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Old 04-08-2013, 11:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by SCmom3 View Post
My husband has PTSD. Enclosed spaces full of people are a problem for him. I already know that the stretching room at HM is out of the question. Is it possible to bypass that? We plan to use FP to avoid the queues and the inevitable personal space invasion. Is there anything else I am missing? A day at the zoo can be very stressful for him and I do not want our vacation to be a miserable experience.
I have a husband who doesn't like enclosed spaces full of people. He stays home. My daughter doesn't cope well with crowds, but loves WDW, so she goes anyway. Even with a GAC, even with FP, even with skipping a lot - just being in the parks with that many people is stressful. You're going to get bumped and jostled. Avoid Fantasyland at all costs, particularly where it feeds into Liberty Square.

Plan lots of rope-drop mornings. We hang out kind of at the edges of the space inside the turnstiles. Once the area in front of the turnstiles is packed full, the far edges still have space, but more people can't come in. Then follow the back of the rope-drop crowd. It thins out, because the turnstiles hold people back.

The first hour to hour and a half is good. You can go back to HM, go through the regular queue and have a stretching room pretty much to yourself. Or you can go to BTMRR and ride several times with no waiting. If you must do Fantasyland, I'd devote a whole morning block to it.

Leave the parks by 2-3 hours after opening, usually by 11am. We sometimes stay until 11:30 and eat in the parks, then leave. The buses aren't full then, and if you took one of the very early buses to the park - it probably wasn't full either.

Hang out at the pool/resort. The resorts run activities during the day, and you can go visit other resorts and do their activities. They're usually sparsely attended. Rent a boat and go out on the lakes. If it's midweek, the water parks might be a good option- even when it's fairly crowded, the lazy river seems to be good for my DD. We sometimes plan to go back at night for a couple of hours. More often, my DD needs the rest of the day off to recuperate.

Touring with someone who doesn't tolerate crowds well requires a different mindset. Four attractions in one day is a good day. Three is pretty ok. Six is a great day. When you start to think you might be getting near the end - call yourself done. There's a lot of humanity between you and the exit.

Last edited by dawnball; 04-09-2013 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:24 AM   #17
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I have to agree with the concerns of others for military & PTSD. Honestly, is Disney the best place for a vacation for him right now? I could think of so many other places that would so much more relaxing for him & less stressful. WDW is so not what he needs to deal with. Crowds, fireworks, etc.

My husband didn't come home with PTSD, but just the short temper & other changes in him for the first while was enough to stay clear of fireworks, crowds, and anything stressful. He still blows up about things he would have just accepted before.

I can't believe he wants to go to WDW. I wouldn't be bringing my DH to WDW if it was me. I would be taking a vacation that would help him in his recovery. They've been thru enough.

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Old 04-09-2013, 07:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by SCmom3 View Post
I understand. I wouldn't handle it well either. And adding in three kids and two strollers to worry about, plus DD and I get carsick. Oh dear, I'd rather walk to the parking lot and get in a hot minivan.
sorry- I meant when in a car. He was freaking out when we'd stop at a light, with other buses around us. Buses surrounding us. I could see him scoping out the whole situation.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:28 AM   #19
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I have to agree with the concerns of others for military & PTSD. Honestly, is Disney the best place for a vacation for him right now? I could think of so many other places that would so much more relaxing for him & less stressful. WDW is so not what he needs to deal with. Crowds, fireworks, etc.

My husband didn't come home with PTSD, but just the short temper & other changes in him for the first while was enough to stay clear of fireworks, crowds, and anything stressful. He still blows up about things he would have just accepted before.

I can't believe he wants to go to WDW. I wouldn't be bringing my DH to WDW if it was me. I would be taking a vacation that would help him in his recovery. They've been thru enough.
I'm guessing he's doing it for his children even though it is hard for him. Children want to go to Disney and don't understand that Daddy is too sick.

Good luck OP! You may want to watch done YouTube videos of rides so you can avoid any that may have triggers. Like Philharmagic has corks popping really loudly that could set off someone.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:46 AM   #20
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Leaving the parks for the busy midday hours is a great idea. It might also be worth investing in parkhoppers so that if one park ends up being more crowded than you thought, you have the option of trying another.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:38 AM   #21
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I'm guessing he's doing it for his children even though it is hard for him. Children want to go to Disney and don't understand that Daddy is too sick.

Good luck OP! You may want to watch done YouTube videos of rides so you can avoid any that may have triggers. Like Philharmagic has corks popping really loudly that could set off someone.
As a military spouse as much as he wants to do this for the children, the children need to learn they can't always get what they want. Disney will always be there. Disney is not worth someone's mental state being in turmoil. I am sorry I need to be blunt in saying that. Perhaps right now Disney isn't the right thing to do. How about something more low key... if the Ops husband has had issues at smaller local parks I don't want to know how he'll handle WDW.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:03 PM   #22
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As a military spouse as much as he wants to do this for the children, the children need to learn they can't always get what they want. Disney will always be there. Disney is not worth someone's mental state being in turmoil. I am sorry I need to be blunt in saying that. Perhaps right now Disney isn't the right thing to do. How about something more low key... if the Ops husband has had issues at smaller local parks I don't want to know how he'll handle WDW.
This is worth considering. Sometimes the best thing for the kids is to learn that a parent has limits and how to act with compassion. I have a friend, who after two tours overseas cannot handle a theme park- after having a breakdown in the local mall in front of his kids he realized that pushing himself "for the kids" can sometimes backfire. He is learning to tell the kids that some things just aren't okay for him. In some cases a person can get past their PTSD but there should be no shame in recognizing the fact that one can't yet either.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:09 AM   #23
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Military wives job is to block the things that stress him out. Like blocking all the friends & family who want to visit while they are home on R&R instead of letting them relax for the 2 wks.

Same goes here. Wife needs to say "sorry honey, its best that we go somewhere quiet so you can chill". Make the decision. And take action & control.

You have to be his advocate right now. WDW will not help at all. Is it worth setting him back or making him even worse to the point of not being able to work, maybe ever?

Would not be worth it in this house.

People WITHOUT PTSD get stressed out & have melt downs, crying, streaming, fighting at WDW because its overload. How on earth is he going to handle all that WITH PTSD? That is not a vacation for a guy who really needs one & deserves one.

My husband said after being away for a year, the last thing he wanted to do was actually go away on vacation. He was tired of not sleeping in his own bed. Not having a closet & drawers. Not having a routine. Etc. Unless you've lived it, you might not think of it, but it made sense. He just wanted to stay home & get back to normal & stop the moving around & changing locations.

Mine still gets upset about things I wouldn't even think of. Recently watched Zero Dark Thirty. Said he would be fine with the subject matter. And he was, but what annoyed him enough to the point of yelling at the TV was any time he heard the local music / chanting that the locals of Aghanistan do. He said that drove him crazy while there & having to hear it every day over loud speakers.

Last edited by beaucoup; 04-10-2013 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:11 AM   #24
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I'm going to say this as nicely as possible, are you sure this is the right time for this trip? You have a baby with healing skin grafts, a husband dealing with PTSD. Either one of these would be cause to postpone a trip. Even on its emptiest day Disney is crowded and if your husband has an issue at the back of a park it's a long way out through crowds. Maybe it's worth waiting a year to give everyone time to heal.
I took a trip with dd and dh after dh three out his back (bulging disk). Looking back I don't know how I survived with a husband who could barely walk, a dd who couldn't and no sleep, because dh was tossing and turning in pain and dd was not happy in the strange place. There were lots of tears that trip and not all were dd.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:09 AM   #25
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I'm going to say this as nicely as possible, are you sure this is the right time for this trip? You have a baby with healing skin grafts, a husband dealing with PTSD. Either one of these would be cause to postpone a trip. Even on its emptiest day Disney is crowded and if your husband has an issue at the back of a park it's a long way out through crowds. Maybe it's worth waiting a year to give everyone time to heal.
I took a trip with dd and dh after dh three out his back (bulging disk). Looking back I don't know how I survived with a husband who could barely walk, a dd who couldn't and no sleep, because dh was tossing and turning in pain and dd was not happy in the strange place. There were lots of tears that trip and not all were dd.
Thank you for what I will assume is a well intended bit of advice. My OP did not, however, ask if this was a good time to take a trip. I am simply looking for advice, preferably from those with some first hand experience with PTSD. My husband and son are both in excellent health and physical condition. PTSD is not something that will 'heal' with time. As for my son, his doctor is a better judge of his ability to go on a vacation and cleared him for this trip months ago.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:20 AM   #26
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My a,tear native suggestion would be to go to the parks at a time when they are open very late a night. One year we happened to be at MK when it was open until 3am. It was very crowded until the last fire works were over, but from 11:30pm until we left, the crowds were very lite. We were a le to get in rides that would normally taken 2-3 day visit. We e en rode the Astro Orbiter with a 5 min wait. In all our previous trips we have never ridden this ride because the wait was not worth it.
This might not be the best idea with a baby, but then you don't have to worry about sun exposure. Days could be spent sleeping late and hanging out in less crowded locations.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:26 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by SCmom3 View Post
My husband has PTSD. Enclosed spaces full of people are a problem for him. I already know that the stretching room at HM is out of the question. Is it possible to bypass that? We plan to use FP to avoid the queues and the inevitable personal space invasion. Is there anything else I am missing? A day at the zoo can be very stressful for him and I do not want our vacation to be a miserable experience.
Even the FP queues can be crowded, as they pass parallel to the standby. They can also have a 5-10 minute wait - they are definitely not a 'walk right up to the ride vehicle' situation. WDW doesn't have any access like that, except for MAW children. Sometimes even MAW children have to wait, for an accessible vehicle, etc.

There will be crowds at the entrance to the parks, especially at security. There will be crowds at the turnstyles, food courts, bathrooms, table service restaurants (even with ADRs you have to wait a bit, in crowded areas), and at the exit of rides when they empty into a gift shop.

Shows have crowded waiting areas, and they ask people to go all the way in, and cram together. If there is any sort of performance anywhere in the park, a huge crowd will gather, blocking access across the area.

All of WDW is pretty much an invasion of personal space, because it is a very busy, public property.

Can your husband take anything to help him tune out a bit? If he's not driving, a good anti-anxiety med should help?
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:38 PM   #28
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I understand. I wouldn't handle it well either. And adding in three kids and two strollers to worry about, plus DD and I get carsick. Oh dear, I'd rather walk to the parking lot and get in a hot minivan.
When getting from the MK parking lot, you will have to take either the boat or hte monorail - take the BOAT! The monorail is sometimes more packed than the buses can be, and you cannot open windows or anything - it is VERY tight in there.

There are trams from the parking lots that you pretty much have to take - not only are some parking lots a LONG way from the park entrances, but there is no real "walkway" from the parking to the parks - the strollers have to be folded on the trams, so think ahead of time how you want to handle 3 kids and 2 strollers on a tram. It may even be easier (unless you have a disabled parking tag) to drop off most of the family and then one person go park. Before I had my handicapped parking tag, this is what my family did.

Some people have managed to get to park closer to the park entrance by asking a CM but this is not always available, so do not count on it.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:58 PM   #29
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Thank you for what I will assume is a well intended bit of advice. My OP did not, however, ask if this was a good time to take a trip. I am simply looking for advice, preferably from those with some first hand experience with PTSD. My husband and son are both in excellent health and physical condition. PTSD is not something that will 'heal' with time. As for my son, his doctor is a better judge of his ability to go on a vacation and cleared him for this trip months ago.
I'm sorry it's not the advice you want to hear but when you post on a public message board you get what you get. You have said your husban has issues with a zoo trip, Disney is a trip to the zoo times a thousand. Everywhere there are people. There is no such thing as an uncrowded area. As touch upon in a previous post even parking means crowds. Never mind situations like a sudden rain storm that mean everyone jets for shelter. Being crammed under an overhang with 50 of your closest friends in not fun. Then what happens if there is a ride breakdown while you are in line and your ten minute fastpass wait in now 90 minutes and people are getting closer. Shows will pack you in until there is no room between you an the person next to you (ie Disney junior at hs) even the waiting areas for shows you are told to fill in all available space. The alternative entrances and often no better. What will happen if you are on a ride and it breaks down. Or your at the very back of fantasy land and you dh decides its enough, you have about a 45 minute journey to your car. How does he react to fireworks or simulated gun fire? There are several shows that use both an some are right around the castle. I know people with PTSD and they may never be fully cured but they learn how to cope but it takes time and therapy.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:26 PM   #30
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Thank you for what I will assume is a well intended bit of advice. My OP did not, however, ask if this was a good time to take a trip. I am simply looking for advice, preferably from those with some first hand experience with PTSD. My husband and son are both in excellent health and physical condition. PTSD is not something that will 'heal' with time. As for my son, his doctor is a better judge of his ability to go on a vacation and cleared him for this trip months ago.
I just wanted to say that I hope your trip goes as wonderfully as it possibly can, and I commend you for wanting to do this trip! I don't believe that you have posted that your DH is military so I won't assume that is why he has PTSD..........

Unfortunately people can be very negative and it can come across like they think your crazy and selfish for even wanting to do this trip!!

I think you have had some great advice about getting a GAC ( this will help amazingly) getting the boat from the parking lot,so that you can be in the open as much as possible instead of crammed into a monorail that could break down!

Getting to the parks as early as possible so you can get lots done before it gets too crowded and then either eat before leaving or go back and relax that way your out of the mid day sun!

I'm not sure if your staying on site or not if you are early EMH will be your best friend I have a son with autism & so we try and get away from crowds as much as we can!
In fact last trip we spent a lot of days by the pool after doing early emh and then went to the parks in the evening!

Remember if it gets too much for your DH let him stay back at the resort with maybe your youngest and you take the other kids back to the parks when I was younger and went with my parents my dad was very very sick on 2 of our trips so he stayed behind at the hotel while my mum took me to the parks we had a blast and he enjoyed the peace & quite!!

Anyways have the most magical trip and stay positive
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