This past weekend, the Tribune reported that on Friday, November 20 two groups (one of which was from of the Disney Wonder) were tied up and robbed of all personal affects at gunpoint while on an excursion through Earth Village in the Bahamas. According to the report, one non-life-threatening injury occurred during the ordeal.
As a result, Disney has actively canceled all upcoming bookings for the excursion called ‘Segway Off Road Back to Nature’ and has removed all mentions of the excursion from the Disney Cruise Line site. Google still currently maintains a cached version of the excursion’s page here.
Passengers are always well advised to leave all valuables aboard the ship whenever in port.
Using the Segway x2 off-road personal transporter (PT), guests are now able to experience Future World pavilions and attractions in an all new way. Called the Nature-Inspired Design tour, guests tour through the Land and the Seas pavilions. The official description of the tour is as follows:
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®.
The 3-hour tour currently runs Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8:15 am and costs $124 per guest. As with most backstage / Segway tours, there is an age minimum of 16. Call 407-WDW-TOUR to book up to 90 days in advance.
In light of some concerns it has over the public perception of an ongoing lawsuit (as most recently reported on by the Orlando Sentinel here).
To summarize, a lawsuit was initially filed against Disney claiming that those who use the Segway for mobility purposes were being discriminated against when not allowed to take their Segway into the parks. Disney’s response is that a guest on a Segway can not be monitored and that it inherently poses a security risk to the safety of not only the guest using the device unsupervised, but the rest of the guests. In addition, the Segway units can travel faster than walking or, in particular, the ECVs that the park usually recommends, which essentially gives Segway riders a speed advantage. Segway’s response almost appears to speak out of both sides of the mouth since they obviously don’t want to offend Disney and hurt/jeopardize the longstanding relationship but they evidently take offense to the suggestion that the devices are in any way unsafe to anyone (when used properly), at least when taken out of context.
The full statement is as follows:
BEDFORD, N.H., June 3 — Segway feels that issues raised in a class action lawsuit against Walt Disney World Co. pending in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Mahala Ault et al. v. Walt Disney World Co.) may have caused some confusion about the safety of our Segway(R) Personal Transporter (“Segway PT”) product. The plaintiffs in this action allege that the policy of Walt Disney World Co. (“Disney”) not to permit two-wheeled vehicles violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). While Disney and the plaintiffs have reached a compromise in the lawsuit, some have objected to the settlement based on the premise that they prefer to use a Segway PT at the Walt Disney World Resort instead of the mobility devices permitted by Disney. Segway is not a party to this lawsuit and has not taken a position in this dispute. However, since the issue of safety has arisen in the context of the lawsuit, we are taking this opportunity to comment.