Rascal Scooters becoming a problem?

Are mobility scooters supposed to be reserved for those who have a disability that would prevent them enjoying a day at the theme parks, or are they available for anyone that just wants to save their energy for a night out on on the town? This article reports on the growing use of the Sidewalk SUV by the non-disabled at themeparks, large stores, and even just around the neighborhood.

Disney properties appear to have a policy of not requiring proof of disability to rent a motorized wheelchair. This is at least in part out of the desire to not be in the business of diagnosing what might be an unseen injury or disability. But the article goes one step farther to imply that Disney doesn’t mind that non-disabled are using the Rascal Scooters (as Jim Rome likes to call them) as it means more cheese in the mouse’s vault. Interesting.

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14 thoughts on “Rascal Scooters becoming a problem?

  1. Dave

    The scooters don’t bother me; it’s the idiots who drive them that annoy me. They run into people, stop suddenly, and drive all over the place like they own the park. And the people who abuse wheelchairs are in the same league; the ones who are too lazy to walk and/or just want to get to the front of the ride queues.

  2. JookyG

    People get pretty stupid around scooters too. My mom needs one b/c of her bad knees, and I was amazed at how many people would step right in front of her and expect her to stop on a dime. Those things don’t stop so easily, and some people deserve bruised ankles. I guess people just get stupid in masses and in the SoCal heat, on or off a scooter.

    I do agree that you should have to show your disabled parking pass or something like that. Disney wouldn’t have to diagnose anything.

  3. whit

    I’m going to Disneyland for a couple of days later this week and thanks to a torn ligament in my ankle I’ll probably be using a wheelchair.
    I was against it at first- somewhat embarrassed and feeling as if perhaps I would be taking advantage of the situation, but after trying to hop around the mall on crutches I’ve reconsidered.

    I must admit, the idea of being a little rascal on my little rascal did cross my mind, briefly. Then I remembered the last time we were there and how some 80 year old lady on hers tried to push people out her path (a very wide and open path) by leaning over the front and swinging her cane towards oncoming traffic- including the stroller I was pushing. If not for her obviously embarrassed family tring to stop her I think the people pushed aside would have lynched her.

    That said, there are idiots on scooters and idiots walking in front of scooters. There are a lot of idiots, and come Thursday I’ll be among them, stopping short and causing commotion.

  4. JHLD

    Let’s not forget the double and triple wide strollers with 5, 6, 7 and older able bodied children in them.

  5. ME

    I really do have to wonder if you read these articles. No where, and I mean NO WHERE, is the following implied within the article:

    “But the article goes one step farther to imply that Disney doesn’t mind that non-disabled are using the Rascal Scooters (as Jim Rome likes to call them) as it means more cheese in the mouse’s vault. Interesting.”

    The article may imply this of other vendors but not of Disney.

    Another case of a “Frost Interpretation Gone Wrong.”

  6. Brian

    We had a similar problem recently. We went to Busch Gardens in Willimasburg VA. After arriving 30 min. post opening, I went to get a scooter for my father. I was told they had all been rented out (30 MIN AFTER OPENING). I know not all went to disabled guests. Busch Gardens staff stated they were not allowed to require proof of diability to rent them out. I atune this to taking a handicapped parking spot just because you don’t want to walk to the business. If you don’t want to walk at the theme parks, don’t go.

  7. TheBizofKnowledge

    I agree with many of the other comments here. I’ve personally seen able-bodied people riding around on these scooters at theme parks, They don’t even try to conceal the fact that they are cheating the system nor do they seem embarrassed at all by what they are doing. It’s pathetic.

  8. john frost

    On rereading the article, ME may be right. However, I think Disney falls into the trap by not requiring proof of disability. Not saying they should, but it does open the door for manipulation.

  9. blondeheroine

    I like to film what I call “The Stroller Parade” at night before the nightly parade. I distinctly recall seeing a teenage-ish boy riding in one of these with his girlfriend riding in his lap.

    I’d love to say this was the only time I’ve seen this, but it’s not.

    I also recall hearing a conversation of an able bodied couple on the bus one morning saying they had rented their scooters from an independent company so they could “save their feet and not be so exhausted by the end of the night.”

    So, yeah. I think there’s a lot of abusing these things at the parks.

  10. seano

    I walk with an artifical limb, as I am an above the knee amputee. As a cancer survivor, I try to be semi healty and I choose to walk the Disney Parks. It allows me to rationalize a beer in each nation of EPCOTs World Showcase.
    I am embarrassed and saddened for the morbidly obese folks on the scooters. BUT, that is a legitimate disability today. The parks, however were never built for the traffic of carriages and scooters.
    I’ve been jammed, jabbed and jostled by baby carriages more than anything else. At Disney, Moms and Dads become empowered with their children…this creates obliviousness to everyone else. We be damned! They bang, push and batter us as if we don’t deserve to be there.
    I think courtesy goes a long way.

  11. Grant Henninger

    Last time I was at Disneyland one of these ran into me. It both hurt and scared me a little. I remember some story of a lady being thrown out of the park for running into people infront of her in line.

  12. dan

    i am an above knee amputee. i went to disney two months after amputation and was thrilled to use a scooter. people are stupid and oblivious to walking right in front of the scooters and anyone that does deserves to be run down. those things do not stop instantly and no matter how careful you are someone is bound to get run over. just be thinkful you have two legs to be run over. i would much rather be run over than not be able to run.

  13. Gel

    I was looking for a place where I could rent a scooter online so I could go with my young family to Disney and participate in a family outing and I came across your blog. I have lupus and many times my joints hurts so bad that I am not able to interact in these outings and choose to sit back to not spoil my family’s fun by having them worry about mommy. I know with lupus like with some other ailments, the person can look perfectly fine and be in extreme pain. The pain is not there all the time and I for one don’t have a handicap parking permit to “prove” my condition or any other visible evidence. I guess one day I may have to get a handicap sticker (and it has gotten bad enough for me to really consider it). But I don’t know if it would be wise for a business to have to make that determination if a person is disabled “enough” to require a scooter. I have had looks and I know for me, many times it is hard enough asking for one when I need it… a pride thing… but you have to do what you have to do… and for those times in which I just really needed one, I just waited because I HAD TO… no other choice. Maybe if the ones who don’t need the scooters will see the ones who do need the scooters waiting and will realize the need, maybe not… but to make those who are suffering suffer more because the lazy is just wrong.

  14. Boogiebear

    I went to Disney in Florida in 2000 with my mother. I am disabled, severe nerve damage up and down the inside of my leg, and no patella in that leg. I have put on weight since my accident. I can’t stand(upright) more than 20 seconds without the pain level increasing to the point of probably making me pass out.(Just in case you judge people on a scooter are there just because they are large). I took my new scooter. We stayed at one of the Resort hotels on site. They treated us like queens, even bringing me ice every night for my leg. (I loved tipping them for their extra help)
    Now in the park the cast members are wonderful. I remember one telling me that they could spot who needed a scooter and who did not.(They watched my scooter when I was on a ride, that I could go on. Loved the haunted mansion. They stopped it so I could get on. How cool is that?) I saw 3 or 4 groups of 4 teenagers, running about in herds on scooters. Not only did they not know how to use one, they purposibly went after people to run them down. I have tried to forget about that, and remember the pictures of Goofy picking on me, beeping my horn, and flicking on and off my light. They need some proof of disablility. I hated and put off getting my scooter, and I can’t see why anyone would want to ride around in one, limiting their freedom, and enjoyment of the park. I ran over one person down there. She walked right into the side of my scooter, and put her foot under it. My back right wheel ran over her foot. I went to apologize(I am a Southerner), and she was gone. Mom told me not to worry about it. She was ok enough to get away. I now keep an eye all around me on a scooter. Scooters have no instant brakes. You just let go of the go button. It takes a foot to stop sometimes. Don’t walk in front of them, please.

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