Should I rent a wheelchair or ECV rather than walk the park, resort & recreation areas?
Are you toying with the idea of using a wheelchair or ECV while you’re at Disney, but you’re unsure? Or are others telling you to do it, but you don’t really want to? Don’t rule it out too quickly! Even if you don’t require a wheelchair in your daily life, you may want to consider using one at Disney World.
If you tire easily, or if you’re dealing with any of the following, a wheelchair or ECV/scooter can make your trip so much better:
- Mobility challenges
- Heart problem
- Chronic fatigue
- Anything that physical activity can worsen
Many people who don’t normally use a wheelchair or ECV feel very uncomfortable with the idea of using one. It’s understandable, but the wheelchair/ECV can help help you conserve energy, reduce pain, and avoid irritating your condition. If you use an ECV/scooter, you can have all this while also having freedom, independence and mobility (in fact it’s really fun to drive around). Your trip will be so much more fun, and you’ll be so much more comfortable than if you choose to walk.
Here’s one Disney fan’s comment that we find to be typical:
“I was so resistant to the idea of a wheelchair. I don’t need one at home, and I didn’t want to be looked at as an invalid. After experiencing pure exhaustion and a major worsening of my pain after a day at the park, I finally rented an electric scooter. It was fantastic. By the end of the day I felt much, much better with the scooter than I had on foot. Now I always use a scooter at Disney.”
The Disney parks are HUGE, and the walking is extensive. You’ll walk miles.
When you’re at Disney World, you’ll be walking and standing for most of your day. According to knowdw.com, If you just walked around the perimeters through the walking paths, you’d walk about:
- 2.17 miles at Magic Kingdom
- 2.78 miles at Epcot
- 1.39 miles at Hollywood Studios
- 2.27 miles at Animal Kingdom
Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot to you, but you won’t just be walking straight through perimeter of the parks. You’ll be walking through the parks, going from attraction to attraction, zigging and zagging, and sometimes retracing your steps.
Then there are the ride and attraction queues. They can be super long. In fact, the queues for Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom and Soarin’ in Epcot are over ¼ mile long.
Also consider that you’ll be standing while you wait in lines for the attractions, dining, transportation, etc. On a busy park day you can stand in line for as much as an hour or even 1 ½ hours for a single attraction. It can even be longer if you’re visiting on a peak crowd day. There is no seating in the queues, so you will not be able to sit.
Check out our photos of a couple of queue lines in the Magic Kingdom. Granted this was a fairly busy day, but this is not unusual.
So if any of this sounds strenuous, painful, tiring or difficult to you, we strongly suggest that you rent a wheelchair or ECV.
If you do decide to rent a wheelchair or scooter, I’d suggest you read the following articles to get started:
- Renting Wheelchairs and ECV’s/Scooters from Disney World – What you need to know
- Should I Rent a Wheelchair or ECV/Scooter From a Non-Disney Outside Company? And How to do it!
You’ll also want to visit this page to read all our articles designed to teach you everything you’ll need to know about using wheelchairs and ECVs once you get to Disney World. Visit here:
Check out this testimonial from someone who did NOT want to use a scooter, fought it, but finally gave in:
“I now use a scooter at Disney due to my arthritis, not an injury, however I understand the feeling of being uncomfortable. I fought it. I’m only 47, I don’t look like I have problems. I dealt with my pain, by afternoon I was in so much pain, I was no longer was having fun.
My family suffered because I had to stop all the time, keeping them from their fun. I felt so guilty.
By the 3rd day, I could barely walk. Several years ago, Disney changed the rules for the DAS card (Disability Access Services card) and I could no longer get one. My husband and a very understanding cast member talked me into using the wheelchair.
By the end of the day, I wasn’t hurting, I could walk without fighting tears.
I felt guilty making my husband push me, no one else to help, but we also didn’t loose so much time with me sitting to rest all the time. The next year, I rented a scooter. I park it in central areas, walk to do a few attractions that are close, then drive to another area.
I know people will judge, but I’m not in pain…
Don’t skip the scooter/wheelchair. Disney is expensive and miles of walking each day, you don’t want to spend that money and not be able to enjoy yourself due to an injury (or illness). Then suffer setbacks as a result of pushing too hard. Get the scooter/wheelchair, leave it in stroller parking area to walk to/in attractions, ride when you need to. Trust me, your body will thank you for it, and you can enjoy your vacation.” —Kathy
Have you decided to rent a wheelchair or ECV at Disney, or have you opted out of it? Let us know how it went and what you thought in the comment section below.
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Ask any questions, share your knowledge and just enjoy getting to know other Disney fanatics in our facebook group called Walt Disney World Made Easy for Everyone.
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