ECV Advice (Solo Trip)

Hi there!

Looking for advice on using an ECV while traveling solo at WDW.

Backstory: I have an autoimmune disease which isn’t as well controlled these days as I would like. I love traveling solo at Disney, but to be honest my last trip was really, really rough. Steady, purposeful walking (like at rope drop or heading across the park for an ADR) for any distance greater than across the grocery store parking lot causes severe joint pain and swelling in my ankles, to the point of almost being unable to walk at all. When I went to WDW in March, I managed to have a good time overall and there were some really lovely moments, but I also was pretty miserable for much of the trip. I honestly don’t remember much about my Animal Kingdom day other than fighting back tears and limping for most of the day.

So basically, I think it’s finally time to admit that I need some mobility assistance in the parks, at least for the longer stretches of getting from point A to point B. Once I’m actually in a particular area of the park (in line for a ride, strolling through shops, wandering around the Tree of Life to take pictures, etc.) I should be good. I don’t have trouble with slow walking and standing at this point, so I won’t need to use the ECV constantly. It’s getting into and across the parks that is just too much for my body right now.

Anyway, I’m wondering if anyone has traveled solo and dealt with an ECV alone. I’m undecided as to whether I’ll be staying on-site or off… I’m on a tight budget for this trip, so if availability doesn’t open up for my dates and I can’t snag a good Hotwire deal, then I’ll end up off-site with a rental car.

But for the sake of discussion, do you think it would be easier to wrangle an ECV by myself on-site or off-site? I’m thinking there are pros and cons both ways (on-site means I have to drive it through the resort and on/off buses, which sounds like a pain…off-site I don’t have to worry about that but I do have to get it in and out of a rental car by myself and lifting heavy items is a challenge these days…) There are probably other issues I haven’t thought of yet, so I’d be grateful to hear your experiences or advice!

I would say onsite using Disney transportation would be easiest. I really struggled to get DH’s ECV into our rental car, it was so heavy. He couldn’t have done it.

3 Likes

I agree with @missoverexcited. Stay onsite. I’ll also add that if you do rent a scooter, I personally recommend Gold Mobility Rentals. I had to rent one for my hubby when he tore out his knee and their equipment is so much better cared for and easier to use. They usually also throw in a free accessory and depending on your autoimmune issue, you might find the sun shade valuable. They have other accessories to choose from also.
They were great to deal with. They can’t leave it at bell services anymore, but I think that’s ok because they actually spend time showing you how to use it so you’re comfortable with it.

2 Likes

Definitely on site.

And if you haven’t used a evc much, visit a local medical supply, and drive one around a little.

2 Likes

IF you use this provider it will be delivered/picked up at your resort and you will not be required to be present.

Disney Featured Provider
Guests who use a stroller or mobility device when visiting Walt Disney World Resort have a variety of options including using a personally-owned stroller or mobility device, renting through ScooterBug—the Disney Featured Provider—or renting from another third-party company.

ScooterBug, a private mobility rental company in the Central Florida area, is the Disney Featured Provider to offer stroller, ECV and wheelchair rentals at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and Disney Springs in addition to length-of-stay rentals for Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels. When Disney Resort hotel Guests choose to rent through ScooterBug, the Guest does not need to be present when the equipment is delivered to the Resort hotel. ScooterBug will work with Disney Resort Cast Members to manage deliveries and returns of rented strollers, ECVs and wheelchairs. Pre-orders and deliveries of mobility rentals through ScooterBug to Disney Resort hotels are available by visiting scooterbug.com/orlando or calling (800) 726-8284.

1 Like

I only use scooter vacation scootorlando.com There scooter are stronger and last longer then most. They have ones that will fit in your car if you don’t need a big one like me. They will bring it to you where ever you are staying. Me and DW have used them in the past and will in the future. Their scooters range from $25 to $40 a day and if you are going to use then more then 5 days you can save 10% with this code FB10-21.

4 Likes

We got the Go-Go Sport x2 from Gold Mobility for an off-site stay for my mom & husband. It’s a more portable option as it breaks down into pieces that are manageable for 1 person. (They loved it so much, my moms husband bought one for himself for use at home)

1 Like

For what it’s worth - Swan & Dolphin have accessible transportation- and I got a really good deal at Dolphin today on Priceline not much more than current All star pricing for my dates.

I give you credit for even considering it…while I don’t use an ECV ( it does more harm than good for me ) I do use a walker for anything over 250ft…
My first solo trip to the park was supposed to be November- with the whole genie+ & cell phone dependence has me terrified…

1 Like

Thanks so much, everyone! What I’m gathering from the replies is that on-site would be the better option, if I can make it happen. And if not, then getting an ECV that breaks down into smaller pieces is probably the only way I could manage this alone.

Yes, this would be helpful! I have lupus, so sun exposure is always a concern.

I’m just not quite ready to say farewell to my solo tripping days! :laughing: But I’m realizing that I need to be realistic about what I can physically manage… I’m really hoping this is a good solution!

1 Like

Before covid did you do your own grocery shopping?

I have had arthritis and lymphedema for years. As walking unaided became more difficult I added a cane, which helped a lot, at first.

Once I realized a shopping cart (or a stroller ! ) helped immensely with walking support, I began investigating rolling walkers (rollators).

I’m still on the fence - mostly which brand. A rollator provides walking support as well as a ready seat wherever one is wanted. As well as keeping me upright with the better lines of sight.

We don’t currently have a WDW trip on the horizon tho we do have a major anniversary in 13 months. I’d be interested in what your mobility decisions and experiences are, going forward.

1 Like

If you are considering a rollator make sure you get fitted professionally- took me a while working with occupational therapy to be able to use it properly…lol not as easy as it looked lol especially if balance is a thing - and than finding a fit…

1 Like

Thank you for the info! I’ve been concerned about fit as short as I am. Never thought about balance!

I used one on my last two trips, and it was better than without one, but I have made the determination that if I can’t afford an ECV the next trip, I can’t afford the trip. My entire body was screaming at me on both trips.

1 Like

So sad to hear of your misery. That was me pre-cane. Or in the future. Quite sure some motoized transport will figure in, eventually.

Lol the opposite problem I am tall. That thing slid out from under me many times until I learned how to use it properly.

Keep in mind a shopping cart in a market is way heavier material balanced and usually have that one wobbly wheel so they don’t roll away-

1 Like

Yes, and I still do! I tire easily, but don’t actually have too much difficulty walking in general (yet). Overall mobility is not really the issue… It really is just specific joints and tendons that start to get inflamed and swell up (mostly ankles, but knees to some degree as well) when I walk more than around the house, office, grocery store, etc. The last time I decided to “go for a walk” I made it about a block and a half from my house before the tendons around my ankle started hurting so badly I had to turn around and limp back home. Which is about equivalent to walking from the bus to the tapstyles at WDW!

Basically think of me as someone trying to do WDW with two sprained ankles and a bum knee! :laughing:

1 Like

I have a friend who uses a “Smartscoot” mobility device and it truly does fold up to where even I can get it in and out of a car trunk. (I am not strong or particularly able myself)
It’s very lightweight yet sturdy, so you may want to inquire if any of the Orlando scooter rental places offer that model. Good luck!

2 Likes

For our family, staying onsite with an ECV has been the easiest and made the park experience more enjoyable. Disney provides a list of attractions and accessibility level, whether you can remain seated or have to be transferred. Buena Vista Scooter Rentals, Best Price Scooters and Strollers, Apple Scooter, and ScooterBug are on the approved vendor list. This allows the vendor to deliver and pick up the ECV from the resort without you physically having to be present. We generally include insurance, remove the key when entering a ride or dining, and keep a close eye for sudden afternoon showers. We typically stay in resorts that are on the monorail loop or near Epcot. Navigating the ECV will be much easier on the monorail or boats (Epcot area). When waiting for a bus, there is a limit of two and backing up will present a challenge for new users. Navigating crowds can be a challenge as well. By releasing the handle, you immediately apply the brakes. Fortunately for the general public, any driving mishaps happened within our family. Don’t forget to book a wheelchair accessible room, as the automatic door is necessary to leave the room.

2 Likes

Anyone have experiences to share (positive or negative) with regard to renting ECVs at the parks rather than through an off-site vendor? What’s availability like? How long/painful is the process (especially at rope drop)? If I want to park hop and get an ECV at the second park as well, are they likely to be unavailable?

Over a decade ago my MIL (who lived locally) met dd and I in the park in the late morning one day and was quite put out that there weren’t any scooters available. I won major DIL points that day pushing her all over MK in a wheelchair (there is quite the incline pushing someone from the front of the park to HM!)

She was able to check back later in the afternoon and they had one available then.

Unless they have more available inventory than back then (and they may), I would be prepared to have to settle for a wheelchair if they are out of scooters.

1 Like