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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

Navigating the WDW parks in a wheelchair or ECV.

How can a guest rent a wheelchair or scooter/Electronic Conveyance Vehicle (ECV) at the Walt Disney World Resort?

See our post here about renting a wheelchair or a ECV both from WDW and from private venders.

How does waiting in line for attractions work for guests in an ECV or wheelchair?

The majority of the lines for attractions at WDW are accessible by wheelchair or ECV, so you will not qualify for DAS. There are a few lines that require you to transfer from a ECV to a wheelchair. Cast Members at the front of each attraction are fabulous at giving information about how it will work for that particular ride. Click here for more information from the official WDW website.

Which rides and attractions can a guest remain in an ECV or wheelchair and which do I need to transfer?


There are multiple categories when it comes to having limited mobility and riding attractions.

  • Remain in wheelchair or ECV: there are plenty of experiences throughout WDW that are fully accessible to anyone in a wheelchair or an ECV. Shows at the WDW parks have seating areas reserved for guests in wheelchairs or ECVs and their families. Make sure to arrive early since seating in accessibility seating is limited. However, there are only a handful of rides where a guest may remain in an ECV for the duration.

  • Must transfer to a wheelchair: there are select rides where a guest may ride while remaining in a wheelchair. If they have an ECV they can transfer to a wheelchair for the ride. Cast Members will be able to assist with this.

  • Must transfer from wheelchair/ECV to ride vehicle: these are rides where a guest must be able to transfer out of their wheelchair or ECV to the ride vehicle. For each of these attractions either a wheelchair or an ECV can navigate the queue.

  • Must transfer to a wheelchair, then to the ride vehicle: this is a combination of the previous two. A guest with an ECV must first transfer to a wheelchair for the queue, a cast member will be able to assist with this. Then the guest must be able to walk the short distance from the wheelchair to the ride vehicle.

  • Must be ambulatory: there are a handful of rides in the parks where neither an ECV or wheelchair can go into the attraction queue. In these cases the guest must be able to walk the distance from the queue entrance to the ride.

Below find a list of rides that fall into each category. We define ride as an attraction that has a ride vehicle.



Remain in wheelchair or ECV:

Epcot:

Journey Into Imagination with Figment


Magic Kingdom:

Jungle Cruise

Liberty Square Riverboat


Remember, all shows throughout the parks are both wheelchair and ECV accessible. Click here for a link to the Disney.com website for a full list of attractions a guest is able remain in the wheelchair or ECV.


Must transfer to a wheelchair:


Must transfer from wheelchair/ECV to ride vehicle:

Must transfer to a wheelchair, then to the ride vehicle:

Must be ambulatory:

How do continuous loader attractions work for guests with limited mobility?

There are a few continuous loading rides throughout the parks. These are attractions that do not stop moving while guests load and unload from the ride. For the most part the moving walk way can either be slowed or stopped all together to assist with transfer to/from the ECV or wheelchair. The exceptions to this are Peter Pan and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, where the walkway can be slowed but not stopped altogether.

What are some things/pitfalls I need to be aware of at WDW?

  • ****Always always always take the key when leaving your ECV for any reason.


  • ECV Battery Life

We did not have any kind of problem with ECV battery life while at the parks at Disney. However, it is helpful to keep the following things in mind to extend the life of your ECV. Always remember to turn the ECV off (and take the key) whenever leaving it to enjoy an attraction or eat. If you are parked for any length of time, watching a parade for example, turn off the ECV.


  • Navigating Crowds

Honestly, navigating crowds in a wheelchair or ECV is not easy, especially in a ECV.

It is hard to brake and stop quickly and people seem to be unaware of this and will just stop right in front of you. It worked well for us to have a family member walk in front of the ECV or wheelchair to keep other parties from cutting them off.


Sometimes the massive crowds that can accumulate at the parks make going anywhere next to impossible. You will likely want to wait for heavy crowds to dissipate after fireworks or a parade for example. There is no good way to safely manage navigating through the sea of people. Pack your patience in your pocket, you will need it.

  • Time Management

You must go slower, build in more time or make sure you have realistic goals. I cannot emphasize this enough. Everything will take longer, from determining how to navigate from point A to point B, getting onto the buses - especially if you have to miss a bus because there is not room for the ECV, dropping off the ECV to get in line, finding a place to eat where the ECV will fit, and on and on. Plus, it is possible that the guest using the ECV or wheelchair will tire more easily than normal, so more breaks may need to be built into your day. We found it to be more important than ever to pick out a few key goals that are the most important to your family and focus on only doing those in order to make the trip enjoyable for everyone.

  • Geography

It is harder to zip back and forth across the parks when navigating in a wheelchair or ECV. It takes a lot longer when navigating around people, and it will take WAY more time than you expect. Try to be very intentional about planning how you will spend your day.

  • Rain

Have a hand towel in your backpack to dry off the wheelchair or seat of the ECV after the inevitable Florida rainstorm. An extra poncho to cover the seat of a wheelchair or the handles and seat of an ECV is wise as well.

  • ECV Battery Life

Do not forget to charge the battery of the ECV every night. We never had any issues with battery life after an overnight charge.

  • Transportation

Disney transportation is very accessible in a ECV or wheelchair with the exception of some of the water taxis. Make sure you build in extra time for getting to and from the parks. See our post here about navigating WDW transportation.

  • Security

There is a separate security line for guests using wheelchairs and ECVs. A cast member should direct you to the correct area. Guests who are able will be asked to walk through security while a cast member brings their ECV or wheelchair through, but non-ambulatory guests will be able to remain in their wheelchair or ECV.

Where can I find the official Disability Guides for each park?

Click on the links below for PDFs the official Disability Guide Map for each park






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