See Disney World from the Water: Sea Raycer Rentals

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If you’ve ever taken the monorail or ferry to the Magic Kingdom, chances are you’ve seen little blue and whites boats zipping around in the waters of Bay Lake. You may have thought, “Geeze, those folks look like they’re having fun.” Guess what, they are!

Those little boats are officially called Sea Raycers, but guests have other names for them as well: Mouse Boats, Water Mice, and Water Sprites. They’re a great way to relax on a non-park day, or during your afternoon break from touring. Plus, they offer a unique way to see parts of Walt Disney World from a entirely different perspective.

Sea Raycer rentals at Downtown Disney

Here’s everything you need to know:

Where can I rent a Sea Raycer?

Sea Raycers are available at the resorts that have marinas. These are: Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, Yacht & Beach Club, Boardwalk, Old Key West, Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter, and Coronado Springs. Sea Raycers are also available at Captain Jack’s Marina at Downtown Disney.

Are any of these locations better or worse than the others?

Depending on where you rent, there are three different waterways to explore. If you rent at the GF, Poly, Contemporary, WL, or FW, you’ll be riding around Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. This allows you to drive up almost to the gates of the Magic Kingdom. Cool! Magic Kingdom area rentals can also drive around the now abandoned River Country attraction. There’s not tons to see, but the nostalgia factor is meaningful for some.

Rentals from the Yacht & Beach and Boardwalk will be exploring Crescent Lake and the canal down to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Rentals from the other resorts will be exploring those resorts and the Downtown Disney area.

Personally, I find the Magic Kingdom area to be the most interesting.

Operating instructions

Can anyone rent these boats?

Yep. You don’t need to be staying at one of the hotels where the Sea Raycers are available. You don’t even need to be staying on Disney property.

What’s it going to cost me?

30 minutes = $32
45 minutes = $40
60 minutes = $45

Tax is additional.

Are there any discounts available?

There are sometimes boat rental discounts for WDW annual pass holders or DVC members. Whenever I sign on for a new activity, I run through the list of cards in my pocket with the cast member at the register (D23, AAA, DVC, Disney Visa, Annual Pass). I’ve often found hidden discounts this way.

How many people fit in the boat?

The boats have a two person, 320 pound maximum

There’s a maximum of two people allowed. There is also a weight limit of 320 pounds per boat. If you’re a larger person, you may not be able to ride with a companion.

Can two adults ride with a small child?

Nope. The two person maximum applies no matter what the age/size of the people.

I have more than one child. Any suggestions on how to make the Sea Raycers work for us?

I have three children in my family and all the kids wanted a Sea Raycer ride. Big dilemma. Our solution was to rent the boat for an hour. My husband took each child out for 20 minutes, while I stayed on shore playing in the sand with the other two. Just let the dock attendant that this is what you’d like to do.

Are there rules about who can drive the boat?

Sea Raycer drivers must be at least 12 years old AND at least five feet tall. Particularly petite guests may find it challenging to reach the pedal.

Guests ages 12-15 may drive the boat if they have a passenger at least 16 years old with a driver’s license. Guests 16 and up with a driver’s license may pilot a Sea Raycer on their own. Guests ages 12-17 must have a parent or guardian sign a release. All boat drivers age 16 and up must show a photo ID with their age listed.

Waterside view of the Wedding Pavilion

Any other rules?

All Sea Raycer passengers must wear life vests. These are available to borrow free of charge at the marinas.

Are the boats difficult to drive?

Not really. The cast members at the rental station will explain it all to you, and there are instructions on the dashboard. You do have to make sure that the driver is capable of following signage instructions and steering around buoys. If you’ve driven other motorized vehicles, you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

What happens if I have a problem?

There are patrol boats that make regular rounds through the WDW waterways. If you stall out or have other difficulties, stay put and the patrol will find you quickly.

Can I take my baby on a Sea Raycer with me?

Passengers must wear a life vest. The smallest vests available are toddler-sized. There’s no specific age minimum, but you do have to wait until a child can wear the proper safety equipment.

Life vests available in child and adult sizes. Must be worn at all times.

Are the Sea Raycers handicapped accessible?

All drivers and passengers are required to step in and out of the boat to an elevated dock. A fair amount of mobility is required to do this.

Do I need a reservation?

This depends on the time of year and time of day. If WDW is super busy AND it’s hot out, you may need a reservation, but it is often possible to walk up and rent without a reservation. If you’d like to make a reservation, call 407-WDW-PLAY.

Will I get wet?

Possibly. You’re not going to get soaked, but boats are quite low in the water. If you go fast, there’s a good chance you’ll get hit with some spray.

Can I rent a Sea Raycer to see the fireworks?

Sorry, no. Rental hours are usually 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. All rentals must be in before dark.

Can I bring a cold beer out on the water with me?

Sounds good, but unfortunately no. No food or beverage of any kind is allowed in the Sea Raycers.

Approaching the Magic Kingdom from the water

How does weather impact Sea Raycer rentals?

You’ll still be able to rent if there’s just a mist or light shower. If the rain is heavy or there is lightning in area, the Bay Patrol will wave you in. Your fee will be prorated if you have to come in early due to the weather.

For your own person comfort, if the weather is particularly hot you may actually want to wear a light t-shirt under your life vest to keep the plastic from sticking to your body. And you should always wear sunscreen out on the water. Those rays can be brutal.

How fast will I be going?

This depends a bit on the weight of the passengers and the choppiness of the water, but the maximum Sea Raycer speed is about 20 mph. There are many areas where the boats must be driven much slower than this, for example in the narrow canal between Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Guests who are used to speed boats may feel that the Sea Raycers are quite slow. The thrill is more in the water-level view of sights, rather than in the speed.

What do I do with my stuff while I’m out on the boat?

Most of the rental locations have lockers available to stow your gear while you’re out on the water.

Can I bring my camera on the boat?

Well, I did. But you should be aware that it may get wet from water spray. And make sure you keep it on a tether of some sort. If you drop it in the water, there’s no getting it back.

So, water mice, that’s the scoop. Have you rented these boats? Did you like it? Did your kids? Did you find that it was worth the money? Let us know in the comments below.

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Posted on April 11, 2012

16 Responses to “See Disney World from the Water: Sea Raycer Rentals”

  • My kids have always loved the boats in the Magic Kingdom area and when they could finally take their own boat they were thrilled. I particularly enjoyed the views of the hotels and Magic Kindom from a different perspective and I get to stop and take my time enjoying the ride.

  • Always a must do on my trips. I enjoy the boats, have beaten the ferry (exercising appropriate caution & following rules) and have explored all three waterways.

  • I’ve rented once from the Polynesian and my family found them fun. Question though: I’ve heard the ones in the smaller waterways have smaller engines. Can anyone validate that?

  • Just an FYI: Port Orleans French Quarter doesn’t have a marina, only Riverside. The french ship boats have a dock but no rentals or anything.

  • Coronado Springs’ marina has been closed for quite a while now. Although it still shows as having one on the wdw website unfortunately there are no more boat/bike rentals available at CSR.

  • I did the water sprite back in the fall of 07. BEST. IDEA. EVER.

    My buddy and I rented two boats on a particularly slow day from the contemporary resort. Tooled around bay lake and the seven seas. Even had one of the transport boats get mad and honk at me cause apparently I was “too close” It was wonderful and something I will do every time I go back; weather permitting of course.

  • There are no pedals on a sea racer….so there is no danger of “not reaching the pedals”….. Have you actually ever been in one?

  • Also, if memory serves me correctly you have to be 15 to drive . But this is only a memory and not confirmed.

  • Couple of clarifications – marinas open for rentals at 11, rather than 10. (This is the case during the slower times of year that I visit, so they may well open earlier during busier seasons.)

    Also, part of the renter’s agreement that you sign includes a “no photography” clause. So while you can probably take photos without getting in trouble, they don’t want you doing it.

    Someone also asked about how “peppy” the boats are. My experience going back to 1999 is that these go in phases. Back in the mid-2000s especially, the boats had become really sluggish. But since about 2009, they have gotten back to their old “lots-of-energy” selves.

    A tip for those who may want to try jumping a wake – you’ll get a smoother jump if the wake is moving in the same direction as you are, rather than coming toward you. The latter one can get quite bumpy.

  • This is a “must do” for me when I’m at the world. I prefer renting at riverside and taking a leisurely stole up the Sassagoula river, I enjoy driving in the river more then the wide open lake. In regard to the speed of the boats, I always track my trip using GPS. I have found all the boats to have a top speed of 17.5 MPH on calm water with no wind and a 180 lb. driver.

  • Hi, we just rented Sea Raycers last week at the Polynesian.
    Some things you wrote don’t quite jive with our experience.
    You wrote:

    “Sea Raycer drivers must be at least 12 years old AND at least five feet tall. Particularly petite guests may find it challenging to reach the pedal.”

    There is no pedal.
    In fact, leg room for taller guests (I’m only 6’0″) is a little cramped.
    You control the speed of the boat with a throttle located on your right-hand side.

    You wrote:
    “Guests ages 12-15 may drive the boat if they have a passenger at least 16 years old with a driver’s license. Guests 16 and up with a driver’s license may pilot a Sea Raycer on their own. Guests ages 12-17 must have a parent or guardian sign a release. All boat drivers age 16 and up must show a photo ID with their age listed.”

    Our 5’4″ 17-year old daughter who does NOT have a driver’s license had her own boat; she was alone in the boat.
    I did need to sign a release, but she drove the boat alone.
    I went in another boat with my other daughter (9 years old).

    It was an awesome experience, VERY highly recommended.
    The staff is very specific with instructions about where you may go & where you need to be at “no-wake” (slow) speed (through canals & narrow passages & near docks).

    There are plenty of boat patrols & be sure to stay FAR from the ferries.

    We enjoyed 7-Seas Lagoon & Bay Lake quite a bit.

    You should also mention that the driver is not allowed to take pictures unless the boat is stopped & in neutral. A passenger may take pictures.

    This was the 1st time we’d done it & it is now a must-do on all future trips. :-)

    EJ

  • Also, one of the “rules” is that smaller boats always must defer to larger boats. Since the Sea Raycer is always the smallest boat, it must defer to all other boats.

  • One of my great childhood memories is touring 7-Seas Lagoon from a 2 person boat with my Dad. It was my first trip to Disney World – I was in 7th grade. We stayed in Ft. Wilderness, in what I still believe is the best camp site. We are preparing for our 6th trip to Disney with our 5 children. We are planning to rent a Sea Raycer for the first time (will have the children take turns). I cannot wait to see if they enjoy as much as I did!