Thursday, July 3, 2014

Product Review: Simple Stroller Rental

Last week, our family traveled to Disney World in Orlando, Florida for some fun at Disney World!  We knew we wanted to rent a stroller while we were there, and we knew we wanted to rent from an outside company.  We were very fortunate that the folks at Simple Stroller Rental offered to provide us with our stroller in exchange for a product review on my blog.  I am so glad we took them up on their offer.

Since P is seven, we knew he could have gotten by without a stroller, but we also thought that he might get tired in the Florida heat and wish he had a place to relax like C, and for that reason we went with the City Mini Double.  With both boys in the stroller, we were just a couple of pounds under the 100 pound weight capacity, so I definitely think I can say we put the stroller "through its paces".  C is between 42 and 43 inches, but P is approximately 47 inches tall.  The recommended maximum height is only 44 inches, but we felt like P wouldn't be in the stroller very often and thought he would be fine.  P was plenty comfortable, but it is worth noting that Simple Stroller Rental also has a City Mini GT Double available for rent if you like this stroller and have a taller rider.  There were lots of options on their website, so I'd head over and shop around if you're looking for a stroller to rent in the Central Florida area.

Simple Stroller Rental has some accessories available as well.  We were pretty lucky when it came to thunderstorms, but there were a few showers and I was glad we had a rain cover.  It fit the stroller well and kept everyone {and everything!} inside dry.  The parent console was definitely a bonus.  Mama needs a place for her drink, and my phone and extra backs for pin trading also hung out there.  We chose to purchase the damage waiver, and while I'm glad we didn't need it, it provided some peace of mind.

I mentioned earlier in this post that we knew we wanted to rent from an outside company, and we had two main reasons for that decision.  In no particular order, our reasons were price and ease of transporting tired and hot children.  I'll break it down for you:

PRICE:  It costs $31.00 a day to rent a double stroller at Disney World.  THIRTY ONE AMERICAN DOLLARS.  A DAY.  To be fair, with some research, I discovered that you could rent a stroller for multiple days at Disney World at a savings of four dollars a day, for a total of $27.00 per day.  Hypothetically, had we gone that route, we could have had a stroller for the five days we were in the park for the BARGAIN PRICE {note the use of sarcasm font} of $135.00 for our visit.  Even if we had been willing to pay a total of $162.00, we couldn't have had it on the evening we spent at Downtown Disney {on a day we didn't go to the parks}, because double strollers are not available for rent in the Downtown Disney area.  Oh, and a $100.00 credit card deposit is also required for strollers rented at the Downtown Disney area.  Simple Stroller Rental charges a $30.00 initial charge and then $5.00 per day for a City Mini Double stroller.  For us, that would have meant $30.00 initial charge, plus $40.00 {$5.00 per day x 8 days}, for a total of $70.00 for the duration of our visit.

EASE OF TRANSPORTING TIRED AND HOT CHILDREN:  Even if you purchase a Length of Stay Rental from Disney World, you have to turn in your stroller before leaving the park and pick it up when you next enter a Disney park, showing your receipt as proof that you have paid for your rental already.  This means that when you enter the park you have to carry {or walk at the speed of the slowest moving of} your children through the crowds until you get to the stroller rental, wait in line, and then retrieve your stroller.  At the end of the day, when your children are hot, tired, and possibly asleep, you have to take them out of the stroller to return it and then maneuver your entire party sans stroller to your mode of transportation back to your hotel.

We didn't have to pick up our stroller at all.  We stayed in a nearby condo, and when we checked in on Saturday, our stroller was waiting for us at bell services.  It was labeled with our name and ready to be taken to our room.  Returning our stroller the last day was just as easy.  We simply returned our stroller to the drop off point and the folks from Simple Stroller Rental picked it up.  It could not have been easier!  Our stroller was ours for eight days, so we could give the boys a ride from the parking lot to the park, and we didn't have to wait in any lines or make any stops to pick up our stroller.  This also meant that when our boys fell asleep on the stroll to the park exit, we were able to wheel them all the way to our car.  Then they slept in the car on the way to our resort and we put them back in the stroller and rode the elevator to our floor.  They hardly had to wake up - we just transferred them into pajamas and bed!

There were some other definite advantages to using Simple Stroller Rental.  Our stroller was extremely clean.  At first glance, I thought it was brand new!  It was only by looking closely at the wheels for slight wear that I could tell another family had used the stroller before.  I'm sure it was cleaner than the stroller we left at home.  :)  Our five and seven year old both said the stroller was very comfortable.  The seats were padded and reclined until they were almost flat.  C {our five year old} even wanted to bring his blanket and recline the seat "to make a beddy for me" as he rode around Disney World.  There was also a sun canopy that could be adjusted in multiple positions.  The seat straps were a five point harness and it was easy to adjust.  Honestly, our seven year old did not use the straps, and he didn't end up riding in the stroller very much, but it was still nice to know they were there, and I was able to adjust them for both of the boys.

The stroller was a great place for afternoon naps

and a perfect place for parade watching.

These are some pictures of the stroller shortly after we picked it up and brought it to our condo. You can see what great shape the stroller's in, and hopefully get an idea of the setup of the stroller.

Reserving our stroller was also easy.  The Simple Stroller Rental website was easy to navigate, and features something they call a "real time inventory tracker", which basically means that I could select the type of stroller I wanted to rent {single, double, or triple} and the dates I wanted to rent it, and they could immediately tell me what options were available.  No need to wait for them to check their inventory and get back to me.  In our world of instant gratification, that was a treat!

As a parent, I found the stroller very easy to push.  Daddy A hasn't felt well this year, so I needed something that would be easy for me to fold and unfold, lift into and out of the car, and push.  The City Mini Double definitely fit the bill!  The stroller folded up in one quick motion - all I had to do was pull the straps on the seats.  The stroller weight is listed at 26 pounds, but it didn't feel that heavy to me.  I could easily lift it in and out of the car by myself.  The front wheels swivel seamlessly.  The entire time we were in Florida, we NEVER had the stroller get "stuck" when we were moving around.  The rear parking break is foot operated, making it easy to lock and unlock the stroller without even having to bend down.  I have photographic evidence that I could have pushed the stroller {even with both boys inside it} all day and all night!

Storage was the only part of the stroller that wasn't perfect.  It was still good, but it's the only area that could even possibly be improved.  There were small storage compartments on the back of the seats, which were nice for storing little treasures or park maps and info.  The under seat storage basket was roomy, but because of the bar under the stroller seats, it took some effort to get things into the basket and the boys had to get out of the stroller for us to put things into or get things out of the basket.  That said, we were able to store a soft cooler, a green bag of snacks, and the stroller rain cover in the under seat storage.  We had room left to store a couple of smaller souvenirs too, so, as I said above, this wasn't much of a complaint!  As I also mentioned above, my seven year old didn't do too much riding, so we often had an empty seat available for backpacks and purchases.

Our stroller even made room for Frozen's Queen Elsa and Princess Anna!

We had a wonderful vacation at Disney, and it was just a little bit more magical because Simple Stroller Rental took care of some of the logistical details for us!

Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  Simple Stroller Rental provided our stroller rental for the week in exchange for an honest review of their products and services.  Hopefully y'all know me well enough to know that these opinions are 100% my own.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your great review! The kids' heights and ages help to plan for our needs. We'll be using Simple Stroller Rentals on an upcoming DisneyWorld trip, and are hoping to use the CitiMiniGT double. However, I am concerned about the width for entering doors to restaurants, shops, and maybe certain lines. What was your experience? Any problems? We are staying at a Disney Resort and will be using the shuttles, boat, and on-site transportation so hopefully it folds up well to transport along with us. Any feedback is appreciated!
    Thanks so much. Melissa