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Unread 30 Sep 09, 08:08 PM  
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Help! Advice for book our first ever trip to Disney

Where do we start? There's so much to consider, especially as our eldest son is in a wheelchair.

What month to go?
Weekend or weekday?
Which hotel?

We want a winter trip and were initially thinking of late Jan/early Feb because we like to have something to look forward to after the mayhem of Christmas but we were worried as our trip to Paris last February was cancelled last minute due to the snow and after reading some trip reports with temperatures of -15 it's put me right off the idea! So my latest thoughts are November/December which hopefully won't be quite as cold but will also mean we're there for the Christmas season.

Our next problem is what days to go. I work in a school and hubby has just started a new job so I was hoping to go Friday-Monday which would only involve 2 days off for all of us but having read some of the posts here, I'm wondering whether weekends will be too busy for us to cope with the wheelchair. I don't think queueing will be a problem as I think we'll be fastracked due to our son being handicapped and in a wheelchair but will we find manoeuvring in the crowds too difficult at weekends?

Our last problem is which hotel. We don't need a disabled room but would like to choose the hotel with the biggest family room as we have the chair and other equipment for our son. We also need a hotel where there are sufficient reliable lifts so we don't spend most of our holiday waiting to use them! I like the sound of Sequoia Lodge for the Christmas season but I like bright and modern rooms and I read some posts here saying that they're quite dark. I also like a bit of luxury so New York Hotel is probably my first choice but wondered if it was worth spending an extra 500 for the Disney Hotel. As they're both 4 star, what are you paying for? Is it just location?

I'd appreciate any snippets of information to help me make the best choice.


Edited at 11:08 PM.
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Unread 1 Oct 09, 07:04 AM  
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Peter H
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Weekends are much, much, busier.

New York is all on the flat and a bit nearer the parks, whereas Sequoia has a slope and winding roads, so maybe NY for the wheelchair?
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Unread 1 Oct 09, 04:33 PM  
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Thanks for the reply Peter, so it sounds like I'd best avoid Sequoia ... I guess we could always take a walk that way if I wanted to see it. Having never been to DLP, it's difficult to imagine how busy is busy! Do you think weekend crowds would be too much to handle with a wheelchair?

Anyone else with any tips?
Is Disney Hotel worth the extra 500?
Does anyone with buggies or wheelchairs have any nightmare or good stories to tell about certain hotels, regarding lifts, getting around, space in the room etc?
Do they still do quick passes for children unable to queue on the rides?
Has anyone been to DLP in November and had their holiday spoiled by unbearably freezing weather?
Do people with buggies avoid weekends because it's a nightmare getting through the crowds?

Sorry for all the questions but it's our first time and quite a lot of money for just a short break so I want to try and get it right!

Edited at 07:23 PM.
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Unread 1 Oct 09, 06:16 PM  
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i went last year with my friend and her daughter who is in a wheelchair. We went 27th November for 3 nights, 4 days, Thursday till Sunday. We stayed at the Hotel New York in a ground floor room which was big enough for the wheelchair to get in. The room was good and we got a kettle, tea etc. Recommended! The parks are an easy walk away, 10 mins max. The parks were definately much busier at the weekend, if we went again we would try to avoid the weekend but it was not unmanagable in any way. We were fast tracked through to most of the rides so queue wise it was ok. There are disabled spots for the parades and shows so that was fine too. I would say though that it was cold, especially for the person sat in the wheelchair, you need hat, gloves, blanket and I would suggest a hot water bottle to put on their lap. You could fill it with the kettle at the hotel. We had a really fantastic time, the Christmas themeing was lovely and the staff were brilliant, in the parks and at the hotel, we could not have faulted it at all. We flew there and the airport staff were great too. Hope this helps, you should go anyway even if it is a weekend it is great!
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Unread 1 Oct 09, 06:34 PM  
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Sequioa Lodge is lovely and i wouldnt hesitate to stay there again.

Weekends in my experiance are a nightmare, i have been at different times of year and the Saturdays have always been mega busy.. fortunatly its always our last day and we have done everything by then so its not too much of a worry if we dont get on many rides.

I have also been in November (about the 25th from memory) and it was bitterly cold.. but of course you cant predict the weather and its so nice to go at that time of year and see all the christmas decorations.

I have to say though whilst the bitter cold didnt spoil the trip it was hard work as our then daughter was a baby and even with layers of clothing and a cosy toes/blankets etc she still felt the cold.
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Edited at 06:37 PM.
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Unread 1 Oct 09, 08:41 PM  
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Melanie R
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We've just come back from a stay at Sequoia Lodge with my mum who is in a wheelchair - we found them very helpful and the hotel location was fine for the chair! Check our trip report for more detail - the Topps Gear Challenge!
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Unread 3 Oct 09, 06:06 PM  
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Thanks for the replies everyone, it's definitely helping to make up my mind:

- Great tip about the waterbottle sidsmum, I wouldn't have thought of that.

- Great trip report Melanie R, your hubby should be a professional writer. He mentioned having lots of Dos and Don'ts for Wheelchairs, would it be possible for him to PM me any extra tips?

After reading your replies and other threads, I'm pretty sure I'll be booking the Disney Hotel - mainly because it'll be so easy for us to nip back to the room if we've got a problem with our son.

After discussing it further with hubby, we've decided there's no way we can go midweek so we're going to have to brave the weekend - we've managed Port Aventura in mid August on a Friday so I'm sure a Disney weekend in mid-November can't be much worse. We were initially thinking Friday-Monday but now I'm wondering whether Saturday-Tuesday would be better on the basis that we won't be arriving until lunchtime on our first day so if we arrived on Friday, the park would be closing at 7pm as opposed to 10pm on Saturday. I'm also guessing that by swapping our Friday for the Tuesday, we're getting a much quieter day. Any thoughts anyone?
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Unread 3 Oct 09, 10:42 PM  
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Your plan sounds good, only thing I'll say- how are you travelling? Eurostrar are soon going to remove their direct trains on Tuesdays and Saturdays, so if you were plannigh to travel by Eurostar then you wouldn't be able to get the direct service either way, and changing might be difficult in a wjheelchair. Of course if you're flying or driving this won't matter at all!
Disney hotel is beatuiful and I'm sure you'll love it there, I know i did!
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