• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

4 Year Old and Not Taking a Stroller???

ada0801

Active Member
Original Poster
#1
We have been to disney several times with our now 8 and 4 year old. We have taken a stroller for the last 8 years to disney and were hoping to leave it behind because its such a pain parking it all over. Does anyone have a successful story/advice about littles without a stroller? For background information, our 4 year old has never really used a stroller except at Disney. Once she learned to walk, she was on the move. So we Zoo, Aquarium, travel with no stroller. This would be a first for Disney though. 3 day trip, Labor Day Weekend.

TIA
 

Driver

Well-Known Member
#2
Advertisement
We have been to disney several times with our now 8 and 4 year old. We have taken a stroller for the last 8 years to disney and were hoping to leave it behind because its such a pain parking it all over. Does anyone have a successful story/advice about littles without a stroller? For background information, our 4 year old has never really used a stroller except at Disney. Once she learned to walk, she was on the move. So we Zoo, Aquarium, travel with no stroller. This would be a first for Disney though. 3 day trip, Labor Day Weekend.

TIA
If she has a bad day you could always rent one at the park.
 
#3
My advice is to take more breaks then usual and bring an extra pair of shoes , with walking more kids are going to get a lot more tired. They also may run and Tire themselves out. I wish you the best of luck!!!
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
#4
For a 3-day trip with an active 4-year-old, I see no problem. My daughter's first trip to WDW was for 6 days as a "strollerless 4-year-old," and she did beautifully.

We (DH, me our 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son) would arrive at rope drop, pound the pavement for 4 hours, and then after lunch go back to our hotel for a 2-3 hour nap/rest period. Then we'd return to the parks around 4pm for another 4-5 hours, at a more leisurely pace. We took plenty of snack and bathroom breaks throughout the day, and the kids had no trouble keeping up. To the contrary, DH and I were usually having to rush to keep up with them! I think the nap break (and reasonable bedtime - we only stayed up late the last night) was really essential to keeping everyone refreshed and energized, and we were so glad not to have to deal with the hassle of pushing a stroller around.

I think the parents of 4-6 year olds who swear by strollers tend to be the "touring commandos" who are engaged from morning until late at night without any significant breaks, "kitchen sink club" folks who like to use the stroller as a mobile locker, or else they simply have kids who are a little small for their ages, or who have other physical issues that prevent them from walking a few miles in a day.

I also second @Efig8594's advice on footwear. Good sneakers and/or hiking sandals (e.g., Keens, Tevas, etc.) are a must -- no skinny flip-flops or plastic princess shoes. Like Lieutenant Dan told Forrest Gump, the first priority is to take care of your feet! ;)
 
Last edited:

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
#5
When my daughter was 4, we went to SoCal and went to the zoo, wild animal park, Sea World, and Disneyland. Plus a beach day. She did not want to sit in the stroller and so she walked the whole time. No issues at all, in fact she slept really good. LOL We just took more sit down breaks and I made sure she had plenty to drink and eat. We did away with our strollers once they turned 5 anyway and never had any issues with trips that were over a week. Just remember that food is energy and so feeding them more often with decent food will keep them going all day, no problems.
 

Sneezy62

Well-Known Member
#6
Just got back from a trip with our petite 5 year old. Her little legs kept up quite well. I tried to plan things to minimize walking...no unnecessary cris crossing the parks and made use of in park transportation where possible like taking the friendship boat across world showcase lagoon and walking back. Also used the railroad to get back to fantasyland, working back to front. Pedometer still clocked 12 to 15 kilometres a day. She only climbed into daddy’s shoulders at Epcot but we clocked about 22 kilometres that day as we went early and stayed through Illuminations.
 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
#7
We don't use the stroller because our 4yo DS can't handle the walking, rather we use it to keep him nearby. Strapping him in while going through security, crowds around fireworks time, etc. He is getting heavy, so carrying for long stretchs at a time just doesn't fly. Same thing for nap time, he can konk out in the stroller without us straining our backs supporting him for an hour. If he didn't rest, and was a little less adventurous/fearless, then he could go for a reasonable day without a stroller. I'd say it comes down to how much confidence you have in your ability to carry your little and manage everything else as necessary.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
#8
Following along because our DD will be just past her 5th birthday when we go to WDW this spring. We took a stroller when she was 20 months, but we only really used the stroller for when she napped in MK and when we were waiting for the parade, fireworks, and bus. Most of the time it was parked and she walked or daddy carried her. (But we were only in parks for 2 days that trip. This time we have 6 days of park hopper and the luxury of taking breaks.)
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
#9
Does a 4 y/o technically need a stroller? No. That said, WDW parks entail a LOT of walking/standing. I'd be prepared to take it real slow, with breaks (breakfast, lunch, snack, even back to the resort) and shorter days overall (they're not doing rope drop to close with you). As mentioned, you could always rent a stroller.

What I might suggest is bringing your ultra light stroller and maybe leaving it in the room. If you need it, it's there.
 
#12
3 days with a 4yo would tempt me not to. My cut off is 5 anyway. At 4 we rarely used it in a 7 day trip, so I don't think its a must. Also by 4 what we brought to the parks was limited so storage wasn't as needed.
 

pjkdog

Well-Known Member
#14
Yep factors. How your kid is and how you as a family tour. I am 6ft3 so my walking pace can be tough for little ones, over the years I have gotten better at slowing down and smelling the roses so to speak which helps kids keep up. That said we cover way more when we have the stroller. It's a nice option when they get tired or even I'd we want to jsyt take a walk around with a coffee or drink they can relax in the stroller. One other plus I get a little more of a workout pushing the thing.
 

disneygirl76

Carey Poppins - Nanny and Disney Enthusiest
#15
We have been to disney several times with our now 8 and 4 year old. We have taken a stroller for the last 8 years to disney and were hoping to leave it behind because its such a pain parking it all over. Does anyone have a successful story/advice about littles without a stroller? For background information, our 4 year old has never really used a stroller except at Disney. Once she learned to walk, she was on the move. So we Zoo, Aquarium, travel with no stroller. This would be a first for Disney though. 3 day trip, Labor Day Weekend.

TIA
In November, my 4 1/2 year old son and I took a two week vaca to Disney. I brought an umbrella stroller with me on the trip, but I did not use it and bring it to the parks every day. If I knew we were park hopping or coming back to the resort or something like that, I would leave it behind in the room. But some days he needed it. I was very glad to have it on the days we needed it. It was a lot of fun to go stroller free, but I liked having the option. We have a Summer umbrella style with an extra large basket so we could easily slip our back pack in and out of it when getting on and off rides. Have a magical trip!!!!!
 

disneygirl76

Carey Poppins - Nanny and Disney Enthusiest
#16
We have been to disney several times with our now 8 and 4 year old. We have taken a stroller for the last 8 years to disney and were hoping to leave it behind because its such a pain parking it all over. Does anyone have a successful story/advice about littles without a stroller? For background information, our 4 year old has never really used a stroller except at Disney. Once she learned to walk, she was on the move. So we Zoo, Aquarium, travel with no stroller. This would be a first for Disney though. 3 day trip, Labor Day Weekend.

TIA
I just went for 2 weeks with my 4 year old - a mommy/son, then family trip. We had our umbrella stroller. We did not use it every day. It just depended on what we were doing that day. We have a 3Dtote® Convenience Stroller which is great bc it is easy to fold on handed, has a strap to carry, light weight, and had a great basket for our back pack. I have had my big stroller broken on an airline and at 4, he was too big for that one. So I got this umbrella stroller with this trip in mind and I was very happy with it. And very happy to have it when we needed it. Have a magical trip!!!!!
 

ada0801

Active Member
Original Poster
#17
3 days with a 4yo would tempt me not to. My cut off is 5 anyway. At 4 we rarely used it in a 7 day trip, so I don't think its a must. Also by 4 what we brought to the parks was limited so storage wasn't as needed.
We went for 10 days just this last year and I felt like I was just moving an empty stroller from one parking spot to the other. But when she was ready for a break, man it was nice. Being free from it sounds so tempting.
 

ada0801

Active Member
Original Poster
#18
We are normally touring commandos, but this is a surprise trip just to take them to MNSSHP later this year. We want to make it as relaxed as possible at Disney. The idea of going back to the room sound actually perfect. They want to SWIM every time we go to Disney. So maybe a 30 min swim break and nap would be just what she would need.
 
#19
We went stroller free for the first time with the kids when my younger one was 4 and were fine. I know we took a few extra breaks just as a precaution, but the reality...it's not non-stop walking in most cases. Longer rides and shows also help a lot from wearing everyone out. All in all, it was so nice and liberating to be stroller free.
 
#20
I think a stroller is must. Also it's a great place for storage and bags while doing rides and shows
This is why I don't mind the stroller at all. Even if the kids want to walk some of the time, the amount of stuff you can put on/in it is definitely worth it. Especially how much stuff we accumulate in the parks when grandma and grandpa are buying the kids basically whatever they look at.. :banghead:

My youngest is 2, so we've got a while before we can think about not taking it anyway.
 
Top Bottom