Would you be for or against bringing a wheelchair visitor to WDW?

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Brad's picture
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Would you be for or against bringing a wheelchair visitor to WDW?

If you had a relative who was using a wheelchair, would you advise them to go somewhere else or go for it? Disney's very accommodating for wheelchair guests but it's still a pretty big hassle. Would you recommend someplace with less walking? What do you think?

JustCar's picture
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I have seen enough entire families going on scooter and I mean every member of the family has a scooter that I don't think it would be a big deal.

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Mase's picture
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Id say go for it. But the scooter idea is pretty good to

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My dad was paralyzed and had to use an electric wheelchair. wheelchair Disney was the most accessible place we ever went.

Call ahead and ask disney to send you their disablitites guide, it gives room dimensions, what rides require transfer from chair to ride, etc.

As a family we were able to go to the front of the line while my dad waited for rides he couldn't transfer to. We weren't always bumped first, but did sort of a 'ride swap' thing. Sometimes they took him into the control room to watch the ride, being an electrical engineer seeing the controls was more fun for him than actually riding the ride.

Fantasia gardens mini-golf has roll in access to every whole, I have NEVER seen this anywhere else.

Buses are equipped to help, but if you find they are too full, request they send a new bus immediately. We were given access to a vip number to get a bus because we had a problem one time getting him onto a bus for over an hour as they all arrived already full.

You can get a guest assist card at parks visitor centers that allows you to wait in shaded areas, air conditioned areas, etc. so the wheelchair guest is comfortable while not riding and so the family can rest up from the added effort with the chair. I do fully say get a power wheelchair, don't push them around or make them push themselves around. This would make things much more exhausting.

CM's can't lift the person, etc but are so patient and know how to talk you thru problems to get the chair onto the rides that allow for a chair. They'll plug in your battery in restaurants if you bring an extension cord for people who can't walk at all. They don't want your battery losing power.

You can get wheelchair access to parades for the whole group. They are front rope area and the characters love to linger in those areas. The Queen of Hearts pretented to dance with my dad in the Main St Electrical Parade. Same thing for fireworks viewing.

I can answer any questions. We were there for 7 days. Stayed in BWV. WDW is by far the most accessible vacation spot we went with my dad in 12 years hands down.

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subvetss's picture
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For the last 30 or so trips to the 'World' it has been a way of life for Jan and me. Of course most of you know we never weent into the parks but at resorts and transportation being in a power chair or wheel chair was no problem and just being in WDW was worth any inconvenience.
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When we were planning to take my Mom, we knew walking would be too much for her, so we were planning to rent a scooter for her. I agree, having seen so many families and people there in wheelchairs and scooters, I think it would be one of the best places to go.

And I would bet Disney and the Disney Cast Members are probably the most respectful, aware and helpful than just about anywhere else you could go. And what Katrina and Joe say seems to back that up.

Trying to imagine taking Mom to New York City or Las Vegas in a wheelchair vs. Disney - my money goes to Disney.

Lizzy_B's picture
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While my grandmother didn't use a wheelchair normally, we rented one for her in the parks, and never had any problems. I think that WDW is probably one of the best and most accomadating places for anyone challenged with mobility issues. Even little things, like wide passageways and smooth walkways that most of us don't require, but can be a big hassle for someone who has a little more trouble getting around, are there. Go for it.

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WDW is a wonderful place for those with mobility issues. Not every ride is wheelchair accessible (i.e. Splash Mountain and Space Mountain) for obvious reasons, but I doubt you will find another vacation destination with as many accessible opportunities and accommodating/educated employees.

I would not recommend using non-motorized wheels though. The parks and resorts have lots of gentle hills that can be very tiring day after day. Also, not all door areas have push-button openers. Trying to keep a heavy door open while backing a wheelchair in or out is frustrating to say the least if there isn't a third person to assist. (I would love to invite someone at corporate to spend a week in a wheelchair on property so they realize how many barriers they overlooked when designing the magic.)

The key to successfully tripping with wheels is to plan well and not hesitate to ask for assistance. Upon entering a building, ask the first cast member you see where the elevator is instead of wandering around aimlessly. Make a note on your reservations that you have someone using wheels. The cast members at the entrance to each ride are able to inform you of the protocol for wheels on that ride (which entrance to use if different from the normal line, what seating options are available, where to wait if not able to go on the ride, etc.). Also, the World is full of veteran wheelers so don't hesitate to ask for their opinion or suggestions.

Kristen K.'s picture
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I would ABSOLUTELY say go for it!

Though I can't begin to understand the trials of traveling in a chair full time. My part time wheelchair experience at Disney has been pretty good overall. I read the "Disney on Wheels" blog from time to time and I can remember her husband doing a guest post that brought me to tears talking about to what great lengths Disney goes to making it friendly and easy for them to have a vacation.

DisneyDee27's picture
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I say go for it! My dad had a scooter for our grand gathering trip and had no issues or problems.

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nikkirugby13's picture
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This Novemeber we are bringing my boyfriend's parents with us on our trip. His father is in his 60's and has a hard time walking long distances (knee replacements, shoulder repalcements, heart surgery, etc.). He's not oppsoed to a wheel chair but I don't know if it's an absolute must. What are your thoughts? I'm assuming Disney charges for wheel chair rentals/scooter rentals, correct? Any advice is greatly appreciaeted. muchlove

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Scooter Rentals at the Disney Parks are $75 a day, $25 is refunded at the end of the night when you return the chair, so it's really $50. I think that number is right, that's just from memory, I didn't look it up. I think standard wheelchairs are $12.

Here's the thing about putting a person who doesn't usually need a chair or scooter into one at Disney. It messes with their head at first. No one wants to admit their own limitations, and climbing into that chair for the first time can be really, really hard. For me personally, an EVC (what Disney calls a scooter) is easier than a wheelchair that someone has to push. With an EVC your mobility is still up to you and you are not depending on (or being a burden on) another person. ECVs allow a certain amount of independence that he may not feel in a wheelchair.

If you're staying on property you may want to look into one of the local companies that rent scooters by the week. For them it comes to about $25 a day, and they'll deliver it to your hotel. That would give him the ability to have the scooter anywhere on property and not just in the parks. Disney's transportation system is scooter friendly. I think I follow "Orlando Scooter" on Twitter, google them and see what you come up with!

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Don't be put off a trip to WDW, I see so many guests there in wheelchairs and scooters and they look to be having just as good a time as the rest of us!

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I'd do it. I would never let a wheelchair stand in our way of having a good time. I don't even let my mom who hates space mountain stand in my way of having fun there. I think and electric scooter or chair would be better than a standard chair in the sense that it is less work for everyone but neither would be an issue for me.