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So why weren't there many strollers back in the day?

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
I don't want it to be a big argument as there are people on either side of the debate who are strong willed about it. But we'll stick with strollers because in my opinion a lot of the debate about scooters is that we've gotten fatter and lazier over time and it has become normal (yes there are genuinely handicapped people who need it today and in 1971 of course). But let's keep it to strollers.

Old pictures pop up and just like today there were kids at WDW. I went in 1991 but was old enough to be out of a stroller (I was 10). I know full well there were kids when I went too. Families and such were all around us. But looking at old pictures not only is the park less busy, there are clearly tons of less strollers. So what do you think changed? To me it is kids being as lazy and obese as they have ever been and parents being as lenient as they've ever been. Which is a bad combo. We went in November 2017. My kids were 6, 3, 18 months. The only one who was in the stroller was the 18 month old. Our three year old is pretty light and at the end of the night she just slept in my arms for the final hour (even through Haunted Mansion). So if we didn't have our 18 month old there would be no stroller at all for us. Our kids can walk just fine. Plus it is a nuisance parking it and un-buckling a toddler over and over.

We probably are going in October of this year. This means my kids will be 7, 4 and 2 and a half years old. Chances are I am going to go without the stroller (there are other family members who will likely stay back at the resort and gladly take the youngest for the day). Even with her though, I am thinking of going without it. It likely won't be needed. She'll be bigger by then, that's 7 months. It was such a pain in the neck getting the stroller collapsed and up into the tram taking us back to our car.

Anyway, that is my take, so what is your take? Without getting into a battle with each other, what is the main cause for the spike in strollers in the parks? Is it just more families, lazier kids, enabling parents, a younger crowd than years gone by?
 

FettFan

Well-Known Member
#2
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I don't want it to be a big argument as there are people on either side of the debate who are strong willed about it. But we'll stick with strollers because in my opinion a lot of the debate about scooters is that we've gotten fatter and lazier over time and it has become normal (yes there are genuinely handicapped people who need it today and in 1971 of course). But let's keep it to strollers.

Old pictures pop up and just like today there were kids at WDW. I went in 1991 but was old enough to be out of a stroller (I was 10). I know full well there were kids when I went too. Families and such were all around us. But looking at old pictures not only is the park less busy, there are clearly tons of less strollers. So what do you think changed? To me it is kids being as lazy and obese as they have ever been and parents being as lenient as they've ever been. Which is a bad combo. We went in November 2017. My kids were 6, 3, 18 months. The only one who was in the stroller was the 18 month old. Our three year old is pretty light and at the end of the night she just slept in my arms for the final hour (even through Haunted Mansion). So if we didn't have our 18 month old there would be no stroller at all for us. Our kids can walk just fine. Plus it is a nuisance parking it and un-buckling a toddler over and over.

We probably are going in October of this year. This means my kids will be 7, 4 and 2 and a half years old. Chances are I am going to go without the stroller (there are other family members who will likely stay back at the resort and gladly take the youngest for the day). Even with her though, I am thinking of going without it. It likely won't be needed. She'll be bigger by then, that's 7 months. It was such a pain in the neck getting the stroller collapsed and up into the tram taking us back to our car.

Anyway, that is my take, so what is your take? Without getting into a battle with each other, what is the main cause for the spike in
strollers in the parks? Is it just more families, lazier kids, enabling parents, a younger crowd than years gone by?

Far too many people reproducing.
 

crxbrett

Well-Known Member
#3
It's a combination of things I think. More people now days. But also think it is because strollers are used as a storage space/moving locker now. Where as before they were pretty much just a way to secure a little kid. Strollers now days are like mini SUVs. lol

Also, I think a lot of parents now days are guilty of just putting there kids in strollers since it is easier for them. Don't have to keep an eye on them as much and don't have to make sure they are constantly holding your hand.

I also notice parents now days let kods use strollers til they are 5 or 6, even 7. When I was a kid, my mom & dad stopped bringing the stroller once we were about 3, maybe 4.

It's a sign of the times unfortunately. As a whole, society has become more lazy and self-centered since those pics were taken in 1991. Sad but true.
 

Starlight67

Well-Known Member
#7
But also think it is because strollers are used as a storage space/moving locker now. Where as before they were pretty much just a way to secure a little kid. Strollers now days are like mini SUVs. lol
Haha! Great point...the 'umbrella stroller' of the mid/late 70's was small and convenient! No cup holders, no shopping bag carrier, no phone charger built in. :)cool:). Yeah, it was a little top heavy when the child was in it. I remember my brother leaning forward and tipping the stroller (with him buckled in!) upside down a couple times. But yeah, it was sure easy to use and control. And my brother is fine-lol! If you got bashed in the ankle by one it would be just annoying, not cause a gash in need of 23 stitches.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
#8
I'm wondering whether back in the day strollers (or prams as we call them) weren't made to be folded up and put in cars? There definitely were far less of them when I was a kid 40 years ago.
this. No way was I going to lug that huge bus I had for a stroller when my kids were small and they really didn't fold very easy.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
#9
Btw, go on Youtube and watch Widen Your World's videos from '89-'97. It is eye-opening. Way less strollers, zero scooters, no obese people, not nearly as many overweight people and zero obese kids.

Just as an example, watch this video of the Dreamflight line from '92. Dreamflight queue - Feb '92
I went in the 80s and 90s and, I can tell you that with my own eyes there were obese people. Heck I traveled with more than one in my family. Obese children were more rare but still there. Especially in the mid to late 90s, as time has gone on I've seen more obesity but it didn't just creep up since the 2000s. I saw this video and maybe your mind is skewed but I saw quite a few overweight people in that video. Some that I would label as obese.

I think we see more strollers now for a few reasons. First there are more people there - period. Also people tend to push their kids beyond the limits now. Back when I went as a child, we did't go "commando" all day every day or even close to that. It was still a vacation, not a marathon. So now they "need" strollers to keep going for 16 hours straight.

People are also a little more soft on their children. They think they cannot handle walking as much as they do.

I get the feeling that our double stroller was more of a pain than current ones (3 kids in 3 years and 1 parent at times meant we had to have one before we walked well). By the time we went to Disney when I was 5 we were well beyond strollers. We used the same mentality for my own. At 4 we brought one but we were at Boardwalk so a longer walk to Epcot and such. We often parked the stroller and didn't use it much once in the park. Now people think 8 year olds with no issues should have them.
 

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
#10
There have been several good points made already. I'll add one more.

The age distribution of the typical WDW Guest was different back in the day.

I recall there being significantly fewer preschoolers at WDW back in the day, fewer children of stroller age. 8 to 14 year olds were much more prevalent than 1 to 7 year olds.

I'm guilty of this. Being a lifelong WDW fan, my DW and I were excited to take ours as soon as the youngest was out of diapers. At that age, a stroller was a must.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
#12
There have been several good points made already. I'll add one more.

The age distribution of the typical WDW Guest was different back in the day.

I recall there being significantly fewer preschoolers at WDW back in the day, fewer children of stroller age. 8 to 14 year olds were much more prevalent than 1 to 7 year olds.

I'm guilty of this. Being a lifelong WDW fan, my DW and I were excited to take ours as soon as the youngest was out of diapers. At that age, a stroller was a must.
I think this is a huge factor. My first trip was at the age of 4 in 1975. At that time it was almost unheard of to take a kid that young. The whole "They won't remember anything" seemed to be regarded as scientific fact back then.

Times are very different now. I had zero reservations about taking my youngest on her first trip at 10 days old back in 2001.

One other factor that might be involved too it simply the cost of a WDW vacation now. With the price of a 5 day ticket for a child being around $400, parents plan trips while thier kids are young enough to get in for free, hence more stroller-age kids.
This is a big one too. Adding that 3rd kid to the equation was a serious financial shock when my youngest hit 3. That added a 5th AP, we had to upgrade to the moderate resorts, and dining became nuts as I somehow managed to have a toddler that liked steak, sushi and lobster more than chicken fingers.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
#17
The stroller problem at MK is literally insane. I spent a day at DLP this year and I spotted ONE DOUBLE STROLLER and it was a family that had a set of twins. Americans are addicted to strollers (especially double strollers). I saw more kids walking in Europe and around DLP then I ever have in America.
Europeans definitely don't do strollers like Americans. Kids walk their way around their world from as early as possible and continue to do so through school and into adulthood. Sure, kids take a bus to school if it's further away but just as many walk or ride a bike. The smaller, more quaint towns make a walking lifestyle easier, but even in the bigger towns and cities, bikes are the next preferred option, if possible. Look at Amsterdam; perhaps an extreme example but even in Germany - bikes are everywhere.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
#18
Back then life was different. For one thing we didn't bring kids to theme parks until they were old enough to walk, use the bathroom, eat regular food and communicate with words. It was almost never even considered. My wife and I set an age of at least 6 years old. Mine were 6 and 9 when we went. They had strollers for rent back then, but, as I say the times were different and my kids would have been insulted if we had suggested a stroller. They did not consider themselves babies. There weren't any scooters because they basically hadn't been invented yet. Can't use what doesn't exist and there probably were fewer "obese" people because we didn't ride in strollers until we were teens. And without the scooter they just couldn't negotiate the parks as well. It was then, as it is now, a hell of a lot of walking. People with real problems in mobility simply stayed home with a wonderfully full life of starring at four walls. They only consolation that any of them had was that someday, those that felt superior to those "fatty's" will be there as well. If not overweight then some other thing, arthritis, injuries, whatever will make them feel shamed when trying to enjoy life while others looked at them, snarl and uttered words like fat and lazy.
 
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