Hearing considers settlement that would continue ban on Segways in Disney parks

Posted Thursday, June 4, 2009 10:37 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disability-rights advocates on Wednesday sought to persuade a federal judge to reject a proposed settlement between Disney and three disabled people that would allow Disney to continue prohibiting Segways inside its theme parks in Orlando and Anaheim, Calif. Critics say the ban — and the settlement preserving it — unfairly discriminates against people with disabilities who prefer to move around on the upright Segways rather than seated on scooters or wheelchairs.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday, June 4, 2009 10:53 AM

Was having this same conversation with my wife as Busch Williamsburg has the similar segway ban.

The thing we both found ironic is its banned at Busch Williamsburg and you dont see them .. Period... (not sure about other BEC parks)

Its banned at Disney but go to Epcot at 10am and watch the paid conga line of Segway visitors doing an experience. Or the Cast member suit whizzing by you. It almost edges hypocritical. But at the same time those are controlled situations vs grandma blazing through a crowd of people. But honestly.. Ive seen this happen already on the 3 wheelers that roll around the park. Least the Segway takes less room up.

I, however, dont think its unfair charging for the use of their ESVs. Charging forces people to think twice whether the need it or not. If it were free I guarenteed once the park doors opened, 1/2 of the people would run to Toy Story Mania and the other haft to the ESV rental place. :)

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 11:03 AM

I think that Disney is absolutely in the right here. First off, I'm not sure how a Segway helps the disabled, because if walking is difficult, standing on one of those won't be easy. I'm a healthy enough guy, and after two hours zipping around one at Epcot, my legs were killing me. Standing like that surprisingly works leg muscles you didn't know you had.

But more to the point, those things haul ass if the governor isn't turned on. Those that Disney uses for guest tours are capped at 5 mph or something, and that's faster than you think, especially in a crowd. At the full 12 mph, they're dangerous without a fair amount of experience. I know their employees need to be certified to use them.

Disney is already a nightmare with the electric scooters. With Segways everywhere, it would be a serious safety issue.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 12:11 PM

It's NOT hypocritical at all. Anytime a Segway tour is given it is done after training, done before the park opens (World Showcase opens after Future World), and as Jeff said, the software key limits the speed to around 5mph. Plus Disney has wavers and insurance for all employees who ride them around. Compare this to a random Segway anyone can bring into the park, which could travel up to 12mph, be operated with no or little training, and in busy conditions with no Disney control.

I know that the electirc scooters are hell on earth enough, let alone Segways that travel much faster and are more dangerous (I'm a Segway proponent, but anything that goes faster and is heavier is more dangerous.)

+1 Disney

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 12:28 PM

Critics say the ban — and the settlement preserving it — unfairly discriminates against people with disabilities who prefer to move around on the upright Segways rather than seated on scooters or wheelchairs.

disney also discriminates against disabled people who wish to travel around the park in a helicopter

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 12:42 PM

Correction for the absolute literal: The illusion of hypocrisy. I did follow saying it is, however, in a controlled fashion that Disney allows it to run which does allow it to be a different situation, thus nullifying hypocrisy.. But the sentiment is not without its merit.. Even the media pointed that little tidbit out.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 12:56 PM

I'd prefer to travel by motorcycle, but a helicopter would be nice. My mother has severe RA, and on some days she can't walk more than a few hundred yards before her joints cease to function - that means she can't stand or lean on one leg/the other for turning - that kind of rules out a Segway for her, doesn't it?

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 1:43 PM

Jeff Bachiochi said:

disney also discriminates against disabled people who wish to travel around the park in a helicopter

Nice! I like it. :)

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 2:37 PM

If the mobile-impaired are given the OK to use their own Segways in Disney parks, doesn't that then discriminate against able-bodied people, who are not allowed to use a Segway to get around the park? I don't see how this is discrimination against the disabled, they are not being denied access to any attraction or facility, just not given a choice from several alternatives.

5 mph is plenty fast. 3-4 mph is defined as a "brisk" pace for walking. and who gets to walk briskly through a crowded park? Maybe if it's 10 minutes till closing time and there's one more ride halfway across the park you want to get in line for.

Say Disney is ordered to allow disabled people to use Segways in their parks and a collision or accident occurs. Then does Disney get sued again-- by both parties?

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 2:40 PM

disney also discriminates against disabled people who wish to travel around the park in a helicopter

I nominate this as Post Of The Day.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 3:58 PM

Re: Helicopter..

Well at least they can accommodate it if someone chose to at Epoct.

Btw..Completely off topic from Segways, as I was looking for a helicopter pad to go literal on the really good joke by Jeff B. I came across this image on Google Maps. I never knew this was there..

Its about 20 miles from WDW. I would say this is probably one of the largest Hidden Mickeys (since the HS one is nearly impossible to see now).

Ok.. Back to Segways.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 4:52 PM

I wonder if Paul Blart the mall cop can show up at Disney with his? :)

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 10:10 PM

If Disney is forced to allow people to use there own Segway because of a disability, who is going to decide who has a disability and who doesn't? Then your gonna have jerks riding around that don't need it or Grandma and Grandpa letting little Johnny play on it.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009 12:24 PM

I have never been on a segway but they look VERY uncomfortable. I can't see how someone who is already disabled would be able to stand it. It hurts my already bad back and leg just to imagine using one anywhere, let alone a crowded amusement park.

Then again maybe it's just me. :)

-Tina

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Saturday, June 6, 2009 4:56 PM

One point that was brought up in a conversation about this case is what about the people who can't sit down in a "normal" position? People with fused virtabrae, or back braces?

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Sunday, June 7, 2009 2:30 PM

That's true. Not everyone with back issues have the same problems. I give kudos to anyone dealing with any kind of back problems!

I have a fused vertebrae (among other back issues) but have managed to get around without assistance (thank God!) There are only a couple of things that I can't physically ride. I can't do Round-ups or SCATS.I can't do water rides where you just lay on your back and go. Coasters never really hurt my back. It's always the headbangin' that gets to me. ;)

Sometimes I wish I had something like a Hoveround, but that's just my laziness coming out. ;) Standing around is more hurtful to me than walking or sitting. Then again sitting sometimes gets to me. It really depends.

Back issues can be a pain sometimes. ;)

To me segways in a crowded park means more potential accidents, but if people can actually maneuver one without incident I am all for it.

-Tina

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Sunday, June 7, 2009 4:23 PM

I guess the point is that you can't put Segways in a class with wheelchairs and motorized scooters. They have more in common with transportation like a Vespa or something.

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Monday, June 8, 2009 4:03 PM

Jeff said:
They have more in common with transportation like a Vespa...(cut)

Minus the beatings or jokes you would receive from bullies or friends respectively.. ;)

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Monday, June 8, 2009 7:10 PM

I have ridden a Segway, and I'll argue that it is almost more difficult than walking, at least at first. To me, it seems like more of an "active" form of transportation than "passive", like a wheelchair would be - seeing as you don't need to utilize all kinds of muscles to stabilize yourself in the way that you do to ride a Segway.

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Monday, June 8, 2009 7:24 PM

I wouldn't go that far. After 20 minutes or so it becomes like a part of you. But it absolutely does work leg muscles you don't ordinarily feel.

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