Doing WDW with a disability?


#1

Hi folks,

We will be at WDW from the 3rd to the 9th of February. This will be the first time my wife and I have visited WDW since she has become disabled and will need a wheelchair (me as the locomotion – I could use the exercise and Suzanne does not want automation). We are having a wheel chair delivered to AKVillas to use during the stay (and picked up at the YC where we are ending our stay). Does anyone have recommendations/information about how to get a pass for handicap parking at the parks (we are renting a car)? Are there any other hints about getting around, things to do, or things to avoid?

We’d appreciate the help. We are also really excited about getting back to WDW. It’s been too long.

Dana – thanks for posting the dates – that looks like a full time job.

Thanks, Larry and Suzanne
Beverly, Massachusetts – where it was 2 Degrees (F) this morning


#2

Hey Lar,
TheWDW site has a nice .pdf you can download all about getting around the world w/a disability. That would be a huge help, I am sure. Have fun being the little engine!


#3

Hi Larry- your disabled parking pass from home is all you need for the parks at WDW- they don’t require anything additional to park there.


#4

Larry, I think you are going to find that you and Suzanne will be able to do anything and everything! When you call to make your ADRs, you may want to mention to the CM that you will be traveling with a wheelchair so they can let the restaurants know you’ll need an easily accessible table… it might save you a few minutes of wait time!


#5

Hi Larry!!

Two years ago we took a trip with friends whose father was in a wheelchair. There was nothing that we wanted to do that he couldn’t do too. While I admire you wanting the exersise, I will say that one of the 10 days we were there, we were unable to get a motorized scooter (too late in the day) and we all took turns pushing him around and it was tiring!! You don’t realize how many hills there are in the Magic Kingdom!!

We’ll be in WDW the same time as you!! If you see us stop by and say hi!


#6

There’s a Passporter that addresses all sorts of special needs, wheelchairs and beyond:

PassPorter’s Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line

Passporter is supposed to be a great book. This might be helpful.


#7

Thanks Boss Mouse, leslieh, MissDisney, Jen and Andrea for your posts re: Doing WDW with a disbaility. Appreciate the help.


#8

My sister has Rhematiod Arthritis and she ones tried to keep her medicines that must be refrigerated in a cooler, but now we have found out (thanks to MBers) that if you have meds that need to be refrigerated DW will provide a small refrigerator in your room at no cost.


#9

YO!!! CUBBY!!! COME POST ON THIS THREAD!!!

David


#10

You can find lots of information also on disboards.com forums for disabilities.


#11

pokes cub to remind him to post

Cubby has to use a motorized wheelchair there. (Technically, since my back goes out after walking too long, I do too, but he’s much more mobility-impaired than I am.)


#12

I use this book and it is wonderful!!! It should have all the info you need in it.

The good news is that WDW goes out of its way to accommodate special needs. There should be no problem getting around at all.

The only other thing I want to mention is to reiterate what has been said about scooters. They really are a godsend. The parks are larger than you think they are and pushing a chair around them gets very exhausting!!! You can rent a scooter from several places that will deliver them right to your resort and, if taking the bus, any driver will help you get them on. I’ve been doing this for several years now and have never had a problem. We’ve always used Walker Mobility and it’s great.

Hope this helps and have a great time!!!


#13

just to put my 2 cent into this My dh has RSD… sometimes he can walk and soemtimes he cant usually he uses a cane … however last trip he had a flare up and needed a scooter and wc for a few days. everyone in disney was wonderfull every cast meember the EMT we had to call one day when he had a weak spell . he was never made to feel uncomfortable. the only park we had a problem was in animal kingdom but that was due to the heat ie: weak spell. we did everyride we wanted to with no problems. any questions concerns or problems were dealt with with outmost respect and there was always a cast member with a smile.


#14

chastmastr, quakercub and faerie dust,

Thanks all for sharing the wisdom of your experience. So, along with sage advice, we’re hoping that this experience is going to be a good one.
Here’s what we’re thinking (be sure to let me know if I am wacked):

We’ve been to Disney a few times and we no longer do Disney commando style – you know, crack-of-dawn breakfast, which park is open early(?), the blisters, mole skin, and aches, oh yes the aches and pain, but the all-day smile, too. We’ve scaled down our attack on the parks to a leisurely pace.

Suzanne, because her disability is a brain problem (cerebellar degeneration) she has more of a problem with moderate to severe vision disturbance (Nystagmus), balance and spatial orientation (what’s up and what’s down) than stamina. Our thinking is that she can even push her own wheelchair for a good deal (up to 1/2) of the time, using it more as a walker, and give her the opportunity to walk as much as she wants to and can. If we had a motorized chair, someone would need to drive it all the time. At home, her disability has progressed to the point where getting around without assistance has become a much bigger mobility issue in the past six months to a year. She no longer drives a car. She has been somewhat resistant to any assistive devices (although she uses and needs a shopping cart in stores and grabs onto an arm a great deal in other situtations for such assistance), and doing just this with the chair is a big deal for her. At Disney, we are renting a car (SUV) and can see putting the lighter framed chair in it, but could only deal with the automated chair on the buses and monorail. We may well learn that having both types of chairs would be the best solution, or a motorized one the absolute best choice; but we think we’ll start with the regular wheel chair (rented from Wheeler Mobility by the way, thanks cub – the book will have to wait because we are practically on our way), and if we learn that this is not working, hopefully can get a motorized one. We have an appointment with her Neurologist tomorrow at Mass General in Boston, and perhaps I can get some input from him, too.

I hope this makes sense. One of the issues we are going to have is that this disability is so new, that we do not have a HandiCap sticker to get parking closer to the front of the parks. We’ll have to deal with this one, and consider taking the bus as an alternative.

We are in WDW on 2/3/2008 – less than two weeks. Yes! I am ready. Yes!(Please excuse the long post.)

Thanks again!


#15

god bless your wife and Im sure you will have an amazing time. disney is magic.