Disney World ECVs Tips

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I have an ECV tip, this one geared toward one-day-only visitors to Epcot. My spouse and I are both mobility impaired, so we rent ECVs for our trips to Epcot. (We have the "Epcot After 4" annual pass and go at least once a month.) Neither of us is very strong, and disassembling and reassembling a portable travel ECV and loading and unloading from our SUV is difficult and energy-sapping. We solved this problem by renting from an off-site vendor. Even with delivery and pick-up, it's less expensive than renting at the park. We have the scooters delivered to the Walt Disney World Swan. We collect ECVs and take a pleasant drive along Disney's Boardwalk to the International Gateway entrance to Epcot. This entrance never seems to be crowded, and you enter the park between the United Kingdom and France. When your day is done, drive back to the Swan, park the ECV in the designated area and collect your car (we valet park). - Colleen E.

Categories: Health, ECVs
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I use an ECV to get around the parks. Several years ago I rode Toy Story Midway Mania [at Disney's Hollywood Studios] and was given a car with a push-button cannon. It made a world of difference as I am spastic and cannot pull the string fast enough to ever score very well. When they built the addition to the ride, they started routing me to the new "regular" load platform since I can walk a bit, but it only had regular cannons and the ride lost its magic. On my most recent visits I asked if they still had the push-button cannons, and lo and behold they sent me to the "old" handicapped load platform. It was such a wonderful experience, and shout out to cast member Melissa -- she let me ride twice because it wasn't crowded. In fact when I went back two months later, she recognized me and said hello. It made both trips absolutely magical for me. So if you are handicapped and can't pull the string, ask the ride attendant for the button car. There is only one car with the buttons so I'm adding to my future wait time, but it makes the ride so much more enjoyable! - Melissa Henderson

Categories: Health, ECVs, Hollywood Studios, Health, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios
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If you have the least problem getting around, get an ECV. Don't let pride keep you from having a wonderful time at Walt Disney World. I just returned and it was so easy to get around. I was solo and everyone was very kind to help me. Transportation and attractions are easy to navigate. - Ruby Ramey

Categories: Special Needs, Health, ECVs
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For those of you with strollers, wheelchairs or ECVs, be sure to keep any food items you may have stowed in the storage compartments or baskets well-sealed. I recently noticed several opportunistic squirrels having a nice picnic lunch after they'd raided a bag of snacks that had been left open and stored in the bottom of a stroller while the family was off riding an attraction! - Editor Deb Koma

Categories: Strollers, Special Needs, Health, ECVs
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ECVs aren't just for the disabled. Some seniors are stronger than youngsters, but a lot of us tire with a lot of walking. Don't be embarrassed to get an ECV, you will enjoy WDW so much more. Rent one from a private company that will bring it right to your hotel and you will be sure to have one. WDW transportation is easy to manage. If you want to drive your own car to WDW, you can get a portable ECV that comes apart for easy transport in your car. After my first visit as a senior without an ECV, I will never again be without one. - Ruby

Categories: Health, ECVs
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If a member of your party uses an ECV at Epcot, you may find it helpful to know that there is a HUGE area next to Club Cool where ECVs can be recharged in air-conditioned comfort while you enjoy a drink from Club Cool or a drink or snack from Starbucks on the other side of Club Cool. Tables and chairs throughout the room let you spread out and there are restroom facilities within this area. This space was a lifesaver for us as our ECV batteries were perilously low! - Colleen Ezzell

Categories: Health, ECVs
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I regularly travel with people who rent ECVs as they cannot manage the long walk around the parks. The biggest problem I found when renting the ECVs inside the park is that if you park-hop you are not guaranteed an ECV at your next park and there is no refund. People are allowed to turn in their ECV and ask that it be held for the entire day for them when they return, which ties up many of them. On our most recent trip we rented two ECVs from a private company. They were slightly cheaper, ours for the day to take to as many parks as we chose and actually faster and easier to maneuver than the Disney models. - Nicky

Categories: Health, ECVs
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I enjoyed your article, Disney World On Wheels. I have been "scooting" around Walt Disney World for more than a decade. Disney makes it easy to get around and the Cast Members are fairly well versed on the ins and outs of guests on wheels. I'd like to offer a tip for guests new to "scooting" at WDW. Let's face it. This is Florida and it rains, especially in the summer. Don't let a light shower slow you down. Before leaving home, pick up a child's poncho and a small bungee cord. Keeping the "tiller" (handlebars) of the scooter dry is important since it houses the electronics and charging port. "Dress" your tiller in the poncho. Drape the poncho over the tiller putting the ends of the tiller where your arms would normally come out. The hood opening should be facing you so that the control center of the tiller is inside the hood. Tuck the opening of the hood down inside the neck of the poncho to keep the controls dry. Secure the poncho around and under the tiller with your bungee cord. - Beth Christie

Categories: Special Needs, ECVs
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My husband uses an ECV to get around the parks. After several trips to the parks, we came up with an easy way to attach our hotel refillable mugs: a shoestring! Usually the basket in front of the ECV is full of other things, so attaching our cups with a shoestring or cup holder is essential. - Judy Shock

Categories: Special Needs, Health, ECVs
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If you are planning to rent an ECV and have the use of only one hand, make sure you have a conversation about that when making the reservation. My family rented an ECV for my sister, whose right hand is paralyzed, and it never occurred to me to ask for an ambidextrous ECV. The "forward" mechanism was controlled with the right thumb, requiring her to use a digit on the left to PULL the mechanism toward her while steering. By the end of the trip, her left hand was really ragged! The fellow from the rental company suggested renting a motorized wheelchair powered by a joystick next time, but warned that the company doesn't like to rent them to people who don't already know how to maneuver them, as they are difficult to handle. I'll remember that next time. Nonetheless, the ECV made SO much possible for all of us on this trip. It was well worth the investment, operational difficulties notwithstanding. - Susan Barnaby

Categories: Special Needs, Health, ECVs
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I recently returned from Coronado Springs and found that it was not very friendly to limited mobility people. I had a standard wheelchair and had to depend on my family for all transport. Usually I can walk to almost anywhere... not true at Coronado Springs. If you go, rent an ECV or expect to be pushed everywhere or go nowhere. I had to use my car to go anywhere in the resort and the walk from any parking space to the Dig Site was also too long. I was very disappointed. I would call Coronado Springs the most handicapped-unfriendly of the Disney resorts -- Pop Century was better! - Nadine Edelman

Categories: Special Needs, Health, ECVs
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