You’re Not Allowed to Lock Strollers at Disney Theme Parks, So Instead I Do This

published Jun 9, 2023
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black baby stroller on path that has been locked by simple bike/stroller lock
Credit: Alicia Betz

My family and I have been fortunate enough to take our kids to Disney World multiple times. We’re not quite “Disney adult” status, but we know a thing or two about taking young kids to amusement parks. 

The first time we took a baby to Disney, we were frustrated to find that the parks don’t allow guests to lock their stroller to a fixed object. (Wagons are also not allowed). We spent a lot of money on a nice stroller for our baby, and we didn’t want to risk it getting stolen while it was unattended at the park. So many strollers look similar, if not identical, and while stroller theft isn’t incredibly common, it’s easy for people to accidentally walk away with the wrong stroller. (I once misplaced a baby carrier at Disney World when my twins were seven months old, and finishing out the day being down a carrier was not much fun.)

Losing or having a stroller stolen at an amusement park is not something I ever want to experience, so rather than risk it I found a hack to lock my stroller without breaking the park rules: I lock the stroller to itself. 

Curious? Here’s how I do it.

Credit: Alicia Betz

Why Can’t You Use Stroller Locks at Theme Parks? 

Many theme parks have designated stroller parking areas where guests are allowed to leave their strollers while they go on rides. The main reason guests can’t lock their strollers is because employees of the parks need to be able to move strollers if necessary. If you park your stroller in an area that is not designated stroller parking, an employee may move it to the correct area. 

At Disney specifically, cast members even move strollers within designated stroller parking areas to organize the parking and make it easier for people to find a spot. If your stroller is locked to a fixed object like a light pole or fence, they may cut your lock in order to move your stroller. 

Credit: Alicia Betz

How I Lock My Stroller to Itself

Some people pay upwards of $1,000 for a stroller; that’s an expensive product to just leave sitting in the middle of a busy park! So, because I can’t lock my stroller without having the lock cut by employees, I use a simple bike or stroller lock (like this one) to lock the stroller to itself by looping the lock around an immovable part of the stroller and a wheel (instead of locking it to another object). Alternatively, you can loop the lock through both back wheels. 

This is a fantastic solution for a few reasons:

  1. It makes it difficult to steal the stroller: While this doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility that somebody would steal your stroller, it makes it much more difficult. Rather than wheeling it around, they would need to pick it up and carry it.
  2. It helps prevent people from actually walking off with your stroller: Locking your stroller this way also helps prevent someone from accidentally walking off with your stroller thinking it’s theirs. Once they start to push it, they’ll quickly realize it’s not the right one!
  3. Crucially, Disney staff can still move the stroller if they need to: Because you haven’t locked the stroller to another object, it makes it possible for theme park employees to pick up your stroller and move it if needed. 

I’ve used this hack on multiple trips to Disney and to other amusement parks, and I’ve never had an employee cut the lock. I’ve also been thankful to know about this hack when I’ve wanted to lock my stroller in an area where there wasn’t an immovable object to lock the stroller to, like outside busy playgrounds, at the zoo, and outside restaurants. 

If you don’t already have a bike lock to use for your stroller, the $10 purchase to protect a purchase that was likely upwards of $300 is well worth it.  

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