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Old 07-18-2012, 06:48 PM   #1
jcb
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Court Rules on Disneyland Segway Lawsuit

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastor...18/1055792.pdf

I'll have more to say about this in a blog post.

The bottom line: the ruling does not mean that Disney must permit Segways in Disneyland. Rather, Disney must now evaluate whether it is safe to use Segways in the theme parks.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:53 PM   #2
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I think it would be a nightmare to allow them at Disneyland.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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Ok, reading through that it looks like Disney won because earlier the person won a lawsuit saying they had trouble using the wheelchair in the bathrooms. Now they want to say never mind about the wheelchair because we can't use one anyway. We need a Segway. If I understand correctly, they lost because they can't have it both ways. So, the question of needing a segway under ADA is still legally unresolved, right? Just trying to understand, but maybe I have it wrong.

I can't imagine Segways at DLR! How about golf carts? Where do you draw the line? And then Disney would have to regulate how fast they can go. Do they make people change the settings when they come in? What keeps people from changing back them later? Don't know if those issues come up with the scooter things, but I've never seen those go as fast as the segways can.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:31 PM   #4
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Oh Silly Boy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcb View Post
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastor...18/1055792.pdf

I'll have more to say about this in a blog post.

The bottom line: the ruling does not mean that Disney must permit Segways in Disneyland. Rather, Disney must now evaluate whether it is safe to use Segways in the theme parks.
The Court said Disney must prove they are unsafe...impossible...Disney is the second largest user of Segways next to that Disabled Veterans group.

From the Chief Justice:


Read as Disney suggests, the ADA would require very few accommodations indeed. After all, a paraplegic can enter a courthouse by dragging himself up the front steps, see Tennessee v. Lane, 541 U.S. 509, 513–14 (2004), so lifts and ramps would not be “necessary” under Disney’s reading of the term. And no facility would be required to provide wheelchair-accessible doors or bathrooms, because disabled individuals could be carried in litters or on the backs of their friends.

That’s not the world we live in, and we are disappointed to see such a retrograde position taken by a company whose reputation is built on service to the public.

In deciding what’s reasonable, facilities may consider the costs of such accommodations, disruption of their business and safety. But they must also take into account evolving technology that might make it cheaper and easier to ameliorate the plight of the disabled. In the past, it might have been enough for a theme park to permit only non-powered wheelchairs. As technology made motorized wheelchairs and scooters cheaper, safer and more reliable, our expectations of what is reasonable changed—as Disney recognizes. But technological advances didn’t end with the powered wheelchair. As new devices become available, public accommodations must consider using or adapting them to help disabled guests have an experience more akin to that of non-disabled guests.

LAST PARAGRAPH of the opinion:

New technology presents risks as well as opportunities; we must not allow fear of the former to deprive us of the latter. We have every confidence that the organization that, half a century ago, brought us the Carousel of Progress and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln can lead the way in using new technology to make its parks more welcoming to disabled guests. As the man who started it all said, “Disneyland will never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world.” Walt Disney, 65, Dies on Coast; Founded an Empire on a Mouse, N.Y. Times, Dec. 16, 1966, at 40.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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I soooo want to respond, but I shall be good.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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?

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I soooo want to respond, but I shall be good.
That's an interesting comment
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
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I soooo want to respond, but I shall be good.
Not worth it. 49 posts in 6 years all on the same subject. Just someone trying to push their own agenda.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for the analysis in the blog Jack. The part about Disney having to decide if it is safe to allow a guest to operate a Segway in the parks makes me wonder about the outcome if this, or a similar decision, were applied to the Florida parks.

It would seem to me that proponents will argue that at WDW at least Disney has already demonstrated that Segways can be safely operated in the parks by guests. The Segway tour in Epcot obviously does just that. Although some of this tour is conduced in parts of the park not yet open to day guests, a part of it does (by necessity) operate in the part of the park that other guests are actively using.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by OKW Lover View Post
Thanks for the analysis in the blog Jack. The part about Disney having to decide if it is safe to allow a guest to operate a Segway in the parks makes me wonder about the outcome if this, or a similar decision, were applied to the Florida parks.

It would seem to me that proponents will argue that at WDW at least Disney has already demonstrated that Segways can be safely operated in the parks by guests. The Segway tour in Epcot obviously does just that. Although some of this tour is conduced in parts of the park not yet open to day guests, a part of it does (by necessity) operate in the part of the park that other guests are actively using.
I'm glad you found it helpful.

One of reasons the federal judge in Orlando gave for upholding the settlement of the Segway class action was that Disney had proven, to his satisfaction, that
Quote:
Disney would likely be able to maintain its ban on Segways in light of its legitimate safety concerns. Specifically, the evidence at the fairness hearing supports Disney’s position that unrestricted Segway use poses significant safety risks because Segways cannot be operated in accordance with Disney’s legitimate safety requirements.
Proponents of permitting Segways in the theme parks (one of whom is the United States Department of Justice; another being Gwinfred) have, in fact, argued that the Segway tours demonstrate that Segways can be safely operated. To me, that is like saying people don't speed on the Interstate because they don't speed when there is a cop in their rear view mirror.

Frankly, I found the decision pretty condescending toward Disney. I always find that distasteful. It seemed to me that the court unfairly accused Disney of focusing to much on one word in the statute ("necessary"), and then manufactured a parade of horrors that "would" happen if Disney's supposed interpretation were allowed. Perhaps even worse, in saying what the ADA required, the court then ignored the requirement that any accommodation must be "necessary." I have several other criticisms of the decision (and I'm being pretty general about the ones I address here) but repeating any more would make this exceedingly tedious.

Now, to be fair, the ADA could have been written better. No statute is perfect. But the current view of statutory interpretation is that courts don't get to rewrite statutes because they think Congress meant something different.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKW Lover View Post
Thanks for the analysis in the blog Jack. The part about Disney having to decide if it is safe to allow a guest to operate a Segway in the parks makes me wonder about the outcome if this, or a similar decision, were applied to the Florida parks.

It would seem to me that proponents will argue that at WDW at least Disney has already demonstrated that Segways can be safely operated in the parks by guests. The Segway tour in Epcot obviously does just that. Although some of this tour is conduced in parts of the park not yet open to day guests, a part of it does (by necessity) operate in the part of the park that other guests are actively using.
Beyond the "people don't speed with a cop behind them" argument that jcb mentioned, The other reasons why I don't think the Segway tours are a fair comparison for the themeparks in general are 1. There is a LOT more room on the walkways in EPCOT's Future World than there are in many areas of the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or MGM....so there is a bigger buffer around the Segways and non-segway public than in most other themepark environments, and 2. Think about the sea of people in some areas of the parks currently with stroller and ECV's and the bumping that inevitably occurs. Do you really think it's possible for a device which is operated via the shifting of weight [steered/ accelerated/ braked] to operate safely in these situations? Even if you are the most highly trained and experienced Segway user (which there is no way for Disney to verify), you have no control over the other people around you during the post-wishes sea of people down Mainstreet and if they choose to bump or push you in their rush to get out of the park.


Ultimately, my only issue with the Segway in the park debate, is that I truly don't believe there is any way to operate a device which relies on balance and shifting of weight safely within the types of crowds I have witnessed at the parks. I've been bumped/shoved too many times while walking in some of those mass of people times (Park Exits, Fantasmic lines, Even exiting a show) to believe that it won't happen to a Segway rider.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCTooTall View Post
Beyond the "people don't speed with a cop behind them" argument that jcb mentioned, The other reasons why I don't think the Segway tours are a fair comparison for the themeparks in general are 1. There is a LOT more room on the walkways in EPCOT's Future World than there are in many areas of the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or MGM....so there is a bigger buffer around the Segways and non-segway public than in most other themepark environments, and 2. Think about the sea of people in some areas of the parks currently with stroller and ECV's and the bumping that inevitably occurs. Do you really think it's possible for a device which is operated via the shifting of weight [steered/ accelerated/ braked] to operate safely in these situations? Even if you are the most highly trained and experienced Segway user (which there is no way for Disney to verify), you have no control over the other people around you during the post-wishes sea of people down Mainstreet and if they choose to bump or push you in their rush to get out of the park.


Ultimately, my only issue with the Segway in the park debate, is that I truly don't believe there is any way to operate a device which relies on balance and shifting of weight safely within the types of crowds I have witnessed at the parks. I've been bumped/shoved too many times while walking in some of those mass of people times (Park Exits, Fantasmic lines, Even exiting a show) to believe that it won't happen to a Segway rider.
Having taken the Epcot Segway tour, I have to agree with you. Even when we were riding through the World Showcase after park opening, there were *very* few people out, and our guide steered us through spaces where there weren't people, occasionally calling out to people to make way, etc. There was a whole line of people, not going fast, on these Segways, with a Guide in front of us clearing the way. We were a novelty. This in no way, shape or form resembled what it would be like riding on your own with family members in a crowded park. (I can just imagine the response you got if you drove through a crowd of people shouting "Look out!")

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:02 PM   #12
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Having taken the Epcot Segway tour, I have to agree with you. Even when we were riding through the World Showcase after park opening, there were *very* few people out, and our guide steered us through spaces where there weren't people, occasionally calling out to people to make way, etc. There was a whole line of people, not going fast, on these Segways, with a Guide in front of us clearing the way. We were a novelty. This in no way, shape or form resembled what it would be like riding on your own with family members in a crowded park. (I can just imagine the response you got if you drove through a crowd of people shouting "Look out!")

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One of the things the court suggested Disney could do is "require Segways to travel only as fast as motorized wheelchairs."

If Segways have to be allowed, look for Segway speed limit signs to crop up around the theme parks and for Disney to create the new job of Segway speed limit "cop" just to patrol the parks and issue warning tickets to guests who fail to follow the Segway speed limit.

I can think of someone who would be very well qualified for the position.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:41 PM   #13
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I can think of someone who would be very well qualified for the position.
I know Jack! I can see Nikki out there with her ruler and teacher glasses.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:50 PM   #14
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Hi Jack - would it be possible for Disney to set up a trial period and allow the Segways to see how they manage in real park conditions? Or would allow them at all mean that Disney would be compelled to continue to allow them, no matter what safety issues arise, if any?
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:05 PM   #15
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Hi Jack - would it be possible for Disney to set up a trial period and allow the Segways to see how they manage in real park conditions? Or would allow them at all mean that Disney would be compelled to continue to allow them, no matter what safety issues arise, if any?
George,

If Disney were to set up an established "trial period" under real park conditions, I doubt it would mean Disney would be compelled to continue to permit the Segways after the period ended. Of course, how you design such a test so it is meaningful is the issue. Testing between 12/24 to 1/2 would obviously be slanted, just as testing from 2/1 to 2/12 would be slanted. Crowd sizes aside, the real problem with a sample test of this nature is the likelihood that it would be almost impossible to select neutral Segway riders because I'm finding it hard to see how Disney could control for the "average" disabled Segway rider.

The people who have sued to use Segways in theme parks probably have a good bit of skill and experience in using a Segway (at least we can assume they do for present purposes). But if Disney must allow disabled guests to use Segways that would incrase the likelihood that less skilled Segway operators will be bringing them into the parks. (Think about Kevin's experience driving Bob's extra EVC.) That increases the likelihood of accidents.

So, to me, the real concern I have is that the test period idea, while pretty good in theory, could generate uninformative or misleading data in execution. It wouldn't be impossible just very difficult to do right.
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