How far out to rent EVC?

LibrarianBecky

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 13, 2010
Hi all,

I have posted before regarding my husband who has a back issue that makes it painful to stand in one place for long periods of time. We have been talking about renting an EVC or even purchasing a rollator, so that he would always be able to have somewhere to sit in line. As an additional complication, he's developed an active blood clot in his leg. We are getting that treated, of course, and it is a long process. He isn't positive yet that he will want an EVC, but I am definitely leaning that way at this point. Our trip is scheduled for the first week of June. He would need a larger capacity scooter. How far out to people book these to rent from someone like Buena Vista? At what point do I need to hold his feet to the fire to make a decision so we can get it booked?

Also, he is currently capable of walking short distances, so he's never actually used an EVC before. I'm guessing that it would be a good idea to use one at a mall/grocery store before our trip, just so he can practice a bit. Any other recommendations for someone new to ECV driving?
 

gap2368

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
If the rental company has it they can do day of rental. But you will have to go with what they have I would say a month you should be fine unless your looking st New Year’s Christmas or 4 of July. If he dose want till the last minute I would have a few numbers of companies to call.

And yes it is a good idea to try out the ECV at a big box store just remember this are much bigger then the rental ones at Disney so the ones you rent should be easer to manger but it will be more crowded at Disney
 

Selket

Been there - done that
Joined
Feb 28, 2000
One time near the 4th of July I had no problem getting my rental scooter delivered a few days early when my knee got very bad at a conference we were attending at the Marriott near Disney - I had planned to wait until we got over to our Disney resort but ended up needing it earlier. It's always hard to say for sure but you shouldn't have a problem a month to a few weeks before your trip.
 
  • bushdianee

    <font color=green>I had a water fun day planned<br
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2004
    I just ordered one for the week of March 9 from Buena Vista. They said that they will charge my card 2 or 3 weeks before then. So you can reserve one any time and I think he said the cancellation deadline is 48 hours before. I also need the larger one so wanted to make sure I reserved early enough. You can also add on a rear basket, cup holder, sun shade or a cane or crutch/cane holder. You can't get both the basket and crutch/cane holder together as the attach at the same place.
    Target and Walmart are good places to practice using them. The ones you rent will go faster than the ones at Target do. I used one today and they go very slow so they would be good for a first timer to get used to on.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    Most likely you will be able to find a reputable company that can deliver an appropriate scooter "on call" if needed; Having said that, if you want to be guaranteed, then I would suggest between 2 and 4 weeks prior to arrival.

    Here's a few tips for your husband as a first-time ECV driver:

    The very most important thing to know is that if you have any question or concern about where to park your ECV (for riding rides, or seeing shows, or eating meals) then simply ask the nearest Cast Member (Disney Employee). They will be glad to help you find an appropriate place to park - although often it's quite easy to see, simply because there will be lots of other ECVs parked there as well! :)

    Who to rent from is very subjective. I recommend CALLING and talking to several companies, and see which one you like best. Currently, a lot of folks around here are having good success renting from Gold, however that is *not* an endorsement - just information :)

    If you can, practicing your ECV driving and parking skills with the electric carts at Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe's, the grocery store, etc. will help a great deal. If you can tame one of those wheezing beasties, a mere rental at WDW will be a breeze! Having said that, do set aside the time when you first get your rental to practice at the Resort (or somewhere outside the Parks) to familiarize yourself with how it stops, turns, etc. I recommend Disney Springs or a Disney Resort, simply because you can "practice" going through shops, food service venues, there are ramps and curb cuts to practice, along with ample open space to get used to backing up (a skill that is important, and often overlooked). And last but not least - there are buses. (more about those later)

    One of the first things you will notice about your rental is that it will (typically) have a "turtle" and a "rabbit" on the speed dial. "Turtle" speed is slowest and "Rabbit" speed is fastest - but some scooters do have a bit of "turtle" or "rabbit" beyond the indicated range, so experiment with speed control as well. Remember that Disney World does have a "speed limit" for personal mobility devices that is loosely defined as "walking speed". Obviously, some folks walk faster or slower than others, so the general rule of thumb is that you try to go about the speed that everyone around you is going, and when in doubt, slow down.

    Please remember that WDW has a rule - for everyone's safety - that only you ride the ECV. One device, one rider. Period. Do not carry infants or children on your lap, or let adults ride (either by standing on the "running board" or sitting on the armrest, etc.) The danger to yourself and others is very real.

    Bring a brightly colored scarf, length of grosgrain ribbon or bandana to tie on your rental scooter. It will help it stand out in a sea of similar units (if you park it to ride, eat, or shop a bit). Some folks really decorate their rentals! :)

    You will have to park the ECV in your room every night to charge it, so if you need to make a bit of space, ask for the table and chairs to be removed at the front desk of your Disney Resort Hotel. You are not supposed to park it outside in a hallway or breezeway, or down at the lobby or bell services. (Pro tip: go directly to the front desk to ask for the table & chairs to be moved - don't call the "Front Desk" from the room phone, as that call goes to a Call Center for the Resorts, and not the Front Desk of the hotel you are at)

    If the scooter has a key, always take it with you when you park it.

    You can most certainly "park and walk" - many folks here do just that. They will find a central location to park in (again, any Cast Member can point you to a good, safe spot to park in) and then you can move it to the next area when you are ready.

    Don't be surprised if you park the ECV to go on a ride, or attraction, and it is moved when you return. The Cast Members are in a constant struggle to keep walkways clear and safe, as well as making sure that parking areas for mobility devices and strollers stay reasonably tidy. You will typically find it quite nearby, but if you don't, just ask any CM you see, and they will help you find it.

    Remember to stay sharp and focused while driving the ECV - people at WDW tend to be doing everything but paying attention when they are walking, and many of us here have had folks run right into us, or walk right in front of us as we are moving! I try to make eye contact, smile politely, and offer an cheerful "Excuse me!" when needed, but know that you WILL at some point find yourself nearly running over someone who is either texting, taking a "selfie" or posting their latest selfie to Instagram. Children, who do not yet fully grasp all of the nuances of physics, are especially prone to running out in front of an ECV; they don't realize that most ECVs can't just stop instantly. I try to build a "bubble" in front of me (if I can) by leaving a space, and adjusting my rate of travel, so that I can more easily spot those folks who look like they might pop right out in front of me.

    It's true: probably the hardest thing you will do with the ECV all revolves around dealing with the buses, boats & monorails. Just FYI - IT'S NOT THAT HARD! Make sure you are parked in the white painted rectangle at the bus stop (unless another guest beat you to it) so that the driver sees you, and knows you are waiting to ride. If the bus that is approaching your stop is not the one you want, then back out of the rectangle, or signal the driver (by shaking your head "no") that you waiting for a different bus. The driver may still ask you if you want to board his/her bus; just let them know you are waiting for another destination. (The exception to this is at the Ft. Wilderness Campgrounds, where there are not any white painted rectangles at the internal Resort stops for all of the Loops.)

    Just to ease your mind, the drivers (and captains and Monorail CMs) will all do their best to help you, and coach you with loading/unloading. They are all patient, and quite used to "newbies" - so just let them know it's your first time driving an ECV, and they will help you as best they can :)

    When the ramp comes down, try to be pointed straight at the base of the ramp, and go right up the center. At the top of the ramp you will typically have to turn a bit to the right. GO SLOWLY, especially until you are used to the ECV. Even experienced users take this carefully - the last thing you want is to run over the driver, or hit the side of the doorway going in. Important to know: the drivers will give you instructions and will help as much as they can, but it is up to you (or a member of your party) to actually get the ECV up into the bus. You will always board first, and exit last. Your family can walk up the ramp and board behind you. Also good to know: the bus driver will let them know when it is safe to board the bus *after* your ECV is properly tied down. The bus drivers (and all of the transportation CMs) are nothing short of amazing at WDW!

    You can take the ECV on all of the boats (except for the smaller launches) and there, the Captains have a portable ramp you should be able to use. It is identical to the portable ramp they will use for you at the Monorail stations. The loading/unloading procedure is actually fairly similar everywhere - you will almost always load first, and exit last. There are a few boats where the ramp won't be deployed (most notably the WL to MK run; I think the entrance is too narrow for the portable ramp, but I have honestly never asked) but almost every other boat you can take the ECV on will use the portable ramps for you.

    Finally, a few quick driving tips: anytime at WDW (or anytime using an ECV for that matter) be aware of ramps, hills and slopes. Going up, you will want to lean forward to help shift your center of gravity towards the front of the ECV. Take your time going up steep slopes, hills or ramps, and if possible, approach them at a slight angle at the base.

    Coming down, be very aware of your speed, and make sure you can brake effectively. This is not the time to try and drink your Starbucks; two hands on the wheel!

    When crossing the train tracks embedded in Main Street at MK, be sure to cross at a 90 degree angle. Otherwise, you risk the wheel(s) getting caught, and you could find yourself dumped on to Main Street. Everyone wants to have an unforgettable trip - just for the right reasons!

    ECVs run on electrically recharged batteries. So, to finish this whole thing up, let's talk for a minute about how to get the most battery life out of your rental while at WDW.

    Your rental *should* be delivered with a fully-charged battery. The only time I would allow an exception for this is if it was a late-evening rental, and you weren't planning on going anywhere but to your room, and to sleep!

    #1 is to make sure that the battery(s) is/are charged fully prior to leaving for the Parks every morning. Start the day with a fully charged battery, and you should be fine.

    Anytime you are stopped for more than - let's just say 10 seconds (no, I'm not exaggerating) - turn off your scooter. Especially when waiting in lines, watching a show or parade, if you are stopped in a store to look at something, or if you are going on a ride, eating a meal, talking to a CM, looking at a map... turn it off! :) This is especially true for when you are riding buses, boats, or the monorail. Essentially, if you would be standing still if you were walking... turn it off. There's no negative effect to the battery for turning it on and off, and if you are Rope Drop to Kiss Goodnight, you will want to monitor your battery usage aggressively.

    Don't use the headlight in the daytime. It won't give that much additional visibility, and it will drain the battery faster. Some folks don't even use the headlight at night. On my personal ECV, I have a bicycle lighting system that is self-contained and rechargeable so it doesn't pull from my ECV battery. The only time I tend to use the headlights/taillights is at night, between the Park entrance and the buses, just for an extra bit of visibility.

    Hope this helps introduce you to using an ECV at Disney World! :)
     

    Simba's Mom

    <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha
    Joined
    Aug 26, 1999
    Wonderful explanation, mamabunny. Just to add a couple things-first, be aware that there is slower than "turtle", and depending on whom you rent from, it may be much slower. I got on the bus once, the first day I rented my ECV from a new company and almost flew onto the bus. I didn't realize that going "turtle" speed was faster than I wanted to go. I quickly wised up, adjust turned the dial as slow as possible, lower than turtle. Also, if you can't practice at home, don't worry too much. Regarding the speed, all the ECVs at local stores (at least the ones I frequent) don't have speed you can adjust, just 0n-off. If you can drive a car well, parallel park, reverse, etc. you won't be too bad. My first time with an ECV was totally unplanned, unpracticed, and as I said, since the ECVs at home don't have speed control, wouldn't have helped too much.
    And it bears repeating-stay sharp and focused. People don't watch where they're walking!
     

    nasmith

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2000
    I rented a scooter from Gold Mobility ( fabulous service would use again!) three days before arrival. They also had availability at scooterbug and Buena vista rentals about 5 days out. ( I went with Gold because of price). BTW- most of the scooter companies have a cancellation policy of fully refundable with 48 - 72' notice.... So you might want to go ahead and reserve that scooter and then cancel it if you don't really need it....And I totally agree with Simbas's Mom and Mamabunny - no one watches where they are walking and they will totally take it out on you (glares, snide comments) when they step in front of you ( or literally on you...)_
     
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