Disney Segway Lawsuit: Apparently you can’t use a Segway in Disneyland, and one woman isn’t too happy about the fact. Tina Baughman, who suffers from limb girdle muscular dystrophy, just wanted to celebrate her daughter’s eighth birthday at “The Happiest Place on Earth”. However, when her request to use a Segway was denied by park officials, she sued the company under the Americans with Disabilities Act in attempt to right what she felt was a wrong. If people are allowed to use wheelchairs and scooters, she argued, then Segways should also be permitted within the park. The company, however, didn’t feel the same way.
Although the courts originally sided with Disney’s decision to forbid the use of the personal transportation vehicle, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is requesting the company do some research into the matter before ruling out the Segways altogether. According to the panel, “technological advances didn’t end with the powered wheelchair”. Should Disney wish to continue pushing the matter, they’re going to have to show some data which supports their belief that the vehicles pose a risk to other visitors.
“As new devices become available, public accommodations must consider using or adapting them to help disabled guests have an experience more akin to that of non-disabled,” Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote. “We have every confidence that the organization that, half a century ago, brought us the Carousel of Progress and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln can lead the way in using new technology to make its parks more welcoming to disabled guests.”
According to The Disney Blog, Disney World settled a similar Segway lawsuit in 2008 by offering disabled visitors a four-wheeled alternative that would allow individuals to remain in a standing position. This vehicle (ESV) would allow them to move about the park in a manner was safe for all involved. However, the blog states