Mobility Assistance Rentals for Walt Disney World Vacations

Walt Disney World is well known for its excellence in ADA accommodation for the mobility-impaired traveler. From ample parking and accessible queues, to wheelchair accessible transportation and guest assistance cards: few can argue the lengths Disney has gone to for their guests. For decades now the Parks of Walt Disney World have offered the ability to rent wheelchairs and electric convenience vehicles (ECV or Scooter) for the day to assist guests with physical disabilities in their touring. Rental is an excellent option for patrons who can manage without help at home, but have conditions that are exacerbated when traveling.

Wheelchairs and Scooters Can Be Rented At All Disney Theme ParksWheelchairs and Scooters Can Be Rented At All Disney Theme Parks

The choice of renting an ECV while at Disney is very personal and can be a difficult one to make. It's not an easy day when you have to finally admit that you need that extra help, and using mobility assistance takes many invisible illnesses and puts them on display. As a person with an invisible disability (effecting my strength, balance, endurance, and pain level) I find myself making that choice on each and every vacation. I can tell you with no uncertainty that using the accommodations provided by Disney has greatly enhanced my overall travel experience. Though I routinely still head off to Florida thinking "I can make it on my own" my family would all agree that everyone has a better time when I take the extra steps to take care of myself.

There are a number of options for renting mobility assistance while at Walt Disney World. Over the years I've used Disney's rentals for both ECVs and Wheelchairs extensively. However, after two trips during busier times of year where I wasn't able to rent an ECV at the Park, my family decided that it was time to look at outside mobility rentals as well. Each option has its benefits, let's take a look.

Disney Rentals Are On A First Come First Serve BasisDisney Rentals Are On A First Come First Serve Basis

Renting Directly from Disney

This is a convenient option for the traveler that knows they will only need limited assistance and are confident that they can traverse the distance between the parks and their hotel with confidence. It allows the guest to assess their physical needs on a day by day basis, and only use a mobility device when they feel they most need help. Disney rentals work on a first come first served basis at each of the Parks, and at Downtown Disney. This means that if a guest isn't there at park opening, there is always a chance that a rental won't be available by the time that they arrive. The length of time it takes for rentals to be gone varies from season to season, and the ECVs are usually taken first.

Disney ECV & Wheelchair Rental

  • Wheelchairs: $12 per day or $10 per day for a multi day rental.
  • ECV: Daily: $50 (plus $20 refundable deposit) with no multi-day option.

Accessible Queues at Disney Offer Plenty of Room to NavigateAccessible Queues at Disney Offer Plenty of Room to Navigate

Disney Featured Providers

In the past decade there have been a number of third party companies in Orlando that have begun to offer mobility assistance rentals for your length of stay. Most of these companies will drop a wheelchair or scooter off at your Resort before your arrival and pick it up at the end of your stay. These third party rentals have become extremely popular not only because they both guarantee an assistance device throughout the day (in and out of the Parks), but because the cost of the rentals can be half of what Disney charges. My experience with a length of stay rental Buena Vista Rentals was excellent, and not having to worry about if a rental would be available or not offered me additional peace of mind.

Last year, Disney came up with a truncated list of approved private companies guests can rent from with confidence. Prices vary by company and duration of rental, please visit the associated websites or call for details.

Private Scooter Rental Has Become A Popular ChoicePrivate Scooter Rental Has Become A Popular Choice

Things to think about when choosing your mobility assistance:

  • Disney Parks have more hills and inclines than most guests realize. Take this into consideration when thinking about renting a manual wheelchair.

  • Patrons who have trouble with chronic pain, particularly spinal based conditions, may have difficulties with mobility vehicles over stamped concrete walkways. There may be times that it is more comfortable to park a scooter and walk through queues.

  • Chairs rented from Disney cannot be used in multiple locations. If you plan on park hopping you will need to turn your chair in at the first park, and take your receipt to the rental counter in the second park for a replacement. Since Disney rentals are first come first served, getting a chair in the morning at point A does not guarantee you one at point B.

  • The maximum weight is 350 pounds for a wheelchair, and 450 pounds for an ECV rented from Disney. The third party rentals may offer a limited number of higher capacity devices if needed, check with them first.

  • Length of stay pricing from Disney direct rentals may not be offered during peak times.

  • Though most of the complimentary Disney transportation services are accessible, they are so with limited capacity. Buses can only carry two scooters at a time, and they must fit into a size range.

  • Accessible Boats are dependent upon water levels and type of vessel, but Disney has a few neat tricks they use to adjust the boats height in the water. Monorails are also scooter and wheelchair accessible.

Scooters and ECVs Can Offer Relief from Some Mobility ImpairmentsScooters and ECVs Can Offer Relief from Some Mobility Impairments

All in all - mobility assistance rental at Walt Disney World will offer you one of the easiest and most convenient experiences you may ever have in considering such options. Whether the device is for you or a loved one, the memories created by enjoying a magical vacation experience to the fullest are priceless. Do you have experience with renting a mobility device at Disney? Do you have questions that I might be able to answer? Leave a comment below and share your story!

AJ wrote on Tue, 08/06/2013 - 15:26:

AJ's picture

Thanks for all of the detailed information, Kristen, and for sharing your own experiences in such a generous way. It can be a difficult decision to make, and sometimes putting your own safety first can be hard to do. This should be extremely helpful for so many visiting Disney World in the future!

Nancy D wrote on Tue, 08/06/2013 - 17:48:

Nancy D's picture

Fantastic Article, Kristen!

It's good to know that there are outside companies that are Disney-approved! When I went with my parents this summer, we had the BV Scooter Rental Company's number in our back pocket the whole time, because of my dad's spinal stenosis. He managed the entire trip with a cane, but we were SO glad to know we had options if/when we needed them!

And you're right about those hills! You don't notice them until you're pushing someone up one in a chair! I had that experience pushing my husband in one a few years back, and so that's why I was determined we were going with an ECV on this trip if/when my dad needed one! :)

Thanks again for the EXTRA numbers for us to keep in our back pockets!! :)

Geordon wrote on Tue, 08/06/2013 - 20:47:

Geordon's picture

Having seen the difference between on-site and off-site ECV rentals, I definitely prefer the off-site one for a couple of reasons.

First, you are guaranteed to have access to the ECV each day you are at WDW, regardless of what time you get to the park/s. Second, you don't have to worry about saving enough "[url=]spoons[/url]" for making it back to your resort at the end of a park day.

This second point is particularly helpful in my family (Hi, Kristen! :) ) because the person in our party often overestimates her capabilities and ends up having a miserable end to the day, which usually bleeds over into the next day or several, making the trip memorable, but in a bad way.

Don't hesitate to avail yourself of the accommodations that Disney has available, because they can make an otherwise decent trip into a GREAT trip. Just be careful on the decorative pavement, because those ECVs have lousy suspension and you feel every bump highly magnified.

Melissa M. wrote on Tue, 08/06/2013 - 22:51:

Melissa M.'s picture

Such helpful information, thank you for sharing! We are visiting next year with my Father in Law who is interested in using one but was kind of holding back. I think we will look into the outside companies since he will have it at the resorts.

Mike Posey wrote on Tue, 08/06/2013 - 23:41:

Mike Posey's picture

We always rent an ECV for our visits to WDW for my disabled wife to use. She has one here at home that she uses and is expert at driving and manuevering the vehicle. (Yes, it is a vehicle) We stay at a Disney Vacation Club resort when we go there and use one of the local companies to rent from. The Disney bus drives are always amazed at her NASCAR driver skill level on these babies. We always find it rather funny to watch the people who you can easily tell have never used one of these units trying to drive it on a bus, position it so the driver can secure it, and then drive off the bus. The expression "they are a danger to themselves and others" somehow enters your brain.

I would suggest that if you want to use one of these vehicles, you should somehow get one to practice on. They are very difficult to manuever into place on a bus and one should also take it to the mall or some other crowded place and learn to drive around a lot of people who are walking around you. Other than that, try to keep the ECV between the ditches as my dad used to say when he gave me the keys to the family car.

Ani wrote on Sun, 08/11/2013 - 04:19:

Ani's picture

My family member used to rent an ECV in the parks but decided to give a rental company a try. We stay at a Disney Deluxe Resort as transportation is easier & quicker with the ECV, easy on easy off. We used to rent from Walker Mobility & loved their big basket & awesome service. Since Disney eliminated them from their list of conveniently leaving with bell services prior to our arrival, we've had to switch companies. We could've met the Walker delivery truck at arranged time to receive & return but didn't want to chance losing valuable park time, we hit the ground running upon arrival :) We've used Buena Vista Scooter once so far, & for our upcoming trip in September. But the basket is smaller so we've had to rent a basket for the rear which sticks out alot. My family member is on continuous oxygen so we tote along a portable oxygen concentrator & several tanks as back up. This time we're renting an oxygen holder for rear since we'll have 2 ECVs so hoping it isn't as bulky. Thankfully we haven't had any break downs to comment on. Actually we did have an Epcot rental one break down & waited almost 2 hours in China for them to bring a replacement one. That's when we decided to try 3rd party rentals. At least this family member is able to do Disney at age 73. We are annual passholders who live 3 hours away so it is a good thing :)

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 08/12/2013 - 11:51:

Kristen K.'s picture

Ani - I completely agree on the basket issues. I rented and extra one on the back during my June trip and it was too big to get on the older Disney buses with the lift. Several times I had to wait for one with a ramp, however I loved having the bigger basket.

Rach wrote on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 04:19:

Rach's picture

I had a horrible rental experience with Apple last December. The battery kept dying after a couple hours use in the parks. Lost most of a day trying to get a replacement battery & that one failed too. Never received a refund for the 2 days of not being able to use the scooter. I'm going to go with other companies I've rented from before, who aren't on the approved list, my next trip.

Jaime wrote on Tue, 10/01/2013 - 02:07:

Jaime's picture

Very helpful article for visitors with mobility needs.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the designation " Disney featured or preferred providers" is the fact these companies actually have to pay Disney for this privilege.

To be honest with you it is quite misleading.

Visitors might wrongly assume these companies earned this privilege.

Some of these companies have received not so favorable ratings in this and other Disney forums.

Disney even makes it harder for off site companies by not allowing them to leave scooters for guests who are not on list.

One company I work with has to meet guest upon arrival or schedule a delivery time which is a blessing in disguise.

This gives them the opportunity to explain and answer all questions in regards to usage.

Disney also makes it harder on pickups since off site companies must pick up scooters at all hours.

In spite of this these off site companies will continue to help visitors with their mobility needs by going the extra mile for the customer.

PhillNYC wrote on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 00:03:

PhillNYC's picture

Great article, Kristen! Thank you so much for this round-up! Awesome!

Coffeeworm wrote on Fri, 03/07/2014 - 17:09:

I will be traveling with my 85 YO parents and have just started looking into ECVs. The article and various comments have helped a lot with my research. This will be my parents first trip to Disney and I want them to be able to have a great experience.
Thank you for the information.

Bruce wrote on Fri, 09/04/2015 - 12:10:

Bruce's picture

I noticed that none of the above photos show the front view of the ECV and the large flat chrome/metal plate on the front? Is this because it is both ugly and extremely dangerous to pedestrians? Visitors to the theme parks and their families should be warned, the vehicles themselves are dangerous and this is compounded if the driver of an ECV is not competent in handling a 4 wheel motorised vehicle. Someone I know has returned from Orlando with a pair of crutches and their leg in a plaster cast after being hit from behind by an ECV, these vehicles have caused actually bodily harm, their design appears to be floored and can grievously injur pedestrians sharing the same pavement/walkway/sidewalk as these ECV mobility scooters, the metal plate on the front of these vehicles needs to be removed and re-designed immediately before further families are seriously injured.

Bruce wrote on Mon, 09/07/2015 - 12:15:

Bruce's picture

These ECV scooters are extremely dangerous, visitors to the theme parks and their families should be warned, the vehicles themselves are dangerous and this is compounded if the driver of an ECV is not competent in handling a 4 wheel motorised vehicle. I know someone who has returned from Orlando on crutches with their ankle in a plaster cast after being hit from behind by an ECV, these vehicles have caused actually bodily harm, their design appears to be floored and can grievously injur pedestrians sharing the same pavement/walkway/sidewalk as these ECV mobility scooters, the metal plate on the front of these vehicles needs to be removed and re-designed immediately before further families are seriously injured.

MayK wrote on Tue, 05/17/2016 - 14:51:

MayK's picture

I went there with my husband and we travel constantly with our Trikaroo Boomer. It is fantastic! We can both ride around all the parks, go into all the stores and restaurants. They are ADA approved so we can go anywhere together. It's so much easier then having to rent their one person scooters. And there's nothing to return at the end of the day!

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