Scooter while on rides?

DisneyPapaDeac

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 17, 2020
So I've got a still-undiagnosed issue with my right knee. MRI is Friday, and results a week from today, but it's been swollen and paid-ridden now for 23 days despite having it drained, a steroid shot and two weeks of anti-inflammatory drugs. I'm not optimistic.
Our trip is July 5-11, with four parks during those six days.
Let's say I rent a scooter to assist, whether through Disney or a third-party vendor. Probably a stupid question, but what happens to that scooter while me and my party are on a ride or in a restaurant?
 

thanxfornoticin

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
There are plenty of places to park it on some attractions and all the restaurants. Some of the attractions, you'll get off at the beginning, and cast members move it to the exit so it's waiting for you. Scores of people use scooters throughout WDW, and they will take good care of you.
 

ZellyB

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
On the rides, a CM will direct you to park it usually near where you board the ride vehicle. Depending on the ride, the scooter will be in the same location when you leave the ride or if the ride exits in a different area, the CMs will move it for you to the ride exit. When you exit the ride vehicle, you find your scooter and off you got.

For restaurants, they usually have an area that you either park it or space allowing, you just park it near your table.
 

DisneyPapaDeac

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 17, 2020
I would strongly recommend an outside vendor (DH and I like Gold Mobility) so that you have it with you to and from your hotel, as that can be quite a walk.
I would strongly recommend an outside vendor (DH and I like Gold Mobility) so that you have it with you to and from your hotel, as that can be quite a walk.
Appreciate it! We're staying off-site at an Airbnb. Just priced one out with an outside vendor for the full trip. Guess I'm just waiting on the official diagnosis on Monday before making the decision. Both my wife and my doctor recommended this already, however. Maybe I'll magically improve in a month?
 

Evita_W

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Appreciate it! We're staying off-site at an Airbnb. Just priced one out with an outside vendor for the full trip. Guess I'm just waiting on the official diagnosis on Monday before making the decision. Both my wife and my doctor recommended this already, however. Maybe I'll magically improve in a month?
Anything is possible, just be aware that a lot of companies are selling out as it gets busier. With Gold Mobility, you can book now over the phone and not pay anything until you take delivery and you can cancel without any fees.

I do not know the current policies of other companies.
 

Betty Rohrer

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2010
Appreciate it! We're staying off-site at an Airbnb. Just priced one out with an outside vendor for the full trip. Guess I'm just waiting on the official diagnosis on Monday before making the decision. Both my wife and my doctor recommended this already, however. Maybe I'll magically improve in a month?
another vote for off site rental. at restaurants and rides ask CM who greets you how each place handles scooters. CMs are used to scooters and know what to do. ps even if you improve in the month I would still use the scooter as you do not want to go backwards while on your trip. as "mamabunny" says here many times think of the scooter as a tool like glasses help you see. you would not leave glasses at home if you need them so think of the scooter in the same way as it is to help you enjoy your trip. one last thing with scooter take it easy on the walking members of your party and have a great trip
 
  • Bjkandma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2019
    Seriously consider a scooter from an off site vendor. While we all hope, you are feeling better by your vacation. Realistically, you could still aggravate it all over on vacation. Scooter companies sell models that can fold in the back of a vehicle. (I've used Gold Mobility. They will take the time to answer your questions and address your concerns.)

    When you want to ride a ride, most lines can accommodate a scooter in the regular queue. Some rides will make you transfer to a wheelchair through the line. Suggestion, take scooter through line with you. When you are near the entrance, you will get out, (Be sure to always shut off and keep your key with you). Cast members can then have the scooter waiting for you at the exit. (Its like magic).

    At restaurants if you want to park, you can leave scooter outside of a restaurant. If you are struggling (when you make dining reservations, you can have a special request "wheelchair needed"), you can take scooter with you. Even if you decide right before trip, you might want to call dining (407-WDW-DINE) and let them know your party will have a scooter at dining reservations.

    I cannot stress enough, turn scooter off. Always keep your key. Never leave anything valuable in scooter. (cash, credit cards, ID). Put all in backpack and carry with you. (Know if you need assistance getting into or out of a ride, cast members may offer their arm, but really cannot assist you. They are not ignoring you, its a liability issue.).

    Hope you have a magical vacation!

    (Proud owner of a hinged knee, other knee total replacement.).
     

    Evita_W

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Also, do not leave your scooter in the hall outside your room. There have been a few thefts on property lately.of scooters that have been left in the hals, even when they were left there very briefly, say you forgot something in your room.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    Appreciate it! We're staying off-site at an Airbnb. Just priced one out with an outside vendor for the full trip. Guess I'm just waiting on the official diagnosis on Monday before making the decision. Both my wife and my doctor recommended this already, however. Maybe I'll magically improve in a month?
    I sure hope you do improve - but let's plan for possibility that you still need it, right? It's *way* better to have it and not need it, than to need it, and not have it... I promise, I know from personal experience.

    Sounds like you might be a good candidate for...

    my patent pending version of:

    How To ECV at Disney World ™


    Yep, It's time to talk about using ECVs at WDW; this is a (hopefully) helpful guide for newbies. 🙂
    (Disclaimer: this is written for folks who stay onsite, but the vast majority of the information will be helpful for you too!)

    Mostly it's all about the buses (and boats, and Monorail and Skyliners too, for that matter.)

    But first things first - Repeat after me - Every night, I will plug in my ECV, and charge it completely overnight in my hotel room/AirBNB.

    Do that, and you should not have to worry about your battery at all the next day. Fail to do that, and you will have a miserable day, constantly searching for outlets (many are now covered, or are inaccessible without tools) to try and charge your scooter. Every night, charge it all night, until it is fully charged.

    There's plenty of room in every Disney Resort hotel room to charge *2* scooters - If you need furniture moved or removed to accommodate the ECV, pick up your room phone, and use the button labeled "Housekeeping". The person answering the phone will help set up either the removal or placement of furniture for you.

    When it comes to Resort hotel room doors, ask someone in your travel party if they can hold the Resort Hotel room door open while the you move the ECV through. A great door stop (I personally recommend this one from Amazon) is also a very helpful tool! While out and about at WDW, look for the handicapped door buttons on many doors (at lobby entrances, shops, dining, etc.) for the automatic openers. Some are round, others are square, most all of them are a silver metal, but they all have the HA ♿ symbol on the button itself, and will be located very near the door.

    One more note: When we talk about using the "brakes" on an ECV, what we really mean is letting go of the throttle. The vast majority of ECVs in the US don't have an actual braking system (like a car or truck has) and rely strictly on the driver of the ECV to be aware, and to let go of the throttle when they need to stop. Additionally, most ECVs that you will encounter have a speed control that goes from slowest to fastest, with a small icon of a turtle for slowest, and a rabbit for fastest. We often talk about "turtle speed" here, and that means turning your speed control all the way down to the slowest setting for safety.

    °o° °o° °o° °o° °o° °o°

    Let's get on the bus!

    Sometimes people worry that other Guests are watching them when they use the ramp to drive their device into/out of the bus. I've been using a personal mobility device for *years* at WDW now, and I know that people who appear to be staring at you when you are loading/unloading from the bus really are often just watching out of curiosity.

    Think about it like this: The bus pulls up, and everyone gets off. BUT before anyone can get on, the driver closes the front doors, and the back doors, and then walks to the back of the bus. The back doors open again - but only *after* the bus has "kneeled" (with a great huge wheezy gasp) and then barfed out a ramp with all kinds of beeping as well!

    It's a wonder that Disney hasn't decided to sell tickets for the spectacular that is the bus deploying/retracting the ramp!

    So, often the folks who may (to us) appear to be staring at us, are actually WDW newbies who are startled by all of the commotion. But it's the *bus* they are watching - not the scooter driver. 🙂

    And some of them are just flat out exhausted, and staring off into space, unaware that they are looking at anything at all!

    So, ignore them - and at the Resort Hotel, make sure you are parked in the white painted rectangle HA symbol ♿ at the bus stop (unless another guest beat you to it) so that the driver sees you, and knows you are waiting to ride. As the bus approaches, I usually try to wave and smile to let the driver know I will be riding their bus, or shake my head "no" so that they know I am waiting for a different bus. Some Disney Resorts have queues or rope lines set up for the buses; others just kind of form loose lines. Often in the mornings, there will be a CM at the main Resort bus stops; just as at the Parks, take your guidance from them. (Special note for Resorts with more than 1 bus stop: Try to make your way to the *first* stop at the Resort; as the bus travels through the Resort to pick up other Guests, the chances increase exponentially that there will not be a space for your ECV when the bus arrives, leading to longer wait times.)

    Once the bus stops, and everyone is off, the driver will typically close the doors, kneel the bus, and then open the back doors and flip out the ramp. Wait for the driver to motion you on, and then up the ramp you will go.

    When the driver says that it's time to board the bus, just let them know that you are a newbie, and will appreciate all the help and guidance that they can give you. Remember - they are an *expert* at getting folks on and off the bus, so just take a deep breath, and listen to their instructions, and everything will be fine! Disney bus drivers help *thousands* of people load and unload ECVs, so you are not a surprise to them in any way!

    When you are at the base of the ramp, try to go right up the center. At the top of the ramp you will typically have to turn a bit to the right. GO SLOWLY, especially until you are used to the ECV. (This is a moment where "turtle speed" is your new best friend!) Even experienced users take this carefully - the last thing you want is to bump into the driver, or hit the side of the doorway going in. The drivers will give you instructions and will help as much as they can, but *technically* it is up to you (or a member of your party) to actually get the ECV up into (or back out of) the bus. You will hear stories about drivers that "park the ECV for you", but that is considered "pixie dust" and is not expected behavior.

    Once you are parked, you can take a seat on the bus, if you want to. The bus driver will "tie down" the ECV, by clipping on the tensioned belts down at the wheel level, front and back. If you decide to sit on the ECV during transit, the driver will also offer you a seat belt to help hold you securely in place as the bus moves through traffic.

    With buses, you will typically board first, and disembark last. Ignore anyone who says anything about how "it must be nice to get on the bus first"; if you really feel the need to reply, just give them your biggest smile, and a big 'ol southern "Oh, bless your heart!". That's all they deserve. 😉

    If you are just too worried about driving on and off the bus, someone who is with you can do that for you. Again, they just have to follow the bus driver's instructions. You can walk up or down the ramp after the driver tells you it is safe to do so.

    While you are boarding the bus, the rest of your group will wait outside the bus, next to the ramp. Once the ECV is parked on the bus, the driver will indicate to your party when they can walk up the ramp to join you, and they should be able to sit near/next to you.

    When it's time to disembark from the bus, the rest of your party can get off the bus with all of the other passengers, and they will wait for you outside the bus (or wherever you have agreed upon). Again, the driver will assist you in getting the ECV positioned to drive down the ramp, and out of the bus; listen to their instructions, and you should be fine. 🙂 When driving off the bus, the most important thing is to make sure that you don't turn your front wheels (or the "tiller" - the steering mechanism) until AFTER your rear wheels are completely on the ground, and you are completely clear of the ramp. You don't want the rear wheels to catch the edge of the ramp if you turn too early, and tip you over!

    °o° °o° °o° °o° °o° °o°

    As far as boats go, *most* boats at WDW are quite accessible; the notable exceptions are some of the small launches that serve Poly/GF to MK and back, and a small launch that runs every other trip on the WL/MK route. At WL, the bigger boats historically don't use a ramp there, and you just have to hope that the water level (and number of people on the boat) work in your favor! (Makes it kind of exciting LOL!) We have had a CM instruct us to wait while more people board/disembark to lower the boat, and then when the doorway is at the optimum height to the dock, they wave us on. All other boats will have a portable ramp that a CM (Cast Member) will place for you, including the Sassagoula fleet (Currently not in service) that serves parts of Saratoga & The Treehouses/OKW/POR & POFQ, and the Disney Springs Water Taxis (which are the same type of boat.) The Friendships that ply the waters between Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at EPCOT use the exact same ramp as well. The ramps are *noisy* when driving on and off, but quite safe, I promise! The main thing to watch for here is using "turtle speed" coming *off* the boat - if there is no fencing around the dock, you don't want to make a BIG "splash" in more ways than one!

    °o° °o° °o° °o° °o° °o°

    The Monorails use the same portable ramp for loading/unloading as the boats use, and the worst part is some of the pedestrian ramps going *up* to the Monorail stations may really tax the battery on the ECV. A CM will place the portable ramp into the Monorail for you - just follow their instructions. Most of the time, you will have to back off down the ramp at the next station. Remember to keep your wheels straight, have someone behind you giving you clear verbal cues, (CMs are used to doing this, and will be glad to help you) and take your time for safety.

    °o° °o° °o° °o° °o° °o°

    The Skyliners are VERY accessible, and the gondola cabins are a direct drive on, no ramp needed. CMs will "chock" the ECV wheels to prevent it from rolling across the cabin while in flight. The user simply rolls straight in and sits between the benches. Follow the signs and CM directions at each Skyliner station to go to the HA loading area - they fully stop the gondolas to load there, and you can take all the time you need for both loading and unloading. The exception is Riviera - they cannot stop the Skyliner there, and so loading/unloading is only done while moving (and so mobility devices are not loaded there). Only 1 ECV (or personal mobility device of any kind) per Skyliner Cabin, so be prepared to split up here if you have a larger party, or more than one mobility device in your group; just make plans for where everyone will meet!

    °o° °o° °o° °o° °o° °o°

    In general: Whenever loading/unloading from Disney transportation of any kind, use the *slowest* possible speed on the throttle control, and listen to the CMs who are there for your safety. They are all experienced in helping Guests with their mobility devices.

    °o° °o° °o° °o° °o° °o°

    Once you are in the Parks, don't worry if y'all park the ECV, and you come out of a ride, attraction or meal to find it "missing". This is probably the the most startling thing that will happen during your trip!

    Cast Members routinely have to shift around scooters and strollers to keep walkways clear, and to fill in blank spots. Because there are so many similar ECVs (especially rental ECVs) it can be easy for it to become "lost" in a small sea of similar looking units. So, one of the things we recommend you do is tie a brightly colored length of ribbon, or even a brightly colored cotton bandana somewhere on the scooter. You can even pop a favorite Disney T-shirt over the back of the seat! That way, you ask the CM who is moving scooters and strollers around if they have seen the scooter with the bright green and pink striped ribbons on the basket - instead of "the black one" or "the one with a captain's chair".

    In all the years I have been hanging around here, we have had *one* scooter that was literally taken by accident because it was identical to the scooter that person had rented. (for rentals, the keys are all the same so the rental company doesn't have to keep track of one particular set of keys - they can hand over any key for any scooter). It all got sorted in the end, and everything was OK. But seriously, at WDW, in the Parks, you don't have to worry.

    Nowadays, most vendors will put a "license plate" with your last name in a plastic cover that is usually on the back of the ECV seat, or the front of the basket, but those all start to look the same after a long day, so... ribbons, bandanas and/or t-shirts!

    And always always always take the key if you leave the scooter anywhere. Cast Members know how to disengage the brake that keeps the ECV from rolling when parked, to move it if need be.

    It should go without saying that you never leave anything in the basket, or on the scooter that you want to keep, otherwise, it could "grow legs" and disappear...

    °o° °o° °o° °o° °o° °o°

    So that you can have the best trip possible, here's a few more tips:

    - Plan ahead if you are flying. Remember that long lines at TSA - and long concourses inside terminals - can be problematic. You may want to consider bringing along a folding rollator or a wheelchair that someone in your party could push, or arranging for an airport wheelchair service if you will need it. Domestic airlines fly mobility devices for free, and the airline will be happy to help you with it at the gate; just allow a bit more time; just like at Disney you will usually be first on, but last off as you wait for your device to come up from the gate-check hold.

    - If flying in to Orlando, be sure to let Disney's Magical Express know if you will need to use the lift to get in and out of the bus that goes to and from the airport. (you must be seated on/in a wheelchair or ECV to use the lift). Remember that you now have to stop and collect your own luggage before proceeding to the Magical Express.

    - You can always practice your ECV driving and parking skills at Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe's, the grocery store, etc. and it can help. It's a great way to practice for the inevitable moment when someone *will* walk right out in front of you while you are driving at WDW! (Pandemic disclaimer: Please follow all local & store requirements regarding masks). These kind of shopping cart/ECV hybrids tend to move very slowly, like the Disney Parks rental units. Most "outside" rental vendors in Orlando rent standard scooters that anyone can buy, and that have a vastly better (and faster) speed control system.

    - Grab a towel from the hotel to cover the seat bottom - black vinyl or fabric can get very hot in the Florida sun! Some models have seat backs that fold down to help protect the seat bottom, but a simple bath towel works as well. Some folks cover their rental seats with a Disney shirt or beach towel for fun!

    - If you are worried about rain, most vendors provide a clear plastic shower cap to cover the controls; you can throw a poncho over the seat (especially when you are not riding) to help keep it dry. I often ride with the front of the poncho OVER the tiller/controls, and the back of the poncho OVER my seat back to help keep everything as dry as possible! Looks weird, but who cares? You're at Disney World! Yay!

    - WDW has a rule - for everyone's safety - that only you ride the ECV. You will undoubtedly see people holding children on their laps while driving their scooters, but it's very dangerous, and I hope you will agree that safety comes first. One ECV, one rider. One seat, one butt.

    - Don't allow the scooter to become your group's personal pack mule. It's a medical mobility device, meant to carry a person, not everyone's bags, coats and "stuff". A lot of people see the basket on the front, and start loading it up! For the comfort and safety of the rider, try to make sure that they are not overburdened. This is especially true at bag check - ECVs still have to go through security lines, and the person on the ECV is responsible for everything on the ECV, or in it's basket/compartment/bag at security.

    - Remember to stay sharp and focused while driving the ECV - people at WDW tend to be doing everything but paying attention to others when they are walking, and many of us here have had folks run right into us, or walk right in front of us as we are moving!

    Bipeds don't realize that many scooters can't just stop on a dime; some of them "coast" a tiny bit before coming to a complete stop, even if the driver is fast on letting go of the throttle. To help keep everyone safe and whole, I try to make eye contact, smile politely, and offer an cheerful "Excuse me!" when needed. Little kiddos are also prone to running out in front of mobility devices because they are blissfully unaware of the laws of physics.

    Personally, I have my family create a "bubble" around me to help with this issue. Some walk just ahead of me, and someone will typically (when possible) walk on my left side. I try to stay to the right side of walkways, "streets" and sidewalks and that means I still have to watch for people popping out on the right side, but hopefully helps cover the left.

    - Ideally take some time to practice a bit with your rental (at the Resort is a great spot for this) prior to going in to the parks. Get used to how it handles, turns, stops and starts. Every ECV is a bit different (just like any other vehicle). I have 2 personal ECVs, identical models and they each have their own "personality" (and name. Because I'm weird like that LOL). Everyone is eager to get to the theme parks, but 15 minutes of practice (going through the shops, the Quick Service, dealing with different types of surfaces, doors, ramps and obstacles) will make you feel much more confident, and more "in-tune" with your rental.

    - A few miscellaneous driving tips: anytime at WDW (or anytime using an ECV for that matter) be aware of ramps, hills and slopes. Going up, you may want to lean forward slightly to help shift your center of gravity towards the front of the ECV. Take your time on steep slopes, hills or ramps, and if possible, approach them at a slight angle at the base.

    Coming down, be very aware of your speed (turtle speed is recommended for best control), and make sure you can brake effectively. This is a time for two hands on the wheel!

    When crossing the train tracks embedded in Main Street at MK, be sure to cross at an angle. Otherwise, you risk the wheel(s) getting caught, and you could find yourself dumped rather unceremoniously onto Main Street. Everyone wants to have an unforgettable trip - just for the right reasons!

    °o° °o° °o° °o° °o° °o°

    Sorry this was so long, but I hope it helps answers any questions y'all may have!

    Let us know if you have any more questions about ECV use at WDW!

    🙂

    *Feel free to share with any interested members of your travel party!
     

    Simba's Mom

    <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha
    Joined
    Aug 26, 1999
    Just to add, the plastic wrist thingie for your key is there for a reason! As the CM will remind you, always take your key with you when you leave your ECV. If they have to move it, the CMs push a lever on the lower rear of the ECV so that it "free wheels" (is in neutral, so to speak), then put it back in "park" for you. I mention this because I always wondered "How do they move my ECV if I have the key?" and a CM finally showed me.
     
  • Betty Rohrer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2010
    Just to add, the plastic wrist thingie for your key is there for a reason! As the CM will remind you, always take your key with you when you leave your ECV. If they have to move it, the CMs push a lever on the lower rear of the ECV so that it "free wheels" (is in neutral, so to speak), then put it back in "park" for you. I mention this because I always wondered "How do they move my ECV if I have the key?" and a CM finally showed me.
    did have a CM move mine and forgot/slipped mind as they had to do something else. I would learn where this lever is in case you ever need to know
     

    Simba's Mom

    <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha
    Joined
    Aug 26, 1999
    did have a CM move mine and forgot/slipped mind as they had to do something else. I would learn where this lever is in case you ever need to know
    Good point! They usually won't start in freewheel (I learned that as I sat there with my cell phone in my hand, poised to call my scooter company and say "My scooter won't start!")
     

    jo-jo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2011
    And maybe think of bringing a folding cane for those times you need to walk a bit.

    Last trip we went on HM. "Can you walk a bit"? Yes. I asked DH do you want the cane, No. Ok. walk , walk, walk, (not really long , but if in pain, it can feel like a mile) CM had to stop and check back on us, cause the walking was slow. I said to DH, why didn't you want the cane, ......cause I didn't think the walk would be this long.
     

    tobikaye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 6, 2009
    My sister owns 2 EVCs and my mom owns 1 and each does something different when trying to start or move when the freewheel level is not set right. The fun one is the one that beeps at you in anger. If always scares someone, either us or some near.
     

    Selket

    Been there - done that
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2000
    Appreciate it! We're staying off-site at an Airbnb. Just priced one out with an outside vendor for the full trip. Guess I'm just waiting on the official diagnosis on Monday before making the decision. Both my wife and my doctor recommended this already, however. Maybe I'll magically improve in a month?
    Since you're staying off-site I'm sure you mentioned that to the rental company and they recommended a portable scooter? Just want to make sure because you'll need to be able to break it down and reassemble when you arrive. My husband did it for me when I rented a portable - it didn't look too bad to do. Hopefully you have someone who can help you lift the pieces and put it together if you don't think you could do it alone. Staying on-site would mean you could rent a regular scooter which is a bit more comfortable and there's no putting it together.
     

    ktglads

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 14, 2003
    My sister owns 2 EVCs and my mom owns 1 and each does something different when trying to start or move when the freewheel level is not set right. The fun one is the one that beeps at you in anger. If always scares someone, either us or some near.
    mine angrily beeps too. it is startling
     

    DisneyPapaDeac

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 17, 2020
    Since you're staying off-site I'm sure you mentioned that to the rental company and they recommended a portable scooter? Just want to make sure because you'll need to be able to break it down and reassemble when you arrive. My husband did it for me when I rented a portable - it didn't look too bad to do. Hopefully you have someone who can help you lift the pieces and put it together if you don't think you could do it alone. Staying on-site would mean you could rent a regular scooter which is a bit more comfortable and there's no putting it together.
    I thankfully will have three others with me to help assemble/disassemble. MRI is tomorrow. Although I've reserved thru Gold Mobility as recommended, I'm still hoping for good news!
     



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