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Old 05-02-2013, 10:56 PM   #1
Brandee987
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Disney with child with heart condition

One of our daughters has a complex heart defect. We have planned a DisneyWorld trip in June. We live in Texas so she is accustomed to heat, but not long periods of it. We have taken her to Branson (Silver Dollar City) and she did good, but it is very shady and not that far to walk between attractions. I have had people suggest to me something about talking to Guest relations. How would I do this? Do I need to get a note from her cardio? Thanks for any other helpful info you have about doing Disney with someone with a heart condition.

**just read the FAQ thread! WOW lots of helpful info!! Glad I found this forum!!***
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:21 AM   #2
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my dgd7 has heart problem along with adhd. we take a special needs stroller because she fizzles out and needs rest, especially cant take the heat. plus stroller helps with her quiet spot when adhd kicks in. don't know how old your daughter is, but I would definitely consider wheel chair/stroller/ecv since there is tons of walking. I just get nervous about her condition and don't want to take any chances in having her overworked. for gac, no note is needed, you just explain your situation.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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Thank you! The more I read about all the walking at Disney the more nervous I am getting. My daughter is a Fontan kiddo so getting dehydrated just a tiny bit can really do a number on her... She is 9, but she is small enough to fit in stroller. Did you bring your own stroller or would you recommend renting one in the park?
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:34 AM   #4
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we have always brought our own stroller. now we have moved up to a special needs one, it looks just like a regular one just a little larger. A few years ago, our foot rest broke one day in mk. so we tried renting one and ended up returning it in5 mins and just dealt with a dragging footrest. the rental was hard and uncomfortable for her. she had sensory issues and adhd, so sometimes things have to be "just right" for her. a lot of people use them, so I guess they aren't that bad. but it definitely would be better than having her walk the whole day. would wonder about the size, if she would fit comfortably. there are outside companies that rent special needs strollers or children wheel chairs. you could order it ahead and they drop off at your hotel before you check in. we have done that a few times with ecv's and it worked great.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:52 AM   #5
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You can rent from the parks - but those will only be available to you IN each park and not to/from the buses or around the resort or anywhere else. And as a PP mentioned, they are hard plastic so some kids don't find them very comfortable.

Another option is to rent off-site for the length of your visit. This is likely less expensive than the park rentals, and usually a more comfortable stroller. I think many of the rental companies are using City Mini's as the regular strollers, or there are some "special needs" stroller for older/larger kids. However, these can be bulky for folding to ride buses.

A third option is to bring your own stroller - I'm not sure how comfortable a 9-year-old (even a small one) would be in a traditional baby stroller, especially if she hasn't been using it. When our DD outgrew the typical umbrella stroller we had used, we bought a Maclaren Major Elite. It's very similar to a typical umbrella stroller (folds easily/compactly, light-weight) just a little larger for older kids (up to 140lbs it said, but that might be a little over-generous). We ended up buying a used one for less than we would have rented it for the week. We rarely use it now, but we have it and toss it in the car for other vacation as "just in case."

If she's big enough, you might look into a pediatric wheelchair. But a small 9-year-old might prefer the stroller - depends on her view of such things.

As a note, she doesn't need to remain riding in the stroller the whole time. You can park it and walk for a bit if she'd like or need the exercise, then back to the stroller. Also, any CS restaurant in the parks will provide ice water for free just for asking - we bring refillable waterbottles and do this to stay hydrated.

Enjoy your vacation!
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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Wow thanks for all the info! I just found an offsite rental for the Maclaren Major Elite. I think that is the way we will go. She is about 60 lbs so it should be perfect. Good to know about the ice water at CS restaurants. Speaking of CS... I purchased the dining plan with 2 CS and 1 snack per day. I am thinking I may need to upgrade to one sit down dinner to build in some rest time in air conditioning.... Do the CS restaurants have places to sit inside?
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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a lot of cs has seats indoors or some have seating outdoors with some shade. off the top of my head, I can come up with atleast one inside cs in each park, can quickly think of a few in mk. you should be ok with cs. plus when you go into attractions, sometimes you are in air cond or shade, which will help. or you can always go inside a store to cool down.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:12 AM   #8
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There are places to sit in air conditioning at a lot of CS places.

Also, you may need to visit GS and get a stroller as WC tag. That will allow you to take the stroller in line and in the buildings. This is especially important at Epcot.

I would also get a GAC for stroller as WC and let GS know about her issues. They can determine how best to help.

A lot of the regular restaurants have characters at the meals. This is a good way to meet and get pictures with the characters without having to stand in line!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:02 PM   #9
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Also consider if this is the best time of the year to go.

If it must be this time, then get up early and then leave before lunch, and then come back in the late afternoon.

Also use the stroller as wheelchair option as mentioned but have a shade on the stroller.

Also can you have some sort of cooling devices such as those cooling neck wraps (e.g., http://polarbreezebandanas.com/).

Perhaps one of those misting fans as well?
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:33 PM   #10
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DH and I debated on this time for travel. I wanted to wait until November, but work schedule trumps. We are thinking one of us will stay at park with other 9 year old and one go back to hotel if needed. I think the neck wrap is a great suggestion. I have learned so much today just researching the boards. Taking notes and watching Youtubes on attractions that look like good rest stops like Tiki Room at Epcot, Presidents at MK....any others?? I don't think I can sit through the country bear jamboree, but if we need the AC I just may do that!
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:20 PM   #11
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Remember that first aid/baby care stations are also available to you for resting.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:10 PM   #12
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Going at Rope Drop is a good option, you can do alot of things before it gets to hot! With the wheelchair tag for your stroller, you can take it in places, but most of those will require her to be in it (like The Presidents Hall). A CM told me that when we was going in the Hall, DD was walking at the time, she does not need it all the time, but she gets tired easly, so we took the stroller. We had the choice of her being in it to go inside with it or we could leave it outside in the stroller area, which was nice.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:57 PM   #13
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someone just a week ago on here told me about the cooling towels. think they are called something like frog togs (?) I did find them on the computer but my daughter said she saw them in Five Below last year and Dicks. We are going to try them this summer trip. In DHS Great Movie Ride is a nice cooling spot. In AK Nemo and Lion King shows are both good too.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
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Walmart is carrying Frogg Togs now, also available at most sporting good stores, they are great! Wet them, ring them out and put them back in the plastic container they came in, they stay cool while moist, if they get dry (they won't in the container) or if you want to rinse them out just wet them and start again. I learned on our Easter trip that after being closed up in the container all winter they had a musty odor so I threw them in the washing machine and they turned out great. Now I am leaving them out of the container until I need them again, they are hard as rocks and stiff as a board but they are clean As soon as I wet them again they will be cool and supple. They are a nice size without being too big, perfect to wipe any part of your body with ease. OP - in your case you could easily wipe the cloth over your daughters face, arms, legs, trunk if she got too warm to cool her off fast as you look for a cool place to rest for a while. I bought mine when they were only available in blue but they come in other colors so you can buy her favorite color. I want to say they are under $15 at walmart but last a long time, I am still using my original 2 from about 2 years ago and no sign of wearing out any time soon.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:42 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! I found the frog toggs on amazon. All of these ideas are so helpful. Keeping note about the first aid/baby care stations too!!
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