Conquering Walt Disney World with Disabilities
People with disabilities will be glad to know that Orlando’s Walt Disney World allows the use of and rents out manual wheelchairs and ECVs (Electric Conveyance Vehicles aka electric scooters). Although Electric Conveyance Vehicles are available to rent directly from all Walt Disney World theme and water parks and the Disney Springs outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, this may not be the wisest decision in terms of cost or ease.
Many Disney World visitors find a better option is to acquire an ECV or electric scooter rental from an offsite company. This can prove to be a much more economical option and can save you a lot of precious time during your Walt Disney World visit.
Renting Wheelchairs and ECVs through Disney
As previously stated, Disney World rents out both manual wheelchairs and ECVs, however, their rental program isn’t exactly the cheapest or the easiest to use. Leasing electric scooters at Disney World is rather costly, running $50 per day and requiring a $20 deposit ($100 deposit if rented at Walt Disney World Water Parks and Disney Springs). Manual wheelchairs run $12 per day and require a $100 deposit if rented at Walt Disney World Water Parks and Disney Springs.
In addition to the high daily cost, wheelchair and ECV renters are not allowed to transport their electric mobility scooter between different theme parks. This means wheelchairs and ECVs may not be removed from the destination where they were rented. Therefore, in the event that you want to dedicate a morning to visiting Epcot and then wish to visit Magic Kingdom in the afternoon, you will need to return your rented ECV at Epcot before heading to Magic Kingdom where you will need to then need to rent out a new ECV showing your rental purchase receipt. While you won’t be charged a second time, there is no guarantee an ECV will be available at all times, especially during afternoon hours.
You are also not allowed to rent ECVs from Disney for the length of your stay, however, they can be held if you leave and return to the same theme park on the same day. ECVs are available from Disney on a first-come, first-served basis and reservations are not accepted. Because quantities are limited, you may need to arrive early at the parks, especially during peak season.
Thankfully, Disney World allows you to bring and use your own ECV throughout Walt Disney World Resort. By renting from an offsite ECV rental company, you may be able to avoid the many drawbacks of renting a scooter through Disney.
Scooter Rental: Photo By Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose
Renting ECVs Offsite
Generally it is a much better deal to hire an ECV from an offsite company. Not only can it be less expensive, but it ensures you’ll have your ECV with you at all times and you won’t need to keep switching to a new scooter when traveling from park to park. Walt Disney World visitors with disabilities looking to rent an ECV via an offsite company may want to start by checking out Scootarama, experts when it comes to ECV rental in Orlando, Florida.
Scootarama has over 16 years of experience renting out scooters to Walt Disney World visitors. The company provides reliable rain-resistant mobility scooters for their customers and terrific customer service. Scootarama’s line of theme park approved ECV rentals can be easily disassembled for transport and cost as little as $30 per day, nearly half the price of those offered through Disney.
Even after you rent your vehicle from Scootarama, they have staff available 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm with an employee on call until 12 am to assist you with any problems you may have with your scooter rental.
Benefits of renting an ECV through Scootarama vs. Disney World
- All scooters come with a front basket
- Scooter batteries last up to 11 hours and all scooters come with a battery charger
- You can reserve your scooter and this can be done online or over the phone
- Scooter rentals can be taken between different parks including non-Disney parks such as SeaWorld and Universal Studios
- Almost all scooters can be delivered to your local hotel, villa or resort free of charge
- They don’t charge a deposit fee
- You can get canopy attachments, crutch holders, oxygen holders and walker holder attachments for your scooter rental
- You choose your pickup and delivery times when you can reserve your scooter
Tips for Visitors with Disabilities or Those Using an ECV at Disney World
- There are dedicated buses with ramps and disabled seating to transport you directly to the security checkpoint
- Each ride at Disney World is different when it comes to accommodating wheelchairs.
- You can pick up a Guide for Guests with Disabilities at a guest relations booth or any information kiosk
- Many times guest with disabilities will queue in the same lines as regular guests but may be diverted to separate loading areas when it’s time to board
- Many rides offer Transfer Access Vehicles which assist guests with mobility disabilities when transferring from an ECV or wheelchair to a ride
- Rides are available where you can remain in your standard wheelchair or ECV without transferring. Park maps show icons for rides that allow you to remain in your wheelchair or ECV
- Handicapped viewing areas are available for parades and fireworks shows
- Disney provides a Disability Access Service ( DAS), a service designed to provide assistance for guests and families with disabilities.
- ECV rentals are often a better choice than manual wheelchairs in order to save your energy. Wait times for many theme park rides can be long and getting around over 40 miles of theme parks can be exhausting.
- Be sure to request a wheelchair accessible table when dining at Disney
- Companion restrooms are available for those that may need them
Disney Ride with wheelchair ramp: photo by Sylvar
NOTICE: Disney altered their Featured ECV Provider program on October 1, 2019. From October 1, Disney has banned Bell Services drop offs by all third-party ECV vendors. This does NOT mean Disney is banning third-party vendors completely. Disney World guests can still receive and use third party scooters, however, are now simply required to meet with the third-party vendor that is making the delivery and accept the scooter rental in person. This change was done to free up Bell Services and they now only hold guest luggage and official vendor drop offs.
- For a Fact Sheet on the Disability Access Service Card, visit Disneyparks.disney.go.com
- For more information on specific disabilities, specific support networks exist, such as the Cerebral Palsy Family Network
- For a full list of services available to park guests with disabilities, visit Disneyworld.disney.go.com or contact Disability Services at firstname.lastname@example.org