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Old 01-19-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
family3indisney
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?bad knees and rides with moving walkways

Forgive me if this has been asked before...we are traveling to WDW with my mother in law who has two bad knees. She does well walking but concerned for her on rides like haunted mansion or people mover...that have the moving walkways before you get in the ride, we dont feel she can do these safely, will they pause the moving walkways for her. She has never been and is really excited to ride haunted mansion but we want we her to be safe . Thanks for any advice.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:00 AM   #2
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They can't stop the people mover or Peter Pan te rest hen can slow or stop the walk ways
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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If she is in a wheelchair or scooter, they will warn her at Peter Pan that they cannot slow or stop the belt. You can watch to determine if you think she can manage the transfer. It is fairly slow moving already so she might be OK doing it. Wait and see on that one is a good approach!

The Peoplemover you cannot even get in line for in a chair. Again, it is not a bad transfer. There is a belt conveyor going up to the ride, then a moving platform to negotiate. You would have to go look yourself if you wanted to scope it out in advance.

The Haunted Mansion they will divert you after the stretch room to a little hallway. When the host or hostess meets you, he or she will ask if you can deal with the moving belt, how far you can walk, etc. If she is ambulatory at all they seem to prefer that you park the chair outside by the gravestones at the exit and walk to where you board (at the ride exit). There is limited space in the exit area and I think they like to save it for those who truly cannot walk a short distance. They can stop the belt or slow it down - whichever you need.

If she is walking (you mentioned that she does OK) the issue at the Mansion will be that she won't be diverted to the alternate entrance. As far as I know, Disney does not have a GAC for stamina issues - the answer to that is a chair. So that is something to consider. She doesn't have to ride full time - if you have a manual chair, it is pretty easy for her to switch off riding/walking depending on how she feels. I used mine like a walker quite a few times on my last trip! We also used it to corral kids at the end of the day. You will get some odd looks from those who believe that you get some advantage from having a wheelchair and you are "faking" but just ignore them and go on. You know the truth and that is what matters!
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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If you have not checked out the disABILITIES FAQs thread, you will want to.
Post 28 on page 2 of that thread has information about attractions with moving walkways.
Posts 18-22 has information about boarding rides and which have steps in or out that may be difficult.

Even though she generally does well with walking, it's important to be aware of how much walking is involved in a day at WDW. In her daily life, she probably does not walk that much. The average person at WDW walks between 3 and 6 miles per day. My FIL felt he did not need to rent a scooter at WDW, but by the end of every day, he needed pain medication and ice for his aching knees. The first day rented an ECV was the first day he did not end in pain. So, even though she may not want one, its a good idea to take long the phone numbers for at least one of the ECV/ wheelchair rental companies.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. We are currently trying to convince her to let us rent her a wheelchair but her pride gets in the way. I hope that her physical therapist can convince her. I would rather have one avail and not need it, then have her laid up and lame without one,would be money well spent if it meant she could see the parks with her grandkids. I just worry about those moving walkways, she fell getting on a mall escalator recently. Will check out the FAQ page.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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They will slow a belt down if someone needs more time. Maybe not everywhere but definitely at Nemo's ride in the Seas, Spaceship Earth and Haunted Mansion. My friend has a hard time dealing with moving belts so they had to slow it for her.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family3indisney View Post
Thanks for the info. We are currently trying to convince her to let us rent her a wheelchair but her pride gets in the way. I hope that her physical therapist can convince her. I would rather have one avail and not need it, then have her laid up and lame without one,would be money well spent if it meant she could see the parks with her grandkids. I just worry about those moving walkways, she fell getting on a mall escalator recently. Will check out the FAQ page.
One suggestion that has convinced a lot of people -
Choose a place she knows quite well that is about 1and 1/2 to 2 miles from her house and ask if she could walk there.
She will probably think you are being silly and say of course she could not walk there.

If she thinks she could, ask if she could walk there and back in the same day. She will probably say no, but if she says yes, ask if she could do it every day for as many times as you plan to spend days in the parks.

At that point, you would tell her what the distance to the place is and point out that almost everyone walks more than 3 miles a day at WDW and it is not unusual to walk more than 5 or 6.

She may be afraid to drive an ECV - They are not the right choice for everyone.

I can tell you that seeing my FIL in pain was painful for everyone. We knew he was missing out and my kids would much rather have him there than have him too tired and in pain to do anything.
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