Do they allow wheelchairs in the park?
Of course. They rent them for $10 each or you can roll your own. You will find the rental area to your left after you enter the park. They also usually rent them out in the parking garage to save you some extra walking, right by the rotunda where the two parking structures meet before Citywalk.
I thought I saw someone in a motorized wheelchair there before. Did they arrest that person?
I hope not. Those are ECVs or Electronic Convenience Vehicles. You can rent an ECV once inside the park for $40 a day (along with a $50 credit card imprint deposit or a valid photo ID). You can also bring your own ECV. There are actually a few places that rent them in the area, which makes it cheaper if you will require an ECV for more than a few days.
What about Segway scooters? My doctor recommended one so I stay on my feet without having to do much walking.
Unfortunately, none of the area parks will let you enter with a Segway. Maybe they go too fast or the ankles of your fellow tourists bruise too easily once bumped, but it's a pretty standard no-go. Wheelchairs and motorized wheelchairs are it in terms of adult transportation.
$10 and $40 are some pretty stiff rental fees. Can I get a discount if I prove that I am in fact disabled?
No. Everyone pays the same price. Then again, keep in mind that you are always welcome to bring your own wheelchair into the park for free.
Is it true that I can actually go on some of the rides without ever having to leave my wheelchair?
Yes, it's true. Some rides like The Cat in the Hat and One Fish, Two Fish have special vehicles that can accommodate -- and secure -- a standard manual wheelchair. Pretty cool, don't you think? If you have an ECV you won't be able to get on these attractions with the ECV but they have spare manual wheelchairs that one can transfer to if you would like to experience the ride from the wheelchair. Other rides like Popeye, Dudley, Flying Unicorn and Jurassic Park River Adventure have special seats that can accommodate an easy transfer. For example, on the Popeye ride, after every few rafts one will come around with a ramp to allow a wheelchair to go down and allow the rider to simply slide over to a vacant seat. The wheelchair waits at the station for your return.
I heard that if I rent a wheelchair -- nudge, nudge, wink, wink -- I can go to the front of any line and ride right away. Is that true?
I'll spare you the lecture. Too many people abused that privilege, pretending to be disabled, so now most of the queues are wide enough where folks in a wheelchair can usually snake through the line with everyone else.
Is the park difficult to navigate in a wheelchair?
Not at all. Thankfully you're in the flat state of Florida and most of the park's terrain is pretty level. While there are some different concrete and wood surfaces paved over the park it's all pretty flat. This doesn't hold true for every Orlando area park as Animal Kingdom is quite hilly, but as far as IOA and USF goes, it's a smooth piece of cake.
Why did you have to say cake? My stomach's rumbling now. Will a wheelchair be a problem in the restaurants?
Not at all. All of the restaurants, stores and restrooms were designed to be wheelchair accessible. Dig in. I think you'll enjoy it.
Wow. You make it easy to be a question. How do you do it?
Sequentially. So I hear.
If you prefer not to have to drive around Orlando too much consider staying at one of the three onsite resorts. Getting to and from the parks will be a quick stroll -- or a convenient wheelchair-accessible boat ride -- away. So you might want to consider pulling up a discounted online rate for the romantic Portofino Bay, the hip Hard Rock Hotel or the majestic Royal Pacific Resort.
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