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Old 06-14-2013, 10:03 AM   #1
Barbara C
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Visiting WDW with a family that has a disabled child

Hi -

We are thinking about coordinating a trip to WDW with friends that have a disabled child. We have never traveled with them before but they have been to WDW before and receive some special access as well as some conceirge service.

What is the protocol if we are traveling with them? They have 3 children (one with a disability) and we have 3 children so with 4 adults, there would be 10 of us in total. I would feel like I am taking advantage of the situation if we got quicker entry into rides, etc but on the flip side I'm not sure it makes sense for us to wait in separate lines if we are traveling together.

Does anyone have any insight as to how we could handle this?

dh me ds (10) dd (10) ds (8)
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:23 AM   #2
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In most cases the lines are mainstreamed, which means that you will all be in the same line. Sometimes there the accessible line may split off at the end so that the handicapped guest can board their ride boat in a switch back that allows them to take their time, and the boat then rejoins the regular track. Sometimes, at some point the handicapped guest may have a detour to use an elevator rather than stairs. But for most of the time, on most rides, you will be together.

However some rides, mostly in the Magic Kingdom, do not have accessible lines. In that case you will need to split up. The policy is that the handicapped guest may have up to 5 others in their party (total of 6) for the accessible entry.

The same is true for loading buses. If the child is in a wheelchair, they wait in a separate area with their party, and load first (for safety reasons). Again, there is a max of 6 in this party, so the rest of you would need to wait in the regular line. If all of the WC spots are filled on the bus, you may finds that you have the option to take the current bus and the other family will have to wait for the next.

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Old 06-14-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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It depends on what the need is, what stamp is on the GAC and condition of the ride itself. If they need to use the handicap entrance then for almost all the rides you will be able to stay together in the lines, because as pp said the lines are mainstreamed. If they need a quite place to wait, then more than likely, at the few rides that offer that accommodation, the CM will only allow the child and his/her family. If they allowed all 10 of you then it would make it harder on other families that need the space.
For shows, unless the child is in a wheelchair and need the special seating in the back row, you should all be able to stay together.
A common misconception is that disabled people get on the rides faster. In some cases the wait is longer than the regular line. SueM in MN ( one of the moderators of this board) has a perfect example of this that she often shares that involves a wait for Small World.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:58 PM   #4
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It really depends on what the child's specific needs are. A lot also depends on whatever the conditions are at the time you arrive at an attractions. The first thing to do is to go to Guest Services in any park, explain the child's specific needs, and see what kind of accommodations are possible.

If she does need an accommodation that makes a change in normal procedure necessary, only 5 people will be allowed to do it with her, as a PP said.
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:10 PM   #5
Barbara C
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Thanks for the info everyone. From what you've told me, it sounds like everything will work out fine. Without getting into details, their dd has a visible, permanent disability. But we will be in the line and ride together when we can and if she needs special access, we'll have to meet up after the ride.

Thanks again.
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