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View Full Version : Other than Disney: places elsewhere you may want to check out!


SueM in MN
05-15-2005, 08:14 AM
Sometimes disABILITIES Board posters feel like going places other than WDW or Disneyland. This thread will include links to information people have posted about places other than Disney. As people post their experiences, my plan is to add a link to the thread to this first post in the thread.
This is the thread that made me think of doing this sticky:
Judith M's trip to Arlington National Cemetary. (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=8588867#post8588867)

Densgirl's trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=805893)

LindaDVC's experience visiting Victory Junction Camp (a camp Hole in the Wall camp for kids with medical/special needs). (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=815552)

riu girl's trip to Marineland Ontario. (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=827335)

Information regarding Hershey Park. (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1105849)

thatgrrl
10-18-2005, 10:26 AM
anyone have experience with Kennedy Space Center and Special Needs (autism)?

:flower:

fan of the TTA
11-12-2005, 02:03 PM
sue for those links!

next time we go to somewhere like america or we're passing by florida we're check those places out!

Tracyee
01-30-2006, 02:02 PM
Can anyone tell me about their experiences at Universal and IOA? We have taken the kids to WDW 3 times in the last 3 years but they haven't been to Universal yet.

My son (severe CP wheelchair user) has experienced most of Disney including Splash Mountain with a parent sitting next to him. What do you all think about Universal & IOA rides? Will he be able to partake in the rides there?

We will probably split our trip between Universal and Disney but just want to hear first hand about the experiences you all had.

We are booked for Memorial Day Week and are ready for the magic!

Thanks

DW Goofy
03-10-2006, 09:21 PM
Where is the best place to search for handicapped questions for the cruise?

Thanks
DW Goofy

cmcd2
03-17-2006, 10:08 AM
Can anyone tell me about their experiences at Universal and IOA? We have taken the kids to WDW 3 times in the last 3 years but they haven't been to Universal yet.

My son (severe CP wheelchair user) has experienced most of Disney including Splash Mountain with a parent sitting next to him. What do you all think about Universal & IOA rides? Will he be able to partake in the rides there?

We will probably split our trip between Universal and Disney but just want to hear first hand about the experiences you all had.

We are booked for Memorial Day Week and are ready for the magic!

Thanks


Tracyee,

We just got home last night from Orlando. We spent 2 days at Universal and 3 at WDW with our son Andy, who is 16 and has Muscular Dystrophy. He uses a power chair and has use of only his hands. We rode every ride (except for Suess Landing, he is 16 after all) in IOA and have ridden almost every ride in Universal. Andy is about 5' 10" and 180. Fortunately, I have the physical strength to transfer him, so that is not a factor. If you can comfortably transfer your son, you will have no problems at Universal or IOA. On our first trip there 4 years ago, we were stopped by a person in management in the parking garage to ask us what our plans were. We chatted with him for a few moments and then he pointed to Andy and said "he does not wait in any lines." He told us to go to Guest Services to pick up an express pass that got us in all attractions and on all rides with minimal wait times. On that trip and the half dozen or so since then, Andy is treated like a VIP every time we visit Universal. At WDW he is treated just like another member of the herd. I cannot say enough good about Universal. We love Disney as well, but we just go with lower expectations. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

Tracyee
03-17-2006, 10:56 AM
Thank you for the information. We are really looking forward to it.

SueM in MN
03-18-2006, 11:36 AM
On our first trip there 4 years ago, we were stopped by a person in management in the parking garage to ask us what our plans were. We chatted with him for a few moments and then he pointed to Andy and said "he does not wait in any lines." He told us to go to Guest Services to pick up an express pass that got us in all attractions and on all rides with minimal wait times. On that trip and the half dozen or so since then, Andy is treated like a VIP every time we visit Universal. At WDW he is treated just like another member of the herd. I cannot say enough good about Universal. We love Disney as well, but we just go with lower expectations. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
That is a big change from what we experienced on our last trip to Universal (which was a long time ago because it was before IOA had opened). We went at least twice, stopped at Guest Services both times to ask if they had any sort of GAC (Guest Assistance Card) and explained what DD's problems with waiting in the regular lines were. The answer we got was that the lines were wheelchair accessible and that was all they were required to provide. At some of the individual attractions we asked if it was possible for DD and one other person to wait out of the sun and busy-ness of the line and were told it was not. I know at the same time period, they were accomidating people with similar disabilities to DD's who did not also have a wheelchair. I'm glad if they are doing a good job now.

They do have an excellent rider's guide, with information that is actually helpful in deciding whether or not an attraction is safe for you. (http://www.universalorlando.com/riders_guide.pdf) Here's a link to their general disabilities page. (http://www.universalorlando.com/pi_gs_ada.html) It does indicate that none of their rides are power wheelchair or ECV accessible, but they have manual wheelchairs at the entrance that you can switch to.

loadsapixiedust
04-04-2006, 03:28 PM
Tracyee,

We just got home last night from Orlando. We spent 2 days at Universal and 3 at WDW with our son Andy, who is 16 and has Muscular Dystrophy. He uses a power chair and has use of only his hands. We rode every ride (except for Suess Landing, he is 16 after all) in IOA and have ridden almost every ride in Universal. Andy is about 5' 10" and 180. Fortunately, I have the physical strength to transfer him, so that is not a factor. If you can comfortably transfer your son, you will have no problems at Universal or IOA. On our first trip there 4 years ago, we were stopped by a person in management in the parking garage to ask us what our plans were. We chatted with him for a few moments and then he pointed to Andy and said "he does not wait in any lines." He told us to go to Guest Services to pick up an express pass that got us in all attractions and on all rides with minimal wait times. On that trip and the half dozen or so since then, Andy is treated like a VIP every time we visit Universal. At WDW he is treated just like another member of the herd. I cannot say enough good about Universal. We love Disney as well, but we just go with lower expectations. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

Wow, things have changed a lot at Universal Orlando since we visited last summer.

We found then that mostly we waited with our DS (CP & wheelchair user) far longer than people in the regular lines. More than once we were ignored by staff at rides and were lied to regarding ride accessibility on several occasions. We were allowed for him to ride one day and refused the next.

DS was even refused to be allowed to ride after nearly 2 hours of waiting in line at one attraction which their literature and the staff at the ride entrance stated was accessible for him. This was the last straw for me and ruined our visit so much that we didn't use any more of the days remaining on our 7 day passes. Staff at Guest Relations in the park were extremely unhelpful to the point of rudeness and a manager we met at the park exit was little better.

When I got home I wrote a formal complaint and received a very polite reply offering to replace 2 of the days we had lost. We are in 2 minds whether to visit Universal parks again, but your post is encouraging.

We enjoy the treatment we receive at Disney because it does allow us to be 'just like another member of the herd' and treated equally. I have no problem with waiting in line as long as it is comfortable for my DS to do so.

Thankyou for your information.

jdremann
10-12-2006, 06:57 AM
If anyone is planning a trip to Niagara Falls Canada, there is an excellent website covering the accessiblity of the hotels and attractions in the area:
http://www.accessibleniagara.com/
This made it possible for us to visit there in 2004. Very thorough hotel room reviews. There is even a printed guide that can be requested.

HappyCamperToo
01-17-2007, 09:39 PM
Does anyone have other places to add to this link? I'm trying to find a non-themepark location for our next vacation, and would love to hear any accessibility comments from places you've seen. TIA

disnut8
04-25-2007, 12:20 PM
Does anyone have any information for Gatlinburg, Tennessee? I did a websearch and the only thing I could pull up was the resorts in the area that are handicapped accessible (which all should be). I'd appreciate any information to save my husband from having to support me the entire weekend. I can walk but have been having seizures lately so I wanted something a little bit more "secure". I'd really appreciate it. A manual wheelchair is perfectly fine since I'll have six adults to help out. Thanks!

Foxes Den
05-29-2007, 04:39 PM
FDR Jamaica. I posted a review on Trip Advisor. Great for allergies.

Taylor

BeckyScott
06-04-2007, 03:41 PM
We just returned from a weekend in Branson MO.

Silver Dollar City does have something very similar to a GAC! Our youngest son is autistic. I didn't know what they would do, but it never hurts to ask. I went to Guest Services right at the entrance. There was a very helpful lady there, I asked about accomodations for "non-visible" disabilities. Really, at that moment, Justin's disability was pretty "visible" :lmao: he was flappin' it up and singing to himself, so she figured out what was going on with no problem. Gave us a copied letter to show, she filled in some info like the date and the size of party, and told us to use the Disabled Entrance (which for most rides was the Exit) along with a booklet about the rides.

The employees are fairly young and not as experienced as you might find at Disney, but they were really nice about it. Most took the letter to whoever the ride supervisor was, and came right back with it and knew exactly what to do. Our wait time, if I had to guess, was 3-5 minutes, and we were able to wait right by the exit gate where Justin could move around.

I think it might also be a policy to offer an immediate "second round" if you want, they kept asking us if we wanted to go again. We never tested it out, though, once seemed to be enough. :eek:

I just wanted to share. SDC is a smaller park and I wasn't expecting them to be equipped to "handle" something like autism, but they obviously have had this happen before and were very gracious about it. A two-thumbs up from us!

We did plenty of other stuff in Branson itself, but nothing you'd need special accomodations for. Everything seemed to be very wheelchair-accessible.

mimmy
07-11-2007, 06:36 PM
Does anyone have any experiences with Dollywood? Its not too far and has VeggieTales...my ds8 with autism's favorite things in the whole wide world...though I am trying to make him a mouse fan too:rolleyes1 ....any info would be appreciated as I can't imagine going without a gameplan. TIA Mimmy

dj2
07-20-2007, 12:13 PM
i was at the arch in st. louis this summer in my ecv and it's not very accessible as far as i could tell. i did go up, but it involved a long walk and some steps. up top was sloped flooring. the golden access pass provided a small discount.

the nearby Mississippi riverboat tour is accessible (lower level of boat); however, getting down to it requires about 1/2 mile (hard to estimate, took at least 15 minutes for us to walk/ride) unpleasant journey with steep slopes along traffic to avoid all the stairs leading down to the river. hth

SueM in MN
07-27-2007, 04:25 PM
I'm actually going to move this thread to the top of the disABILITIES Community Board. Maybe more people who are not going on WDW trips will see it there.

mechurchlady
10-18-2007, 12:40 PM
I am tired so I may have to edit later.

San Diego Wild Animal Park

On the left is guest service which gave me detailed instructions and literature. I received free admission as companion of my mother. Parking is close to the entrance. Walk ways are paved and not a problem but them hills can be murder on the person pushing the wheelchair. They explained the steep areas and I was told to go to the offices and they put mom and me in a modified golf cart with a drop down ramp so that ECVs and wheelchairs can board. All a person has to do is call from a box which they tell the location of. We got rides all over the park.

I had no reactions from the food and cannot remember that part. The park is inland and can be unbearably hot or cold. Mom was chilled the first hours. The monorail is an hour long trek and no getting off. It is a bench seat with plenty of room to stand up. I put mom's wheelchair near the door and she stood up and walked in. I believe up front there is a wheel chair spot. The first car or two are quiet zones where you cannot be too loud as it makes it hard to hear the guide.

Overall they were good with my food requests, offered assistance without me asking, were very helpful, free transportation to avoid steep hills, and disabled bathrooms. Down side was the wheelchair's front wheel getting stuck in a hole in a bridge. Mom slid forward a couple inches and I got jarred by the sudden stop. Bring a friend to help on the hills.

memorykeeper
03-30-2008, 08:30 AM
We just returned from a weekend in Branson MO.

Silver Dollar City does have something very similar to a GAC! Our youngest son is autistic. I didn't know what they would do, but it never hurts to ask. I went to Guest Services right at the entrance. There was a very helpful lady there, I asked about accomodations for "non-visible" disabilities. Really, at that moment, Justin's disability was pretty "visible" :lmao: he was flappin' it up and singing to himself, so she figured out what was going on with no problem. Gave us a copied letter to show, she filled in some info like the date and the size of party, and told us to use the Disabled Entrance (which for most rides was the Exit) along with a booklet about the rides.

The employees are fairly young and not as experienced as you might find at Disney, but they were really nice about it. Most took the letter to whoever the ride supervisor was, and came right back with it and knew exactly what to do. Our wait time, if I had to guess, was 3-5 minutes, and we were able to wait right by the exit gate where Justin could move around.

I think it might also be a policy to offer an immediate "second round" if you want, they kept asking us if we wanted to go again. We never tested it out, though, once seemed to be enough. :eek:

I just wanted to share. SDC is a smaller park and I wasn't expecting them to be equipped to "handle" something like autism, but they obviously have had this happen before and were very gracious about it. A two-thumbs up from us!

We did plenty of other stuff in Branson itself, but nothing you'd need special accomodations for. Everything seemed to be very wheelchair-accessible.

We traveled to Branson with my then 6 yo who has autism and had a similar experience. Everyone was absolutely wonderful at Silver Dollar City and Celebration City. We would visit again in a heartbeat.

cforgan67
08-20-2008, 05:40 PM
Just wanted to pass on this info. My son has a form of autism, Aspergers Syndrome, more of a social disability. Anyway, before leaving home we got a letter from his doctor stating his disability, just in case.

Sea World provides for express line. We went to the courtesy booth when entering. Told them we had a party member with a disability. They didn't ask for proof but we provided the letter. Throughout the day we had express entrance to all rides and shows. Was great and they were so courteous.:thumbsup2

DisneyWheeler
12-21-2008, 10:02 PM
We were only here for a short time in the off-season in October, so if anyone has any other information they'd like to add, chime in. My mom had to give a talk at a meeting in Dewey Beach, and I was lucky enough to go with her.

On our last day in Delaware when my mom was free of her duties, we headed over to Rehoboth Beach to see what it looked like. I immediately fell in love with it from the moment we drove through the town to find a parking place. The town and the boardwalk was fairly wheelchair accessible even though there wasn't much going on, on the boardwalk. Some of the shops were wheelchair-accessible as well. We didn't go into very many of them though.

Now, I'm hoping that my husband and I could go there for our ten-year anniversary. It's such a neat place to visit.

Samantha:cutie: :cutie: :cutie: :cutie: :cutie: :yay: :yay: :yay: :yay:

IDreamfDisney
02-05-2009, 01:59 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions/experiences for touring Vegas? I will need to rent an ECV - any places you know of I can do this? Thanks!

pugdog
04-05-2009, 02:33 PM
What do you want ot know about Las Vegas? We have been there a few times now with a powerchair and love it. It is now our second vacation spot behind WDW.

MrEvilGuy
10-29-2009, 03:51 AM
thanks, good suggestions!

MrEvilGuy
10-29-2009, 03:51 AM
Does anyone have any suggestions/experiences for touring Vegas? I will need to rent an ECV - any places you know of I can do this? Thanks!

vegas is a crazy place

bopper
03-24-2010, 11:42 AM
I saw this and thought I would pass it along:

http://www.morganswonderland.com

The World's First Ultra Accessible Family Fun Park

The mission of Morgan's Wonderland is to set a new standard for excellence in providing outdoor recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities. We believe that there is a real need for a special place for special people, one that provides an oasis for people with disabilities, their families and caregivers who need facilities specifically designed to assist them in enjoying outdoor activities.

dj2
05-08-2010, 11:22 AM
we're thinking of a trip to san francisco. anyone know if it is a difficult city for those with mobility issues? any recommendations for things to do and see?

hematite153
05-09-2010, 06:37 PM
we're thinking of a trip to san francisco. anyone know if it is a difficult city for those with mobility issues? any recommendations for things to do and see?

We had a very challenging time in San Francisco. The extent and angle of the hills was ridiculously challenging. I found that pushing my DW was a constant battle of pushing uphill and holding tight on the downhill. (Think twice as steep as the ramp to the monorail from the TTC, pretty much full time.) I don't know how a power chair would do. We saw a woman with an ECV who was really struggling. But, I'm sure there are people who live there who can provide better information about how to deal with things.

dj2
05-11-2010, 09:52 AM
We had a very challenging time in San Francisco. The extent and angle of the hills was ridiculously challenging. I found that pushing my DW was a constant battle of pushing uphill and holding tight on the downhill. (Think twice as steep as the ramp to the monorail from the TTC, pretty much full time.) I don't know how a power chair would do. We saw a woman with an ECV who was really struggling. But, I'm sure there are people who live there who can provide better information about how to deal with things.

oh boy, terrific....:worried:

disneykiwi
07-05-2010, 08:55 PM
Hi there

We are heading to WDW for 2 weeks in September 2010 and from there driving to Savannah for a few days then Washington DC for a few days and then onto New York for 5 days. I am trying to find accessible places to stay. I am spina bifida and confined to manual wheelchair - have good upper strength and can transfer myself usually pretty easily.

I wonder if anyone has stayeed in these cities and can recommend a particular hotel/motel or place to stay that had good wheelchair access and the bathroom was all setup - i.e hand held shower and/or roll in shower?

I have emailed quite a few places who say they meet ADA specs but arent specific about what the shower is like etc and it gets expensive ringing from NZ to ask what they mean so thought it would be better to ask here if anyone had experiences

Thanks

mysevendwarfs
06-04-2011, 06:45 PM
Sorry meant to post in community thread:(

Nicolatinks
06-22-2011, 05:53 AM
Hiya Sue, you sent me a list with a title and the answers will be within, I'm having trouble to find my way around to get to where I need to be to find them. Please can you inbox me on how to do it if possible. Sorry I sound silly :confused3
Thanks Nicola

peemagg
06-22-2011, 09:36 AM
Nicolatinks, the post that you are looking for is in the other DisAbilities section, the one for all things Disney. You are currently in the Community section of the forum. Instead of clicking into the community section, just scroll down further to the other section to find what you are looking for.

KayV
07-03-2011, 05:18 PM
Elijah's Retreat, a ranch in East Texas, was created for families with autistic children. They offer 2-bedroom cabins with fishing, horseback riding, and other camp-style activities. At the moment, they request $30/ night per family, but offer scholarships for those who cannot afford to pay. You can find more information at elijahsretreat dot com.

oynk
06-23-2013, 07:46 PM
We had a good time at Hershey. They seemed to have a good handle on how to handle individuals with disabilities.

There are a lot of roller coasters, and we didn't do any of them, so I can't tell how that would be, but we were impressed by the way they handled us at all the other attractions.

Also, I wanted to specifically note that they had several water wheelchairs in the water park so that individuals who needed something like that would have access.