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Old 04-09-2013, 02:50 PM   #1
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need suggestions for resort for handicap access.

Hello Everyone,

I am taking my parents to WDW for the first in January, 2014. They are so excited. My dad has heart issues and cannot walk long distances at a time. (he refuses to rent a scooter or wheelchair). I don't think we will have an issue with the parks since we can take it slow and have lots of bench time.

My concern is getting back to our hotel at the end of the day. We need a resort that will have a short walk from the buses to the rooms.

To make it more complicated - Deluxe is really not an option for us.

Any suggestions as to were to stay that would be easy on my dad?

Your help is greatly appreciated!!
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ksprefton View Post
Hello Everyone,

I am taking my parents to WDW for the first in January, 2014. They are so excited. My dad has heart issues and cannot walk long distances at a time. (he refuses to rent a scooter or wheelchair). I don't think we will have an issue with the parks since we can take it slow and have lots of bench time.

My concern is getting back to our hotel at the end of the day. We need a resort that will have a short walk from the buses to the rooms.

To make it more complicated - Deluxe is really not an option for us.

Any suggestions as to were to stay that would be easy on my dad?

Your help is greatly appreciated!!
You can request a room close to transportation at any resort and I would suggest that you do so. I am assuming that this will be your first trip to WDW? If it is, you may not realize how large it is? The amount of walking is often underestimated. Just the walk from the main gate to your return bus can be really long and places to sit and rest can be hard to come by. It sounds like your father would really benefit from a scooter or wheelchair. I hope that he will reconsider.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:39 PM   #4
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What is the maximum distance your father can walk? It is not uncommon to have to walk a mile or more just to get from your hotel room to the bus to the entrance to animal kingdom and then through the Oasis.

Just to get from the bus stop at Epcot to the ride loading zone Soarin, with no stops in between going directly there, is about a mile and a half walk. There is no way to shorten the distance.

I had one of the closest buildings at a moderate resort to the bus stop and I still had to walk about 15 minutes. Depending on where the bus stop is at the parks you could be walking very close to 1 mile just to get to the park gates.

getting close to transportation at the resort can be very handy, but that is nothing compared to the amount of Walking he's going to have to do in the park. You should plan on walking between eight and 12 miles a day. He may want to speak to his doctor about this , especially if the exertion could cause problems with his heart.

you can request a building close to a bus stop in a resort, but that honestly is the least of your concerns when it comes to walking.

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Old 04-10-2013, 07:01 AM   #5
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I want to agree with KPeveler about the resorts being the least of the walking. The other thing is that while there are benches in the park, there aren't as many as you'd expect and even in the off-season you may have a point where your father needs to sit and none of the benches he can reach have room. There are also no benches in queues and some of the queues are 1/4 mile long and that distance cannot be shortened (1/4 mile to the ride and another 1/4 mile leaving it). If he won't rent a wheelchair or ECV (scooter) before you go, I'd suggest bringing the information for at least one of the off-site rental companies so that if he gets there and can't manage without one, you have a way to call. You can rent at the parks, but they're more expensive, don't help at the resort, and tend to be larger and less maneuverable than many of the rentals.

I would also make sure he checks things out with his doctor before he goes. The doctor may even tell him that he needs to rent an ECV or wheelchair to be able to go.

I'm not sure what your father's specific problems are with an ECV or wheelchair, but it may help to point out to him that you will see people of all ages using wheelchairs and ECVs at WDW and many of them don't use them while at home. As well, using them won't slow you down, most lines are mainstreamed so they won't result in "special treatment" or "cutting the line", and that if he has an ECV he'll likely have more independence than he would walking since he'll be able to move himself around easier. ECVs do require more concentration than a wheelchair since they're motorized and you aren't being pushed, but if you think your father could drive a car safely, he can likely drive an ECV safely (in some cases there are people who can't drive cars who can drive ECVs safely, but a car's an easy comparison point).
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
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I bring my own chair and went 14 miles in Magic Kindom alone Of course I was out all day having a wonderful time.

You can get a room close in the resort. I like Pop's. it is very accessible and my room has always been close to the buses.

Think about getting a scooter. It was nice that I was the only one still going after the rest of them got all tired out

I got over to Epcot and just kicked back and enjoyed myself over by Italy. You will need to look for shade and when you are in a scooter you won't have any problems sitting were you want.

Try to talk you dad into a scooter he will have too much of a walk other wise
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:41 AM   #7
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What we did with my mil is pick a spot about a mile away and ask her if she could walk there. When she said yes, we added and back, three times. Then repeat it for several days.
That kind of made her realize how much walking we would do. You can also have a trip to a local zoo or amusement park. Spend the whole day and as you leave ask if he's ready to do it again at 9 am tomorrow.
The hotel really is the least of your concerns and a deluxe may not mean less walking. Some of those rooms are far away
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:18 AM   #8
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Port Orleans French Quarter is a relatively small resort, and very easy to get around. I highly recommend it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
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At some of the moderates you can reserve a preferred location room and those are close to the food court and the main bus stop for the resort. Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans Riverside both have that option. Port Orleans French Quarter is small enough that all of the room are fairly close to the main areas but I would also make that request on my reservation. At CBR make sure you request a ground floor room as there are no elevators. Same with Riverside if you reserve a preferred location room. Alligator Bayou, where the preferred rooms are location, does not have elevators either.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:33 AM   #10
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Another thing to consider at the resort is that "closest" to the bus stop may NOT be close to the main building - food court, restaurant, main pool, etc. And at most resorts these are considered "preferred" rooms for which WDW will charge an additional $10/night or something. Requests can be made for 1st floor (if no elevators), close to bus stop, close to food court. You can make requests, but it is just a request and no guarantee - some people have even reported reserving a "preferred" room and not getting it.

I agree with others that most of the walking, though, will be around the parks. Time is on your side. Try a day-trip somewhere local. Or as someone suggested pick a point about a half-mile to a mile away...ask if he can walk there...and back...again...and again, etc. There really is a lot of walking. He shouldn't feel self-conscious using a scooter to help him get around, it will make the trip more enjoyable for EVERYONE, not just him. He could try one out at the local grocery store or big-box store, those are harder to use than what he would rent at WDW. And I suggest an off-site rental so he can use it at the resort as well.

Enjoy your vacation!
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:48 AM   #11
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POFQ is quite compact. I use a scooter in the parks, but walk POFQ for the pool/food court/gift shop when we are going elsewhere.

Request a first floor near transportation and the walk won't be bad at all. There are benches along the way.

Love POFQ! Plus you use the boat to DTD rather than dealing with a bus.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #12
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I'm a relatively healthy adult and by the end of our trip in December, I refused to let my husband push my daughter in her chair, I wanted to use it to help support me...
Are you driving there? If so, (and I KNOW you lose some of the "magic") I might suggest staying off-site. We stayed offsite our last couple of trips and have been able to park right at the entrance to the hotel (last time) or right in front of our room (time before that). Once you're in a smaller property you will have a much easier time being close to everything, and do a lot less walking, at your hotel.
You might want to get his doctor on board, let the doctor know (even if you can't talk to the doctor, if you're not authorized, you can leave a message with a secretary or have your mom talk to the doctor if your dad won't----I have a stubborn dad. Let the doctor know your trip plans, even without encouragement from you the doctor might suggest a scooter, "just for the trip". If your dad agrees, he might see that it's beneficial and decide on one for home as well. It's incredible how much easier it could make every day lift. Just because he has one doesn't mean he has to use it all the time, he could park it outside restaurants while eating, or outside a ride (assuming the line is short enough he can wait. It's not all the walking but the waiting in line as well that he'll have to deal with, or standing long periods for parades, or waiting for the bus.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #13
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Have you let your father know that it will negatively impact your trip to have him walking. He will slow the whole party down. Just because you use a mobility device at WDW doesn't mean you have to use one in daily life. Also, point out that he will meet NO one who knows him....and NO one whose opinion of him matters in the slightest! Tell him he would be doing you a favor to use one.
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