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Old 09-22-2011, 11:21 AM   #46
DisneyPhreak
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Great trip report! Enjoyed all your pics. Thanks for sharing!

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Old 09-22-2011, 11:52 AM   #47
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great report! what a beautiful family the girls are just precious!!
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:21 PM   #48
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Wow, great trip report! Loved reading all about your trip. Your girls are so darling. You look so familiar to me. Do you live in the Bay Area? I am in the East Bay (Lamorinda area).

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Old 09-22-2011, 05:49 PM   #49
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Thanks for reading along!

LisainCA: I am in the Bay Area and grew up in the south bay. Not sure how you might know me, though. Are you on other on-line fora? BBB? Epinions?
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:24 PM   #50
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Thanks for reading along!

LisainCA: I am in the Bay Area and grew up in the south bay. Not sure how you might know me, though. Are you on other on-line fora? BBB? Epinions?
You just look really familiar to me! Maybe we have met somewhere--especially since you are in the Bay Area. We are in Moraga, outside of Orinda. We use to live in San Francisco before moving here.

Your trip report was really great! I also liked your husband's version.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:26 AM   #51
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Thanks, Lisa! I can't think of a Lisa I know IRL but who knows?
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:39 AM   #52
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One last post re: DH's experience riding in an ECV at DLR. If you read his TR, you'll know that he resisted it because he feared it would limit his ability to interact with DDs. Instead, both girls liked actually sitting on it with him. It's against DLR rules, I know, but he didn't do it regularly (e.g., he did it after WOC one night and one afternoon when DD2 napped longer than usual and I took DD5 in the stroller to go back to DLR). CM never said anything to us either.

I did a lot of research and read a bunch of the DISabilities forum threads and thought I'd also share my observations here for anyone who plans to rent an ECV or has a family member who might benefit from having one.

Having DH in the ECV meant I was the only one to push the double stroller, so families with young kids should keep that in mind. DH also brought his cane so he could use it when needed like entering rides (they let you park the ECV by the exit in most cases).

I will say that here are a few things I wish I had known while inside DLR:

- CM and rides have differing opinions on how to treat guests with DISabilities. Sometimes you seem to get special treatment, other times you wait on the side while the family stands in the regular line. For the Soundsational Parade, the CM told me that DH could not sit in the benches for guests with disabilities without a GAC. So I went and found a bench facing the wrong way (which is why no one was sitting there) and parked our family there. Later, after the parade started and DD5 couldn't see a thing, DH walked back to the same area for guests with disabilities and asked a different CM if he could sit there. She happily lowered the rope for him and DD5. I stayed with DD2 as I didn't want to push our luck. Apparently, I should have just gone with them as later in our trip at WOC, one woman in a wheelchair brought 9 people in with her (including a family of 3 they had JUST met as I heard that family thank the first family for letting them tag along).

- There are no real accommodations for ECV for any of the meet-n-greets (though Pixie Hollow at least had a separate line) At PFF, DH wheeled along in his ECV. At Tangled, he sat by a table near the door while DDs and I stood in that LONG line (too narrow for him to pilot an ECV through it). At Pixie Hollow, they had a sloped uphill line that's separate just for guests with DISabilities and they let him go up that. It ended right by the front of the standard line so the only advantage is he wouldn't have to stand and shuffle forward every 5 minutes. He hobbled up the ramp with his cane and sat down until it was our turn.

- DCA rides are almost all wheelchair-accessible, so DH could ride in his ECV all the way down the ramp at Mickey's Fun Wheel to the loading area. DL rides are not. DH didn't want to go on Space Mountain, so we don't have personal experience with this, but I saw folks who took an elevator down with their ECV to climb into a special car (the entire track shifted to move their car onto the regular track). I presume they didn't have to stand in line like the rest of us. DH also parked his ECV and hobbled in with a FP for Star Tours, so I don't know what the process is there. At Dumbo, he was able to enter through the exit and leave his ECV behind. At Casey Jr, the CM had me and the girls wait in line while DH entered through the exit.


Here's my advice re: the hotel and ECVs in general:

1) If you or your family member has mobility challenges, rent an ECV instead of a wheelchair. DLR is not HUGE, but pushing 200+ pounds (wheelchair plus the person in it) is exhausting. I saw one poor woman (probably in her 60s or so) pushing her large adult daughter (30s-40s?) in a wheelchair up the hill by GRR in DCA and she looked exhausted (plus she had sweat stains on her chest and armpits). We paid $40/day to rent from Deckert's (714-542-5607) and they delivered to our hotel (ready at 7 am, so they likely dropped it off the night beforehand) and picked up from the hotel lobby the next morning after we dropped it off that night. They only charged us for the 2 days we used it, even though they dropped it off Thursday night and picked up Sunday morning. I understand money can be tight, but that $40/day is worthwhile in my opinion. I would much rather get the ECV and then pack snacks instead of eating DLR food. I'm sure many people spend about $40/day on lunch/snacks/drinks/ice cream at DLR (it's so expensive!).

2) If you do get an ECV and have more than 2 guests in your party, you need a suite if possible. The ECV takes up a LOT of room and needs to be charged each night. Luckily, we had a Kids' Suite at HoJo and put both the double stroller and the ECV in the kids' bunk bed room and still had PLENTY of space to play around them. We had 2 adults and 2 kids and it was spacious. If you have more members in your party, it may be more crowded. We didn't use the sofa bed option. If you can't afford the suite, ask the front desk if they're willing to store your ECV and charge it somewhere. HoJo volunteered to take it back but I didn't want the delay of having to pick it up each morning when we had plenty of room in our suite.

3) Get a room on the first floor. I loved not having to wait for elevators. The ECV is big and on busy days, you may have to wait a long time for an elevator as they get so crowded and people aren't likely to get off for you (per other DISBoard members who posted on the DISabilities forum).

Hope this helps!

Last edited by smiles33; 09-23-2011 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:27 PM   #53
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Thanks so much for your TR. I really enjoyed reading both versions. I'm excitedly planning a similar trip at the end of October with DS 7,5 &2! We'll be able to skip a lot of the princess stuff, but otherwise our trips will be pretty similar. Fun to see how you managed it all!
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:37 PM   #54
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Just finished up the rest of your report - awesome! Wish I didn't have to wait 2 months - your TR has me raring to go now!
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:14 PM   #55
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So DH wrote his own version of a TR "Disney on Wheeeeeeeels" on his Cal fans' website. Note: it's not very politically correct so be prepared (e.g., he observes that almost everyone we saw in an ECV is morbidly obese).
I LOVED your husbands account. So funny, so true, and so sweet. What adorable daughters you have.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:11 PM   #56
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Thanks for reading along! I have been sharing comments with DH and he is getting a kick out of the nice comments. . I promise I won't let it go to his head.
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:32 PM   #57
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How fun! You have a lovely family. Great report. When would you hope to head back for another visit?
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:15 PM   #58
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How fun! You have a lovely family. Great report. When would you hope to head back for another visit?
Hee hee. If I could get away with it, I'd love to go again ASAP but I think I have to humor DH and wait at least 2 years. I promised him next year's vacation would be somewhere he likes (probably where he can fish!). I was trying to see if he might be up for seeing Aulani in Hawaii, but he immediately said no. Darn!

I see from your thread your DH has never gone--do you take the kids yourself? Oooh, that's an idea, but then I won't have someone to watch them so I can go on the E-ticket rides!
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:41 PM   #59
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Somehow I missed your last updates. Looks like you had such a great weekend with your girls. I'm glad you decided to go in spite of the injury and ECV. How is your DH's back now? Thanks for sharing your TR!
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:09 PM   #60
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Sorry, I missed this last post! DH just had his hip surgery yesterday and is recovering nicely. The surgeon explained that DH had a tear in his laborum (sp?) and some other soft tissue damage by his hip. On the couch for 3 weeks and then up to a year to recover. Will just have to re-read this TR to remind myself of all that I'm missing at DLR!
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