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Old 06-04-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1

Question DCL trip with disabled Child

My wife and I are considering a Disney cruise. We have four children ages 9 and under including a 5 year old son with significant motor impairment (wheel chair bound with limited hand/arm function). We are a little hesitant in going as we do not know what he will be able to do on the cruise. I would hate for him to feel left out as his siblings are having the time of thier lives. Please let me know if you have any information or experiences to share.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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IncredibleboysMom's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: metro Atlanta
Posts: 547

Hey Tom,
Our family has been on 7 Disney cruises. Two of our three children have spina bifida. Our now 9 year old has been on a Disney cruise every year since he was 3. Our 3 year old has been on 4. In short, if you want to travel with a disabled child, Disney cruise or parks is the way to do it.

Our 9 year old can walk, albeit with a lurching gait and lower leg braces. He loves the kids clubs and they treat him very well. Before our first cruise, I contacted someone over Children's Programming for DCL and she utterly put my mind at ease. When you register your kids online before you leave, give a good explanation about your child's needs. They cannot keep a child who needs one on one attention at all times, but if your son is independent in his chair for short periods of time, he would certainly be able to stay. They will give you a pager, and onboard you are never more than 5 minutes away.

Would one of his siblings be in his age group with him? Also, if he is not able to stay alone, parents are always welcome to stay and participate in the clubs with the kids.

Castaway Cay has a tram to take you to the beach walkway if needed, and sand wheelchairs to go the rest of the way. The theaters all have disabled seating.

Take the cruise, your son (and all of you) will be made to feel so special. On the Magic in September, we were invited to spend time with the characters alone before they say goodbye on the last night of the cruise. My kids were alone with about 15 characters for a good 20 minutes. The princesses surrounded my 3 year old in his walker, Stitch and Goofy played around with the bigger boys. I couldn't stop crying.

Disney Fantasy 10/12
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Disney Magic 4/05, 9/08, 11/13
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child, dcl, disability

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