Around the World at Epcot -Segway Tour
Florida Guide > Disney Parks
Learning to ride a Segway
Photo taken by our tour leader
Segway Tour in Italy, Epcot
For years now I have seen Disney staff whizzing along on Segways and often thought to myself that it looks like great fun and how could I possibly have a go on one? Also, how do they manage to stay upright on them? Well, imagine how excited I was when I found out that you could actually learn to ride one and then spend a whole hour riding around Epcot’s World Showcase.
For those of you who are not familiar with or have never even heard of a Segway Human Transporter, let me explain. The best way to describe one is as a self-balancing scooter with two wheels and “something to do with gyroscopes”……. well, I’m not technical minded! Apparently, the Segway makes adjustments to balance the rider 100 times a second. To move forwards or backwards on the Segway, the rider just leans slightly forward or backward. To turn left or right, the rider simply turns the steering grip left or right. It’s as simple as that……. . or is it?
We booked well ahead for our tour as we had been told that they were very popular and the maximum limit was ten guests per tour. They run two tours daily, the first at 8. 30 am followed by a second at 9. 30 am. We opted for the earlier tour and were told to be at Guest Services by 8. 15am. Once everybody had arrived we walked over to the training room where we watched a short film on safety and then we had to don our “crash helmets”. Mmmm……is this dangerous then and for whom……the rider or everyone else around? Firstly, we were taught how to turn the Segway on, how to get on and off safely, how to move forwards and backwards and then, most importantly, how to do an emergency stop! All the Segways are training vehicles and are only programmed to go up to 5 miles an hour. If you go any faster the machine slows you down automatically.
The room had been set up with traffic cones, in a circle, which we had to weave in and out of, both in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. Our next challenge was to go up a slope and back down again. All this lasted about an hour and then we were ready to be let loose into the outside world.
To begin with we had to ride in single file through Epcot’s Future World, being very careful not to run any guests over, because by this time the park was open. What a sight we must have looked, people were stopping in their tracks as all ten of us, plus two instructors, went by. Some people waved but there was no way any of us were waving back as we were all concentrating too hard on not falling off! It did not take us very long to reach World Showcase and as it was still only 9. 30am this part of the park was not open. Our instructors took us all the way around the lagoon, stopping at points of interest and telling us facts about the different countries. In and out of the pillars at America, up and down the ramps in China and then, because we were one best groups he had taught, we were allowed to go through the maze in the United Kingdom, where one of our group, along with his Segway, promptly fell into the bushes!
What fun we had, our daughter enjoyed it so much that she went on it again the following week.
The whole tour lasts two hours and costs $80. You must be at least 16 years of age and weigh 250 lbs or less. Theme park admission is not included in the price. If the weather is inclement you will not be able to complete the second hour of the tour but you will receive a refund of $40.
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