ECV first-timer

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by SpiritedHaunts, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. SpiritedHaunts

    SpiritedHaunts Mouseketeer

    Aug 3, 2008
    We are now planning a "no plan" trip as a last hurrah.Asmost everyone knows the prices have gone up and the fun things, for us like Off Kilter and others, has been taken out.

    This may be the last time because we stay at the Dolphin and the availability at a lower rate might have come to an end.

    The last few times I have been using a wheelchair that I can push or pushed in in the queues. But I think that now with an additional diagnosis of bursitis on both my feet I think it maybe time to not walk but use a cart.

    Any advice on using one in the parks for the first time? We are planning on going September 11th through the 16th.
  2. musicmom3331

    musicmom3331 Mouseketeer

    Jan 15, 2011
    I was a first-time ECV user in June. My advice:
    Rent off-site, so you'll have it for the long walk to the buses at the end of the day.

    Check the different off-site places to see how to make the unit go. Such you push a lever with your thumb, or pull back with your fingers.

    I have to have a pull-back due to arthritis.

    Practice using ECVs at Target/Walmart/grocery stores, etc. They usually have the thumb levers and that majorly hurts my hands. That's how I knew not to rent one of those.

    Bring a towel to sit on. It will prevent "swamp-butt", will help mark which ECV is yours, and helps keep the sun off the seat when you're off of it.

    I tied a bandana on the handle. I used it to drape over the tiller (the part where all the electronics are on the handle) if it was only light rain, and to cover the lights on the tiller when it was dark. I found the lights were really distracting.

    The bus drivers were amazing in helping me park!

    CMs were amazing in the parks!

    There are a lot of posts on this page on this subject. By reading these, any anxiety I had was greatly eased.

    I'm sure others can add to this.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  4. SpiritedHaunts

    SpiritedHaunts Mouseketeer

    Aug 3, 2008
    Thanks. I have been using the carts in Target and on very very rare times that I have to go to sprawlmart.

    I am even so adept that I can push displays right off their foundations.

    The dates I am looking at are all around a one or two, so hopefully I won't maime anyone. As long as they don't step of the curb with map over face into me.
    Selket and RaySharpton like this.
  5. Groot

    Groot Still recovering from the events of Infinity War.

    Aug 24, 2018
    As soon as you get the scooter, ask a CM for a demonstration (if they’re knowledgeable on scooters) or if the rental company you rented from is just coming in to drop off/pick up scooters, ask their representative for a crash course (just don’t drive into a golf cart like I saw one lady do!)

    Once you understand how the scooter works and the controls, find a quiet area and do a test drive until you feel comfortable with it.

    When you go into the parks, TAKE THE CHARGER WITH YOU!! You have no idea what it’s like to be in the middle of the park and your scooter battery dies. It’s not good. (Buena Vista now tethers the charger to the scooter so that it doesn’t get lost and you’ll have the charger in case of emergencies.

    Also, look up the manual of the scooter online so that you’ll have a troubleshooting guide too.
  6. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

    Jun 11, 2005
    Prepare yourself. You can be sitting quietly, served into a corner, with the key not even in the ignition - and somebody seemingly paying complete attention will walk into the scooter and blame you.
    Rent from any of the widely-recommended non-standard companies that delivers to you in person
    A properly charged (overnight) scooter should not need to be topped off during the day. Take a few precautions:
    Make sure it is plugged in securely every night.
    When you are not moving, even for just a few seconds, turn the key off.
    When you leave the ECV, take the key with you.
    Ask the various rental companies what you should do it if does stop running in a park or in the middle of the night.
    Don't top off the battery without confirming with the rental company. It's bad for some batteries.
    mamabunny likes this.
  7. SpiritedHaunts

    SpiritedHaunts Mouseketeer

    Aug 3, 2008
    Thanks all a lot of good information here. Really wish no one needed them.

    I'm pretty good at Target. Though they never seem to last for my whole trip. I start in the back and try to work forward. Even had some three cart trips.

    If you could see our train when we visit my Grandmother you would see a pretty good going 92 years old with her rollator in the lead, followed up by my mother trying to not leave me but not go to slow to hurt, then me either with cane or rollator in the back having to slow down to not hurt and having to stop every few steps.

    That is why I think I need a scooter in parks and possibly in day to day use. If I could find a good one that would fit in the car and somehow let me have a basket attached to shop in I would be extatic.
  8. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 1999
    Portable transport scooters break into 4-5 parts. The heaviest piece goes 30-35 pounds. The base of the unit is awkward getting in and out of a trunk, but can be done. Most of these scooters have one battery. Go to a local mobility store and you should be able to practice taking one in and out of your car. You can usually give the scooter a test drive in their parking lot. I don't feel bad about doing this because I figure there will be a time I'll buy one.

    The Pride Victory model comes with two batteries and never gives out on the charge. We love these scooters. They're a little bigger and a little heavier, but you could be in a park for well over 8 hours without a battery problem. Of course, this assumes you have fully charged your scooter.

    To conserve battery power make sure you shut off the scooter for shows, parades and fireworks.

    We use a door stop that we bring to get the scooter in and out of the resort room.

    You can take your scooter through most ride queues and park it near by. You will have to walk a little to get to the ride.

    Unfortunately, you will probably get the occasional person coming right in front of you without much notice. You do have to pay close attention.

    Boats usually have a couple of spots for scooters and/or wheelchairs. You may have to wait for a second or third boat to get on especially during the busy times like after fireworks at Epcot.

    Soarin' in Epcot is a challenge to get to because you need to use an elevator to get to the lower level where the ride is located.

    With a scooter you will use the same outside paths as a wheelchair. Don't jump a curb.

    Getting on and off the buses will be the worse. It gets better as you practice but it's no easy task. Take a deep breath and try again. It's easier for most to be first on.

    We love scooters because we are not tired or hurting at the end of the day. We last much longer in the parks, too. Park tickets aren't free; so, longer hours in the park is a bonus.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
    Selket likes this.
  9. powellrj

    powellrj DIS Veteran

    Mar 2, 2003
    A couple of things to remember is that your park scooter will go much faster than the ones at stores. You can turn it down. Watch the rails when you are going down Main Street. Watch other people because they aren’t watching out for you.
    mamabunny likes this.
  10. ZoZo

    ZoZo DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2005
    I used a scooter on a few Disney trips when I was having problems with my feet, as well. The advice that others have already given in this post is great.

    From my experience though, there's one thing that you really need to be aware of. I was very surprised about was the fact that people were constantly stepping in front of me while my ECV was in motion. Constantly, all day long!!! You have to be so careful watching for people that aren't paying attention, or they think that you can stop on a dime. There are no brakes on the scooter. You basically take your finger off the lever and roll to a stop. I finally had my friends walk in front of me and I would just follow them on my scooter, because they kept people from stepping in front of me while I was moving. It was scary.
    mamabunny and Hopefully like this.
  11. Starwind

    Starwind DIS Veteran

    May 7, 2014
    Just make sure you practice a bit and leave enough room between the front of the scooter and the friends/family walking in front. My sister's ankles/heels did not appreciate the couple times I did not leave enough buffer...

    mamabunny likes this.
  12. Rista1313

    Rista1313 Earning My Ears

    Aug 31, 2017
    My hubby and I used a Scooter in May... the one big thing is people will walk right in front of you all the time, and the scooter doesn't stop on a dime, so be on the lookout. The CM's were all great, all the bus drivers were more than willing to help park the scooter on the bus to make boarding faster. We found when booking with a coupon via mousesavers, we got a free cup holder. It was nice to have a cup holder. Or if you are taking a cane, and they offer it, get a cane holder because ours didn't have one, and we ended up having to find an odd place for it.
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