View Full Version : First time for daughter with mild disability

01-12-2005, 07:48 AM
I am taking my daughter for our first trip to Disneyland over our Spring Break, March 12-18th. She has hemiplegic cerebral palsy due to a stroke before she was born. I am wondering about the number of days we need to really see and do it all. My daughter is 10 and walks slowly and her leg tires easily, so it takes us a bit longer to do and see things. We will also go back to our hotel (Carousel Inn) at some point during the day for a 2 hour or so break. I am aware of the Special Assistance Pass, but am not counting on not having to stand in lines due to the vagueness of their new policies.

Our plan right now is to get 5 day hopper tickets and go over to the park on Saturday night when we arrive to see either the Electric Parade or Fanstasmic and do a bit of exploring. Then, plan to spend all of Sunday, Monday, Thursday there. We are also going to go over on Friday morning to ride the rides that are scheduled to begin again that day, especially Splash Mountain. We don't fly out until late afternoon.

Annie would like to take a day to go to Knotts and another day to go to the aquarium and the beach, but I am wondering if 3 full days will be long enough for us at Disneyland. I am wondering if I need to get 6 day hopper tickets and skip the aquarium and beach.

Any feedback you may have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

01-12-2005, 07:59 AM
Oh, how fun for your daughter. I am by no means a Disney expert, but I have done the park quite a few times. I believe that since you are going over a spring break period, it will be crowded. A five day pass should be ample time to do the park in any situation. Just be prepared for long lines, although perhaps you won't have to wait in any with your special assistance pass. If that is the case, then by all means, you should have no problem doing it all, with repeat performances on your favorites. Have a wonderful, magical time!!

01-12-2005, 08:08 AM
I strongly recommend considering renting a wheelchair if she doesn't have her own. The park is exhausting for the best of us and for a child with mobility issues it can be even more so. They do not issue GAC (the new version of Special Assistance Pass) for endurance issues which is what the CM's would consider your daughters situation, and even with a GAC waiting is part of the equation. The pass doesn't give you front of the line, no waiting access, it merely gives you a couple options to make the visit "equal" such as no stairs will let you use an alternative way to get to the attraction if there is one available (the elevator in Indiana Jones comes to mind, the exit at Splash Mt. due to stairs, but you still have to wait for other GAC guests who happen to arrive before you do)

I would call Disney guest services and ask them to mail you a Guide to the park for guests with disabilities, it's very informative on the different issues at each attraction for both parks.

As for your time frame, 3 days during spring break, if you really want to see/do it all, isnt' enough time .....it's going to be crowded and even if you have a GAC it won't 'save' you time.

On a different note, Knotts Berry Farm also has a version of a Special Assistance Program but they require documentation, so I'd call their guest services to see what they will accept.

Enjoy your trip!

01-12-2005, 08:58 AM
I just went to the Aquarium of the Pacific for the first time. I saw the whole thing in about 3 hours and that was at a very leisurely pace. I think you could see the beach and aquarium in half a day and go back to DL for the other half of the day.

01-20-2005, 10:02 AM
IF your daughter does not want to use a wheelchair which I could understand because I am stuborn with that sort of thing I suggest you ask for a GAC with the stairs stamp on it and that will at least let you bypass the stairs. If your daughter gets tired very easy the wheelchair is the way to go because Disney is ALOT of walking. Not just the lines but the whole park. I was just at knotts and you will have no problem getting a pass their and you will need no documentation. In fact it is against the law for them to ask for it so if they do just remind them of that ;) I hope you have fun!

01-25-2005, 09:12 AM
Thanks to all of you for your feedback. It does help in the planning of our trip.

I have decided to go ahead and get a 7-day Park Hopper ticket that will allow us to go to the resort every day that we are there. The extra $50 cost over 5-day tickets will be worth the ability to go any time we want to go.

As far as the wheelchair concept, we are going to just see how it goes. I am not so concerned with the walking around the parks as I am the standing in lines. We have been to quite a few amusement parks around the country, some which are larger that DLR and Annie does okay with lots of breaks. It is the standing in line forever that is most concerning to me. She has never had to stand in line as we have always been able to go in the handicapped entrances. We will give it a shot and if it seems that getting a wheelchair to have a place for her to sit while waiting in lines works best, we'll do it.

Two more questions for you. This plan assumes there are lots of benches and other areas around the resort to sit down and take a break. Is this accurate? Also, if we decided in the middle of a day that we wanted to rent a wheelchair, would they be available or is it best to rent a wheelchair at the beginning of the day?


01-25-2005, 09:23 AM
Truth be there really aren't as many benches/places to sit (other than food locations) as you might think. My daughter has her own chair now and it is a given that it goes with us from the start, but I do let her walk often both to stretch and because she can be stubborn (no idea WHERE she might have gotten that trait :rolleyes: :) If I were doing this I'd either look into a rental at home and bring it with me since the hardest part seems to be the end of the day walk back to the hotels, and the waiting. If she wants to walk you can toss your packages/coats whatevers in the chair while she's up, we do lots of breaks as well and even go back to the hotel mid day on multi day trips. If you decide to do the rental day by day, I'd recommend renting as soon as you get into the park, 1) it's on your way in and if you realize that you really need one and you're all the way in Fantasyland it's a bit of a walk back to the entrance to rent the chair. Other 'lands' are closer to a DLRR (the train) station and you could use it as transportation to get back to the Main Street Station if needed.

Feel free to ask any other questions you can think of :)

02-15-2005, 10:14 AM
I just wanted to add that you can bring your wheelchair in the lines that are wheelchair accessible. If the que of the attraction is not wheelchair accessible they will have you got through a special entrance. So she will be able to sit in her chair in the lines.

02-15-2005, 11:06 AM
I would get a wheelchair regardless of your daughter agrees to sit in it at the start of the day. I'm pretty sure once she starts getting tired, that the wheelchair will be a welcome option! :)