I just returned from my vacation to DLR (10/17-10/23. 2012. Full report coming soon in the report section). I did however want to follow up on the abuse of ecv's at DLR.
A little background- My family and I have been going at least once a year (Usually multiple times a year) since my oldest son was born in 1993. This continued until our last trip in 2009. In 2010 & 2011 life and the real estate market (my profession) got in the way and we were not able to make it until this last week. My wife has had to use an ECV since her back surgery in 2001, I have had to use one since 2008 due to a medical problem that makes it impossible for me to walk or stand for extended periods. From 2001-2009 there was never a problem with ECV's or wheelchairs, and I did not notice much if any abuse of the system. This year however was a totally different story.
I was literally shocked at the amount of people using the ECV's and worse, the amount of people "with" them......
I counted on most rides (especially the popular ones like Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates and more) groups of 5-10 people waiting in the accessible lines with only 1 person in a wheelchair/ecv. Space Mountain (Ghost Galaxy) was the worst where I counted a group of 16 people all in the same group and only 1 person with them on an ecv, and the ecv was a rental.
And while I understand and dont have a problem having to wait in a line like everyone else (as long as the line is accessible and we can stay in our chairs/ecv's while waiting) having 16 people all in a same group with 1 ecv is just plain wrong. Even the cast members that I spoke with (and I spoke with quite a few) were all very frustrated with the whole thing.
My solution (and one I think that Dlr should really look into) is limiting the amount of attendants per wheelchair/ecv. As a person who has to use an ecv not just at Disneyland but even to go to the store, I see absolutely no reason why you would need more then 2 people per wheelchair/ECV.
That is how we do it (even though we had a group of 6) and it works just fine, and in fact most times it is just my wife and I who are riding the rides (both of us being in our evc's). My teenagers have asked to go with us so they would not have to wait and I always tell them no because that is not how it is done.
The most ridiculous thing that I saw in the accessible line was a rather large person who was in the line for Thunder Mountain, and I causally asked him if he knew that he was in the accessible line. His response was "I cant fit through the turnstiles".... Now I am not trying to bad mouth those who are of large size (I myself am overweight), but I could not help but wonder if he could not fit through the turnstiles, how was it safe for him to ride the ride as the bars might have a problem closing down and holding him in......
My point is, I just see no reason why you would need more than 2 people with you (really you could get along fine with 1) in order to get on a ride. I do not think this is an unreasonable policy.
The use of ECV's has gotten way out of hand (IMHO) at Disneyland and something will have to be done.........................