The PROBLEM You Might Have When Renting an ECV in Disney World
Disney offers parks visitors a few options for getting around the parks, including strollers, wheelchairs, and electric conveyance vehicles (ECVs).
These mobility aids can really make or break your day if you or someone in your group is unable to comfortably walk for an entire day, but there’s something important you need to know about renting an ECV.
Near the entrances of Disney Parks you can find single and double strollers, wheelchairs, and ECVs available for rent. ECVs will cost you 50 for the day, plus a refundable 20 deposit. But if you’re planning on renting one during your day in the park, you might run into a problem.
Stroller and Wheelchair Rental Prices
Recently, we spoke with some fellow Disney World visitors who told us that ECVs had sold out entirely that day and they were placed on a waitlist to rent one. We had to find out more.
We spoke to a Cast Member in Magic Kingdom who confirmed that ECVs (also referred to as scooters) can and do sell out, and they in fact run out almost daily in Magic Kingdom.
If that happens to you, you are placed on a waitlist and the amount of time you have to wait will vary. It could be 20 minutes or it could be several hours, and there’s no alternative Disney can offer a guest if they run out.
On one day midday, a Cast Member told us that that there were 25 people on the waitlist, and how fast the waitlist moves depends entirely on when people return their ECV when they leave the park. They said that the waitlist tends to move a bit faster around 2PM due to Park Hoppers and on party days when people know the park is closing earlier.
Magic Kingdom closes at 6PM for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Once you’re called from the waitlist, you have one hour to get back to the rental area and secure your ECV before they move to the next person on the list. That might be difficult if your name is called when you’re in the middle of a multi-hour line for your favorite ride!
Note that if you do rent an ECV at a Disney Park, you can’t take it outside the park, so you must return it before you exit. You have to rent an ECV at each park you visit, so if you’re the one park hopping you might not find an available ECV when you get to your second park.
You have to be placed on the waitlist!
One Cast Member said that if you absolutely need an ECV, you’re safer renting from an outside company than you are banking on finding one available in the park. Many outside companies will deliver your ECV to your hotel so that you don’t have to worry about transporting it yourself, and you can take it from park to park rather than rent from each individual park.
ECVs in the rental area at EPCOT
Most Disney World rides can accommodate ECVs in a variety of ways so you don’t have to worry about missing out on things in the parks, and Disney World buses, boats, Monorail, and Skyliner also accommodate ECVs so you can easily travel from park to park if you rent from an outside company.
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Have you rented an ECV in Disney World? What was your experience like? Tell us in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев!
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
What could be an alternative for non-hotel guests? My family is staying in an Airbnb as it was cheaper than the hotels and my mom desperately needs an ECV for the parks. So an outside company won’t be ideal because how could we get the ECV in our car when driving to the parks? We plan to rope drop every day, but I’m worried about the extended hours in the morning for hotel guests.
ECVs are often far cheaper to rent from an outside company. If you’re there for more than a day or two at the most, rent outside for sure. Also, they tend to discount the longer you rent. You can get a full week from some vendors for the same price you’d spend for a few days in the park.
I rented a ECV from an outside company on my last trip in May and not only was it MUCH cheaper, it was much nicer and went faster than Disney’s scooters. They brought the scooter to Pop Century’s reception area on our first day and picked it up the morning we left from the same area. We were actually able to partially disassemble it and put it in the back of our SUV and so we drove to the parks most days. It was easy to recharge and I never had a problem with it. We actually found plenty of places to recharge it in the parks as well. We’d usually go to a quick service restaurant, get a snack and recharge our batteries in the A/C while the scooter was recharging. The company I rented from was Gold Mobility Scooters and they were wonderful.
I have been to the parks, considered renting an ECV from an outside vendor, but then you have the entire where in a tiny hotel room crammed with family do you store it? The bus can only take 2 ECV’s at a time so you wait longer for buses. Now that my hip has been replaced, I am able to walk the distances required. But the fear of park hopping and not having the available assist at the next park was real.
RENTING DIRECT FROM DISNEY
Scooters, also known as Electric Convenience Vehicles (ECVs), wheelchairs, and stroller rentals are available at each of the Walt Disney World theme parks.
Disney World does not offer scooter or wheelchair reservations and they often sell out. Rentals are first come, first served.
Disney World Resort hotels do not rent scooters but wheelchairs are available. Wheelchairs can be rented for the length of your stay.
If you intend to park hop, note that ECVs may not be removed from the park where they were rented from.
When leaving one theme park to visit another on the same day (Park Hopping) you’ll need to present your rental receipt from the first rental along with your deposit to secure another ECV, if available.
Scooters, wheelchairs, and strollers will cost more at Disney so I recommend using a third-party provider like ScooterBug or Buena Vista Rentals.
How to get a Disability Access Service Pass at Walt Disney World
If you are unable to wait in the traditional queue for an attraction for a medical reason, you may qualify for a Disability Access Service Card (DAS Pass).
This is not a front-of-the-line pass but rather a system that holds your place in line while you wait somewhere that’s more comfortable for you.
You obtain a Disney DAS Card online, in advance of your visit.
Through a live chat with a Cast Member, you’ll be asked a few general questions about your condition and the accommodation that you need. You will not need to show a doctor’s note.
If you qualify, the DAS pass will be unlocked in your My Disney Experience mobile app where you can virtually enter ride queues without having to physically be in line. The entire process is managed through the app. If you set up MagicMobile, all you need to do is tap your phone.
You will be permitted to bring a small number of guests with you so you can all enjoy the attraction together.
Renting Scooters Direct from Universal Orlando
Scooters (ECVs), wheelchairs and strollers are available to rent inside each of the Universal Orlando theme parks.
You can reserve a scooter or wheelchair at least 1 week in advance as they do sell out. Call Guest Services 407-224-4233 to make a reservation.
Wheelchairs are available inside the parking hub that can be used to take you to the park entrance.
Scooters and wheelchairs are not available at Volcano Bay water park.
If you need a scooter at your hotel, consider renting a scooter from a third-party provider as you will not be permitted to take the scooter outside of the theme parks.
How to obtain an Attraction Assistance Pass at Universal Orlando
You can obtain an Attraction Assistance Pass from Guest Relations, located in CityWalk next to Starbucks Coffee.
This is not a front-of-the-line pass but rather a system that holds your place in line while you wait somewhere that’s more comfortable for you.
Go to one of the TeamMembers posted outside the attraction and show your Attraction Assistance Pass.
He or she will write down your return time on the back of the pass. You are then free to go somewhere else and wait.
When your time comes around, head back to the attraction and you’ll be escorted into a special line with minimal wait. Note that on popular rides, the wait can still be 45 minutes or more.
You can bring a small number of guests with you so you can all ride together.
Wheelchair, Scooter, Electric Conveyance Vehicle (ECV) FAQs
When you’re planning how to navigate Walt Disney World with a mobility challenge, the use of a wheelchair, scooter, or Electric Conveyance Vehicle (ECV) may ease your mind.
But if you’ve never used one of these vehicles, or if you’ve never rented them for use at Disney World before, you may have questions.
Here are your wheelchair, scooter, and ECV FAQs !
Do I need a wheelchair or ECV at Walt Disney World?
This decision is entirely personal, but here’s some info that could help you make your decision.
If you have difficulty walking distances at home, know that Walt Disney World encompasses many square miles of property, and a day in any of the parks could result in walking 10 miles. Add to that the distances you’ll walk around your Resort (some of them are very spread out), and you could be putting a lot of mileage on your legs.
Renting from Disney means you will have wheels in the parks and at Disney Springs as needed. Renting from an outside vendor means you’ll have wheels anywhere you need them.
What kind of wheelchairs, scooters, and ECVs are allowed in the Parks?
You can bring your own wheelchair/ECV to the World as long as it falls within the 32″ x 52″ maximum size for use on the Disney Transportation System. All rental options should fit within that size limit as well.
Where can I get a wheelchair or ECV rental?
If you plan to use a wheelchair or ECV at Walt Disney World, there are several options that you can consider. You can rent wheelchairs/ECVs from Disney at any of the four theme parks and at Disney Springs. Wheelchairs/ECVs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Supply can be limited, and no reservations are accepted. You must be 18 years of age to rent ECVs.
You can also rent a wheelchair or ECV from one of the numerous outside vendors that service Disney World on a daily basis. All of these vendors provide delivery and pickup at your Resort hotel free of charge. Make arrangements with the vendor directly as to which Resort you are staying at and your desired delivery/pick up dates and times. NOTE: Disney will no longer provide storage for ECV/Wheelchairs except for its featured vendors. See below for details on ‘featured’ vendors.
The Advantages to renting from an outside vendor include:
- You can have the scooter anywhere you go; minor parks, off-site, at the resorts, etc.
- The scooter is available whenever you need it, not just during park hours.
- You are assured of having wheels even when the parks have run out.
- You can get a vehicle that meets your specific needs (one that will disassemble to fit in a car trunk or one that will accommodate a heavier person, for example). Disney parks scooters are “One Size Fits All”.
- Variable speeds (Disney scooters are set at “slow”).
Disadvantages to renting from an outside vendor include:
- You must transport the scooter. That can mean paying extra for a Minnie Van or waiting for an accessible bus, dealing with ramps to the monorails and boats, or getting the scooter into and out of your own car/van under your own power.
- Rental scooters are like rental cars: they are most often driven by people who are unfamiliar with them, and they get a lot of rough usage. They can have mechanical problems. Outside vendors do provide service for users who encounter problems, but this can be a time-consuming process.
Where can I rent an ECV or wheelchair at Walt Disney World?
All parks and Disney Springs have wheelchair and ECV rental areas. Some parks also have rental replacement locations, where you’ll go if you lose your Disney rental (not rentals from outside vendors) or you need a replacement due to malfunction (again, only Disney rentals).
- Mickey’s Gift Station at Transportation and Ticket Center (limited quantities)
- Wheelchair shop to the right as you enter the park (also rents ECVs)
- Gift Stop just outside the Epcot Main Entrance (limited quantities)
- Stroller and Wheelchair location inside Main Entrance (also rents ECVs)
- International Gateway (also rents ECVs)
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
- Oscar’s Super Service inside Main Entrance (also rents ECVs)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Replacement Locations:
Rental Safety and Tips
I’m using an ECV for the first time. Any advance planning I can do to make the trip easier? Any strange pitfalls I should be aware of?
Renting an ECV is possibly the easiest part of the process. Operating an ECV is often much trickier than guests expect. Here are some tips:
- Practice, practice practice. Check your area for places that have rental scooters (malls, large grocery stores, medical supply rental companies). If a friend has one, borrow it and ask for their tips. Practice backing up, turning sharp corners, and parallel parking. Especially helpful is learning how to deal with swinging doors (ram them — gently, of course!), an elevator (drive in, back out), and a table (pull alongside, release the seat lock and turn it to face the table).
- Learn how to back it up. Learn how to back the ECV up. It is an invaluable skill for getting onto a ramp, onto and off of a bus, or into a parking space.
- Take the key out of the ignition every time you stop. This will do two very important things. First, i t will save your battery charge. And second, it will keep you from going flying if somebody accidentally touches the “gas”. Scooter controls are on the handlebars and therefore relatively easy for others to hit on accident. You may find yourself zooming forward (or backward!) if someone touches the control accidentally.
- Bring your own key ring. Try a plastic coil-type wrist Band with a large cartoon character on it. Slip it over your wrist whenever you leave the scooter. It helps you keep track of the key, and it makes it easier to find the key if you set it down.
- Be mentally prepared. If you don’t usually have wheels, you may feel uneasy about using a scooter or chair. You may imagine that people think you are faking an illness or injury — especially if you “look okay” and are able to leave your chair or scooter and walk around. You may want to prepare an answer “just in case”. You alone must decide what information you want to share — if any at all.
- Mention the rental when you make your Resort reservation. Even if you don’t need an accessible room, be sure to mention that you will have a scooter or wheelchair — and specify which type, if you can. This may help you avoid being assigned a room in a place that doesn’t have an elevator or a room where you can’t get a scooter through the door.
- Don’t underestimate the necessity of a well-placed towel. Remember to bring a towel or other absorbent material for the seat and/or seat back for comfort. The seats are typically vinyl and not breathable. A towel can give you a little comfort.
Is it a real inconvenience to ride around in a wheelchair or scooter all day? Is it realistic to plan a big vacation to Walt Disney World if I need a wheelchair or ECV?
Vacationing at Walt Disney World is a complicated process — no doubt. From planning when to go to making Advance Dining Reservations, there are a hundred details to consider. But using a wheelchair or ECV is very common, and it should not be a deterrent to you enjoying your vacation.
Here are some things to note as far as convenience is concerned. If you go at a busy time, it is a pain to maneuver in the crowds.
If you are traveling alone, it can be a bother to deal with doors and Quick Service restaurants with narrow ordering areas. Take your time and ask for help as needed.
You may have to plan on going slower and doing less. You may have longer waits for accessible transportation. But ultimately, you know your physical capabilities and limitations; if you need a set of wheels, don’t hesitate to get some.
What happens if your ECV battery dies? How long does the battery hold a charge? Should we plan to stop a couple of times during the day for recharging? Doesn’t recharging take a long time?
The answers to these questions depend primarily on the size and type of scooter and how fast you drive. Disney World’s rental scooters are large, four-wheeled machines, and they seem to run all day with no problem (remember, they only operate at slow speed).
Small, three-wheeled types that can be taken apart and stowed in a car trunk seem to last about six hours when fully charged. Remembering to take the key out whenever you stop and driving slowly will stretch your “mileage”.
If your battery on a rental dies and you are unable to recharge it, contact your vendor. They should be able to get to you and replace the scooter quickly. There is a charge indicator gauge on the controls, and when it gets into the “yellow” zone and starts to run slower you need to start thinking about plugging in.
Accessibility Tips for Your Disneyland Visit
As you’ve probably already noticed, accessibility at Disneyland Resort is pretty great. There are many wheelchair accessible rides and experiences to enjoy during any visit to the parks, but here are some additional tips to make your time at Disneyland even more enjoyable:
Renting a ECV Scooter, Stroller or Wheelchair at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Ferry Disneyworld Florida
If you have a disability, you can request the “Disability Access Service (DAS)” for your visit. I visited Guest Relations as soon as I entered the park and requested it, but you can also request DAS online 2-30 days before your visit. With DAS, you can get a return time for each ride instead of having to wait in the massively long lines. For example, let’s say that you go to ride Pixar Pal-A-Round and there’s a 45 minute wait. Instead of waiting in line for 45 minutes, you can check-in to the ride on the Disneyland app, go do something else for 45 minutes within the park, and then enter the Pixar Pal-A-Round lightning lane with little to no wait. Trust me, DAS is a game-changer will make your day much more enjoyable. To request DAS in advance of your visit, go here.
One thing that I always worry about in any destination I visit is the availability of companion care restrooms. Luckily, I’m happy to say that Disneyland Resort has a plethora of companion care/family restrooms throughout the parks. Some even have adult-sized changing tables if needed. For a full list of locations for companion restrooms in the parks, check out this article by my friend Angela of All Access Disneyland.
Manual wheelchairs and Electric Conveyance Vehicles (ECV’s) are available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis. If you need one of these, try to arrive to the parks as close to the opening time as possible. They require a refundable deposit and there is also a daily cost to rent them.
Now that you know all about wheelchair accessible Disneyland attractions and tips, you should be able to have the most magical time ever in the parks! There is so much to see and do at Disneyland as a wheelchair user, but there is a lot more to Anaheim, California as well…
Other Wheelchair-Friendly Attractions and Things to Do in Anaheim, California
Who knew that Anaheim, California has more than Disneyland?! To be completely honest, I had no idea before visiting, but Anaheim is an awesome city to visit even without going to Disneyland.
The Anaheim Packing House
The Anaheim Packing House is a must-visit. Here, you’ll find a variety of eateries and shops in what used to be an orange packing facility in the early 1900s. It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places and is a really cool spot to visit. There are incredibly diverse restaurants here, from Thai to sushi to a pie shop to soul food to Indian and much more.
I ate at Georgia’s Restaurant inside the Packing House and had one of the best meals of my life. No lie. Fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni cheese, cornbread, and sweet tea… oh my! It was so so so good and the next time I’m in Anaheim, I will certainly be returning to Georgia’s.
No matter what kind of food you’re in the mood for, I can promise you that the Anaheim Packing House has it. Plan for at least a couple hours here to try some of the different eateries and shop. An elevator is available to access all levels of the Anaheim Packing House.
Center Street Promenade
Just a short distance away from the Anaheim Packing House is another shopping and dining oasis, the Center Street Promenade. This area (it’s more of a neighborhood actually) is home to dozens of shops and restaurants, and I found some new favorite shops and eateries here during my trip in Anaheim.
Two of my favorite stores at the Center Street Promenade were eco now, a zero waste lifestyle store, and RARE by Goodwill. RARE is an incredibly unique version of your typical Goodwill store. There are costumes for sale here, fun clothes, antiques, and so much more. It’s completely unlike any other Goodwill that I’ve ever visited.
If you get hungry during your shopping spree, Center Street Promenade has quite a few different eateries as well. You can have Mexican food at Cervantes Mexican Kitchen, pizza at Promenade Pizza, and sandwiches and salads at KA Cafe… just to name a few. One restaurant that I was able to try for dinner one night was Craft by Smoke Fire. Craft was delicious and some of my favorite items that I had were the Bavarian pretzel, guacamole, and the brisket grilled cheese. Yum.
After dinner, head over to House of Chimney Cakes, which is also at Center Street Promenade, for dessert. This place specializes in Hungarian pastries filled with ice cream, and I can attest that it is delicious! I had the “Halloween Mickey” treat, which had black ice cream (tastes like chocolate though) Oreos. It was a perfect sweet treat and I’d love to revisit in the future and try more of their specialties.
Where to Stay in Anaheim: Element Anaheim
While in Anaheim, I stayed at Element. It’s a great hotel in a perfect location near the main gates to Disneyland and other Anaheim attractions. Sure, there are several hotel options on the Disneyland property, but Element Anaheim is a terrific option if you’re looking to be near all of the action without spending a fortune. I really enjoyed staying here and would definitely do it again the next time I’m in Anaheim.
In all honesty, my wheelchair accessible room was one of the best that I have ever stayed in. It was an accessible suite with a full living area and kitchen. As soon as I entered the room and saw the size of the living area, I was amazed.
In the actual bedroom, there were two queen sized beds. A hoyer lift could easily fit under both beds and they were also a good height if you need to self-transfer.
The bathroom had all of the amenities that I needed. There was a pull-under sink, grab bars, and a nice roll-in shower. There was no lip to get into the shower, which was great. It was perfectly smooth and I really couldn’t have asked for better accessibility for my needs in the room.
YellowScooters.com Transport EX Assembly Mobility Scooter Rentals
The hotel had an outdoor pool with an access lift as well and complimentary breakfast is included with every stay. The hotel’s staff was also exceptionally kind and helpful. They really made my stay a phenomenal one.
As you can see, there is so much to enjoy in Anaheim, California. From exploring the theme parks of Disneyland to indulging in delicious food across the city, you are sure to love your time in Anaheim as a wheelchair user. Now that you know just how amazing Anaheim is, take my advice and start planning your own trip to this fun-filled and inclusive destination!
Thank you to Visit California for working with me on this trip and showing me the best of wheelchair accessible Disneyland and Anaheim, California! While my experiences were complimentary, all opinions expressed are authentic and my own.