Whill Ci - My new Disney ride (available for rental Scootaround) Update - post #34

arminnie

<font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
Joined
Aug 22, 2003
I saw that tiedown loop/transport features are an option for the wheelchair version.
It doesn’t look like there are any good spots to secure the Whill models without that. Have you thought of how you would secure your Whill Ci if you do go on the bus?
That concerned me too. That was one of my first questions when the Whill salesman brought the demo for me to see.

It does have tie downs. We use them with our Bruno lift. My ECV never shifted on the lift, but the Whill does. The Whill is of course much shorter in length.

I think maybe there is a legal issue with calling them tie downs - as this is not an FDA approved device. But they are quite sturdy. They effectively keep it in place with 4 tie down places.
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
670E372D-7B6E-4C6A-A955-F21E2F6FFA29.jpeg
That concerned me too. That was one of my first questions when the Whill salesman brought the demo for me to see.

It does have tie downs. We use them with our Bruno lift. My ECV never shifted on the lift, but the Whill does. The Whill is of course much shorter in length.

I think maybe there is a legal issue with calling them tie downs - as this is not an FDA approved device. But they are quite sturdy. They effectively keep it in place with 4 tie down places.
If it’s the 4 point tie downs from the manufacturer, they should be safe and secure for tiedown.
I wasn’t clear if they were an option for only the ‘approved’ wheelchair model or for all models.

My guess is the shifting is due mostly to the ‘all direction’ wheels still being able to move somewhat.
Even if it’s tied down I probably would still transfer to a bus seat.
 

GranJan1

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
I saw that tiedown loop/transport features are an option for the wheelchair version.
It doesn’t look like there are any good spots to secure the Whill models without that. Have you thought of how you would secure your Whill Ci if you do go on the bus?
I have wondered about this also since we are considering renting a Whill for an upcoming trip to Disney. I also worry about the metal hooks scratching a rental. My Golden Envy is all scratched up from the bus drivers trying different places to attach the tie down hooks. My husband started watching them to see where they attached them & telling them where to put them. They’d use whatever they could get the hooks on, even the plastic wheel covers & battery handle. Once they even put the hooks on the handle you pull to disassemble the chair. I hate to think what they may do to a rental as expensive as the Whill if they can’t find a good place to tie it down. That’s the main reason I’m unsure about renting one. I really want to try it at WDW though.

I didn’t see the replies to Sue’s post about tie downs until I posted. I see now that it does have tie downs. That’s good to know.
 
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  • arminnie

    <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2003
    We are traveling today so my Whill is in the back I’ll try to get some pictures of the tie downs to add but it will probably be tomorrow.
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    I have wondered about this also since we are considering renting a Whill for an upcoming trip to Disney.
    It sounds like the tie-downs are optional, so I would contact the vendor to ask if the rental units have tiedowns. As to scratches, if the unit has tie downs I would not worry about scratches; if it does not have tie downs, I probably would not take it on WDW buses (may need to rent a different piece of equipment instead).

    Enjoy your vacation!
     

    arminnie

    <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2003
    The whill Ci’s tie downs are an integral part of the frame. They are NOT optional. I don’t really understand the reasoning behind them being optional on the wheelchair model- but they are there for the Ci which is what is available for rental.

    I would not worry about scratches from the tie downs. These parts are not painted. I believe it is baked on steel with coloring. Very sturdy.
     
  • DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    One of the things my system does that I want to get the Ci on board with is a 'follow me' mode. The chair I designed can pair with my cell phone then keep position on me as I walk around. I don't have to control it, it just keeps the chair in the same position relative to my phone. My friend has had a rough battle with cancer and tires easily, so sometimes I'll hit follow-me and let her doze as we make our way through the park.
    That sounds cool, but not very safe, to have your sleeping friend behind you, KWIM? Or are you constantly turning back to make sure everything is okay? I mean, there's a reason why Disney doesn't let people pull things behind them, and having a remote chair follow you is pretty much the same thing.

    It means it is treated like an ECV. But it is not called a mobility scooter or ECV because it does not have a tiller.

    It has not gone thru FDA approval as a wheelchair. The Whill model that is FDA approved lists for $10,000 but is usually available for $8000. This model costs $4000. Insurance does not cover it. Nor is a doctor’s prescription required.
    So, the big reason why it would be good to have it FDA approved would be so insurance could pay for it after a doctor prescribed it, right?

    I have wondered about this also since we are considering renting a Whill for an upcoming trip to Disney. I also worry about the metal hooks scratching a rental. My Golden Envy is all scratched up from the bus drivers trying different places to attach the tie down hooks. My husband started watching them to see where they attached them & telling them where to put them. They’d use whatever they could get the hooks on, even the plastic wheel covers & battery handle. Once they even put the hooks on the handle you pull to disassemble the chair. I hate to think what they may do to a rental as expensive as the Whill if they can’t find a good place to tie it down. That’s the main reason I’m unsure about renting one. I really want to try it at WDW though.

    I didn’t see the replies to Sue’s post about tie downs until I posted. I see now that it does have tie downs. That’s good to know.
    A great hint I've seen here on disAbilities is to mark the spots on the chair/ECV that can be used safely to attach tiedown hooks with colored tape.
     

    arminnie

    <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2003
    So, the big reason why it would be good to have it FDA approved would be so insurance could pay for it after a doctor prescribed it, right?
    i think it’s more about the reasons NOT to apply for FDA approval. They already have a device the MODEL M that is approved and requires a prescription. But more importantly in my opinion it was about bringing a device to market without taking sometimes years to get approval.

    The Ci was developed in Japan by an automotive engineer who wanted to design a device more along the lines of what an ECV user might use except much much more functional. If I were a full time all day every day user I would have gone for the model M.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    i think it’s more about the reasons NOT to apply for FDA approval. They already have a device the MODEL M that is approved and requires a prescription. But more importantly in my opinion it was about bringing a device to market without taking sometimes years to get approval.

    The Ci was developed in Japan by an automotive engineer who wanted to design a device more along the lines of what an ECV user might use except much much more functional. If I were a full time all day every day user I would have gone for the model M.
    Requires a prescription? You can't pay OOP for an electric wheelchair? I've never heard that before.
     

    arminnie

    <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2003
    Requires a prescription? You can't pay OOP for an electric wheelchair? I've never heard that before.
    There’s a Model A whill wheelchair that doesn’t require a prescription. Not sure of the whys about the M. Probably has to do with insurance- but I am guessing.
     
  • DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    There’s a Model A whill wheelchair that doesn’t require a prescription. Not sure of the whys about the M. Probably has to do with insurance- but I am guessing.
    I think someone at the Whill company got their facts messed up - all FDA regulations state that it has to have a sticker on it for laymen if they don't include instructions, not that you can't sell them.
     

    cobright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2013
    Kind of waking up an old thread ... been traveling and too tired to Dis last 10 days...

    That sounds cool, but not very safe, to have your sleeping friend behind you, KWIM? Or are you constantly turning back to make sure everything is okay? I mean, there's a reason why Disney doesn't let people pull things behind them, and having a remote chair follow you is pretty much the same thing.
    It's very cool. And when I refer to it as 'follow me' mode, it's a little misleading. As I described, the chair simply maintains its position relative to me as I walk. In practice, I activate it with Aisling and I traveling side by side and the chair then maintains that even if she goes hands-off (or to sleep).

    But even were it to activate positioned behind me, such as to single-file it through more crowded walkways, you can't equate it to a wagon being towed behind. I'm not controlling the power chair. It's more like a car with lane centering steering or the newer drones that will keep a subject in its camera frame even as that subject moves around; except that the power chair goes much slower than a Mercedes and has several pounds more computer processor than the drone devoted to obstacle (and pedestrian) collision avoidance.

    In 5 years or so we could have the tech for fully autonomous mobility tech within limited venues like amusement parks, museums, city downtowns. Disney's MyMagic+ system infrastructure could actually provide the geoposition data a fully autonomous vehicle would need. It's unlikely any major player has the will to push such a niche benefit forward but it would expand their customer base and make everyone a little safer.
     

    arminnie

    <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2003
    After two months here are some of my observations:

    I just figured out another reason why this is not called a wheelchair. While the arms do fold back, they do not fold back enough for one to do a side transfer. I do not think that someone who has no use of their legs could use this without being lifted into the chair. I learned this the hard way one day when I was alone and having great difficulty getting up to transfer to the whill.

    Standard advice is to always turn off a power device to conserve battery power. Still valid here - but there is another good reason too. It is easier to hit the control button than it is to accidentally squeeze the power tiller on an ECV. At a restaurant I had turned it back on getting ready to leave. I leaned over to pick up my purse and took out the table - which fortunately was now empty. But recently at home I left it on as I transferred as I was sitting back on the Whill I'd left clothes on the arm which I jostled. The Whill went backwards as I was sitting down, and I do not know how I did not land in the floor. Close call.

    The battery power is displayed very prominently and very accurately on the arm of the Whill. My ECV had lights that were absolutely not reliable at all. I never really knew how much power I had left. The Whill says 100% when fully charged and then shows the exact current amount at all times. I love really knowing what my battery status is vs an approximation.

    It really charges quickly. From zero charge (which I've never gotten down to) it is estimated to take 5 hours to charge. I usually charge when I am down to about 30% unless I have a big expedition out of the house planned (rare). One day I was charging it while watching TV but needed to use it about 45-50 minutes later so I unplugged it. I was pleasantly shocked by how much it had charged during a relatively short time period.

    I've used the remote drive function more than I thought I would. Yesterday while getting my hair cut I transferred to the operator's chair and then moved my Whill out of her way. When I charged it by myself I transferred to a chair and used my phone to turn the Whill around so I could access the back.

    The Whill can be locked via the iphone or with an optional key fob. I haven't done that as I rarely leave the chair when out in public. And even then like at the hair salon it was only a few feet away from me. But it's a nice feature.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    After two months here are some of my observations:

    I just figured out another reason why this is not called a wheelchair. While the arms do fold back, they do not fold back enough for one to do a side transfer. I do not think that someone who has no use of their legs could use this without being lifted into the chair. I learned this the hard way one day when I was alone and having great difficulty getting up to transfer to the whill.

    Standard advice is to always turn off a power device to conserve battery power. Still valid here - but there is another good reason too. It is easier to hit the control button than it is to accidentally squeeze the power tiller on an ECV. At a restaurant I had turned it back on getting ready to leave. I leaned over to pick up my purse and took out the table - which fortunately was now empty. But recently at home I left it on as I transferred as I was sitting back on the Whill I'd left clothes on the arm which I jostled. The Whill went backwards as I was sitting down, and I do not know how I did not land in the floor. Close call.

    The battery power is displayed very prominently and very accurately on the arm of the Whill. My ECV had lights that were absolutely not reliable at all. I never really knew how much power I had left. The Whill says 100% when fully charged and then shows the exact current amount at all times. I love really knowing what my battery status is vs an approximation.

    It really charges quickly. From zero charge (which I've never gotten down to) it is estimated to take 5 hours to charge. I usually charge when I am down to about 30% unless I have a big expedition out of the house planned (rare). One day I was charging it while watching TV but needed to use it about 45-50 minutes later so I unplugged it. I was pleasantly shocked by how much it had charged during a relatively short time period.

    I've used the remote drive function more than I thought I would. Yesterday while getting my hair cut I transferred to the operator's chair and then moved my Whill out of her way. When I charged it by myself I transferred to a chair and used my phone to turn the Whill around so I could access the back.

    The Whill can be locked via the iphone or with an optional key fob. I haven't done that as I rarely leave the chair when out in public. And even then like at the hair salon it was only a few feet away from me. But it's a nice feature.

    Good grief - please be careful!

    I really do find the Whill fascinating, but like so many other mobility devices, they don't seem to have any interest in accommodating those of us who are 3L-sized (Large Lovely Ladies)(aka "Pooh-sized"), at least for now. There are tons of cool mobility devices coming on to the market, but most of them max out at 250 pounds.
     

    Chickenlady

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 5, 2000
    I am in the process of writing up my experience with renting a Whill Ci but things are not as rosy if you rent from Scootaround. One, they do not give you the key fob..which they used to, until too many people lost it. And you can't use the remote features unless you can get the previous users information..which is impossible. So, essentially you have no way of locking the very expensive scooter unless you want to remove the heavy battery and lug it around with you.
     

    Matt_Stanford

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2019
    Does anyone know if WHILLs can be rented for either a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood or for an entire vacation while in California? I land at LAX and depart 6 days later from SFO.
     

    Matt_Stanford

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2019
    I am headed to California in 2 weeks and desperately would like to rent a Whill/ci for 5-7 days prior to my surgery. It seems ScootAround is the only rental company renting ci right now. Any ideas for me?
     

    Chickenlady

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 5, 2000
    I am headed to California in 2 weeks and desperately would like to rent a Whill/ci for 5-7 days prior to my surgery. It seems ScootAround is the only rental company renting ci right now. Any ideas for me?
    If Scootaround is your only choice, make sure that they either give you the key fob or don't leave until you have the bluetooth app running the chair. You will have to download the Whill Ci app to your phone beforehand, but it's very easy. The actual connecting to the unit was my problem. Mine couldn't be done because a previous user had screwed things up, hence I had no way to lock the unit. I had to watch it or have someone guard it when I left to go to the restroom, etc. Also, be aware Scootaround will charge you the extra special insurance for the Whill Ci and it doesn't cover all costs, you would owe big $$$ if someone steals.
     

    Matt_Stanford

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2019
    If Scootaround is your only choice, make sure that they either give you the key fob or don't leave until you have the bluetooth app running the chair. You will have to download the Whill Ci app to your phone beforehand, but it's very easy. The actual connecting to the unit was my problem. Mine couldn't be done because a previous user had screwed things up, hence I had no way to lock the unit. I had to watch it or have someone guard it when I left to go to the restroom, etc. Also, be aware Scootaround will charge you the extra special insurance for the Whill Ci and it doesn't cover all costs, you would owe big $$$ if someone steals.
    ScootAround can't or won't do this since I want to pick it up in Los Angeles and return it to San Francisco or San Jose.
     


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