Just as I suspected when I first heard about it, it's been relegated to the status of a novelty item. That's not to say they're not run to ride. I rode the old style several times on Disney's cruise ships and their island, Castaway Cay, when they used to offer it. Hubby and I also tried to take the World Showcase tour at Epcot (also on the old style), but it rained out so we only got an abbreviated version.
Now Segways have been upgraded to a more intuitive, easier to turn model. Better yet, they have one with rough-terrain tires that is used on tours of Disney's Fort Wilderness. Hubby and I have been planned to go on that tour ever since it was announced last year, and we finally got around to it this morning. I think what whet our appetite and finally pushed us into doing it was doing the free "sample" ride in Innoventions at Epcot. It had been a while since we'd been on a Segway, and it left us wanting more.
There are two departures on the day it's offered, but we chose the early one (8:30 a.m.) hoping to beat any afternoon rain. That meant waking up at a bleary-eyed 7 a.m., parking at the front of the campground, and taking an internal bus back to the Mickey's Backyard Barbeque Pavillion, which also happens to be the meeting point.
We made good time and were the first arrivals. We signed releases, chose helmets and stashed out stuff into the carrying pack and our Segways. Our fellow tour guests trickled in; the tour can accommodate 10, and we happened to have eight on this fine (but humid) morning.
Below is the logo on the Segways and a picture of the Segways themselves:
We also went through a camp loop and stopped at the Tri Circle D Ranch to see the horses and some equine memorabilia, as seen below:
Below is some of the forest overhang. While some of the roads were paved, we also took dirt trails between the marsh areas and did a bit of optional off-roading (I think everyone took that option!). The Segways are governed at 6 mph so you can't do anything too crazy, but those thick tires certainly handle tree roots, pine cones, dirt ruts, and sand without any problems.
We also visited the Wilderness Lodge, where it was quite amusing to see the surprised looks on guests' faces as we headed around the exterior areas of the hotel. In addition to riding and sightseeing, Ron and Robert hit us up with lots of Disney trivia questions. They had plenty of silly jokes, too, reminiscent of the Jungle Cruise. It was most definitely a Disney experience!
After our meal, we killed time on the Living With The Land boat ride, in the single rider line of Test Track and browsing at the Epcot 25th Anniversary display. I especially enjoyed the Figment and Horizons memorabilia.
When we returned to the Land, we got new Fastpasses even tho' the return time was late and we knew we had to get home to work. I figured that we could just give them away. We had a lovely Soarin' ride, and on the way out we were discussing our Fastpasses. A man and his daughter overheard us; he had four FPs with an immediately return time and offered to swap two of his to us since he was staying late. What a lucky break! I wished I had some of my trader pins to give his daughter or something, but alas I was barehanded. Hopefully the good karma will come back around to him.
We grabbed our bonus Soarin' ride, then managed to slip in Spaceship Earth on the way out because the line had cut down to almost nil. We made it to the car just in the nick of time, as the afternoon showers started spitting on the windshield just as we pulled out of the parking lot.
All in all, it had been a great day, especially for July. We had an enjoyable Segway tour, a yummy lunch, and two bonus rides on Soarin' (we'd been expecting none), plus a few other rides just for the heck of it. I'm looking forward to doing the World Showcase tour in the near future, but it's going to have a hard time holding up.