One of the biggest controversies is older children using strollers. How old is old? Who knows? For some people, three years old is too old. For other people, older is the 9 and 10 year olds they see in strollers.
Jack is 5 now and this is the first time we took a heavy-walking trip without a stroller.
It went pretty well. I've never seen that kid walk so much. I'm guessing he walked about 2-3 miles a day. I enjoyed not having a stroller. It's easier to talk to him when he's not in a stroller. We also didn't have to worry about him having a long nap and then not being tired enough for bedtime.
On the other hand, we did have to carry him a lot. We rarely carry him anymore in our day-to-day life, but the amount of walking we did was too much for him to keep up with. I carried him a little bit, my husband carried him more. We're in relatively good physical shape. But what if we weren't? What if we had back problems? Then a stroller would be very helpful.
I think it's wrong to judge families who use a stroller at Disney World. Who knows there situation? Just because a child is sitting in a stroller, it doesn't mean they don't get exercise in other ways. Or they might have already walked 2 miles that day.
The child might have some kind of behavior-emotional issue and it helps to keep them in stroller. Jack used to feel more secure being in a stroller when there were large crowds.
And the parents might not be physically capable of carrying the child. And I think Disney World has too much walking for most children to keep up with. I've heard the average amount of walking per day is something around 10 miles...or more. If there is no stroller, many parents are going to end up carrying the child.
Anyway, I feel our family is ready to give up the stroller...at least for Disney World. Still not sure about our trips to NYC. But I don't think there is any reason to judge families who choose to use strollers for older kids.