As much as I enjoyed Disney World it's almost hard to recommend going there, and that's because as far as I can tell it is infected with some disease that causes people to lose the ability to walk, and I just don’t want to inflict that on you. Everywhere you look in Disney World you see evidence of it - people in mobility scooters.
Now, I understand you see people in mobility scooters other places as well, but I have never seen so many in such a condensed space - and I have been to old folks homes and retirement villages and places like that. In Disney World you can even hire mobility scooters at the entrances of each park! Why would that be needed unless people were showing up able to walk and losing the ability while at the park?
Seriously though, there are far too many people on mobility scooters around Disney World. Occasionally the person is really old, or has a cast on their leg, or is already hugely obese which makes it a bit more OK - but the vast majority just seem to be really keen to be lazy, get in peoples way, and annoy everyone else.
It really is a confusing and annoying thing, from what I can tell this doesn’t happen everywhere else in America, it is just at Disney World. That was the only place in the US I can remember seeing more than one mobility scooter at all, and we went to Houston too.
Maybe I am going a bit overboard about this one issue, but they really are everywhere, they get in your way, run in to you, get to cut in lines, and, they hold up buses!
See, the bus is probably the best means of transportation in Disney World. They go from all the parks and hotels, they are free, they are frequent, and they are pretty quick. But people in mobility scooters have to ruin that for everyone else as well. See, they get their own line (which is fine if you really need the scooter, but most people don’t), and they get on the bus first. The problem here is that this requires the bus to kneel, and the driver to help them on, taking far longer than normal. You get over the extra waiting time pretty quickly.
At one stop we saw the driver helping push a lady in a scooter on the bus, but also managed to push her straight into a wall - it almost made it better. But then once inside she got off the scooter, walked off the bus and picked some stuff up before walking back on the bus! Some people in the line may have made some not necessarily nice comments about her (and honestly, it wasn’t even me).
But in the end, if you can't beat em...
- It is a lot of fun! Just because most of what I have written seems to imply I had a terrible time, I didn’t. It was a great place, just no one wants to read about me enjoying myself.
- Book things way in advance. It is pretty busy all the time (we were at the Magic Kingdom on a slow day and they had around 44,000 people in the park that day - in summer you are looking at 60,000+ apparently). We did know this before going, and still somehow didn’t book much at all. You can still have fun, but it is easier to try and actually plan days (including meals) out well in advance.
- Some of the food at Disney World is awesome. Maybe this is the reason people actually need mobility scooters after they arrive - there is a lot of food to eat. Depending on how you book you might be offered a dining plan - this is basically an allotment of total/types of meals you can have anywhere within any of the parks during your stay. It might seem unnecessary, but it saves a lot of time and effort, and means you will actually be more inclined to have ice creams or other things during the day (sure, you could easily not eat snacks, but isn’t part of the experience feeling sick lots of the time?). Just realise that most the dining plan are quite a lot of food per person per day - just consider it a challenge to have dessert three times a day.
- Wear comfortable shoes. This probably goes without saying, you will be walking around a lot, but some people still show up in shoes that just don’t look like much fun. Also, sure, you could walk slow around the parks taking it all in and relaxing - but really the best option is to almost run from ride to ride all day long. Just like the motto says - if you aren’t sweating, you aren’t Disney World. Or something like that.
- Don’t buy one of the refillable souvenir mugs. Total scam. You might like the idea of being able to get a drink anywhere at any time, but really you can only use them at your own hotel. You aren’t at your hotel ever, and when you are you don’t really need loads of drinks. Instead just know you can go to pretty much any place in any park and ask for ice water and they will give it to you for free.
- Safety first - even rides that are based around water can apparently catch fire
- But that’s OK because the reality of the situation is that Splash Mountain sucks! So slow, nothing happens. It is basically “It’s a small world” with a drop at the end. Just do Space Mountain or the Tea Cups more times.
- Big Thunder Mountain isn’t that good either. Really, most of Frontier Land is kind of lame.
- So is Adventure Land. And, everything that is related to Pirates of the Caribbean at any park. Just avoid those rides.
- Also, another ride to avoid - The Tomorrow Land Speedway. The ride is literally sitting in traffic.
- Space Mountain is loads of fun though...
- Animal Kingdom is actually quite a good park. It has a ride like Splash Mountain, except it is good (Kali River Rapids). It has a ride like Big Thunder Mountain, except it is great (Expedition Everest), and it has a bunch of other stuff that is pretty cool too (like a kids roller coaster that seems designed to give you whiplash (Primeval Whirl)).
- If children can go on a ride (no/low height limit) it will be super busy. This seems obvious, but I think it took me two parks to work it out. Go to these rides early, late, or at a meal time - kids might not be around?
- In saying that, the rides where you have to shoot stuff (the Toy Story rides) are fun and worth doing, especially in groups.
- Epcot is weird. There are a couple of rides, but really it is just a park full of places to eat. You can go there after another park, bang out the rides quickly, and get dinner and not have missed anything.
- Basically there are about three rides worth doing at each park. Make sure you have an idea of these before going, and generally try and bang them out early in a day, that way you can do them again.
That’s about it I guess. As Mickey Mouse might say, “Th-th-th-that's all folks!”