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View Full Version : Tips for those with access/ mobility issues



jennia
04-23-2005, 11:43 AM
We've been going to the parks now for about 10 years with different access/ mobility issues. Over the years I've gotten pretty good at figuring out how to handle the DLR with a wheelchair. Every now and then I still go into (or try to go into) a restaurant or store that I'm not familiar with and end up facing a challenge. I'm sure that the readers here have a bunch of accumulated knowledge that would help those new to the parks or new to wheelchair use.

When we park in Mickey and Friends we ask as we hit the entrance gate (pay gate) if we can park in Pinocchio. We find this is usually a shorter walk and unless it is a hot day where we want the shade of the parking structure the shorter walk is a BIGGER benefit for us. Pinocchio is the lot where the RVs park and it is right next to the tramway for the Mickey and Friends tram.

I'm not sure if all wheelchairs are the same or if this problem varies by wheelchair and/ or by the weight of the person in the wheelchair but we've found the tracks up and down Main Street to be quite a challenge. Through lots of trial and error we found it best to only cross the tracks perpendicular and to have the person in the chair using their hands to push the wheels in addition to the person pushing the chair. If we don't to that the chair sometimes gets caught and *launches* the rider forward.

If you have a person who cannot easily transfer out of the wheelchair, I recommend that you go to the Happiest Potties on Earth http://www.mouseplanet.com/potties/ for a list of the lesser used restrooms otherwise in my experience, it can take a very long time to get access to the handicapped stall in a regular restroom. Because I first have to wait through the line and then I have to wait until the handicapped stall opens up and I've had people run in front of me to beat me to the handicapped stall when it does open up. The busy restrooms are *tough* for those in a wheelchair- or at least I think so- so I avoid them or leave the wheelchair outside.

Disneyfun
05-09-2005, 05:04 PM
We've been going to the parks now for about 10 years with different access/ mobility issues. Over the years I've gotten pretty good at figuring out how to handle the DLR with a wheelchair. Every now and then I still go into (or try to go into) a restaurant or store that I'm not familiar with and end up facing a challenge. I'm sure that the readers here have a bunch of accumulated knowledge that would help those new to the parks or new to wheelchair use.

When we park in Mickey and Friends we ask as we hit the entrance gate (pay gate) if we can park in Pinocchio. We find this is usually a shorter walk and unless it is a hot day where we want the shade of the parking structure the shorter walk is a BIGGER benefit for us. Pinocchio is the lot where the RVs park and it is right next to the tramway for the Mickey and Friends tram.

I'm not sure if all wheelchairs are the same or if this problem varies by wheelchair and/ or by the weight of the person in the wheelchair but we've found the tracks up and down Main Street to be quite a challenge. Through lots of trial and error we found it best to only cross the tracks perpendicular and to have the person in the chair using their hands to push the wheels in addition to the person pushing the chair. If we don't to that the chair sometimes gets caught and *launches* the rider forward.

If you have a person who cannot easily transfer out of the wheelchair, I recommend that you go to the Happiest Potties on Earth http://www.mouseplanet.com/potties/ for a list of the lesser used restrooms otherwise in my experience, it can take a very long time to get access to the handicapped stall in a regular restroom. Because I first have to wait through the line and then I have to wait until the handicapped stall opens up and I've had people run in front of me to beat me to the handicapped stall when it does open up. The busy restrooms are *tough* for those in a wheelchair- or at least I think so- so I avoid them or leave the wheelchair outside.

Yes the tracks are very hard to manuver as well as the entrance and exit of the ice cream palor into what use to be Carnation now it is coffee! For some reason if you hit those exits just right you can also send the rider flying face first.
As for the bathrooms, Some bathrooms do not have any easy access for wheel chairs such as the princess bath room over by Alice in Wonder land.

There is handicap seating for parades half way to small world on the left, on main street by the corn dog cart, and at the end of main street on the corner across from the hat shop. As of this time there is no seating for the fireworks. Although I am working on it. (meaning I am sending suggestions)

jennia
06-24-2005, 07:13 AM
Pieces of Eight (the small shop at the exit of POTC) and the Pooh Corner store (at the back of Critter country) are small and hard to navigate in a wheelchair. They can be done but on a crowded day be prepared for some difficult navigation when the narrow aisles are crowded in these 2 stores.

If you have a wheelchair and are riding the Disneyland Railroad here are a few things to note. The Main Street station doesn't have a ramp. You can board at this station with your wheelchair if you are able to get out of the chair, take it up 20-30 steps and then fold the chair for the train ride.

If you cannot transfer easily you probably will want to use the wheelchair car that is accessible from all stations except the Main Street station. You can't get on the train or off of the train from the wheel chair car at Main Street station. If you want to get off the train at Main street and you can transfer that can be done.

Another thing we've discovered is that the train cars that face forward have a place where the chair fits on the front of the car without being folded much. The cars that face in towards the park (I think they are called Observation cars) do not have anyplace to stow the chair. You will need to fold the chair fairly narrow to get it to fit on your row of seats. A chair with a solid bar footrest would probably have to be put in the speical wheelchair car or on the passenger car with forward facing seats.

KarenW2
06-24-2005, 11:18 PM
Something we learned on Media Day (5-4), when going over large curbs or areas in the pavement, if the wheelchair being used has smaller wheels in the front and larger wheels in the back, it is MUCH easier to turn the chair around and go backwards over the curb or whatever. This is especially important for getting from the Hub and going into Adventureland.

Also, not all "handicapped accessible" restrooms are created equal. There are 2 great bathrooms that I would recommend for using with a wheelchair. The restroom in the First Aid station, off the Hub and the handicapped bathroom in the entry area of the Aladdin Storytelling show. The First Aid station has a large bathroom area, at the end of the building, that you can easily wheel yourself into and out of. The Aladdin bathroom is one large handicapped restroom in one room. Easy to get into and out of (but you have to watch out for those walking into the show area when you're coming out!).

The bathroom that is in the area between Adventureland and Frontierland says it's handicapped accessible, but be warned, it really isn't! There are 2 larger stalls, all the way at the end of the bathroom, but the one I was in could not accomodate myself and my chair! The first time I used it, I had a girlfriend with me, who watched my chair outside, while I did what needed to be done. The next time I was with my hubby, so we asked a kind CM at the Aladdin show area if we could use the handicapped restroom and explained why. I haven't tried using any of the other bathrooms so far.

We have found that renting a chair locally, before going to the parks, is MUCH cheaper than renting one at DL! Here, it's $5 a day, where as, at DL. it's $25 a day!! Plus, if you rent locally, you have the added benefit of not having to find someway to get inside the park to get to the chair on the way in, and then all the way out to the car, after a long, hard day in the parks!

It amazes me that they haven't devised some way to have a ramp to the Main Street train station! I can't do stairs, so there's no way we could get on or off there! I hope someday they'll come up with one!

jennia
06-25-2005, 06:17 AM
It amazes me that they haven't devised some way to have a ramp to the Main Street train station! I can't do stairs, so there's no way we could get on or off there! I hope someday they'll come up with one!

We've started using the train as a clever way to get out of the park and avoid crowds on our way out. On a day when we get there when the park opens we are usually leaving as people are congregating for Fantasmic or the Parade or Fireworks. Being able to hop on the train and then bypass the crowds is *so* nice. I'm not sure how they'd provide access at the Main Street station but it would be nice for all those people who can't transfer and take stairs (probably the majority of people in wheelchairs) to have this short cut out of the park.