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Old 10-19-2012, 09:34 AM   #1
hardrocker1
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2 handicapped people in our party, questions

Well, we started out with 5 of us going, our little family of 2 adults, 2 kids and my handicapped MIL, my SIL and her husband just announced they are coming too. My SIL is handicapped also. My MIL's handicap is a bad back which makes standing for long periods difficult for her, as well as mild vertigo, however, she went with us recently to an amusement park and rode a lot of pretty wild coasters and rides with no problem, other than the park attendants and one of us had to help her in and out of those rides that are below ground level.

However, my SIL is very big ( I prefer the term 'fluffy' like a famous comedian says), as in 400+ pounds fluffy. She recently had bypass surgery and is hoping to drop a significant amount of weight before we go in June. Say she gets down to an even 400, is there any rides she will not be able to ride? She is a coaster fan. My MIL, is insisting she is going to walk in the parks, I think this is a bad idea for her back and occasional dizziness, my SIL wants a motorized scooter.

I posted this in another forum, about how I read in a WDW book that most handicapped or disabled people are sent to the front of the lines and the book also mentioned staff being able to help people on and off. The others on the other thread I posted says neither of these things are true.

What is the procedures for those with physical disabilities in the parks?

Blessings, Michelle
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardrocker1 View Post
Well, we started out with 5 of us going, our little family of 2 adults, 2 kids and my handicapped MIL, my SIL and her husband just announced they are coming too. My SIL is handicapped also. My MIL's handicap is a bad back which makes standing for long periods difficult for her, as well as mild vertigo, however, she went with us recently to an amusement park and rode a lot of pretty wild coasters and rides with no problem, other than the park attendants and one of us had to help her in and out of those rides that are below ground level.

However, my SIL is very big ( I prefer the term 'fluffy' like a famous comedian says), as in 400+ pounds fluffy. She recently had bypass surgery and is hoping to drop a significant amount of weight before we go in June. Say she gets down to an even 400, is there any rides she will not be able to ride? She is a coaster fan. My MIL, is insisting she is going to walk in the parks, I think this is a bad idea for her back and occasional dizziness, my SIL wants a motorized scooter.

I posted this in another forum, about how I read in a WDW book that most handicapped or disabled people are sent to the front of the lines and the book also mentioned staff being able to help people on and off. The others on the other thread I posted says neither of these things are true.

What is the procedures for those with physical disabilities in the parks?

Blessings, Michelle
Amost all the stand by lines are able to accomodate a wheelchair/ECV. Disney typically will recommend renting a w/c for endurance issues.

There is a disabilties map at guest services that will explain about entrances and boarding. I think you will find most entrances to the ride are the same whether walking or using a w/c.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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There is a ton of info on the landing page FAQ's Disney if very pooh friendly so larger people can almost always ride. Most rides are mainstreamed there is no front of the line pass a few rides in magic Kingdom you go to the exit but sometimes wait longer then the normal line
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:37 AM   #4
SueM in MN
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I'll just post what I posted on your other thread

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Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
What you read in that book is not correct. Most lines are Mainstreamed, which means that the line is accessible. In most cases, someone using an ECV (motorized scooter) or wheelchair waits in the same line as all the other guests.

The only people with disabilities who go to the front of the line are children on Make a Wish or other similar trips. And, not even they go to the front of lines.

For the few lines where there is a different way in for guests using wheelchairs or ECVs, you don't need anything. When there is a different way in, it's because the regular line or boarding area is not accessible. The CMs (Cast Members) will see her ECV and route you to the correct place.
All attractions are wheelchair accessible to the boarding area; some are not ECV accessible, but will have a wheelchair that she can transfer to if she is not able to stand in line. There are very few attractions that have a place to sit while waiting and a Guest Assistance Card will not shorten the distance walked, so if she has problems with walking distances or standing, she needs to use the ECV or a wheelchair in line.

As others already mentioned, you will get a lot more information from the disABILITIES Board.
Follow the link in my signature to the disABILITIES FAQs thread.
Post one of that thread is an index to what is in each post.
Post 2 is about ECV and wheelchair rental. One post on the first page lists the 'mobility entrances' (in most cases, the entrance is the regular entrance).
One the second page, there is a list of attractions with warnings - as others posted, the coasters do have warnings for people with back or neck problems. Although they don't specifically say vertigo - that is one condition those same attractions could cause problems for.

As the other posters mentioned, CMs are not allowed to physically help guests on and off rides. So, if she needs help, someone in your group will need to help her.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardrocker1 View Post
I posted this in another forum, about how I read in a WDW book that most handicapped or disabled people are sent to the front of the lines and the book also mentioned staff being able to help people on and off. The others on the other thread I posted says neither of these things are true.
I suggest you check-out the disABILITIES FAQ sticky at the top of this forum, it has a lot of good information.

What you read was incorrect. There is no "front of the line" access except for some children on Make-A-Wish trips. Also WDW CMs will NOT assist a guest entering or exiting a ride vehicle - the rest of your party will need to do that. If needed, they can show moving walkways and such, but the CMs do not provide hands-on assistance to guests.

I recommend your MIL get an ECV. She is welcome to drive it for a bit, then park and walk around if that is her preference. However, if standing in lines is a challenge for her, Disney's standard response is for the guest to use a wheelchair or ECV - either can be taken through lines.

Enjoy your vacation!
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
SunshineTaradise
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having a physical disability myself (I have Spina Bifida and I'm a full time wheelchair user) most lines for rides at WDW are accessible. There are some lines where you get to a point and they take you to an alternate entrance but it's typically towards the end of the regular line. Some lines they still take you through the exits but that's only a few. There are Guest Assistance Cards for individuals who cannot wait in line for various reasons(autism, joint issues, etc) and it allows the person and their party to enter through an alternate entrance with minimal wait or a more quite, comfortable place to wait. These aren't typically issued to people using wheelchairs though. I ended up being issued one but it was by total coincedence when I went to inquire about something completely unrelated (it might have been due to the fact it was my sister and I's birthday trip and we were wearing our birthday pins). We considered it a very nice birthday gift and were very thankful for it! I don't want to abuse the system for people who really need it.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:15 AM   #7
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I'm not sure what their exact rules are about helping people on and off rides with physical disabilities but I *think* they aren't allowed to physically touch you. I may be getting that rule mixed up with another parks rule but they will move your wheelchair out of the way and back to you when getting on and off rides.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineTaradise View Post
There are Guest Assistance Cards for individuals who cannot wait in line for various reasons(autism, joint issues, etc) and it allows the person and their party to enter through an alternate entrance with minimal wait or a more quite, comfortable place to wait.
Actually, the GAC does not provide for minimal wait - it states right on it that it's not intended to skip lines, and frequently the wait will be longer with a GAC. Alternate wating areas are not necessarily "more comfortable" other than the "comfort" found in potentially avoiding a meltdown by an autistic/sensory-challenged child. As to people with joint issues - Disney's standard response is to recommend they rent a w/c or ECV to use for sitting in lines. A person with a w/c, ECV, crutches, walker, etc. does not need a GAC because the need is visible. GAC is for those with an invisible need.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:07 PM   #9
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Agreeing with the answers you are getting. I don't know what site you read, but there is no front of the line and CMs not only do not but are not allowed to help people. Even if you go to an alternate entrance, the wait is usually longer than the regular entrance. Disney has a limit to the number of people who may need assistance riding at the same time. Sometimes that limit is 1--which means a very long wait if several people are waiting! Most of the lines have absolutely no seating available even in the alternate waiting areas--so Disney's answer to not being able to stand for long periods is to use an ECV or WC.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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I did a trip in May confined to a wheelchair. I had limited mobility - in a "boot" cast for a broken foot. Most lines, the wheelchair just went through the line. The few that you cannot, there is usually a clearly marked entrance. If there isn't, you just ask a CM and they will tell you. There is no front of the line.

I did not get a GAC since my only issue was mobility and the wheelchair announced that. I understand the GAC is for "hidden" disabilities such as autism where a guest might have a need for an alternate waiting area, using a stroller as a wheelchair, etc. They don't shorten the wait and really don't help if your issue is mobility. Disney's answer to that is a wheelchair.

If you have a scooter there are some rides that will require you to transfer to a wheelchair and be pushed through the line - Pirates of the Caribbean and Tower of Terror come to mind. CM's never offered to help me (although my daughter and husband did a great job). I have always read that they are not allowed to assist because of potential liability issues if a guest were to be injured during a transfer.

You can have a great trip even if you have two members of your party with mobility issues. But have a touring plan and get familiar with Fastpass - they are what will help shorten the lines for you.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:24 PM   #11
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I want to echo what others have said.

I also suggest a great book for things like you will be dealing with (and gives correct information) is PassPorter's Open Mouse. It deals with all sorts of disabilities and ways to handle them. I still read it from time to time even after several years and trips with a disability.
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