Disney's New EVC
Segways for guests with needs discussions have been beaten to death however a new twist, Disney this year started offering their alternative for standing guests with their new EVC which is supposed to be safer for special needs guests along with guests around them.
Re: Disney's New EVC
MousePlanet further reports:
Disney World introduces Segway alternative for guests with disabilities
Following a years-long legal roller coaster that has included rulings, appeals, dismissals, and settlements, Walt Disney World has very quietly rolled out (pardon the pun) a small fleet of Electric Standing Vehicles (ESVs) for use in the theme parks. The rental vehicles are part of a settlement regarding the use of privately owned Segway Human Transport devices by guests with certain disabilities who prefer to use a standing mobility conveyance rather a seated electric wheelchair or scooter (electric conveyance vehicle, or ECV).
Disney successfully fought to maintain its ban on the use of such devices, which can travel up to 12 miles per hour, more than double the speed of the ECVs the company rents for use in the parks. Disney cited safety concerns about the use of the vehicles in the theme parks, despite offering guided Segway tours of Disney's California Adventure and Epcot during park hours, and allowing certain cast members to use the devices inside the theme parks.
As part of the settlement, Disney modified the standard ECV by extending the steering column, placing the storage basket on the back of the unit, and configuring the seat cushion to serve as a back rest. The four-wheeled ESV has the same "footprint" as the standard Disney scooter, travels at the same speed, uses the same toggle bar control, and has the same 450-pound weight limit.
Don't expect to see dozens of the devices rolling down Main Street, U.S.A. anytime soon. MousePlanet learned the devices were due to arrive over a month ago, but until this weekend, none of our staff had been able to find one in use in the parks. Cast members are extremely reluctant to discuss the devices, referring all inquiries to a manager. We did learn that each of the four theme parks has at least one unit (an Epcot CM said the park has two), and the rental fee is the same $50 per day, plus $20 key deposit charged for ECVs.
Magic Kingdom guest Ricardo was the operator of the ESV we spotted in the Magic Kingdom, and was happy to answer our questions about the device. He said that in order to rent Disney's ESV, he has to bring his personal Segway personal transporter to the entrance of a theme park, where security escorted him inside to the wheelchair rental counter. There, a manager was summoned to handle the transaction. Ricardo left his Segway with Disney, where it was kept in the stroller and wheelchair storeroom, and checked out the ESV.
He said the unit is much slower and more difficult to steer than his personal Segway, and that he would still prefer to use his own device, which he has customized with colored lights and music. When we met him, he was demonstrating his makeshift sound system for the ESV, using a Bluetooth-enabled portable speaker balanced on the front of the device and controlled by his iPad. Disney also prohibits amplified music in the parks, but Ricardo is clearly a regular and the Magic Kingdom manager seemed unconcerned by the personal enhancements.
The units were also reportedly delivered to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, but we have yet to hear of one in use at either park.
After posting a photo of the device this weekend, many readers questioned why anyone would choose to use a Segway instead of a seated wheelchair or scooter. MousePlanet reader Lindsay Contreras is one of the thousands of people who use a Segway as a mobility aid, and explained on our Facebook page, "I have spina bifida and EDS [Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues]. I can stand usually for a while but walking long distances is nearly impossible because it requires more muscle tone, which, due to my EDS, is impossible to accomplish because the disease depletes it. I can sit but it is not very comfortable to sit for a long period of time, [as] my legs will twitch, and my docs prefer I stand long as possible before breaks of sitting."