Trying Something I'm Not Sure About

So, DH and I were going to get ECVs for our trip in three weeks, but we decided to put that money elsewhere. We decided that he can bring his wheelchair and I would bring my walker. My main problem is my sciatica. If I stand in one place too long I can no longer move without searing pain. This also happens when I walk too much, but I really think it’s the standing for any length of time that pushes me over the edge. However, I have been doing some exercises that have helped my sciatica, and decided that walking would allow me to eat more carbs while there.

I have been practicing walking as much as possible while using the walker. Went to our town’s Christmas festival on Tuesday and did pretty well. When I needed to stop, I could sit down on the walker. However, it was nowhere near the amount of walking I will be doing at WDW.

Now, DH has developed issues with his legs being weak, so he’s using his wheelchair a lot. Before it was just if he needed it. He has good days and bad days, but it’s been years since he’s needed his wheelchair for everyday things.

If I am using the walker, which I think I can handle, I can’t push him in his wheelchair. DDs touring plan takes her off to rides that we don’t want to ride, so we won’t be together all day. I’m concerned now that we should be renting the ECVs, or at least one. But they are a pain to get around in, and we are definitely NOT riding the bus again.

I am second guessing this whole thing. Hmmm.

Sounds like they are a good idea :confused:

I’m sorry this is a concern for you to worry about.

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Me, too. I’m wondering what I shape I will be in when I get back to the resort each night. But not having to worry about an ECV sounds very freeing. They are a pain to deal with. Sigh.

We had 2 in June and only once did we take separate busses. We were at ASsports and had no issues using them. I feel it is better to have it and not really need it then need it and not have it. The place we rented from has them as low as $25 a day. They got us through the parks being there all day and one night I forgot to charge mine and I got through 2 parks on one charge. Pushing a wheelchair can be daunting up and down hills over cracks in sidewalks, and over ruff pavement in parking lots. I would not be able to do Disney without one DW could manage but not without stopping or slowing us down. She thought she would be ok in most parks but was worried about AK with all the walking and up and down hills. For the price I made the decision to get her one for the whole trip. Renting 2 days from Disney was almost the cost as 6 day from the outside Co. If you think you need them then you really need them get them they are worth it, and I don’t want you to suffer without one.

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We had two reserved at $450 for the whole trip. That’s a lot of money, and we really needed to spend it on other things. If I use one, I will have to stay on my very strict keto diet with no splurges.

We refuse to ride the buses again, especially with ECVs. Many of them were way too crowded last year, and crowd levels were much lower when we were that than they will be Christmas week.

The upside to using them would be the ease of use.

The downside is the crowds and how awful riding an ECV is when you are in one.

However, getting one may be something we need to do, specifically for Gregg. He can get a small light one that is easier to put in the car. Poor guy weighs hardly anything right now.

I guess we need to keep thinking about it. I need to practice walking more.

You could get him one and if you need one if it gets that bad rent one from the park if need be. I would just hate for you to suffer.


I had/have sciatica that I got from Great America, the Drop Zone ride where I blew out a disc, to be specific. I know exactly what kind of pain you’re talking about.

I had an ECV the last time we went, and it transformed our entire family’s experience. I think @joefishing209 has a great idea- definitely get one for Gregg, and rent one as needed. That way, you can see how you do but have the option of getting one. And you can leave it at the park instead of having to deal with the buses, which I agree is really pretty bad. As is looking at people’s butts all day! But at least you can stand up for the fun parts. :joy:

Also, there’s the effect on your overall stamina- you’ll be less tired and able to enjoy the whole day. This is as important as the pain, I think.

A trip to WDW is an investment. Sometimes it requires a little more to get the return on investment that makes the whole thing worthwhile.


Cindy needs to use an ECV when touring the parks (she has no problems around the resorts). On our last trip she tried the first day at DHS without, and after about the first 2 hours we were spending more time sitting waiting for the pain to subside than we did actual touring. The next day she got an ECV and it was life-changing; we did a 12 hour EP day with zero pain, followed by equally long days at MK and AK/DHS. We didn’t really notice any maneuvering issues - either at rides or at TS meals. Daily renting at the parks is not the most cost-effective, but for 3 days in the parks, without having to rely on the buses for transportation, the extra $$ were well worth it for us.


I shared this with DW and she think you should have one as well. She reminded me that ECV get priority when it comes to buses. So you and your family will be the first on the bus no matter how many people are in front of you. As I said before we use the buses and had no problems with them. And if you need exercise you can always park it and walk around also swimming is good exercise and you said you were going to try one of the water parks so don’t bring it that day or park it somewhere.

Yes, it’s definitely cheaper to rent off-site, and the resorts are really good about helping one out with it. Mine came apart so that also made it easier to get from park to resort.

But I also agree with you that money spent renting one at the parks is worthwhile, just to avoid transport issues outside of the parks. That’s what I plan to do this year because I think I won’t need it as much so I’m willing to wing it. Although park ECVs are slow :grin: That’s probably not a problem when it’s crowded.

The exercising in advance is a great idea, too. That saved me when I went to Italy, Rome just involves a lot of walking no matter what, so I started 6 mo. ahead of time and that really helped.

Too bad I’m too lazy to stay in shape all the time!


If you are staying on property and you have handicapped plates or placard, remind them not to charge you for parking.

Not so sure about this assessment… It was most of the first day before Cindy learned that there was a speed adjustment, and I spent half my time almost jogging after her to keep up :slight_smile:

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Nope, I’m sure the Disney ECVs are slower, if you look around on the DISability boards, that’s the general consensus. I’ve used both and the Disney ECVs are just set slower, and I can see why.

The only place I could “open up” the rental one was between YC and the IG, and my teens would have to run flat out to keep up. That was back in the day when the 4th FPs were paper. Guess who got to go fetch those? :grin: I didn’t run anyone over, but I was much quicker than the family. Same with RD.

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I will add in, I would definitely look into getting at least one. We got one for my mom last time and it was really the only way she was able to do the trip. If you haven’t used one before, definitely see if you go to some place local to get used to driving it. I think that was the hardest part, especially in the dense crowds. We had no issues with the buses (although it was a less busy time of year). Mom was an expert at getting it up and onto the buses after the first day, but the bus driver can help if you’re not comfortable doing it. Good luck

Ouch! That’s rough.

I like the idea of not bothering with an ECV with the car. There are days where DD will stay in the park and we will be going back to the resort to rest. Putting an ECV in the car without her help would be really rough on us. Of course, if we rented one or two from an outside vendor we could leave them in the park somewhere.

The thing is, I was miserable last year using the ECV in the crowds. I would be trying to go slow so that I wouldn’t run into people (I’m nice that way), and people would go around me and then step right in front of me and stop or slow down because there were people in front of them. It was a nightmare. I almost ran into people all the time because too many people would do that. That was the first week of April. Christmas week will be MUCH worse. It literally exhausted DH and me mentally. It was so bad at MK one night down Main Street that his anxiety level went through the roof and he ended up having to lie down at First Aid. The resort ended up sending someone to pick him up from First Aid to take him back to the resort. ECVs and crowds don’t mix. He’ll have the same problem in a wheelchair, but at least you can stop those on a dime; ECVs, not so much. And they are easier to maneuver down through the stores along Main Street.

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I agree. Being in an ECV can be terrible. My family had to walk in front of me sometimes so I could get through crowds, and people act like you’re not even there sometimes. But sometimes they’re very nice, too. I don’t know. It’s definitely a toss-up for you but I hope you go anyway, there’s still a lot of magic to be had!

I really think the pain starts happening because I stand in one place too long. I’ve been pushing myself to walk more and as long as I don’t stand still I can handle the walking. Granted, I’m not walking more than 10,000 steps, but I think I may be okay. I will have the walker to sit on if I need to rest. Because both DH and I have issues, he’ll be as slow as me, even if he were in the ECV. This trip is our stop and smell the roses kind of trip. We are not doing 12 hours in the parks each day. We are only riding a handful or rides. We are only RDing two different days and those are separated by a rest day at AKL. We are watching more shows.

I think I may go into it with the idea that on bad days we rent an ECV to share.

Don’t even get me started about the buses. Most experiences were just fine for us on our last trip, but there were some that were just plain torture for us. The last straw was when we had an already standing room only bus coming back from the parks that stopped at All Star Sports. There was a HUGE group of teenagers with about 4 chaperones that wanted to get into the bus. And the bus driver LET them. Everyone was piled in two by two down the aisle. It took forever to get them in. And then they went to our resort (ASMu), and because we were in ECVs, the group all had to exit the bus so that we could get out. They were all grumbling. Or course, it took forever to get everyone out so that we could leave. That was the last time we rode the bus. Gregg decided it was easier to load the ECVs into our SUV than to ever go through that again. I’m only riding the bus two times, and that’s to pick DD up at MK after our rest at the resort and heading to Epcot for dinner at Monsieur Paul and after DH goes back to the resort and DD and I ride the bus back to AKL. She wants to be at MK until close.

No buses. We are driving the car.

I think you should get an ECV of some type for your DH, unless he can move the wheels himself. As you said, you can’t push and use a walker at the same time and you want the walker for your own comfort, not just as a stability item. Also, even if your DD was with you the whole time, as you likely know, pushing a wheelchair all day is quite onerous, unless it’s something you do every day. She won’t want to have that responsibility or she will be worn out.

As for your walker, if you aren’t wanting to get yourself an ECV, then the walker is a great idea. Follow it up with a dip in the hot tub, each night, if you can. It will also help rejuvenate you.

My mom doesn’t use a walker in her day to day life, even if she’s going to a mall, but she uses it at WDW for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Standing around and having that extra support when you’re on your feet all day is really hard on a back with arthritis or sciatica or any other pains. I doubt my mom would have kept up with us at all if she hadn’t had her walker. It was also handy when we stopped for ice cream, because she had a seat, so one less to look for. And the basket was a great place for her purse and our water bottles/sunscreen. You won’t be sorry you have it.

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