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Old 04-20-2013, 04:00 PM   #1
AprilJ26
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Some ECV questions...

Hello! We have a WDW trip planned for May 26-31 and are staying at the Poly. My parents are coming with us this trip (their first trip to WDW!) and my mom just had arthroscopic knee surgery a couple of weeks ago. She's recovering well and is able to walk better than before the surgery, but she does have pretty bad arthritis and will probably not be able to walk long distances at WDW. She's decided to rent an ECV. She wants to rent one at the parks each morning (we will always be there at rope drop), rather than rent one offsite and have to deal with loading/unloading from the monorail and buses. I just have a few questions...

1) This is the first time we've had someone with mobility issues with us at WDW so I have never really paid attention to the distances from bus drop off/monorail drop off to the park entrances, particularly at MK. Is it possible for her to walk from the monorail exit to the MK entrance and vice versa without having great difficulty? (She can walk, she just has trouble with stairs and very LONG distances). I know there are ramps at MK and, maybe even Epcot, from the monorail to the entrance. Just curious if it's a really bad walk.

2) If she does decide not to rent offsite and chooses to rent in the parks each morning, how bad of a wait are we looking at to get an ECV after rope drop? Will it basically defeat the purpose of arriving at rope drop? We've been several times, so we're really in no hurry, but I don't want to rush to rope drop only to have her stuck in a 30+ minute wait to get an ECV.

3) What are the odds of her not getting an ECV at rope drop or even if she leaves and comes back later in the day? I know they are first come, first serve and in a limited supply.

4) If she were to rent one offsite, how BAD is it really to load and unload from the monorail and buses? Is it worth the trouble?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:27 PM   #2
Cheshire Figment
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Much better off renting off-site.

The monorail is a breeze. At the Poly you take an elevator upstairs. At all stations when she goes to board she will b told where to stop the ECV. They will lay a metal ramp over the gap between the platform and the car. Just drive right in. The worst that could happen, depending on the station sequence, is she might have to back out and the CM with the ramp will assist in guiding her.

As far as the buses, about 99% of the Disney buses now use ramps and not lifts. And if worse comes to worst, when she boards a bus she can sit down and someone else in the family can maneuver the ECV into (or out of) the parking space.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
DragonMomma
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Hi there!

I'm in the same boat. I'm taking my mom along this fall. We're also looking at the Poly this time for the convenience of the monorail. The buses stink as far as walking from the gates to the bus stop day in and day out.(And I'm healthy) I did it with my DS5 last fall. I loved POP, except for being confined to buses. Hence the great interest in Poly, now that I have my mom along. The loading and unloading from what I've witnessed from other guests doesn't seem to be all that complicated. The boats and monorail seem to be a cinch with an ECV. (Buses too!) We're definitely not waiting to rent in the park. I want to make sure to save her feet and energy everyway I possibly can. I would recommend the same. I can't say how in demand the ECVs are at the gate, but I personally, don't care to gamble or mess around. Much rather have everything raring to go when we check in. Yanno?
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
jdb in AZ
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The off-site rentals are cheaper and usually better quality -- not as klunky, and easier to maneuver. In addition to the long walk from the bus to the hotel, the hotels themselves are huge! An ECV is so useful in and around the hotels.

Before you go, your mom could practice using an ECV at stores that have them available for their customers (such as Target, Costco.) Or a local zoo. If she can steer one of those over-sized scooters, an off-site rental will be a breeze.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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If she needs coaxing, remind her that renting off site means never having to worry that they might run out.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:37 AM   #6
AprilJ26
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Thanks for the advice! I think I have her almost convinced to rent offsite. She's just so worried about the dirty looks she may get for having trouble loading on the bus and holding everyone up. We will only have to use the bus at HS and AK, though, so hopefully it won't be a big deal. My husband told her he'd load it for her. Now we have to decide which company to rent from! Looking at Apple and Buena Vista Scooters...
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AprilJ26 View Post
Thanks for the advice! I think I have her almost convinced to rent offsite. She's just so worried about the dirty looks she may get for having trouble loading on the bus and holding everyone up. We will only have to use the bus at HS and AK, though, so hopefully it won't be a big deal. My husband told her he'd load it for her. Now we have to decide which company to rent from! Looking at Apple and Buena Vista Scooters...
Tell her not to worry about the bus and don't worry what other say or give looks. She has every right to load the bus and take as much time as she needs the drivers will help if needed. Disney has their buses made for quick and efficient and safe loading for ecv and the drivers will be their to keep others in line if their guest being mean or rude to her just let the driver know most wont put up with it and have no problem dealing with the guest. Have fun and enjoy your trip you are all their to enjoy and relax and spend time together so please tell her not to worry about others only thing that matters is her having a fun time.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
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I consider it a long walk to go from your room to the monorail or bus and then another long walk to get to the park. You get a little rest in between, but it can be hard. I'm going to assume your mom is not going to be the fastest walker in her condition, either; so, it will probably take longer than you expect. Now, the worse part is doing this in reverse when you leave the park. You have a long day in the parks and you're somewhat tired and you need to do get back to resort. It will be probably more crowded on the way back, too which means longer waits for the monorail or bus. If you take a break mid-day then you get to do this all over again with going back to the park a second time. The waits for the Disney scooter rentals is the same line for wheelchairs and strollers; so, there may be a wait to get a scooter.

I really believe you will be better off with an outside rental scooter at the resort. When we took my husband's mother we did all the hard scooter driving for her. She was 87 at the time. She never had to deal with getting on and off the buses. A monorail is easier than a bus. Your mom may be able to handle the monorail boarding on her own, but you certainly could do it for her. Take all the stress out of the equation for her.

The smaller, travel scooters (pride go-go, for example) you rent from outside sources are easier to use than the bigger ones at the parks. There's a three wheeled model or four. Most feel the three wheel scooters turn better; whereas, the the four wheel is more balanced and stable. The smaller scooters are easier to use in ride queues. You will save money with an outside rental, too. If you want to have the scooter sent to the Poly and dropped off there then you need to use an approved Disney vendor like Apple Scooters.

With an outside rental scooter you will be able to board the monorail in the handicap cars. The CMs will bring a ramp to the monorail car for you to get on the monorail and the same in the reverse.

We've done this for years with various people and we feel renting from an outside scooter company has worked out the best for us.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:57 AM   #9
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I had to use one last summer because I had back surgery 4 days before we left. A friend had one delivered to the room for me. It was a vacation saver. I would recommend just renting one for the week. They'll deliver it to your room the day you arrive. I didn't take buses. We always took cabs which was kind of a pain in the butt because some cabbies were hesitant to lift the ECV into their cab because it was heavy. But if you have at least one able-bodied person to help the cabbie, I would definitely recommend it. I hope this helps. Let me know if I can give you any more info.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:17 PM   #10
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Definitely rent from offsite

I have used Apple and will use them again this year...great service and price. IN 2007 I rented in the parks and the walk to and from the buses was huge. And waiting in line esp if we changed parks or came back later was a pain. Since then I have rented from Apple. And it has allowed me to really enjoy the resort too as I have gone exploring. The drivers are great helping you and most people are nice. If they aren't who cares you will never see them afgain. It also allows my family to enjoy the trip and not have to wait for me or worry about me.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
Cheshire Figment
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Please ask the following questions. Here are the suggested answers to go with them.

1. Are you disabled (even temporarily)? Yes.

2. Do the people you are traveling with, such as your family, know you are disabled? Yes.

3. Do you expect to meet anyone you know during this trip who may not know you are disabled. Probably No!

4. Do you expect to meet a bunch of people who you will probably never meet again in your life? Probably yes!

5. Is there any reason at all that you should care what these people think about you? Absolutely No!!

6. Will using a wheelchair or ECV make for a better vacation for you and your family? Absolutely YES!
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:13 AM   #12
sjs314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheshire Figment View Post
Much better off renting off-site.

The monorail is a breeze. At the Poly you take an elevator upstairs. At all stations when she goes to board she will b told where to stop the ECV. They will lay a metal ramp over the gap between the platform and the car. Just drive right in. The worst that could happen, depending on the station sequence, is she might have to back out and the CM with the ramp will assist in guiding her.

As far as the buses, about 99% of the Disney buses now use ramps and not lifts. And if worse comes to worst, when she boards a bus she can sit down and someone else in the family can maneuver the ECV into (or out of) the parking space.
We are staying at the Poly in November so I am so glad to read your reply about the monorail. My previous 2 trips using an EVC we stayed at BWI and I just have to say taking the boats are easy peasy and the bus drivers are very helpful with loading the ECV and parking it.
I would recommend renting offsite so you have the ECV 24/7 . I used Apple Scooter both times and will use them again, they are excellent!
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs314 View Post
We are staying at the Poly in November so I am so glad to read your reply about the monorail. My previous 2 trips using an EVC we stayed at BWI and I just have to say taking the boats are easy peasy and the bus drivers are very helpful with loading the ECV and parking it.
I would recommend renting offsite so you have the ECV 24/7 . I used Apple Scooter both times and will use them again, they are excellent!
Follow the link in my signature to the disABILITIES FAQs thread.
One of the posts on that thread is about WDW transportation, with pictures so you can see the monorail loading that Cheshire Figment described.

Post 1 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread is n index that tells which post has which information.
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