This one comes from Kathy in New York and it was titled, Splash Mountain. So Kathy says, "Because of mobility, I use an ECV, will I enter the ride," Splash Mountain, "with everyone else or will I enter at the exit? If I enter it the main way and transfer to a wheelchair, are there any stairs or hills inside the beginning of the ride? Thank you.
Boarding Splash Mountain with an ECV is easy - Photo by Cliff Wang
Kathy, this is really good timing because a year ago I really probably couldn't have told you much about ECVs and how they work at Disney. But the last two trips, I've been having to use an ECV because of some hip surgery I had. So I'm having to use an ECV. Getting to where I almost don't have to anymore so I'm hoping next trip I won't have to.
So, how the ECVs work is like this - on most rides you just go through the regular queue right up to the boarding area. You'll transfer from your ECV to the ride vehicle (you'll walk just a few feet) and then when you disembark, you'll walk those same few feet to get back to your ECV.
There are a few rides that have a different procedure, so what you do is just ask the nice Cast Member at the queue entrance where to go and they'll direct you to the regular line or somewhere else.
Since you mentioned Splash Mountain, I can tell you this: on Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, I know those for sure work a little differently. At Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, first thing you do is go to the FastPass+ area and say, "Where do I go with my ECV?" And they will direct you to the exit. When you get to the exit and there will be a Cast Member there that will help you. They'll show you where to park your ECV and then they'll take you into the ride. You'll be right there at the loading dock. At Big Thunder Mountain, it was like 30 steps and you were on the train.
At Splash Mountain, you can also ride your ECV right up to the loading dock if you need to. You can either leave it at the exit and walk in, or ride it right up to the loading dock, transfer into the logs right there at the loading area. The Cast Members will help you get on and off, and they'll take care of your ECV. And it'll be parked at the exit when you come back off.
The rest of the rides around the park, it's all different. I know we rode the ECVs through most queues. At most of the rides it's very simple, you just ride it right in and they'll help you. So it doesn't give you any advantage, except on a few rides. Like Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain, it does give you an advantage time wise. But for most rides you'll be with everyone else.
Dad's Bottom Line
The bottom line is go to the FastPass+ location, talk to a Cast Member, they'll take care of you. For every ride, that's the way you do it.