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Old 06-03-2009, 12:17 PM   #1
wbk
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Disney World ban on Segways faces another challenge

Walt Disney World's ban on Segways is facing a new challenge.

Inside a downtown Orlando courtroom this morning, disability-rights advocates are trying to persuade a federal judge to reject a proposed settlement between Disney and three disabled people who filed a class-action lawsuit suit seeking to force Disney to allow the two-wheeled scooters inside its parks.

The lawsuit, filed by a man and a woman from Illinois and a woman from Iowa, was initially dismissed in early 2008 but resurrected after the lawyers for the three disabled people reworked their complaint.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Disney, which says allowing guests to ride Segways in its parks would create a safety hazard for other guests, would continue to bar Segways at both Disney World and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and be released from future legal claims over the ban. Disney would instead develop its own four-wheeled, upright scooters for disabled guests to use in its parks and would deploy 15 of the vehicles between Disney World and Disneyland. The devices -- which Disney is displaying during today's court hearing on the settlement -- look much like the typical sit-down scooters common at Disney World, but with a standing backrest rather than a seat.

Disney also agreed to pay attorneys fees for the plaintiffs estimated to be somewhere between $70,000 and $185,000, and pay the three people who filed the lawsuit $4,000 each, which, according to the terms of the settlement, "may be applied by them toward a one-week stay for a family of four" at Disney World.

But lawyers for an organization known as Disability Rights Advocates For Technology, or DRAFT, are objecting to the settlement. They argue, among other things, that it would violate the Americans With Disabilities Act and that it would unfairly allow Disney to charge guests to rent the upright scooters.

The U.S. Department of Justice and a coalition of 23 state attorneys general -- including Florida Attorney General and 2010 Republican candidate for governor Bill McCollum -- have also objected to the terms of the settlement
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:02 PM   #2
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segway

Not sure why wdw would not allow segway's since they already use them on a tour. Don't they? Segways are not cheap and if someone is willing to pay the money to travel with them why not allow them?
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:03 PM   #3
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Unless I am mistaken, the tours you are speaking of are at World Showcase before that area of the park is open to the public, so you do not have to worry about someone losing control of a segway and running into a guest.

Some managers use Segways, typically in ODF or security, but those are people that Disney has trained and certified. Disney does not want a bunch of people to use a motorized device in their park that they do not know how to use it properly.

Also, and once again I may be mistaken, Segways are not approved mobility devices for people with disbilities. The ADA requires a reasonable accomodation, and I would think that a motorized scooter would count as that
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DVC_Chris View Post
Also, and once again I may be mistaken, Segways are not approved mobility devices for people with disbilities. The ADA requires a reasonable accomodation, and I would think that a motorized scooter would count as that
Yeah, I was confused by this. I have never heard of segways being used this way either.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:05 PM   #5
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All it would take is one small child darting in front of unsuspecting Segway rider and then Disney has a whole other mess on its hand. It seems more than accommodating on Disney's part to provide 4-wheel scooters. I guess I don't understand why people NEED a two-wheeled scooter.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:34 PM   #6
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All it would take is one small child darting in front of unsuspecting Segway rider and then Disney has a whole other mess on its hand. It seems more than accommodating on Disney's part to provide 4-wheel scooters. I guess I don't understand why people NEED a two-wheeled scooter.
They don't need a 2 wheeled scooter. They must need some money. They were not happy with 4,000 so they don't agree.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DVC_Chris View Post
Unless I am mistaken, the tours you are speaking of are at World Showcase before that area of the park is open to the public, so you do not have to worry about someone losing control of a segway and running into a guest.
I've seen those tours around Epcot during regular park hours riding around guests
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:31 PM   #8
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I've seen those tours around Epcot during regular park hours riding around guests
If the times are still the same, I think there are four tours each day with the first tour starting around 7:45 and the last around 9:30. They are two hour tours and the first 45 minutes or so is spent learning how to ride the segway in the Innoventions building. Most of the remaining time is spent riding around World Showcase, which doesn't open until 11:00. The tours do cross paths with pedestrians for a short bit on the way to and from World Showcase and Innoventions.

We own a Segway, are very experienced with it, and know they can be safe; however, I still don't believe they should be allowed in the parks for many of the reasons already mentioned. I think they may be fine outside the parks, but inside it is just too conjested much of the time to risk the consequences of inexperienced operators.

We love riding the Segway so much that we still take the Epcot tour each trip. During the "training" part of the tour, the video clearly tells any CM that may be taking the tour as a guest that this 2-hour tour does NOT qualify him or her to ride unsupervised on Disney property. After the short video, much time is spent learning to operate and stop the Segway and learning that you and your Segway DO take up a bit more room than just your body does when walking. We have seen a couple of inexperienced people fall because they forgot to watch for the curbs and because they lost control going down hill and they couldn't slow down in time. It seems like ECVs and wheelchairs would be less likely to cause the operator to fall or lose control after such incidents, which could be somewhat frequent, given all of the attention distractions that are found in the parks.

I also don't think Disney would have to abandon CM-operated use of Segways, nor the tours, if they continue to disallow guest use of Segways. The tours are supervised and the CMs receive extended training. If Segways were allowed to be used in the parks by guests, I can't see how Disney would be able to retain control over the training that should be required before the devices can be operated unsupervised in the parks, especially with the number of 3rd party vendors that might decide to rent them. Since Disney doesn't currently ask for proof of disability or experience with the devices before allowing ECVs into the park, or when renting them to guests, how would they identify and stop an inexperienced Segway rider from bringing a Segway in?
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:12 PM   #9
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Gee, aren't those baby strollers dangerous enough? Now we have to avoid bigger and heavier faster moving modes of transportation while walking around the parks...................
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:08 AM   #10
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We have seen a couple of inexperienced people fall because they forgot to watch for the curbs and because they lost control going down hill and they couldn't slow down in time.
Making it seem like you are talking about Segway's at Disney is totally false. Disney (for the most part) has no "hills".

This is a farce and didn't happen.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:30 PM   #11
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Not sure why wdw would not allow segway's since they already use them on a tour. Don't they? Segways are not cheap and if someone is willing to pay the money to travel with them why not allow them?
The Disney Segways are kept on "turtle" mode, meaning they can only reach speeds of 4 to 5 mph maximum. Segways belonging to private individuals can travel at more than 12 mph. It's a matter of guest safety.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:27 PM   #12
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The Disney Segways are kept on "turtle" mode, meaning they can only reach speeds of 4 to 5 mph maximum. Segways belonging to private individuals can travel at more than 12 mph. It's a matter of guest safety.
Um...if they are, for the tours, then Disney CMs are the exception. We were practically run down by a CM on a segway just prior to Illuminations, as he was flying at full-speed. Absolutely MUCH faster than four or five MPH.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:36 PM   #13
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Disney can ban bicycles, unicycles, tricycles, mopeds, soapbox derby cars, and other assorted wheeled vehicles, in addition to roller blades, roller skates, and wheeled tennis shoes. Why are segways any different??
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:30 PM   #14
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We did a Segway tour with DCL. One of the tour members lost control of her Segway and was injured (bruises and scrapes). My husband had to pull it off of her from where she had it jammed up against a tree with her leg under it.

We love Segways and have been on a few tours since our first in Epcot, but as Cheshire Figment states, Disney can't demand proof of disability now under the ADA, and I can't see how Disney would be able to check Segway experience unless somebody gives out Segway licenses.
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:15 PM   #15
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segway

Wow, Has anyone posting researched the price of a segway? The chance of 100's of people who own them ending up at a disney park at the same time is highly unlikely. As for renting one, all disney has to do is not allow a rental agency to have an agency on site (downtown disney). I myself have had to hurry out of the way of someone in a ecv numourus times. Motorize anything at disney is a hazard. I think the public thinks you can get these for $199 at the local wal-mart. Do some research. When you purchase a segway you get some instruction time at the dealer as well as an instruction video and manuel. With times the hard time hitting people are just lucky to have the money to get to take a vacation. If disney allowed segways I really don't think that the segway company is going to have an explosion on orders. People don't have the money to buy. Only people that have the need for it are going to make the sacrafice.
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