DisneyWorld in a wheel chair
My extended family has been planning our DisneyWorld trip for quite some time. My sister has had trouble with her feet in the past, but they were better for a while. The problem has now recurred and their is a big possibility that she will not be able to walk around the parks, but will need to be pushed in a wheelchair. My question is, do any of you have experience with a situation like this? I think she will still be able to stand up and move on and off the rides without too much trouble, but she cannot stand or walk for prolonged periods of time. If she is not interested in going to the specific wheel chair entrances for the rides, can most of the rides accommodate a wheel chair in the que lines? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
03-30-2012 08:57 AM
Hi. Zero experience but I know from
previous threads that you can save a lot of $'s from hiring off site rather than from the parks. There is a tab about tacking the parks with additional needs on allears.net that might be helpful.
If no-one out there understands, start your own revolution and cut out the middle man (Billy Bragg)
Three times experiences with this. Most, if not all, queues are accessible so all she would have to do is simply sit in the wheelchair during the queue and then transfer over. She won't get "special" treatment and I think that's what she wants. Just push her up to the queue and ask the Cast Member there what to do but I think most of the time you just go on like any other guest. Once inside, that Cast Member will direct you as to where to go.
I will warn you that some places might mean you will be at the back of the show or even all the way at the front. The all the way to the front sounds great but sometimes it's not.
I agree with renting from offsite so your sister will have the wheelchair available 24/7. It is cheaper and it's a great peace of mind.
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I would also consider renting an ECV vs a wheelchair. Someone has to push a wheelchair. If you're using the bus system, make sure you ask when you check in at the hotel the process for that. Generally, you approach the queue differently for the buses when accompanying a guest in wheelchair - (Including how many people can board with the guest in a wheelchair) and you just want to be fully aware of that from the start of the vacation.
For shows where there may not be too long of a wait, you might want to consider parking the ECV/wheelchair off to the side (there will probably be someone dealing with strollers you can ask) so you don't have to sit in the designated areas, if you don't want to. Be aware of the stairs, though, if that's a special concern for your sister.
The lines for almost all attractions at WDW are "mainstreamed". This means that the queue is set up to allow wheelchairs and/or ECVs to go through the line just as a person without a mobility problem. As it was built prior to the ADA, the Magic Kingdom is most likely to have non-mainstreamed lines. Some attractions, such as Splash Mountain and Haunted Mansion you will go part way through the regular queue and then be diverted. Other attractions, such as Big Thunder Mountain or SpaceShip Earth you will initially be directed to an accessible entrance.
All the theaters are set up with seats (usually in the back row) removed so a wheelchair or ECV can pull into a space and there will be regular seating on either side of the space for the others in the party.
Where there are quantity limits on space, or other limitation involving accessibility, you may have to wait longer to see a show or ride an attraction than people without disabilities.
The normal (and official) response of Guest Relations to people with mobility and/or stamina issues is to recommend rental of a wheelchair or ECV. The Guest Assistance Card (GAC) is intended for "invisible" disabilities not related to mobility or stamina. A wheelchair or ECV is sufficient to notify Cast Members of special assistance normally needed. However, if a person has other issues, such as auditory or visual, they would probably also need a GAC.
Note that a GAC is not intended to allow bypassing of lines, and it so states on the card itself. The only people who will get the special Front Of The Line GAC are where a terminal or medically fragile child is traveling on a trip from Make A Wish or similar foundation.
Disneyland Trips: 13 trips for 49 nights.
But I live less than 20 miles from Walt Disney World! And work there part-time.
For more information about Disabled Access to Disney World and nearby areas, check this out
. Or for tickets, check out my Everything About WDW Tickets
We have exact experience in this area. My son is unable to walk at this time (age 4) and uses a power chair for mobility. We traveled to WDW in January when he was 3.5 years old and found that everything posted by disnut8 and Cheshire Figment holds true. The newer parks have lines that can accommodate a wheelchair, while the Magic Kingdom and a few of the Epcot attractions are not as accessible. We did find though, that even at the Magic Kingdom, the new or refurbished rides can fit a wheelchair. For example, we waited with fellow guests for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh while just across Fantasyland we used a special entrance to board Peter Pan's flight. And sometimes, it's a hybrid; at Animal Kingdom we waited almost the entire time in the standard queue, before being pulled aside and directed to a special vehicle for wheelchair parties.
Although your sister is an adult, I will add that for children with mobility issues we not only obtained a Guest Access Card, but also a pass to use our stroller as a wheelchair. We had just received our son's power chair after months of haggling with the insurance and decided not to give the airlines the opportunity to destroy it. Instead, we stopped by Guest Relations at our first park, explained his condition and received a red tag to put on our stroller which allowed us to take it into the lines instead of leaving with the herd in stroller parking. You can also receive a number of maps and literature on the handicap accessible features at the parks from Guest Relations.