PDA

View Full Version : Can we do it and will be it a good trip??


Gitts2008
05-07-2012, 04:19 PM
Hello Everyone :)
We are getting close and I am getting nervous if I can pull this off and will pixie dust fall on us.
I plan on taking my mom ( 76 yo, stroke 2x, cancer, lupus survivor) to WDW in August. I know that it will be very hot, but it's a long story of why we need to go in August) I have been reading my touring plan guide, Walt Disney World with Disabilities book, and my Passporter, so that I will be fully prepared for what she can and can not go on, what rides she will need to get out of her wheelchair for, and how to enter rides with a wheelchair.

It appears that there is a great deal of confusion and angst when using a GAC. I understand that no one can tell me what "accommodation" can be given, but I would not be able to handle my mom needing something and it being denied. I am planning a stress free vacation for everyone. I know that I will be the stressed one ensuring that my mom is OK. Here is the plan and please let me know if this is good:

8/8 Arrive at CBR early, get our tickets, go to Ohana for breakfast, take the monorail to MK, Stay until 1-2 PM. Take my mom back to CBR to rest while my family stays and plays. Maybe around 5-6pm head to Epcot for dinner at Japan. Go back to CBR and if she can handle it, see the fireworks from the lagoon.
8/9 EMH at Epcot arrive at 7:30 AM, stay until 1-2 PM. Go back to CBR. See how she is doing and play it by ear. Maybe swimming or go back to Epcot.
8/10 EMH at MK arrive at 7:30 AM, stay until 1-2. This is our last day, so we will need to leave around 3 PM. I am not sure what to do with my mom. I read that I can take her to the nurses station if she needs to relax or a cool place.

We are staying in a Preferred location, handicapped room at CBR.

Any tips or suggestions? Despite her illnesses, she never lets anything stop her.

livndisney
05-07-2012, 04:31 PM
Hello Everyone :)
We are getting close and I am getting nervous if I can pull this off and will pixie dust fall on us.
I plan on taking my mom ( 76 yo, stroke 2x, cancer, lupus survivor) to WDW in August. I know that it will be very hot, but it's a long story of why we need to go in August) I have been reading my touring plan guide, Walt Disney World with Disabilities book, and my Passporter, so that I will be fully prepared for what she can and can not go on, what rides she will need to get out of her wheelchair for, and how to enter rides with a wheelchair.

It appears that there is a great deal of confusion and angst when using a GAC. I understand that no one can tell me what "accommodation" can be given, but I would not be able to handle my mom needing something and it being denied. I am planning a stress free vacation for everyone. I know that I will be the stressed one ensuring that my mom is OK. Here is the plan and please let me know if this is good:

8/8 Arrive at CBR early, get our tickets, go to Ohana for breakfast, take the monorail to MK, Stay until 1-2 PM. Take my mom back to CBR to rest while my family stays and plays. Maybe around 5-6pm head to Epcot for dinner at Japan. Go back to CBR and if she can handle it, see the fireworks from the lagoon.
8/9 EMH at Epcot arrive at 7:30 AM, stay until 1-2 PM. Go back to CBR. See how she is doing and play it by ear. Maybe swimming or go back to Epcot.
8/10 EMH at MK arrive at 7:30 AM, stay until 1-2. This is our last day, so we will need to leave around 3 PM. I am not sure what to do with my mom. I read that I can take her to the nurses station if she needs to relax or a cool place.

We are staying in a Preferred location, handicapped room at CBR.

Any tips or suggestions? Despite her illnesses, she never lets anything stop her.

What does your Mom need? If her needs are met by a wheelchair-you don't need a GAC.

Gitts2008
05-07-2012, 05:07 PM
What does your Mom need? If her needs are met by a wheelchair-you don't need a GAC.

Depending on her energy level and weather:
Non-crowded place to wait or a place for her and I to wait for my family to get off the ride without bright lights and/or sun and/or air conditioned. It will all depend on the ride and weather. It could be very cloudy and rainy, and she will not need anything but a bit of assistance to get on to a ride where she needs to get out of her wheelchair.

livndisney
05-07-2012, 05:12 PM
Depending on her energy level and weather:
Non-crowded place to wait or a place for her and I to wait for my family to get off the ride without bright lights and/or sun and/or air conditioned. It will all depend on the ride and weather. It could be very cloudy and rainy, and she will not need anything but a bit of assistance to get on to a ride where she needs to get out of her wheelchair.

You may want to review the sticky at the start of this thread. Not all attractions (in fact very few) have another place to wait.

If she is not riding, you can wait in an a/c shop. CM's will not assist guests onto rides, your family would need to do that.

If you are concerned about the sun, you may want to consider a hat and sunblock clothing as that will protect her in all areas of the park-on the way to rides where no shade is available.

Gitts2008
05-07-2012, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the advice. I am still planning out what rides we can do together. @ Epcot, Spaceship Earth I will help her into the car. While my family is on Soarin we will wait inside the land. Keep the suggestions coming :)

PatsMom
05-07-2012, 09:32 PM
I am assuming that she has her personal wheelchair. I have seen a few this week that have sunshades on them. I am not sure where you get an accessory like that but it might be helpful to have her own "shade" with her.

As mentioned, if her needs are met by the chair, a GAC is not necessary. I'm on my first wheelchair trip now and the CM's are great. When they see us coming, they quickly tell us where to go. They will ask if you can transfer, walk a short distance, etc.

If she is not riding, many attractions have gift shops at the exit where you can wait. Or a place near by that has AC.

The best advice I can give anyone coming to Disney, especially in August when it is hot, and in early August, crowded, is to have a plan. Know how to use Fastpass and do the backtracking necessary to use it.

buffettgirl
05-07-2012, 10:21 PM
Thanks for the advice. I am still planning out what rides we can do together. @ Epcot, Spaceship Earth I will help her into the car. While my family is on Soarin we will wait inside the land. Keep the suggestions coming :)

so my dad is not in a wheelchair but he also doesn't ride much with us, and has a lot of walking issues so he rests a lot (and refuses an ECV...) . Epcot is one of the easier places to find a cool spot or simply a shaded area to wait. Many times (if you don't mind it too badly) the areas by the smoking sections are quiet and shaded. But there are a lot of very cool a/c spots, and the innovations area is usually fairly wide open, dark, and not horrible for crowds. But many of the rides also have exit areas that are a/c and easy to enter into from the outside.

MK we have more trouble with, but he used to find spots in fantasy land but those are probably gone. And the stores aren't as easy to wait in, as they're smaller. And you usually can't get into the exit area like you can at epcot. If you time it right though, you can often catch a very long pre-show wait in hall of presidents prior to the beginning of a show - there are benches in there, and sometimes entertainment. But it's usually quiet as they wait for one show to end and another to start.

Also, August - from 7:30 emh to 1 or 2 is LONG day, even for those of us who have full stamina. Sucky as it sounds, maybe 11 might be a more realistic time to get her out of the heat.

Gitts2008
05-08-2012, 07:24 AM
@PatsMom: Yes, she has her own wheelchair. I will definitely look into a sunshade for my mom. Thanks.

I think the question or thing that I am unclear on is: Are her needs met by a wheelchair?

@buffettgirl: You are probably right that I am planning a too long day :( I will adjust my touring plan and post it when I get a chance. Thanks!

Bete
05-08-2012, 09:16 AM
Thanks for the advice. I am still planning out what rides we can do together. @ Epcot, Spaceship Earth I will help her into the car. While my family is on Soarin we will wait inside the land. Keep the suggestions coming :)

Spaceship Earth. I may be wrong, but the walking conveyor can be slowed down as you get off and on SE, but it's never stopped. With Soarin' you can go all the way up to the ride and leave the wheelchair nearby. A CM will move the wheelchair out of the way. Then she needs to get into the chair and strapped in. My 90 year old mom with Alzheimer and in a wheelchair loves this ride the best of all. She's fascinated by it all. It is a long trek to push the wheelchair through Soarin' but it's worth it for my mom. Take turns with the wheelchair if you have another person who is able bodied.

If you know her routine at home I would follow it the same way at Disney. If you don't know her routine then find out and follow it at Disney. What's her normal time for getting up? Does she take a nap and when? Does she go to bed early? I would take a lot of breaks in air conditioning through the parks especially when she doesn't go on a ride then have her in air conditioning. KEEP HER HYDRATED and take her to the restroom often. You may want to get some neck coolers; they do help. Make sure your mom is not looking flush. Heat stroke can happen in August.

Combine rides and shows and alternate them. If your kids don't want to do a show then perhaps take in a show while they do some riding and have a meeting place and your cell phones ready. Use eating as a rest stop late morning.

Your 8-8 plan seems too tough. You say you are arriving early and checking in, how early? I would not do a separate trek to Ohana for breakfast. It wastes time and it's hard to go in and out wiuth the wheelchair and then go to the park. Either choose a breakfast at MK or do the food court at your resort. I'm not sure I would trek to a park just to have a dinner, either. That might be a better time to go to a resort for dining and take your time with your meal.

Don't forget you can use the nursing stations at all the parks at all times, if necessary.

Do not be apparent that your mom may be a burden on this trip; this includes everyone in the family. Don't make any bad comments or sighs or whatever. Have the family fight over who can push grandma if they are old enough to do it for a while. Make her feel special.

Gitts2008
05-08-2012, 12:08 PM
Thank you Bete:) Your post made me chuckle! Thanks for the reality of "I may be pushing her too much and the reminder to make her feel special." I am my mom's chauffeur, part time care giver and advocate. She fights me every step of the way but I love her.

I would love to take her on Soarin but she has an Acoustic Neuroma (an inoperable tumor in her head) that causes dizziness, compounded by two strokes which has left her with only one working eye and left side weakness. Soarin is too "visual" for her to handle.

I thank you tremendously for pointing out that I am trying SO HARD to make a trip that she can do by planning it, as though, she could do it. I think my best bet would be to not schedule any meals that require a CC guarantee, since there is no guarantee that she will feel well enough to eat at a restaurant at a certain time. And, to have a "plan as I go plan" which is really me knowing what she can and can't do and being very flexible. Me, DD and DH all fight over who can push "Nana." DD is being prepped for "This is Nana's vacation. We are going with her to create Happy Memories of what we can do NOT what Nana can not do." Thanks Bete...Keep reality and suggestions coming :)

disney david
05-08-2012, 01:54 PM
Thank you Bete:) Your post made me chuckle! Thanks for the reality of "I may be pushing her too much and the reminder to make her feel special." I am my mom's chauffeur, part time care giver and advocate. She fights me every step of the way but I love her.

I would love to take her on Soarin but she has an Acoustic Neuroma (an inoperable tumor in her head) that causes dizziness, compounded by two strokes which has left her with only one working eye and left side weakness. Soarin is too "visual" for her to handle.

I thank you tremendously for pointing out that I am trying SO HARD to make a trip that she can do by planning it, as though, she could do it. I think my best bet would be to not schedule any meals that require a CC guarantee, since there is no guarantee that she will feel well enough to eat at a restaurant at a certain time. And, to have a "plan as I go plan" which is really me knowing what she can and can't do and being very flexible. Me, DD and DH all fight over who can push "Nana." DD is being prepped for "This is Nana's vacation. We are going with her to create Happy Memories of what we can do NOT what Nana can not do." Thanks Bete...Keep reality and suggestions coming :)


yea i find quick service place work better if you don't want to plan everything it works better in the long run. in soarn their a great food court one of the best places for a quick hot breakfast. so the rest could go on you and your mom could go get something to eat when they get off their breakfast waiting for them. or you could go for lunch and diner it nice seating that spread out so you could enjoy your meal. or if you don't want to eat you could sit their and wait for them their or ride the land ride.

Gitts2008
05-11-2012, 08:53 PM
yea i find quick service place work better if you don't want to plan everything it works better in the long run. in soarn their a great food court one of the best places for a quick hot breakfast. so the rest could go on you and your mom could go get something to eat when they get off their breakfast waiting for them. or you could go for lunch and diner it nice seating that spread out so you could enjoy your meal. or if you don't want to eat you could sit their and wait for them their or ride the land ride.

Sorry that I did not respond sooner. I have been so busy with my mom.
I am planning out our CS meals. I decided to keep the TS meals so that at least my DD and DH can see the characters, even if my mom and I can not. Thanks Disney David.

I know that no one can tell me how a GAC will help, but I am still VERY nervous. People state that my mom being in a wheelchair will be enough, BUT ......Do I just go to Guest Services and explain my concerns regarding her needs and see what happens?? I do feel that I need to state that I am not looking to get to the front of the line first. I only want, if it is available, that while my mom and I wait for my family to get off the ride the opportunity to wait in a cooler, not sunny, not bright location. BUT...people say that may not be available. I am being too naive in thinking that we can do a WDW Vacation?

livndisney
05-11-2012, 09:02 PM
Sorry that I did not respond sooner. I have been so busy with my mom.
I am planning out our CS meals. I decided to keep the TS meals so that at least my DD and DH can see the characters, even if my mom and I can not. Thanks Disney David.

I know that no one can tell me how a GAC will help, but I am still VERY nervous. People state that my mom being in a wheelchair will be enough, BUT ......Do I just go to Guest Services and explain my concerns regarding her needs and see what happens?? I do feel that I need to state that I am not looking to get to the front of the line first. I only want, if it is available, that while my mom and I wait for my family to get off the ride the opportunity to wait in a cooler, not sunny, not bright location. BUT...people say that may not be available. I am being too naive in thinking that we can do a WDW Vacation?

If this is what your Mom needs, all you need to do is wait in the gift shop. No GAC needed. When your family gets in line for a ride-head to the gift shop. If there is no gift shop arrange to meet after the ride in a CS or other a/c location.

disney david
05-11-2012, 09:02 PM
Sorry that I did not respond sooner. I have been so busy with my mom.
I am planning out our CS meals. I decided to keep the TS meals so that at least my DD and DH can see the characters, even if my mom and I can not. Thanks Disney David.

I know that no one can tell me how a GAC will help, but I am still VERY nervous. People state that my mom being in a wheelchair will be enough, BUT ......Do I just go to Guest Services and explain my concerns regarding her needs and see what happens?? I do feel that I need to state that I am not looking to get to the front of the line first. I only want, if it is available, that while my mom and I wait for my family to get off the ride the opportunity to wait in a cooler, not sunny, not bright location. BUT...people say that may not be available. I am being too naive in thinking that we can do a WDW Vacation?

Your welcome Japan a great place to eat the cs is one of the best and tokyo dining is my new favorite TS the one they cook in front of you is also good.

crashbb
05-11-2012, 09:03 PM
It seems like every ride opens out into a gift shop of some sort! Those that don't (I know that many don't) exit near a gift shop. You and your mom can easily wait there - out of the sun, air conditioned, and fun things to look at. No GAC needed.

livndisney
05-11-2012, 09:06 PM
As an example-your family heads to Soarin-you and your Mom can watch the Timon movie in the land building or ride the land boat ride. You are all in the same building and Mom is in A/C.

When your family heads to Mission Space-you take Mom to the exit where they have a shop, small playground and video game thing. All a/c.