My wife surprised me on our trip to Disney last week with a tour around EPCOT on a Segway transport. I had seen people riding these around on previous trips and commented on how fun it looked. I was excited to finally get a chance to ride one.
My day started early, as the tour began at 8:30am. I walked from the Beach Club Resort to the back entrance of EPCOT before the park opened. Once inside, I headed over to guest relations to sign in. It was odd walking through the park before any guests were there. The only people around were a few gardeners and some maintenance workers. After I checked in and signed a quick liability release, we walked with our guide over to the training area at Innovations West. We started by picking out our helmets and watching a short video on some safety features. Once that was over, our guide rolled out a SEGWAY and showed us how to turn it on, how to get on and off, and how to make it move. Then, we each got to practice ourselves.
Getting on was easy enough. Just hold it level until you see a green light (you will see red lights if it’s not level) and step on one foot at a time. It’s a little shaky at first, but it really only takes about 5 or 10 seconds to get the hang of it. A computer and gyros in the base help to stabilize it and your body movement forward or backward makes it move in that direction. It’s very sensitive and only takes a small amount of leaning to make it move. The sensors under your feet feel every move you make and react in that direction. To make it turn. You lean the bar in the direction you want to turn. If it sounds difficult, it really isn’t. There were six adults and two teenagers in our group and we all picked it up easily.
After our training session inside, we headed out to the park for a trip around the World Showcase. Along the trip, we stopped in several of the countries where our instructor gave us a little information on the country and also took us through some ‘challenge’ courses. We rode down a ramp in China, through the miniature train village next to Germany, in and out of the columns in Italy, and through France. Half way around, we had some free time to ride around within a coned-off area and have our pictures taken by the lake. Once we got back to Future World, we had to weave through people, as the park had opened while we were on our ride.
My daughter was bummed that she couldn’t take the tour, but you have to be 16 or older to ride. There is also a weight limit for riding, which is 100-250 pounds.
If you ever get the chance to take this tour, I highly recommend it. It is a two hour tour, including the instruction time. The SEGWAY is easy to ride, and I can’t think of a better place to ride than at the Walt Disney World resort.
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