ECV 'Good Neighbour' tips / EDS tips

My wife has a degenerating form of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and is permanently wheelchair bound. She uses a combination of a Rollator and ECV at home, and we will be renting an ECV for the period of Feb 5-11 while at the Disney Parks (from Gold Mobility Scooters). While she has had to be in a ECV for a few years now, we’ve never tried to use it with the crowds we anticipate seeing at Disney. Last time we went was in 2010, and crutches were enough back then.

While perusing threads, I see many complaints about ECVs and their wide-spread usage within the WDW parks. What are some tips to minimize our impact to other guests, and be ‘Good Neighbours’ while visiting the parks? She is capable of standing up and moving a step or two from an ECV to a seat, or I can lift and move her ‘honeymoon style’ if space allows.

In addition, are there any other liners with EDS who can offer suggestions on rides to avoid (ones that may cause subluxations while riding?) We go to a local roller coaster focused park regularly and she still does fine with those, but we know to avoid certain spinning rides because the high-G’s can take her joints out of place. Mission: Space Orange is out, as is the Mad Tea Party. Any other tips?

Avoid Kilimanjaro Safaris, there’s a lot of jerking and lateral motion. Also, the ECV boarding is kind of a pain, if you ask me.

Probably also avoid Dinosaur and Star Tours, they have that same jerking around, though the latter has it less than the former. I think you can control the spinning in Alien Swirling Saucers, so that might be fun. I would worry a little about the drops in Tower of Terror.

I use an ECV from time to time and never found anyone to be less than kind. People do sometimes not notice you because they’re looking somewhere else so a lot of defensive driving is in order. Oh, and if you leave the ECV out in the sun, flip the setback down onto the seat. The Florida sun can really bake a booty!

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Thank you! Heat is a big factor as she can’t sweat, we’re hoping February will mitigate that a bit. That seat-back idea is great, as I don’t know how much the included canopy will actually cover. I would not have guessed Dinosaur was that bad, thanks!

The fact that, in the face of what you and your wife are going through (my sister-in-law has a form of EDS, thankfully less severe…at present), you took the time to consider and post this, means you are not the problem. Enjoy your trip :slight_smile:

In terms of tips, unsure about rides but the Skyliner loading for ECVs looked good to me - a dedicated so things are quick and easy both for the ECV user and for the other riders. I’d suspect monorails should also be fairly easy. Buses take an age to lower, and from what I saw, the drivers often have issues getting the ramp to go up/down.

P.S. ASwS was not controllable in my recollection - as you are on a “trailer” swinging behind the ride vehicle. Quite gently though - maybe take a look on YouTube?


Yes, I wasn’t sure about controlling Alien Swirling Saucers, but it didn’t seem as bad to me as the Teacups, for sure. The video idea is great.

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Now that I think of it, Test Track has a pretty rough start. I haven’t ridden in quite a while because of that. Maybe someone else could comment on that. But I stay off that one, and same with RnR because of the sudden acceleration at the very beginning of it.

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I used an ECV on our recent trip. Everyone I encountered over the age of 12 was perfectly considerate. At the beginning of the week, I sometimes parked my ECV out by the strollers while I stood in line, only to realize the line was longer than expected and I really should have kept it. By the end I only parked it when they told me to, which was only for a few rides. Those rides had manual wheelchairs available, so you’ll have the option of pushing your wife if she can’t stand that long or walk that far.

My rental ECV had a headlight, which I used a lot for indoor ride queues. Makes it easier to avoid crashing into walls/people.

Buy some glow bracelets from the dollar store if you’re going to be in the park in the evenings – you can decorate the ECV with them for better visibility.

My rental also had an extra basket on the back. It was sorely needed for my group, but if it was just me and hubby, I’d skip it. It made the vehicle so long, and I sometimes forgot it was there. There were a few elevators I could barely fit into with that thing sticking out, and I whacked quite a few walls with it.

We only stayed for the fireworks one night of our trip, and our game plan for getting out without losing each other was to stay put for five or ten minutes after the show was over. We let the bulk of the crowd get ahead of us. Then I set my ECV speed a little lower than we’d been using all day, so we could stay behind the crush on our way out.

The monorail is pretty easy in an ECV, and the large ferry that goes from MK to the TTC was a piece of cake. I tried the resort ferry once, and that was a pain. Stick with the monorail if you’re going from MK to one of the nearby resorts. The Wildlife Express train in AK requires you to back on, but then you get the same views as all the other passengers. I didn’t attempt any other Disney transportation in my ECV.

I also didn’t attempt to take my ECV on any of the few wheelchair-friendly rides. When I rolled up to the front of the line, a CM would always ask me if I was comfortable “stepping down into the boat” or whatever was required, and when I said yes they instructed me where to park. If your wife needs assistance, let them know. There are several rides that never stop moving and you board from a moving walkway. I saw them slow down the ride for guests who needed help. You can’t get the ECV very close to the loading zone on those rides.

I hope you have a wonderful trip!