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View Full Version : Here at VWL now, disappointing news about bike and boat plan!


rbuzzotta
04-19-2004, 06:56 AM
Well...........we were so excited that they re-instated the bike and boat family plan (EVEN AT A HIGHER RATE!!) When we got here we couldn't wait to sign up. DH went over and signed our family of 5 up!

When we went to take out the water mice, we were told DD #1 (who rode them alone all last year costing us a fortune and almost 13) could no longer ride the mice alone!! She needed an adult (or person over 16 with her). New policy we were told!! With this new policy change (new in the last few days, not even in writing yet!) there was no way that my family of 5 could all go out on the lake together in the water mice!!

With this new policy change, we ended up getting our money back on the plan..............it didn't work for us...............

Hope others have better luck with this than us......

Well, off the Animal Kingdom today.........it is sunny and bright........I will send my love to Mickey from you all!! LOL!

jaysue
04-19-2004, 06:58 AM
That is unfortunate

I think there was an incident/accident recently with watermice - it was posted on the resorts board I think under one of the CR headings and it led to the new 16yr old rule

:(

thanks
jaysue

WolfpackFan
04-19-2004, 07:08 AM
I don't want to step on any toes here, but I have to say I agree with this policy completely. Anyway you look at it the water mice are boats with motors on them and can be very dangerous. Now maybe it was the crowds two weeks ago, but the lakes were so crowded with boats of all kinds and sizes, just speeding all over the place, it's a wonder that there are not more collisions and more people injured or killed. I saw several very near misses and one time our MK boat driver had to blow his horn repeatedly because a child in a water mice kept trying to cross our bow. I saw the CM's in the safety boats chasing down water mice numerous times because of improper use also. I know every parent out there will say well my child is special and mature and wouldn't be doing that, but the fact is you have no control whatsoever over someone else's child in the other boat who is trying to play chicken with your child. Just think about it. Maybe I'm just supersenstive to teenagers and accidents as we had two 16 year old kids killed in a car accident in our town this week because the girl driving turned left at an intersection right into the path of a tanker. I'm sure the parents of these three kids never thought this would ever happen to them - but the fact is accidents do happen and it just seems to me the prudent thing is to minimize the circumstances that can cause these accidents.

beattyfamily
04-19-2004, 07:11 AM
New policy doesn't bother me in the least. Safety first!

We would still enjoy the plan cause besides the water mice (one parent with one DD each) we enjoy renting the Pontoon boats!

dlr25
04-19-2004, 07:58 AM
Although my son will be disappointed, I have to agree with the "safety first" group. We have never been to WDW during Christmas or Easter. We intentionally go at less crowded times and I have never seen the lake crowded with water mice. We're usually the only ones out there and it seems very safe for my son to drive. However, the rules have to make sense all the time and the thought of a lake crowded with water mice makes me understand and appreciate the new rule. Just don't tell my son!

PamOKW
04-19-2004, 08:04 AM
I hadn't read anything (haven't been on the resorts board lately), but if there were an accident WDW's insurance company may have demanded they put the 16 and up rule into effect.

lenshanem
04-19-2004, 08:30 AM
Here's the link -
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=548647&highlight=%2Bwater+%2Bmice+%2Baccident

Wow, read that post! A lot happened while they were there!
It is also amazing to me how mean people get while at WDW in regard to the fight they got into with another family.

I can totally relate as I had a woman who I thought was going to beat me up at the Country Bear Jamboree once cause my youngest started crying during the finale. Another family even got involved trying to help me out as my husband wasn't with me.

Amazing how rude people get!

SSRex
04-19-2004, 08:51 AM
Too bad, but like most things a few irresponsible individuals spoil the fun for the majority that follow the rules & are carefully safe.

We have 2 boys that are 14 years old that will not want to ride along with their parents after being able to drive the boats alone 2 years years ago when they were only 12. And then there are their sisters that are now 11 years old. Where do we leave them if the boys do want to go out with us? Last trip, we rented four boats, 2 for the boys and 2 for each of us & the girls rode along.

I am not sure we will rent any this trip. I don't think I kids will want to. Too bad. Does anyone know if the new boats are any faster or larger or harder to maneuer than the old mouseboats?

FYI: All 4 of our kids have also safely rode Segways and will have to wait several years to be able to do that at WDW/ EPCOT also.

These higher age limits are starting to make me think that there is a double standard for children at WDW. Of course, they will charge you the Adult admission price, but you are not an adult to be able to do many of the other activities. If they are kids, charge them as such, but if they charge them adult prices, treat them as such.

Anyone agree or disagree?

beattyfamily
04-19-2004, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by SSRex
These higher age limits are starting to make me think that there is a double standard for children at WDW. Of course, they will charge you the Adult admission price, but you are not an adult to be able to do many of the other activities. If they are kids, charge them as such, but if they charge them adult prices, treat them as such.

Anyone agree or disagree?

I disagree. Admission to the park vs. riding the water mice boats is not a fair comparision, IMHO.

A 10 year old can enjoy just about everything in the park, probably more than a person in a wheelchair or an elderly person or a pregnant person whom all have to pay full price.

I always thought 12 was too young to go out in a motorized boat in the lagoon without an adult. I think this new policy is in the best interest of everyone who uses them and a long time coming.

I know some kids who were able to do this before (under age 16) will be disappointed, but disappointment is part of life.

CarolMN
04-19-2004, 09:38 AM
I completely agree with this policy.

IMHO, no child without a driver's license should be able to drive any motorized vehicle whether it be on land or water. Even if they are tall/heavy enough to control the machine, nearly all under 16 (and many over) just do not have the good judgement /experience to always appreciate the consequences of their actions - especially when they are having fun or with their frineds.

A 12 year old driving an ATV was just killed in our area. Machine overturned. Child (with a friend also on an ATV) was riding on private property so technically, was not breaking the law (16 in MN). Grandparent who allowed the child to ride will have to live with that death. I don't envy him or the child's parents.

FWIW, I am surprised that anyone under 16 was ever allowed to drive the water mice alone - after all, most of the Disney tours require you to be 16! Go figure!

Johnnie Fedora
04-19-2004, 09:39 AM
The new rule may also have a secondary effect of decreasing access to a popular program. That along with the higher price.

BCV23
04-19-2004, 09:49 AM
I think the rule is a good idea.

On a boat trip from BCV to MGM last month, we saw a very young looking child...perhaps 12...driving a boat with a 4 or 5YO as her passenger. They went directy in front of the MGM boat. Very dangerous. When the captain blew the horn, the girl looked so surprised to see a big boat near her. Saw another two young kids almost swamp their boat as they did fast circles. Really, I thought they were going to be in the water any moment.

Plus 16 will probably be easier to enforce...have to show a license or birth certificate maybe.

SSRex
04-19-2004, 10:15 AM
Can anyone that has been to WDW recently & since the new rule took effect answer whether a teenager, under 16, can drive the boat with their parent riding along with them or can now only ride next to their parent driving the boat? Any total weight limits also?

Someone that disagreed with me wrote:

"I know some kids who were able to do this before (under age 16) will be disappointed, but disappointment is part of life."

My response is that Disappointment, especially for kids, has not been a part of Walt Disney World, and if it is to be, the Magic is over. I go to WDW and take my kids because, it is better than the rest of the world. Once WDW just becomes a "part of life" is when I sell my DVC membership and start vacationing elsewhere.

Our trip this summer will be the second in a row in which one of the top attractions for our kids has closed after we made our reservations. In 2001, I made reservations for a Ft. Wilderness cabin and the next summer when we went River Country closed permanently. Our 2 boys, 12 at the time, drove their own water mouse boats on that trip and have wanted to do that again more than anything we did on the last trip. Now they can not go alone.

jarestel
04-19-2004, 11:10 AM
SSRex, I understand what you're saying about the fun part of WDW magic, but do you think it wise to have children thinking that no matter what they do while at WDW, nothing bad will happen to them?

Sammie
04-19-2004, 11:30 AM
While I agree that Disney World is one of the most magical places anywhere, I have to agree that safety comes first.

My understanding is that the new water mice are faster more powerful boats. Now I am not sure if that was a good idea or not. But since they did change them and have already had a serious accident involving young riders, I don't see they had any choice but to raise the driving age to 16 with a license.

I certainly understand the disappointment that some will feel but I don't think it out weighs the safety issue.

The lake can be a very dangerous place. Yes some 14 year olds are responsible. Some adults are not. But you have to have some type of guidelines and I am sure liability and such played a part in the decision.

I am really surprised more have not been hurt on Sevens Seas Lagoon with all the boat traffic and large MK ferries crossing. Someone was killed by getting hit by a ferry once. The boats are dangerous in that you can not stop quickly.

Maybe Disney needs to have some areas on property that offer the older mice and the orginial age limit where the traffic is not so heavy. A compromise.

If I had to chose between a child being disappointed or safe, well is that not obvious.

DisneyMim
04-19-2004, 11:40 AM
It's about time. I've seen way too many accidents over the years. I'm surprised that it has taken them this long. Yes I know some kids will be upset (including my son), but I am very happy about his new rule.

Pa@okw95
04-19-2004, 03:00 PM
Kids play with those boats trying to intimadate other kids riding them. It was a circus out there with accidents waiting to happen. The rule was long overdue.

LisaR
04-19-2004, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by SSRex
These higher age limits are starting to make me think that there is a double standard for children at WDW. Of course, they will charge you the Adult admission price, but you are not an adult to be able to do many of the other activities. If they are kids, charge them as such, but if they charge them adult prices, treat them as such.

Anyone agree or disagree?

Sorry, but I strongly disagree. I really wish Disney would change the name of their admission tickets. I wish they offered two ticket choices. They could simply call one the "under 10 ticket" and the other "over 10 ticket." That way people might stop complaining that they have to purchase an "adult" ticket for their child. Because your 10 year olds ticket cost the same as your ticket does NOT mean Disney regards your 10 year old as an adult. That ticket price is based on what a person can do in the park. Kids 3 to 9 can enjoy MANY things in the park but not all so the ticket is a little cheaper. A 10 year old can see and go on everything at all the parks so they are charged the same price as an adult. Water mice have nothing to do with the price of a ticket. It is a safety hazard for a child to drive one, period. There isn't a double standard.

Your statement ofthe following doesn't make any sense at all:

"Of course, they will charge you the Adult admission price, but you are not an adult to be able to do many of the other activities"

An admission ticket gets you into the park only. What activities as a ticket holder CAN'T your 10 and older child do at the parks?? They can ride all the rides, see all the shows, watch the parades, eat anywhere they want. What can't they do? You mention that your kids have all drove Segway's before but are too young to ride at Epcot. Is that the "activity" you are referring to? Your admission ticket doesn't allow you to ride a Segway, period. That is a seperate ticket and that ticket has a whole other set of rules.

Sorry, but there are rules in place (or should be) when it comes to certain motorized transportation. Those rules are there for the safety of the guests and so WDW doesn't get sued. They are necessary and have NOTHING to do with your admission ticket to a theme park.

Lisa

Chim Chiminy
04-19-2004, 04:39 PM
I am glad they changed the age. We thought 12 was awful young when we were there last August.

My Dh and I saw a child overturn his boat, still not sure how, and had to be rescued over by the Grand Floridian.

Kids, and adults, were speeding through the no wake zones, running dangerously close to other boats.

Hopefully the change in rules will make the waterways safer.

BWVDee
04-19-2004, 05:11 PM
I have always thought 12 was too young to drive the boats, especially on 7 Seas Lagoon. That lake is huge and someone way out in a little water sprite is hard to see from the shores if there was an emergency; to say nothing of the heavy boat traffic on this lake!
I would not let my kids drive these until they were 16 and they have been around boats and have driven boats their whole lives--family owned commerical fishing business, and we live at the shore. 7 Seas Lagoon is a very big and very busy waterway and children under 16 should not be operating watercraft there.
Personally I think this change is long overdue. ::yes::

SSRex
04-19-2004, 07:50 PM
I haven't changed my mind on what I said, but I was speaking for my own kids that are well behaved and well supervised also. For the record, I don't have a 10 year old and my 2 boys were 12 two years ago when they very responsibly drove their own boats with me close behind. I know they could again at 14, but I also agree that not all 12 or 14 year olds would and many would not be as closely supervised either. I only said that they'd be disappointed.

The double standard reference in regards to age reminds me of the following:

You're an adult, you can drive at 16;
You're not an adult, you can't smoke at 16;
You're an adult, you can go in the army at 18;
You're not an adult, you can't drink at 18;
And my all time favorite, you can have a kid when you're a kid yourself.

westjones
04-19-2004, 07:55 PM
Can someone tell me how much the new plan is now? We are staying at WLV in July and I am curious if this would be a good option for us.
Thanks!
DJ

rbuzzotta
04-19-2004, 08:38 PM
Wow, I didn't think my thread would start a somewhat heated debate!!! Yes, we are disappointed (key word...disappointed!)but it is by no means ruining our vacation!!

We have never seen crazy drivers on the boats mainly becasue last year was the first time we were all able to enjoy the mice!! I for one, am all for safety!!

For those asking, a 12 year old can drive the boat with an adult present and i believe the total weight can not exceed 320 ish lbs. The price is 254. and change for up to 10 days and does not include the surrey bikes!!

Anyways, we are enjoying ourselves as always and making plans as to what we will be doing our next trip in July/August!!!