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View Full Version : Personal scooter, rented scooter or wheelchair


MCoryB
05-04-2012, 12:56 AM
My mom will have to use some wheeled method to get around the parks when we visit in September. She has a Pride Mobility Go-Go Elite Traveller scooter at home, which disassembles and fits nicely in either of our cars.

She thinks using her own scooter will be perfectly fine when we go (and we could easily put it in my own car and drive to each park), but I have a few concerns:

1) It has a range of only about 10 miles on a charge, and people have been saying you can easily walk around 14 miles or more on an average park day. Sure, we could take the bulky charger to the park with us, but then we'd have to find an outlet somewhere and have it plugged in for however long to recharge if it dies.

2) She almost ran over me at the Nashville Zoo, so I have this horrible feeling she will mow down some small child if she's not careful.

3) Some unscrupulous soul might steal it (I dunno why they would, but you never know) while we're in some attraction.


So I'm trying to evaluate these other options, which have their own benefits:

1) Rent a wheelchair from a company in Orlando and push her around everywhere all week, which allows her to look around and experience the parks while someone else worries about the "driving." And she'd already be in a chair and wouldn't have to transfer from scooter to chair on rides that require it.

2) Rent a better scooter from a local company, one that has a more comfy seat and a much greater range with less chance of running out of juice. These aren't able to fit in the car, but we're staying at Pop Century, so the buses would be just fine.


Ultimately, which one makes the most sense? Personal scooter, rented scooter or wheelchair?

MCoryB
05-04-2012, 01:14 AM
Well, I just proposed the rented scooter idea to my mom, and she's afraid it may be too different from her familiar one and didn't want to take the chance that she couldn't control it. Hmm...

Bete
05-04-2012, 07:39 AM
rent out similar scooters like your mom's scooter. It's considered the lower end model to rent. Apple Scooters is one company using this model if you want to rent from them and not bring your own. Your mom would then have the same type of scooter.

We have used this scooter ourselves in the park and we were fine. You have to take some precautions. First, absolutely give the scooter a full charge each night. Next, do not keep your scooter on when viewing parades, shows, street entertainment, eating, and fireworks; it wears on the battery even if you are not moving. This step is crucial. Infact, if we are in a long ride queue we shut it off, too. You may have to watch this part yourself and not rely on your mom for shutting off the scooter when sitting still. During meals is a great time to recharge the scooter somewhat if you know you are going to have a long day at the parks. I always advise bring your battery cable to the park. You don't want to get stuck pushing it in manual overdrive. Scooters are mechanical; so, bad stuff can happen. Keep an eye on the battery indicator. If it looks like you are going to have trouble this way, you will know about it. Depending on the age of the battery and the weight of the person on the scooter dictates to a certain degree how long the battery will last, too. Inclines use up more battery juice, too.

As a backup have scooter rental companies ready to call in case something goes wrong with your own. You can rent at the park, too in case of an emergency. Rental companies are pretty fast with getting a scooter to you.

I do believe your mom will have to be extra careful at Disney while driving her scooter. I would try to surround her on all sides of the scooter if you have enough people to do so. You can watch for her better that way and not put anyone else in harms way. I don't think I would drive at high speed, either. Go slower; so, she can react better to everything around you. The battery actually lasts longer on a slower speed. I would say Disney parks are at least three times more crowded than a zoo and you have so many people self absorbed and not paying attention to you that it can be hazardous. It's not just children darting out at you, either. There are some difficult turns in ride queues; there are a lot of twist and turns; so, you do need good control of the scooter. It may be advisable at times for her to walk and stretch her legs a bit if she has difficulty with tighter quarters on using the scooter and someone else can take over for the hard parts. This is true of using the buses and monorails with your scooter. If you go by car to the parks then you'll have it easier, here.

Avoid rain and especially puddles of water when driving your scooter. Sit it out under shelter and do not ride the scooter when it rains. There are shower caps and other protective cover people use to protect the mechanical parts of a scooter. Try to find places where your scooter will not get wet when dining and so forth. Seek shelter for the scooter before leaving it parked. Quick service eateries have a small area where a scooter may go inside, but most table service restaurants do not have room for scooters inside. You may have to walk a little more, but you will be happy you are protecting the scooter.

We do a wheelchair for my mom and there is an advantage of the person sitting back and enjoying the whole experience without the hassle of driving a scooter through Disney.

ttintagel
05-04-2012, 08:30 AM
rent out similar scooters like your mom's scooter. It's considered the lower end model to rent. Apple Scooters is one company using this model if you want to rent from them and not bring your own. Your mom would then have the same type of scooter.

That sounds like a good idea. One of the main advantages I see is that if you do have trouble, the rental company can bring you a new one and take the malfunctioning one away. And the controls will be what she's used to.

A manual wheelchair can work, but there are a couple of things to consider. One is that she's less independent, as someone will have to go with her if she wants to leave the group for anything. The other thing, as I discovered on my last trip, is that there are far more hills and ramps in the parks than I realized.

goofieslonglostsis
05-04-2012, 09:38 AM
Well, I just proposed the rented scooter idea to my mom, and she's afraid it may be too different from her familiar one and didn't want to take the chance that she couldn't control it. Hmm...

If this fear is realistic, combined with your experience at the Zoo? I'ld have a serious talk with my mom and do anything and all in my power to make sure she does NOT use any ECV, whether it being her own or rental.

Why? Apparently she can not safely operate it in crowds, even when it's her own that she most likely has been using more then enough to have had enough time to be familiar with the behaviour of it. It's a shame, but not all will be able to control an ECV safely in crowds. Apparently, she is one of them. Safety always comes first. Both for others and herself. Obviously you can't force an adult woman, but I'ld be making darn sure I'ld do my thing to prevent her using an ECV at the parks.

Even more so because of her fear. It that is a realistic one, it's a huge screaming sign saying; "I know my driving capacities enough to even own the fact that I might very well not be able to operate another style ECV". With ECV's there are differences but in the end if you can drive one, you can safely use any one after taking perhaps 5-10 minutes to get to know it's personal behaviour in stuff like reaction time, speed, turning radius etc.

Options left? Wheelchair, which will require quite a lot from you. Pushing a chair untrained is quite a work out, esp. at the parks. Look into it a bit, making sure you are prepared (for instance if you are a rather long person, getting a chair with push handles that don't require you to hunch down will be a big difference. Rental grips aren't always that comfy. Something as simple as a cotton glove or a piece of breathing cloth tied around the handles will make it a lot less hot and sweaty on hands). Same for her; something as simple as a right cushion in a rental chair can be a huge positive effect on comfert. When going in warmer weather; drape the seat and back with a piece of cloth or towel. Rentals are made of material that are easy to clean but results in no breathing at all. Sweats like crazy and very uncomfy sticking. Yugh. Something that does breath and absorbs sweat makes a world of difference. As far as the downside of less independence? I'm a huge advocator for optimal independence, but one thing I hold higher than that is safety.

Stealing? Never heard of it happen. Would not worry about it and if you did; get insurance out on it, but I would never let that factor stop me from bringing a needed, safe for that situation, aid. At WDW it's a real safe surroundings as we have learned. To give you an idea how big of a non issue this is; any ECV can be stolen within 5 seconds. Without key or anything, anybody wanting to can take an ECV and drive off within no time. Not posting publicly how -wouldn't want to give an idea to stupidest-stupid thief-, but anytime an ECV can be reached by others it can technically be stolen in such a way they can drive of with it on the spot. Probably something you or mom have ever worried about in your own daily life and usage of the ECV. Never happened. You never hear about it. Goes to show how little it happens. Here in the Netherlands, we are probably the ECV-nation of the world. Anybody and all with any long distance hurdle has an ECV incl. a huge percentage of our elders. We have almost as much ECV's as bikes. ;) ECV's get left outside here constantly. If there is a hand full of stolen ones a year it's a bad year. Still not something that has hit the theft-radar.

Worst risk would be some other user having the same brand and type of ECV and mistakenly taking of with moms, thinking it's theirs. Customizing these general types of aids is an easy way of preventing that.



Just a general remark about the battery; such info as max. distance is not to be taken serious. Those numbers are........ something out of a Disney story. ;) They are something that should be able if all the details are perfect, perfect drivestyle, perfect functioning battery etc. Things that will never happen IRL. So IRL she will never be able to do 10 miles with it. The older the battery gets, the capacity tends to go down also. This can be negatively influenced real fast when not charging properly (esp. the first few times totally draining the battery before totally recharging, draining totally etc.). The parks require a lot of uphill travel, again draining batteries faster. Crowded surroundings; demand more (speed up a bit, down a bit, stopping, not going in a straight line). So never look at the max. capacity and think you'll be able to go that far when making decisions. One of those nice things that doesn't get told many times and you have to live and learn about.

I Love Pluto
05-04-2012, 05:31 PM
I have the Gogo Elite Traveller. I have taken it to WDW for the last 3 years without issue. No one wants it - trust me. Just take the key with you when you go in an attraction.

In my trips (3 or 4 a year) we have NEVER run out of juice at the parks. One day we were at MK from 10 AM to midnight. I was sure we would have trouble, but we didn't. It just kept moving along!

Have a great vacation! :goodvibes

Kinziepoohsmom
05-06-2012, 11:37 AM
My husband also has the Gogo Elite. We have taken it to WDW for the last 2 or 3 years and have had no problem. When you park it just take the key with you.

We did run out of charge once at Epcot (But we were on our way to the exit) but that was because we forgot to charge it the night before! Just stopped into Guest Services and charged it enough to get back to the car. Charged it overnight and it was fine....

MCoryB
05-06-2012, 03:24 PM
I believe what we'll end up doing is renting a wheelchair from a company down there, so we can fit the luggage and maybe Mom's Rollator in the rear of my car and have plenty of room for the back seat passenger to spread out during our 11-hour drive.

Then, after a day or two of pushing her around, we can switch to a scooter rental if we deem it necessary. I want her to be able to look around and enjoy her experience without fearing obstacles in the parks, and she'd never have to switch from scooter to wheelchair for any of the rides.

I've pushed someone around both Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, so I'm not a novice when it comes to that.

rock_doctor
05-07-2012, 07:49 AM
If it were me, i would just get a new set of bigger batteries for her scooter and take it. She will be under less stress using her own scooter and it will be helpful to her in the future to have a second set of batteries. That will be $100 that she does not have to put out when the existing ones die. I would nix the wheel chair option. If she is like my mom she will tell you she is too tired to go but in reality she does not want to go because she has to be pushed around and in turn has to inconvenience somebody as well as herself by not having the freedom that she would have if she had her own scooter. We did the same last Christmas. I was totally happy to push my mom around in her WC but she spend most of the time in the room because she had to be pushed. I ended up having to talk her into going out. If i hadn't done this she would have spend the entire vacation in the room.

goofieslonglostsis
05-07-2012, 09:10 AM
I believe what we'll end up doing is renting a wheelchair from a company down there, so we can fit the luggage and maybe Mom's Rollator in the rear of my car and have plenty of room for the back seat passenger to spread out during our 11-hour drive.

Then, after a day or two of pushing her around, we can switch to a scooter rental if we deem it necessary. I want her to be able to look around and enjoy her experience without fearing obstacles in the parks, and she'd never have to switch from scooter to wheelchair for any of the rides.

I've pushed someone around both Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, so I'm not a novice when it comes to that.


Sounds like a solid plan and having experience yourself already will be a big plus for you also.

I'm wondering about her abilities. While it will always be more limited, using a wheelchair does not have to mean she has zero own mobility with it. It is pretty heavy work to propel a chair when not used to it and not something she will be able to do all day. But if she could venture out into another aisle in a store, that will be a big positive influence on how free one feels.

Might be something to try out at home to see what she can and can't do and how that might be improved. Don't know what it's called in english, but it might be worth looking into moving the chair by using both arm(s) and leg(s) if she has the ability. Arms will be pretty straigth forward as one always would propel, legs would be folding up the feet rests (VERY important) and "walking" in smal stept with the lower legs. You know, like many will have moved a working chair around the office or we've all seen docs scoot around offices etc. Combined with armpropelling this requires less strength of her arms and also keeps legs mobile. She can control herself how straining she makes it for her legs. Can be as little as a small skip. Starting out little is smart though, to get a feel of the chair. Too much enthousiasm in a chair that has a poor lay out can cost a heel. :headache: If it would result in even just moving one aisle per store, it'll be a big difference in how freeing it feels.

There are even options to need less power to propel with arms (reducing it to half the strength or less for the same distance), but those aren't always the easiest to rent and I'm not sure if that would be something safe enough for her if the ECV also is a bit of a challenge at moments. Those power assisted wheels do come with an "additude" you'll want to be able to work with.

pbrim
05-10-2012, 05:26 PM
I have a Go-Go Elite Traveller Plus, that I took on my last trip. I love the late night EMH, but I did find that after 10-12 hours in the park it was running out of juice. The Plus has a larger battery, so you may have trouble with the regular model. Some people have talked about plugging it in when eating or taking a break -- ask CMs if there is somewhere you can plug it in for even a little while here and there may help.

OTOH, a lot of the rental places rent out Pride scooters, and they all work fairly simular. When I did rent, I rented a Pride Revo from Walker, and it was more comfortable than the Go-Go, although I did just fine on the Go-Go. The biggest things that might help is getting plenty of practice on her Go-Go at home, especially in learning when to regulate her speed. If she has problems with it getting away from her, a wheelchair may be the way to go. It can be very crowded at WDW, there is not much room for error.

disneymarie
05-11-2012, 04:40 PM
Practice, practice, practice. Make mom use it religously between now and the trip. Everystore, outing, and around the home. Do not let it parked if she wants independance and saveexertion on the hills for others. Mom would be stuborn about. Outings or shopping, but this really helps. If your mom is advanced in years perhaps the wheelchair is better.