Renting a Sea Raycer at one of the Disney World Resorts has been on my to-do list for years, but the hardest thing about having so many things to do at the Disney World Resort is that there are just so many things to do! But a few weeks ago, I finally carved out some time courtesy of a Personalized Touring Plan to do a little cruising to see if it’s worth it. Here’s what I found out.
First of all, a Sea Raycer is a small, two person watercraft guests can rent at the Disney World Resort marinas. I personally chose the marina at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground because I wanted to cruise around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake to get a view of the Deluxe Resorts and the Magic Kingdom from the water. You can rent a Sea Raycer from the marina at the Yacht and Beach Club, but there isn’t as much to see, in my opinion.
The rental rates for a Sea Raycer are pretty reasonable at $32 per 30 minutes, $40 per 45 minutes, and $45 for 60 minutes. There’s also a 30% discount for passholders, which I gladly took advantage of! I also had to sign a waiver, show my driver’s license, and was warned that Sea Raycers are not known for speed. In fact, you’re looking at top speeds of around 20 mph. I was also informed that have two adults riding in a Sea Raycer, as opposed to driving solo or with a small child, will slow you down even more.
After getting my free life jacket, as it is a requirement for all drivers and passengers to wear a life jacket at all times, I was given a brief tutorial on how to operate a Sea Raycer by a friendly Cast Member, shown a map of Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon, was informed a few basic rules, and then was free to head out into open waters!
Now, Sea Raycers are small and you do sit close to the water, but surprisingly there’s quite a bit of leg room. I discovered pretty early that steering was a little difficult and that these boats are truly short on speed, but I was enjoying the freedom to zip at will through the Magic Kingdom waters.
One of the opportunities that a Sea Raycer affords, and that I was especially looking forward to, was getting to head over to the Magic Kingdom to see it from the water. I had also brought my camera along and was hoping to get a few pictures. (Although, for fellow photographers, I should note that you can catch some spray from the lake since you are so close to the water, so protect your cameras!)
For me, it was great seeing the Magic Kingdom from a different view point and all the activity at the gates; and even from my low vantage point, I could still see Cinderella Castle in the distance and the Main Street, U.S.A., Train Station. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get very close, as the water around the park is very busy with all of the boats picking up and dropping off guests. In the end, I personally preferred buzzing around the resorts instead.
Driving past the Contemporary, I got a great view of the Contemporary’s Bay Lake Tower and the Monorail sliding overhead. Also, across the lake at the Polynesian Resort, I got a close-up look at the construction of the new Disney Vacation Club rooms. They look awesome, by the way, and I’m already trying to figure out how I can get myself into one when they open!
I really should mention that there are a lot of boat patrols on Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon, and they are very particular about enforcing no wake zones and controlling traffic. If you rent a Sea Raycer or any other boats at Disney World, be sure to cooperate and remember that they are there to keep all guests safe.
Now of all the resorts on Disney property, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is probably my favorite. It’s stunning from the entrance, and it’s rustic cavernous lobby is breathtaking, but you don’t always get to see it from the water. It truly looks like you’re on a lake at a National Park instead of Central Florida when you see it from your Sea Raycer.
I also couldn’t resist zipping over to the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. It looks like a postcard regardless of where you’re at; but from my Sea Raycer, I got a great close-up look at the new Grand Floridian Villas!
At this point, I was getting close to my 30 minute limit, but I was in for another surprise. As I approached Fort Wilderness to dock, I got a great view of River Country, Disney’s original water park, which closed in 1994. If you remember this park from back in the day, definitely make a point to check it out from your Sea Raycer. A lot of it is still intact.
Now back to the original question: Is Renting a Sea Raycer Worth It? Based on my little voyage, I would say that it depends. I think it’s a good activity if you have school-age kids and are looking for something beyond the parks to do, or if you’re into photography and want a whole new way to capture the resorts and Magic Kingdom. I would most definitely recommend a Sea Raycer to families with pre-teens eligible to drive a Sea Raycer themselves. Sometimes finding activities for this particular age group can be difficult, and the independence and safety that a Sea Raycer offers are sure to create an experience both you and they will enjoy. Plus, it won’t break the bank!
However, for adults and those with older teens in tow, you may want to skip renting a Sea Raycer for another activity or upgrade to something with a little more size and speed!
A few more things I found out… You can only rent a Sea Raycer from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. You may also want to prepare to get wet. I only caught a little spray, but others who have rented a Sea Raycer have gotten nearly drenched from other boats. Also, I rented my Sea Raycer for the shortest time allotment, which was 30 minutes. I wasn’t sure if that would be long enough, but I saw every resort and the Magic Kingdom easily within that time frame. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, wear sunscreen! I got more sun in my thirty minutes driving a Sea Raycer than I did my entire vacation, and it’s very easy to burn when you’re on the water.
So what do you think? Have you ever rented a Sea Raycer at Disney World? What was your experience?