Last week, I called to book the ATW at Epcot tour and I was invited to instead try a new tour that had just opened, I said why not! The tour started in the same place as the past one I had taken but you ride the bigger off road segway. (It has a much softer ride). The tour focused on how by designing things similar to the way nature does, you can have better results with less impact on the planet. The tour was all back-stage and took us to the Land, Sea and in the Air with back-stage entrance to ride Soarin, then we had a private walk through the green houses at the Land and then back-stage access to some of the Seas support areas. We even got to do a small hill climb and ride our segways on the helipad once used by Ronald Regan. Lots of things I had never seen before! This tour was longer than the other but we stepped on and off the segways a lot so I wasn't as tired at the end. It was fun and very educational.
Do this. I'll be doing it again. I needed the hour of training just to get over the nerves. But I was ready to go once we were trained. It becomes second nature when you are outside. Our tour lasted 1:15 and everyone did the 'challenges'. There was nothing difficult, but it was all fun. The two guides were GREAT as was the trivia. And as someone else said, you become part of the attraction when you return through the crowds.
I have to say this has got to be the best tour I've taken anywhere! I went in January, and granted it was absolutely FREEZING (odd for Florida) but I had the time of my life. We had a really good group of folks so the "training" period only took 45 minutes or so. Then it was off to the World Showcase (with a pit stop at Innoventions West). You learn so many interesting facts about the property while you are making your way around -- and you get to do some obstacle course "gliding" while you are at it! Because we made it through orientation so fast, we were able to spend a bit more time riding through the different areas and learning all sorts of things. This is a must for any Disney freak!
I forgot. You get a discount if you're a AAA member. Many of the tours give a AAA discount, but you have to ask.
I did this tour twice. After an hours worth of instruction we set out into World Showcase. You learn interesting back stories as you zip in and around the pavillions. The best was in front of Italy where they give you some free time to go as you please. The pin you get at the end is very unique.
If you have the chance, do it.
Before I begin my review, I think some background would be helpful. I've been to WDW 10+ times, and on one of my past trips, I thought I'd shake things up by taking a private tour. I didn't want to take a tour alone, which limited my choices. (Most of my family members prefer to keep WDW's inner workings a secret. Too much knowledge would ruin the magic for them, and that eliminated the Utilidor tour, which I really wanted to take.) I did some research, and everyone had great things to say about this tour. Price is definitely a factor in deciding whether or not to take it. When I took it (in 2004), it was $75 a person. I didn't know where else I'd ever be able to ride a Segway, so I decided to go for it. As others have noted, there are discounts available to Passholders. Disney's Visa cardholders qualify for discounts on some tours, but I'm not sure if this is one of them or not.
I talked my dad into taking this tour with me. At the time, we were 48 and 23. We opted for the earlier class so that there would be fewer obstacles (IE, human beings!) out and about during the World Showcase portion of the tour. As you probably know, this version of the Segway tour is two hours long - one hour for instruction, and one for the World Showcase tour.
Two of the ten people in our class were repeat visitors, which says a lot. We had two main instructors, although a third joined us for part of the session. The class began with a PowerPoint presentation. Then came the practical portion. Everyone has to wear a helmet. You learn how to operate the Segway, its different modes, and how to get on and off it. You'll learn to go forward and backward, how to turn, go uphill and downhill, and duck. Some people think that an hour is too long for this training session. It certainly seems long, because you're really itching to get out and go, but I think you benefit from all of the different "practice runs" they put you through.
As a general note, we only had one person in our class have any real trouble, and it was very minor. As we were weaving in and out of cones, a lady in her 50s (?) ran into the wall because she overcompensated on a turn. She was completely fine - more embarrassed than anything, I think.
General notes on Segways - they're very smart. (For instance, they tell you when you're going too fast.) They're also very sensitive. I never realized how many tiny movements I make until I tried to stand still on a Segway. I twitched constantly for the first hour and a half of the class. (I was quite proud once I actually managed to be still.)
The World Showcase part of the tour is informative and fun, although it may be more informative than fun to some. You go on little guided tours through various pavilions. Your teachers share information about the pavilion or the relevant country as you go. The courses through the pavilions are designed to make you use all the skills you practiced in the "classroom" portion. You will go up and downhill. You may need to duck under tree branches. However, if you're uneasy about tackling a certain course, you won't have to. You can stay with an instructor.
You do get a small amount of "free time" to play. You don't have a huge area to work with, but it was still fun.
You may get a cheap thrill when, at the end of your World Showcase tour, you pass lots of fellow guests while heading back to your classroom. I had several people ask me what I was riding and how they could rent one. (Note - my teachers gave the class a general idea as to how Disney wants you to respond to those questions.)
Overall, we both really enjoyed this tour. It was fun, challenging, unique, and educational. I would do it again.
We love this tour.
You basically are trained how to use the Segways for an hour inside a room in FW. Then you head out into the park for an hour.
Like others have said, they should cut down the training to 30 min, and increase the play time to 1 1/2 hours or even more.
You get a little bit of Disney information while out in the park, but most of the time is spent zooming around the world showcase, and most of it is still closed because it's before 11:00 AM. So you get to see what happens before the park opens.
I to would recommend the first tour. The second tour sometimes doesn't get all the way around before WS opens, thus yu get shorted a little ridding time.
This tour, for us, is worth every penny. We've done it twice now, and will do it again on our next trip. It is also one of the few tours that you can get a discount with using a Disney Visa card.
I just would like to see an advanced Segway tour for those who already know how to ride them. I'd love to have more time zooming around in the happiest place on earth.
A really fun and different experience. Possibly spends a bit too much time in the practice/preparation, but you do get about an hour out and about. Transportation on these machines is a very different type of experience.
Suggest doing the earlier tour rather than the later as it is often less crowded and you get some more interesting views of world showcase "waking up"
Remember your AP discount.
Age is 16+ which probably could be relaxed for this. Most kids can handle these better than the adults.