CAUTION! Keep Your Eye on the Road
While Driving an ECV, Wheelchair or Walking Around Disney
One thing to remember while traveling in an ECV (Electric Convenience Vehicle) or even walking around Walt Disney World is to keep an eye on the ground and road below you, especially at intersections.
A small incident occurred to a guest traveling with her family from a sidewalk onto Main Street when the ECV she was riding tipped over. The guest admittedly assumed that there was a ramp or break in the curb that lines Main Street, for wheelchairs and ECVs to pass through. While most intersections and corners of the sidewalk that borders Main Street do have such ramps, there was no ramp at this specific junction.
The guest was immediately assisted by several cast members and she declared that she was fine. She did suggest though, that there be some sort of warning, such as bright paint lining the curbs, a sign, or the addition of a ramp at that site.
Yet there are reasons that there are not brightly colored paint markers or signs adorning this location and some others within the Magic Kingdom and other Disney parks. One reason is that Disney strives to stay consistent with the theme each location. For example, many design elements on Main Street, U.S.A. are inspired by Marceline, Missouri, the small town where Walt Disney grew up. He moved there as a four-year-old with his family in 1906. Therefore, bright painted lines and signs would clash with the theming of Main Street, but it would be suitable for Tomorrow Land, which has a high-tech theme.
Some guests have asked why the curbs need to be there at all. Not only is Main Street designed to reflect the settings of an early 20th century town, but it is also equipped to present an average of three parades a day with thousands of viewers. With this, cast members ask that guests sit or stand on the curb, and not in the street. So the curbs are actually there to serve a purpose. This is for the safety of everyone involved, including the guests, characters and performers.
This type of theming is unique to Main Street, but is something to be aware of everywhere you go in Disney World! While Disney is always concerned with the safety of their guests, its attention to detail and impeccable theming is a large part of why you, the guest, comes to stay.
So, the next time you feel like you are going back in time to another country, or into the future, don’t forget to keep an eye on the road!
About the author: Meagan VanWaus worked for Disney World until recently, when she took a temporary break.