First time needing an EVC and a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out logistics

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by wareagle57, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. wareagle57

    wareagle57 DIS Veteran

    Jan 14, 2014
    Hi everyone. I'll be going to WDW with my fiancée and future MIL and FIL and staying at the cabins at Ft. Wilderness. MIL has decided she wants to use an EVC in the parks, which I think is a good call. But I am a little unsure about what we will and won't be able to do as far as getting around.

    Since we are staying at Ft. Wilderness and renting a golf cart, renting one for the duration seems pointless since she'd have to ride the EVC all the way from the cabins to the boat dock. She is only going to the parks 3 days, so would the best thing to do be to rent it directly from Disney at the parks and use the golf car to get to the busses and boats?

    Are there often issues with them running out? We plan to RD every day so I don't think that will matter, but I was unsure if they will actually hold it for you if you leave and come back, which they plan to do. Is this something we will be able to take care of before park opening easily? From reading the Disney Disability Information provided on this board, it sounds like most (maybe all?) rental locations are inside the turnstiles. How long does the process usually take at park opening? One thing that was unclear with the list of locations is whether or not EVCs are available at all parks. I would assume so, but some locations specifically state that EVCs are available.

    The last question I have is a more minor one, but I'm a little confused about the rides. What is the difference between the two below?

    transfer from a wheelchair to a ride vehicle

    transfer to an available wheelchair at the attraction, then to transfer from the wheelchair to the ride vehicle

    Basically, is there anything someone in an EVC CAN'T ride? Or will she always be able to either transfer into the wheelchairs (are they always available) or walk if she chooses? Can EVCs just be left with stroller parking?

    I'm sorry if some of these are dumb questions, but it just a lot to figure out and a bit overwhelming. I want to make sure we are prepared when we get there and aren't caught off guard. Thank you all for your help.
  2. Selket

    Selket Been there - done that

    Feb 28, 2000
    I can't answer the first 2 cause I've never stayed at FW but some attractions - like Buzz Lightyear - you cannot take the ECV into the que. You park the ECV near the People Mover escalator and there are wheelchairs there to transfer to. You are just supposed to use the WC's right there and not keep the person in them to push them around the park for example. So she would need another person with her to push the WC. Most rides can accommodate the ECV and it's easy to take it through the que.

    As for the FW questions - could you rent an off-site WC to push her for the stretches when you're not in the golf cart or the rental ECV? It would be less expensive and she'd get a nicer ECV to rent off-site but I don't know how it works at FW - good luck!
    SueM in MN likes this.
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  4. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

    Aug 23, 1999
    The golf cart idea would work.
    You can also take buses from place to place at Fort Wilderness. All the busses are wheelchair/ECV accessible.
    That would mean a bit of extra time to have the ECV tied down and you may find some buses are already too full when you are getting on.
    If she had a wheelchair, you could fold it and hold it on the bus the same way strollers are held.
    If she had an ECV rented from off-site, you would need ability to charge it and protect from weather. If you don’t have a wheelchair accessible cabin, you would have no way to bring it into your cabin.
    They do sometimes run out, but if you are there at rope drop, it should not be an issue. When it’s busy, it can be iffy getting one after 10:30, but opening, not really.
    They will hold an ECV for you, if you are returning to the same park. Just make sure they tell the CM when they bring it back. If they are going to another park that same day, they MAY be able to get an ECV by showing the receipt. There is no guarantee the second park will have any left.
    The ECV/wheelchair rental areas are inside the park (probably because those devices can’t be removed from the park). All of the Theme Parks have ECVs available - the water parks do not. It only takes a few minutes for the rental process - how long depends more on how many people you are waiting behind.

    One thing to be aware of - the parks open for guests to get partway into the park well before the opening. Guests are held somwhere inside the park until the official opening time. At MK, guests are allowed in as far as the end of Main Street well before 9am. There are CMs with barriers at the entrance to each land from the end of Main Street that are opened at 9am. So, you would be able to get an EVC and still get into the park areas by opening.
    You are not the only person confused by this.
    ‘Transfer from a wheelchair to a ride vehicle’ means the queue is accessible to wheelchairs and ECVs, but there is not a wheelchair accessible ride car. So, all guests with mobility devices will need to be able to transfer.

    ‘Transfer to an available wheelchair at the attraction, then transfer from the wheelchair to the ride vehicle’ means the line is not ECV accessible. ECV users can transfer to a wheelchair at the attraction. That wheelchair can be used in the line, but a there is not a wheelchair accessible ride vehicle, so guests need to transfer to the ride vehicle.
    There are no dumb questions - just ones not asked.
    If she can walk 10-20 feet and get into the ride vehicle, there is nothing she would not be able to ride.
    Parking the ECV and walking in line is always an option. CMs at each attraction can tell you where to park it (may be stroller parking, may not).
    If a line/attraction is not ECV accessible, that attraction will have wheelchair to lend for use in line - just ask before parking the ECV. At times, all the wheelchairs might be in use, so there may be a wait for one; that is not usually the case and there usually are wheelchairs.

    If you haven’t looked at the disABILITIES FAQs thread, that would be a good resource. Especially look at posts 18-21, which are about access and transfers to ride vehicles. You can find the thread near the top of this forum or use the link in my signature.
  5. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Aug 26, 1999
    And I know that lots of people here have had the same questions as you not long ago. I can still remember the first time I had an ECV, I didn't know what to do with my ECV when I went to the Rest Room so I just drove around until I finally got up the courage (and need) to ask someone. I was solo, so couldn't leave the ECV with my DH.
  6. Betty Rohrer

    Betty Rohrer DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2010
    your first question her ECV can use the internal buses to either bus depot then then either transfer to park bus or roll to boat dock. one problem with renting at parks they can run out and be left with only wheelchair. has happened to me. as for other 2 questions. first question she would have to be able to leave ECV/wheelchair and get into ride vehicle like boat at Small World. second would be like Pirates where you have to park ECV and use a wheelchair to get to boat and back from boat to ECV. most rides she can take ECV all the way to load vehicle and get up and load then ride attraction then get up and return to her ECV which will be waiting for her. People Mover is one of few rides that she will not be able to use either wheelchair or ECV to load. best bet on planning to ask first CM you meet at each attraction how that rides handles wheelchair/ECV as they are used to how to plan for that attraction as it can differ. remember you guys will not have the only ECV in the park so CMs are used to answering how you load. not sure why she needs ECV but one thing I have found that has helped me the most is using a cane to help me balance getting in or out of attractions. have a great trip. the nicest thing I found about using ECV was being able to go groups speed not having to have group go my speed when they wanted to go faster
  7. wiihoo888

    wiihoo888 Earning My Ears

    Oct 12, 2018
    We just ran into this same situation on my current vacation. I have had to use an ECV for years due to disability. Have rented offsite, and it is the best case scenario for me. I can still enjoy Disney, and i am never left with any wonders as to how I will be getting around. It can take some time to get on a bus on occasion, but it is as independent as I can feel on vacation.

    The castmembers at each attraction are super good about making you aware of your ride options, depending on the limited mobility that you have. Just ride up to the queue, and they will give you everything you need to know there.

    My mom rented directly from Disney this trip. Can’t say that she has had a good experience. She was left without options for mobility for the times when she was not in the park. Also, the Disney ecvs were all incredibly slow and we had to return and exchange three of them for defects. Just an all around not so great experience.

    My gut says that your best option would be to rent offsite, so that you have all options available during your entire stay. Wishing you the best!
  8. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Aug 26, 1999
    To add to that, Disney scooters tend not to be as manageable through some of the queues as off-site scooters. Many of the queus involve turns, I'm thinking especially of the F&W booths, sharp turns in line. Disney scooters can be very hard to make those turns, as I discovered a couple years ago. This year I had an off-site scooter and I noticed how much easier it was to make those turns.
    As far as transferring to a wheelchair, I found out one thing this year (maybe I just encountered very cooperative CMs though). I was solo, so I asked the CMs if I could "self-propel" at a couple rides where I was supposed to transfer, since no one was with me. They always offered to push me-I only accepted at one ride, and the CM was right there when I disembarked and wheeled me back to my ECV. Also, I was pleasantly surprised that even though the CMs aren't supposed to help the guests (probably the company fears that if the guest falls, they'll sue Disney), I quite often had CMs hold their arm out to offer to help me on/off an attraction.
  9. gap2368

    gap2368 DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2015

    Not saying this for depate but I have been told a number of times ( and see this happen too a number of times) that at space mountion if you are alone then the CM prefore to push you since there are a few really big hill and guest have gotten hurt pushing them self or they have hurt other guest when they lose controll of the wheelchair going up hill or down hill. Also a CM is allowed to offer you there arm to help stady getting in and out of ride vehical. This is up to the CM at the time they do not have to do this but can if they think they can.

    Just too add to why I know this at space there have been a few times I was alone one time ( I was having medical problems that evening and really could not walk was not that steady on my feet) when a CM ( the ones wearing the beantbutter costums) he got a radio call for something he said I am doing a code ( I forgeot what it was) I asked him what that was he said that it was a code for pushing a guest, I said so you do this a lot he said if guest are alone we prefer since the ramps are so steep, latter that trip I found out hwat he was talking about when I was at the bottom of the big ramp when you go in when I heard someone yelling oh no behind me just then someone in a wheelchair went full force into the ralling luckly I was going up the other side but this guest hit her face on the ralling her friend ran to her and I went out the standby line to get a CM to call EMS they had to close the FP line for a few minutes so they coud help the guest out make sure there was nothing to clean up. I have been told if there is anyone with you they will not offer to push you.
  10. ttintagel

    ttintagel DIS Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011
    Manual wheelchairs are SUPPOSED to be available at every attraction where they're required for people using ECV's to transfer into and go through the queue - but our experience has been that there are times when they're all in use, or guests have walked off with them, and there isn't a CM free to hunt any down.

    I'm not saying this to be discouraging. I just hate the thought of anyone going in like I did the first time, full of blind optimism that everything would happen the way it was supposed to and that every CM would cheerfully do whatever it took to make sure it did, only to feel let down if it didn't work out every time.
    CJN likes this.
  11. CJN

    CJN closet redhead

    Aug 1, 2003
    And they’re not always in the best condition or usable. We had quite a problem at Haunted Mansion finding a usable one. The lightweight frame of Disney’s wheelchairs are no match for the cobblestone terrain there.
  12. Oliviaxxx

    Oliviaxxx Mouseketeer

    Jul 6, 2018
    My mom used an ECV for the first time on our recent trip. It was a life saver. I think you should still rent one to be delivered to the resort and to be picked up when you leave. If she doesn't need it at the resort then just leave it in the room. Disney can not guarantee you a scooter and cannot hold one for you. We did not like that possibility. What do you do if you can't go into the park without an ECV and they are all out?

    For some rides, my mom had to transfer to a standard push wheelchair to go through the queue. In some, she could drive the ECV right through the queue. I'm pretty sure every ride we did in Epcot she could drive the scooter right up to the ride.

    Every time we needed a manual wheelchair to push through the line there was one available, multiples to be exact. If you get up to the entrance and there are no wheelchairs let the CM know. Be patient. Stand right there and wait for it. The park needs to provide one and should communicate with another CM that they need to go find one. It is unacceptable to have to forgo a ride because there isn't the proper mobility device provided. Always look near the exit too for folded up wheelchairs. Especially if the entrance and exit are not close together. Sometimes people ditch them near the exit and don't return them to the entrance.

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