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Guide to Using a Wheelchair or ECV at Disney World and Universal Orlando

by Mommy Frog on September 7, 2023 26

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Whether you have a full-time, dedicated wheelchair or ECV or you know that you will need one at Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort or the other Orlando theme parks, learning how these critical pieces of equipment are treated by the parks and hotels will help you prepare. Once you know what to expect, you can focus on having a toadally amazing vacation, not worrying about getting around or finding the access points you need to enjoy your trip. Here's everything to know about using a wheelchair at Disney World and beyond!

Using a Wheelchair at Disney World


Mobility Scooter and Wheelchair Options at Disney World and Universal Orlando

All hotels and theme parks in both of these destinations are fully ADA compliant, so you won’t have any trouble getting around or accessing rides in either location. There’s more to enjoying the park than just finding convenient ramps, though, so the details below are designed to help you make the most of your trip and discover the best ways to tour Disney World using a wheelchair or scooter.

Do You Need a Wheelchair at Disney World?

Using a Wheelchair at Disney World

Even those who do not normally need a wheelchair or ECV may benefit from using one in the Disney theme parks. A typical vacation includes plenty of walking from one ride or attraction to the next, and in some cases, even lengthy walks from your actual hotel room to the parking or transportation area.

Consider renting a wheelchair or special needs stroller for your Orlando vacation if:

  • You use a scooter or wheelchair cart when visiting a grocery or big box store.
  • You have a loved one with an “invisible” disability that may make it difficult to stay with your group.
  • You have a child or adult with autism at risk of wandering (see our frogtastic guide to preventing wandering in the Disney World theme parks for added tips).
  • You become physically fatigued during long walks, in hot weather or under other stressful conditions.
  • You have a medical condition that could make it uncomfortable to tour the parks on foot.

Things to Consider Beforehand

Knowing what your plans are in advance will definitely ease some of the stress of using a wheelchair or mobility scooter in an unfamiliar place. Consider the following when you decide the best way to acquire and use a wheelchair or scooter in Orlando.

  • Will you be using complimentary theme park transportation or renting a car?
  • Are you going to "park hop" or stick to one park per day?
  • Do you plan to rent from the parks or have one delivered to your hotel?
  • Are you going on rides that will require you to transfer from your wheelchair?

Renting vs. Bringing Your Own Equipment

If you use a scooter or wheelchair regularly, then your own equipment is far superior to the pieces you can rent in the parks. Occasional users, though, can benefit from renting on-site. You’ll have fewer items to bring from home and you won’t have to worry about transporting heavy or awkward equipment. There are several rental brands that exist to serve guests of the Universal Orlando and Disney World Resorts. You can rent a variety of wheelchairs, scooters or strollers, including special needs strollers, from these brands. You can also rent an ECV or wheelchair in any of the theme parks, if you only need occasional assistance or help navigating the park itself.

Renting a Wheelchair or ECV at Disney World

using a wheelchair at Disney World — Rental location at Magic Kingdom

There are wheelchair and ECV rental locations at every park (near the park entrances). The daily wheelchair rental is $12 while an ECV rental is $70 (which includes a $20 refundable deposit). ECV rentals often go quickly and may be unavailable by even late morning on certain days. You may then join a virtual waitlist to see if one gets returned that you can use. If you know you want to rent an ECV, we recommend arriving in the morning, close to park opening, to guarantee a scooter.

If you are park hopping, you will only have to pay once; rental receipts are honored for same-day use at all four Disney parks. (There are complimentary wheelchairs available in the parking lots that you can use to get to the park entrance. Since this service is complimentary and based on the "honor system," there are circumstances when none is available.)

Note that you can use the wheelchair or ECV in the individual park, then leave it behind when you exit; you can’t take the rented equipment between parks, even in a single day.

Renting a Wheelchair or Motorized Scooter Off-Site

There are several companies in Orlando that will deliver a wheelchair or mobility scooter to your hotel. The benefits of renting off-site include weekly rental rates, access to the wheelchair or mobility scooter at all times during your vacation and not having to rely on availability (or lack thereof) of wheelchairs and ECVs at the parks.

Using a Stroller as a Wheelchair in Disney World

If you need a wheelchair for a child or small adult, you may be able to use a stroller instead. Even a simple umbrella stroller can function as a wheelchair in Disney World if you use the Disability Access Pass. This pass is designed to help guests with additional needs or invisible disabilities enjoy the parks and rides; one accommodation you can request is to have your own or a rented stroller treated as a wheelchair.

You’ll receive a huge red sticker to attach to the stroller, once this is affixed, cast members will treat your ride just like an official wheelchair, even if it is just a typical kids’ stroller. This is very helpful for guests with disabilities that could lead to wandering and elopement or those with difficulties navigating the park or even regulating their own temperatures. Learn more about the “stroller as wheelchair” component of the DAS here, and get the scoop on this helpful process.

Renting a Wheelchair or ECV at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando ECV rentals

Over at Universal Orlando Resort, wheelchair and ECV rentals are located at each of the park entrances. Wheelchairs are $12 a day with a $50 refundable deposit. ECVs are $65 a day with a $50 refundable deposit. Note that ECV rentals are limited and can run out.

Getting Around with a Wheelchair or ECV

Disney World, Universal Orlando and other Orlando parks provide great accommodations for those navigating with a wheelchair or scooter.

Using Complimentary Theme Park Transportation

If you are renting a wheelchair or mobility scooter off-site (or you are bringing your own) and will be staying at a Disney Resort hotel, you will have access to complimentary transportation. Buses will be the most common mode of transport. The Disney buses are wheelchair accessible and the cast members are very helpful in the process of loading and unloading (a ramp is available from the middle door). Depending on the time of year, however, the Disney buses can be very crowded. If you are visiting during a peak season, you may want to consider renting a car. (Other transportation modes such as the monorail, the ferry boats and Disney Skyliner are also wheelchair accessible.)

Using a Wheelchair or ECV at Your Resort Hotels

Most of the Disney World and Universal Orlando resort hotels have multiple buildings. Some of these buildings are closer to the parking area and main lodge than others. When you book your trip, make a note on your reservation to let the team know you have a wheelchair and request a room close to or in the main building. This can cut down considerably on the amount of time it takes to get to the parking area and traverse the grounds. You’ll spend less time navigating between the room and the main building (and transportation sites) and more time enjoying your vacation.

If You Are Driving or Renting a Car

If you use a Disabled Parking Permit, be sure to bring it with you on vacation. As long as you have a valid permit and identification, you can use it in your rental car. When you enter the parking lots at the theme parks, cast members will direct you to the Accessisible Parking Area. If you do not have a regular disability parking permit, you may still be able to use medical parking lots at Disney World; let the cast member directing traffic know you need assistance and access to the medical lot.

Arrive Early for Wheelchair Accessible Viewing Areas

Most show theaters and entertainment locations at the Disney parks have designated wheelchair accessible viewing areas. If it is a busy time of year, you will need to arrive to the shows in plenty of time to secure one of these spots. Attending cast members will be glad to show you where these areas are located. These areas are almost always right in front of the action and offer amazing views, so get there early to secure your seat.

Frogtastic tip for travelers with autism: Most disability seats are right in the front of the stage or screen — and likely to trigger sensory overload in ASD kids. Let the cast member seating you know you might need to make a hasty exit due to a disability and they will seat you closer to an exit, just in case. Check out more tips on viewing shows and parades with disabilities.

When You Must Transfer to a Ride Vehicle

While most attractions, restaurants, shops and shows are wheelchair accessible, there are some cases when guests may need to transfer from their wheelchairs onto a ride vehicle. Disney cast members are not permitted to physically lift guests from wheelchairs, so we recommend traveling with someone who can physically assist you if necessary. There is designated wheelchair parking outside the attractions that require transferring to the ride vehicle.

Here is a list of Disney World rides that require transferring from your wheelchair to the ride vehicle:

  • Magic Kingdom — Astro Orbiter, The Barnstormer, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Dumbo The Flying Elephant, Haunted Mansion, Mad Tea Party, Pirates of the Caribbean, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, TRON Lightcycle Run, Tomorrowland Speedway
  • EPCOT — Frozen Ever After, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Mission: SPACE, Spaceship Earth, Soarin', Test Track
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios — Alien Swirling Saucers, Mickey and Minn'es Runaway Railway, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Rock 'n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Star Tours, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog Dash, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom — DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Na'vi River Journey, Primeval Whirl, Flight of Passage (several riding options)

And here are the Universal Orlando rides that require transferring from a wheelchair to the ride vehicle:

  • Islands of Adventure — Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, Flight of the Hippogriff, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges, Storm Force Accelatron
  • Universal Studios — Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl, MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, Revenge of the Mummy

Note that none of the attraction queues at Universal Orlando (besides the Hogwarts Express) allow ECVs, though they do accommodate standard wheelchairs.

We hope you've found this guide to using ECV and wheelchairs hopful as you plan your trip! What questions do you have? Drop us a line in comments below!

Related: Overview of Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass

Related: Overview of Disney World's Disability Access Service (DAS)

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Jul 14, 2023 at 12:33 a.m. Ali Says...

Just a safety reminder to everyone. These scooters, ecv's, etc. are designed for one person. Please for everyone's safety, DO Not operate with 2 people. Please do not operate with a child sitting on your lap, sitting on the floor board or hanging on the back. No one except the designed person is allowed to operate the scooter. You must 18 to operate any device. I work at Disney. I've seen too many people, children get hurt. Please follow instructions from the cast members. Don't yell at them. Don't argue with them. They are there to help you.

Mar 21, 2024 at 1:03 a.m. Indiamom2many Says...

I am a disabled mom with an autistic son who also has a physical disability. Traveling alone to Disney on the 2 of us. Our only option is for him to be with me on the ECV as I am unable to walk distances and cannot keep him from wandering or help him when his legs give out. There are instances where a child on an ECV with a parent is the only option.

May 28, 2023 at 2:36 p.m. Cher Says...

I’m taking my own scooter to WDW, am I allowed to keep my rear view mirrors in place? Thanks

Jun 1, 2023 at 1:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cher!

We think you should fine as long as the mirrors aren't extending out too far or causing any obstructions, and the scooter meets the following standards: "Wheeled mobility devices with less than 3 wheels or devices that cannot maintain stability and balance when stopped, unpowered and/or unoccupied. Training wheels and/or modifications are not permitted. Devices must be manually or electrically powered and operated at a walking pace. Devices should be single rider and not exceed 36" (92 cm) in width and 52" (132 cm) in length."

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jan 8, 2023 at 10:55 a.m. Says...

Do you have rental car for two people. I will have to drive an my wife be a passenger.

Oct 27, 2022 at 7:01 p.m. Sue Says...

We just came back from a trip to Orlando that included visiting Disney World, Universal Studios, and the Kennedy Space Center. All three of those locations have scooters and wheelchairs available on site. We tried both options - having an outside scooter company deliver one to our hotel, and renting one in the park. The first thing I would point out is that if you really need an assistance device and can't walk very far, you'll never make it on foot to where the scooter rentals are located. They're first come-first serve, too, and they run out fast. It's also an additional delay to getting started seeing the park. If they're out of them, you can get on a waiting list. You might be able to get one after 2:00 PM at Disney, when some people park hop, because they can't take their ECV from one park to the other. If you are planning to park hop yourself, though, you may lose your ECV when you transfer to the 2nd park. That's a serious consideration, if you really need one. The one advantage to renting a scooter within Disney is that, if for any reason it stops working, they are absolutely fantastic about getting you another one, no matter where you are. However, even though it is more expensive, I would definitely rent a scooter outside the park and bring it with me next time we go. You can also take an outside scooter with you between parks, and make sure it's fully charged before you use it. The only scooter we had that ran out of juice was one we rented inside Disney World. Finally, I recommend shopping around, and reading reviews. Disney's recommended outside scooter provider gave us the worst scooter out of the five or six we rented.

Oct 27, 2022 at 4:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sue!

Thanks so much for sharing your scooter rental experiences with the Frog Pond!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jan 27, 2022 at 4:02 p.m. Kristin Says...

If we rent EVC's is there a company that will transport between Disney and Universal if we want to go?

Jan 28, 2022 at 8:19 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristin!

We'd suggest looking into Mears, though keep in mind that you'll likely need to arrange in advance. There's also an accessible service through Uber — MT Connect, which is a partnership between Maruti Transportation and Uber.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Sep 14, 2021 at 9:40 a.m. Carl Paul Drevdahl Says...

In EPCOT, are there "charging stations" for ECV?

Sep 14, 2021 at 8:40 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carl!

EPCOT does not have any designated charging stations, but you might be able to find wall outlets near the Land and the Sea attractions, in Norway, Morocco — just to name a few spots. We'd suggest asking a cast member if you cannot find any.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Sep 1, 2021 at 6:07 a.m. Ce'Mara Griffith Says...

My son's birthday is soon approaching and we'll be visiting soon. I'm wondering what to expect as far as waiting for rides. Do we have to wait in line after parking the ECV?

Sep 1, 2021 at 4:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ce'Mara!

It depends! Some attractions will allow you to remain seated in your ECV, while others don't and you'll need to transfer from your ECV either to the ride vehicle or a wheelchair provided at the attraction. A specific list can be found on Disney's website.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

May 27, 2021 at 7:54 p.m. carol Says...

we are booked into caribbean resort hotel. I wil have an electric scooter/chair. can I charge the chair overnight?

May 31, 2021 at 5:26 a.m. Vix Says...

I used one at CBR and was able to get it into the room to park under the window out of the way to charge.

May 28, 2021 at 1:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carol!

You sure can - there should be space inside of the room (as well as outside, if you're comfortable) near an outlet to charge your ECV. We would also suggest mentioning it at check-in (or adding a note to your reservation ahead of time by calling 407-939-1936).

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 12, 2021 at 6:37 p.m. Kathy Says...

We are visiting Disney World for three days, driving in from a nearby condo each day. We see there are multiple-day rentals from local rental companies that are cheaper than in the parks, but if we rent for 3 days from one of these companies, are we expected to keep the vehicle all three days, or can we turn it in each day, and have them deliver a new one the next day to the next park?

Apr 12, 2021 at 5:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kathy,

It would depend on each individual company's pick-up and drop-off policies, but in general, it seems that most would provide the drop-off for you to pick it up on the first day of use only. However, we'd suggest reaching out to any of the companies that you're looking into to see if that's something they'd be able to provide.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jan 28, 2019 at 12:45 a.m. Linda Says...

What prevents someone from taking your wheelchair while you are on rides?

Jan 30, 2019 at 9:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Linda!

We would hope their moral character would keep them from taking a wheelchair while its occupant is on a ride! If you have an electric wheelchair, take the key with you. Some rides like Radiator Springs Racers and Toy Story Midway Mania, Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and the Haunted Mansion have somewhat secure and supervised loading and storage areas for people using wheelchairs. On other rides, the parking areas are outside the ride. We do not believe this is a problem. Just take any valuables with you, and if you cannot find your chair, get a cast member to help you.


Jan 25, 2018 at 5:37 a.m. Bobby Saint Says...

I like that you provided some insights and benefits for using a wheelchair rental on a theme park vacation such as the fact that you can use it for the whole day while paying a fixed price. This would surely benefit those who have plans of park hopping. Plus, there are also some theme parks that offer complimentary wheelchairs that people can use from the parking lot up to the entrance of the park. I would definitely take this into consideration if I were to rent a wheelchair for my mother in law. Thanks.

Oct 5, 2015 at 3:57 p.m. Charles Says...

If you are using a mobility scooter for the Disneyland Parks, take a shuttle to travel from hotel and back, you will need all of the battery power the scooter can hold. Also, if you do run out of power, look for outlets in the planters, few staff know of their locations and will tell you to go to the entrance. Power outlets are actually located outside of the park. Ask staff instead for location of parade handicap viewing areas, outlets are there. Also look for street vendors, they need power too.

Oct 5, 2015 at 1:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Charles,

Thanks for the tips!

Keep hopping!


Aug 25, 2015 at 11:39 a.m. MAGED ZAKI Says...

Hi there

I already booked to visit Orlando on 11 Sept, till 9,October 2015

And I have problem with my right Ankle ( operations) and I cannot walk long distance

So I need to Rent ECV during my stay there might for the whole month

What is the price for the 30 days? And my weight is about 125 KG ( 240 lbs)

What else you require to complete the deal?

Sep 2, 2015 at 9:23 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi back,

Disney World rents ECVs for a daily price of $50 (plus $20 refundable deposit if you’re renting inside the parks or a $100 refundable deposit if you’re renting in Downtown Disney).

The maximum weight is 450 lbs., so you don’t have to worry about that. Guests must be at least 18 years of age and have a photo ID to rent an ECV. There are also other ECV rental locations throughout the local area other than those inside Disney World that might offer a better deal for length-of-stay rentals.

Keep hopping!


Jul 2, 2013 at 3:17 a.m. cathy Says...

Used 1 of the 4 Disney recommended ECV rentals. Best Price Mobility. The ECV was waiting for us when we checked in. NO hassle at all. We got the added canopy & basket for shade & storage. We found the ECV faster with the canopy in a crowd. Although kids are technically not allowed to ride with an adult, they never stopped grandma from taking 1 grand child at any time on her lap. THE BEST. Getting on the buses & monorail sometimes had a little wait time, but not long. I drove it a little and it was easy & smooth to drive. Go for it!

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