Some estimate that Disney World guests walk anywhere from 13 to 20 miles per day. That’s a lot for anyone, but when you have a disability that makes it difficult to walk even a little bit, your magical Disney vacation can quickly turn very un-magical.
Disney’s ECV Program
Disney provides scooter rentals on a first-come, first-served basis, and the cost is $50 per day with a $20 refundable deposit. Scooters rented in a park can only be used in that park during park hours, and they cannot be taken outside of the park.
There are few problems with Disney’s rental program.
First, scooters often sell out before noon, and guests can’t make a reservation. This means that there’s no guarantee that you will even get a scooter.
The $50 rental fee may be cost-prohibitive for some guests especially after paying for a park ticket. What’s more, since the scooter can’t be taken from the park, it would be pretty difficult to park-hop or visit areas outside of the parks like Disney Springs or the Boardwalk.
Fortunately, there are vendors that actually partner with Disney to provide guests with easy rental options.
A quick Google search will result in many rental options in the area. Vendors who are Disney Featured Providers, which means they could come to the rescue if your scooter breaks down in a park, will allow you to make a reservation and will deliver the scooter to your hotel even if you aren’t there! In theory, you could make a reservation, and the scooter would be waiting for you as soon as you arrive at your resort hotel!
This is a much more affordable option as well. Private rental costs vary, but most are around $150 for five days. This seems like a fair price to pay to save your feet and keep up with your family!
Getting around the parks can be a bit tricky, but you should get the hang of driving the ECV pretty quickly.
First, be careful not to run into anyone. If you’ve never used an ECV before, you’ll notice that they can move pretty quickly. Keep your distance so you have time to stop if necessary. In my quick search, I noticed that the scooter suppliers say they do not cover any injuries that occur while using the scooter. It’s safe to assume that means injuries to the operator or any other human or animal, so don’t hit anyone.
You should also consider charging options. Most ECVs can go several miles, but watch your battery light, and charge up when necessary. You should definitely charge every night. During a recent stay at Pop Century Resort, I noticed several scooters parked along the luggage and ticketing center. Though I was only an observer, the resort seemed pretty accommodating.
Some guests are reluctant to rent scooters because they are nervous about getting from park to park. From what I have observed, Disney does a great job managing the transportation process. Guests using ECVs and their families will load the Disney buses first, and the drivers will strap down your scooter. This ensures safety of all guests.
Some attractions require guests to transfer from their scooter to a ride vehicle, but Disney also does a great job with making this easy, accommodating, and not embarrassing.
Have you rented an ECV to get around Disney? Suggestions?