Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are a major time and money saver for many travelers. But using Uber and Lyft with kids isn’t quite as simple. Babies, toddlers, and younger kids need car seats to ride safely! Ridesharing services rarely can provide those. Luckily for families, however, Orlando is one of the very few cities in the country where you can request a car seat with your Uber. The Uber Car Seat service is definitely worth understanding for families visiting Orlando with kids of car seat age in tow.
I’ve taken both Uber and Lyft extensively around Orlando, Florida for the better part of a decade. And my kids and I have used the Uber Car Seat offering when we take family Disney World vacations. We have learned a lot from our tests and trials over the years. Here are the essential details you need to know about Uber Car Seat around Orlando and Walt Disney World.
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Uber Car Seat Orlando Basics
So what exactly is Uber Car Seat in Orlando? Orlando was the 4th city added to Uber’s pilot program to provide car seats in a limited number of destinations in 2016.
The program initially launched in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, when the service was called “Uber Family.” Only Immi Go car seats were used. Orlando was added not long after, allowing drivers a choice of several car seat models. Uber Car Seat never launched more broadly, leaving just these very few cities as the only places in the country where you can order up a ridesharing vehicle with a car seat included.
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How to Request Uber Car Seat on a Walt Disney World Vacation Step by Step
There’s nothing special you need to know to find Uber Car Seat in Orlando. If you can use Uber, you can use Uber Car Seat. On the Uber app, simply log on and enter where your destination and pickup location on the first screen. On the second screen, a variety of car types will appear. Swipe down to toggle among them all to see the prices and passenger counts for each.
In Orlando, options will usually include both “UberX Car Seat” or “UberXL Car Seat.” Look for the little icon that looks like a baby in a slanted seat. Sometimes Black Car Seat is available as well. Select one and use Uber the way you always do from there.
(If you are new to Uber, see my guide to Lyft and Uber with kids with more detailed app use instructions.)
Pricing is clearly visible on the app, but expect to pay $10 more over the regular pricing for either an UberX or UberXL for the extra addition of a car seat. Given how inexpensive Uber still is in Orlando, the service still remains extremely price competitive even with the car seat upcharge.
Important Concerns & Caveats for Uber Car Seat Orlando
As much as I like the service, there are always a few caveats parents need to know about and consider before using a service like Uber Car Seat.
Just as with any car seat that is not your own, you will not know its history – whether it has been in an accident, whether it has been properly maintained, etc. I would say that if you are comfortable using a rental car seat from a rental car company, Uber Car Seat is certainly at least as safe. But it is your call as a parent to make, just like any other calculated risk in life. Judgment free zone here (because I know car seats tend to bring a lot of parent judgment!).
I have grilled Uber Car Seat drivers during rides to get the inside scoop for concerned parents to help you make an educated passenger safety decision. One told me that the process for becoming an Uber Car Seat driver definitely required quite a few hoops to jump through, so that was reassuring. Our driver had to buy a new car seat that was one of several specified models (he had a Graco but I didn’t notice the exact model). He had to send in photos of the seat both outside and inside the car to demonstrate compliance and to show that it would fit in his vehicle. So, at least there is somewhat of a hurdle for drivers to clear.
Another hurdle to consider is that you may not be familiar with how to install the car seat in question. Your driver may not know either or have the required documentation on hand.
That said, as a parent of 2 kids who has installed a dozen plus different car seat models in my day, I never have had an issue with proper installation with the models we encountered. One driver actually put the seat in the car for me and buckled the belt through the belt path, while I adjusted it for a tight fit and locked the belt off. It was easier than several of the heavier and more complicated models I have back home.
One Car Seat Only
Additionally, be aware that the Uber Car Seat service in Orlando also only works for families with one child of car seat age. There are no cars available with two or more seats. So twin parents or parents of kids close in age need to take note!
Florida law only requires that children be in car seat or boosters up until age 5 so it is a more lenient state than many. That said, many parents strongly prefer their 6, 7, and 8 year olds in a car seat or booster. If this is your situation, I’d suggest bringing along a space-saving booster like a BubbleBum or mifold if you have an older child.
Potentially Longer Waits
Another question most families have is whether an Uber Car Seat will even be available to them when they need it without a long wait. I have usually been relieved to find very reasonable wait times and availability the vast majority of the time.
I logged onto the app at different times on several different days and found that I could expect a 7-8 minute wait for an UberX but only a few minutes more for an UberX with Car Seat – often 12 minutes or so. Not enough of a difference to make a difference.
In my subsequent monitoring of the service, I essentially have never seen a situation when a wait for an Uber Car Seat is any longer than 15 minutes. The bottom line is that the service is fairly reliable so we have never been stranded. That said, expect greater demand over popular school holiday periods like spring break, summer, and especially the holiday season. And whenever it rains – all bets are off!
Babies and Rear-Facing Car Seats
Finally, one other concern of note is that Uber Car Seat Orlando may not necessarily always work well for infants. One car seat model we personally experienced was a Graco convertible car seat that I’m fairly positive could be installed rear facing with younger infants, but there is no guarantee of a rear facing car seat as far as I know.
In short, your miles may vary when it comes to safe transport of younger babies. The same goes for older children who may be too big for certain models that drivers may have. Kids ages 2-5 years old appear to be the sweet spot for Uber Car Seat in Orlando.
Frequently Asked Questions about Uber Car Seat Orlando
Where Can You Find Uber Car Seat in Orlando?
As you might guess, Uber Car Seat in Orlando is often the most available with the shortest wait times around Walt Disney World. But you can find the service in other places in Orlando reliably too! I’ve spotted it with regularity around the Universal Orlando Resort and Sea World as well.
Pickups at the Orlando Airport are a little more of a mixed bag. There are (admittedly rare) times when you may not see an Uber available in your app with a car seat option. This is most true if you are arriving very early or quite late at night. More commonly, you may see that a smaller UberX isn’t available with a car seat but larger or specialty cars that cost more have it.
The bottom line is that if you must have a car seat, you can’t always count on Uber Car Seat for your rides from MCO. So consider alternatives if you can’t be left in a pickle. See my complete guide to flying to Walt Disney World for more information.
When is Uber Car Seat Orlando Helpful or Useful?
Having trouble figuring out where and when this service might actually come in handy? A lot more than you might realize – especially if you’ve never taken an Orlando vacation with young kids in tow.
On our first experience with the service, my family took Uber Car Seat from Port Orleans Riverside to the Polynesian on our way to a character breakfast. As Walt Disney World experts know, using Walt Disney World transit from hotel to hotel is a very time-consuming process that requires a connection on Disney transit. Uber Car Seat gave us a huge time savings, as we could safely go direct.
What Types of Cars are Available with Uber Car Seat?
As mentioned above there are several types of cars you might see in the app. These include:
- UberX Car Seat: Seats up to 4 passengers, least expensive choice
- UberXL Car Seat: Seats up to 6 passengers
- Black Car Seat: Seats up to 4 passengers in a luxury black car
- Black SUV Car Seat: Same as Black Car Seat but vehicle is guaranteed to be an SUV
Are Booster Seats Available?
Uber Car Seat Orlando only provides standard convertible car seats. If you have an older child ready for a booster seat, unfortunately there is no way to request one, although I’ve seen the occasional Uber driver over the years have a booster on hand. If your child is booster ready, I highly recommend purchasing the BubbleBum which is small enough to carry in a purse or backpack or store in a theme park locker.
What Are Alternatives to Uber Car Seat in Orlando?
If you are looking for other ways to get around with young kids on an Orlando vacation short of your own car, what are the safe alternatives to Uber Car Seat? Here are some options to consider:
- Minnie Vans: If you are traveling entirely on Disney property, Disney offers its own ridesharing service on the Lyft app. With two cars seats included and a Disney cast member driver, you’ll pay a pretty penny but it’s a very quality service.
- Sunshine Flyer or Mears Connect: If you only need a ride from the airport to your Disney hotel with kids in tow, these two services offer motorcoach transport where car seats are not required.
See my guide to Walt Disney World transportation and transit for all the offerings.
Final Thoughts on Uber Car Seat Orlando
My verdict? Uber Car Seat Orlando is a great option for families who only need to take a car service a few times around the resort area who don’t want the hassle and cost of a car rental. Here’s to hoping it continues even though Uber Car Seat service hasn’t spread into that many other destinations.
Have you taken Uber Car Seat in Orlando? What were your experiences?
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