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Old 06-30-2011, 11:33 AM   #1
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My NEW Disability WDW TIPS list:

1. HYRDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE. I pushed myself TOO far and paid for it I ended up in First Aid for a while. First Aid was wonderful! They also reminded me on the way out to drink 8-12 oz of H20 every hour or so in the summer in Fl.

2. Eat a good breakfast before you leave your room/resort. I should have packed some granola bars... lesson learned!

3. Please make sure you pack a good pair of walking shoes. (I LEFT my new shoes w/orthotics at home ) I never want to do that again. Please don't try to break in a new pair of shoes while in FL.

4. Please make certain you have taken your meds and set a timer so you won't forget to take the next dose if you are still out & about.

5. Buy the H20 water bottle clips to attach to your beltloops. I would have been in a mess w/o them.

6. Please plan on breaks during the hottest part of the day. Find one of the indoor seated attractions to get out of the heat.

7. Please remember that some disabilities are HIDDEN! (A Mom in front of me on TSM asked her dh in a LOUD voice: "I WONDER what her disability is?" I should have LOUDLY said "Remember: some disabilities are HIDDEN to this family!" I would NEVER abuse a GAC! I just couldn't go to the parks with my young kids w/o one!

Last edited by wuv tigger; 07-01-2011 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:56 AM   #2
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Just thought of a few more things:


8. We brought in a soft sided cooler with frozen bottles of water. It worked out great.

9. I purchased Neck Coolers from WalMart. They are a band filled with gel (somewhat like the gel in disposable diapers) which you soak in H20 before you go. It will expand GREATLY when completely hydrated. You then tie it around your neck. I don't tie it tight. You flip it over when it becomes warm. A couple of times a day I run it under the faucet in the restrooms.

WHAT are your favorite tips to make your trip more enjoyable?
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:29 AM   #3
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I agree with above poster and I would add

alternate your activities with outside and inside activities. Alternate between shows, parades, fireworks, eating and rides. This way you get in some air conditioning and you are not just going and going without a rest from one ride to the next ride. This works in the winter, too; so, you get warm in the inside places.

Think about using the train at MK to get around the park. Do the same with the boats at WS in Epcot. This is less wear and tear on the feet.

Think about getting a scooter if you need one. No one realizes how much walking there can be there until you do it.

I've learned it's better to extend our stay and pay for a few more nights and not have to be a commando and be in the parks for a long day. We gave up on park hoppers a long time ago. We would be doing 12 to 14 hours a day with them, but no more. I feel 6 to 10 hours is enough per day at the parks. We usually alternate a longer day followed by a shorter day.

Go with a plan and don't back track too much through the parks. Why do more walking then what's necessary?

Last edited by Bete; 07-02-2011 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:13 PM   #4
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For hidden disabilities, I recommend wearing disability t-shirts at the park. People are way more understanding when he is wearing "I Have Autism".
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
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For hidden disabilities, I recommend wearing disability t-shirts at the park. People are way more understanding when he is wearing "I Have Autism".

You shouldn't have to do this!

Plus how would I fit: I have JRA, Lupus, NF type I, tumors in my stomach and intestines, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, plate & 8 screws in neck, moderately severe diverticulitus and adhesions on a shirt!!!

None of those things "show" (except red swollen joints--and people usually don't notice that.)
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper View Post
You shouldn't have to do this!

Plus how would I fit: I have JRA, Lupus, NF type I, tumors in my stomach and intestines, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, plate & 8 screws in neck, moderately severe diverticulitus and adhesions on a shirt!!!

None of those things "show" (except red swollen joints--and people usually don't notice that.)
Your right, it wouldn't fit on one shirt, LOL.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
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For hidden disabilities, I recommend wearing disability t-shirts at the park. People are way more understanding when he is wearing "I Have Autism".
I thought about getting these too. I found some hilarious ones on Cafe Press...one said "my child has autism, what the hell's wrong with yours?"
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:42 PM   #8
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My best hint (and one I have never given before, if you can believe it):

Don’t be so busy trying to have fun that you miss out on the fun that is happening all around you.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieMollyMom View Post
I thought about getting these too. I found some hilarious ones on Cafe Press...one said "my child has autism, what the hell's wrong with yours?"
I would be very careful about messages like that.
Some of those types of messages can backfire because some people find particular words to be offensive, not humorous.

Especially in a place like WDW where kids will see it and ask what the word “hell” means and why the person with the shirt on thinks something is wrong with them.

Guests can be asked to replace their shirt or leave the park if they are wearing shirts with messages that are considered offensive.
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trip report link in Memory of eternaldisneyfan, who lived these words: Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:42 PM   #10
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I've actually thought about a shirt as well, but it might bring more attention and questions than we want. I thought about "Worlds cutest stroke survivor".

Thanks for the lists though! It's alwya nice to see others hints.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
I would be very careful about messages like that.
Some of those types of messages can backfire because some people find particular words to be offensive, not humorous.

Especially in a place like WDW where kids will see it and ask what the word “hell” means and why the person with the shirt on thinks something is wrong with them.

Guests can be asked to replace their shirt or leave the park if they are wearing shirts with messages that are considered offensive.
I understand that it would be offensive to some..that why I THOUGHT about these shirts and didn't BUY one. AND I would never point out to the general public that my child has a disability....none of anyone's business expect mine and hers.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper View Post
You shouldn't have to do this!

Plus how would I fit: I have JRA, Lupus, NF type I, tumors in my stomach and intestines, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, plate & 8 screws in neck, moderately severe diverticulitus and adhesions on a shirt!!!

None of those things "show" (except red swollen joints--and people usually don't notice that.)
There are people who are incredibly "clueless".
maybe a saying like "Do you want to be ME for a day...?"
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:09 PM   #13
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We take it easy in the parks. My mom has already had one knee surgery and needs a knee replacement, when I get overheated it is really easy for me to start getting really dizzy, and my son has his own medical and special needs. We have never used a GAC before. We don't rush to get up at rope drop (we aren't morning people) and come back later on the day if we need a nap. Then go back at night and may stay a little longer when it isn't as hot. We take advantage of the inside shows to cool off and for breaks. We don't try to do everything, but do have a list of the things we really want to do. We have those neck wraps and take plenty of cold water to drink and snacks. I am not so crazy about the shirts that list disabilities or kid's name. I think it makes it easier for someone to take advantage of them and draws attention to them. I do know some families that have "I have autism" bracelets on their child, and those are a good idea if a child wanders off. It tells police etc more info on them, and lets them know they may not be able to answer quetions. I put a mickey tattoo (he has more sensory issues now and won't handle this well) on my son on his first trip. If for some reason he wander off I could tell them where it was, what he looks like, and what he was wearing. My cm cousin gave us an idea the last time we were there with 4 boys ages 2-6 years old. She said one of the best ideas she saw was to write our name and number on their upper arms in case they got lost. It wasn't visable enough for the wrong people to see, but was there if someone found them. I have also seen tattoos that you can order that you put your info on it before buying it. they said "If you find me, call______." As far as the shirt, tattoos etc, it all depends on the family and child. What works for us, may not work for others. Take it easy and have fun, and you should have a good trip. Don't worry what others may think or say about you.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:07 AM   #14
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You know, a lot of the OP's tips are good ones for every family, not just those dealing with disabilities.

I think the most important thing I've learned over all of our trips is to know our limits. Our earlier trips resulted in nearly daily meltdowns because I simply didn't pay attention to this one thing. It's very easy to think "I can do just one more thing because everything is going well" and end up spending another several hours in the park. Unfortunately, that results in trying to get out of the park during a meltdown with lots and lots of that "look at that worst parent ever" glare while you're trying your best to deal with the extremely frustrating and painful situation which also leaves negative memories instead of all the positive ones. We now spend a few hours max per day in the parks and take a full break day after no more than 3 park days and we now have pretty much all wonderful memories. The great memories and knowledge that our kids had such a great time is worth so much more than another hour in the park. KNOW YOUR OWN LIMITS!!!!

We've never done any kind of autism shirts. I do wish I had bought one I saw a couple years ago I thought on cafepress but I can't find it any longer. It was an autism shirt, but I wish I had it mostly because it was SOOOOO DD13 and really funny. Only parents of autistic kids would really get the humour (others would just think it makes no sense; it in no way says anything about anybody else), but DD13 thought it was funny which is what matters to me.

Which leads me to one last tip I like to give people with disabilities at WDW. You will never see any of these people at WDW again. Don't pay any attention to what anybody else may say about you or think of you. Focus on your own family and what you as a group are doing. We've honestly never even noticed if we've gotten funny looks (other than when very self-concious during meltdowns) because frankly I'm not looking at what others are doing; I'm enjoying my own family. There are so many things we can only do at WDW so that's what's getting 100% of my attention.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:28 AM   #15
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I just wanted to comment on #4
I set my phone to alarm at med time during the day, that way it reminds me when I'm busy - we can't forget the siezure med so I want to make sure it isn't forgotten.

I love the shirt idea - you will something is wrong with my boys if you are around them for more than 3 minutes, so I like the shirt idea so you know before you get too close to them
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