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Monday, August 29 2016 @ 03:51 AM CDT

Episode 1316 - Listener Questions

PodcastEpisode 1316 is now available for download and instant listening.

Presented By:

Questions can be emailed to questions@wdwtoday.com or use this form

Hosts: Matt Hochberg, Mike Scopa & Mike Newell


  • Listener Questions
  • 2:47 Doc corrects information about Annual Pass vouchers and My Magic Plus.
  • 3:51 A listener gives comprehensive advice on how to save money during the various facets of a Disney World vacation.
  • 7:09 Melissa from Texas asks about reservations for a first haircut experience at Harmony Barber Shop.
  • 9:04 Renee from Wisconsin asks whether her Family should stay on or off property given their budget. She also considers Dining options.
  • 14:53 Claire from the UK asks if a correlation exists between Disney's automatic 18-percent added gratuity at restaurants and poor service.
  • 17:10 Jacqueline from Maine ponders when Children normally outgrow Strollers.
  • 19:48 Jeff from Indiana asks about heating at Disney's Water Parks.
  • 20:53 Mark from New Jersey asks if Disney could've implemented My Magic Plus without changing the legacy FASTPASS system.
  • 23:27 Jay from New York discusses the Tomorrowland Speedway.
  • 24:15 Jeff from Indiana asks if All Star Vacation Home guests can get the Disney Dining Plan.
  • 26:16 Sean from Florida asks about poor maintenance at the parks.
  • 29:27 Dawn from New York clarifies New York geography.
  • 30:00 Terry from Pennsylvania asks about January Weather at WDW.
  • 32:44 Ron asks if it's ethical to rent an EVC "just for fun".

Running Time: 30:00

Episode 1316 - Listener Questions | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Episode 1316 - Listener Questions
Authored by: ddindy on Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 05:57 AM CDT
Following up on Doc's comment about being able to enter Annual Pass voucher (exchange certificate) numbers in My Disney Experience: This only works for relatively new vouchers. I purchased one in 2009, and there is no option to enter the number from that certificate. I believe that only vouchers purchased in 2010 or later are supported.

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The Dreaded ECV Issue
Authored by: mrmagicmph on Friday, March 14 2014 @ 09:10 PM CDT
I was debating listening to the last question whether or not to chime in, but, I decided that I absolutely had to. I've had to use ECVs at WDW for my last 2 trips, and much more recently, a power chair (powered wheelchair) in Washington DC. There are some factors that Newell may be unaware of (sorry Mike! Not picking on you!) that might well have contributed to the guy's crash that he observed. To try to make things clear, I'm going to try to use car analogies simply because most people can relate to cars, but, hopefully few can relate directly to ECVs.

Since there are 3 "sorts" of ECVs (travel, "regular", & "heavy duty"), I'll use 3 different cars... a Smart car, a Chevy Malibu, and a Ford F-350. A Smart car weighs around 1600 lbs, a Malibu weighs around 3100 lbs, & the F-350 weighs around 6700 lbs. Each one has an engine of the right size for the weight (70 HP, around 250 HP, and around 400 HP). If you put the F-350's engine in the Smart Car, you're likely to have the car leave the ground the minute you touch the gas pedal. Similarly, if you put the Malibu's engine in the F-350, you'll get there, eventually, but, you're going to be lucky to not be outrun by most turtles.

Most ECV companies (off-site ones) will ask the weight of the person who will be using it, and try to guide the renter toward the size that would be best for them, without being underpowered. I'll give you an example, when I last went to WDW, I was probably around 270-275lbs roughly. Most of the "regular" ECVs can handle (depending on the model) anywhere from 250-300 lbs. So, they always debate on whether I should get the "regular" or the "heavy duty", given how much traveling one does at WDW. The "level" of ECV also determines the amount of battery power (the gas tank size), so they tend toward pushing you toward the "one level up" model if you're near the borders (price difference is usually fairly small, perhaps $5/day if that). So, if you're a bit "lower" on weight than absolutely necessary, but end up with the heavier ECV, it can both go a tiny bit faster (they DO have speed governors on them, though perhaps not set to what everyone thinks it should be), but there's a more important factor too.

Let's take all 3 vehicles, put them on a hill similar in steepness to the one at the Land, & cut their regular brake lines AND emergency brakes. We'll also re-gear the 3 vehicles so that they've got only 2 gears, forward & reverse. Whether you push the vehicle to get it started moving on the hill or use the motor, you're starting down the hill. Now, you're a brand new driver (just moved from having your learner's permit to having a real license) and have never had something like this happen before. Guess what? You're now at the knowledge level of most new ECV drivers.

ECVs don't have brakes at all; all you can do is have the motor working to "push" you or "pull" you. It's very easy to have the ECV get away from you going down a steep hill, just like a go-cart could without any brakes, once you get moving. Unfortunately, very few companies (even the ones that teach you how to use it) remember to warn you about this, & especially about how tough the Land's hill can be.

By the way, that's also why you can suddenly get your heel clipped a tiny bit. I'm not blaming the Mikes or Matt, I know they're NOT part of the crowd that suddenly stops in the middle of the street to consult a map, but, I'll bet that whether it's getting caught behind someone like that, or getting cut off by a crossing stroller, etc, many (but definitely not all! Everybody knows there are bad ECV drivers like there are bad car drivers!) of the times, there was just no way for the ECV driver to stop in time. ECVs stop on a dime like the F-350 can go from 60 to 0 in 5 feet.

Sorry for such a long winded post, but, as much as I really DON'T want to spark an ECV debate (here or anywhere), there's some information that I felt was important to be sure got out, to hopefully make things more understandable. Oh, & for what it's worth, while I have NO idea when my next WDW trip may be (I know it's going to be quite a while the way things are going), I'm HOPING that by the time I'm able to get back down, I'll not need to rent an ECV; I had a successful hip replacement 4 months ago & while there's NO PRAYER of my walking WDW today, I'm hoping that I'll be able to by then!