There are four Segway experiences at Walt Disney World including: Around the World at Epcot, Simply Segway at Epcot, the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure at Fort Wilderness and the Nature Inspired Design Segway Tour.
Around the World at Epcot is $99 per person (all prices listed in this article are subject to change), with several start times for the two-hour tour beginning at 7:45 am (also 8:30, 9:00 and 9:30 am). Epcot opens at 9:00 am, so with a reservation your name will be on the list to be let into the Park early, at the main gate not the International Gateway.
Park Admission is required, plus it’s an outdoor event so weather could change your plans. You will wear a helmet of course. And although a Segway can travel more than 10 mph, the machines have regulators that limit you to about 5 mph on Disney property. The limit per class is 10, and normally two cast members accompany you, one to guide and the other to watch you and run interference (traffic control).
You must be at least 16 years old and weigh between 100-250 pounds. You should get there at least 15 minutes early. There are two parts to the tour, first some instruction on riding the Segway PT. You learn to stand, move forward, back, stop, go uphill, downhill and turn around. Once you get going, you take a trip around Epcot World Showcase. Traveling single file along the Promenade, you will get see and travel around several of the international pavilions along the way. You do get to stop for a rest, riding around and photos; and you will use a headset.
It’s not as hard to navigate a Segway as you might think; it is actually pretty easy once you become familiar with it and adjust to the slight movement that reacts instantaneously. Lean in and go forward, lean back to go backwards, and straighten up to stop. The handle bars or “LeanSteer Frame” work as you expect, taking you left and right. It’s just that you need to control your body, not easy for the first few minutes. But it does feel natural, safe and instinctive after a while. Simply, you will love it and want to ride more.
There is also a Simply Segway experience offered at Epcot and it is designed for those guests who may not want or have time for a longer tour. This one-hour program includes a Segway product overview, training, and indoor riding at Innoventions in Epcot on a pre-determined course Again guest limited, the cost of $35.00 per person for an 11:30 am start-time (except Tuesdays). And Park admission is required as well.
Next is the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure that some believe is even better than the Epcot program, mostly due to the wide open spaces of Fort Wilderness. And although the Segway X2 model used here is an off-road vehicle, you still follow a trail and don’t get to wonder off too far. If you haven’t traveled the full length of Fort Wilderness, make sure you ask directions since the map is not enough.
You can tell that the deep treads in the tires and higher ground clearance will hold the road better at an outdoor park and wooded area that is Fort Wilderness. You will likely see some wildlife, but mostly lots of trees and campsites. There’s a long stretch of ride following the shores of Bay Lake which is very nice, and you get to stop, rest and take some pictures.
The latest information is that Disney offers this two-hour adventure twice a day from Tuesday to Saturday at 8:30 and 11:30 am, for a cost of $85.00 per person. It is recommended you take the early ride during the warm weather. It does get hot and humid in Florida. Schedules and prices change, so use the contact information below.
This is also a two-person led guided tour that hits many sites including parts of Wilderness Lodge and the Tri-Circle-D Ranch where you stop to greet the horses. It’s also a place to take a break, drink some water and hit the head. The guide is a lot of fun to listen to, who would tell stories, some even true. You get a digital head set, just like with Epcot’s adventure, so you can hear what is being said.
There is also a Nature-Inspired Design Segway Tour. This is from the official announcement: Discover the wonder of nature-inspired design as you glide through land, sea and air at Epcot®. This 3-hour backstage tour allows you to experience the symbiotic relationship between nature and the nature-inspired designs incorporated into Epcot® pavilions and attractions. Glide over California on Soarin’, tour the greenhouses at The Land pavilion, explore The Seas with Nemo & Friends® and visit Life Support scientists to learn how technology helps us maintain a better balance with nature.
After completing a required product overview and training, you will be equipped with a helmet and a Segway® Personal Transporter X-2 to experience this unique off-road tour. Epcot® Cast Member scientists share how their work environments are inspired by nature’s own design and how they use evolving technologies to maintain a balance with the world around them. After experiencing “air, land and sea” you will have the opportunity to ride your Segway® X-2 in a designated off-road backstage area at Epcot®.
This program starts are 8:15 am, and runs on different days depending on the season, so in the spring or summer it could three or fours days a week and in the fall only two. The cost today is $124 per person.
There are clear differences between the Epcot and Fort Wilderness rides. First, of course, there is difference in terrains. There aren’t as many obstructions as in Epcot and the roadways/sidewalks at Fort Wilderness are less traveled. There is also a difference in vehicles, with the Segway X2 used in Fort Wilderness having wider wheels and greater stabilization that might be expected when riding off-road. It’s also a longer experience on the Segway at Fort Wilderness, because the training period is much shorter, even for the inexperienced rider. This is likely because of the wide open spaces and there is less of a chance you can run into somebody or something (literally) as opposed to Epcot. Also as a result, you do seem to (if not really) travel faster at Fort Wilderness.
How it works: The Segway Human Transporter works through technology called dynamic stabilization that is similar to a person’s own sense of balance. People use their inner ear, eyes, muscles, and a brain to keep their body balanced. The Segway uses solid-state gyroscopes, tilt sensors, high-speed microprocessors (10 on board, equal to three times the power of a typical PC), and powerful electric motors to keep its balance. Working together these dynamic stabilization components sense the user’s center of gravity, instantaneously assess the information and make adjustments to the Segway at one hundred times per second. Thus, the Segway balances itself whether moving, carrying a heavy load, maneuvering in tight spaces, or standing still.