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Old 01-23-2011, 12:32 PM   #1
Jonell
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1st trip with someone in scooter or WC

We have reservations in Sept and I'm thinking of taking my mom with us. She has arthritis and cannot walk very long distances. I know she will need to use a wheelchair or scooter. She has never used a scooter and I think she will not be comfortable with it. Has anyone pushed someone around the parks in a wheelchair and how difficult do you think it will be? Can anyone recommend a place to rent a wheelchair that will be delivered to the resort?
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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I push my 100 lb DS (and I don't weight much more than that) in a WC on the days he needs it and it's not hard. AK is the most challenging park because there are so many hills. Last trip DH had to be in a scooter (NO way I was going to attempt to push him) so he rented the scooter from Apple and they were great. He drove it around a bit before going to the parks but it was easy to maneuver. You may need to back it into the bus and load it for her (the bus drivers don't). It took DH a bit of trial and error to do that but it did not embarass him. We usually took the buses at non peak hours.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:20 PM   #3
Bete
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Wink I push my mom in a wheelchair

and if I can do it anyone can do it. The good thing about Disney is you are not pushing the wheelchair non stop. You go a little with the wheelchair and you see a show and rest. You go a little more and you stand in line for a ride. Then you go so more and rest and see a parade. Then you go and eat and rest so more. Finally, you see fireworks and rest and then go back to the resort. You get the idea. I don't think I've ever done more than a half hour at one time with pushing the wheelchair non stop. I think it's more like 15 minute intervals. I will say it would behove you to alternate activities ; so, you can have rest periods built in. AK is probably the hardest park as the other poster said. The terrain is rough, it's the largest park and there are inclines there. I always eat well at Disney including desserts and I still come home losing weight pushing a wheelchair.

Make sure you use all ramped sidewalks and don't run off a curb with a wheelchair. Take turns if there are others who can help push it. You will be slower than just walking around the park; so, everyone has to adjust some to the speed of the wheelchair. Don't make it seem like a chore to do this for your mom; make it feel like an honor to be pushing her.

Now, if your mom drives she may be okay with a scooter. It would be faster with a scooter. She can try out a free one at your local store like Wal-Mart or Target, etc. She may need help with it on and off the bus. It is very hard to park the scooter in the right place on the bus. There's too many twists and turns to get it into the right area and it's tight quarters to do it on the bus. The good thing is you get on first with a scooter or wheelchair, but you do get off last. You may want to consider renting a scooter at the park and then you don't have to charge the battery and you don't have to take it on and off the buses. It does cost almost double to rent from Disney as oppose to an outside rental company for a scooter. You would have to make it to the parks from the resorts and vice versa by walking if you rent from the parks. Sometimes, you can find loaner wheelchairs in the parking lots, but they can be hard to get and find and they're only meant to get you back and forth from the parks to the parking lots.

It is very crowded at Disney and you can't judge using a scooter at home with one in the park. People will dart out in front of you at the parks and you have to be able to stop or move away very fast with the scooter. Also, many ride queues have twists and turns and you have to handle that aspect, too.

You may want to do a practice run at home with a scooter and visit a zoo; many zoos rent them. It will give you some idea of how it is to use one in a park.

I like to rent from Apple Scooters. They do wheelchairs, too. They are among the most reasonable in price and they have given me good service.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:22 PM   #4
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Last trip, I took my mom who has knee problems. She was originally very hesitant to get an ECV. I looked into it before hand, talked to her about it, and she just would have no part of it, even though I thought it was the best choice for her. So I left it alone, no sense stressing her out. After our first full day at DW, she realized she was very sore. She felt bad b/c she felt she was holding us up. We didnt mind, but she didnt want to feel like she was being a burden. So we tried a wheelchair rental at AK. It was ok, but it was hard to push at times up the hills, and she isnt experienced in one so she had a hard time navigating without help. That night we rented an ECV from Walker Mobility while we were eating dinner at BOMA. They delivered it to the resort before we even got back. It was the best decision we made that trip. It was easy to ride, with a few quick tips from bell service, and it made her feel very comfortable & independent. Now she was able to keep up with us. It was very easy at DW to use one, park it while going on a ride, and charging it at night was a breeze. My mom would not think twice about it next time. Her only regret was that she didnt have it the first day.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:07 PM   #5
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We push a wheelchair with DD all over WDW, but she is less than 90 pounds, has an ultralightweight custom wheelchair and we are used to it.

Post #2 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread has information about renting wheelchairs and ECVs in the WDW area. This includes phone numbers and links to websites.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:29 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the info. My mom is around 200lbs so pushing her in a wheelchair may be a challenge. I'm going to try to talk her into a scooter. We are staying at AKV in a value 1 BR. Does anyone know if any of these villas have a handicap shower? Also if me or my husband are driving the scooter onto the WDW bus loading ramp for my mother how will my mother get onto the bus? She cannot climb the stairs. Will she be able to use the loading ramp? For rides that have the moving loading platforms/conveyer belts like HM, Spaceship Earth, Nemo, PP, ect..do they stop the moving platforms for handicap people to transfer onto the rides. I think this it would be a fall hazard for her if they don't. Sorry for so may questions but I want her to be able to go with us and experience all the magic of WDW since she has never been before. TIA
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonell View Post
Also if me or my husband are driving the scooter onto the WDW bus loading ramp for my mother how will my mother get onto the bus? She cannot climb the stairs. Will she be able to use the loading ramp?
Most of the buses actually have ramps now, not lifts. If someone else drives the ECV onto the bus for her, she will be able to just walk up the ramp before the driver puts it away. Just make sure the driver knows that she needs to do that.
The buses that have lifts do have stairs to get in, but the buses with ramps have a very low single step to get in if she does not use the ramp.

I would probably suggest waiting for another bus if one of the older lift buses come.
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For rides that have the moving loading platforms/conveyer belts like HM, Spaceship Earth, Nemo, PP, ect..do they stop the moving platforms for handicap people to transfer onto the rides. I think this it would be a fall hazard for her if they don't. Sorry for so may questions but I want her to be able to go with us and experience all the magic of WDW since she has never been before. TIA
Post #11 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread has a complete list of attractions with moving walkways - people assume there are a lot, but actually there are only 9. You can find the disABILITIES FAQS thread near the top of this board or follow the link in my signature to get there.

On page 2 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread, posts 18-21 have information about boarding and which attractions have a step over or into the ride car. Those posts also list the attractions where she will be able to stay in the ECV for the whole attraction and which require a transfer.

If a guest is using an ECV or wheelchair in the lines, in most cases, the CMs will slow down the moving walkway (except Peter Pan and Tommorowland Transit Authority, which can’t be slowed or stopped). If you need the walkway stopped or slowed more than the CMs have slowed it, you need to say that to the CM - since most people do fine just with slowing it, that is what they do. If you need more than that, you need to let them know.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:19 AM   #8
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Arrow Just in case

On one trip with my MIL we ended up doing a wheelchair from resort to park and vice versa. She weighed about the same as your mom. We rented at the park for a scooter. At the park my MIL managed with a scooter, but she was awkward with it. Disney scooter rental will let you leave the wheelchair there when you rent a scooter from them.

First let me say my MIL drove a car for many years. With the scooter my MIL would let go of the handlebars to rub her nose or adjust her hat. Everytime she did this the scooter would stop. This was very annoying. If she felt others were too close she would stop. In reality, they weren't that close. Fortunately, we never had a major accident with anyone, but it was a little scary. It was very slow going around the parks this way. I walked and held my hand up all the time to show her were to go. Verbalizing wasn't good enough from place to place. I looked back quite often to make sure she was doing okay. I would be at her side sometimes, too. My husband was in back of her; so, we had her covered front and back. I parked the scooter for all the rides and hubby held her to get onto all the rides and off. If she had issues going through ride queues I tooked over the scooter for that part, too. Looking back at this it would have been better to use a wheelchair for her even though she weighed over 200 pounds.

Be prepared both ways. Try the scooter at home, but if she seems not to get it; you may want to switch to a wheelchair or maybe alternate days doing this for her. Use the scooter for the bigger parks and maybe a wheelchair for the smaller parks.

I absolutely would practice with the scooters you can use at home before the trip. Be sure your mom can handle one. Most people are alright, but there are a few where learning something new can be a challenge.
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