Help with an ECV

Hi everyone!

My mom and I are going to WDW in late Oct-early Nov. Her doctor told her she would need to use an ECV while she is there. She is not exactly thrilled about this idea but I had suggested when we first started planning. I know she would enjoy the vacation more if she uses one. I’m trying to reassure her that it would be for the best but she is worried about how it would fit on transportation, what will she do with it in restaurants, on rides or in our hotel room.

Do you guys have any advice or tips about this for her?

Hi. We took my parents for their first Disney trip last summer. I knew that my dad for sure would need an ECV. I also suspected that my mom would need one too. They both put up a fuss. I basically told them I was renting one, and they could use it when and if they needed it. It worked out really well. It was delivered to the resort, and my parents found it very easy to drive. We were a little nervous getting in on the bus, but my dad did fine, and it seemed to get easier for him each time. He even got little gold tokens from some of the bus drivers for doing such a great job. My mom also used it. She didn’t have any trouble with it in the parks, but she never drove it onto the buses. She would switch with my dad, so he could do it. She actually used it just as much as him. The heat was more of an issue for her, and she gets swelling. Anyways, it worked well for us. I’m taking them back again next summer, and we will definitely have one again. We were in FQ, and they just parked/charged it in the room. We did not take it inside restaurants because my parents don’t need it all the time.

Both DH and I used ECVs on our trip in 2017. They do take some getting used to, but the drivers can help drive the ECV into the buses. They let ECVs in first and let them out last.

Restaurants have places to put them; usually with strollers. No worries there.

We were able to fit both of our ECVs into our handicapped room at ASMu; one in the bathroom and next to the bed, so one will fit nicely in a non-handicapped room. This was before the refurb. When we stayed at Pop last year, there was plenty of room to put one (we didn’t have an ECV then—we had a wheelchair and a walker). Since the Values are smaller, I think you’re good wherever you stay.

My advice is to walk into stores, if possible. Also, have her practice at the resort. She should feel comfortable parking, stopping, and going backwards before taking her to the parks. These ECVs you use in the parks are not like the ones in grocery stores which are slowed down versions.

My dad used one for our trip in 2016. He too was resistant before we got there, but admitted about half a day in that he would not have made it without it. He had an accessible room, and was fine to maneuver in it to park it near an outlet to charge overnight. A few times, if we were going to have a particularly long day, we would find an outlet in a restaurant or in a pavilion (there’s one outside the exit to the Canada film we used) to top off the battery, but for the most part, it would last all day without a problem.

Couple of tips:

  • Make sure to use one of the Disney approved vendors from the website. If something happens to the ECV while you’re in a park, they can come into the park to help or bring you a new one you once you call them.
  • When driving on to the bus, she needs to commit! My dad hesitated the first time, and nearly fell backward. She’ll need to accelerate smoothly all the way up to ramp to maintain momentum.
  • Have someone walk ahead to any rides you’re approaching to ask how an ECV is handled. I would do this, and the cast member would tell me. Like, for ToT, the queue is too tight for an ECV, but they have a manual wheelchair available for those who can’t walk the full queue, and you park ECVs with the strollers outside. My dad elected to walk the queue since the line was short; if it was longer, he may have elected for the wheelchair. Other rides have queues that can accommodate the ECV. For shows, you can often ride the ECV right into open areas in the back, and companions sit right next to them. Cast Members are very knowledgeable about all the accessibility needs for each attraction.

I found this video helpful explaining benefits/disadvantages of using one and things to watch out for:

1 Like

Thanks so much. This is her once in a lifetime trip and I want her to enjoy it as much as possible.

Thanks. She was worried about whether it would take up to much space in our room. We are staying at POFQ, so it sounds like it won’t be an issue. Our arrival day will be spent checking out the resort then MNSSHP that night. So, hopefully that should give her some practice in before heading to a park.

1 Like

Thanks so much for the tips. I get the feeling my mom will be the same about not making it without one. This is her once in a lifetime trip so I want to make sure she enjoys it.

Thanks for this. I will make sure she watches this.

i took my mom last year on a special trip. her biggest concern was getting around because her mobility is very limited. she didn’t want to use an ecv; she was very worried about hitting people.

we went with a wheelchair, which was the right choice for us (though you need someone willing and able to push it). with a smaller profile than an ecv, it was easy to move from place to place and navigate the parks—from queues to shows to restaurants. cast members and bus drivers were fantastic. they helped and guided us every step of the way.

post-trip, my mom was very vocal about how the wheelchair was the only way she could’ve done the trip. from my point of view, i was thrilled to have her sit back and enjoy everything.

please share with your mom that she’s not alone, cast members and bus drivers are helpful and kind. if an ecv makes her trip more comfortable, it’s the best choice!

1 Like

It was my parents once in a lifetime trip too. My mom said it was her bucket list trip. She admitted after the trip that they wouldn’t have been able to do it without the scooter. That being said, they had the time of their lives, and we are taking them back with us next summer. My mom just asked me today if I needed to rent the scooter yet!

My wife only uses ECV at Disney, so we go to Sams Club or Costco to practice maneuvers. The “crowds” at the stores are more manageable, you have wide areas and tight squeezes, and can get a huge pretzel afterward! #winning

No way could we do Disney without the use of the ECV. Any questions or concerns fell free to ask. I went 14 hours on mine in EPCOT and right when I got back to the resort it started to slow down but still had more then enough power to still get back to the room.

All transportation (except minnie vans, I don’t know about them) are ECV friendly. She’ll get hauled up with a little lift onto the bus and strapped in. It’ll take less than a minute.
Most rides will let her ride her vehicle up to the ride vehicle (doom buggy for example) and she’ll transfer calmly (they’ll even stop the ride for you if you need them to) and your little car will be waiting for you when your adventure ends. It is so convenient! The best spots at shows are reserved for wheelchairs and ECVs.
Please tell her not to worry, it will be a very comfortable experience!! Just be careful how you drive because people will cut her off continuously. Not her fault if she runs them over but tell her to be forever on guard.
Have fun!!!