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Old 01-02-2008, 06:23 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18

Just back from WDW using a wheelchair


My biggest problem was at the Pirates of Carribean. I was asked if I could walk 15o feet or yards...Couldn't really hear what she said...then she asked if I could stand as the wait was under 5 minutes and then if I could transfer into the boat.
I said yes.....stupidly....and the walk seemed way more than 150 yards and at the top the wait was way more than 5 minutes...I had to turn back imediately and was so angry to know now I could have taken the chair up to the top.
We also were going to lock the wheelchair, but this CM insisted she would watch it and guaranteed there would be no issue...(She also moved our wheelchair so when we got back I needed to sit ASAP & wasted more time looking for my wheelchair....
From the overexertion, I got so cold and I was so upset over this CM's poor explanation and underestimation of what she was requiring me to do
...nor did she say I COULD have stayed in the chair till it was time to load...we went to the fireworks and I was freezing and tears were streaming down my face....

I wanted to go back to MK on 12/31 to try it again- but staying in the chair till transfer time at the end of the walk- but MK was closed by the time we tried to enter at 11:20 AM NYE and we were turned away.....stupid me cried again....
but overall the rest of it all was fine,...the 4 visits we did have to the Parks....

On the lighter side, noone farted in my face.

On the weirder side : A kid at the Indiana Jones stunt show decided climbing all over the back of my wheelchair was ok,,,,,as did his parents....

wish I did have some sort of padding for the end of my footplates for those people who innocently underestimated the clearance as they were walking by...I did feel bad & would have padded the ends...

Then there was the woman who could not wait about 2 seconds for me to pass and had to step over the front of me and my legs......the evil woman in me wanted to trip her. I figured Karma will take care of her one day in the future....
BTW Magic Kingdom was VERY dark & I wish I had used glow stick necklaces for me and around the foot rests of the wheelchair. How can people help but run into you when they cannot see you???
If I went back to MK, I would definitely find a way to make my wheelchair more visible to other pedestrians....(ppl have mentioned getting dollar store stuff before they travel to Disney)
MGM was much better, we didn't stay at Epcot at night so I can't comment on their lighting.

It was a very eye opening experience to use my wheelchair at WDW.
In general all the CM's were helpful and kind....except for the one at the Pirates of Caribbean.
I did feel bad for my husband who had to push me all over and stood while waiting while I sat. I felt terrible he had the work of pushing me and then had to stand. It was nice when there was some seating by entrances to some rides- so he got a little break too.

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Old 01-02-2008, 09:20 PM   #2
Earning My Ears
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Thanks for the tip about the glow necklaces. Our first trip with PWD daughter will be in early Feb. She will definitely like decorating her WC with glowing accessories and we still have time to do it up good.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting! I may be going next mth and since I've recently had foot surgery will be using a wheelchair. I am very anxious about this. I like the idea of the glow necklaces tied onto your chair. I'm concerned about my dh pushing me too...and it means my ds will have to push dd in her stroller. Just doesn't seem fair. Usually he gets a stroller still at EPCOT, now that's impossible. We'll just have to take it slower. That's all. If it were a personal vaca'n I'd postpone, but dh has a business trip and 8N at CSR along w/ a food allowance is just too good to pass up.I've thought about using an ECV but I'm nervous about that in crowded places too! Especially since I'd be an inexperienced driver! I can just imagine. I don't want to run anyone down. I'm really getting anxious about this trip. Sorry for the long post! If you think of any other tips that would help me I'd appreciate it!!!!
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ms.ojo View Post
I've thought about using an ECV but I'm nervous about that in crowded places too! Especially since I'd be an inexperienced driver! I can just imagine. I don't want to run anyone down.
Why not spend some time at a WalMart (or similar) or a large grocery store and use one of their loaner ECVs. Note that these are larger and harder to maneuver than Disney's and much larger and more difficult than the off-site rentals. This will get ride of the inexperience. And just schedule Epcot as your first park; it is effectively the least crowded and easiest to learn at.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:57 AM   #5
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I bought a couple of the battery powered LED necklaces at EPCOT one evening and wrapped them around the spokes of my chair. They worked a treat and also got me some good positive comments from passers by.

Ms.ojo try not to worry too much about using an ECV, you'll be OK. You're going at a reasonably quiet time, so you shouldn't find many crowds most of the time. Just make sure you get settled a while before parades etc. start, and wait for a little while afterwards for the crowds to clear. If you're staying for fireworks, linger for a little while after they've finished to let people clear; most guests run straight for the exit as soon as it's over, hoping to beat the crowds, but it's actually better to wait for a while. The shops all stay open until everyone's left, so you can always wander around them while you wait, to keep the kids entertained.

Thank you for the report, Bernadette. Sorry you had such a rough time with Pirates. The first time I rode it this year, they convinced me to transfer to one of their chairs; never again! The foot plates are way to high, and by the time I had bored, had flared up my joints so much that I barely knew what was happening in the ride! From then on, I just said I had to take my own chair in the line. None of them argued and it was so much better. We ended up riding about 6 or 7 times this trip!
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