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Old 07-21-2012, 11:26 AM   #1
LarryBoy
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Question Firework and parade viewing?

Is there a designated area for special needs guests to view fireworks and parades, especially in the MK? In our case my son is autistic, we will be getting a GAC, and I was wondering if there was an area where we could view the fireworks and/or parades that would be less crowded. He really wants to see the fireworks, but we are going next week and standing for an extended period in such a large crowd may be challenging.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:19 PM   #2
Cheshire Figment
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The only designated areas are for people in wheelchairs or ECVs and they are wheel-to-wheel at the rope. In most of those areas they are only able to have one additional person with them. And those areas do get full.

They do not allow anyone else in, even with a GAC.
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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Our GAC experience has allowed us into the wheelchair area for some parades, we haven't tried for fireworks.

I think it depends on the crowds & the CM's working the area. One night the 3 of us were the only people in an accessible area for Main St Electrical (2nd running, in the area by the Roy & Minnie statue). We've also always been allowed access at AK. MK can be hit or miss, but we've been allowed in more often than not. We have the best chance at the area in Frontierland since there is a small corner in that accessible area that isnt really accessible to a chair. So we just ask if we can take that corner.

We don't even ask if the area is filling up; our whole reason for wanting to be there is to allow my son some elbow room to prevent a meltdown. When we are allowed access he knows he has to allow the chairs in front of him; even though he's been told he could sit in a 'chair spot' since he is the one that needs the access. He doesnt like that crowded feeling so we politely decline and let the chairs go in front.
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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There are no wheelchair spots for the fireworks. Castmembers will try to point out good spots but those can quickly turn out to be lousy spots when people decide to stand in front of you or crawl over you. I was right on the walkway area that is supposed to be kept clear by parade control and was completely blocked by people who decided that they were going to stand in that area and not move. Plus some people who wanted out decided that the area next to me was clear and tried to exit through it. It was not clear but was occupied by a stroller with a baby in it. Yikes. Used my footrests to try to get over in spite of my telling them to get off my wheelchair. Next time I push.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
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The accessible viewing area can get really full and most likely those with him will have to stay behind him rather than beside him. We don't try to use those areas for our autistic daughter.

At MK, try watching the fireworks from the rose garden. While it's not a straight on view of the fireworks, most people don't even know it's there any you get an amazing view of Tink flying. For the parades, watching from near Hall of Presidents or in Adventureland will be much less crowded.
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:59 PM   #6
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For the MK fireworks, what we found works best for our DD is going to the Poly and watching the fireworks from the beach there. We get a snack/dessert while waiting. Depending on timing, we'll also hang around and wait to watch the Electric Water Pagent. Really no crowds when we've done this and if we get there early enough we can grab a beach chair or just sit on the edge of the sidewalk, or bring a towel and sit on the sand.

Enjoy your vacation.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
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If you do watch fireworks from inside a park, make sure to hang back after the show ends. You do NOT want to be in the middle of that crowd. Wait until the crowd has thinned and then slowly make your way towards the front.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #8
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It's expensive but Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party will give you
an amazing view of the fireworks.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasan View Post
It's expensive but Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party will give you
an amazing view of the fireworks.
But may not keep you out of crowds when everyone stands at the edge.

We tend to watch the fireworks outside the park. We did watch Illuminations recently in Japan on the second floor(outside). Very few people around.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #10
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Besides what has already been posted:
There are a few handicapped parade and Illuminations viewing areas with benches, but those are at the back of the viewing area. So, if you sit there, you will be behind all the guests with wheelchairs.
So that those in wheelchairs don’t have someone standing in front of them, CMs line up all the wheelchairs across the front of the area. Usually the wheelchairs are tightly packed, nearly touching, so they can get as many people as possible into the front row. The standing members of the party will be standing behind the wheelchairs from that party.

The areas tend to fill up quickly and early and sometimes some areas are in demand enough that there are 2 rows of wheelchairs, one behind the other. We have already been at WDW at not very busy times when some of the smaller viewing areas were already totally filled more than an hour before the show.

Specifically for Illuminations, you could be better off just finding a spot. The show will be on/above the World Showcase Lagoon, which has a fence all along it. It probably will be easier for you to just find an area along the fence to stand or sit on the ground to watch Illuminations.
and, as the others mentioned, there are no handicapped viewing areas for fireworks at MK.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasan
It's expensive but Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party will give you
an amazing view of the fireworks.
We did this for the first time on 7/4 and loved it. DS12 has autism and we avoid all the parades and fireworks because he is uncomfortable in crowds. The dessert party is pretty intimate, capped at 50 guests. People stood at the railing and we never felt smushed. I think we were two rows deep, with all the kids in the front. Not everyone stood, too. I think some people were just as happy to sit at their table and eat dessert!

What we liked most was that the hostess invited us to sit for as long as we wanted after wishes was over. Nearly everyone else left and the food had long been cleared away but our family really liked to just sit and enjoy the quiet space. We saw the tops of the MSEP floats and the view of MM&Y was great.

Feel free to PM me if you have questions. I highly recommend the dessert party.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:10 AM   #12
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In addition to the wheelchair areas there are also 'preferred viewing' areas for both Wishes and Illuminations and the number of guests in these areas is strictly controlled. Access is complimentary with some WDW resort & ticket packages and you need to reserve a space in advance. I'm not sure if you could request a space if you don't have access with your package but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

At MK the preferred viewing area is on the Plaza Terrace the seating area in front of the Plaza restaurant which has a good view of the fireworks now that some of the trees have been trimmed it's not a good place for parades viewing though. At Epcot the area is on the Morocco boat dock and also not a bad view. Since these areas are never likely to be too crowded they may suit your DS better.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasan View Post
It's expensive but Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party will give you
an amazing view of the fireworks.
How much is this?
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:08 PM   #14
dasan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryBoy View Post
How much is this?
It depends on the time of year. Four of us in August is costing us
$105 and for that you get the amazing view and all you can eat dessert
buffet. Google Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party and look
at Google images and you can see all the desserts that are available.

We have two children with Autism and we figure it's worth the price
to not have to battle crowds. Plus I'm in the good books with the wife
after she saw what the desserts looked like.
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