You see them zipping here and there at Disney: castmembers on 2-wheel contraptions that look like a space-age cross between a bike and a scooter. Efficient, “green”, and a whole lotta fun, they are, of course, Segways. I finally had a chance to ride one on our last visit to Disney World….and am here to say that it was way fun!
Disney has been using the Segway personal transporter system for a while now for castmembers to get around, and I think that, at Disney especially, it is a great way to get around. It was only natural, of course, for Disney to realize that their guests were curious and wanted to try them out too…and so an entire group of Segway classes and tours were created. They have been hugely popular, and after riding one, I can see why.
If you want to try one out for yourself, you might want to start where we did, at Segway Central in Innoventions. Not really sure what they would be like, and being unwilling to spend a lot of money on something that might prove to be a challenge for uncoordinated me, I thought this was the perfect place to see if Segways are as fun as they look….because it’s free.
Now this, as with all Segway experiences, is not for children: you must be 16 to ride, and must have an adult sign a waiver if you are under 18. But if you are tall enough, and in the 100-250 lb range, you can give this a shot. After watching a short film, you sign a release form, and then get personal instructions from a castmember on how to ride. Once you demonstrate that you aren’t going to go NASCAR on them, they then let you go on your own on a 15-20 yard course. Not long, but enough to be very cool! Is it as fun as it looks? You betcha it is!
Once you get the hang of this, there are a number of other Segway experiences you might want to try. There are fees for the rest, but now that I know I am not going to injure myself (or anyone else!) while riding a Segway, I’m definitely going to try another class! Here are the current offerings:
- Simply Segway: A one hour class for beginners that includes some training and mostly indoor riding. Offered daily, the cost is $35 per person.
- Around the World at Epcot on a Segway: This popular two-hour class runs 4 times daily, typically in the mornings prior to World Showcase opening. The first hour is safety rules and practice, and the second hour then tours World Showcase. Cost is $95 per person.
- Nature-Inspired Design Tour: This is a three-hour “backstage tour” on a Segway that explores the role that nature plays in the various Epcot pavilions and attractions. Once the initial training part is completed, then the tour begins. Offered only once in the mornings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, it costs $124 per person
- Wilderness Back Trail Adventures: This two hour tour allows you to experience the Segway at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Wilderness Lodge. Offered twice each morning from Tuesday through Saturday, the cost for this tour is $85 per person.
As previously stated, to ride a Segway, you must be at least 16 years old and weigh 100 lbs. to participate. Maximum weight for participants is 250 pounds, and expectant mothers and persons with special needs may not participate due to safety concerns. Payment in full by credit card is required at time of booking. Discounts may be available for Disney Vacation Club members, as well as Disney Visa cardholders and Annual Passholders. If you need to cancel your tour, you must do so at least 48 hours prior to the start of the tour to receive a full refund. Tours can be booked by calling 407-WDW-TOUR.
Nancy, her husband and college-age daughter live in the Baltimore MD area, but consider Walt Disney World their second “home”. She started her site, The Affordable Mouse, as a way to share ideas about how to plan affordable Disney vacations. Her favorite things at Disney World (in no particular order) are Soarin’, most of the food in World Showcase, Illuminations…and that “Disney magic”.