Court tells Disneyland to Backup Its Segway Ban

Audio Description services is just one of the ways Disney parks go above the requirements of the ADA to assist guests.

Petitions and lawsuits from disabled guests for Disney to allow access to its theme parks using a Segway are nothing new. Walt Disney World settled its Segway case in Dec 2008.  Instead of using a two-wheeled Segway, guests would be offered a four-wheeled alternate assistive devices (ESV) that would allow disabled who need to maintain a standing position to do so, while still navigating the crowded parks in a manner that is safe for everyone.

Meanwhile, Disneyland has been involved in its own lawsuit over use of the Segway as an assistive device. While the lower court issued Disneyland a favorable ruling, an appeals panel sent the case back to the lower court with the suggestion that Disneyland should study the use of Segways again.

What I find odd is that the 2008 settlement also stipulated that Disneyland would include the new ESV as an option for those who need to maintain a standing position. It’s been over two years and I haven’t seen the new standing devices here at Disney World. So I’m wondering what happened to the plans outlined in the settlement and why the current court case did not take that settlement into account.

More details on the decision over at the LA Times.

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10 Responses to Court tells Disneyland to Backup Its Segway Ban

  1. Rob says:

    So I have a couple questions, and I’m not trying to be ignorant, I simply do not know.

    What physical disability is there that requires a person (or is more comfortable) to stand but not be able to walk? Usually wih family and friends that I have dealt with that have physical disabilities prefer to sit because they can’t stand for long periods of time.

    Also, are the ESV units free (I imagine they are, I just want to know for sure)?

    This to me sounds like more of an excuse for people to bring in Segways into the park, so they don’t have to walk. I can’t believe there are enough people with this particukar disability that can start petitions and lawsuits to keep bringing this back up.

    • The Advocate says:

      I know someone with a rare neurological disease that walks very slow, but uses her Segway for basic mobility when traveling and taking group walking tours with others. Otherwise, she is not able to keep up with the group. It gives her independence and a better line of sight in crowded situations. When in unfamiliar locations, she has someone with her to manage the Segway and get it up or down stairs and curbs when necessary.

  2. Diane Wilshere says:

    I witnessed a double amputee using a Segway to navigate the Smithsonian National Zoo on Tuesday. He had a small blue handicapped sticker on the front of the Segway The Zoo is very hilly. It was crowded but he was navigating in a fashion that did not endanger anyone. Like with ecv people cleared the path for him

  3. LoveDisney says:

    Disneyland & World are simply too crowded for Segways.

  4. Pam says:

    I have multiple sclerosis and have been using a Segway for mobility for nine years. I have used it safely in crowded places, like a World Series game and in challenging places, like the Great Wall of China. I have never used a wheelchair and do not own one. Although my ability to walk is limited, I am able to stand and prefer to do so. If you had the choice, would you rather be standing on a Segway or sitting in a wheelchair looking at everyone’s rear end?
    The ESV was never intended to be free – there was going to be a rental charge. The 2008 lawsuit settlement that stipulated that Disney provide ESVs was thrown out by a Florida judge. It makes no sense to think that a disabled person who safely uses a Segway would be safer using an assistive device that he/she has never used before.

    • The Advocate says:

      I’m with you, Pam. Disabled users of Segways are very mindful of the Safety of themselves and others. There’s nothing wrong with the machine. Able bodied users give the disabled a bad rap by racing or being reckless. Disabled users poke along with their companions and enjoy the comaraderie and ambience of the location.

  5. Marc says:

    That seems very reasonable. I applaud your tenacity It seems to me that the reason that YOU would be excluded is to keep others from abusing the privalige. I am Pro-Segway. It seems reasonable that there should be some sort of ID card from your doctor – and then you are good to go. (with all due respect to your privacy). I work at Hershey Park and they are not allowed to ask, if some kid wants to rent a scooter they can. I have seen people renting with friends, lifting it up to do “burn outs”. Then the amazing Segway comes along and is excluded because the law has forgotten common sense It just doesn’t seem fair to the actual people who could benefit. The best of luck. Marc

  6. Joe says:

    In 2007 while riding a motorcycle w my head light on in broad daylight at 1 in the afternoon, a girl test driving a SUV pulled out in front of me. The subsequent accident resulted in my right leg being amputated at the knee. Lucky for me there was a DE State Police officer directly behind the girl who witnessed the accident & was able to summons the State Police Helicopter to transport me & my severed leg to a trauma center. Over the next 15 months & 18 medical procedures, a fantastic team of surgeons were able to reattach my leg w remarkable success. Unfortuantely my walking is limited & painful but standing is fairly painless. Going from a seated to a standing position & visa versa is tuff, really tuff. While I was visiting Disney World in FL this past April I too had my Segway, a letter from my doctor, & proof of a Million Dollar Liability Insurance Policy – Disney still denied me from using my Segway. So I then started hiking in their park & boy was I upset when I saw 2 of their employees riding Segways as they went from flower bed to flower bed & the Segway tours being conducted on their grounds!!!!! These folks who particpated in the tours had little to no Segway riding experience. I on the other hand likely have more Segway riding experience than any of their employees who were actually riding Disney’s Segways on their grounds. Very upsetting for me to see/witness this. I’m glad a lawsuit has been filed – I honestly feel Disney was heartless when I asked permission to use my Segway, no options were ever presented I was just told NO, they gave me the distinct feeling I was bothering them & they didn’t want anything to do with me – helping me was not something they were remotely interested in. . .

  7. The Advocate says:

    Education is the answer.
    The machine is stable and suitable for use in crowded conditions without incident.
    My wife is disabled and has used a Segway for seven years. When people see how poorly she walks, they compliment her on how well she uses her Segway in crowded conditions, ramps, cobblestone paths, elevators, grocery stores, china shops, airports, shopping malls , you name it. They don’t understand that the machine balances her. All she does is steer it and control it’s speed by leaning a little.

  8. Pingback: Disney Segway Settlement Upheld by Court | The Disney Blog

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