Strollers (Part 2)
A couple of weeks ago I put out a blog about whether or not you should bring a stroller to Disney World. This time, I want to talk about how to find your stroller at Disney World. It might be a small world after all, but it sure can be hard to find your stroller in such a large park. Turns out there are quite a few ways to lose track of your stroller in these parks, so it is important to know how to find it again You don’t want to be spending precious time looking for a lost stroller when you could be enjoying the park with your family. These are a few tips and tricks we have learned to make sure you can always find your stroller and get back to enjoying the magic.
Know the System
Knowing how the strollers are stored and moved around will be the best way to quickly find yours. There are designated zones for stroller parking. If you don’t park your stroller in them then there’s a good chance a Disney Cast Member will move your stroller into one. This is how most strollers are lost. To avoid this, you want to make sure you are parked where you are supposed to park – just like a car in the real world. The only difference is instead of a ticket, you get to spend 20 minutes in the Florida heat looking around for a stroller while your child complains about having to walk.
The other way they are lost is by the stroller “attendants” or Disney Cast Members rearranging the stroller park for what will feel like no reason, even if they are parked where they go. They do this so that there is always room at the front of the parking zone for new strollers. This means they move the already parked ones to the back to make more room, or organize everything into neat tidy lines. This can cause your stroller to not be where you left it, and for you to assume it is lost. Just look near the back of the parking area and, if all else fails, ask an employee – they should know where they put it.
One of the best ways to never lose your stroller is to LoJack it. This might sound silly, but I have found that one of the best ways really is to GPS track your stroller so that you can easily find it on your phone. My friend Jess does this more often than I do, but I have used the cheaper (and more risky method) of leaving my phone in the stroller so I can use my husband’s phone to find it. This feels risky, and I always worry that someone will steal my phone. That has never happened, but it does leave me to have a little less enjoyable time as I am a worrier. The better version is to buy something built for this, which is why I highly suggest using a Tile. I’m not sponsored by them or anything (so no biased shenanigans) and I truthfully do find that this has been a very handy tool in finding my stroller. You just hide the Tile somewhere on the stroller, then use your phone to locate it on the GPS. I also suggest putting one on anything you can’t afford to lose while at the parks; like a purse, or a backpack, or your child’s favorite toy. I wish we had put one on my daughter’s favorite blanket, that could have saved us from a very not fun experience.
Sometimes just making your stroller fancy or unique is enough to help you find it. I have seen quite a few creative ideas that make your stroller stand out in the crowded parking zone. I bought the stuff you put on your luggage so you can find it at the airport, and my cousin stuck yellow reflective bike tape on his. I’ve also seen signs, and flags, and balloons, and even lights! All in the name of finding it easier, which brings us to my last point…
Out Shine the Others
Lights, lights and more lights are the best way to find your stroller after dark. Most people have a pretty good plan for finding the stroller during the day, but you also spend quite a bit of time at the parks at night. I can’t suggest it enough; use some kind of light on your stroller if you are here for a family vacation. The best way to do this is to either buy a Disney glowing necklace at one of the kiosks there (right now they have aliens from Toy Story) or buy fairy lights. Fairy lights work well because they have easy to swap batteries and wrap around pretty much anything. You can keep them in the bottom of the stroller throughout the day, taking up no space at all, and then when it gets dark you wrap them around the handles or wherever. Then you just flip them on before you leave the stroller in the parking area and turn them back off when you find it later.
Revised from my original post here.