If you (or a member of your party) want to visit Walt Disney World but are worried about mobility issues, the answer might be easier than you think.
Many people have mobility challenges in their everyday lives that they can manage well at home. They might choose to only go short distances that don’t require much walking, or they may use a walker or a wheelchair to get around at home. They may use a mobility scooter, but aren’t able to take it with them when they travel. How could someone with these challenges enjoy a Walt Disney World Resort vacation? By renting a device that will allow them to experience the Disney parks without worrying about the long distances of walking the entire day!
Rent from an outside vendor or at the parks?
If you plan to only rent just for a day or two to get around a specific park then renting at one of the Walt Disney World theme parks might be the route to take. There are some challenges with renting the Disney ECVs though:
- ECVs are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Reservations are not accepted, and quantities are limited.
- ECVs may not be removed from the destination where they were rented.
If leaving one theme park and visiting another, you can present your rental receipt with your deposit to secure another ECV on the same day at a second park if one is available. At $50 USD per day to rent (+ a refundable deposit) – the price can quickly add up for Walt Disney World scooter rentals. If you think you will need it for more than 1 day, it is so much easier to rent from a third-party vendor. Most offer free delivery and you don’t need to have a backup plan if there are no scooters available at the parks.
The featured provider for Walt Disney World is ScooterBug, they have an agreement with Disney that they can drop off and pick up your equipment at your Disney Resort hotels bell services without you being there. Other companies such as Buena Vista Scooters offer some great products and different options, but you do have to arrange to meet them for pick up. Given the ease of use, my personal experience of late has been with ScooterBug.
Due to medical issues in my family, my sister needed to have an electric scooter to visit Walt Disney World. While at home she manages short distances (or with a walker), there was no way for her to experience the parks with her limited mobility. Given this is not a device she uses at home, there is a bit of a learning curve for driving one!
When you get the scooter the first thing I advise is to practice driving it around at the resort on the slowest speed. Get a good handle on how to maneuver it before venturing in to spaces with lots of people or tight spaces.
Getting around on the Monorail, Skyliner and Friendship Boats is fairly straight forward. Driving in/out of the vehicles is not difficult and the cast members are always offering advice and encouragement. Getting on the Disney buses is a whole other story! When the buses pull up they load the ECVs first. The spot on the bus is narrow and can be difficult to get in/out of if you’re not an expert driver. Thankfully every bus driver we encountered was able to help ‘drive’ it in to position. They lock it up with you on it and you have your own seat for the ride. Each bus can handle a limited number of scooters so if you’re going for rope drop you may need to wait a little bit, so just be prepared.
Disney Parks / Disney Springs:
It is very accessible everywhere you go inside of the parks. Keep on the lookout for ramps to get in/out of the shops and up/down off of the pavement and sidewalks. For the attractions it is important to note which ones require you to transfer from the ECV vs where you can stay in it. Most attraction queues are wide enough that you can drive the scooter all the way through them. On others such as the Jungle Cruise, they will direct you to a different loading area.
Using the scooter:
This is the scooter that my sister rented from ScooterBug, it’s the same one we have rented a few times.
The battery life was great and lasted quite a while, and the scooter comes with 2 batteries.
We charged the battery every night in our hotel room so that we always had 2 fully charged batteries for the day. You can bring the power chord with you as well, there’s always a spot to plug in at the parks if you need a boost. See this one near the Tangled bathrooms at the Magic Kingdom.
Just make sure when you get in your scooter you set the speed to ‘turtle’ and not ‘rabbit’ to start out.
Do you have mobility issues? How do you plan to cope at Walt Disney World?