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View Full Version : Long lines, bad knee... What can I do?



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SANDYMARIE
03-27-2005, 08:05 PM
I can't stand for very long, without my knee killing me!
It's not bad enough for a wheelchair, but is painful......... :crying:
Any suggestions on what I can do?
Thanks,
Sandymarie

SCUBAbe
03-27-2005, 08:07 PM
take it slow and easy. My knee gives me problems sometimes. When it's at it's worst I wear a brace. Crutches have helped as well.

HorizonsA
03-27-2005, 08:16 PM
Get a wheelchair anyway. That way you won't have to be on your feet the whole day, because that will actually make it worse. Trust me, my mother had the same problem. Just rent a wheelchair, you get your money back if you return it, plus you can get on some attractions quicker.

smjoseph
03-27-2005, 08:18 PM
Use a cane. My Step-dad did while we were in Disneyland one year (he had recent Knee Surgery) We were ushered to the front of each and every line.

adriennek
03-27-2005, 09:08 PM
Just rent a wheelchair, you get your money back if you return it, plus you can get on some attractions quicker.

To clarify, you get your deposit back on the wheelchair but not your rental fee.


We were ushered to the front of each and every line.

To clarify, there is no longer any "front of the line" pass by virtue of using any assistance device including canes or wheelchairs. The only exceptions are alternate entrances for queues which are not wheelchair accessible. Those entrances are for wheelchairs only, not cane users.

Adirenne

sdfilmcritic
03-28-2005, 08:10 AM
Ditto on the wheelchair idea. I had rented a wheelchair while at Knott's for someone in my group who had a sore back and didn't know if she could walk around all day. That was for a very memorable and fun day for me.

teri
03-28-2005, 08:37 AM
Actually, I would recommend an ECV rather than a wheelchair. Unless you have people dedicated to pushing you, or very strong arms, you will wear yourself out if you try to push yourself around the park in a standard wheelchair.

I don't use a wheelchair or an ECV because my joints tend to stiffen up when I sit down, but I do use a cane when I am at the parks, and it does help.

marktips
03-28-2005, 08:41 AM
I don't know whuc resort you're going to (DLR or WDW) but if you go the ECV option, be sure to start in the easy to drive around park and then goto the more cramped one after you're figured steering out - you'll have a much more enjoyable time than if your first attempt at ECV's with crowds is on Mainstreet USA on either coast.

At WDW, Epcot is a good place to learn because of its wide paths and similiarly DCA at DLR is better than DL to learn.

SANDYMARIE
03-28-2005, 08:44 AM
Thanks everyone for your great suggestions.........
Someone has told me that they have gone to City Hall with a doctors note,
and received some sort of pass to go thru a seperate entrance, and not the regular lines............
Has anyone done this before?
Thanks~
Sandymarie :)

adriennek
03-28-2005, 08:56 AM
You can try it. In the past, they had a Special Assistance Pass (SAP.) They were actually quite easy to get. A little too easy. Many people abused the system (not suggesting you would, just explaining what happened.)

Now both coasts have a Guest Assistance Card (GAC). The restrictions on GAC's are much stronger. So if you need to use a wheelchair or an ECV, you won't qualify for a GAC automatically. With a knee condition, based on the experiences of other friends and Padders who've visited DLR, they will most likely tell you to rent a wheelchair and use the wheelchair accessible entrances rather than get a card.

If you plan ahead, you could rent a wheelchair or ECV from an outside source and be able to take it back to your hotel with you in the evenings. Also, depending on the timing of your visit, you won't need to worry about the park rental locations running out of wheelchairs or ECV's.

Adrienne

MammaSilva
03-28-2005, 09:03 AM
Unfortunately due to abuse, the endurance issuse that used to 'qualify' for the Special Assistance Pass won't qualify you for the new and 'improved' Guest Assistance Card. The pass you speak of allowed you to use the 'alternate entrance' to board rides. It never was intended to shorten the wait, just allow those with special needs adequate access to the loading areas. Many people felt that the pass was a "magic front of the line" ticket. It was never intended to be and the abuse by those who felt it was is the reason the system was revised. The GAC's are much more difficult to get and have managed to reduce the abuse by a significant amount. Many of the queues are wheelchair/ECV accessible at Disney ...with the noteable exception of Fantasyland, over at DCA I don't know of any queue that isn't HCA accessible or that doesn't have an easy accessible entrance for anyone using a wheelchair or ECV.

Pascomom
03-28-2005, 09:16 AM
To clarify, you get your deposit back on the wheelchair but not your rental fee.

To clarify, there is no longer any "front of the line" pass by virtue of using any assistance device including canes or wheelchairs. The only exceptions are alternate entrances for queues which are not wheelchair accessible. Those entrances are for wheelchairs only, not cane users.

Adirenne


My daughter just got her cast off. She has a bone in her foot growing incorrectly and causing pain. Doc had hoped putting her in a cast would keep the foot still long enough for the tendons to adjust to the bone which could avoid surgery (she is only 10 and still growing). Prognosis is that it is up to her to let us know if she has trouble with the foot again (Guess we are putting her to the test going to Disney). She was on crutches before the cast. Should we take crutches along just incase the 5 days at the parks start to wear on her? How realistic is it to get around on crutches there? Should I notify the hotel before we go? Any suggestions? Don't want anyone to think we are trying to abuse any system.

MammaSilva
03-28-2005, 09:44 AM
I think people who NEED to use a wheelchair should use the wheelchair, if your daughter starts having trouble with pain, then by all means rent her a chair ...they won't let a 10 year old use the ECV's .. you have to be 18 to rent those, but just be aware that renting the chair doesn't 'change' your experience at Disney other than making her more comfortable. You're not trying to abuse anything if there is a medical reason to rent a chair or use crutches or a cane....I hope no one here thinks we're tying to imply anyone using these things is automatically trying to abuse the system. There are just so many urban myths about Front of the Line passes thru abuse that both AdrienneK and I are trying to clarify that this doesn't exist and not to imply that someone who needs a wheelchair or a cane or crutches is automatically assumed to be trying to abuse anything.

adriennek
03-28-2005, 09:52 AM
There are just so many urban myths about Front of the Line passes thru abuse that both AdrienneK and I are trying to clarify that this doesn't exist and not to imply that someone who needs a wheelchair or a cane or crutches is automatically assumed to be trying to abuse anything.

exactly. Wheelchairs can be wonderful tools for people who need them. I've used a wheelchair in the past at the park when I needed it for medical reasons (in fact, a friend loaned me his for a short time because it was compact and lightweight.)


She was on crutches before the cast. Should we take crutches along just incase the 5 days at the parks start to wear on her? How realistic is it to get around on crutches there? Should I notify the hotel before we go? Any suggestions?

I would take her crutches just in case but I agree with Mammasilva- you might consider a wheelchair instead, depending on how strong her upper body is. I would think that that getting around DLR on crutches would be hard.

The only reason to let your hotel know is if they do not have an elevator but have multiple floors- you wouldn't want a second floor room that she needed to climb many stairs to access.

Adrienne

mkcbunny
03-28-2005, 10:48 AM
My daughter just got her cast off...

My mom has a severe arthritis problem in her hips/legs and we rented a wheelchair at both DL and DCA. I pushed, and although I was surprised to learn how "hilly" Disneyland is, it's do-able. Navigating can be tricky, but people are very helpful.

At DL, many of the older lines have to take wheelchairs in through the exit, which results in no wait. If you ever wondered why the Haunted Mansion ghosts are always stopping the ride, they have to stop the whole conveyor-belt system to bring someone in from the handicapped entrance. I'd always assumed that the ride just had a lot of problems and stopped occasionally, until we took my mom and they shut it all off for us to get on and then off again. I felt guilty, even though it was the only way we could make it in.

Newer rides and DCA are built to handicapped access codes, so wheelchairs can wait in line just like the rest of the guests.

We did get a SAP for DCA, as well, because my mom basically couldn't walk far when she got out of the chair. But we didn't seek it out. I went to the customer service window the afternoon before, when it was dead and the nice CM wasn't rushed, just to ask a few wheelchair-related questions about DCA. I described my mom's infirmity, and he just made the call to give us the SAP, and it really helped us a lot. We weren't looking to abuse the system and didn't ride anything more than once, but given how slow she was, it was helpful for us [and other guests' comfort as well] to get her in via the quick path. If she'd been able to stand in line, we'd have dropped the queuing pace down to 5% efficiency, for certain. I never would have thought to get an SAP, and didn't even know they existed until we got one. But if that's how easy it used to be [this was two summers ago], I can see how they'd tighten up the system.

That said, I think if you took a doctor's note and went to the customer service window off busy times and were nice, you might be able to get one for DCA. If your daughter had a broken foot, that is absolutely the worst body part to strain at DLR ... even standing puts pressure on it. As long as you have an adult willing to push, I highly recommend renting a wheelchair. Just don't plan to get anywhere quickly....

mkcbunny
03-28-2005, 10:51 AM
Now both coasts have a Guest Assistance Card (GAC). The restrictions on GAC's are much stronger. So if you need to use a wheelchair or an ECV, you won't qualify for a GAC automatically.

Missed this thread piece. I guess the SAP is gone. But I still recommend the wheelchair to avoid messing up that foot any further. Unless she can't walk on it at all, she probably wouldn't get a GAC.

Pascomom
03-28-2005, 03:41 PM
Missed this thread piece. I guess the SAP is gone. But I still recommend the wheelchair to avoid messing up that foot any further. Unless she can't walk on it at all, she probably wouldn't get a GAC.


We are hoping no problem at all will occur, but if it does it will most likely be at the park when we are walking all the time. My only worry is that, not only will she be in pain during our vacation but most likely when we get home we will have to report to doc and surgery will soon follow. :( Thanks for all the info.

SCUBAbe
03-28-2005, 09:19 PM
Thanks everyone for your great suggestions.........
Someone has told me that they have gone to City Hall with a doctors note,
and received some sort of pass to go thru a seperate entrance, and not the regular lines............
Has anyone done this before?
Thanks~
Sandymarie :)

my parents knew someone who did this every time her went to DL. His wife worked in a doctors office and the doctor would write him a note. He didn't qualify, but he didn't want to wait in lines. He's probably one of the reasons the restrictions are harder now. Another person I saw was going to the front of every line was wearing the same knee brace I had on, but he was walking a lot better, faster and not limping. (We saw him several times throughout the day. He had two small children with him.) IMO, those passes were abused frequently. When my knee was at it's worst I chose not to go to DL, because I knew it would be difficult and painful to walk around all day. We skipped DL that year. (that was before we had AP's and we would only go once a year or two. )

SANDYMARIE
03-29-2005, 07:25 AM
WOW, Did not know this was all going on in the Happiest Place on Earth.
Thanks everyone for the info...........
TTFN
Sandymarie :)

adriennek
03-29-2005, 11:41 AM
I've told this story before so y'all can skip it if you want to...

Someone I know broke her foot a few years ago. Her aunt got so excited and said, "Let's go to Disneyland and get you a wheelchair, we won't have to wait in lines!"

Now, several of my friends use wheelchairs on a regular basis and were very happy when the lines at DCA were built wheelchair accessible. As they have told me, they'd gladly trade their wheelchairs in for the "burden" of having to stand in line. I've watched them fight for ramps and other necessities in public buildings. Wheelchair access in line is a GOOD thing.

Well Aunt and nieces showed up at DCA, rented a wheelchair, and went to go ask for their SAP. (This was back in the day of SAPs even.) The CM told them: Oh, you don't need an SAP here, all the lines are wheelchair accessible!

Aunt (who, frankly, is not on my list of favorite people,) was not polite nor quiet. She was quite indignant about the issue. What bothers me the most is that the people who cheat the system only make it harder for people who really need to use the special access system. And the CMs who are defending the system on the front line get abused by these people.

(For the record: renting a wheelchair when you need it, not abusing the system. Being indignant that it doesn't entitle a otherwise healthy 13-year-old girl and her very healthy middle-aged aunt to go straight to the front of the line, abusing the system.)

Adrienne

justlittleoldme
03-29-2005, 12:32 PM
As a fellow knee sufferer- icey hot, icey hot patches are lovely, and a good knee brace. Maybe some advil or whatever your doc tells you to take. I would think you could also get ice at first aid if you needed it.

daveinMN
03-30-2005, 06:35 PM
I feel for the people who have children with "invisible disabilities" in this case. Those whose children are autistic, or challenged in another way, because the cheaters have put these people into a bad position having to fight for a GAC. As a wheelchair user, I sort of have an advantage because my disability is obvious, and since I bring my own powerchair people don't question my authenticity. For Disney to let a CM decide if my child needed the GAC would really put me out, but I also understand the position the park is in because of all the cheaters.

If that made no sense, I am on lots of pain killers. If that made sense, You may also be on lots of pain killers.

dave

karliebug
04-09-2005, 03:35 AM
we have a child on medication that makes her very sensitvie to the sun and also has endurance issues. I tried to get a pass for her so we could use an alternate entrance for those rides that have outdoor lines at WDW. I wasn't looking for front of the line priveliges, just a place to wait out of the sun or where she could sit. They wouldn't issue us one, the CM said all our rides are shaded and gave Peter Pan as an example. Well my daughter is 14 and wanted to do splash and thunder mountains but we couldn't wait all that time in the sun so we had to skip those.

jennia
04-10-2005, 05:24 PM
Another thought is to borrow or buy one of the canes that they have that folds out to a small chair or a walker with a seat if that would help you. You might want to visit a medical supply near you before your trip and see if you can get something to help you be more comfortable in the park without investing an arm and a leg!! We saw a guy with one of these canes in the park just recently. It seemed to be serving his needs quite well.

Also if the Icy- hot patches work for you, you might want to try the Salon Pas patches at Costco (if you have a membership.) The Salon Pas patches work in a similar fashion to the icy hot but they are a bit smaller and MUCH cheaper. I found them to be as effective for my neck problems as the more expensive patches of course YMMV.

We always make one pass around the park because of mobility issues. Dh and I neither could take the park if we tried to zig zag all over. We start either in Adventureland and circle around clockwise or start in Tomorrowland and circle around counter clockwise. DS knows that I'm happy to do ANYTHING he wants as we pass by the attraction but that I won't (can't) retrace my steps over and over. Since he knows this upfront he plans carefully and when he has friends that join us they seem to do OK with this plan as well.

Try to take advantage of the Fast Pass option whenever you can. Is there someone who will be with you who can dash to an area and grab the Fast Passes in advance?

If at all possible, get to the park with tickets in hand when the gates FIRST open. The lines are much shorter, crowds almost non-existant (so less jostling) and you'll be able to get a few of your rides out of the way before the lines get longer.

Try to plan a few shows during the day that you can attend when you get tired. That way you'll ahve something to do when you are tired and can rest in a nice air conditioned building. After a show, I'm usually refreshed and better equipped to face the walking again for a bit.

adriennek
04-10-2005, 06:55 PM
Another thought is to borrow or buy one of the canes that they have that folds out to a small chair or a walker with a seat if that would help you. You might want to visit a medical supply near you before your trip and see if you can get something to help you be more comfortable in the park without investing an arm and a leg!! We saw a guy with one of these canes in the park just recently. It seemed to be serving his needs quite well.

Just a forewarning: I've seen people in the parks with these, but they're technically not 'allowed' in the park. So you can try to bring one, but you may be told at the gate that you cannot bring it into the park.

It's like the wagon deal- every once in awhile, a CM lets someone in with one and the rest of us see it and either think: "Cool! We can use one, too!" or "Ok, so why did they tell me no last week?"

Adrienne