husband would just put him on his shoulders. If your daughter still has a specific naptime and you have the parkhopper pass, you might consider going back to your hotel at naptime and then setting out again when she wakes up. A lot of parents do that - even if their child doesn't nap, but a chance for a rest and a cooling off in the pool. We didn't do that ourselves - we were out in the parks from 8:30 a.m til around 10 pm every day, never saw the hotel pool. But if I had only one child and they napped, that's probably what I would do.
Good luck and have a wonderful time!

I say go and find a travel umbrella type stroller your daughter can fit in. When we went with our two oldest and they were just 2 and 5, my husband just wanted to take a stroller for our 2 year old. I told him I was concerned about having to carry a sleepy or sleeping 5 year old. He said rent the stroller at the park. Our then 5 year old was very tall for his age. He still is. At 8 years old he comes up to my arm pits and weighs 90 lbs and he is not chubby. He is just tall. BTW, I am 5' 7".

Anyhow, I went and tried strollers with the boys and got a side by side umbrella-ish stroller. We stayed at a resort as well where the first day out we were able to take a boat to DW. That first day I was SO thankful I got the stroller I did. He sat in it throughout the day though not a lot but by the time we left the park I could tell he was exhausted. While waiting for the boat, he climbed in and fell asleep. I had brought a soft pillow like the neck ones which helped support his head and he slept on there until we got back to our room. Again, with him being such a big boy even then, I can't imagine if we had had to carry him!

Good luck and have fun!

Added: BTW, I am surprised at those who said bringing a stroller was a hassle. Orlando's airport is BIG. We took our stroller with us and used it in the airports. Even if he didn't want to walk, it was a place to put our carry ons and left us to hold his hand or whatever. It's great having your own stroller if you are trying to get from bathroom to gate or gate to metro or whatever and you are trying to move quickly. If I was trying to speed walk, I'd put both kids in the stroller and book. They thought it was fun and I wasn't stressed because we could only go as fast as little legs could take us. Umbrella type strollers don't take up much room.

We took our son right after he turned 3 and again after he turned 4. The park strollers looked like they were good as everyone had them, but we didn't get one. We had park hopper passes and just didn't want to deal with it. Our son walked a lot and when he got tired he would ride on my husband's shoulders. My husband and I had been there many times before he was born, so we took everything at his pace. We did less, saw less, went on the same rides over and over and had a blast!

To cover all bases...I would bring her stroller. She'll be excited...there is no predicting how she'll deal with it all...so go with the flow and deal with things as it happens...
enjoy....

Hi J.,

I took my 6 year old and my then 2 1/2 year old to Disney this past summer and let me tell you I am so glad I brough my (double)stroller not only were the kids able to rest but any packages I bought had a home. I also always pack a snackbag with snacks/water/juice etc. That also fit nicely in the stroller. I also bring a backpack with extra cloth for all because you know how that goes. Plus I think the park strollers cost between $6.00 - $10.00 a day and are only good in the themed parks , you can't take them to downtown Disney. My husband did not go with us this past trip and he thought taking the stroller on the plane was going to be a hassle but let me tell you it was a life saver. Hope that helps. D.

Yes, the park strollers are completely worth it. I rented for my 5 year old last July and was very glad I did. I found it easier to maneuver than the ones I broought with us when she was younger. It also did a better job sheilding the sun/rain.

Keep in mind that for a 5 year old, Disney World is just as much fun as the kiddie-park in town. My advice is not to spend a ton of money at this age, which is very easy to do at Disney (unless you do it for yourself and your husband). She will really enjoy the park more when she's 10-12. At age 5 they can't really go on most of the rides, and many of the shows are a bit scary of them (i.e. Indiana Jones show, MGM car stunt show, etc). I was just in Orlando in Nov--many of the hotels now have activities every hour all day long (for both kids and parents). My kids loved it (they are 8 and 10). Do take your stroller--the parks are large, and you will do a LOT of walking. HAVE FUN!

I say take your stroller if you want to avoid paying $10 per day to rent one. I was just there with my three kids this past August, my littlest one being 4 years old. We didn't bring his stroller bc we were staying at the Grand Floridian. For the most part he was great for walking. I rented one for Epcot in the evening and Animal Kingdom for the whole day. If you don't mind paying for one, then leave yours at home.
Fortunately its not as hot in April as it is in August. Plan your day according to the times the parks stay open late. If you can start your day later and enjoy the pool first, I recommend it highly. If the parks close early, start your day off early, plan to be there the whole day, take lots of breaks and head back to the hotel for pool time. Disney World posts their calendars in advance so that you can see what parks open early, stay open late and have extra hours. Have fun most of all.

Our son was 5 when we brought him, same situation re: walking. We used park strollers when neccessary & found it to be super convenient. There were times when he surprised us by how far he could go before wanting to hitch a ride (adrenaline works well in kids too!), but at the end of our outings, it was preferable to have him in the stroller than having to carry an overtired 5 year old all the way back! BTW, we structured our days with a good breakfast at the resort, park in AM, lunch in the park, hotel for afternoon swim/cool down-quiet time (we went in July!), back to a park in late PM/evening for dinner and fun until park closed or too tired. It worked out well for our son and us. Have fun!

definitely bring the stroller. i went with a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old. the 5 yr old rode in it more than the younger one! I brought an old very light one that i had. Since it was old if it got stollen, broken by the airlines etc i wouldn't care as much.

J.,
Sounds like you answered your own question. Bring the stroller. Find a strap you can drag it with or just plan on putting everything you need (coverups, sunscreen, extra shoes, etc) on board until she is tired.

Good luck,
M.

My son just turned five and this may will be his 7th trip to disney. He is also taller then most his age and very energetic. We always bring an umbrella stroller because at some point he tires out and wants to sit, not to mention when it is crowded he finds it easier then getting bumped around in the crowds. We have gone with the intention to rent the strollers they have but you really have to get to the park first thing or they run out. There is a store when you first walk into magic kingdom on the left that sells umbrella strollers should you go there without one and decide to get it there. I find it is also helpful to bring a stroller with us just to put all the stuff you either buy or bring with you. Have fun!

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