New to ECV

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by musicmom3331, May 5, 2018.

  1. musicmom3331

    musicmom3331 Mouseketeer

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    I have rheumatoid arthritis. I have been able to walk the parks, but was pretty miserable by the end of the day, and was sitting on benches when I could be looking around. I've been in a flare-up and believe it's time to rent a scooter. I have a few questions: 1) What outside companies do you all prefer? 2) Is it easy to recharge in the parks? 3) How about getting around in the shops? 4) Should I get a button that says, "Scooter Newbie"? (JK) I have used an ECV at Target and Walmart, so I have no problems using one. But those places have lower crowds. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
  2. MaryLovesPoohBear

    MaryLovesPoohBear DIS Veteran

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    I used Walker before I got my own scooter. Theirs lasted all day in the parks and I was very satisfied with their customer service.

    When I fully charged my rental overnight, I didn't need to charge in the park. There aren't many plugs available in the parks to charge it, but if you ask a cast member, they might be able to help you find one. Always carry the charging cord, just in case.

    I also have RA (Lupus, too) and I walk around the shops. It gives me a chance to work out the kinks in my joints. I simply park my scooter outside, take the key and go in and walk around. I do the same at restaurants.

    You will see tons of "Scooter Newbies." Don't worry about it. Just take it slow, and stay alert.

    Good luck.
     
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  4. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    Walker, Randy's, Scootaround.
    Shouldn't be any need to boost a fully charged battery, even in a lonnng day in the parks. Topping up could potentially damage the battery or shorten its life.
     
  5. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:

    You got some great advice from @MaryLovesPoohBear and @kaytieeldr; all I can add is this: There are *tons* of posts around here for newbie ECV riders/renters/owners - start by using the "Search... " box in the upper right hand corner of every page here on the DIS! :) It works just like using Google!

    I would search for "first time ECV" (or something similar) and browse through some of the more recent (say the last 3 months or so) results. And if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask us - everyone here is always super helpful! :)
     
  6. musicmom3331

    musicmom3331 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks to all of you! I've been wading through the myriad of pages. I think the hardest part of this is realizing that I'm not young and that I have a degenerative disease. But in the long run, I'll be so much happier being able to sit and ride instead of sitting on a bench.
     
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  7. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    I understand what you are saying. I was relatively young when I was diagnosed with a degenerative disease and I resisted using an ECV for ages. It felt like a failure, that I was just giving up. Plus I didn’t want to look “old”. But the first trip in which I rented one from Buena Vista Scooter I realized how much more freedom I actually had achieved. I felt so much better physically and didn’t have to feel guilty for slowing my family down, as I had so much more energy with the ECV.

    Try not thinking about it in a negative way, you will be gaining the gift of more mobility with less pain.
     
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  8. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

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    Just to add to the above:

    The very small scooters come with one battery, but you can get a rental scooter that comes with two batteries like the Pride Victory model. Those scooters are not that much bigger, but you get twice the battery power. As others have said the key to success is making sure you get a full charge overnight.

    Also, remember to shut off the scooter when watching parades, shows and fireworks.

    Bring your charger with you to the park just in case you do need to recharge a little. Watch your battery power gauge to make sure you are in the green and not getting low on power.
     
  9. Selket

    Selket Been there - done that

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    Both of my knees need replacing from arthritis and I've rented a scooter the past few years. I've had good luck with Buena Vista Scooters (they will leave at the Bell services if you're at a Disney hotel). I rent the regular scooter and I'm not a light person and had no problem generally with the battery. (The one time I did have a problem I think it was the battery - not me - otherwise I've not needed to recharge usually). I try to turn off the scooter when I'm not moving (like sitting for awhile in it waiting for a show to start or something). I will also park it and walk around in shops or walk through ques if the que is short. I've found some FP lines I prefer to stay in the scooter because they are long (even if they move fast) - I'd definitely take the scooter in line (if allowed) if I didn't have a fp - like for 7DMT, etc.

    Also I chose to rent from BV scooters because of the way the mechanism works to drive it - because I have some arthritis in my hands as well and the "tiller" is easier for me on the BV scooters. If that's an issue for you - I know we've discussed it in other threads. That's probably one of the major reasons I stick with them.
     
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  10. Simba's Mom

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

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    I've used Walker and Buena Vista in the past, but my most current experience has made me a Buena Vista convert (disclaimer-I haven't actually gotten my scooter yet). I'd already reserved with Walker (just a flip of the coin and Walker won), but then I tried to call them back and this is what happened-as soon as they picked up the phone, they said "Walker Scooter, can we call back?" and so I left my phone number. Several hours later (while I'm thinking "It's a good thing I'm not on a broken scooter in the parks") someone else called, and didn't know what had happened. So I called BV for info and they were super nice and efficient. But last week, my credit card got declined so they called me. Turns out one number was wrong, and immediately they said "Oh, I'm so sorry-that must have been our fault." Well, I may have made the mistake reading it to them, but I really appreciated their willingness to take the blame. So far, I'm delighted with BV. I just hope I still feel this positive AFTER my trip.
     
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  11. musicmom3331

    musicmom3331 Mouseketeer

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    Do you tip bell services for holding the scooter before and after your stay? If so, how much?
     
  12. musicmom3331

    musicmom3331 Mouseketeer

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    I've seen videos of people getting on buses with ECVs and it looks very doable to me. However, I can't find any for leaving the bus. Any problems?
     
  13. Simba's Mom

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

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    I'd like to hear the answer to that also. I've never tipped because it's such a quick "here it is", but maybe I should.
     
  14. FortForever

    FortForever Disney since Day 1

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    There are no benches to sit on anymore, anyway. A scooter is the way to go. No point in being miserable when something is available to allow you to enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

    No problems at all. The driver will guide you and tell you exactly what to do.
     
  15. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    I used to tip $3 - if I could. Often, the transaction was so fast (and the Bell Services CM on to something else) that I never got to actually hand off the tip, but I did always have it ready.

    Leaving the bus is actually easy, just like @FortForever said - but here's a quick overview. Remember that your mileage may vary, tax, tag and title are extra... (Also, there are female bus drivers, I use the male pronoun here for ease of typing) here we go:

    Once the bus has arrived at your destination, the driver will park the bus, and open the both the back doors and the front doors. When all of the bi-pedal Guests have gotten off the bus, the driver will close both sets of doors, and walk to the back where the ECV(s) is/are parked. At this point, typically, the driver will do the following things (not necessarily in this order):

    1. He will flip open a box to "kneel" the bus. This lowers the entire bus, so that the ramp isn't quite as steep, and
    2. Once the bus is "kneeled" he will then open the back doors only, and flip out the ramp.
    3. Once the ramp is deployed, he will prepare the ECV(s) to drive off the bus - this typically involves removing the tie-downs and repositioning the ECV to be ready to drive out of the bus. Some drivers will do this by brute force - pulling the ECV around (typically by the back end) to help get it ready to drive off the bus. Other drivers will let you drive it off, and will assist you with making the "bootleggers u-turn" you will need to get going the right way.
    4. Once the EVC is at the top of the ramp, and ready to go down, you will drive straight down the ramp - slowly. Don't be in a rush - I promise there is no prize for getting to the bottom quickly!

    Once you are at the bottom of the ramp - and please, make sure that your back wheels have cleared the end of the ramp completely before turning either left or right - you are good to go! A cheerful wave and a nice "Thank you!" to the driver is my usual way of saying good-bye to the driver! :)

    You'll be fine - I always feel like getting off the bus is easier than driving on - but that's just me.

    Couple of quick tips: First of all, if you find it uncomfortable, you can always ask someone else in your party to drive it off the bus for you. Second, you may (rarely) see other Guests try to back down the ramp. NEVER DO THIS - it's not safe. If, for some reason, the ECV has to come off "backwards", then let it run down the ramp without a rider, and make sure there is no one in the way at the end of the ramp. Finally, remember that slow and steady - both going up and down - is the most important part of using the internal buses at WDW!

    Have a super trip! :)
     
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  16. Haimia

    Haimia Mouseketeer

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    I have used Scooterbug for the last two trips to WDW (November 2017 and February 2018). Great vehicle, battery life good (exceptional on February 2018 trip) and wonderful service on November 2017 trip when my scooter was taken by mistake by another individual. There are several places to recharge in the parks. May have to ask cast member to find them. Inside or outside restaurants, sometimes at attraction parking areas, etc.

    Remember to check the number on your scooter before you take off with it. You may also want to mark your scooter with a bright scarf or some other identifying feature! Scooters get moved by cast members to make room for more scooters. Also, you may be driving VERY SLOW in crowds, as people tend to jump in front of the scooters or just plain don't look where they are going. I have yet to take anyone out, but if you do, remember that they probably didn't see you or even look so it is on them!!!!

    Bus drivers will USUALLY help you park the scooter on the bus - either by giving directions while you drive or park it with you in it or with you stepping off of it. If they want to park it, I will let them. I will also sit on my scooter during the bus ride if it is an especially crowded time (at night, after parades, etc) because it frees up a seat on the bus. Beware, though, because standing people will act like you and the scooter aren't even there and lean into you! LOL Personal space is not an option!!! LOL
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  17. MaryLovesPoohBear

    MaryLovesPoohBear DIS Veteran

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    OP, be very careful if you decide to do that. Most scooters are not made to be sat on while the bus is in motion. It could be very dangerous. In fact, if you read the rules about scooters, before you board the bus, they will tell you to not ride while seated on the scooter.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  18. Haimia

    Haimia Mouseketeer

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    Drivers have asked me if I want to remain on the scooter. There is an additional seat belt they use when I remain on the scooter. But, I do not do that, unless the line is extremely long, just offering an additional seat to someone!
     
  19. MaryLovesPoohBear

    MaryLovesPoohBear DIS Veteran

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    I understand what you are saying.

    It can still be very dangerous to stay on the scooter while the bus is in motion. Most scooters aren't designed to hold the addition weight of a person, in the case of a collision.
     
  20. Haimia

    Haimia Mouseketeer

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    Well, at least I am buckled in. IMHO, it is better than sitting on the bus, unbuckled (there are no seat belts on the seats) or standing!
     
  21. ozziewags

    ozziewags Go Warriors!

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    I am new to the scooter also and trying to decide which one to order.......any tips? I realize the larger one is for larger people, but how sturdy are the standard sizes? I am looking at Buena Vista and the maxima looks more comfortable and steadier. I have been told that the standard is the most popular. I'm a bit nervous about this, but can't do the parks anymore without it.
     

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