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Old 09-22-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
Just_Trish
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POTC and Disabilities

We are taking a family vacation to WDW this December and bringing my 20 year old nephew who has severe Cerebal Palsy. It is his first and probably only trip to Disney. He is a HUGE pirate fan!

As a Disney veteran, I know POTC is not handicapped accessible. I have ridden it so many times I can perfectly visualize the queue!

But my question is this....if we push my nephew in his chair all the way to the boat, would they allow his dad and uncle to bodily pick him up and place him into the boat? It could take a few minutes to get him situated so I wondered would we have better luck with this if we were there immediately upon opening as the first ones of the day?

Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:03 PM   #2
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I only have time for a quick answer, but that is how we get our daughter on.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
Vickyrowe
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Yes they held our boat so myself and a friend could lift my husband in , so this shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:11 PM   #4
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Thank you! This is great news!

So would you say it is less disruptive to do this early in the morning then? Also, would I be allowed to go around to the exit to have his chair waiting? I would think it would be hard to get him up the moving ramp without it...
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:05 PM   #5
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There is an elevator to the left before the moving walkway. You go through a door and it is right there. Just ask the castmember. No need for him to use the moving walkway
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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When you get into the boat you leave the wheelchair. A CM will transport it to the other side so it's waiting when you exit the boat. There is a small doorway to the left just before the ramp that takes you out, elevator is there, and the CM might already have the door open for you.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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Awesome! Thank you! He will be thrilled!
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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Ask for the last row, it wider and you will be able to push the wheelchair right up next to the boat.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:51 PM   #9
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Getting up and out is much harder then getting in the boat, I'd just make sure dad and uncle have the ability to lift him out.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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It's funny but everytime I've used a wheelchair at POTC the chair came into the boat with me.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloelovesdisney View Post
Getting up and out is much harder then getting in the boat, I'd just make sure dad and uncle have the ability to lift him out.
Yes - it is not easy to get someone into the boat because the boat is so low (and fairlky tight).
It is MUCH easier to get most people in than out though.
Getting in, gravity is working for you. Getting out, you have to work against gravity in a small space where you may not have the space to use proper lifting technique.

Also, the person's ability/disability may make getting in or out harder.
A person who has low muscle tone will be dead weight, and if they don't have good head or neck control, you have to worry about supporting their head and neck in position (plus, the boat has a very low back, so you may have to support it during the whole ride).
Doing that may not be a problem for a short ride, but a long ride like Pirates will be a strain for the people doing the holding. So, make sure you are ready to lift at the end.

My youngest DD has spastic quad CP - which means her body is very stiff. When she gets excited, she also has athetoid movements, mostly of her legs.
All that means that her hips and knees don't want to bend, so it's hard to sit her down. Plus, we have the added feature of legs and arms flying all over.
Getting her in and out takes a different kind of plan than someone with low muscle tone.

The main thing is, you want to consider how his CP affects him and make a game plan for getting in and out. All boats come to a complete stop for boarding and unloading. The CM dispatching the boats does not move the boat until guests are safely in or out.

You will be getting in and out on the same side of the boat - the side shown in this picture.

So, it is a transfer to the right to get in and a transfer to the left to get out.

As was already mentioned, there is an elevator to the left of the moving exit ramp. That is hat you hold use with a wheelchair.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jworkkul View Post
It's funny but everytime I've used a wheelchair at POTC the chair came into the boat with me.
A long time ago, they used to put most wheelchairs into the boat, even small ones which did not fold.

Now, in most cases, they don't put the wheelchair into the boat, even if it does fold. One reason is that the wheelchair can get jostled out of place during the ride, especially during the drop.
Another reason is that most wheelchairs are more than 30 pounds and the awkward position for the CM putting it in and lifting it out can lead to back injuries, especially if they have to do it repetitively during the day.

So, first choice is to transfer to a WDW park wheelchair. Those are available at the entrance to the queue and also at the exit. Parking your own wheelchair and using one of the attraction wheelchairs means they only have to get A wheelchair to the exit in time for the guest to get off.
That is a lot easier than getting that particular guest's own wheelchair down one floor and into another building to be there in time for that guest to exit.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:20 AM   #12
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Our DS is 20 also with severe CP and we have to lift him in and out of the boat. If you use a personal wheelchair there is an alternate entrance if you can transfer to a regular chair it's possible to use the regular line. CMs will only assist with taking a guest's wheelchair to the exit and keeping the boat stopped until you are seated. It's a challenging transfer due to the difference in height between the boat and the dock and the restricted space. We tend to transfer DS between us and have him sit between us for extra support. The weaker one (which would be me) goes into the boat first and the other hands DS over then steps down. This makes the exit easier as the stronger person is the one first out and doing most of the lifting at that point. It is far more difficult getting out especially if you have been supporting an excited young person for the duration of the ride. We try to do this ride early in the day before there is a huge line and before any of us have eaten, it's not one to try on a full stomach! It's probably the most challenging ride for us but it is possible and as it's a favourite for DS we do try to do it at least once every trip.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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Just a clarification -
Personal wheelchairs can be brought into the regular line - all wheelchairs use the left line.
If they send someone to an alternate entrance ( which goes backstage) there is some other issue besides just the wheelchair. It may be because they are low on staff and the easiest way to get the personal wheelchair to the exit at that time will be to use that entrance.

We always bring DD's own wheelchair and have just been sent thru the regular line on the left.

They prefer guests to transfer to one of their wheelchairs because it is easier making sure there is a wheelchair at the exit.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:45 PM   #14
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We were only directed to the alternate entrance once in all the times we have ridden on POTC. Always take their own chairs and go through the left line. I always ask for the last row since the opening is wide enough for the chair to go up next to the boat.
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