Florida Guide > Disney General
Segway Tour at Epcot
We have visited the Disney Parks a few times before, and fancied doing something a little different. After a little research we found the little advertised Segway Tour and decided to give it a go.
There are two tours available every day, weather permitting. The first at 8:30 and the second at 10:30 in the morning. Both tours consist of a guided tour on Segways around the World Showcase, so we choose the early tour which meant that you would be in the World Showcase before the 11:00 opening time. Other people we spoke to choose the second tour, which meant that part of their tour was through the showcase whilst it was open to the public, giving them an audience.
You have to arrive about fifteen minutes early to register, but there are only ten people in each tour. For the first tour this means waiting outside the gates for them to open. It nice being the first person into the park, and this was part of the excitement for us.
For those that have no idea what a Segway is, and what I am talking about, I will try to describe. The Segway was designed and built to be a personal transportation device. It consists of two parallel wheels, between which sits a small platform and a set of handle bars. That's it. The unit remains upright with the use of gyroscopes and computers, reacting to your every move to either remain upright or move forwards or backwards.
You are taken to a small classroom to the rear of the innovations building, this is now called Segway central. As you go in all the segways are lined up against the wall. The walls are covered in great photos showing the construction of the parks, even this was great to see. There is a short safety presentation and details about the actual machine, how it works, health and safety etc. Then the Disney legal stuff to make sure you don't sue if you fall off.
Then its to your machine. There is about a thirty minute practical lesson, starting with how to get on the machine, which, the first time you do it is not as easy as you would imagine. When you first step in the machine tries to keep you upright, and you try to compensate for the movement of the machine, the combined effects of which look very much like a bucking bronco machine. But it surprisingly only takes a few moments to get used to letting the Segway do the work. Plenty of laughs here. Then a series of practical tests, going forwards and backwards, turns, turning on the spot. Travelling at speed, emergency stops. Its all very light hearted and good fun. Then a couple of weaving circuits around cones. And finally a couple of ramps. It is explained to you the reason for all these tests is that you will be taking part in small obstacle courses in the World Showcase.
After a short break, about five minutes, you are out of the classroom and you get a brand new, fully charged Segway waiting for you. And its off you go. To start with you have to stay in single file, as there are people about Future World. Once you get into the World showcase, as there is nobody about, except a few maintenance people and cleaners, you are given a bit more freedom. The Segways will only go about five miles per hour. But this feels faster, and is fast enough for most people. There are a few obstacles to overcome, like up through the gardens in Japan, which I have never even seen before. Around the columns in Italy, through the maze in the UK. There is one photostop in Italy. But plenty of opportunities for photos, as long as you get off your Segway to take them. There are also two guides with you. They point out things for you to see, and some lesser known pieces of information about the worlds. They will also take photos for you.
It is a very good tour. A great experience. You also get a special Segway pin. All in all well worth the eighty dollars (this was the price when we did the tour). We smiled and laughed the whole way round. The only problem is, now I want a Segway, but they run about $3500. I would recommend it to anyone. You must be over 16 and under 250lb."
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Page added on: 22 July 2005
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