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  1. #1

    Disneyland with a blind child

    We are taking a blind child to Disneyland for his birthday next week. He will be 12 years old. Although he is not old enough yet to have a working guide dog, he will be accompanied by my puppy-in-training, who he is familiar with.

    Of course, the day will center on the activities that he wishes to experience, but I wanted to get some suggestions of unique sounds and smells that are in the parks.

    A couple that come immediately to mind are all of the crazy sound effects in Toon Town and the gingerbread smell in the banquet scene at Haunted Mansion Holiday.

    I look forward to hearing from others! Thanks.


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    Are you only going to Disneyland? I think DCA hass great sensory experiences in terms of sights and smells... Soarin' over California.


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    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    Another scent ride...Mike and Sully...there is the ginger smell and the lemon smell in the door room.

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    You know all about GAC and taking a dog to the parks so that is covered.

    See if you can get him a tender ride on the trains if they are running.

    Sit up with the pilot in the monorail as boys tend to like to talk with pilots and captains.

    Tom Sawyer Island is fun for any boy.

    Celebration has fall and Halloween theming. The CMs will help you out and there are Maggie the cow and lots of goats to meet.

    The tram drivers will usually spend some time talking to someone interested in how the cabs work. They spent time going into detail about how the engine is fueled and other stuff.

    Street car drivers will allow him to pet the horses. Sit up front with the omnibus driver.

    Toontown has lots of things to touch and play around with like the bars of the jail and boxes that make noise. The water fountain used to make noises. Mickey and Minnie's houses may be a bit young for him but he can tough things there.

    Some of the Tomorrowland plants are arromatic. Do not forget all the musical sounds.

    DCA is like awesome and there are lots of great things like Redwood Creek, Soarin' and the bountiful harvest area.


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    My favorite smell is the area in New Orleans Square. The water, the trees, etc. It just has a wonderful smell to me.

    Over in DCA, do they still have the water shooting up from the ground thing in Bugs Land? Depending on the weather, that might be fun for him to experience.

    The water/ball thing in Tomorrowland is cool. Great touch and feel aspect for him.

    Jen

  7. #6

    We will likely do only DL...

    Another thought struck me...touching the bronze character statues all around the hub by the Walt & Mickey statue.

    Any other suggestions:

    sounds?
    smells?
    touch?


  8. #7
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    In bugs land, the chew chew train has several smell areas ...and you get dripped on when you go thru the watermelon rind.

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    They do have an ipod audio tour of the park available for $100 (at city hall or at DCA guest relations).
    There is also a braille guidebook available (refundable $20 deposit).

    Absolutely pay a visit to the candy palace on main street .. great smells there!
    Innoventions also is a big touch area... instruments and music, too.

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    I dont know if this will be a stretch or not but, POTC. It is pretty loud and if he has ever heard the movies he might be able to associate with the ride. Its a shot.

    Big Thunder, Matterhorn and Screamin' for the velocity.

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    Just so that no one has any mis-information but I'm assuming you already know this: Being blind does not qualify any person for a GAC. So if anyone suggests that to you, it is utter nonsense.

    Adrienne

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    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    Just so that no one has any mis-information but I'm assuming you already know this: Being blind does not qualify any person for a GAC. So if anyone suggests that to you, it is utter nonsense.

    Adrienne
    But, using the Guide puppy, he will have to use the HA lines (cane will also direct him to the HA lines.)
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  13. #12
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    Very true Mal, but he doesn't need to go to City Hall for a GAC, he just needs to follow the rules for his puppy. "just" being blind is not a qualifier for a G.A.C. . We don't want someone reading this and saying oh wow we can go get a G.A.C. for a guest that is visually impaired but doesn't use a guide dog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    But, using the Guide puppy, he will have to use the HA lines (cane will also direct him to the HA lines.)
    Yes, but that's not the same as having or being eligible for a GAC.

    I wouldn't want to see anyone going to City Hall and expecting a GAC and being surprised when they didn't get one. I know that there have been instances (and this is not at alllllllll about the OP,) where people have gone to Disney parks expecting something because they read it on MousePlanet - or misinterpreted something they read on MP - and then used the MP name as a defense (or offense) to try to get Disney to do something.

    That's not good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MammaSilva View Post
    Very true Mal, but he doesn't need to go to City Hall for a GAC, he just needs to follow the rules for his puppy.
    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    Yes, but that's not the same as having or being eligible for a GAC.
    I completely understand and agree. A GAC does NOT apply. Yes, too many people do get that idea here. I understand what you are saying.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  16. #15

    My original post was not to gain advantage because we are with a blind child. It was to collect a list of "enhancements" for a boy who does not have the ability to see.

    He will have a list of attractions that are a "must experience" for him. Some he will do with the dog. But it's the little add-ons that I'm looking for.

    For example, someone suggested the possibility of petting the horse on the trolley. The tactile sense in order to get some idea of the size and strength of the horse is an add-on. Then the trolley ride has more meaning, especially if he hears the horse's hooves on the pavement, etc.

    Disneyland is such a visual place. I'm looking for the little sounds, smells and things to touch that will add to the magic of his day.

    We are going next Wednesday, so I'm still very open to any suggestions that people may have.


  17. #16
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    Here's one that I haven't seen mentioned....go to Toontown to visit Mickey in his barn...when you get to the CM that 'loads' the rooms, ask to go last ...explain to the CM assisting Mickey that your young friend is blind and they will let him explore Mickey with his hands to get the sense of what Mickey looks like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matterhorn Yodeler View Post
    My original post was not to gain advantage because we are with a blind child. It was to collect a list of "enhancements" for a boy who does not have the ability to see.

    He will have a list of attractions that are a "must experience" for him. Some he will do with the dog. But it's the little add-ons that I'm looking for.

    For example, someone suggested the possibility of petting the horse on the trolley. The tactile sense in order to get some idea of the size and strength of the horse is an add-on. Then the trolley ride has more meaning, especially if he hears the horse's hooves on the pavement, etc.

    Disneyland is such a visual place. I'm looking for the little sounds, smells and things to touch that will add to the magic of his day.

    We are going next Wednesday, so I'm still very open to any suggestions that people may have.
    NOS has some great sounds in it. The back streets are filled with wonderful subtle sounds esp the Morse code of Walt's speech.

    POTC sounds wonderful and the musty smell adds to that, toon town is great for touch. Lots of handles knobs and things to push that correspond with a sound. My kids love that area.
    Main street is great for smells!

    HMH is great one for sound and smell. Splash would be a good one if he is told about a drop before it happens.

    Space M is good too! You can't see in the dark so it is all about the sound and the feeling of the ride!

    The King A carousel the horses are very detailed good for touching and the movement is wonderful.

    Meeting Tigger and Pooh might be nice they are all fuzzy and soft!

    The walk way behind big thunder Mt. has some great music and you can touch a lot of the fences and rocks to get an idea of "the West". Petting zoo might be good too.

    I like the feel of all the hand rails that are for the rides. It's amazing to me how smooth they are.

    they might let him feel the plants in the tomorrow land planters.
    My son loves Autopia for the bumpy cars the sound and the fumes. Smells like car he says.

    MS idea for Mickey is a great one.

    I know someone said the rock in TL , but that is a must for our little ones. It's cool to touch and the water has sound and the rock moves!

    Is a ride in the canoes possible? He might not paddle but the ride would have a great sensation to it.

    TSI is very touchable! lots of sounds and you can touch everything there. Plus a whole area of pirate treasure to feel! I think a boy would love to feel the coins all stacked up in a big pile! Plus the caves too.

    I'll have to think some more on this too.

    Hope you have a great trip!

  19. #18
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    Ok. Not to start some issue, but I would argue that someone who was going solo in the park who was blind could/should get a GAC. This likely wouldn't apply to a child, but a teenager maybe. Some of the queue's could be potentially difficult to maneuver. Now, I'm a sighted person and I have zero experience w/guide dogs and all of that so maybe it's way easier than I am thinking, but I am thinking that particularly stairs in Autopia and a few other rides in DL (not CA ad) might come up suddenly and be a safety issue, where the HA are generally stair free/have larger turn radius few objects in the way.

    I know some get itchy about the GACs, but I for one, have zero problem with a sight impaired person being allowed to use alternate entraces for those rides where navigating the queue's could increase the likelihood of them falling.

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  20. #19
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    Teddi, if you read the guidebook you'd realize that a visually impaired person would be directed to the HCA entrances without the process of a Guest Assistance Card. If they are using a cane or a dog. I don't know that a blind person would attempt to navigate a strange place without at least one or the other.

    It's not that we feel the guest with visual impairment doesn't need, deserve or shouldn't have access, it's more that the program of Guest Assistance Cards is a step they don't need to bother with. If they have a guide dog the CM's will automatically direct them to the HCA area, if they are using a cane the CM's will direct them to the most accessible area for them. G.A.C.s are more for those 'invisible' disabilities.

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    they just promised it would most likely be worth it~ remember, Sometimes Miracles Hide

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Teddi View Post
    Some of the queue's could be potentially difficult to maneuver. Now, I'm a sighted person and I have zero experience w/guide dogs and all of that so maybe it's way easier than I am thinking, but I am thinking that particularly stairs in Autopia and a few other rides in DL (not CA ad) might come up suddenly and be a safety issue, where the HA are generally stair free/have larger turn radius few objects in the way.
    Here is something interesting...I sometimes request to go through the standby line with the guide dog puppy for the very reasons you mention above!

    I want him to have the experience of close quarters, short slow moves, and the potential of little sticky hands touching and distracting him. I want him to face unexpected obstacles like stairs or ramps, turnstiles, "blind" turns, etc.

    But this is why DL is such a great training place. It has all of these "real life" experiences in microcosm. Things such as waiting in line in public, boarding and remaining calm in transportation vehicles, tasty treats on the ground, lots of visual distractions, lots of noise distractions, lots of people.

    It certainly is fun for me, very social. Friendly people always asking questions, truly interested in learning a bit about guide dogs. But (not unlike young kids) the dog is the first priority. I'm constantly watching what might be distracting him or what things he's hesitant about. Some distractions you may work with him on, such as leaving a tasty morsel of popcorn on the ground, by going back and forth. Others you try to avoid, such as going over an open grate or on an escalator, where he could get spooked and injured. Also sounds and movements. Does the dog get agitated by the loud booms of fireworks? Does he remain calm on the ground when there are sudden moves in the dark rides? I always have to keep in mind the dog's needs first.

    Anyway, this is really off-topic in the sense that I'm gathering sound, smell, touch experiences for a blind child. Thanks to the many great suggestions that have been posted. I'm sure we will incorporate many of these into our experience.

    Thanks!

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    Don't forget that there is a tea cup, Mr. Toad's car, and Dumbo for him to sit in and to explore. They are ride vehicles located out near the rides for people to set in and take pictures.

    Last edited by mechurchlady; 10-08-2009 at 08:13 PM.

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    I forgot about Snow Whites Grotto. Be sure to go over there. The smells and sounds would be wonderful.

    And the shooting gallery in Frontier Land. Again, the sounds would be great (and this will maybe help the little pooch as well, popping sounds to see if it scares him or makes him nervous).

    And totally take the child on Mark Twain. I would think that would be great for his senses.

    Maybe rest a bit in New Orleans Square and listen to the Jazz music.

    Jen

  24. #23
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    New Orleans Square rose garden, if the Disneyland Rose is in bloom. (Haven't looked lately)

    All of the plants in the planters in Tomorrowland are edible, so you'll have some fragrant herbs and plants to smell and touch. (Don't eat - who knows how well fertilized they may be by the local cats)

    There is a LOT of ambient music and dialogue if you know where to go. The back street of New Orleans has a dialogue loop in the area of the pay phones near the restrooms.

    The courtyard between the Marketplace and Disney Clothiers has two dialogue loops - a dentists office and a piano teacher.

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  25. #24

    Could not read this all because I am off to work now, but will read more later. If he is blind but can see a little, you can get a GAC pass at city hall. Want you to know this, the pass will not help with lines, because that is not your issue, the pass will help to get him up close to the stage area and with shows up front. BUT I WILL WARN you you will have to explain and be forceful if you get a card like this and want to use it. Because I always have to, the cast members want to sit you where w/c's are and will tell you that those are for the card you are holding. NO be forceful and state that the card says front row, so you should get front row seating at Alladin and other shows, parades and such. But realize this card is only good for shows and such, and does not help with lines, your cane will help with that. And it only helps if he can see, I love to see the colors and stuff which I can only see if in the front row, I do not see the shows as others do, but if in the back I see nothing, in the front I see colors that look like a colidascope and it is so pretty. I will write more about sensory later after work.


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  26. #25

    Okay back from work. I would argue anyone saying not to get the GAC card. What it also does for blind is give you front row on rides also, so there is no obstructions in your way that would make your ride less enjoyable.

    What most people do not understand is that blind individuals usually have some sight, so you are entitled to a GAC card that fits your need.

    And I am sure you do not want to take advantage but just want what would be more enjoyable. In the old days when disability got you front of the line, I missed a lot at DL, now I make sure I do not ever miss a thing and the pass helps with that, and I would tell you not to get a pass for front of line because you would be missing a lot that he would enjoy, so I never use the exits anymore.

    He will love INDY and RR, both of these lines have lots of tactile sensory. Even if he is to little for INDY ask if he can walk the line to feel the stone gravings, there use to be water that trinkles down which was neat to feel over the cuttings in the stones, the bamboo rails and the sounds it makes when you tap on them, the ropes, the well these are all great to explore. In RR the walls and the shapes engraved into the walkway. All of toon town is like that. I personally hate these rides, not the best when you are blind to be pushed and spun in many directions but the lines are the best.

    Stop and feel some of the trees, bushes and flowers, most of the time the CM's will let you, since they will see he is blind. Yes, ask to feel not only mickey and minnie but other charactors as well. Make sure if you go to any of the dining where they take pictures to include the dog, they will allow this.

    This may sound weird but let him experience with feeling the ground barefoot, or with his hands. I love the pad outside SM, where the kids run through water, it feels so cool on your feet. But the walk around DCA is neat also. The board walk at Ariel's Grotto feels neat barefoot, and over where the tug boat is and where the bear challange is. I always take my shoes off and walk these at least once a trip.

    I like to feel the plants in DCA near the chew chew train. Lots of plants there to touch and feel.

    I think many have made suggestions about the smells.

    But if he has any sight at all please ask for a GAC pass and don't feel you do not have a right to one. Many people on this sight feel strongly because it was abused in the past and I have heard over and over again that blind people do not need a GAC pass, yes you do and you are entitled to it. It does not give you any rights to line jumping, but once you are at the front of the line if you have the pass and the CM knows what it means, (which they are getting much better at, since last Feb most of the CM did know what the card meant, and they do not see it very often. But it will get you front row seats at Alladin, on rides like Indy, SM and Splash just to name a few, of course you can always say no and sit elsewhere if you want. Since I have some sight up to 5 feet and I have colors that I can see, seeing space mountain from the front is nice, otherwise I would not enjoy it as much, same with alladin and the parades, it may only look like a kalidoscope but why if that is all the enjoyment I can see should I miss it because someone who believes w/c are a necessity if you have a disability. Not to get down on those who try to help all disabled but I hear so often on this sight that blindness does not give you a pass and it does and it is great for those who have even a little tiny bit of sight, which 95% of all blind people have something.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip.


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