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View Poll Results: ECV or Wheelchair
ECV 13 72.22%
Wheelchair 3 16.67%
POR 1 5.56%
POFQ 12 66.67%
CSR 0 0%
CBR 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
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Wheelchair or ECV and Resort

Greetings everyone, I will be going to WDW with my brother 12/31 - 1/7 and my mother and grandmother will be joining us on 1/3 for a few days for their first visit in quite a few years.

My grandmother, 87, has difficulty walking long distances, so we usually get her a wheelchair if we know there will be a lot of walking. However, with the option of renting an ECV this time around, we are not sure whether we should rent an ECV or a wheelchair. She has never driven an ECV, but she does drive a car regularly. I don't think anyone will mind pushing her around in the wheelchair, but it just seems more convenient to rent the ECV. Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated!

Taking this into consideration, which moderate resort would be best for someone like my grandmother who has difficulty walking long distances? We originally thought about staying at POR, but we are considering the POFQ.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
jdb in AZ
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Not familiar enough with the moderate hotels to make a suggestion, but you might want to take your mom to Target, Wal*Mart, or other places that have ECV's for their customers and see if she's able to drive one. It's good practice, and if she can handle one of those over-sized klunkers, she can certainly handle the smaller type rented out by the off-site vendors in Orlando.

WDW seems flat, but there's actually more hills than you'd imagine, and the longer you push a wheel chair, the steeper those hills get. (making mountains out of molehills.)

An ECV will also give her independence so she won't feel like she's a burden on anyone.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:48 PM   #3
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I chose POFQ since it is a smaller result. I liked that it is a small, quaint resort that your Grandmother may not need to use a ECV for around the resort.

If I wasn't a DVC member, POFQ is where I would stay. Added benefit is that FQ gets picked up first or has its own bus if using bus with ECV.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:18 PM   #4
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In regard to evc for the grandmother. Its a good idea she will greater freedom. Its cheaper to rent oustside of the park. Besides the money you keep the evc 24hours as opposed to renting at the park where you have to return it. This can come in handy the walk to the bus or monorail. And to get around the resorts and Downtown Disney also.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
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Unless you are used to an ECV and have seen WDW before, I would suggest a WC. You have to be constantly alert while driving an ECV--no time to look around and enjoy the scenery. You must constantly watch the other people and know exactly where you are at all times. People stop suddenly in front of you, dart out in front of you, won't let you merge into the flow of traffic after shows and attractions, etc.

Yes, you have more freedom to choose where you want to go, but for a first timer, I would pick a WC. I drive an ECV in "real life" and am very used to mine. At WDW, getting from one place to another safely is a challenge. I go early, leave before noon and return in late afternoon (if I am up to it.) I tried to go in less crowded times, but either people don't see you or they try to beat you into lines and other places.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:31 PM   #6
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I've stayed at all of those resorts and would choose POFQ.
Besides the reasons already mentioned, there is a walking path along the water to get to POR, so your family would be able to have access to the food court and pool at both resorts ( hopping between sister resorts is allowed).

There is also a boat that travels between the PO resorts and Downtown Disney. That is a very nice ride, plus you can rent boats at the marina for a relaxing sightseeing ride to DD and make a side trip to see OKW.

I agree with Piper about a wheelchair giving her more opportunity to actually look around and enjoy the scenery without bring watchful of where she is and what other people are doing all the time. That constant vigilance can be very tiring and, even stressful for some people.

An additional benefit is that some attractions have lines that are wheelchair accessible, but not ECV accessible, so she would not have to transfer.
Some of the harder to step down into attractions (Small World, Jungle Cruise, Mexico, Living with the Land) have wheelchair accessible boats where she could go into the line and stay in a wheelchair for the whole attraction.

Buses are easier with a wheelchair than parking an ECV and if the wheelchair/ECV spots are all filled, you have the option of getting on and folding the wheelchair while she sits in a regular bus seat.

An ECV would allow more independence, if she does not like being dependent on someone else. It sounds like she is used to being pushed in a wheelchair when you are out though.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:14 AM   #7
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I vote for POFQ because it really is my favorite resort - it's one of the few places that feel "intimate" or "cozy" at Disney!

Also, I would suggest a WC, if she is amenable to being pushed around rather than driving herself.

I say this because not only does driving a ECV at WDW require constant awareness and very quite reflexes, it requires hand "stamina." By this, I mean she would have to use her thumbs or part of her hand to constantly be pushing down on the accelerator lever and she will have to hold her arms up to hold onto the tiller. A lot of people with hand problems, such as arthritis, find driving an ECV difficult. I, myself, cannot drive one without my hands and arms getting tired quickly. Even driving my powerchair, which is vastly easier on the hands than an ECV, my hand hurts after a while.

If she is okay with getting pushed around, I think a WC would just be easier for peace of mind. Much more relaxing for her!

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Old 11-14-2012, 07:40 AM   #8
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I picked POFQ with an ECV. I've stayed at all four moderates and POFQ would definitely be better with an ECV or wheelchair. There is only one bus stop, so unless a party with two ECVs arrived before you, she would get on. We stayed at PORS with my mom, who uses an ECV and had a horrible time with the buses. Either every bus already had two ECVs, too many people already on there, or the lift was broken. We waited through bus after bus every day it seemed, trying to find one we could load her on. It was so bad, my mom swore she would never go back to WDW and just changed her mind this past year. She hated the bus system at PORS, but loved it at POFQ. (Yeah, I know they share the same buses, but the buses stop first at POFQ.) We never had problems like that at POFQ. She was able to get on the first bus every single time. Saying that, we've also stayed with her twice at CSR and the bus service there was always excellent too. Maybe once or twice we had to wait for a second bus, because there were ECVs ahead of us, but it was no way near as bad as our week at PORS.

My mom is 79 y/o and loves the independence of an ECV. She doesn't use one at home, but does need one at the grocery stores, so is used to driving one. The ones you rent from offsite are alot easier to handle than the bigger ones you rent onsite or use at WalMarts or Targets. We've used both Walker Mobility and Apple Scooters and my mom prefers Apples' smaller Go Go Elite ECVs. Plus they are quite a bit cheaper.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:41 AM   #9
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Arrow My vote is for wheelchair

I agree with the previous posters comments as to why a wheelchair is better.

I'll share a story. We took my MIL who was 85 at the time. She was car driving at the time back home. She never used an ECV before we took her to Disney World.

She had a hard time. She got the basic idea, but there were some circumstances with it. First, she would want to rub her nose or whatever and she would let go of the handlebar while riding and of course the scooter would stop. She never parked the scooter, nor did she drive it in and out of the bus or boat or monorail or in and out of the resort room. She held on to her son to walk unto the bus and so forth and I drove the scooter for these harder parts. She seemed mentally exhausted from about 6 hours of driving the scooter each day. We did 5 days at Disney World with her. I guided her pretty well to ramps when necessary and what have you, but she was mortified to a degree. The crowds got to her especially at the popular events like parades and fireworks. Also, she would panic at times when people were close and she often stopped too much if others were near by. It didn't take just people darting out; she froze if they got close. This all got to be very time consuming. We missed some rides, as well; because, she was using a scooter. It would be just to hard to do them.

I realized too late she would have been much happier being wheel chaired; so, see could absorb more of what the parks had to offer and do more at the parks, as well.

She did survive, but I don't think her memories were as nice because it seemed like a working vacation for her with scootering.

Practicing ahead of time is a good idea. The free ones at the store are a good start. My best suggestion is to go to a local zoo and see how she does there with a scooter for a day. Most zoos have scooters you can rent. I will say she will still have a rougher time at Disney World with crowds and such, but the zoo is a good place for learning.

If you do rent a scooter from the Disney parks it will be expensive compared to an outside scooter rental vendor. We like Apple Scooters. Anyway, there are pros and cons to each way. Getting an outside scooter rental will be way less money and she will have the scooter to use at the resort. The downside is you need to get the scooter in and out of the resort room and you have to charge the battery everyday. Also, you either have to get the scooter in and out of your car or get it on and off Disney transportation to get back and forth to the parks. If you rent a scooter at the parks you pay way more and you don't have use of one at the resort.

Another concern with our MIL is that she had to be constantly told to shut her scooter off when we were seeing a parade or fireworks or show or whatever; otherwise, the battery would probably not have lasted through the day.

If I had to do it over again, it would be wheelchair all the way. The fact that you have helpers to share the pushing should make it better. Alternate your activities between rides and shows and eats and no one should get too tired from pushing.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the responses! We will be staying at POFQ.
"Disneyland is the star, everything else is in the supporting role."
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