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Old 10-08-2012, 08:46 AM   #1
lizloph
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Traveling with Seniors how to handle the first time

My boyfriend and I are planning to take my parents ages 76 and 83 to Disney World in 2013. We are such on the go people that we're at a slight loss on how to handle the trip. Mom is young 76 ( currently working and telling her co workers shes 64) but will have sticker shock when she sees how much things are. My pop is 83 and has mobility issues (can't walk long distances sure the motorized chair will come into play). It's been 10 years since they've been down to Orlando for a real Disney trip.

I'm inclined to have them stay on property because the theming is beautiful and they've never done it and no car will be needed. My boyfriend is in the belief that because Disney resorts tend to go wide instead of tall that they could end up doing too much walking compared to a Hilton property where they could get off an elevator and be right at the lobby.

Universals resorts are also an option because we enjoy the dining options there because of city walk everything is also a lot closer... I am not fond of driving between both parks most days however.

Whats your feeling? And do you have any tips for traveling with a senior? I know I'm slowing down substantially for them. This forum always gives me a few gems of information.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizloph View Post
My boyfriend and I are planning to take my parents ages 76 and 83 to Disney World in 2013. We are such on the go people that we're at a slight loss on how to handle the trip. Mom is young 76 ( currently working and telling her co workers shes 64) but will have sticker shock when she sees how much things are. My pop is 83 and has mobility issues (can't walk long distances sure the motorized chair will come into play). It's been 10 years since they've been down to Orlando for a real Disney trip.

I'm inclined to have them stay on property because the theming is beautiful and they've never done it and no car will be needed. My boyfriend is in the belief that because Disney resorts tend to go wide instead of tall that they could end up doing too much walking compared to a Hilton property where they could get off an elevator and be right at the lobby.

Universals resorts are also an option because we enjoy the dining options there because of city walk everything is also a lot closer... I am not fond of driving between both parks most days however.

Whats your feeling? And do you have any tips for traveling with a senior? I know I'm slowing down substantially for them. This forum always gives me a few gems of information.
My advice would be to get your parents' input on what they would prefer. They are more familiar with their abilities and limitations. Let them make suggestions and voice their concerns and then go from there.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:33 AM   #3
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If they have gone before, let them figure what they want to do the most. That will save time and figure what things you can do in each park. I went with my grandparents in 2000, it was a more slow trip, but we still got a lot done. If you can, figure a time to go to Disney when its really dead. I went last year this time and it was perfect, great for seniors because of the less crowds. I know Feburary is a good time to go also.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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I went with my parents in January 2011 - they were 79 and 81 at the time. We stayed at BWV in a two bedroom unit so we had a full kitchen and living room. Neither of my parents uses a wheelchair on a routine basis but because of the amount of walking just to get to the parks we rented wheelchairs for them for the week - picked them up when we arrived from bell services and left them there when we checked out. They were very glad we had them!

Most days, because my parents take a while to get up and moving, my daughter and i went out in the morning by ourselves, then after lunch we would go out with my parents. We were there for a week so got to see all that they wanted to but they took it at a very slow pace. By going out without them in the mornings we did everything we wanted as well. After all, it is a vacation, and they don't want to end up tired at the end! In the evenings we'd play cards or watch a movie together. By doing our own thing in the morning it also took pressure off them to get up early and get ready. Just a thought for you to consider.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:44 AM   #5
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So, your dad has a motorized wheelchair? Maybe your mom would like to have an ECV (scooter) so she doesn't need to walk either. If you go over to the DISAbilities board you will find recommendations on where to rent. I believe that the buses will be able to take both the wheelchair and scooter at the same time.

Are you looking to share a room? Get 2 rooms? We stayed at Pop Century with my mom on our last trip with her. She and my step-Dad had a handicapped room and we had a regular room right next to them.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
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How about the Swan? It seems smaller, and they can take the boat to DHS and Epcot, and use WDW buses for the other parks. It seems quieter than the WDW resorts (less kids), and it's a luxury hotel at a moderate price.

The only time my dad every used a scooter was at WDW. We rented right at the parks (I can't imagine him trying to get it in a bus, not being familiar with it), but there are many off-site rental places that are even cheaper.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:03 PM   #7
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I'm not sure of your budget, but if your dad will have a scooter, then the boardwalk area might be a good location for you. If you plan to have park hoppers, He would only need to deal with the scooter on the bus for Animal Kingdom. There are also a number of restaurant options at the boardwalk.

My parents are in their late 60's, and both have some mobility issues. They like to stay at POFQ, because it's the smallest resort on property. We stayed at POR with them this past January, and even though our room location was pretty "middle of the road", they still had a very difficult time getting to the food court and main bus stop. They have a much easier time with FQ, and would only go back to Riverside if they could get a room in the Preferred location. The other plus to FQ is that they can take the boat to Downtown Disney for shopping and restaurants. He could take the scooter right on the boat.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:01 PM   #8
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I am in my mid sixties and work out regularly with a trainer. that said I still will occasionally rent a scooter, not for mobility issues but because I get tired in a large park like EP or AK if I am staying the whole day. I use the scooter to get from place to place then park it with the strollers and get in line for the attraction. At the end of the day I am not exhausted and am able and eager to go the next day. I rarely have to rent one more than once or twice during the week - and don't if I will have down time during the day. But boy starting at rope drop at EP and going until Illuminations and criss crossing a park that big, well it is tough and tiring even for younger people. I would definitely recommend you get a scooter for you mom for the week. And I would stay at a Boardwalk resort so you wouldn't need buses for two of the parks. Or at a MK park on the monorail so they could get on or off easily at MK and EP... Stamina is easily as much an issue as mobility.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smile&Nod
I went with my parents in January 2011 - they were 79 and 81 at the time. We stayed at BWV in a two bedroom unit so we had a full kitchen and living room. Neither of my parents uses a wheelchair on a routine basis but because of the amount of walking just to get to the parks we rented wheelchairs for them for the week - picked them up when we arrived from bell services and left them there when we checked out. They were very glad we had them!

Most days, because my parents take a while to get up and moving, my daughter and i went out in the morning by ourselves, then after lunch we would go out with my parents. We were there for a week so got to see all that they wanted to but they took it at a very slow pace. By going out without them in the mornings we did everything we wanted as well. After all, it is a vacation, and they don't want to end up tired at the end! In the evenings we'd play cards or watch a movie together. By doing our own thing in the morning it also took pressure off them to get up early and get ready. Just a thought for you to consider.
Good point on the time apart. I think it'll be the reverse for us, my parents are hispanic so they like to be in early during the evening to watch Spanish soap operas. Yes, the soap operas are that serious lol.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robinb
So, your dad has a motorized wheelchair? Maybe your mom would like to have an ECV (scooter) so she doesn't need to walk either. If you go over to the DISAbilities board you will find recommendations on where to rent. I believe that the buses will be able to take both the wheelchair and scooter at the same time.

Are you looking to share a room? Get 2 rooms? We stayed at Pop Century with my mom on our last trip with her. She and my step-Dad had a handicapped room and we had a regular room right next to them.
The plan is to get two rooms. My dad isn't wheel chair bound be I figured the ECV will be a huge difference, my plan is to rent one... Mom is great walks 2 miles a day minimum.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkacmom
How about the Swan? It seems smaller, and they can take the boat to DHS and Epcot, and use WDW buses for the other parks. It seems quieter than the WDW resorts (less kids), and it's a luxury hotel at a moderate price.

The only time my dad every used a scooter was at WDW. We rented right at the parks (I can't imagine him trying to get it in a bus, not being familiar with it), but there are many off-site rental places that are even cheaper.
The swan is a great alternative. Mentioned that to the boyfriend and we both agreed! First time since discussing the trip lol.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LONES
I'm not sure of your budget, but if your dad will have a scooter, then the boardwalk area might be a good location for you. If you plan to have park hoppers, He would only need to deal with the scooter on the bus for Animal Kingdom. There are also a number of restaurant options at the boardwalk.

My parents are in their late 60's, and both have some mobility issues. They like to stay at POFQ, because it's the smallest resort on property. We stayed at POR with them this past January, and even though our room location was pretty "middle of the road", they still had a very difficult time getting to the food court and main bus stop. They have a much easier time with FQ, and would only go back to Riverside if they could get a room in the Preferred location. The other plus to FQ is that they can take the boat to Downtown Disney for shopping and restaurants. He could take the scooter right on the boat.
That was our biggest concern. Had a recent experience with my BFs 90 year old grandmother. And we went to the Beach club. Great location since we were only taking her to Epcot but it was such a long walk from the dvc section to the lobby or main pool.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbudlover
I am in my mid sixties and work out regularly with a trainer. that said I still will occasionally rent a scooter, not for mobility issues but because I get tired in a large park like EP or AK if I am staying the whole day. I use the scooter to get from place to place then park it with the strollers and get in line for the attraction. At the end of the day I am not exhausted and am able and eager to go the next day. I rarely have to rent one more than once or twice during the week - and don't if I will have down time during the day. But boy starting at rope drop at EP and going until Illuminations and criss crossing a park that big, well it is tough and tiring even for younger people. I would definitely recommend you get a scooter for you mom for the week. And I would stay at a Boardwalk resort so you wouldn't need buses for two of the parks. Or at a MK park on the monorail so they could get on or off easily at MK and EP... Stamina is easily as much an issue as mobility.
I wonder if I can convince her to use it... If I can I will I think that's great advice.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #14
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Well thanks to everyone we've decided that we're onsite and somewhere around the boardwalk. I think we are leaning towards the first week of December so we can combine our MVMCP weekend we do every year. Possible EVCs for both parents.
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