Effective today, October 1, 2019, Walt Disney World (WDW) is implementing a new policy in regards to strollers, wheelchairs and electric convenience vehicles (ECVs, a.k.a. “scooters”) that are rented from third party vendors. Heads up that it could make a bit of a mess for those who use such services.
We’ve posted the options and pros/cons that have been available for those who want to rent strollers and/or wheelchairs and or ECV/scooters during their stay at WDW. For those who have chosen to rent these wheeled vehicles from third party carriers, their stroller/ECV/wheelchair provider of choice had been allowed to drop their equipment off at your hotel before you arrived.
From WDW’s official website:
Disney Featured Provider
Guests who use a stroller or mobility device when visiting Walt Disney World Resort have a variety of options including using a personally-owned stroller or mobility device, renting through ScooterBug—the Disney Featured Provider—or renting from another third-party company.
ScooterBug, a private mobility rental company in the Central Florida area, is the Disney Featured Provider to offer stroller, ECV and wheelchair rentals at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and Disney Springs in addition to length-of-stay rentals for Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels. When Disney Resort hotel Guests choose to rent through ScooterBug, the Guest does not need to be present when the equipment is delivered to the Resort hotel. ScooterBug will work with Disney Resort Cast Members to manage deliveries and returns of rented strollers, ECVs and wheelchairs. Pre-orders and deliveries of mobility rentals through ScooterBug to Disney Resort hotels are available by visiting scooterbug.com/orlando or calling (800) 726-8284.
What recently changed about the Disney Featured Provider program?
We recently modified the Disney Featured Provider program to enhance and simplify the vacation planning process. The program previously included several Featured Providers offering rental options to Guests. Effective October 1, ScooterBug, who [sic] is the current provider of rental strollers and mobility devices in our theme parks and Disney Springs, will also become the Disney Featured Provider for our Resort Guests.
I already reserved a mobility device for my trip to Walt Disney World with another company. What does this mean for my existing reservation?
Disney Resort hotel Cast will continue to manage equipment deliveries and returns for reservations made on or before September 30, 2019 with the following vendors: Apple Scooter, Best Price Scooters and Strollers, Buena Vista Scooter Rentals, Kingdom Strollers, Magic Strollers and Orlando Stroller Rentals. Please contact the vendor directly with any additional questions about your current or future reservations.
Will vendors still be able to deliver my pre-ordered stroller, ECV or wheelchair rental and arrange delivery at Disney Resort hotels in the future?
Yes. Guests who rent from our Disney Featured Provider, ScooterBug, do not need to be present when the equipment is delivered to the Resort hotels. ScooterBug will work with Disney Resort Cast Members to manage deliveries and returns of rented strollers, ECVs and wheelchairs. Guests who rent through other vendors will need to be present when the equipment is delivered. Please contact those third-party vendors directly for information about their rentals.
Do I have to be present to receive my mobility device?
Guests do not need to be present for deliveries when they rent through ScooterBug. ScooterBug will work with Disney Resort Cast Members to manage deliveries and returns of rented strollers, ECVs and wheelchairs.
For reservations made with the following vendors on or before September 30, 2019, Walt Disney World Resort hotel Cast Members will continue to manage the equipment deliveries and returns on the Guest’s behalf: Apple Scooter, Best Price Scooters and Strollers, Buena Vista Scooter Rentals, Kingdom Strollers, Magic Strollers and Orlando Stroller Rentals. Please contact the vendor directly with any additional questions about your current or future reservations.
What does this all mean?
If you rent your stroller, wheelchair or EVC with Scooterbug, you’ll be able to have your equipment dropped off before you arrive, the same as you used to be able to do with other third party renters.
However, if you rent with any other third party vendor, you have to be on site and available in person for drop off of the equipment.
How will this affect stroller/wheelchair/ECV rentals from other third party renters?
Unfortunately, potentially lots of ways.
- Say your plane lands at 3pm so you make an appointment for them to drop your stroller off at your hotel, Caribbean Beach Resort, at 5pm. But then your plane is delayed. The third party company waits for you for a while but then leaves and can’t come back until tomorrow morning. You might not be able to get your stroller until 9am the next morning…which is exactly when you have Fast Passes for Flight of Passage, or breakfast at Chef Mickey’s.
- Forget about late night arrivals if you need to have your ECV available as soon as you arrive at your hotel.
- Previously, if you used one of the handful of preferred vendors, their representatives were allowed to enter the parks if you had a problem with your ECV. No word if that will still be the case or if only Scooterbug representatives will be allowed inside the parks to help with a dead Scooterbug ECV (so if you have an ECV from a different third party company, you’ll have to drag (?) the dead ECV to outside the park for emergency service?)
Why are they doing this?
Who knows…because it’s Disney and they can? 😉 People are coming up with all sorts of reasons – bell services was overwhelmed, as a way to “force” you to rent their own wheeled vehicles, to prevent lawsuits from ECVs that are dropped off but no one teaches you have to use them, etc. My gut feeling is that since Scooterbug was already providing the scooters, wheelchairs and ECVs for the parks and Disney Springs, they worked out some sort of exclusivity deal with Disney so Disney gets a cut (or more of a cut) of what will undoubtedly be more rentals, the same as they undoubtedly have with FuelRods.
Of course, we’ll never know the real reason why, because Disney never, ever tells that stuff.
Is there a workaround for this?
- The easiest one is to rent from Scooterbug. Heads up that unlike most other stroller/wheelchair/ECV companies out there, Scooterbug doesn’t have their prices online; you have to make a reservation to know their prices.
- Don’t stay at a Disney-owned hotel. It’s only the Disney-owned ones where this has become an issue. If you stay off site, chances are good that you’ll still be able to pick up and drop off the equipment with bell services. Here are some other things to think about when considering onsite vs. offsite.
- You can apparently call/text some providers to let them know you’re on Disney’s Magical Express and they’ll meet you when you arrive at your hotel. Check with the provider of your choice about doing this.
Keep in mind
This is still brand new for everyone – I’ve read the previous other “preferred” equipment providers were only given a week or so to prepare and I suspect that all the rest of the companies out there that rented their equipment had even less time than that. So right now everyone is scrambling to figure out the “new normal” and once they have their respective “new way of doing things” set it, everything should be relatively OK.
We can only hope. 😉
Check out these pages of WDW’s website for complete information about:
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary