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Old 27 Oct 19, 01:25 AM  
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Scooter McDuck
Looking for my Ears
 
Join Date: Oct 19
Mobile Recently profoundly disabled

Hi guys,

Iím recently profoundly disabled after living 35+ years able bodied. Iíve lost the use of my legs and some of my arm strength. Anyway, we were due to go back to WDW this summer gone, but due to my illness we couldnít go. First time in 15 years weíve not been back. Itís our happy place and weíve missed it terribly, but itís nothing compared to being alive. But now Iíve been thinking about getting back there but am just so overwhelmed by the idea of travelling, getting about. In truth everything seems massive for me at the moment. I was used to flying in and out running about the place. This will be so different. I have young kids and a wife, and I want to still be able to go for them. But I am honestly scared as to how Iíll cope, how it will be for them. I desperately donít want to spoil the years of great memories we have from Disney. When I was diagnosed with cancer and during the gruelling treatment and surgery Disney was one of my major focuses for getting well to be back with my Family enjoying all that we had enjoyed. Now it will all be very different, I feel so spooked by the idea of such travel and the pressures on my family with my being in a chair etc.

I was always the driver. I was the pack leader so to speak. Everything was always 100 miles an hour with me. I lead it all.

Why am I writing this I donít know, maybe to see what you guys can offer if anything in terms of reassurance about travelling with disabilities, access and experiences. I have to adjust to whole a new life, but I would love to really believe we could get back there as something to look forward to again. We are DVC members and so I really hope I get to go back and use it.

Some of the things whizzing about my head:

Travel insurance and the crazy costs likely
Getting to the airport
Getting on and off the plane and through airport
Managing 9.5hrs pretty much stuck in the airplane seat
Accessing the cramped loos
Dealing with the heat and if that will be very different being unable to move from a wheelchair
Accessing attractions
Accessing restaurants
And so many other things.

But I thought I would just share my initial concerns on this board. In the hope there may some experience and support out there.


Thank you all very much indeed.
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Old 27 Oct 19, 03:26 AM  
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DonnaD
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My 14 year old daughter had lost the ability to walk a few months before our move to Florida. There are special narrow wheelchairs to get you on and off the plane and to the toilet so don't worry about that.

It is actually far easier to be a wheelchair user here than in the UK. We couldn't even make it down the high street there or get her chair in our front door! Everything is far more accessible especially shops and restaurants. Even the Magical Express coach had a wheelchair lift! I can't think of anywhere more suitable for a holiday for you so please don't worry. A large number of the attractions even allow you to stay in your wheelchair although Disney is better for this than Universal.

She has now had 3 summers here and managed fine with the heat. That is more of an issue for me pushing her! She now only uses a chair for places like Disney but feels very lucky to have somewhere so accessible close by.
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Old 27 Oct 19, 05:38 AM  
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Jesslydevie1
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Join Date: Jul 13
Hi , am sorry for everything you have been through but rest assured your wife and children will just be happy to be there and have their dad and husband with them no questions ! My 21yr daughter has always been a wheelchair user and we try to not let anything get in her way but there are somethings that she doesnít like trying ,for eg she is not a lover of water parks she canít access any of the rides so finds it quite boring . My daughter can transfer on some rides with both myself and husband helping her . There is a Facebook group ďspecial needs at Disney ď there maybe some tips better to help you with . It will just be a new way of doing things and new experiences people wonder why I love going so much because I donít like rollercoasters but itís much more than that isnít it . Good luck
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Old 28 Oct 19, 12:58 AM  
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Scooter McDuck
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Thank you so very much for the kind words of reassurance. I very much appreciate you taking the time to reply.
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Old 28 Oct 19, 01:42 AM  
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jonathan
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Really sorry to hear this. I think you should go for it, just don't be too hard on yourself as some things will be different. We come to Florida a lot and and everywhere seems very accessible.

Re insurance, can you find a broker who specialises in this?

I think managing heat is important whilst in the parks like you say, when our children were really little I would always plan so that we were inside then out then inside again. I'm sure being someone who has been to Disney a lot you could come up with an itinerary that allows you stay cool.

Good luck.

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Old 28 Oct 19, 09:03 AM  
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gismo1554
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I can't even imagine what you are going through but I understand these fears and I'm sure they are quite normal. My sister has mobility issues and uses a scooter in the US so some things I can comment on.
Originally Posted by Scooter McDuck View Post
Travel insurance and the crazy costs likely
So this really depends on what you are looking to cover. My sister uses CoverForYou insurance. Yes its more expensive to get your condition covered but there policy is reasonably priced so not too bad.

Getting to the airport
This will depend on who you are travelling with. It should be no different to getting anywhere really.

Getting on and off the plane and through airport
Special assistance at the airport I have found really good. They will arrange a wheelchair if needed and in Gatwick at least there is a dedicated security lane.

Managing 9.5hrs pretty much stuck in the airplane seat
Accessing the cramped loos
Can't really help with this. I guess you know your body and whether this is something you can cope with. My sister keeps her pain killers on track during flights as she has issues with pain.

Dealing with the heat and if that will be very different being unable to move from a wheelchair
I'd recommend a scooter in all honesty as I think the temperature and humidity make wheelchairs very uncomfortable. My sister hires one while over there and its a god send.

Accessing attractions
There is a disability guide map at every park which gives you details on the rides and what you need to do in terms of whether the wheel chair can go on, you have to transfer or its not accessible (which I think are only a few water rides at the water parks from what I remember). You don't need a DAS as your wheelchair will work as one so you would just go see a CM at the front and they will let you know the arrangements.

Accessing restaurants
All restaurants on property are wheelchair accessible.
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Old 29 Oct 19, 12:03 AM  
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jen10
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Contact special assistance at the airport, we fly regularly with our 2 disabled daughters, and are always very well looked after. We get met at the airport and supported through security, they collect us and take us to the transport vehicle which lifts us up to the plane door and get supported right to our pre booked seats, (which they reserve for free for you) Ive flown on the dreamliner and on Virgins planes , and if you afford the dearer flight Virgin have planes that have huge disabled toilets that easily fit two adults. Read up on the DAS which will help you manage your day once you have arrived. Go , enjoy yourself !
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Old 29 Oct 19, 07:32 AM  
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velbels
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I am so sorry to hear about your challenges. I don't have any personal help to share but I hope with planning you can return to your family's happy place. I recently came across a you tube channel called wheelsnotheels the lady on there is a wheelchair user and did several access videos for Disney rides. She has also recently done a flying solo as a wheelchair user. It might help to see how she manages.
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Old 31 Oct 19, 04:55 PM  
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ScooterBunny
Surfing at Typhoon Lagoon
 
Join Date: May 18
We're off for our 3rd visit in December.
Dh relies on using a mobility scooter (ecv), he has limited mobility in his legs and weak upperbody/arms.
We stay on site and he has coped with having wheelchair accessible rooms with a tub (hadn't been able to get a room with a roll in shower), and I've helped in so he can have a shower.
We couldn't book the room we wanted for the full length of our stay in December so we are having 7 nights wheelchair accessible with roll in shower and then 4 nights wheelchair accessible with tub (different resort).
If landing at MCO and want to use the Magic Express let them know in advance that you need the coach with the wheelchair lift.
DH used the buses on site and felt safe with them, drove up in his mobility scooter and was secured in. He was asked a few times to transfer to a normal seat by the driver but he simply explained he couldn't do it and they accepted that.
He has managed some of the rides in Disney, have a look at the rides that you would like to go on and see what the information is for accessibility. I think for all shows he was able tostay in the scooter, some rides he needed to transfer into a manual wheelchair and went on the ride in that, other rides he had a go at getting on, some were successful and others not.
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Old 31 Oct 19, 08:06 PM  
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wdw-wanderer
Excited about Disney
 
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Iíve been trying to remember which rides have an accessible vehicle so no transfer is needed - Kilimanjaro Safaris, Winnie the Pooh, Living with the Land, Toy Story Mania & Jungle Cruise come to mind.
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