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Old 12-03-2009, 12:48 AM   #1
kungaloosh22's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
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Disneyland ECV and trip planning questions

I'll be in Disneyland next week, and due to a torn meniscus in my knee, it looks like I'll be using an ECV for a good portion, maybe all, of the trip. My physical therapist was encouraging today about my progress, but we don't think I have a prayer of being able to stand/walk for 10-12 hours a day for 4 days straight. Therefore, I'm renting an ECV from Deckerts. I have so many questions!

1. I can slowly walk (or maybe use a cane or crutch) for short distances or times, so I may want to park my ECV to shop or use the regular lines at times. It seems some lines might just be easier to deal with on foot. I'm thinking that's out of the question for queues like Splash due to the queue length and many stairs. Are there other queues to definitely avoid on foot, e.g. Big Thunder Mountain? I can't remember if that has stairs or not? What about Space Mountain? I hear the loading situation is a pain there (is it really bad?) if you have an ECV, so am I better off managing that line on foot, or is it a long and cumbersome queue? It's been many years since I've been to Disneyland and I just don't remember what queues have stairs or are otherwise unwieldy.

2. I'm using RideMax to help create at least a general plan, but that assumes you're using normal queues. Any tips on how an ECV would change my plans? Do you still use Fast Passes for the queues that have separate entrances, e.g. Splash?

3. We're booked for the Holiday Tour, but now I'm really concerned about whether I'll slow down the rest of the tour group! What happens if when it's time for the train, the next train doesn't take ECVs? The Haunted Mansion line sounds complicated with ECVs, and I'd be willing to park it and do the regular line with everyone else, but I walk s-l-o-w-l-y and am concerned about holding up the group. I guess I'll talk with my tour guide about the best way to handle all this, but I'm curious if anyone else has done this tour with an ECV and what their experience was.

4. I hear the handicapped viewing for Fantasmic! is really bad, with parts of the show completely blocked. Is it really all that bad? I'd consider parking my ECV nearby and walking to a better viewing area, but I can't sit cross legged or with my knees twisted, so a long sit would be difficult, and standing in one place for a long wait would be hard as well. We do have premium seating booked on Friday at 9PM, but it looks like rain that night so it might get cancelled, and I thought it might be good to try to catch the show on Wed or Thur from elsewhere so as not to miss out if we're rained out on Friday.

5. Speaking of rain... any special tips for handling an ECV in the rain? Is it easy to use an umbrella with an ECV, or would that just turn me into an unwieldy weapon?

6. If we do early entry at rope drop, do we have a prayer at being among the first to Peter Pan or Nemo, or should I just relax and bag that idea altogether? I'm unsure of what it's like in an ECV in a rushing crowd.

7. Speaking of Nemo, how steep are the stairs and how many are there? I can handle a few stairs, but only carefully and slowly, and I'm very concerned about holding up a line.

8. Any tips or things to avoid when finding an area to view fireworks?

9. If I bring a cane or a crutch, is it easy to carry on the ECV? Again, I don't want to become an unwieldy weapon. Also, are seat canes allowed in the parks?

Thanks so much for any words of wisdom!
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:07 AM   #2
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1. Better off using the ECV or following Greeter instructions at every attraction. Especially, Space Mountain is not only NOT a 'pain' at Disneyland - it's fantastic! Check in with the Greeter, but you'll be directed in through the exit... where they can take a ride vehicle offline to enable Guests with mobility issues to enter and exit the vehicle at THEIR convenience - not under the same fast conditions as the regular track. Note that they do enforce the "wheelchait Guest + five" policy. If there are more than six of you, the others will have to wait in the regular line and will be directed to your side of the track when they approach the loading area.

2. No idea.

3. Tours are very accommodating. Granted, the one I took ended up with just the Guide and two Guests. Let them know when you make the reservation that you'll be using an ECV.

4. If you're going to try to view Fantasmic! from the general viewing area: arrive early! arrive early! arrive early!

5. No, it's not easy to operate the ECV and hold an umbrella. Not at all. I can do it, but I've used an ECV enough to be able to operate it with one hand. Keep in mind, the umbrella spokes will be at eye level for many people. You're much better off using a poncho; put it on, drape the back over the back of your seat and the front over the steering column. Especially be sure to keep the controls covered - rain can short out the electronics.

6. Don't know. Most likely it would depend how busy the park is overall and how close to the turnstiles you are when they start admitting Guests.

7. Doesn't matter. Nemo is new construcion and complies (or should) with the ADA. Even if there are steps, Guests with mobility issues will be able to avoid them.

8. Try to be on Main Street, near the Hub?

9. If you rent from offsite, let them know which you'll have and see if they can provide you with a hanger for it. If you rent from the park, no - you'll have to prop it between your knees.

10 (yes, I know there wasn't a 10). Please stop offering or suggesting that you will leave the ECV and walk all these different places. You need the ECV, you'll have it - use it.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:56 PM   #3
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We used an ECV back in February and the Haunted Mansion was fine for us. My wife could also walk short distances and we parked the ECV up by the disabled entrance and walked (with a stick) into the ride area. Short walk. The loading area is a moving floorway which was Ok for us but they will stop ther ride if they need to.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:50 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, these are some reassuring answers.

For the rain, I'll definitely use a poncho instead of umbrella, except *maybe* in a situation where I'm just sitting still for a period of time (like maybe waiting in line for Fantasmic seating, though if it's raining that hard at 7:00, who knows if the 9PM show will even go on anyway).
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
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I went on my birthday 11-23. I rented an EVC. Some of the lines were difficult to manuver for me as a non driver, overall it was fun. People dont seem to watch out for you . So be careful. RE: Nemo you will board last, then are 6-8 steps. You will be first to exit.
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