We did it! We surprised our oldest princess for her 6th birthday with a much-desired trip to The Most Magical Place on Earth – yup, DISNEY WORLD!!! It has been months of planning and conjuring up the greatest birthday present (and surprise) for my Raquel, who deserved this trip and so much more.
Currently my husband, Dan, is stationed with the Air National Guard in our Nation’s Capital. He has been there while we’ve been here in NJ for 23 months. Yes, 23 months… it feels that long too! Raquel has been an absolute God sent for me. Her sister, Charlee, was born a month after Dan left so it’s been the “3 Musketeers” for 22 months. Raquel has stepped up to the plate and done everything for me, for her sister and for our family. Things aren’t always easy for Raquel going through this roller coaster of seeing her daddy on the weekends then back to life without him but she puts on a brave face and does “Raquel” to get through the week. Dan and I couldn’t be more proud of her and thought, what better way to thank her for being herself, being resilient, always reminding me God is the boss and to rely on God for everything, than to take her to Disney World!
There was a lot of planning – geez, it never ended! I’m a list girl and love to plan every detail. I obsess over the plan until it’s done and then on to a new event to plan. The planning started with the resort, dinning reservations, FastPass+, the stroller, rental car, matching outfits for each day, our meal plan (grocery list), what we were doing on our down day and mapping out each ride we were going to do!! Whew, there was a lot of planning. My coworkers saw me each day, during every spare second, in my “Disney Notebook”. One coworker asked what I was going to do with all my free time once Disney was over?! Haha – I happily told her I’m planning a gymnastics weekend for Raquel’s state competition a week later : )
One item I planned for that I originally didn’t give much thought to, was a stroller rental. I’m a mom of two and we have 5 strollers! Yes, they all have a purpose and I use them, haha! Not really sure if my husband knows we have that many. I did sell a double stroller that was a front seat/back seat deal (that was #6) – I knew that would be a fight as to who sits where. (I saved myself multiple battles right there).
We own the BOB Revolution Flex Duallie stroller and LOVE it!! My biggest concern was traveling to the airport with 3 adults, 2 kids, 3 large suitcases, 2 carry-ons and backpacks for everyone WITH the double stroller in my car. Not to mention the 75lb Labrador we needed to drop off at the kennel prior to “GiGi” pick up! I have a Ford Edge, so it’s big but not full size SUV or mini van big. Even if I could have packed it in the car, the airline “baggage guys” don’t exactly take care of strollers and luggage the way I would. From experience, I watched my brand new stroller for my 12 week old baby get thrown onto the conveyor belt from the storage area underneath. If that wasn’t bad enough, her car seat base was tossed and scrapped the same way so bad that chunks of plastic were missing. After retrieving my stroller and car seat base, I saw the DAMAGE they had done that was to carry my most valuable possession. Seriously, it’s used to carry an infant and keep her safe, not a bag of clothes that can withstand a little roughness. This article is not a dig at airline baggage workers, but if you’re reading or your wife is reading – pass the message along that car seats are meant to keep babies safe!! Thanks : ) Now we use the “airplane” (single stroller, from 6 years ago) to get everywhere when traveling and keep the good ones at home! It’s mangled and rigged in all sorts of ways (so much that I’m the only one that knows how to open and close it!), but it has made airplane trips from New Jersey to Ohio, Florida, Indiana, South Dakota, California, Colorado, Mexico a few times and will continue to travel the world with us as long as it has four wheels!
On this special trip to Disney, I didn’t know what to do about a stroller because I couldn’t rent the HARD non-reclining Disney Stroller for two kiddos – AGAIN! That was horrible for my Raquel, when she was 18 months old, on an impromptu trip to Disney for 1 day. This momma has learned, promise! Not to mention, it was an expensive piece of plastic to rent. I began asking friends what they did, looked online at a bunch of different stroller rental companies that had what I was looking for. I knew I wanted the cheapest price but I wouldn’t compromise what I wanted because my kiddos would be in the stroller for days.
After crazy research of stroller rental companies, I found the ONE! Simple Stroller Rentals! it was super easy to look online for the BOB Revolution Duallie stroller I wanted and to see if they had any with their real time inventory for the dates I needed. I was able to reserve the BOB Revolution Duallie stroller (exact one we have and love, minus “Flex”) with a couple clicks and that was it! Shocking right?? No, seriously – it was that easy and I got the confirmation just as fast. Too good to be true? Not really – it really happened that way.
Since the BOB Revolution Duallie stroller is a costlier product, I’m assuming that’s why it costs a few more dollars to rent; it really wasn’t bad at all. There was a $45 initial charge, $5 each day (for 8 days), it includes the Parent Console free and the Rain Cover $10. I got the rain cover – it’s Florida, are you really going to believe it’s sunny all the time and doesn’t rain? Spend the $10, it’s worth it. I opted to purchase the Optional Damage Waiver for $20. Just in case anything was to happen, I know how much these double BOB’s cost, I wasn’t trying to buy another one! Again, spend the $20 for your own sanity. We are always looking for ways to save just like every family, but as a MILITARY family, we save 10%....woot woot! MILITARY DISCOUNT 10%. The money you spend on renting a stroller from Simple Stroller Rental is worth it and I will definitely rent from there again!
The morning of our trip, I got a text message that our stroller had already been dropped off. The next morning we were headed to Magic Kingdom, we just needed to pick up the stroller from our “main building” – it was delivery and ready to go, Super Simple! Guess that’s why they are called Simple Stroller Rental. Once my hubby strolled it out to the minivan, I checked it over – it was super clean! Dan remarked, “It looks brand new!”. He was spot on, it was clean, and in perfect condition, up to my standards! In my opinion, if I’m putting my kiddos in it, it better be spotless and no remnants from others because that’s gross!
~Like how clean this stroller is?!~
Our trip was great with the BOB Duallie; I’m used to the big stroller. We couldn’t go smaller or more confined like the City Mini Double that so many rental companies offer. It’s not us and I sure wasn’t going to experiment during our visit to “The Happiest Place on Earth”! My oldest just turned 6, no she doesn’t need a stroller but honestly, she’s six, needs a little more space to feel comfy and it comes in handy. She will sit, nap or I can just keep moving when I need to do something fast and don’t have the time to let her move at her sloth like pace. When she wasn’t in the stroller, I would use her side for my backpack, cooler bag and sometimes GiGi’s backpack. There were times when both girls were in the stroller and we had backpacks and the cooler on the front, not to mention rain cover and ponchos underneath!
~Chars and her Cinderella’s Castle Wand~
~Raquel will sleep anywhere but Charlee FIGHTS it!
Finally, she gave in. My Sleeping Beauties~
~Rain Cover is a MUST! My babies needed to be dry~
After a week of a great vacation, it was time to return our stroller. Protocol was the same as pick up. Dan dropped it off in the “main building” where we picked it up, and someone from Simple Stroller Rental came to get it. Doesn’t get much easier than that! Simple Stroller Rental thanks for making our stroller rental easy and enjoyable. I’m a momma that suffers from anxiety over every little detail. Everything was taken care of with no stress from me about the stroller! Praise the Lord!
Don’t forget to make your rental stroller stand out! We used a giant HOT PINK bow and a Minnie Mouse shaped tag that I hung on the handle bar with our name on it. The sea of black strollers are everywhere – but there’s ours! Can you find it?
Face it, we’re moms doing everything and trying to do the best for our kiddos, why reinvent the wheel when this momma already did the work for you??!! Just use Simple Stroller Rental and move on to the next detail to make your Disney trip perfect!
Momma Karla allowed me to write for her blog – Thanks Girl!!
***I received a free week of stroller rental in exchange for an honest review of the company and stroller.***