The Walt Disney Company has now released some new rules that will affect its guests effective May 1, 2019.
The Gemma says…
Disney has reduced the sizes of allowable strollers and now bans stroller wagons. First–the stroller size. As a long-time and frequent park guest, I’ve seen the crowd sizes grow crazily in recent years. In fact, though I hate to admit this, my visits to my favorite place on earth—the Magic Kingdom—have been replaced with visits to other parks simply because the thought of navigating through a wall-to-wall sea of people, strollers, and ECVs is daunting. My own take on the stroller size limit is that it will benefit the “driver” of the stroller as much as other guests. Back in the early 90’s (and writing this as I sit at a Pop Century table right behind the big 9-0 makes it very clear that I’m talking ancient history here), 4 of the current “Mousewives” were under age 6, the youngest two being twins. We had one of the first double strollers that rode one behind the other rather than side-by-side. Even during that much less crowded era, I can attest to the ease of navigating that stroller through the parks in comparison with the side-by-side versions.
Tip: If you are an occasional visitor and don’t have a “legal” stroller, you might consider renting one from the off-site companies now providing stroller rental, complete with delivery to the resorts.
As far as the stroller wagons go, from a non-stroller driving guest perspective, I really don’t see the issue with the wagons. I mean, I can understand the need to improve crowd flow in every way possible, but to me the concerns raised on various discussion boards seem to outweigh the benefits of the ban. They do accommodate multiple children, sleepy kiddoes, and kids with special needs more effectively than the newly acceptable modes of transportation.
Personally, I would not want to be pulling a stroller wagon through crowded parks, but if that option works best for the parents and kids, I think other changes would provide greater benefit for crowd flow.
The Newbie says…
My first inclination was that the new stroller rules seemed like a great idea, but the more I heard about them the more skeptical of Disney’s actual motives I became. Is Disney actually using the rules to make a more enjoyable park day for its guests? Or is Mickey hiding something…
The new stroller guidelines state that strollers must be 31” wide by 54” long. This is a decrease in width by 5” from previous guidelines. What has people most up in arms is the fact that stroller wagons will no longer be permitted. It is worth noting that this has always been a rule, it is just now going to be enforced more strictly. I.e. no bribing the security guards at the gates with popcorn or Mickey bars.
As someone who has yet to take my child to the parks, I will say that I have had my fair share of heel scuffs from people not being able to maneuver their big ol’ 2 to 3 seater strollers. Seriously, why do they always have to run into the back of my heel? One moment I’m skipping along to Zip a Dee Do Da, the next I’m limping along with a bleeding heel. Thanks lady for not being able to steer your dang children around. So, my first thought was, “Great! Smaller strollers would mean people can easily get through the parks with them, and they won’t be running into people anymore.” However, upon reading more about the rules I see that with this addition Disney will now be renting new tandem double strollers (you know those hard tan plastic ones they have had in the past? These are more like a stroller you would have at home.)
Hmm…this seems frustrating as most people have their own strollers, which are an expensive purchase anyway, but now if their stroller does not meet the new guidelines they will have to rent a stroller within the guidelines. As someone who is a non-local, traveling to Disney is a major expense. I look for ways to save money on our vacations to The World in any way possible and the thought of having to pay money rent a stroller if my existing stroller does not meet guidelines is an extra expense that seems painful to cough up the coin for.
Collectively, we say…
Let’s “Imagineer” some other options for how Disney could spend more time and effort controlling crowd flow that may be more effective.What about:
- Stricter rules on ECV’s (think speed limits, no horns, a quick “drivers test” persons have to pass before being able to rent one). ECV’s can cause major accidents which result in extra congestion. Having stricter rules may help cut down on these pile ups.
- Designated ECV, Stroller, and wheel chair lanes separate from walking lanes.
- Opening up the backstage areas for exits during more congested times.
- Creating larger walkways or one direction walkways (i.e. if you’re walking towards the castle from Main Street U.S.A. you have to use the right side of Main Street U.S.A., if you’re walking towards the exit on Main Street U.S.A. you have to use the left side).
What are some of your ideas for cutting down congestion in the parks? Tell us what you say in the comments below! Stay tuned next week when we give our thoughts on the new ice rules!