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Navigating Disneyland on Wheels: Expert Tips for Mobility Aid Users with Mica and Amo Scooters



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Show Summary

The idea of renting or needing a wheelchair or ECV (scooter) at Disneyland can be daunting. Today we have two guests to share two different perspectives on wheelchair and scooter rental at Disneyland. First up is Mica, a dedicated Disney fan with a mobility limitation, who shares her wealth of knowledge on using mobility aids in the park. We'll guide you through the essentials of scooter rentals and wheelchair navigation, ensuring your trip is as smooth as the ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant. And for those moments when you need extra help, we delve into how Disney's Disability Access Service (DAS) can enhance your park experience.


John from Amos Scooters drops in with his expertise operating Amos Mobility, a company that rents scooters and strollers to the hotels near Disneyland. We also provide valuable insights into the accessibility of local transport options, such as ART and EVE buses, and the sensitive conversations surrounding the usage of mobility aids that can lead to a more enjoyable trip for everyone involved.

 

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0:00 Intro

 

Show Transcript

Welcome to the ParkMagic podcast, your place for insider tips for your next Disneyland Adventure. Whether you're a first-timer or first time in a while visitor, we're here to unwrap the secrets to creating and simplifying your dream Disneyland vacation.


Robyn:
Introducing Mica

Welcome to the park Magic Podcast. Today, I'm excited to talk to you a little bit about scooters. I've actually got two amazing guests. The first is Mica and Mica is a longtime Disney fan. She's come to the parks forever, and she's experienced the park with some physical disabilities that caused her to need a scooter. We're also gonna be talking to John from Amo Scooters, I just want to acknowledge you for being so gracious to be willing to share with other people so that they can have a great experience at Disney.


Mica:

Yeah, no problem. Thank you so much for having me.


Robyn:

Today, we're talking about wheelchairs and scooters. And I know that one thing that you talked about was, you know, Disney does treat the ECVs, the electric wheelchairs, just as wheelchairs. And I know that that was a big concern for you. Can you talk a little bit, you know, because I think most people who end up renting the scooter are probably not in wheelchairs day to day because people who are in wheelchairs every day probably have their own wheelchair or have their own ECV that they would be bringing to the park. So in talking about renting a scooter and how you know it works at Disneyland, what were some of the things that went through your mind when you had to start renting the scooter, you know, and I can share a little bit about what kind of went through my mind as well.


Mica:
Deciding to Rent a Mobility Scooter (ECV) or Wheelchair

Yeah, absolutely. So, I've actually used both wheelchairs and ECBs at Disneyland. The first time that I used a wheelchair, it was a manual wheelchair, and it just was not great. My partner had to wheel me around. And there's a lot of bumps on the road, and a lot of areas where it's very easy to tip a wheelchair over, especially if you're not used to wheeling somebody around as well. So, the next time that I went, I decided to rent a scooter instead. And it was just so much easier and so much better. The speed itself was slow and safe, which was always great, just because there are so many people at the park. Additionally, the ability to just be able to kind of stand up and either have my wife have the scooter and her driving around for a little bit was really good. So, my biggest problem with my knees is I have osteoarthritis in my knees. And I also have rheumatoid arthritis. So, sitting for too long with my knees bent is a problem because my knees will swell, my feet will swell. It's not a fun time for anybody. But standing in line is also really, really hard for me as well. So, being able to have an option where I can fully enjoy the parks and be able to get around with as little issue as possible is really just game-changing. Before using a scooter or the one time with a wheelchair, it really was a lot of, ‘Okay, let's go stand in line,’ and then after the ride, I would have to sit or rest for about 30 minutes to an hour, which is crucial here at Disneyland.


Robyn:
Mobility Versus Disability Access Service (DAS)

I think, this would be a good time to talk about the two different kinds of accommodations. So, there are mobility things, which we're going to be talking primarily about today. And then there's non-mobility issues. So, let's say you have a disability or health impairment that causes it so that you're not able to wait in a long period of line. Now, Disney has a program called DAS (Disability Access Service). And in DAS, what it does is it allows you to bypass the queues. Not in, you don't stand in line or not that you don't wait. It's just that you don't wait in the traditional queue. So, you'll wait a minute if the line is 60 minutes long, you'll still wait that 60 minutes, but you won't have to be standing in the queue. 


There are some people like me that have both mobility and other issues that cause them, maybe it might work that you need both, but just know that both of those things are an option. And with the wheelchair specifically, what they will do is for you, there's going to be some rights where you get a return time and some rights where you wait in a traditional queue if you just had a mobility issue. So, if you just had a hurt knee, or you just couldn't walk or you just had a broken leg and were in a wheelchair for that. So, let's talk about both of those. When you rent a wheelchair at Disneyland, you might be in a couple of different situations. You might be where you just can't walk that long of a distance, and so there are some times in that case you might rent a scooter. And then you might get off the scooter to stand in maybe a regular lightning lane because you can't stand, you just can't do the long-distance walking. 


There are some people that will use the scooter but then are able to get up and transfer and get in the regular ride vehicles. So, you would basically stand, they would, you would take, you would ride the scooter through the line or to the exit, and then you're able to stand up and do that short walk. And then there's some people that aren't able to transfer at all. And so if that's the case, on ParkMagic, we've indicated in Disneyland has this on their website to what rides require you to get up. There are a couple of rides that you have to transfer out of your wheelchair in order to experience and there are some that you can bring your wheelchair specifically on the ride and you don't have to transfer and those are really great for people who are not able to leave their chair. 


There's some rides that were built, like after the ADA was passed. So, for those rides, like especially like the newer rides that are in California Adventure, or the rides that are in like the newer rides that are in Disneyland, like Rise of the Resistance, those lines, those queues, were designed to be wide enough for a wheelchair to wait in the regular queue with the rest of your family. So for those rights, you would just standing, you would be in your wheelchair in line just like a regular person, unless you had kind of access to the desk because you had an additional issue. And then for the rides that you, that don't, they you kind of drive up to the cast member at the front. And they give you a return time. And then you come back and they will put that into your tickets online. And then you will have them scan that, check that return time. And then they will board you through either the exit or through maybe kind of a little shortcut unless it's a ride where you need to be where you need the wheelchair to be transferred over to as well. I think that one thing that people struggle with is like knowing how being in a wheelchair, or an ECV will be at the park.


Worried You Will Slow Your Group Down or It Will Be Embarrassing?

You know, I know my aunt was really worried about slowing things down, or slowing the group down and it can to a degree. But at least for us, her being in that ECV really did make it so we were actually able to move faster overall because she needed to take less breaks and she was in less pain during her day.


Mica:

Yeah, I completely agree with that. I totally understand from somebody who is not an everyday wheelchair user that sometimes it is a little bit difficult. I feel like there's, there's two parts. There's the one part like you were saying with your aunt, where you're scared to slow down your group. And I feel like there's also another part where some people feel a little bit embarrassed about using a scooter or a wheelchair, especially if they are mobile wheelchair users or mobile scooter users. So that meaning being able to get up and walk from the wheelchair or from the scooter, just because I feel like there is a lot of societal expectations that if you use a wheelchair, whether it's in every day, or if you're a mobile wheelchair user that you shouldn't be able to walk if you're using a wheelchair or scooter, which I feel puts a lot of people feeling either embarrassed or worried about what others will say, especially in a place like Disneyland where there really is a lot of people.


And I think that for me personally, that was one of my worries, I'm a very anxious person. And that was definitely one of those things like, you know, is somebody going to somehow challenge the fact that I am able to stand up and walk out of my wheelchair or my scooter, or people going to think that I'm, you know, faking something, or something along those lines. But after talking to the cast members at City Hall, and letting them know what exactly my physical limitations were, they were very gracious and telling me, you know, it sounds like a scooter or a wheelchair would definitely benefit you. And after trying it out that first time I, I did not look back. It just made everything so much easier. On the one hand, a scooter is slower. But as my arthritis progressed, I noticed realistically, it's not really slowing me or my wife or me or my friends down when we go just because I would have to take a lot of breaks. Or I would have to walk a little bit slower for a little bit of the day. Or I would have to completely miss out on rides because I just couldn't make it to whatever ride they wanted to go to. So I really was putting a limit into my own enjoyment of Disneyland. And I think it was also putting a limit on the enjoyment for my friends and my wife as well, because they didn't want to have to go on rides without me if I wanted to purchase something, but for some reason I couldn't make it into the shop, or there was just too many people in there for me to be able to walk as slow as I needed to walk at the time. So I think that there's definitely a multitude of reasons why people are worried or scared about using a wheelchair or an ECV/scooter.


And I think that at the end of the day, the thing that really helped me realize that I was just worrying too much about it was the fact that after trying the scooter out for the first time, I noticed how much of a difference it made in my day. I was able to, you know, be part of some of the lines that had the wider queues. So the newer rides like you were saying, Robyn, or the ones that were a little bit older, like Peter Pan, or Space Mountain, being able to go through the back and just knowing hey, I can actually go in and enjoy this ride was a, it was a world of difference just because Disneyland is also very big. And the way that they placed the rides, sometimes it's very hard to get from some of your favorite rides to the other of your favorite rides. Like for me personally, I love the Haunted Mansion. And I also really, really love Space Mountain. But getting from one to the other really is quite a track. So if you're somebody who is dealing with any sort of physical disabilities or fatigue, that is definitely a great option to be able to keep your energy, keep your stamina, keep your pain low, and be able to go from your favorite rides to your favorite rides. So I definitely think that if anybody who has you know, a disability, where fatigue or pain or mobility come into play, using a scooter will definitely, definitely improve your time at Disneyland, and it's going to be great for you. And it's going to be great for everybody in your party as well. Because they'll be able to see that you're also enjoying yourself. And I think that that's huge.


Robyn:

There are times where you need post-surgery where I'm like I physically could walk but I would have been in so much pain, I wouldn't have been having any fun. And but my husband definitely would have been having fun because when I'm in pain, I'm not super fun to be around. And so it's, it's not even, it's, it's not even just could you physically do it, but can you do it and enjoy yourself. And that's really what the accessibility is about, is making sure that you have the same access to experience the park that everybody else is. If you're perfectly healthy, then renting the scooter will slow you down. And I wouldn't recommend it, if you need it, though. And then I think that is a good idea. And if you get halfway through your day, or halfway through your first day, they have them at the park that you can rent. Did you want to talk a little bit about the process of renting at the park?


Robyn:

There are times where you need post-surgery where I'm like I physically could walk but I would have been in so much pain, I wouldn't have been having any fun. And but my husband definitely would have been having fun because when I'm in pain, I'm not super fun to be around. And so it's, it's not even, it's, it's not even just could you physically do it, but can you do it and enjoy yourself. And that's really what the accessibility is about, is making sure that you have the same access to experience the park that everybody else is. If you're perfectly healthy, then renting the scooter will slow you down. And I wouldn't recommend it, if you need it, though. And then I think that is a good idea. And if you get halfway through your day, or halfway through your first day, they have them at the park that you can rent. Did you want to talk a little bit about the process of renting at the park?


Mica:

I also did want to add to most people who go to Disneyland also go not a single day, they go for multiple days. So if you end up in pain at the end of your first day or completely fatigued, you may not be able to participate the rest of the week. And that kind of sucks, because aside from, you know, not being able to spend that time with your family or friends, Disneyland also does have a price tag that comes for a lot of people who are not from that area in southern California. So you may as well make the best of it while you're there. And if using you know, the accessibility that is available, why not? Might as well.


Robyn:

And I don't know about you, but especially when I was post-surgery and I was having a lot of pain, walking when I was trying to walk it all day, I found that some rides were not enjoyable anymore because in the way I was holding my body to try to compensate for the pain, it like tightened up my back and so that the jolt of Space Mountain which I normally have no problem with it was really painful because my muscles were so sore that because trying to overcome it from you know, pushing what I was able to physically do.


Mica:

Absolutely. I had that same problem with Indiana Jones. That ride became unbearable to me before I even had to use a scooter or wheelchair. I already had knee issues and that ride. If we did it too late in the day or too late in our trip like day three or four. It was just, it was horrible.


Robyn:
Rides That Especially Rough When Paired with Mobility Pain

This might be a good time to talk about some of those rides that maybe we can we can circle back to the renting at Disneyland some of those rides that can be a little bit tough on your back. So if you know that you have back issues, man in Disneyland does put warnings on these. But I think that Indiana Jones and Matterhorn are the two rides that should come with a free pass to a chiropractor afterwards.


Mica:

Oh, absolutely. Indiana Jones, I used to enjoy it a lot when I was able-bodied. And as soon as I started having more knee pain, every single time that we went on that ride, it's like they put you in a little blender. Just you, your knees get jostled around, your back gets jostled around, and it's one of those rides that doesn't actually have like a lap bar, it's just, it's really just a seat belt. And then you have the little bar in front of you to hold on to but that is definitely not enough. You get shaken up like a doll in there. It's horrible. Matterhorn as well. I know that they've changed the seats for Matterhorn multiple times. But they all just suck no offense Disneyland, but they're just an absolute nightmare for your back and I want to say you're butt too.


Robyn:

They are difficult to get in and out of too. Matterhorn, I always have to kind of brace myself to get out if I'm having joint issues. But I think and then you know, Space Mountain is, is for the most part a pretty smooth ride but as you're heading up, there's kind of a couple big jolts where you're moving kind of like chain to chain or track to track. And it's, I find that it's more enjoyable for me at the beginning of the day versus the end of the day.


Mica:

Oh, absolutely. The other one that I would put in there as well, if there are any other adults that are brave enough to go on this ride is Goofy Sky School.


Robyn:

Yes, that's definitely in DCA.


Mica:

That one is, is rough, especially if you're trying because the for people who haven't been to Disneyland or DCA very much. The ride doesn't stop when you are boarding or getting off the ride. So having any sort of joint issues or mobility issues while trying to get offer on that ride is extremely hard and very panic inducing.


Robyn:

Well, and Space Mountain is like that too, where they, you know, they really have to get people on and off very quickly. So if you know you're going to take longer to load at either Space Mountain or Goofy's Sky School, you make when in doubt, you use the wheelchair exit. It will take you longer, you know, because you have to wait for a specific car on Space Mountain. But if you're worried about being able to get in and out quickly, I think it's worth the anxiety. For me, there's a special car that gives you lots of time to load and then they slide it over to the track, it's actually kind of cool, but it does take a little bit longer. So if you don't need it, you know, save it for those that do, but it is something that is available.


Mica:

Absolutely. I think that the Space Mountain one is really great, they have to find a spot for it to go in. So realistically, you can take as much time as you need getting in or out of the vehicle, which is great because the vehicle is also so low, you basically have to step down into it, which again is a huge problem for a lot of people with mobility issues.


Robyn:
Accessible Options Can Be Found in Unexpected Places

For the most part, most of the other rides are fairly easy. You'd find even, some things that you would think might not have accessibility options. Like you know, if you might think that like the Pirates Lair, which would be called Tom Sawyer Island. There are a lot of accessible areas there. There are some areas that are mysterious, that are not accessible. But Disney does really go out of their way to try to make sure as much of the experience as possible is accessible, like the Treehouse in Adventureland. Obviously, there's like 60 stairs up, 60 stairs down. So it's not great for people with mobility issues, but the cool little ostrich that they have at the bottom, that's part of the accessible path that you can use with a wheelchair.


So, you know, make sure you always ask a cast member what's available. Like Mica said earlier, you can go to City Hall at the beginning of the day, but any place where you see people standing under usually a blue umbrella. That's where you can ask those questions you wanted to find out if you're eligible for DAS, which we talked about earlier, you can do that. I believe it's 30 days before between 30 and two days before your trip. And you can do it online but just be planning and plan on waiting a long time. There are whole times can be notoriously hours long. But you can also check in the park and they'll be able to tell you exactly where you would go answer any questions that you might have. And don't feel like you're not going to be asked to prove why you need a wheelchair. That's just not something that happens in the Disneyland parks especially in the US side just because of HIPAA laws. So if you need it, then don't worry about you're not going to be asked to prove that you need it anything along those lines. And then just want to take a second to acknowledge that if you are in a wheelchair and you're not able to transfer, this episode might not be sufficient for you or your needs. But there are lots of support groups and Facebook groups that you can get additional information. So if you're feeling like we're missing something, because we don't have that experience represented here, I just want to acknowledge that this is that we're primarily focused on this episode, in particular, on people that might not normally need a scooter day to day but might need it in the parks.


But let's go back to talking about specifically getting you like because there are scooters and wheelchairs and strollers that are available at the park did you want to talk about that process, and then I can talk a little bit about renting from a third party?


Mica:
Renting a Wheelchair or ECV (Electric Convenience Vehicle) AT THE PARKS

Sure, absolutely. So for renting a scooter or wheelchair, those are the only two that I have rented at Disneyland, you would go to this little area right outside of Disneyland. So it's right outside of the gates, closer to the bus drop off then Downtown Disney. And they have a selection of wheelchairs, which are all manual, so your standard wheelchair, and then they have scooters, which are not necessarily electric wheelchairs, they're really scooters where you sit down and you have a little handle that you can move around almost like a moped. They do run out of some of them quite quickly, I do find that the scooters run out a lot quicker than the wheelchairs do. But in the past, when we have had to rent a scooter and it wasn't available, they did offer me a wheelchair and then just said, you know, if you are park hopping and you're going from park to park, or if at any point, somebody in your party wants to come check to see if there are any scooters available, you can return the wheelchair and then we'll upgrade you to a scooter and you just have to pay the difference.


Robyn:
Renting a Wheelchair or ECV (Electric Convenience Vehicle) FROM A THIRD PARTY

In the last time I had that happened to me. And it does happen quite often. So that's why I'm going to talk a little bit about renting from third parties is that they did put me on a waiting list and did text us when it was ready, when there was one available, and then we were trying to get over there before it disappeared. So they hold it for a specific amount of time when you rent from Disneyland, they will go over the rules and that includes you can't have minors on ECVs they have to be over 18. And that, you know, like you know instruction on how to use the scooter, it will be fully charged in but you will have to return it at the end of each day. And that means that if even if you're staying across the street, or even if you're staying at the Disneyland Hotel, you're going to have to return that and then walk back at least to where the parking trams are or to back to your hotel. And depending on what your physical ability is, that might be difficult. So know that that's the case, one of the reasons I like renting from a third party is you know, I'm staying close enough to the park where I can walk, I can ride that scooter all the way back to the lobby of my hotel in some hotels, it can even be a lot riding it all the way back up to my room, if I'm having if I need it at that point. And so it can be really, really helpful to do that because you're you know, you're not having to transfer out during the point where you're most tired. And because you're reserving them ahead of time you have a kind of a guaranteed availability, and a lot of them will deliver to the hotel. So it's there when you arrive and fully charged, and then you would just charge it at night or the lobby would charge it at night. There's several providers.


We have an interview right after this with John from Amos, who's actually my favorite place to rent from. Unfortunately, lately, I have needed to rent that scooter because of some health issues. And not only has his service been really great, he's been available via text, he provided me some great tips made sure I understood how everything worked at Disney how to get the scooter there in the back with different hotels. But, you know, the scooters were in really good condition as well. So you know, we're gonna jump into that in just a second. Mica, is there anything else that we want to discuss before we jumped over to an interview with John or that you thought would be helpful to those considering getting a scooter? 


Mica:
Wheelchairs/ECV's and Hotel Selection

Absolutely. There is one thing that I did want to mention, in terms of renting directly from Disneyland, always remember, in your plans, how you're getting to Disneyland that day. So if you're in a hotel that is further away from the parts where you would have to drive to one of the parking lots, maybe renting a scooter from a third party might not be the best because you might not be able to load it into your car. So always think about the location that you're staying in. Is your party able to walk across the street while you're in a scooter across the street? Or is it just better for you to rent a scooter at Disneyland as well because you have to get into a car and the car might be packed or you may not have enough space for a scooter in your car or vehicle when you're going back to your hotel.


So those are definitely things that I would consider when you're looking at making your plans for Disneyland, trying to figure out what mobility aid is best for you. And figuring out, you know what the best place for you to rent your scooter is at, you always have to take all of the rest of your trip into consideration when making those. And I know that park Magic has some great resources on where to get scooters from and hotels and everything else and how far away they are from the park. So make sure to use the ParkMagic tool to be able to really plan out your trip so that you can have the best time if you do need a scooter or wheelchair during your trip. 


Robyn:

If you're staying in a local Anaheim hotel, then there's a bus system called ART. And there's also EVE that’s part of that, where they do have accessible buses that can bring your scooter. So even if you're staying as far down as like the near the Marriott suites or the Delta hotels that are a little bit further away, there is a bus, just know that you will have to wait for that bus. And so you kind of need to, like Mica said, really think about how your whole trip will go. And you know, most of the scooter rental companies don't want you to put them in their car because that's where damage can occur so. But if you're staying far away, then you know renting it from the park or someplace where you can pick it up.


I want to thank you so much for being willing to share, I know that it can be a sensitive subject. And I think there can be a little bit of shade thrown sometimes on people who are using scooters because they see somebody stand up and walk. So I really appreciate you being so open to share that with us.


Mica:

Yeah, of course. And thank you for inviting me and allowing the space for that as well. I think it's important that we do talk about things like this because I know that there are a lot of people who might be scared to put their enjoyment of such a trip ahead of everything else. And I think that the more that we talk about it, the more people may have a better trip because of using mobility aids. So I think that it's an important conversation. And thank you again, so much for having me.


Robyn:

No problem. You know, I even talked to somebody that had gained a lot of weight to the point where his knees were really hurting him. And he said that, well, he has a pass. And so he goes often. And he said that while he was working on trying to lose that weight, he would start by renting the scooter and then just doing like the land to land, and then walk to attractions until he was able to build up the endurance. So you know, that's also an option too, you know, you can you can use the scooter just to walk long distances and walk the short distances too. But I think especially with Genie plus, it's not like you can just start at the left-hand side of the park and work your way to the right as you used to, you're gonna be zigzagging a lot more than you might have in the past to try to avoid those longer queue times. So I think it's a really important conversation. So I thank you again. 


Mica:

Yeah, no problem. For anybody listening, just like Robiyn said, you know, have fun, do what's best for you, use mobility aids for anything that you need aid with, that's what they're there for. And they're there to make sure that you honestly have the best trip possible and that you're not putting your body in too much strain. So use them as you see fit. Use them however you need, whether you're going from ride to ride or just using them from park to park, or even from land to land, and then walking the rest of the way. It's your trip, make it enjoyable, make memories, don't worry about the pain and the fatigue. Just enjoy yourself.


Robyn:

I think that's really great advice because, you know, I think that was something that was really keeping my aunt from coming as she was worried about not being able to keep up or being in too much pain. And I think by working to find accommodations for her so that she could enjoy the trip, it made it so we have this whole library of memories with her and my kids that we might not have had if we hadn't been open to those accommodations. 

Within this episode, we actually have two interviews. The next interview is with somebody that manages a company called Amo Scooters. And what I love about him is his passion for helping make sure that people have these scooters. He's incredibly responsive, he really makes sure that the scooters are taken care of and his customers are taken care of. So he's going to come on next to talk a little bit about, you know, renting scooters from a third party, some of the things to consider, and even some of the tricks. So if you got a scooter and maybe after a ride, it won't turn on, some of the things that you can look at to try to make sure that you don't run into issues while you're in the park. 


Introducing John from Amos Mobility

Today we're going to talk about something that can make a huge difference. And sometimes people think about wheelchairs and ECVs as something just for the elderly, but there's a lot of people that have chronic health issues, that maybe have joint or other mobility issues. Maybe you even just hurt your knee and you don't think you're up to the 7 to 10 miles you might walk each day at Disneyland. So today I've got John from Amos Mobility, which is my favorite place to rent scooters from. And because of his great customer service, he really cares about his clients and it shows in every communication. So John, thank you so much for coming on the show today.


John:

Yes, thank you for inviting me. It's a real pleasure.


Robyn:

I think that there are some people that might be listening like, ‘Oh, do I really need to listen to this episode?’ And I think that there are some people that might not normally in their day-to-day life use a wheelchair or scooter that do rent them at Disneyland. Can you talk a little bit about, like, what the average clientele, why they rented or what made them decide or to not rent the scooter?


John:

Well, most people rent with me because my service calls are very low, and I communicate the process very clearly. Also, you can text me anytime; I'm just a phone call or text away. That's basically it. It's communication. That's real key to me. A lot of people will say, ‘I just like it that you answer my calls and texts straight away.’ And a lot of people love my tips.


Robyn:

And when people rent from you, what percentage of the people that rent do you think use a scooter or wheelchair all the time? For instance, how many people are only doing it because they don't normally walk this much, and maybe they have knee pain or back pain or something else that keeps them from being able to stand?


John:

The majority of people can't walk such long distances. Actually, I did a little research on how many miles people put inside the park, and it's anywhere between 15 and 30 miles. It's better to get a scooter because after being in the park for two or three days walking around, it can be very detrimental on the body.


Renting a Scooter When You Don't Normally Use A Wheelchair

So, I get a lot of people that rent scooters. They're the elderly, the handicapped, but there's also regular people that want to rent a scooter because they just don't want to be up on their feet.


Robyn:

I had never rented a scooter before. I had taken my aunt who was the week before they shut down for COVID in 2020. And my aunt was coming in, she has some heart issues. And so she wasn't you know, super active. But I knew that walking along distance was going to be very difficult for her. And she didn't want to rent one because she's like, I don't need a wheelchair. I don't need a wheelchair. I'm not that old. What we ended up doing was I had been recovering from a surgery and I was like I'm renting it for me. It made such a big difference. The first day we went to Downtown Disney and just getting to Downtown Disney and back. She was limping. She was hurting. And then the next two days, I had rented her a scooter. And by doing that she was able to spend all day with us where if we hadn't done that, I think she probably would have had to go home in just a couple of hours because there is so much walking and so much standing. So it's not always for me when I'm somebody's asking me when they should or shouldn't. I almost think about you know, if you can walk and you're you're physically able to do that, then you should, it'll be easier to maneuver without a scooter. If you feel like after seven to 10 miles, you're going to cause damage to your body that's going to take you days or weeks to recover. Or it's going to make it so painful to be in the parks that you're not going to be able to enjoy yourself, then a scooter can be a really good option.


John:

I get that mix of people where they don't want to ride a scooter. I've had people do the same thing like you do, they will just go ahead and rent it for themselves. Sometimes people call me says, you know, we better get that scooter. Do you have any left? So it's also a good idea to decide earlier is a two day minimum. I do have one day rentals. My two day rental is lower cost than what you have inside. It's $70 plus taxes.


Robyn:

Somebody hasn't rented one before when they're looking at rental companies. You know, usually what you're gonna do is you're gonna go online, you can fill out and pay everything online. Some companies have add ons like insurance and some places those are included.


The Logistics of ECV Rental at Disneyland

One thing that I look for is you know, will they deliver it to my hotel and I look at like what is you know, are there extra costs like insurance. There was one company that wanted me to sign a waiver saying if it got wet, I would replace the scooter and even though they were renting it to me on a day that was rainy, I kind of look at those kinds of things.


John:
ECVs in the Rain

Yeah, so speaking of the rain, we just had a lot of rain here and we got some sunshine. I'm prepared for that. I don't have any waivers for insurance or anything like that because I educate all the riders. If I see someone they have not rented with before, I will initiate the call and ask them to call me for the tips when they're near the scooters. That prevents a lot of the things that like the scooter causing damage.


Robyn:
The Freewheel Lever on an ECV

One tip is that there's like a lever at the back of the three-wheel scooter that basically allows somebody to push the scooters up. Rather than trying to drive into a tight space like an elevator, you can have somebody push it to get you to where you need to go with like a slower acceleration, the cast members at Disneyland will use that to move your stroller to get it out of the way for parades or to move it to make more space. But sometimes they forget to put it back on. So you might get on your scooter and then find it doesn't work. And I thought that it was great that you explained that when I picked my scooter up this way, we didn't get caught off guard. We had rented from another place before we started renting from you. And that happened and they hadn't told us beforehand where that lever was. And so you know, we're trying to do it on FaceTime, I thought it was great that you did it right there at delivery.


John:

Yeah, it's called a free-wheel lever on most of my scooters. The lever is on the back right side by the wheel well, it's a yellow protrusion, you'll see a grommet on top of the lever. When the lever is down, it's in Drive. When it's up, it's in neutral. One of the other tips I share is take a picture of the front of the scooter because it'll save you a lot of time because they do move those scooters around. And especially if kids jump around on a scooter, they'll just take possession of the scooter and move it around for safety reasons.


Robyn:

You can minimize how much they move by making sure you're parking in a place that it's allowed for scooter parking, but even then, they will shuffle them around. What are some of the other tips though? I know that you had told me one about the art bus and how to use that. I think that would be a great thing to share as well.


John:
ART and EVE Bus System to Get Around with a Wheelchair or ECV

The City of Anaheim and Disneyland, you know, they work closely together because the whole economy is about Disneyland here. And so they have created a very, very excellent bus system. And I get nothing but praise reports about it. And those are a majority of them. They're blue electric buses, and they call it "connecting the dots," and those buses will go a lot of times still stopped right by the hotel, and they accommodate the scooters. So you could ride the scooter right on board, it drops you off right in front of the park. I think for the elderly people, if they're 55 and up, they're using a scooter, they get a discount on the tickets. But it's a very good system; you can download the app and schedule all the rides.


Robyn:

And the cool thing is on that app, it's the A-Way WeGo. And I'll have a link to it in the show notes. It’s available on iTunes and Google. When you select your route, it will show you exactly where your bus is on that route. So you know how close it's going to get. I will say if you're going to take it to the parks in the morning, you want to make sure you give yourself extra time; there are only so many spots available for each ECVs. And especially that first bus in the morning is very busy. So if you know you want to rope drop, then you don't really need to kind of think that through. But that bus really allows for you to rent a scooter and stay some of some of the hotels that are a little further away, like Marriott Suites or the Delta Suite, those areas down there. So it can be really helpful, even if you're staying someplace close like the, you know, if you're staying at like maybe the Marriott in Anaheim, we'll take that bus back on the way home, even though we could walk just because we're tired. So if you have a scooter or you have a little one that's in a car seat and you don't have a car, so you can't take an Uber, that art bus is really, really helpful. I totally agree with you there.


John:

Yeah, it’s an excellent system.


Robyn:

Yeah, because the ART does charge per person. So if you didn't have a scooter or somebody that needed a car seat, it's usually cheaper to Uber, if you've got like a family of four. But if you have one of those things, it can be really, really great.


Keeping Your ECV Scooter Key Safe

I think one of the other tips that you gave was when you rent the scooters, you're given a key. And it's really important that you don't leave that key in the scooter. Because otherwise somebody could bolt with it. So but you gave some recommendations of making sure to keep that key kind of higher up on your arm and kind of think things through if you're going to put your hands up in a roller coaster. If it's at the end, it could fly off. So I think that those kinds of tips were really helpful as well.


John:

Yeah, the key who causes all kinds of surface problems. I share that in my tips when you're using the scooter it's important to take the key out right away, by picking out the key or preventing a key from breaking off inside.


Robyn:

Last time I rented from you, it was 12:02 at night, and we did Big Thunder right as the park was closing. And it was getting a little chilly. So I put on a jacket, and then I needed to take something off, and so I took my jacket off and put it back on. And I got off the ride, and as I know, where's my scooter? I cannot, I cannot call the sweet man at 12:05 in the morning, tell him I don't have a scooter key. So we looked and looked and looked, and the cast members looked and looked. And then we realized, then like I took every, I took all of my jackets and everything in my backpack off, and it had rolled up inside the sleeve of my jacket. So you know, if I hadn't had it like, well, like on my arm, it would have for sure gotten lost in me taking my jacket off. So you probably did save me from having to be one of your statistics there.


John:

That's the key with me, I tried to create a backup plan for everything, the most important backup is communication.


Robyn:
Charging Your Scooter (ECV) Each Night

Another thing that you talked about, which I had not heard before I rented from you, is you have to charge a scooter every night and there are some hotels that will let you charge it in the lobby. So it's not picking up the room. And I will tell you that that's always ideal. If that can be the case, it can be very difficult, especially if you're by yourself trying to get the scooter into a hotel room without hitting the door. Or it can be more difficult. Can you list some of the hotels that will let you charge in the lobby?


John:

There are hotels like the Fairfield Inn doesn't allow any scooters on the premises at all. But most hotels, they have a meet and greet policies like inside the resorts. 


Robyn:

And yo know, when he says meet and greet, that means that you need to schedule a time with him and meet him in the lobby to kind of pass off some of these rules so that the hotel feels confident that you're not going to damage anything in the hotel. So it just means a little bit more planning and coordinating. And that you might need to have a little bit more time in between your arrival and your first day there. So maybe instead of arriving at 10 o'clock at night, you arrive a little earlier in the day or you plan on having that meet and greet earlier in the morning. Can we talk about charging the scooter if somebody does need to charge the scooter in their room, what are some things that people need to know before they plug that scooter in?


John:

The way you charge the scooters, you charge them through a port under the steering, we call it the tiller. So right underneath is a three-prong female connection. And then the coaxial, and on the charger, it goes right into the female and when you charge it, you only want to charge it through the wall, no lamp or table device.


Robyn:

And then if somebody is not allowed to drive anymore, because maybe their reflexes aren't great, or maybe they have a hard time paying attention, it might be better for them to be in a push chair. You know, I have one family member that I had a scooter, and they were having a really hard time driving it. And so really, you know, if you find that somebody has a hard time, like controlling and kind of using spatial awareness because of changes in vision, you might be better off pushing them in a push chair, or in those tighter positions using that lever he talked about. And then this way, that you're pushing it and so it's at a slower rate. So you have more control.


John:

Visually, it's important that the riders have, you know, adequate vision and it's the security inside. If they see someone riding that scooter or unsafely, I can receive a call, I have to take the scooter away.


Robyn:
Waiting for Attractions with a Scooter

When you're looking at like renting a scooter, you want to plan ahead. There are some lines that you'll be able to ride the scooter in the line, especially at California Adventure. There's some that because the rides are older, they're not able to do that. So if you are in a scooter and you're not able to stand in the line for that period, you can go to a cast member at those things, you can say, "Is this line wheelchair accessible?" And if they say no, they'll provide you with a return time. You still have to wait the exact same time as everybody else; you're not getting to cut, but you are able to wait outside of their traditional line so that you can enter through a location that doesn't require you to stand for a long period of time. If it's a newer ride, like Rise of the Resistance in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, or if it is a ride that was built most of the California Adventure rides, you're able to take the scooter in through the line. Then you would stand in a traditional line with everybody else in your scooter, and then when you get to the front of the ride, the cast member will be responsible for moving that scooter from where you get on the ride to where you exit the ride. So they'll handle all of that for you, and it is completely okay to give them the scooter with the key. Usually, they're going to have you take the key with you, and from there, they'll pop that lever, and they'll move it to where it needs to go.


John:

Yeah and speaking of the key you never want to leave the key in there.


Robyn:

Anything else that we missed, do you think? Like if your best friend was going to rent a scooter, you'd be like, ‘Oh, there's something you need to know’.


John:
Watch for Railroad Tracks

One more tip that I did forget going over that. Careful going over the railroad tracks. Unfortunately, the scooters and majority of the scooters that are in the park, they’re pride products, pride mobility, and the battery cables, they can pop out on rough terrain. So if you hit a bump or something, instead of disabling it from the controller, the way they have engineered it is the battery cables will pop out to prevent an accident. So if you're going over the railroad tracks, you want to go slow.


Robyn:

And if people want to rent with you or ask questions, what's the best way for them to either rent a scooter or to reach out to you?


John:

The name of the company is Amos Mobility and the website address is amosmobilityscooters.com. The phone number is 888-999-8023.


Robyn:

Thank you so much for making time, I know that you've always got a lot going on. So I very much appreciate you making the time to spend with us today.


John:

Yeah, you're very, very welcome. Thank you, Robyn.


Robyn:

This has been another episode of the ParkMagic podcast and we hope that you have a magical trip.


Thanks for listening to this episode of the ParkMagic podcast. For more tips and planning tools designed to help simplify your Disneyland adventure, visit ParkMagic.com. If you enjoyed today's episode and want to hear more tips, be sure to subscribe to the ParkMagic podcast. And don't forget to leave us a review; your feedback helps us spread the magic even further. Leaving a review could also help you. Each month, we will be selecting one reviewer to win a one-hour planning session with Robyn. Winners will be announced at the end of the first episode of every month. Thanks for tuning in, and remember that we are here to help you have a less stressful and more magical trip to Disneyland

 

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