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feb 22

Federal judge says no to Segways at Disney World

According to the Orlando Sentinel, a federal judge has dismissed a potential class-action lawsuit against Walt Disney World that would have allowed disabled guests to use their own Segways at the theme parks. We first posted about the lawsuit back in November.

Disney's contention has been that the theme parks offer alternative methods of transportation for the disabled and that Segways are a danger to the safety of its visitors if they're not operated properly. Currently, only trained employees are allowed to use the device in the parks or guests on specialized tours when the parks are closed (pictured to the right).

It's important to note that U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell dismissed the case because the plaintiffs had shown no intention to actually visit the resort in the future—not necessarily because he agrees that Disney should not allow Segways.

Did he make the right call? It's tough to say. On my many trips, I've been banged around not just by wheelchairs and motorized scooters, but strollers and scampering children, too! During busy periods, navigating a theme park can be an arduous task at best. But from what I've read, Segways are faster and more difficult to control than the above items (expect maybe the children), which can make them a risky proposition.

So you tell us. Where does Disney's obligation to the safety of all of its guests end—and the rights of its disabled guests begin?

Image: Epcot guests take a spin on a Segway during morning hours before the area opens (Disney)

Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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